London Quick Guide

May 27, 2010

I thought it may be nice to pull together a quick guide to some of the places I visited while in London — if you are a regular decor8 reader and click with my style then these addresses will be ones that hopefully you’ll like as much as I did. I don’t have maps or anything fancy-like, just a few snaps and some addresses and web links. Here is “my” London…

London Quick Guide


Selfridges – 400 Oxford Street. My favorite. You can find a Cath Kidston on the lower floor near to the cute yellow and black cafe (where they have great snacks by the way). Their is a section for Designers Guild linens upstairs, a Muji section, a Diptyque candle department, and a big Jo Malone counter where you can find the limited edition candles for Farrow & Ball which are delightful. There is even a great book shop on the lower floor, too. Don’t miss their new perfume, exclusively made for Selfridges by Maison Martin Margiela. I am kicking myself for not buying it because my sample ran out and I became quite addicted. If you are bringing your guy with you, show him to the men’s departments — my husband picked up several things from English designer Ted Baker there. Oh and their is The White Company also in this stores upstairs, too.

Another must-see store is Liberty. Don’t miss all of the Amy Butler fabric in the bits + bobbins section, and check out the great lighting, stationery, and their current “Target” shop in the rear entrance to the store which is a real treat to be able to purchase some of the merchandise that sold as part of their collection at Target. Spend time browsing their sunglasses and jewelry, they have some very unique pieces. Their stationery section is nice, too.

Anthropologie – It’s gorgeous, both of them! Don’t miss! I liked the one on Regent Street a lot with the living plant wall and 3 floors of gorgeousness. You can hit Anthropologie, Liberty and Selfridges in the same day since they are all nearby. Tour it on YouTube here and here and here.

Japan Centre – This is such a great store in Piccadilly, especially if you love all things Japanese from ceramics to foods. It’s mainly a really nice grocery store but a really nice one with lots of great things to look through – even books, though not many home books sadly.

Harrods – Well, I only go here for the food halls  (great cupcakes!) but around the corner on the side of Harrods there is a huge Laduree that you must visit! Wow! They have a beautiful tea room and macaroons galore.

HMV – Great for cheap CDs and DVDs. Another great music store is Fopp in Covent Garden at 1 Earlham Street.

Top Shop – Clothes! Yay!

Zara Home – Home goods by Spanish clothing company Zara.

Habitat – Home goods from lamps to furniture and beyond.

London Quick Guide

London Quick Guide

Susannah Hunter


Susannah Hunter – Handbags in leather with floral appliques, gorgeous shop. Also available, custom chairs, trunks, pillows and more in leather. Make sure you visit her store at 19 Connaught Street so you can go to the Cocomaya cafe across the street for pastries or afternoon tea. What a treat!

Cath Kidston – of course. If you don’t have time to hit one of her shops (I visited the one in Notting Hill on Portobello Road and another at 51 Marylebone High Street) then you can see her pop-up shop in Selfridges department store at 400 Oxford street

The White Company – You can visit this shop after hitting Cath Kidston at 12 Marylebone High Street.

Designers Guild – Also stop at this store after Cath Kidston and The White Company since one is located at 76 Marylebone High Street. Don’t miss the downstairs, which is easy to do. Lots of pretty things you’ll want to see. I heard that her flagship store is better, located at 277 Kings Road, but I did not have time to visit.

After Noah – in Islington – Lots of nice little vintage-y things, furniture, books, cards, a “general store” type of place. Very sweet! Located at 121 Upper Street.

Atelieir Abigail Ahearn –  in Islington – This dark, moody shop is small but delightful. The owner/author has a really amazing eye and gorgeous things to see. 137 Upper Street.

Toast – in Islington – For clothing and such. Plain and simple but really nice. Located at 133 Upper Street.

Paperchase – These shops are all over London but I went to one at 21 Parkfield Street in Islington and liked it very much (and stocked up) on gorgeous stationery and things. Definitely a shop worth seeing if you want great paper products.

Caravan – Owned by stylist/author Emily Chalmers, you can’t miss this shop.

