Thornback & Peel
Cockpit Yard, Northington St., Bloomsbury
With a very fitting location on Rugby Street, in good company among other quirky and cool independent shops nearby, Thornback & Peel provides hand-printed home goods and textiles. Juliet and Delia's (Thornback and Peel, respectively) whitewashed shop is full of their colorful flora and fauna: It's a perfect spot for gifts in particular.
59 Lamb's Conduit St., Bloomsbury
The books here are by women, about women, and for busy women who don't have time to wade through bigger chains in search of that perfect book. The collection contains 96 beautiful, unique and intelligent books, which make wonderful gifts for the women in your life. The beautiful reprints all feature a custom Persephone grey jacket, the same color as the shop's façade, which remains virtually unchanged since its construction in 1702.
Pentreath & Hall
17 Rugby St., Bloomsbury
Located in a tiny Victorian shopfront in the heart of Bloomsbury, Pentreath & Hall sells carefully chosen homewares and an ever-changing variety of unusual delights. Many of the objects for sale here satisfy the "looks great under a glass cloche" category requirement. Photo: Simon Bevan
52 Lamb's Conduit St., Bloomsbury
This is a full-on lifestyle store for the geometrically obsessed. There are handcrafted leather goods, hand-bound notebooks, colorful pillows, and throws, all within the very tasteful bounds of the owner's aesthetic. Expect to find many a British brand you haven't heard of yet.
Abigail Ahern Flowers
12-14 Essex Road, The Angel
Faux flowers get a bad rep, but in the hands of designer Abigail Ahern they can add mood, beauty, and texture to a room. She first started her pro-faux crusade at her Islington shop, and it quickly caught on to the point that Heal's, the home emporium, has given Abigail a stand-alone "florist" shop. You'll find endless fake varieties—from ferns to hydrangeas, to ridiculously cute moss dog sculptures—another quirky Ahern signature.
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