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.
Bermondsey Antique Market
12 Bermondsey Sq., Bermondsey
Go early (5am, they open at 4) to shop with collectors and dealers for Victorian and Georgian silver, china, glassware, furniture, and more.
36 Ledbury Road, Notting Hill
There are long kimono robes, cute little pajama sets, and supima cotton underwear and bras for days at this shop. There are flashes of lace and really flattering cuts, which means that while the offerings are simple, they're still sexy.
Bond Street, Mayfair
A walk down New and Old Bond Street yields eponymous boutiques from some of the world's best designers in clothing and jewelry. Solange-Azagury Partridge (her store is a must-see), Cartier, Miu Miu, Boucheron, and Yves Saint Laurent are all here.
Books for Cooks
4 Blenheim Crescent, Notting Hill
A London foodie hub, this store is crammed with cookbooks, food writing, books on nutrition, fiction, and more. New releases and classic tomes are mixed together by this store's knowledgeable staff. The shop has its own test kitchen, where you can sample many of the recipes the Books for Cooks staff is excited to try. Don't miss the themed workshop meals in the demonstration kitchen upstairs, where you'll learn how to make global cuisines from a group of experts in different foodie fields.
31 Exmouth Market, Clerkenwell
Flowers in antique glass jars, succulents large and small, steampunk kids clothes, pressed flowers, it all may sound a little Etsy-esque, and well, it is, but it's so well achieved and so aesthetically pleasing that it's hard not to fall for. Botanique, both a florist and a shop for artisan wares, opened up its sprawling, wood-lined space on Exmouth Market in October and already promises to be a fixture on the local craft scene with a series of seasonal workshops for those interested in picking up a few skills.
5 Chatsworth Rd., Hackney
Beautifully arranged and sourced by Angela Maynard, an ex-product developer, this is a London green-thumb's dream with ceramics in muted tones, handmade woven baskets, all the succulents you could dream of, and hard-to-find skincare brands. Botany hosts mini gallery openings in the space, too, which is just another great excuse to head there more often.
127/128 Sloane St., Belgravia
With shops in Dubai, Beirut, and Abu Dhabi, this Middle Eastern retailer has now arrived in London in a sprawling space that couldn't be more at home on tony Sloane Square. With a Nordic-concept-store look and a mini-department-store feel, it offers plenty of dedicated room for designers like Victoria Beckham, Elie Saab, and Isabel Marant, while more niche brands like Bella Freud, Malone Souliers, and Monreal London get their airtime on the surrounding racks and displays. Meanwhile, the Bistrotheque team serves up all-day snacks and drinks at the in-store April's Cafe. As a bonus, it has a leafy and secluded courtyard, making it all the more of a destination for West London's fashion crowd.
24-27 S. Molton St., Mayfair
Credited with breaking designers like Alexander McQueen and Christopher Kane, Browns is one of the biggest fashion megaships in London—and it has been since 1970, when it opened on a single floor of a townhouse (it's since expanded to consume five adjacent townhouses).
Bruton St., Mayfair
There's often something interesting going on at the top of the road in Berkeley Square, but you'll also find flagships for Stella McCartney, Diane von Furstenberg, and Maison Martin Margiela.
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