Squint – Another great store, I just reviewed it here on decor8 a few days ago but it’s near Caravan and the Albion cafe so do all three in the same afternoon.

London Quick Guide

London Quick Guide


London Quick Guide



La Fromagerie – Gorgeous cheese shop by author Patricia Michelson that you can visit while at the above addresses since it’s located on Moxton Street just off of Marylebone High Street. Make sure to hang out at the tasting cafe for a quick bite around a large family-size wood table. It’s heaven!

Cocomaya – Fine chocolates and artisian bakery. It’s heavenly. Don’t miss it. Eat outside if the weather permits! I went twice! It is located at 12 Connaught Street. Go to their chocolate shop just behind the bakery/cafe. Heaven.

Albion at the Boundary hotel. This cafe is around the corner from two must-see shops, Caravan and Squint, on Red Church Street. Dine in or outside. They also have a nice little food shop where you can buy jams and such in addition to pastries and breads if you don’t have time to sit down for a meal. If you order a sandwich for lunch, split it with a friend because one sandwich has two sandwiches on the plate – I’m not kidding!

Ottolenghi – Go here and eat and enjoy everything about this lovely cafe! They have a great cookbook too. I went to their Islington cafe at 287 Upper Street – definitely go! They have several London addresses though.

Carluccio’s – Had breakfast here at their Islington location at 305 Upper Street, but they have many addresses in London.

Euphorium Bakery – I had coffee here, also in Islington on Upper Street, and thought it was lovely.

Pandora – A very odd Japanese crepe place in Chinatown on Newport Place that has crepes stuffed with fruit and ice cream. Yum. Next door on the corner there is a hidden gem — a little Chinese restaurant, Jen Cafe Tea Specialist, and though it doesn’t have a fancy interior it has great food and is very affordable (and packed). I had steamed veggie dumplings and a pearl tea there and it was a great energy boost midday.

Pizza Express – A chain restaurant but very good! I ordered a salad and wine and everything was fresh and delish. Try the one located at St Christopher’s Place, that’s where I ate (at night, nice atmosphere), In that area there are many other restaurants situated in a square so if you don’t feel like salads and pizza you can find pretty much everything else!

Laduree – Go to their tea shop at Herrods in Knightsbridge. It’s lovely!

Napket “Snob Food”- I ate at this place and really liked it. You can find several in London.

London Quick Guide



There is this fun shop called Lomography if you are lomo fan don’t miss it. It was a fun place to look around.

Also Carnaby Street is a great place for shopping, it’s near Liberty so you can do both in the same time frame.

And of course there are a billion things I did not mention above, many great shops that I could not fit in since I got sick during the final 3 days of my vacation with food poisoning, but that is a bit of “my” London for you. I hope that if you visit some of these shops above that you enjoy them as much as I did! And a VERY SPECIAL thank you to so many dear readers who gave me some lovely suggestions, I had a great time!

xo, Holly

(images: holly becker for decor8 except for Caravan images, shot by Debi Treloar)


  • Reply Lizzie May 27, 2010 at 11:35 am

    Lovely post! Those look like some great finds!

  • Reply Marianna Mills May 27, 2010 at 11:46 am

    Hi Holly,
    I see you had a great time in London! I wish I can be there now.
    Thank you for the usefull links, especially for the Japan Centre. I will go and look at their site now. I am still try to learn Japanese by myself, now with a help of my new iPod :)

    Love The White Company and one of my favorite restaurant is Pizza Express. If I go to London next time, I will take this note from you and try to visit some of the places you have mentioned.
    Thank you!
    .-= Marianna Mills´s last blog ..Weekly Happy Stats #1 =-.

  • Reply irene May 27, 2010 at 11:57 am

    oh thank you so much for these hints!
    .-= irene´s last blog ..village, part I =-.

  • Reply Einat May 27, 2010 at 11:57 am

    Love your pictures! I also recently went to London!

