October 13, 2008

Source Book: The Shops

When I was working in London, I found the most delightful book by the Sunday Times of London writer, India Knight. It's called The Shops: How, Why and Where to Shop, and is an autobiography of her life in shopping. It's got an average of five stars from readers on Amazon UK. The opening line of the book is this: It saddens and amazes me that there are actually people out there who hate shopping. Wow, me too!
She intersperses stories of shopping with great resources from the UK and Europe. I discovered many of my favourite shops in London via The Shops. Here some that I especially adore:

  • Floris - They are the oldest perfumers in London and hold royal warrants from HM The Queen and HRH Prince Charles. Beautiful store on Jermyn Street. In addition to fragrances, they have candles and home accessories.
  • Pickett - They have shops in Burlington Arcade and on Sloane Square. I love their kilim slippers and they have beautiful leather goods.
  • Cath Kidston - I love her cheery faux vintage goods for the home. Just a Plane Ride Away and I are meeting up and doing the tour of the King's Road. This is a certain stop.
  • Brora - Killer cashmere! I have an embarrassing number of cashmere sweaters and I hate to admit how many black ones. In addition to Brora's lovely goodies, they also have the best cashmere wash I've ever used.
  • David Champion - Interior designer with a small shop filled with the most amazing assortment of things including ostrich eggs, porcupine quills and leather chairs. (no website)
  • Cabbages and Roses - Clothes and Antiques, who could ask for anything more! Beautiful handprinted linens, lush woolens, stationery of all sorts. It's all you need.

As Napoleon once said, "L'Angleterre est une nation de boutiquiers." (Britain is a nation of shopkeepers), and this is but a infinitesimal selection of what's on offer in London!

18 comments:

  1. i can shop for decor 'til the cows come home- it NEVER bores me. i can do whole days of it, i've planned vacations around it, and my love of shopping is probably the reason i do what i do for a living!

    the exception is clothes shopping- for some reason, i can do about an hours worth- after that, i get cranky.

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  2. Shopping in the UK would be a dream come true! What a cool book - thanks for sharing it!

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  3. I am definitely one of those who hate shopping! Hate it. My husband enjoys it more than I do. I guess I have my own sense of style though and I never, ever find what I want in the shops. I should honestly make my own clothes.

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  4. Is that perfumer in London still around? I must go.

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  5. I adored my shopping experience in London two years ago......I must RETURN!!!

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  6. Don't forget to see Stephen Long!!!!! His shop is sublime.

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  7. It looks like a shopper's paradise. Of course, I'm sometimes saddened and amazed when I realize how meagre my income is in relation to all the shopping I might do otherwise.

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  8. I can't wait! Did you know that Tesco has paired up with Cath Kidston to put out reusable shopping bags--proceeds to go to Marie Curie Cancer Care? They're so cute--and actually, those two bags are the same fabric! They're not laminated like the other CK bags, though.

    Today, I went to Notting Hill/Portabello Road with a friend of mine. We went to Books for Cooks and a few other places. What fun!

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  9. AL... I heard about Stephen Long from another trusted source!

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  10. Julie... me, too! at least the exchange rate is better than it was this summer.

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  11. Milly... Floris has been around since the 1800's. Hopefully, they're not going anywhere!

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  12. Cabbages and Roses is new to me!!! looks so great!! and Cath Kitson, you are going to have so much fun.

    Joni

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  13. Maison21 - I agree whole heartly with you!

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  14. I love Floris too! I'm almost out of my "Fleur" perfume and hope to pick some up over the holidays!

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  15. Meg, do you really wash your cashmere sweaters? Very interesting.

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  16. I just returned last night from two lovely weeks in England with a list of your favs tucked in my bag. I brought home a gorgeous cashmere scarf from Brora, rose geranium soap from Floris, fabulous papers from Paperchase as well as a beautiful silver tray and a few other treasures. Thank
    you for sharing. Cannot wait to return!

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