It’s no surprise to us here at House of Coco that London was recently selected by travel gurus Expedia as one of the top shopping destinations in the world. Many of the world’s best fashion designers are based here and the city offers a huge variety of trendy designer shops, vintage clothing stores and quirky boutiques. London is also home to thousands of antique stores and specialty shops.
The quality and variety of the stores in this amazing city guarantee a very special shopping experience. Here are a few places that offer some of the best shopping in London – as well places to eat and drink should you get peckish.
Sitting a stone’s throw from the hubbub of London Bridge (just walk down Tooley Street and take a right), south-of-the-river Bermondsey Street has a cool, market-town sort of vibe, peppered with independent shops, bars, restaurants and delis. It’s also home to White Cube, a contemporary art gallery, and the Fashion and Textile Museum. For shopping, check out home furniture shop Lovely and British and Bermondsey167 for fashions and curiosities. For refreshment, you’re spoilt for choice. The Woolpack does some great beer and tapas bar Jose is renowned as one of the best eateries in south London. The street also attracted a little controversy last year – a bit of a to-do with the naming of a certain coffee shop…
Historically known for its many charming antique shops, Islington’s Camden Passage now finds itself at the cultural heart of one of the capital’s most fashionable boroughs. Alongside its many vintage boutiques (there remains an antiques market every Saturday), the Passage is now home to many popular eateries, including The Breakfast Club and the Pistachio & Pickle deli. Beyond this quaint stretch lies the rest of fashionable Islington, with many treasures to be found up and down Upper Street, one of North London’s finest shopping strips. From high-end fashion houses like Whistles to international brands like Superdry, this is one corner of London that isn’t short on style.
Covent Garden is one of central London’s most popular shopping and tourist haunts, with all of the world’s biggest brands nestling together, alongside the obligatory street performers to enjoy. Neal’s Yard is a haven of relative calm amongst the hubbub of the city centre. In the 18th and 19th centuries, this was a place of extreme poverty and ill-health – today, it’s a bright and welcoming beacon of the health industry, with juice bars, health shops and charmingly characterful restaurants to enjoy. For luxury dining with fresh, seasonal British flair, try Native – a restaurant with a focus on foraged foods and finest country game.
Known for is eclectic cultural mix of art, oddities and a dizzying number of vintage stores, Shoreditch gives shoppers the ultimate boutique experience. From the immense collection of exceptional boots, shoes and purses in Blondie to the collectable couture of House of Liza, you can easily find a complete wardrobe, cherry-picked from every era. Beyond Retro is another popular vintage emporium, boasting a huge variety of styles – and only a few minutes from the heart of Brick Lane. Shoreditch also features art galleries and neat pop-ups aplenty – the much-maligned Boxpark is always worth a quick look, while Redchurch Street is packed with artisan traders and elegant studios to browse.
Well-known high street icons share this buzzing boulevard with exclusive boutiques along this famous thoroughfare, home to the evergreen Harrods – now a tourist attraction in itself. High above the crowds, the nearby Roof Gardens, created by Sir Richard Branson, is one of those must-visit places that has to been seen to be believed. This remarkable space offers food, flowers and flamingos—it’s truly amazing. At street level, impressive chain stores, small fashion and homeware boutiques, dressmakers, master tailors and high-end antique stores can all be found on Kensington High Street.
Located in Hackney, Broadway Market has been a shopping street for more than a century. In the late 1800s, it was a drovers route (livestock herding!) that was bounded by just a few modest stalls. Today, there are still stalls in this popular market, but they have been joined by cafés, pubs, shops and restaurants aplenty. Try Climpson and Sons for a winter-proofing coffee or head to Off Broadway for a touch of NYC and a cocktail. Vintage clothing and unique arts and crafts are sold here, but food is the magnet that draws the biggest crowds. The stalls caters to a huge variety of tastes, with cuisines and comforts from every corner of the world – Broadway is a foodie’s dream.
Portobello Road is the world’s largest antiques market. More than 1,000 dealers offer almost any type of curiosity imaginable. A popular West London landmark, the mile-long Portobello Road Market is located in Notting Hill, a neighborhood that combines high end luxury with characterful delights. Each side of the road is lined with stalls that set up daily, with the main days on Friday and Saturday. Whilst there has been criticism of how the community has changed, gentrification has diversified the market’s remit, with street food becoming a big feature at the weekends. For drinks, try out The Portobello Star for gins aplenty.
As a global capital of culture, you might expect London to have great shopping. But with its ever-changing styles and stores, the capital surpasses expectations – providing one of the most entertainingly eclectic shopping experiences in the world. With its many high-end luxury stores and unique treasures to discover, London offers the best for all tastes.