Discover 7 Of The Best Specialist Shops In London

Whether you’re SEARCHING FOR flower shops, clothing boutiques, book stores or more, consider this your DEFINITIVE GUIDE to SHOPPING LIKE A LOCAL in London …


Whether you’re after a hand-tied bouquet ofblooms or a unique botanical gift fresh off the workbench, owner Alice, florist Pip and crucially, Goose the shop dog are on hand to help. This plant shop specialises in potted succulents and contemporary arrangements – they offer home delivery to most central London postcodes too – while intimate floristry workshops span flower crown and wreath making classes. Botanique also stocks a meticulously curated edit of treasures from local producers including Hackney-based kidswear label What Mother Made and Netil Market’s dog-loving brand Fetch and Follow. Add in its charming collection of handmade cards and you’ve got the perfect pre-party pitstop.

31 Exmouth Market, EC1R 4QL.

No phone.


A chic celebration of all things French, Hexagone divides its continental collection into six categories – home, fashion, beauty, household, stationery and kids. Highlights include Opinel knives famously used for sculpting by Picasso, riding boots from heritage-listed La Botte Gardiane and Atelier Buffile ceramics selected for their ‘je ne sais quoi’.

12B Camden Passage, N1 8ED.

0207 288 1444


A choice haunt among London’s most famous vintage fanatics – from Kate Moss to Sienna Miller and Florence Welch – Found and Vision is a jewel in the crown of Notting Hill’s second-hand shopping scene. Founded by stylist Karen Clarkson, who opened the boutique with friends Oxana Korsun and Rosie Meres in 2013, this bricks and mortar dressing up box has become the go-to hunting ground for rare designer threads from Yves Saint Laurent couture to seventies Missoni classics. But with shoppers including savvy stylists scouring for their next magazine shoot, the stock rarely stays put for long.

104 Golborne Road, W10 5PS.

020 3620 5755


This tiny yet enormously influential boutique, run by its famously fastidious founder Maureen Doherty, is one of the capital’s most highly rated cult shops among those in the know. Housed in a former dairy, Egg still retains its original blue and white tiles, wooden barn doors and sense of honest authenticity. Its USP is simple and sophisticated clothing with an arty schew, which is designed to be worn and loved forever – a sentiment that is reflected in the steep price tags. Comfort, quality and timelessness are key, with brands such as Sophie D’Hoore, Scha and Casey Casey represented. While nowadays Egg also has an e-commerce site, this is a shop you have to visit in person to appreciate fully. Frequent trips are recommended as Doherty routinely curates her wares as if it were a gallery.

36 Kinnerton Street, SW1X 8ES.

020 7235 9315



The popularity of this modern man’s boutique has seen it graduate from Shoreditch-secret to Soho-staple. But rest assured its local-minded mentality remains intact; from simple pleasures – cold-pressed coffee, organic beard oil – to more extravagant purchases like a made-to-order rucksack or a handwoven rug by Pimlico resident Rachel Scott, an obsessive attention to detail ensures a high standard across the board.

7 Green’s Court, W1F 0HQ.

07730 129 416



As bookshops around the country collapse, this shiny new shrine to the written word stands in defiance of the recession. Conceived by Second Home’s founders Rohan Silva and Sam Aldenton – a buzzing co-working space located next door – this bright yellow bastion of bookselling places its spotlight firmly on cutting-edge independent publishers. Its stock is arranged not in alphabetical order or by standard genres, but by subjects such as ‘Family’, ‘Love’ and ‘Enchantment for the Disenchanted’, while guest curators including award-winning writer Jeanette Winterson and founder of New York Review Books Edwin Frank will select shelves of their favourite titles. There is also a strict no-phones policy to save you from any digital distractions, while its bookbinding workshops and basement printing press serves to cement its dedication to creating and preserving literature in its physical form.

65 Hanbury Street, E1 5JP.

No phone.



Ask anyone in South London where to get a sugar fix and the answer is always the same: Melange. As if straight out of the pages of Joanne Harris’s Chocolat, Parisienne owner and self-taught chocolatier Isabelle Alaya set up shop in 2008 and has been giving Peckham’s chocolate-lovers a place to indulge their sweet tooth ever since. As well as offering a host of workshops – from chocolate painting to wine pairing – Melange specialises in hand layered slabs of dark, milk and white chocolate with unique flavour combinations such as ginger and lime and raspberry and rosemary. Stop short of gorging yourself on the sample trays to save room for the café’s signature hot chocolates, voted the best in London by the capital’s most meticulous chocoholics. Try the delicious coconut milk option, whether you’re vegan or not.

2 Maxted Road, SE15 4LL.

07722 650 711


Extracted from Shop London: An Insider’s Guide To Spending Like a Local by Emma McCarthy. Published by Frances Lincoln, £9.99stg. Photography © Kim Lightbody. Available to buy here.

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