The London Art & Architecture Guide
You can’t really walk a block without stumbling across a cultural monument, a great gallery, or one of the world’s best museums—and thanks to its long and storied history, most of its shops and restaurants occupy pretty notable environs, too.
Alex Eagle6-10 Lexington St., Soho | +44.20.7589.0588
Alex Eagle's eponymous concept store has moved from its Knightsbridge townhouse local to an expansive loft space in Soho. The owner stocks hard-to-find brands like Isa Arfen, Lemaire, and Protagonist mixed in with homewares by hip design studios like Makers & Brothers. With the odd Jean Prouvé stool or Alex Eagle collaboration—many are her takes on classic heritage brands like Swaine-Adeney—dotted here and there, this shop is always packed with discoveries.
Another Country18 Crawford St., Marylebone | +44.20.7486.3251
Blush pink walls and a warm grey ceiling complement the beautiful furniture and accessories sold at this relatively new Marylebone shop and design studio. Handcrafted wooden furniture, jacquard throws, simple terracotta ceramics, and beautifully turned-out desk accessories are just a few of the things you'll want to schlep home. While the shop is off the main street it's worth the detour to see. They also take custom orders.
Aram110 Drury Ln., Covent Garden | +44.20.7557.7557
Aram has been around since the sixties, continually introducing the best of modern design to the city. Brands like Vitra, Knoll, Poltrona Frau, Aram Designs and Cassina are all arranged beautifully in this expansive and clean Covent Garden setting.
Claire de Rouen13 Brewer St., Soho | 44.207.734.4334
This place is frequented by serious photo aficionados, from librarians to collectors to students, looking for rare and out-of-print books and magazines. The old gallery location has recently moved into Soho concept store Machine-A.
David Mellor4 Sloane Sq., Belgravia | +44.20.7730.4259
David Mellor is a household name in London for cutlery, plates, glassware, and more. The aesthetic is plain, simple and made-to-last, meaning that London kitchens will continue to depend on this Sloane Square outpost for years to come.
Dover Street Market18-22 Haymarket, Piccadilly | +44.20.7518.0680
Boasting five floors of designer labels, in its brand-new space on Haymarket where they've taken over a grand old heritage-listed building, this wildly creative, gallery-like space is complete with sculptures, taxidermy, and art objects. Whether you intend to bust out your wallet or not, the store is one of the city's more inspired spaces. There's also a pretty incredible outpost in New York.
LN-CC18 Shacklewell Ln., Dalston | +44.20.7275.7265
London excels at creating retail spaces that are more experiential than commercial. Like the Shop at Bluebird and Dover Street Market, LN-CC is a destination as much for its overall look as its merchandise, encompassing a library, record store, gallery, and café. The likes of Marni, Yeezy, JW Anderson, Gucci, and Rick Owens, plus a futuristic shoe department that looks like a spaceship draws in visitors from all over the world to this Dalton emporium. The kicker: LN-CC is by appointment only—so make one.
Ochre46-47 Britton St., Clerkenwell | +44.20.7096.7372
Ochre's furniture, custom chandeliers, lighting and accessories add an ethereality and rusticity to any room. They make beautiful pieces in all categories, from small details to the thematic pieces that make a room. The London location is a showroom so be sure to call in advance and visit with an interior designer.
Design Centre Chelsea HarbourLots Rd., Chelsea | +44.20.7225.9166
With ninety showrooms of some of the biggest names in design, this is not for the faint-hearted, so think about enlisting the personal shopping service, which makes the massive space and selection a bit easier to take on. Don't miss Cole & Son, Edelman Leather, Tai Ping, The Nanz Company, and Stark Carpet and Fabric, to name a very few.
De Gournay112 Old Church St., Chelsea | +44.20.7352.9988
There's a good chance you would find De Gournay without a heads up from us, if only because it's nearly impossible to walk by its windows without getting drawn into the elegant showroom. It offers fabrics, furniture, plates, and custom design services, but De Gournay's true specialty is luxury hand-painted wallpapers in Chinoiserie patterns. Owner Claud Cecil Gurney seeks out painters who have been in the business for generations, and the wallpapers are indisputably the best in this increasingly rare trade.
Talisman79-91 New Kings Rd., Fulham | +44.20.7731.4686
Talisman's selection of antique furniture is indisputably one of the best in London, making it the first stop on any quest for rare and completely unique collectibles and furniture. Ken Bolan, the warm and inspired founder behind the store and workshop, has been in the antiques business for more than 30 years, so his relationships (as well as his eye) are really unparalleled. The store also offers a bespoke furniture line and handles even the most difficult restorations with care.
