women shopping

Here’s Where to Shop in London

As well as being an incredible place to visit for history and architecture, London is also one the most fashionable cities in the world and is an extraordinary place to shop. Across the many boroughs, you’ll find classic British style, luxurious international designer names and hip vintage threads.

Shop some of the most expensive brands in the world under a richly decorated facade, or step into a record store basement for a one-of-a-kind mod look. The shopping opportunities in London are endless.

If you’re planning to shop in this store-dense city, read this guide for everything you need to know about where to shop in London.

The West End

The West End of London is comprised of west and central London, and it houses the largest and most diverse range of shops in the city. In the West End, you’ll find mid to high-end luxury covering a full range of budgets, from modest to limitless. The area is posh, luxurious and elegant.

Mayfair

Oxford Street

Oxford Street has over 300 shops and is known as the busiest shopping street in all of Europe. From fascinating department store window displays to affordable fashion stores, Oxford Street has some of the best variety in London stretched over two kilometres.

Oxford Street first established itself as a shopping epicentre in 1909 with the opening of Debenhams and Selfridges. Selfridges, known for its famous clock, also boasts an incredibly wide array of footwear and denim.

The locally renowned John Lewis department store has a low-price guarantee with over 20 departments on seven floors. Shop here for toys, kitchenware, fabrics and clothing at the best prices around.

Flagship stores of many international brands including Topshop, UNIQLO, Zara and Gap dot the area. If your purse strings are tight, browse Primark for fashionable bargains.

Shop on weekday mornings to avoid the typical chaos of this busy street. Note that the crowds are especially dense during the legendary January New Year Sales.

busy-london

Regent Street

Perpendicular to Oxford Street, Regent Street offers more large outlets with mid-range glamour. There are over 75 flagship stores of international brands including Banana Republic, Ted Baker, and many more.

Turn just off Regent Street onto Great Marlborough Street for a view of Tudor style on the exterior of the legendary Liberty London department store. After travelling through Asia, Arthur Liberty opened his store in 1875 to sell oriental fabrics to the people of London. Today, you will still notice a sprinkling of exotic products amidst the English ambiance.

Looking for a dose of fun? Check out Hamleys, the world’s best toyshop. Enjoy miniature trains chugging by your feet whilst model planes zip around above you. There are six floors of entertainment for every age.

Bond Street

The luxurious Bond Street is comprised of both Old and New Bond Streets, connected by the pedestrian-only South Molton Street.

Bond Street is where the rich and famous go on shopping sprees. This area is home to some of the world’s most exclusive designer names such as Prada, Armani, Versace and Louis Vuitton. In addition to expensive clothing, you’ll find exquisite jewellery on Bond Street including Cartier, Tiffany & Co. and Asprey.

For something different, check out the nearby Dover Street Market. Japanese designers created this anti-luxury space to mix art with high fashion. Though the prices are still high, perusing the all-white, ultra-modern space will provide entertainment and perhaps inspiration.

Marylebone

St. Christopher’s Place

The charming St. Christopher’s Place north of Oxford Street in the Marylebone neighbourhood is off the beaten tourist track. Meander the quaint, tree-lined pedestrian streets for an eclectic selection of boutiques.

This specialist shopping area is full of independent brands offering high-end fashion and some iconic British products. Shop for clothing and accessories at Jigsaw or Whistles. If you want something more unique with a twinge of history, buy yourself an impeccably crafted hat from Christys’, which was established in 1773.

With over 20 eateries, St. Christopher’s Place is also the perfect place for a shopping break. Take your lunch outside to sit in the courtyard and enjoy the al fresco charm around you.

Soho

Carnaby Street

In the 1960s, Carnaby Street in Soho was where teenagers rebelled from their parents in favour of the mod style. Time magazine coined the term ‘Swinging London’ with this trendy area in mind.

With over 140 shops, bars and restaurants, this colourful street is still iconic and appealing to young adults today. Great shopping events, pop-up shops and live music gigs draw in the hip, young crowd, while the collection of edgy stores keeps them coming back.

Among the boutiques selling bold vintage clothing, you’ll find brand stores such as Muji, American Apparel, Puma and Diesel. Visit Kingly Court for three storeys of delectable eateries if you need a bite to eat.

carnaby street

St. James

St. James Street

St. James Street has been the epitome of English gentlemen class since 1661. With some of London’s most well-known gentlemen’s clubs including Brooks’s, White’s and the Carlton Club, it is no surprise that this neighbourhood epitomises traditional English style.

