Shopping in the capital is a delight, whether browsing for luxury labels in historic avenues or discovering antique treasures in quirky markets
Marylebone High Street
Undoubtedly the best High Street in London, shopping is a relaxed affair in Marylebone where you can wander from boutique to bookshop in an unhurried atmosphere. Stores include Parisian favourite Diptyque for beautifully fragranced candles and eau de toilette; The Conran Shop which showcases contemporary home design, and the enchanting Daunt Books with its ornately decorated window and dark wooden balconies.
Marylebone High Street,
Independent shops line this Victorian street with the likes of Trunk Clothiers, which specialises in contemporary labels for men; Mouki Mou for cool and understated clothes, accessories and gifts; Prism for a great range of stylish glasses and sunglasses, and Cadenhead’s – a must for whisky connoisseurs. Voted Londons coolest street by Conde Nast Traveller – a place with a rich heritage that’s perfectly reinvented itself while keeping in touch with its past.
Divided into Old Bond Street and New Bond Street, the historic Bond Street area has long attracted the world’s finest labels. Stores include Bulgari, Chanel, Emporio Armani and Fendi, several fine jewellers, as well as Sotheby’s auction house.
Old Bond St
This wide and busy boulevard hosts a vast number of stores including AllSaints, Burberry and Tommy Hilfiger as well as the beautiful Liberty London department store, which is set in a 1920s Tudor-revival building constructed from the timbers of two ships. Floor-upon-floor of toys can be found in the impressive Hamleys.
Perhaps London’s most famous shopping destination, Oxford Street is home to the flagship stores of many high street brands, including John Lewis, Topshop and Zara. It also has Selfridges department store, which has a brilliant collection of designer names and a fantastic beauty hall.
London W1C 1DX
An ornate wrought-iron glass-covered walkway will take you straight from the rear entrance of The Landmark hotel and into Marylebone Station, where there are regular trains to Bicester Village. This high-end retail outlet village sells brands such as Missoni, Sandro and Gucci at great discounts.
Bicester OX26 6WD
Knightsbridge offers high-end boutiques as well as the famous department stores Harrods and Harvey Nichols: both are grand emporiums dedicated to luxury fashion, beauty, homeware and fine foods.
Portobello Market runs past candy-coloured houses and, on Saturdays, becomes the world’s biggest antiques market with stalls selling everything from silverware and jewellery to Victorian cameras and vintage luggage. (The market is open Monday to Saturday but Saturday is the main day for antiques with trading starting early morning.)
306 Portobello Rd
London W10 5TA
Borough is the food lover’s market with stalls dedicated to fresh produce from all around the UK and beyond. Often the stallholders are the producers themselves who can talk in detail about the source of their wares. There is cheese, cakes, chocolates, meat and fish, spices, oils and antipasti. The surrounding area is also home to a fantastic range of restaurants. (Open Monday to Saturday – limited market on Mondays and Tuesdays – open seven days in December)
8 Southwark St
London SE1 1TL
Grays Antique Market
Set in a grand terracotta building, Grays is home to 200 antique dealers selling all kinds of objects from 40BC to the 20th century. The underground Tyburn River flows through a channel in the basement and is an eccentric sight, particularly given the large goldfish meandering through it. (Open Monday to Friday, with many dealers, also open on Saturdays)
1-7 Davies Mews
Alfies Antique Market
Set behind an Egyptian-style art deco façade, Alfies in Marylebone has around 100 antique dealers where you can browse for the likes of Victorian jewellery, vintage lace, silver barware and antique dolls. There’s also a rooftop café with views over the neighbourhood. (Open Tuesday to Saturday)
3-25 Church St
Camden has long been known for its creative rock and roll streak, and this is reflected in its eclectic market. Stalls sell the likes of vintage fashion, innovative gifts, retro toys and pop culture prints. (Open daily)
Camden Lock Pl
Camden Town, London
Set under a glass canopy, Spitalfields market can be enjoyed in all weathers, offering a wonderful selection of clothes, gifts, toys and vintage treasures. Old Spitalfields Market is next door – where, depending on the day of the week, you might find antiques, art, vintage hats, silk scarves, and collectable vinyl. It also makes a great place for lunch with restaurants such as Nuno Mendes’ Taberna do Mercado and Wright Brothers oyster bar. (Spitalfields open daily; Old Spitalfields Thursday to Sunday)
16 Horner Square,
London E1 6EW
The historic Greenwich market specialises in antiques, arts and crafts. It is an inspiring place to browse with work by local artists, including photography, fine art and quirky design. (Open daily)
5B Greenwich Market
London SE10 9HZ
There have been markets in this central London spot for centuries. Today, the piazza is a bustling yet elegant place to watch street performers, dine, and browse artisanal stalls in the Apple Market and East Colonnade Market. (Open daily, Monday for antiques)
The Market Bldg
London WC2E 8RF
Brick Lane Market
For a proper East End market experience, Brick Lane brings together a hotchpotch of stalls selling everything under the sun. The star, however, is the Old Truman Brewery, which highlights creative talent through the likes of its Sunday Upmarket and the London Artisan Market. (Open: Sundays for Brick Lane market. Old Truman Brewery markets: Sunday Upmarket; Backyard Market: weekends; Boiler House Food Hall: weekends; Ely’s Yard Street Food: daily; Vintage Market: Thursday to Sunday; The Tea Rooms (antiques and homeware): weekends; London Artisan: quarterly, weekends)
91 Brick Ln,
London E1 6QR