Personal accessories, London
LUSH is an international chain of stores where you can buy personal products for bath, beauty, shampoo, shaving, personal care. There is no animal testing and they also have lots of vegan options of products made without any animal extracts. There are shops all over the UK including at least 8 locations in London. All of their products smell yummy and most of them work great! See the website for product reviews. Web ordering in Canada was fine, expect it would as well in the UK as well.
What to buy: Soaps, body lotions, deoderant bars, shampoo and conditioners, shower gells, bath "bombs", face cleansers, toners and moisturizers, face masks, shaving creams and lotions, foot products. Buy soaps and some other products by weight. They have various sizes of products down to trial sized bottles. Refillable pots.
What to pay: more expensive than drugstore/chemist/department store prices but not exorbitant
Mmm... these shops, located throughout London, hold the key to enjoying one of life's simple pleasures: a hot bath. Try one of there bath bombs for a fizzy bath, or a bath melt for soft skin, or a bubble bar for a returnt o your youth, or or or... I could go on for days here. I love everything.
What to buy: OK, if you had to restrict yourself to just a few items (but by all means, this is NOT the place!!!) try the Ceridwen's Cauldron Bath Melt, the Titsy Totsy Ballistic, and the avobath. Don't worry: the bright colored water won't stain your tub! But it will lift your spirit! Now, the good news is, you can order your favorites on-line in the US now, but the fun is going into the shops and picking things out yourself.
What to pay: For me, as much as I can afford.
Octopus is a little store filled with strange, but cute accessories and home decorations. Brightly colored pocketbooks shaped like teapots and watering cans, lighters designed like grasshoppers, coat hangers with faces-- you name it. Too bad they don't ship internationally!
I just love these old-fashioned shops. With bland chain-stores springing up everywhere it is refreshing to see a shop like this, so full of history and tradition.
Their products too are perfect for the English climate. If you are getting rained on in London and need an umbrella, get along to James Smith & Sons!
What to buy: Garden and golf umbrellas, tropical sunshades, riding crops & whips (kinky!), Irish blackthorns, malacca canes, etc.
What to pay: More expensive than average but of the finest British quality!
Supplier of traditional hats to the well-heeled. Tweedy caps for country pursuits, riding hats and rather fetching panamas.
Once there was a Derbyshire landowner called Mr Coke (pronounced Cook) who came to Lock's because he needed something special for his gamekeepers, to protect their heads against brambles and being bopped by poachers. Lock's came up with the idea of a bowl-shaped hat made of moulded shellac covered with woollen felt. Making the moulded shellac base was delegated to Messrs Bowler & Co of Southwark Bridge Road. The resulting hat enjoyed wide popularity and is known as a Bowler in the UK and a Derby in the US and never, but never, anything else but a Coke by Lock & Co.
What to buy: My favourite classic hat for both men and women is a fedora. Panamas look good on most people too.
If you like colourful soaps and other fresh cosmetic products, you should visit the shop called LUSH.
What to buy: Soaps, bath products, other cosmetics
The James Smith and Sons Umbrella Shop was founded in 1830 and is still owned and run as a family business.
The store is a real gem in between the more modern appereance of the others around.
This tourist shop was also selling funny hats.
Like these funny Union Jack hats.
There were also the plastic Bobby helmets
And even a Scottish hat with a red wig included.
What to pay: 1,5 pound for a helmet