Stop by John Lobb for high-end, luxury shoes. This family-run business offers impeccably made shoes paired with traditional English flare.

St. James Street also offers some of the oldest stores in the city. James J. Fox is the oldest cigar store in the world and Lock & Co. Hatters is the oldest hat shop in the world. Both shops even supplied their products to Sir Winston Churchill!

Jermyn Street

Want to continue exploring quintessential English gentlemen’s style? Take a turn onto Jermyn Street. Henry Jermyn, the Earl of St. Albans, developed this area in 1664 to offer menswear close to St. James Palace.

The area is still renowned for sophisticated menswear and is perfect for masculine gifts. Here you will find tailor-made shirts, smart suits and fine leather goods.

For the perfect bespoke shirt, look no further than Budd Shirtmakers. For the ultimate noblemen’s experience, shop the menswear in Hackett alongside their private gin bar.

Covent Garden

Covent Garden

In the Covent Garden neighbourhood, you’ll find an array of clothing stores plus three well-known markets. Walk through the quaint streets among vine-covered buildings and stroll into each of the three covered markets featuring arching skylights.

Jubilee Market contains the widest variety of goods and the East Colonnade Market sells handmade products. You will find children’s clothing, hand-knit scarves and even some magicians’ stalls for handmade tricks. The offerings change daily so keep an eye out for something special!

Lastly, the Apple Market focuses on artwork and household goods Tuesday through Sunday each week. On Mondays, the Apple Market sells a wide selection of beautiful, one-of-a-kind antiques.

apple market

South Bank

Gabriel’s Wharf

On the outskirts of the West End, escape the hustle and bustle in favour of the refreshing Gabriel’s Wharf in South Bank. This picturesque area hosts a variety of independent designer shops and art galleries.

There is an artsy, relaxed vibe despite the plain buildings. With a wide variety of cafes and restaurants, it’s the perfect place to stop for a cup of tea and enjoy the view of the River Thames.

Explore the nearby Oxo Tower for more small galleries and shops. What was once a power station to supply the Post Office with electricity is now an artsy tower with unparalleled views.

East London

Historically a dangerous part of town, East London is now hip, young and trendy. Shop this side of town for vintage clothing, quirky gifts, and retro antiques. You can see the best breakfast spots in East London here.

Hackney

Chatham Place

On the east side of London, Chatham Place runs north and south in the town of Hackney. As a newer shopping destination, the area is clean, sleek and modern.

Chatham Place houses a variety of luxury fashion brands at discounted prices. However, it’s best known for the Burberry Outlet. With up to 80% off, it’s no wonder that crowds flock here to stock up on this classic British brand. Try to arrive early to avoid the busloads of tourists.

This new area hosts a few other well-known brands as well. Shop Aquascutum for suits and outerwear. Check out Pringle, the classic Scottish knitwear designer, or shop quirky accessories at Anya Hindmarch.

Hackney Walk

On Morning Lane, perpendicular to Chatham Place lies Hackney Walk. This luxury outlet centre is the result of a major urban development project that was completed in late 2016.

Shop this impeccably organised area for up to 70% off a variety of designer clothes. You will find classic British wear at Joseph, luxury cashmere at Colombo, or menswear at Gieves and Hawkes. On one end, Nike has set up a superstore selling their famous sneakers and eye-catching athletic wear.

South Hackney

Broadway Market

Nestled between Regent’s Canal and London Fields in South Hackney is Broadway Market. Since the 1890s, this street has been a popular place for traders. Now every Saturday, a large market gathers where you can shop for everything from scotch eggs to vintage leather handbags. You can see more about London’s best farmers markets here.

The rest of the week it’s still possible to visit the many independent shops and pubs that line this street. There are a wide variety of exotic foods at the restaurants and unique goodies at the local shops.

On the canal side of Broadway Market, Broadway Books has NY Review titles, many small publishers and an impressive London section for travellers. For footwear, head to Black Truffles. They have an impressive range of quirky women’s and children’s shoes.

Stoke Newington

Church Street

Church Street in Stoke Newington is a hidden gem without a tube stop nearby. Affectionately nicknamed ‘Stokey’ by locals, this neighbourhood has a bohemian atmosphere, full of independent niche shops.

