I have added this retail outlet onto my London page, even though it is more an 'off the beaten track' tip! It is a lovely store, and well worth the trip to Kingston-upon-Thames!
An exquisite interior shop!
They generally have lines that are slightly different to mainstream decor, more rustic and individual in taste.
They sell furniture for:
The home office
What to buy: In the photo you can see something we bought here a while ago.
Ethnic and rustic in flavour, this suits our interior perfectly. They are squash balls, dried out and painted.
What to pay: Expensive!!! Hence us never buying anything but some accessories... but if we could afford it, we would buy furniture from here.
I must say, I love the smell of candle shops, and walking into Candlemakers on Mare Street in Hackney certainly does not disappoint. The range of scents really does assault the olfactory nerve in the nicest possible way.
Do not be put off by the building, which looks like a rather grubby garden shed in the carpark of Agios Iannis Theologoi (excuse my transliteration, it is the greek Orthodox Church of St. John the Theologian). You can just see the shop in the background of the photo. Given it's location, it is probably no surprise that the majority of the candles are votive, although they do have an excellent selection of non-religious ones as well.
I am no expert but the stock seems to be competitively priced.
What to buy: What to buy? Candles obviously.
Its building is on Great Marlborough Street and is [according to Wikipedia] one of the most prominent sells up to date f Tudor revival Arts and Crafts buildings in London. It is a Grade II listed building with the timberfrom which it is constructed taken from two naval ships, HMS Impregnable and HMS Hindustan. Originally the store was built to sell goods from Japan and the Far East.
Nowadays it sells up to date fashions, as well as cosmetics, accessories, gifts and homewares and furniture.
Its interior arrangement and window displays do not follow the trend of other department stores.
What to buy: home furnishings and fabrics
What to pay: more than in other stores
If you are from Lewisham and have been down Loampit Vale you'll remember this place.
That junk shop in an old railway station building, just past the strange pink and yellow 'Hansel and Gretal' house.
The shop with the pink cadillac on the roof, Marilyn with her shirt blowing up over her head and a lifesize Chef out front.
The shop with a glittering room of chandeliers and 1930s glass lampshades and mirrors.
The towering rows of iron beds, doorways and mantlepeices from Victorian houses. Everything from a cheap mattress to a C19th oil painting. Rockinghorses, bow fronted cabinets, cherubs, swagger statues, doorknobs.
Out back there is a whole yard of slates and bricks and 1930s shop or train signs along with well priced garden furniture.
Personally I was attracted to the outside and the timeless architecture that the facade affords one.
What to buy: However, this firm, established in 1908, is where you might go should you be needing to get your kitchen fitted out with all the latest European gear. It is French after all.
They claim hand crafted accessories and a contact whose name is so wonderful they used it twice.
If you think the rest of this blurb sounds like a plug for them that's because it is - straight from their web site:
The La Cornue range is a superior cooking appliance that embraces and embodies French cooking.
The La Cornue remains an unrivaled range in the marketplace today for the following reasons:
· It is a purely hand-made range, made of the finest materials, metals, artisanship and craftwork.
· The range has been produced since 1908 when Andre Dupuy created this Rolls Royce of kitchen ranges.
· Each range is custom made to order for each client.
2. Why should I buy a La Cornue?
There is simply no finer cooking appliance in the marketplace. Coveted by discerning chefs worldwide, the La Cornue cooks food impeccably allowing even a novice to cook to perfection, the food of one's choice.
Timeless in form and function, the La Cornue is an heirloom piece that can be passed on through the generations.
Finally, its design and color schemes appeal to the finest eye. Aesthetically, the range, hood and cabinetry create the most beautiful kitchen one can imagine.
3. What is the function of the French plaque (top)?
The function of the French plaque is to simmer and hold food - sauces, crèmes, bernaises, chocolates, butter, etc. The plaque is cast iron with a 12,500 BTU burner underneath it. Heat is strongest in the center and diffuses and softens out to the sides. The French call this their piano as one moves the pots around the plaque like instruments, never altering the heat.
The plaque is truly the heart and soul of the range.
This Gallery shop near Covent Garden certainly cornered the market when it came to free advertising. Apparantly they came up with the name when the two co-founders sent Christmas cards to each other and one of them send a card with the message emblazoned on it.
Hardly very festive, I must say.
The shop itself contains furnishings, prints , lamps etc. from mainly British, Scandanavian and Italian sources.
When I asked about the lamps, I was politely informed "Well they begin at about 400 pounds and go up to about 1500". OK then, I'll spend my money in B & Q.
UPDATE JAN 06: the Drury lane store seems to have closed, but the website is up and running. If they get a new gallery, then i'll update again
What to buy: If your the sort of person that thinks £90 for a cushion is reasonable - go ahead.
They also may still have a concession in Selfidges Department store.
This shop is one of the larger units in Camden market and is a vertitable alladin's cave of all things Indonesian.
From furnishings to trinkits and gifts a good percentage of the output of Ubud in Bali and other Indonesian craft town must be represented here.
Quite visually stunning to look at prices are fairly reasonable - until you actually go to Indonesia that is.
Always open at weekends, and 'sometimes' wednesday to Friday.
This branch of Habitat is next to Heal's, founded by Terence Conran in the 1960s, he has since branched out into restaurants and other forms of gastro-retail... this is still worth a visit.
It revolutionised British design, years before IKEA....
Conran retired from Habitat in 1990...
What to buy: Furniture and household items, something for the kitchen?
What to pay: Reasonable to expensive
Heal's was founded almost 200 years, it worth visiting for just the building itself on London's Tottenham Court Road....
...see the web connection to the V&A Museum to read more of the store that started in 1810 and had its heyday in the 1920s...
...it still cuts a dash today.
What to buy: As a tourist, unless you're very rich or plan to settle in the UK, you're unlikely to want to buy anything major... the kitchenware department may have something or the lighting department...
What to pay: A lot or a little... its not the cheapest shop but you have to pay for quality...
Oh my goodness, I am having a mind block as to the name of this wonderful shop - it is the perfect place to purchase pots of any shape or size or color - and they will custom make them for you if what you desire is not already available.
The selection is wonderful, you can find the perfect home for a plant of almost any size or shape. As well as pots for your plants there are sun dials, wall decorations, fountains, and any garden decoration you can imagine. All in terracotta, either varnished or natural.
The store isn't open every day, but it is definitely open on sunday. This is the best day to go, when the Columbia Street Flower Market is also open. You can wander the flower market, stop for a cup of coffee, a dish of pickled herrings (I managed to resist them, if that is what they really were!) and then visit the pot shop.
The Dalai Lama says everyone should spend atleast five minutes alone everyday. Fulfil your quota at the cafe in Borders bookshop- a cappucino and a good book are the only props required. Also check out CVO Firevault-Is it a fireplace showroom, a fashion boutique or a cafe?? This place mus be having a identity crisis, but it makes a very relaxed shopping experience. If you like what u see, the fireplaces are for sale, which means u dont need to buy them but can create the smae cozy atmosphere in the comfort of your own home.
What to buy: NOTHING
What to pay: NOTHING AGAIN!!!!
Now it's possible to shop Finnish interior desing in London. You could find f.ex. products of Aalto and Marimekko.
The shop is located in 138 St John St (Clerkenwell). The nearest subwaystation is Farringdon.