5 Carlos Place, Mayfair
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.
59 S. Audley St., Mayfair
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.
7 Carlos Pl., Mayfair
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.
188 Westbourne Grove, Notting Hill
London finally gets a dose of goop IRL. We’ve opened our very own Notting Hill store in the city where it all began ten years ago (at GP’s kitchen table). Designed by Fran Hickman, this is one of our biggest retail ventures yet: four floors, flooded with natural light, complete with olive trees and wildflowers. Start at the bottom—a blue velvet boudoir filled with an array of G. Sport apparel, supplements, and other super functional and great-looking workout gear. Climb a few steps and enter the world of goop home (and the gorgeousness that is the goop x CB2 collaboration) with doors opening onto an ivy-covered, stone-walled garden. Up one more flight, you’ll find a London-specific edit of G. Label, Stella McCartney, Co, and more. Finally, the top floor is a wonderland of clean, nontoxic beauty products with custom vanities where you can chill out and try everything before you buy. Images courtesy of Appear Here.
Baar & Bass
336 King's Rd., Chelsea
Fashion giants, like Dover Street Market, Matches, and Selfridges, may have every sartorial desire covered, but it’s the smaller, more intimate stores that are the backbone of London. Baar & Baas on the King's Road is the perfect example. Maddie Chesterton’s edit is arty and quirky: silky Rixo tea dresses, striped Bella Freud knits and flared pants, retro Terry de Havilland platforms, and the most sublime Sophie Lis jewelry are just a few of the special offerings. It’s all luxuriously bohemian and ’60s-inspired. And the selection of cookbooks, candles, and cards solves virtually every gift buying dilemma, every time.
131 Bellenden Rd., Peckham
Review is one of those independent bookshops that makes us all wish we read more. It’s staffed with novelists always willing to lift up their heads from the page and offer a suggestion or four. Books are thoughtfully divided—not by traditional categories but into tongue-in-cheek colloquial genres, like “wimmin” for women, making a casual browse substantially more enjoyable. Literary fiction is the preferred genre here, with the best of the new bunch always stacked on the table by the door. Interspersed among the titles are cookbooks, pretty greeting cards, Moleskine journals, and the occasional candle.
3 Launceston Place, Kensington
The name Seeds has several meanings. For starters, it's a nod to the store's physical space, which occupies what used to be a flower shop in Kensington. It's also a reference to what the owners describe as the store's duality as a place to see (they host exhibitions and special projects with artists and designers) as well as a design store (hence the DS). The entire space is completely shoppable, so you can find everything here from hand-thrown clay pots, to art-inspired jewelry, to works of contemporary art.
Present & Correct
23 Arlington Way, Clerkenwell
Started by two graphic designers who use the store to present their own designs as well as favorites from others, Present & Correct stocks everything required for old-school correspondence, including stamps, shelves and shelves of stationery, and boxes of specialty pens and pencils. There's also star-shaped erasers, vintage calligraphy sets, brass paperclips, and wooden tape dispensers. It's perfect for grown-up back-to-school.
A Portuguese Love Affair
142 Columbia Rd., Shoreditch
This sweet shop in Shoreditch was founded by Portuguese owners Olga Cruchinho and Dina Martins in an effort to bring their favorite staples from their home country to London. There's a range of products, from foodstuffs (tinned fish, jams, honey, olive oil) to beauty products (creams, soaps, even specialty toothpastes) to Portuguese wine, notebooks, and stationery. It's a great spot for hostess gifts, in particular.
13 Camden Passage, Islington
Long-time Islington resident Lizzie Evans set up shop in her hometown below an upstairs space where she offers workshops in weaving, terrarium making, calligraphy, and more. The shop itself, which locals know from her iconic guinea pig logo, carries design-minded home accessories, prints, and stationery. Her display of wrapping paper and ribbons makes it a great spot for holiday and birthday shopping.
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