Saturday, March 15, 2008

Greenwich Market - Greenwich

Old and older junk - everything you need, from clothes to furniture, to nick knacks.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Jenners - Princes Street

For a house of Fraser establishment, Jenners was a bit of a disappointment. It's one of those instances where a new building seems to be crammed into an old building without any consideration for the old architecture. Inventory was OK, but not up to usual House of Fraser variety and quality. Getting rid of the very large tourist tat department would be a big improvement.

48 Princes Street

0131 225 2442

Sunday, March 09, 2008

Monsters at Harvey Nick's - St. Andrew Square

I love monsters, weird window displays and Harvey Nick's, so this is a winning combination.

Harvey Nichols
30 - 34 St Andrew Square

0131 524 8388

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Bookshop Row - Grass Market

The owner of Armchair Books looks and acts like an old anarchist. He was sitting in the back unabashedly smoking, surrounded by his alternatype employees who were sitting on the floor, sorting books. When I asked him the price of a book, he admonished me to barter with him, then gave it to me for an even lower price.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Open 24 Hours

The English version of 24-hour shopping.

Upper Edmonton
N18 3HF

Sunday, March 02, 2008

The Conran Shop - Marylebone

I love the Conran shop. Supposedly, it is stocked with nicely designed product at all price ranges. I have my doubts about the lower end of their price range -- there doesn't seem to be one, so I haven't ever bought anything here. I like to look, though.

The Conran Shop Marylebone
55 Marylebone High Street
London W1U 5HS
020 7723 2223

Monday, February 25, 2008

Intense & Funky - Wood Green

Despite its weird name and appalling window displays, this shop on Wood Green High Road has a very nice collection of Men's and Women's wear. The store's strength is the men's collection, ranging from high-end street labels to designers such as Vivienne Westwood, to old classics, such as Levi's big Es. Similar designers are sold for women, but the collection isn't as broad. However, there is a nice selection of shoes and bags.

136 High Road, Hornsey
London, N22 6EB
020 8881 8377

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Gay's the Word - Russell Square

One of the few independent gay & lesbian bookshops left in London.

Gay's the Word
66 Marchmont Street

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Main Street - Rye

Village shopping, especially in Medieval towns like Rye, that cater to tourists, is sometimes disappointing, sometime very nice. Rye falls into the nice category because there are a lot of antique and junk shops. The antique shops are overpriced, but the junk shops are lovely. They range from little holes in the wall barely large enough to turn around in, to two floor emporiums filled with manufacturers premium items from the past 50 years.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Ah Ha Ha Ha - Grassmarket

The sign alone is worth a visit. However, the inside is so crammed with jokes, novelties, toys and magic tricks that it's sure to bring out the 10-year-old in anyone.

99 West Bow
Edinburgh, EH1 2JP, United Kingdom
+44 131 220 5252

Sunday, February 03, 2008

The Stables - Camden Town

Still one of the best places to buy old tat. The Stables gets points for merchandise, historic provenance and atmosphere.

Stables Market
Camden Town

Saturday, February 02, 2008

Laduree - Burlington Arcade

Everything works in this small, French Aladdin's cave of a sweet shop, the golden walls, the lovely macaroons, and the beautiful little boxes to take them away in.

71 - 72 Burlington Arcade,

(020) 7491 9155

Thursday, January 31, 2008

Hatchards - Piccadilly

Official bookseller to the Queen. Now owned by HMV.

187 Piccadilly
London, W1J 9LE

020 7439 9921

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Pinocchio - Old Town

A cute name and shopfront for a puppet shop. The specific focus saves it from being just another shop with wooden toys.

96 West Bow
Edinburgh, EH1 2HH
0131 225 6547

Monday, January 28, 2008

Thistle Do Nicely - Old Town

Just a little gift and tat shop near the castle, but I love the name.

1 Upper Bow

Friday, January 25, 2008

Bicester Village

This is a nice day trip out of London by train. Surrounded by stereotypical beautiful English countryside, this is the poshest outlet mall I've ever visited. Prices are not as cheap as the name "outlet mall" implies, but merchandise is top quality, high end. Retailers at the village include: Wedgewood, Temperly London, Tod's, Anya Hindmarch, Mulberry, Tse.... You get the picture

Bicester Village
50 Pingle Drive
OX26 6WD
(0) 1869 323 200

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Gamleys - Mount Pleasant Road

Toy stores seem to fall into two categories: Mega-marts that sell only the big brands, guaranteed to sell, or cutesy shops that sell quaint dolls, wooden toys, and whatever the owner has a penchant for. Gamleys is a small chain of toy shops that actually has things children like. Large brands include a good collection or Playmobil, Selectrix, and Mattel, but many other small brands are sold here as are a good collection of books and toys for older children, like train sets and action figures.

It seems the chain is getting smaller as more shops are being closed every year.

43 Mount Pleasant Road
City Centre
Tunbridge Wells
(0)1892 525322

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Bluewater - Greenhithe

Paco Underhill talks this mall up in his book, Call of the Mall, so I expected much, much more. Shopping is very high street, nothing particularly high-end but a wide variety, but many things are done right. There are things to keep children entertained, including remote control boats, play structures and a creche. Mall food is plentiful, including the only Crispy Creme I've seen in the UK where donuts are made on the premises.

There's a very large problem: no air conditioning. Is this being environmentally correct? Perhaps, but it doesn't work with in a place that is encased in glass. It certainly doesn't work in such a crowded environment, and Bluewater is extremely crowded.


0870 777 0252

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Brent Cross Shopping Centre - Brent Cross

No, this is not an airport parking lot. It's the outside of Brent Cross Shopping Centre.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Butler & Wilson - South Kensington

I don't know much about this shop except that I like crown on the roof.

189 Fulham Road
London SW3 6JN
Telephone: 020 7352 3045

Nearest Tube: South Kensington

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Shopping for Clothes - Sainsbury's - Harringay

Shopping list:

green beans
stretchy jersey top

Shopping for clothes at the grocery store, no matter how convenient, still feels a bit weird. I suppose it's the same as buying clothes at Costco, but I wouldn't do that either. Where do you try anything on?

4 Williamson Road
Green Lanes
N4 1UJ
Tel: 020 8809 6065

Monday, January 07, 2008

The Corner KTS - Hackney

Need a bookcase of a new speaker case? Wood cut to all shapes.

415 Kingsland Rd
London, E8 4AU
020 72499200

Saturday, January 05, 2008

Selfridges Food Hall - Oxford Street

American-style Cupcakes

Some of the best American-style cupcakes I've had in London.

Selfridges London
400 Oxford St

Friday, January 04, 2008

Hand and Lock - Westminster

Hand embroiderers to the Queen. This proves that almost anything can be bought in London, for a price.

86 Margaret Street
London W1W 8TE

0207 580 7488

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Agent Provocateur - Soho

Where Victoria's secret and even Fredrick's of Hollywood only teases, Agent Provocateur takes it all the way. Lingerie here is prettier, sexier, and certainly better made.

6 Broadwick Street
Soho, London, W1F 8HW

020 7439 0229

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Mobile Police Station - Oxford Street

There's a new piece of traffic parked on Oxford Street for the after Christmas sales, a police trailer. This mobile police station was set up to process shoplifters and deal with the problems caused by unruly crowds. I wish it was parked permanently on my street.