There's a certain thrill we get when we visit another city. There's a different vibe, a way of life that we get to drop in on and adopt as our own, even if only temporarily. And lucky are we who have the chance to take a part of the fascination back home with us.
Stephanie Bateman Sweet of The Lifestyle Editor wears many hats, including that of interior stylist, feature writer, blog editor, content creator, and social media editor, to name a few. The London-based creative has spent many years working both in-house and freelance as a features editor, as well as a stylist and creative director on photo-shoots for both editorial and commercial clients. Her unique industry insight has been gained from many years of pounding the London streets in search of the best props from her favorite stores.
As the UK contributor for the hip New York-based website The Shopkeepers, Stephanie is always looking out for some of the best retail shops around to profile, and has kindly opened her little black book to share with us her picks for where to shop in London.
Where to Find Interior Design Ideas
The Conran Shop (www.conranshop.co.uk)
Terence Conran is a powerhouse name in the design industry, and The Conran Shop is where we can get a glimpse into his luxury world. Focusing furniture, lighting, home accessories and gifts, the shop features both iconic and emerging designers from around the world.
Abigail Ahern (www.abigailahern.com)
Founder Abigail Ahern is world renowned for her unique take on interiors, perhaps best known for her quirky ceramic dog lamps. Even if animal-inspired decor wouldn't go in your living space, it's worth popping in for a peek at her eclectic style.
SCP was started by Sheriden Coakley in 1985 with a focus on modern furniture. Today, the retailer holds true to its roots, making and selling contemporary furniture that has earned it a spot as one of London's best design shops.
Summerill & Bishop (www.summerillandbishop.com)
This cozy kitchen and tableware shop in Holland Park was founded by two friends who wanted to create a “happy, inspirational place to be—where people will want to spend comfortable time.” Nearly 25 years later, they are known for their warm, rustic aesthetic mixed with a modern sensibility.
Leave timid at the door when entering this retail space. Black walls, bold design, and a contemporary style challenge you to step outside your comfort zone, while stepping into good design.
Where to Shop for Fashion
This high-end retailer offers a unique mix of cashmere and cotton pieces, some of which are hand made to order. Theirs is a sophisticated take on a whimsical style, definitely worth taking a look at.
Goodhood Store (www.goodhoodstore.com)
The focus is on effortless style at the Goodhood Store, with a curated collection of more than 200 brands of menswear, womenswear, lifestyle goods and cosmetics. The leaning is towards luxury, but of a timeless sort rather than following trends.
A charmingly classic collection of high quality menswear and lifestyle goods, many of which are made in England. It's a refreshing take on the retail scene, catered to the discerning gentleman, and noted by media outlets such as Wallpaper Magazine and Timeout.
Where to Find the Best Gifts for Foodies
Chocaholics, welcome to your paradise! Melt chocolates are handmade by world-class chocolatiers, from recipes designed in-house. The kitchen is actually in the shop, so you can see the chocolates being made right in front of you... dangerous in the best way possible!
Lina Stores (www.linastores.co.uk)
Get a taste of Italy in Soho at Lina Stores, an Italian delicatessen in the heart of the city. Stock up on authentic Italian goods, or indulge on a cup of Italian coffee and a bite. This location has been family-owned and operated for 70 years, so you know they're doing something right!
Konditor & Cook (www.konditorandcook.com)
Satisfy you sweet tooth with one of Konditor & Cook's specialty cakes. Their creative combinations have earned themselves a cult following amongst locals and celebrities alike.
Verde & Co (www.verdeandco.co.uk)
Gourmet gift baskets are taken up a notch here. An on-site cafe makes sure you don't get too hungry while perusing their selection of cuisine oriented gift ideas.
Where to Shop for Unique Gifts
Nikki Tibbles Wild at Heart (www.wildatheart.com)
One of London's best florists, Nikki Tibbles Wild at Heart has a reputation for an opulent and unique style for events and weddings. Those who don't have a special something coming up can still pick up one of their floral arrangements, either through their own Turquoise Island Shop or their stand at Liberty department store.
Rachel Vosper (www.rachelvosper.com)
A renowned candle maker and fragrance expert, Rachel Vosper has made an international name for herself over the last 20 years. She designs and pours her creations in her Balgravia atelier, and regularly collaborates with other British artists and designers for her collections.
Present & Correct (www.presentandcorrect.com)
For all those still in love with paper in the digital age, this shop is for you. A collection of paper and office objects are inspired by nostalgia for homework, the post, and school. Curated by graphic designers always on the lookout for memoirs of bygone days.
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Find more of Stephanie Bateman Sweet's creative insights at The Lifestyle Editor, or take a peek at her portfolio at www.StephanieBatemanSweet.com. And even better, follow along with her adventures on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter!