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Great London Shopping Streets : Take a Trip to ‘Swinging’ Carnaby Street


Carnaby Street is a famous shopping street in Soho which came to international attention in the 1960s when it was considered one of the epicentres of ‘Swinging London’.

The street was named after Karnaby House, which was built in 1683. There was a market in the street in the 19th century and after the First World War the street became known for being home to those with a ‘bohemian’ outlook.

The street became globally famous in the 1960s when a Time magazine cover of 1966 highlighted the increasing popularity of the area with young people drawn to the many boutiques and underground music bars. From then the street has been associated with a number of music subcultures including Mods, Skinheads, Punks and New Romantics.

In the 21st century, the street is the focal point ofCarnaby’ which brings together the surrounding streets as a shopping area different from nearby Regent and Oxford streets.

In the area are over 100 international and British heritage labels, independent boutiques, one-off concepts, cult beauty emporiums, grooming salons and bespoke jewellery specialists.

World-famous labels like Puma, Diesel, Vans, Levi’s and Ben Sherman rub shoulders with the more quirky labels along the small intimate streets.  IMG_8460

If the shopping makes you peckish, there are over 60 independent cafés, pubs, bars and restaurants including and old fashioned boozers like The White Horse and The Clachan.

If you like your shopping on a more intimate and quirky side, the Carnaby area is full of surprises and delights.

London Visitors is the official blog for the Visiting London Guide .com website. The website was developed to bring practical advice and the latest up to date news and reviews of events in London.
Since our launch in 2014, we have attracted thousands of readers each month, the site is constantly updated.
We have sections on Museums and Art Galleries, Transport, Food and Drink, Places to Stay, Security, Music, Sport, Books and many more.
There are also hundreds of links to interesting articles on our blog.
To find out more visit the website here

 

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Great London Shopping Streets : Marylebone High Street

Although close to the West End shopping delights of Oxford and Regent Street, Marylebone High Street is a very different shopping experience.

For centuries, Marylebone High Street was the main road in the village of Marylebone and despite being subsumed by London a long time ago still maintains an urban village atmosphere. Although parts of the street have a long history, the majority of the buildings in the street today date from 1900 and have in recent times become popular with retailers who offer a more personal approach.

Marylebone High Street is largely populated by small, independent shops which cater for locals and visitors, therefore there is a Waitrose supermarket, specialist food retailers, newsagents and chemists. Dominating the top of the high street coming from Baker Street is the large Conran Shop. Originally a stable building at the north end of Marylebone High Street, The Conran Shop in Marylebone offers three floors of contemporary furnishings and designs, Sir Terence Conran was the one of the first to spot the potential of Marylebone High Street as a desirable shopping area in the late 20th century.

The district around Marylebone High Street has a large French population and the street has a number of shops that will appeal directly to this clientele including Kusmi Tea and Claudie Pierlot. Old London favourites with a French twist including Pret A Manger, Le Pain Quotidien and Patisserie Valerie all have a presence on the high street.

One of the best known shops on the street is Daunt Books which was founded by James Daunt. It traditionally specialised in travel books and in 2010 began to publish its own books. Daunt Books is relatively modern being formed in 1990 however its Marylebone High Street branch is housed in a very attractive former Edwardian bookshop with long oak galleries, generous skylights and antique prints. Part of the Daunt’s success is their friendly and knowledgeable staff and events which include talks by authors.

Other unusual shops are Fabriano Boutique Stationers, Cath Kidson Fabric shop, Cologne & Cotton Linen Shop and the fascinating Paul Rothe & Son Delicatessen in the nearby Marylebone Lane.

The nearby Harley Street is famous for its medical and dental offices, you can also visit the Wallace Collection and Wigmore Hall for a cultural fix. The area is full of cafes, restaurants, old pubs and hotels for food and drink options.

Marylebone High Street which is managed by the Howard de Walden Estate provides a distinctive shopping experience away from the crowds of the West End, its relative tranquillity allows time to explore many of the delights of Marylebone ‘Village’.

London Visitors is the official blog for the Visiting London Guide.com website. The website was developed to bring practical advice and latest up to date news and reviews of events in London.
Since our launch in 2014 , we have attracted thousands of readers each month, the site is constantly updated.
We have sections on Museums and Art Galleries, Transport, Food and Drink, Places to Stay, Security, Music, Sport, Books and many more.
There are also hundreds of links to interesting articles on our blog.
To find out more visit the website here

Great London Shops – Burberry in Regent Street

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Location Burberry, 121 Regent Street, London, W1B 4TB

When Burberry open their flagship at 121 Regent Street in 2012 it was considered the most technologically advanced high fashion store in Britain. Covering four floors, the store is the biggest Burberry branch in the world using technology  including a 22ft-high screen, 500 hidden speakers and a hydraulic stage.
The shop is in Westmoreland House, which was built in 1820 for the Prince Regent, the property has had a interesting history having previously used as a livery stable, church, art gallery and cinema. Burberry have restored the original projection suite which will allow the shop floor to be turned into a venue for bands, talks and screenings.

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The store covers an area of 44,000 sq ft, has 17 fitting rooms, 260 employees and has over 24,000 individual pieces for sale.

Burberry is a British luxury fashion house which sells outerwear, fashion accessories, fragrances, sunglasses, and cosmetics. It is known for its distinctive tartan pattern and its trench coat, which was designed by founder Thomas Burberry. The firm was founded by Thomas Burberry, a  draper’s apprentice in 1856 and developed a range of outdoor jackets. The brand was especially popular with arctic explorers Roald Amundsen and Ernest Shackleton and in 1914 the War office asked Burburry to redesign its officer’s coats. The design the “trench coat” became very popular not just with the military but also civilians after the war.

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Known as a quintessential British brand, Burberry have in the 21st century become a global brand with more than 500 stores in over 50 countries.

Opening Times
Monday
10:00-22:00

Tuesday
10:00-22:00

Wednesday
10:00-22:00

Thursday
10:00-22:00

Friday
10:00-22:00

Saturday
10:00-22:00

Sunday
11:30-18:00

If you would like to find out more about Burberry, visit the website here

London Visitors is the official blog for the Visiting London Guide .com website. The website was developed to bring practical advice and latest up to date news and reviews of events in London.
Since our launch in January, we attract thousands of readers each month, the site is constantly updated.
We have sections on Museums and Art Galleries, Transport, Food and Drink, Places to Stay, Security, Music, Sport, Books and many more.
There are also hundreds of links to interesting articles on our blog.
To find out more visit the website
here

Great London Shops – Hatchards

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187 Piccadilly, St James’s, W1J 9LE

Hatchards is one of the oldest bookshops in the United Kingdom, It was founded by John Hatchard in 1797 in Piccadilly  where it still stands today.

His portrait still hangs in pride in the shop, and it has  a reputation for attracting high-profile authors and holds three Royal Warrants.

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Over the years many famous authors have signed at Hatchards including more recently J.K Rowling, , Peter Ackroyd,  Lauren Bacall, , Alec Guinness, ,Hilary Mantel and Sebastian Faulks..

There are a number of  antiquarian books  sold usually related to  Winston Churchill, with a small section to Royalty. Other specialist sections include Gardening, Food & Drink, Biography,  and Art.

Hatchard’s  regularly host literary events and book signings in the shop.

Next to  Fortnum and Mason, Hatchards offers old fashioned charm which has attracted a wide range of customers to its store.

If you want further information about Hatchards , visit their website here

Great London Shops – Daunt Books

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Location – 83 Marylebone High Street, London W1U 4QW

Daunt Books is a chain of bookshops in London, founded by James Daunt. It traditionally specialised in travel books and in 2010  began to publishing its own books.
Unlike many shops on our top ten list, Daunt Books is relatively modern being formed in 1990 however its Marylebone High Street branch is housed in a former Edwardian bookshop with long oak galleries, generous skylights and antique prints.

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Daunts quickly made its reputation by its travel books and the way they arranged their travel sections geographically with guides, phrase books, travel writing, history and fiction grouped by their relevant country. Another major aspect of the bookshops success was the friendly and knowledgeable staff.

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As well as the usual author signings, Daunt Books also organises talks by authors which are followed by discussions and the odd glass of wine.

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The company has expanded in recent years and now have branches in Chelsea, Holland Park, Cheapside, Hampstead and Belsize Park.

Opening hours:
Monday – Saturday 9.00 – 19.30
Sunday 11.00 – 18.00
Branches: 51 South End Road, NW3 2QB , 193 Haverstock Hill, NW3 4QL , 112-114 Holland Park Avenue, W11 4UA , 158-164 Fuham Road, SW10 9PR

For more information about Daunt Books, visit their website here

Great London Shops – Floris

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Location – Floris, 89 Jermyn Street, SW1

Floris is one the oldest English retailer of toiletries and perfumes, it origins lie in the same shop it occupies today. Back in 1730 the shop was opened by Juan Famenias Floris, a native of the Island of Menorca but who left his home to make his fortune in England. When he opened his shop it was as a barber and combmaker.
However he also developed a number of fragrances and soon became a favourite amongst the generally wealthy partons of St James.
The shop gained Royal recognition with a Royal Warrant in 1820 and collected many more over the years. Built on the foundations of quality and service the shop attracted the rich and famous in the 19th century including Florence Nightingale, Mary Shelley and the great dandy of Piccadilly Beau Brummell.

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Trading out of the original shop even the large mahogany counter still used in the store has historical presence being  purchased directly from the Great Exhibition at the Crystal Palace in Hyde Park in 1851.

Floris have created bespoke perfumes and fragrances from the early days of the shop, and up to 1970s  all the fragrances were made up to order downstairs below the shop in Jermyn Street. However now, all the shops fragrances and products are made in their factory in Devon.

The shop offers a range of products geared to the individual rather than mass production and this makes the shop very popular amongst the discerning shopper.

One of the quaint traditions the shop carries on is that it gives change to the customer on a velvet pad; it was considered vulgar in the 18th Century to touch another’s hand.

Still a family business, Floris is more than a shop it is a little piece of history, it can probably be said it is the oldest Perfume shop in the world still open for business.

For more information visit the Floris  website here

Great London Shops – Hamleys

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Location – 188-196 Regent Street, London, W1B 5BT

Hamleys is one of the oldest and largest toy shop in the world, it was founded by William Hamley as “Noah’s Ark” in High Holborn, London, in 1760, with a branch opening in Regent Street in 1881.
For a long time a family business, the shop almost disappeared for ever in the 1930s but was bought by Walter Lines, the Chairman of the Tri-Ang company who restored its reputation as one of London’s main retail attractions. It is estimated it attracts around five million visitors a year.
The Regent Street flagship store has a 7 floors with an estimated 50,000 toys.

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The shop is also known for its inventive window displays and the staff who wander around the shop playing and demonstrating some of the products.

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London had a large number of toy shops in the 19th and early 20th century, as well as toys sold in the street, however the advance of online shopping as severely cut the number of toyshops with Hamleys one of the very few old style Toyshops to survive.

The ground floor is traditionally for soft toys and decked out with a bewildering array of stuffed animals, from regular teddy bears to enormous life-sized giraffes and elephants.

Opening Times
Monday    10:00- 20:00
Tuesday   10:00 -20:00
Wednesday 10:00- 20:00
Thursday  10:00- 21:00
Friday    10:00- 21:00
Saturday  09:30- 21:00
Sunday    12:00- 18:00

 If you want to find out more about Hamleys  , visit their website here