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London shops

In London, love and scandal are considered the best sweeteners of tea.
- John Osborne

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Photo courtesy of Dover Street Market.

Alfie's Antiques

  • Marylebone, Antiques, $$$$ $$$
  • 13-25 Church St.
  • London, NW8 8DT
  • +44-020-7723-6066
  • Website | Email

You could spend days pouring over the antiques spread over four floors of stalls in Marylebone. You'll find everything from classic cocktail shakers to Victorian jewelry, Art Deco furniture, old steamer trunks, and vintage clothing.

Asprey

  • Mayfair, Boutique, $$$$ $$$$
  • 167 New Bond St.
  • London, W1S 4AY
  • +44-20-7493-6767
  • Website

The striking flagship shop consists of interconnected townhouses and a covered atrium. The collections are shown in small rooms that are gracefully linked. Of special note are the old books and prints.

Browns

  • Mayfair, Boutique, $$$$ $$$
  • 24-27 South Molton St.
  • London, W1K 5RD
  • +44-20-7514-0016
  • Website | Email

Burlington Arcade

  • St. James's, Market, $$$$ $$$
  • 51 Picadilly
  • London, W1J 0QJ
  • +44-20-7493-1764
  • Website

Built in 1819, this was England's first shopping arcade, so think of it as the proto-mall. A mix of antiques, jewlery shops, and modern luxury brands like Penhaligon's, Vilebrequin, and Larduree. (Here's a map.) The grand shopping continues across the street at Piccadilly Arcade.

Columbia Road Flower Market and Shops

  • Bethnal Green, Market, $$$$ $
  • Columbia Road, between Gosset St. and Hackney Rd.
  • London
  • Website | Email

The short shopping strip is sleepy or closed early in the week, and thriving from Thursday to Sunday. Charming shops sell antiques, housewares, jewelry, and garden gear, most notably Vintage Heaven (#82), Far (#124), and Three Letter Man (#146). Yes, there are galleries, too, and watering holes like Campania Gastronomia. On Sundays, the bustling Flower Market lining the street makes it a lively, boho destination.

Daunt Books

  • Marylebone, Bookstore, $$$$ $
  • 83 Marylebone High St.
  • London, W1U 4QW
  • +44-20-7224-2295
  • Website | Email

Daunt has branches throughout London, but the two-storefront Edwardian location in Marylebone is the one to visit for the skylights, endless oak shelves, three floors, atrium, stained glass windows, and, yes, books, including a vast travel section. 

Dover Street Market

  • Mayfair, Boutique, $$$$ $$$
  • 17-18 Dover St.
  • London, W1S 4LT
  • +44-20-7518-0680
  • Website | Email

Comme des Garçons designer Rei Kawakubo's retail concept includes six floors of well-known and emerging designers. An edgy sensibility is evident in all the clothes, accessories, and products. There's a lovely cafe on the top floor. 

Liberty

  • Soho, Department Store, $$$$ $$$
  • Regent Street
  • London, W1B 5AH
  • +44-20-7734-1234
  • Website | Email

Old and new England meet in the Tudor-style building, which make this more charming than any of the Oxford Street department stores nearby. New designers and beauty products sell as well as the classic dressmaking fabrics and haberdashery.  

LN-CC

  • Dalston, Concept Store, $$$$ $$$
  • 18 Shacklewell Lane
  • London, E8 2EZ
  • +44-020-7275-7265
  • Website | Email

Online, it's a platform for emerging men's and women's fashion, music, and books. In the physical world, the recently refurbished edgy Dalston shop is a boutique, a record store, a performance space, a library, and a club. They like to keep it loose at the Late Night Chameleon Cafe. Entry is by appointment only and is easy to arrange by phone or email to appointments@ln-cc.com.

London Silver Vaults

  • Holborn, Vintage, $$$$ $$$
  • Chancery Lane
  • London, WC2A 1QS
  • +44-20-7242-3844
  • Website | Email

It opened in 1876 as an underground storage facility for the wealthy. Over time, the families moved out and the silver dealers moved in. In addition to silver, the collections include Old Sheffield Plate, modern silver, jewelry, and watches.

Rough Trade

  • Shoreditch, Music and Movies, $$$$ $
  • Old Truman Brewery, 91 Brick Ln.
  • London, E1 6QL
  • +44-020-7392-7788
  • Website

Much more than a record store, it's a center for discovering new and alternative music from all over the world. Its history can be traced to the influential label of the same name, though now the focus is retail, with listening stations, in-store gigs, books, movies, gadgets, and a cafe.

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