12 OF THE BEST SHOPS THAT ONLY SELL ONE THING
Looking for an antique globe in a hurry? Or maybe you want to treat yourself to a bonsai tree? For every niche interest, this city has a shop to match. Here are some of our favourite specialists in west London
1 POP London, Notting Hill
Europe’s first popcorn boutique sells handmade popcorn in a variety of flavours. Located off of Portobello Road, POP makes every batch of popcorn by hand, using only natural ingredients. The Gluten and GMO-free popcorn is popped in sunflower and olive oil to bring customers natural popcorn that still tastes delicious. Each season POP debuts its exotic new flavours, like the Mulled Wine popcorn just in time for Christmas and made with an Italian red wine, spicy syrup.
Open Monday to Friday 10am-6pm, Saturday 10am-7pm, Sunday 11am-6pm
15 Blenheim Crescent, London W11 2EE
2 The Spice Shop, Notting Hill
The Spice Shop began as a weekend spice stall down the street from its current location on Portobello Road. The popularity of the stall led Birgit Erath to upgrade the stall into a full time shop filled with over 2,500 different spices. From roasted red curry mix to Italian Truffle Salt, the Spice Shop has every spice you could possibly need and some you didn’t even know you needed. Birgit’s Spice Shop has become the go-to shop for everyone from amateur cooks to chefs and TV personalities.
Open Monday to Saturday 10am-6pm, Sunday 11am-3pm
1 Blenheim Crescent, London W11 2EE
3 The Cloth Shop, Notting Hill
For 20 years now the Cloth Shop has been known for its eclectic collection of fabrics made only from natural fibres. The shop sells a selection of textiles from around the world, from Indian antique quilts to Irish wool blankets, and its most popular fabric, Swedish linen, is available in a staggering 52 colours. The Cloth Shop’s staff have an extensive knowledge on fabrics, and they will advise you on everything from measurements to uses of their fabrics.
Open Monday to Saturday 10am-6pm, Sunday 11am-5pm
290 Portobello Road, London W10 5TE
5 Books for Cooks, Notting Hill
Noticing in 1983 that London’s bookshops had a poor supply of cookbooks, Heidi Lascelles opened Books for Cooks, scouring the globe for a diverse collection of cookbooks. Today, Books for Cooks has thousands of books. These cookbooks are brought to life within the Demonstration Kitchen, where a cook tests recipes to find the best cookbook. Visitors can cosy up with a book or take a cookery class for a hands-on experience at cooking.
Open Tuesday to Saturday 10am-6pm
4 Blenheim Crescent, London W11 1NN
6 The Biscuiteers, Notting Hill
Biscuits become art at the Biscuiteers boutique where icers create carefully decorated biscuits for every occasion. The biscuits are handmade using old fashioned, non-industrialised techniques to provide customers with the best quality, and specially made biscuits featuring company logos or special messages are available for next day delivery. Visitors can also try their hand at the art of icing at the Icing Café with lessons.
Open Monday 10am-5pm, Tuesday to Saturday 10am-6pm, Sunday 11am-5pm
194 Kensington Park Road, London W11 2ES
7 James Smith & Sons Umbrella Shop, West End
London’s leading umbrella company for the last 180 years has a long history, first opening in 1830 by John Smith in the West End. Today the James Smith & Sons umbrella shop continues its tradition of making ceremonial umbrellas and gentlemen’s canes in its New Oxford Street location. The shop offers a number of handmade umbrellas made with specially woven fabric in a variety of styles. Their workshops are located in their basements where umbrellas and walking sticks are still made. Umbrellas have always been a necessity with London’s weather and James Smith & Sons has been the place to buy an umbrella for the past century.
Open Monday to Friday 10am-5.45pm and Saturday 10am-5.15pm
Hazelwood House, 53 New Oxford Street, London WC1A 1BL
8 Pendulum, Mayfair
Highly commended in the “Best Interiors Boutique” category of the Mayfair Awards in 2012, Pendulum restores and sells the finest collection of antique clocks. The family run business has used their passion for antique clocks to sell customers genuinely antique clocks for the past 40 years. Pendulum has a broad selection of clocks, from grandfather clocks to bracket clocks. They also offer restoration services for clocks and furniture, which includes a full repair. Any home can be spruced up with an authentic antique clock.
Open Monday to Friday 10am-6pm and Saturday 10am-5pm
King House, 51 Maddox Street, London W1S 2PH
9 Phillo Flowers, Notting Hill
Using its expert knowledge in floral design, horticulture and the cut flower industry, Phillo flowers puts together stunning flower arrangements for its eclectic mix of clientele. Cemal K Cemal started Phillo Flowers after a successful career in Neuro Genetics, not necessarily the career path you might expect. He and his team source an exotic array of flowers and the offering changes everyday. The store once became an exhibition space with over 7,000 tulips in over 100 varieties housed under one roof. Cemal named the exhibition, “Tulip Mania”. A trip to see the tropical flowers and parrots of Phillo Flowers will lift anyone from a case of the winter blues.
Open Monday to Saturday 9:30am-7pm, Sunday 10am-4pm
59 Chepstow Road, London W2 5BP
10 Altea Gallery, Mayfair
The Altea Gallery houses an impressive collection of antique maps, sea charts, atlases and globes dating back to 1477. Massimo De Martini opened the store after trading in 1992 at the Bonnington Antique Map Fair. Since then he has continued a tradition of selling authentic antique maps for affordable prices. De Martini and his team strive to make the maps available to as many people as possible, being one of the first map dealers to offer a fully-illustrated online map catalogue in 1995.
Open Monday to Friday 10am-6pm, Saturday 10am-4pm
35 Saint George St, London W1S 2FN
11 The Whisky Shop, Piccadilly
The team behind the Whisky Shop certainly knows its whisky, serving the most deluxe selection whisky, scotch from around the world. There’s single malts, blended scotch and whiskies from Ireland, the UK, Japan and the USA. The shop has branches all over the UK, as well as an excellent website. Visitors regularly stop into this particular branch to get advice picking whisky for presents, special events and treats for themselves and the experts are always happy to help.
Open Monday to Friday 10am-7pm, Saturday 11am-6pm and Sunday 12pm-5pm
70 Piccadilly, London, W1J 8HP
12 James J Fox Cigar Shop, St James’s
Selling fine tobacco is nothing new to James J. Fox’s Cigar Shop on St. James’s Street, where tobacco and smokers’ accessories have been traded for over 225 years. The shop has kept with tradition by selling only the most premium cigars, and its reputation earnt visits from iconic cigar smoker Winston Churchill, Oscar Wilde and a countless number of royals. The James J Fox Cigar Shop is one of the few shops in London that is exempt from the smoking ban – visitors can sample their new purchases as they enjoy the view of London’s busy streets.
Open Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday 9:30am-5:45pm, Thursday 9:30am-9:30pm, Saturday 9:30am to 5:30pm
19 St James’s Street, London SW1A 1ES
Words by: Cassie Smith