Taschen12 Duke of York Sq., Belgravia | +44.20.7881.0795
At this Philippe Starck–designed (and gilded) shop, you'll find all Taschen's trademark tomes on art, photography, fashion, architecture, film, erotica, and more. Conveniently placed right across the street from the Saatchi Gallery, this is a shop for the well-heeled art lover. The gallery space downstairs shows off certain titles in more detail.
Wolf & Badger32 Dover St., Mayfair | +44.20.7229.4848
Established in 2009 by brothers, Henry and George Graham, Wolf & Badger is predicated on the idea of launching new soon-to-be big designer talent. The concept is taking off, as they now have two London-based boutiques (the other one is in Notting Hill).
Print ClubUnit 3, 10-28 Millers Ave., Hackney | +44.20.7254.9028
This Dalston screenprinting studio offers workshops, studio space, and sells prints by many of the talented artists who make work there. It's a great place to pick up a few original prints to liven up your home.
Rose Uniacke76-84 Pimlico Rd., Pimlico | +44.20.7730.7050
Trained as a restorer and gilder, Rose Uniacke's eye for material is unparalleled. So it makes sense that in her store, the eighteenth-, nineteenth-, and twentieth-century antiques are all given plenty of space to show themselves off. Uniacke also offers an interior design service and a bespoke range made with her trademark appreciation for the age and condition of the materials she uses.
Liberty LondonRegent St., Soho | +44.20.7734.1234
This legendary store opened in 1875 on Regent Street, and to this day maintains its beautiful wood-paneled interiors and grand Tudor revival exterior. While the Liberty brand is alive and well, still selling their trademark flower print fabrics, so is their buying team with small capsules from all our favorite brands including Frame, Acne, Alexander Wang, Isabel Marant, and Kenzo. Treat yourself to a scarf here as they always have the widest and most wonderful selection, and the staff in the Scarf Hall on the first floor are famously good at advising you on how to tie them.
The Shop at BluebirdCarriage Hall, 29 Floral St., Covent Garden | +44.20.7351.3873
Chelsea staple Bluebird has recently relocated to Covent Garden, into a stunningly outfitted former coach house no less. The fashion emporium is fittingly upscale for its surroundings, but, in a relaxed, casual, spend-an-entire-Sunday-here sort of way. They stock a great mix of under-the-radar brands along with all the staples like Peter Pilotto, Marni, and Ganni. Pop across to Balthazar for lunch afterwards.
Métier59 S. Audley St., Mayfair | +44.20.3598.7950
Founder and designer Melissa Morris (who cut her teeth at Belstaff), spent years researching, sourcing, and designing her beautifully made Italian leather bags. Aside from the luggage, we love the smaller pieces, too, like the card-holders and leather clutches with compartments for phones, money and iPads. The boutique on South Audley street feels like being in a mahogany-clad library and is always a treat to pop in for a bit of peace and quiet while browsing the goods.
Jessica McCormack7 Carlos Pl., Mayfair | +44.20.7491.9999
On a corner of Carlos Place—arguably the most sublime shopping street in Mayfair—is McCormack’s atelier. The three-floor townhouse is filled with such beautiful furniture and art collection that you forget you’re there for the jewels. Until you see them: necklaces of cascading diamonds, Art Deco drop earrings, and engagement rings galore. And McCormack excels at breathing new life into family heirloom rings by creating modern “jackets” of jewels to surround the older piece to make it wearable for modern styles. An appointment here might involve relaxing on the sofas upstairs, flipping through the dozens of art and photography books stacked elegantly on the shelves for reference, or chatting with the designer about what your aesthetic preferences. McCormack considers herself a family jeweler, which is fair given that once you’ve ordered a piece, you’re likely to continue going back. The entire experience is bespoke, elegant and thoughtful.
Matchesfashion Townhouse5 Carlos Place, Mayfair | +44.203.907.8590
Six meticulously restored floors of a Georgian townhouse filled with fashion is the latest venture from the UK luxury retailer, Matches. Directly across from the Connaught Hotel, the store takes the shopping experience up a notch with a service that lets you choose—from the office, a cab, the airport, wherever—what you want to try on before you get there. All the loot is waiting in a fitting room with your name on it when you arrive. Matches is also breathing life into the space beyond the merchandise, with evening talks and workshops, a café space with rotating chefs, and a gorgeous tropical-themed garden to catch your breath.