    I am officially obsessed with macaroons after my Laduree experience! ps- it’s Harrods with an “A” :-)

  • Reply Clara May 27, 2010 at 12:03 pm

    Thank you, Holly, for this wonderful post. I’ll be traveling to London later this year, and it’s such a pleasure to get a personal eye view of a place from someone whose aesthetic I admire.

    On an unrelated note, I’m wondering how you create the “framed effect” you for the photos in your post. Can you share? is it a particular software program, a unique feature of your blog, or…? thanks in advance.

  • Reply Jan May 27, 2010 at 12:04 pm

    Nice roundup !
    Wasn’t there anything you didn’t like? :)
    Sorry to hear you got sick Holly :(
    but glad you enjoyed it.
    .-= Jan´s last blog ..? Crocs! =-.

  • Reply alli/hooray May 27, 2010 at 12:16 pm

    Thanks for this guide! It was fun to read + love your photos. This will be helpful when we make the trip (someday!).

  • Reply victoria May 27, 2010 at 12:18 pm

    you hit all my favorites, and more. great post, holly! i want to go back…now!
    .-= victoria´s last blog for a queen. =-.

  • Reply Will May 27, 2010 at 12:18 pm

    Great review of London! You’ve name checked some fantastic places!
    .-= Will´s last blog ..{Bright Blooms #4} =-.

  • Reply Ingrid Jansen May 27, 2010 at 12:23 pm

    I’ve been there some weeks ago with my daughter Pippa and London is by far our favorite city! Thank you for the post, so we can dream a little…
    .-= Ingrid Jansen´s last blog ..leuk hotel nl =-.

  • Reply Musa May 27, 2010 at 12:23 pm

    Great this London guide!
    Next time I’m going there, I will use it, for sure.
    Thank you..

  • Reply juliette May 27, 2010 at 12:30 pm

    fantastic line up! looks like you had a blast =)

    we just reconnected with old friends who are now in Cambridge, making this the 3rd couple we know in this region of England, so we’re bound to visit London sometime – I’ll definitely come back to this!

  • Reply Ani May 27, 2010 at 12:32 pm

    Thank you Holly for this wonderful guide. I’m hoping to go to London in the near future and will be sure to visit many of these places. It has been many (too many!) years since my last visit and I know there are new places to discover and others to revisit. Now I really, really want to go!

  • Reply kat - rock n roll bride May 27, 2010 at 12:33 pm

    wow you make my home town look so glamorous and chic! i cant believe ive never heard of Squint. I AM GOING THERE PRONTO! I need one of those sofas in my life
    .-= kat – rock n roll bride´s last blog ..Thursday Treats – 27th May 2010 =-.

  • Reply Celina May 27, 2010 at 12:44 pm

    This is amazing! Thanks for sharing. I’m going to London next year & this would be a great reference for me! (:
    .-= Celina´s last blog ..I’m registered! =-.

  • Reply Kristen May 27, 2010 at 12:47 pm

    Love reading about your trip to London! Selfridges is one of my favourite shops of all time. I used to live just around the corner on South Molton Street and I would visit the shop about once a week just to look around.

    I think Selfridges have the best window displays! At one point they built a microflat in the display window and a guy lived in the display for over a week. You could walk over to the display on friday ngiht and find him entertaining friends. It was so cool!

    Not sure if you are a big shoe fan but the Kurt Keiger Store on South Molton Street is incredible!
    .-= Kristen´s last blog ..Patio Inspiration =-.

  • Reply cdelphine May 27, 2010 at 12:47 pm

    well now I have to go to London :) Thanks for the list Holly and I’m glad that you had a good time even though you got sick. Being sick while traveling is no fun.
    .-= cdelphine´s last blog ..(Untitled) =-.

  • Reply Marthe May 27, 2010 at 12:48 pm

    This guide is great!
    I’m going to live in London for 6 weeks this summer, so I’m sure this guide will come in handy!

    Also, one of my favorite stores in London is Labour and Wait (it’s nearby Brick Lane). They sel gorgeous timeless design! Check out their website here:
    .-= Marthe´s last blog ..Inspirational links =-.