For the truly local experience, seek out the secondhand record store, Lucky Seven. Step into the basement for the true treasure – the hidden vintage clothing store, Lily Pad. For more retro clothes, check out Ribbons Taylor and Dirty Blonde.

Dalston

Dalston

Dalston is a young, funky area full of some of London’s best vintage shops alongside well-loved hair and nail salons. This neighbourhood oozes style.

The avant-garde fashion of LN-CC hides behind a long wood-lined hallway. For quirky vintage home goods, shop at Pelicans and Parrots. If possible, shop here in the late afternoon so you can end the day at the rum shack underneath with a happy hour drink.

For more hipster finds, Beyond Retro is a vintage superstore offering styles from the 1960s to the 1990s. Finally, stop by Oxfam. Although they have locations all over London, the Dalston Oxfam is somewhat legendary. Locals are known to stop by daily in search of the newest used designer threads.

Tower Hamlets

Brick Lane

In the Brick Lane neighbourhood, you’ll find buildings covered in soot and dust with walls covered in detailed murals. Everything in Dalston is edgy and artistic, making it a great place to shop for vintage bargains.

As home to London’s large Bangladeshi community, you will notice the street signs are in both English and Bengali, and will point you to the many well-known curry houses. In addition, there are trendy coffee shops, 24-hour bakeries, and the new Vibe Bar beer garden.

On Sundays, Brick Lane Market brings out the area’s vintage charm. Locals line the streets with stands selling a wide array of vintage bargains that rivals the selection in Dalston.

brick-lane

Old Spitalfields Market

Over 350 years old, Old Spitalfields Market is the original East London market. The market offers a wide range of goods from fresh produce to designer makeup and everything in between.

Inside the large airy hall, you’ll find independent stalls selling quirky, unique gifts, whereas the more established and well-known brands line the building outside. Among the vintage clothes and handmade jewellery, there are also well-made burgers and fancy cocktails in the nearby bistros.

Though the market is open every day, there are specialty days throughout the week. Sundays are always the busiest with the widest variety of unique goods, Thursdays are for antiques and Fridays are for art and fashion. Plus, a few days each month the market offers vinyl days, ideal for old record lovers.

Want to hit as many neighbourhoods as possible to get your fashion fix in London? London specialists Premium Tours know where to find all the best shopping in the capital. We also offer private cars for hire so you can enjoy your shopping experience in privacy and comfort. After a full day of shopping you’ll be in need of a pick-me-up so be sure to visit one of these lovely riverside pubs for refreshments.

park

7 Quiet Places in London to Get Some Peace

London is one of the busiest, most vibrant cities in the world, and life here is never short of excitement. After a fun-filled day exploring, why not recharge your batteries by taking a break from the hustle and bustle? Tucked away in the capital are some wonderfully relaxing, quiet places – here are seven of the best.

1. Kyoto Garden

Surround yourself with the beauty of Kyoto Garden in Holland Park, one of the jewels in stylish Kensington’s crown, and let your worries melt away. There are few more soothing places in London than this gem, which was inspired by Japanese promenade gardens. Stroll past blossom trees and pause by the waterfall to discover true calm.

parakeet in tree london

2. Museum of Happiness

Filled with floor cushions and lanterns, Camden’s Museum of Happiness is a relaxing space where periods of silence and stillness are encouraged. One of the museum’s key values is mindfulness, which is why it provides mindfulness meditation sessions. In a quiet, calm atmosphere, you’ll learn how to let go of stress and enhance your wellbeing.

3. Barbican Conservatory

Behind the Barbican’s concrete exterior lies an enchanting oasis just waiting to be discovered. The Barbican Conservatory is a tropical glasshouse that gives you the opportunity to find peace where you’d never expect it: in the middle of London’s fast-paced financial district. Experience silence broken only by birdsong and flowing water, and then relax with afternoon tea.

4. Shri Swaminarayan Mandir

Whether you’re most drawn to the awe-inspiring shrines, mesmerising carvings or manicured gardens, you can’t fail to find peace in London’s Shri Swaminarayan Mandir. Spirituality and tranquillity are central to this Hindu place of worship, commonly known as Neasden Temple. Meditate under the dome to fully immerse yourself in the calm, soothing atmosphere.

