Shopping is London’s favourite sport and a great way to discover any city. In this capital, we are spoiled for choice, with grand flagships, independent boutiques, concept stores, showrooms and galleries. In fact, there is far too much to choose from. The chances are you’ve already visited the West End and London’s fabulous department stores, so we are taking you off the beaten track for an unforgettable shopping adventure.
If you’re a fan of the independent,
the unexpected and the authentic, then Soho shopping is a must. A short walk from the hotel (or an even shorter cycle if you borrow one of our Brompton bikes), Soho has a unique character all of its own.
Expect a maze of tight streets packed with unexpected treasures. This one-mile-square district in the very heart of the city beats to its own drum. Home to theatreland, the media industry and once the red-light district, Soho has cleaned up its act, but not lost its cheeky character.
This is a great destination for men’s and women’s fashion, and you can still find great fabric and trimming shops, an echo of the specialism by street heritage of this, one of London’s original market districts.
Liberty, the beloved London department store opened in 1875 by Arthur Lasenby Liberty. Housed in a Tudor Revival Building, this shop is a treasure trove of fashion, accessories, beauty, jewellery, flowers, chocolates, children’s wear, fragrances, home furnishings and, of course, Liberty’s own fabrics. Take your time to explore every corner of this great store renowned for its eclectic and confident selection.
Escape the tourists on Carnaby Street and make for this hidden gem, a courtyard with three floors of independent eateries and unexpected shops to explore. Al fresco dining in the courtyard is a treat if the weather allows. Eat your way through the Detox Kitchen, Shoryu, Pizza Pilgrims and more; this is a lunch spot in the heart of the action yet off the beaten track, a favourite with locals and visitors alike.
This cooler-than-cool, buzzy Soho boutique is expertly curated by founder Stavros Karelis. Expect Raf Simons, Margiela and Craig Green and discover plenty of names you’ve never heard of. This Soho institution is renowned for discovering the capital’s most exciting emerging designers.
Needs no introduction and you’ll spot the shop from a distance: just look for the queue! Shop the latest ‘drop’ T-shirts, hoodies and lifestyle items, all with the brand’s signature ‘Bogo' inspired by Barbara Kruger’s 1987 slogan ‘I shop therefore I am’.
Home-grown street-style hero founded by Lev Tanju, T-shirts, hoodies, outerwear and accessories for London street-style kids and wannabes the world over.
This made-in-England men’s brand has two shops in London, this one and another in Islington. Voted one of London’s 100 best shops, it is small, independent and consistently focused on timeless, utilitarian designs, high-quality construction and Great British craftsmanship. Great for utilitarian outerwear and perfect for London’s unpredictable weather, including delicious lambswool knitwear made in Scotland. Albam’s utilitarian work shirts and accessories are the go-to uniform for London’s media types. Style is on point but it’s the quality that makes this a firm favourite among the cognoscenti.
One for the little ones...The oldest and biggest toy shop in the world. Brace yourselves! This is heaven for children but can be hard work for parents. Seven floors of toys, demonstrations, and children all beside themselves with excitement. Don’t miss the Harry Potter-themed Department of Magic. A great way to end a day out for well-behaved small people.
Since 1964 this shop-cum-bar has been the whisky enthusiast’s destination of choice, with around 300 from Scotland alone. Prices range from the accessible to tens of thousands of pounds for the oldest and most rare. There’s a copper-topped bar seating 12 in the shop itself for tastings. The staff are knowledgeable and enthusiastic, and if you want to stay longer, make for the secret bar. Accessed through a secret door behind a bookcase, you’ll find a basement speakeasy-styled cocktail bar – the Vault.
A Soho institution since 1887, long before we all became dedicated coffee consumers. A tiny shop with over 80 blends of coffee all available as beans or ready ground. A great place to buy specialist coffee preparation kit too, and if you’re caffeine free, don’t worry; they have plenty of caffeine-free options and teas from all over the world.