  • Reply Yelena May 27, 2010 at 1:11 pm

    Great report on things to do in London, Holly! Thank you for links to eats and shops.

    p.s. Just FYI: Harrods is misspelled (Herrods) in the text, but the link works just fine.

  • Reply Sarah May 27, 2010 at 1:13 pm

    Ooooh, love the Susannah Hunter shop.. how very pretty! Thanks for introducing me :)


  • Reply Ele May 27, 2010 at 1:27 pm

    Looks like you had a great time, Holly. Your lovely pics are making me want to go out and be a tourist in my own city!
    .-= Ele´s last blog ..Challenging Misconceptions: Potato Pizza =-.

  • Reply Laura May 27, 2010 at 1:29 pm

    Great! I want to go to London to visit the Victoria and Albert Museum, and I’ll bring this list with me for sure. Thank you!
    .-= Laura´s last blog .. =-.

  • Reply Christine May 27, 2010 at 1:43 pm

    What a fantastic guide with such beautiful photos!! I’ll have to file this away…

    Thanks for sharing!!

  • Reply Tricia Rose May 27, 2010 at 1:50 pm

    I used to live in the old Liberty warehouse just off Carnaby Street, and I loved it – London at my fingertips! I could go to local churches for lunchtime recitals, museums, galleries, food and fabrics in Berwick Street market, style in South Molton Street, posh in Bond Street, and of course Liberty…

    You have created a wonderful guide Holly, though there is still Hampstead, Islington, all the Chelsea and South Ken. antique shops ~

    Oh dear. I’m getting homesick!
    .-= Tricia Rose´s last blog ..The Daily Basics =-.

  • Reply Tina May 27, 2010 at 2:23 pm

    Thank you – this is a great and useful post! :-)
    .-= Tina´s last blog ..How wonderful… =-.

  • Reply se7en May 27, 2010 at 2:27 pm

    Now that is a fun read – kept me busy for ages!!! I just love it!!!
    .-= se7en´s last blog ..Se7en Quick Pockets for Corduroy… =-.

  • Reply Merri Cvetan, The Design Coach May 27, 2010 at 2:48 pm

    I’m going to London in September and can’t wait to visit some these places. Now if you have any recommendations for Paris, I would love to hear them!

  • Reply bussbuss May 27, 2010 at 3:09 pm

    For a “non-fancy” post, that sure was pretty amazing! Gorgeous photos… now I want to book a trip back to London. :)

    Would also love to know how to do that framed effect with the photos. It’s so lovely.
    .-= bussbuss´s last blog ..Dealish: $25 Gift Certificate for $2! =-.

    • Reply decor8 May 27, 2010 at 3:38 pm

      I just use frames in Picasa, it’s so easy!

  • Reply MmePaulita May 27, 2010 at 3:23 pm

    Great guide! I love London. Such a great city. Sadly the last time I was there was on a whim to meet a guy when I was 21. I had met him the summer before in France and it seemed like a great idea to go for THE WEEKEND. I should leave that for another post but the memories are forever ingrained.

  • Reply ephemerette May 27, 2010 at 4:00 pm

    Sounds like you hit all the ‘must visit’ spots in town, glad you had fun in London, lovely to read about my home town through the eyes of a visitor, reminds me that I often overlook whats on my door step (although I do consider Liberty more or less a second home!)
    .-= ephemerette´s last blog I’m loving =-.

  • Reply steven May 27, 2010 at 4:08 pm

    hey holly.. im so chuffed you had a great time… i think you did more in the short time you were here than i have in the 13 years i have lived here… but guess what.. im leaving… im desperate for some country air and the sea side and an easier pace.. london is so tiring sometimes.. and like you, im looking forward to being a visitor.. not a resident… and maybe when i visit like a tourist ill try some of these places you did…x
    .-= steven´s last blog in progress =-.

  • Reply Susana May 27, 2010 at 5:07 pm

    Lovely guide, Holly! Thanks!
    .-= Susana´s last blog ..The constant gardener =-.