5. Russell Square Gardens

Bloomsbury is as famous for its elegant garden squares as its literary heritage. Some of the green spaces are closed to the public, but Russell Square’s Grade II listed gardens are open to all, and they just so happen to be the biggest and best! The tree-lined pathways give the area its magical mood, with dense foliage acting almost like a soundproof barrier, shielding you from the traffic beyond.

london park

6. The Victorians Display at the NPG

While some parts of Covent Garden’s National Portrait Gallery are busy, silence and serenity reign in the display devoted to the Victorians. It’s filled with portraits of the people who shaped the UK during one of its most significant historical periods. Why not spend time with the Brontë sisters (their famous triple portrait graces the wall in room 24) and swap the pressures of modern life for peace and quiet?

7. St Paul’s Cathedral

Seated on Ludgate Hill, St Paul’s Cathedral is not only an iconic London landmark but also the perfect place for quiet contemplation. The combination of Sir Christopher Wren’s stunning architecture and magnificent views makes St Paul’s truly breathtaking. A trip there is bound to reawaken your sense of wonder. St Paul’s is a key part of several of our tours, including the bestselling Total London tour. Our guides never tire of seeing the amazement on people’s faces when they enter.

Premium Tours will help you make the most of your time in London, whether that involves finding quiet spots or something completely different. For professional guides and VIP access to top attractions, book one of our fantastic London tours today.

 

sushi

5 Sushi Cafes in London You Need to Check Out

Food lovers have been flocking to London for years, thanks to its reputation for showcasing the finest cuisine from around the world. No wonder the capital is home to some of the best sushi cafés and informal sushi restaurants this side of Mount Fuji.

Head to the following eateries for Japanese dishes that are exactly as they should be: incredibly fresh and full of flavour.

1. Sushi Café

When you’re looking for popular London sushi cafés, how about visiting the Sushi Café in trendy Battersea? Just like its name, this eatery is straightforward and unpretentious, in the spirit of Japan’s informal izakaya venues. The café aims to provide one of London’s most authentic sushi dining experiences. Expect expertly prepared, classic dishes, such as salmon nigiri, sweet prawn sashimi and tuna hosomaki. Famous for its generous portions, the Sushi Café is ideal if you’ve worked up an appetite during a day’s sightseeing in London.

sushi-boat

2. Sticks’n’Sushi

We love Victoria – it’s not only the starting point for many of our tours but also the place to go for sushi with a twist! Sticks’n’Sushi boasts a unique combination of fish-based dishes and yakitori (i.e. skewered meats, including mouth-watering wagyu beef). So even if some of your loved ones aren’t fish fans, you’ll all find meals to tempt your taste buds at this relaxed eatery. For a platter that’s bound to please everyone, try the amusingly named Mixed Emotions, which features shrimp nigiri, chicken with chilli and other delights.

3. Itadakizen

There’s a gem of a sushi café near King’s Cross that proves you don’t necessarily need seafood to create fantastic dishes. What makes Itadakizen stand out is its focus on vegan, organic Japanese food – it’s proud to be the first eatery of its kind in Europe. Order a selection of vegetable and seaweed sushi (there are options for large and small appetites) and you’ll see that each piece is a work of art. Free food workshops support Itadakizen’s efforts to enrich people’s understanding of the relationship between diet and wellbeing.

sharing-sushi

4. Jugemu

Tucked away in Soho, you’ll find Jugemu, which shares its name with a Japanese folktale. Appropriately enough, this rustic venue is full of charm and wonder. Pass through the traditional noren curtains and make a beeline for the counter, where you can watch the skilled chef prepare sushi, temaki and other delicacies that are hard to beat. The halibut nigiri has even earned praise from a Michelin Guide inspector. Jugemu may be small, but it’s certainly making a big splash in London.

5. Sushisamba

If you love London as much as you love sushi, don’t miss Sushisamba in Bishopsgate. This vibrant venue has an unforgettable setting on the 38th and 39th floors of Heron Tower – but that’s only part of its appeal. The stunning menu, which brings together Japanese, Brazilian and Peruvian culinary influences, is certainly capable of competing for attention with the panoramic views. The choice is phenomenal – you can feast on everything from snow crab to freshwater eel. If you can’t decide what to order, request the sushi omakase and let the chefs select delicious dishes for you instead.

salmon-sushi

Premium Tours knows the capital’s culinary scene inside out. That’s one of the many reasons why you can rely on us to make your trip extra special. For expert guides and VIP access to top attractions, check out our unmissable London tours.