  • Reply Margarida May 27, 2010 at 5:16 pm

    Oh I miss London!
    I used to go to some of these shops down the Kings Rd to Sloane Square :-))) I found the Japanese Centre last time I was there – they have so many funny gadgets I couldn’t stop smiling :-)
    Thank you for this revival!!!
    .-= Margarida´s last blog ..*Gosto de sombras* *I like shades* =-.

  • Reply Jane @ The Borrowed Abode May 27, 2010 at 5:23 pm

    Oh my gosh, I want to go there right now!! Thanks for all the great info!
    .-= Jane @ The Borrowed Abode´s last blog ..New Abode, Part 6: Guest Bath =-.

  • Reply Page May 27, 2010 at 5:41 pm

    wow!! another amazing post!! i love all these little boutiques and places you suggeste.d. wish i could visit them all!!! thanks!

  • Reply Renee May 27, 2010 at 6:05 pm

    Wow this is great! I’m thinking I might need to start planning my next trip to London!
    .-= Renee´s last blog ..Staircase Ideas =-.

  • Reply Alice May 27, 2010 at 6:18 pm

    I adored your photos and commentary on London shopping. I lived there for 4 years and frequented many of the places you list – Cath Kidston, The White Company, Selfridges, Ted Baker, Liberty, Lauduree and Zara. I have lived in Australia for two years (I am Australian) and still miss all those places and many others! Thanks for the nostalgia and for a nice little shopping guide. I’ll definitely visit Susannah Hunter’s store next time I’m in London – it looks amazing.

  • Reply Debra May 27, 2010 at 7:59 pm

    Wow! London looks like it is so exciting and so much fun with lots of things to do. I love all of the small boutique like shops. I wish we had more of that here. It’s kind of like we have lost that small intimate kind of shoppping were you really get to know the shop owner and they know you. I’m going to further really look at these photos and their info.

    Thanks for sharing with us.
    .-= Debra´s last blog ..SWANKY Antique Brass Tassel Necklace and Earring Set =-.

  • Reply Dan Shand May 27, 2010 at 8:09 pm

    This is a wonderful list!

  • Reply Tara Lee May 27, 2010 at 10:43 pm

    Thank you so much for this lovely inspiring posts. Sometimes my favorite blog posts are ones that make me say…. “I want to go to there.”
    My fiance and I are deciding between London and Hawaii for our honeymoon next year. I would love to go to London to eat, laugh, explore and mostly to pick up the accent! He’s a huge Chelsea fan.
    But boy do I love the beach.
    Anyway you haven’t made my decision any easier :)
    .-= Tara Lee´s last blog ..Baby Shower Guest Book Box =-.

  • Reply Kotilo May 28, 2010 at 1:41 am

    Lovely! My travel fever is rising yet again!
    .-= Kotilo´s last blog ..Portugali osa 1 – sympaattisesti rempallaan =-.

  • Reply evi May 28, 2010 at 2:31 am

    loved it! you woke up last year’s memories when I was a student in guildford and travelled in london all the time. but i think there is one photo missing-oxford street: millies cookies-yammm!!!

  • Reply Jo May 28, 2010 at 2:40 am

    Well I am a Londoner living in New Zealand since 2006 and I must say I haven’t felt homesick until your gorgoeus post! It brought back great memories.

  • Reply Irina May 28, 2010 at 3:49 am

    For sweet-tooths and foodies, Fortnum&Masons shop near Picadilly circus is a MUST too – a little bit like walking back in time…

    Will check out Squint tonight – great guide!! :D

  • Reply Jane May 28, 2010 at 3:54 am

    Great pics and very nice roundup! I love the fact that you liked Marylebone High Street, such a great area, isn’t it? Oh, now I want to go too…;)

  • Reply Polly May 28, 2010 at 5:32 am

    Really interesting to see your picks as I live in London! I do love Pizza Express too – they are everywhere and they are so cheap and yummy. Their pizzas are my favourite. Habitat is one of my favourite shops and Designers Guild x
    .-= Polly´s last blog ..Let’s have a picnic =-.

  • Reply Megan May 28, 2010 at 8:17 am

    Sigh…One day I will be there. Till then thank heavens for blogs and wonderful people like you who are willing to share their experience’s.
    .-= Megan´s last blog ..I Won =-.

  • Reply claire May 28, 2010 at 9:06 am

    This is such a great guide…I’m dreaming of London already :)
    .-= claire´s last blog ..Recycling Tea Bags =-.

  • Reply Celine May 28, 2010 at 10:02 am

    Bonjour! Great pictures and post about London I am French living in Southern California and I miss the old beautiful Europe flair!
    A Bientot

  • Reply Lisa May 28, 2010 at 1:24 pm

    I really enjoyed this post – such great shops, etc. My faves are Caravan and Abigail Ahern. Wishing you a great time in Copenhagen.
    .-= Lisa´s last blog ..A Sweet Little Gift =-.

  • Reply Die Frau im Haus May 28, 2010 at 2:59 pm

    Thank you for the links!
    I’m going to London on Sunday. And I’m so exited! Haven’t been there for years.
    .-= Die Frau im Haus´s last blog ..GOOOOOP =-.

  • Reply Seth May 28, 2010 at 9:36 pm

    I will be visiting London later this year. So thanks for the suggestions and the links!

  • Reply Glenda May 29, 2010 at 12:19 am

    Ah . . . such sweet memories of London. Thanks for reminding me how much I love that city.
    .-= Glenda´s last blog ..Remembering Hallie (part one) =-.

  • Reply Frances Seward May 29, 2010 at 7:24 pm

    Takes me all back there and am a londoner living in the US for the past 10 years. Don’t forget East London – so stylish now and shepherd’s market in the West End: a tiny area tucked away behind Park Lane in Mayfair- narrow narrow streets and little restaurants -takes you back in time. Don’t forget the General Trading Company off Sloane Square – very stylish goodies.

  • Reply louise/art&ghosts May 29, 2010 at 7:41 pm

    Oh Holly this is a magnificent list, and perfectly comprehensive! I will be referring to this post in the very near future, most definitely.
    So many places that I would love to visit. And shall, hopefully, soon!
    .-= louise/art&ghosts´s last blog ..The Meddlesome Moon =-.

  • Reply Nicola May 30, 2010 at 3:59 am

    Thank you Holly for this quick guide. I’m going to London in July and I’m looking forward to visit some of this locations. :)

  • Reply Blue Penguin May 30, 2010 at 7:25 pm

    Thank you so very much for this wonderful post. I’m visiting London later in the year, and have been finding it a bit hard to get motivated and think of some great places to go (disgraceful, I know, but I’m really just hanging out for Paris!). This have given me just the push I need to start planning and looking forward to my visit…
    .-= Blue Penguin´s last blog ..Greener On The Other Side =-.

  • Reply Elle Sees May 31, 2010 at 5:42 pm

    London’s my fave int’l city, so i love to discover new places! thanks.
    .-= Elle Sees´s last blog ..Outfit of the Week: Bohemian Chic for Cheap =-.

  • Reply Ludmila Sobral June 6, 2010 at 12:59 pm

    Oh my god..i totally loved this list….you gave us great tips..! since today i`m following you blog i loved it!

  • Reply Kim B. June 6, 2010 at 1:42 pm

    The only thing I can think of that you missed is Emma Bridgewater! Her London shop is als on Marylebone High Street and filled with her charming pottery made in England (and tin items too). It’s a little much if one goes all Emma all the time, but I love having a few of her pieces. I’ve never had a better mug for my tea than the one from her that reads
    “Happiness is a cup of tea & a new magazine & a bar of chocolate”

  • Reply Bree @ Girl Meets Design August 6, 2012 at 4:53 pm

    I love this post! I found it from looking at your London style guide post. I studied abroad in London in my spring semester of 2011 in my junior year of college. Over the 4 months living there I fell in love with the city, and I cannot wait to go back! This guide is wonderful and I will keep it bookmarked to go back to when I make it back across the pond! Thanks for the post! :)

  • Reply Moreno santos February 8, 2017 at 4:42 am

    Very good idea could in implementation at home, thanks

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