Dover Street Market
We know your quandry: you only have a day in London and you want to catch up on the quirky fashion styles that the city is made for. Luckily there’s a one-stop shop that can give you a taste of that elusive London flavour in one go. It’s actually the flagship store of hip Japanese label Comme Des Garcons but it stocks a huge range of other designers too. Look out for top Brit designers like Christopher Kane and JW Anderson, browse through hard-to-find international accessories and design pieces, and be sure to visit the Nike Lab in the basement – home to some ultra-rare and very cool trainer designs. Even if you’re not spending it’s worth visiting just for the beautiful Japanese shop design.
P.S. if you’ve been out of London for a bit you might be be slightly confused to find out that Dover Street Market isn’t in fact in Dover Street at all any more! Where: 18-22 Haymarket, SW1Y 4DG (Entrance on Orange Street) When: 11am-7pm Monday to Saturday, 12pm-6pm Sunday Tel : +44 20 7518 0680 Hackney Walk
No it’s not some music-hall dance, the Hackney Walk is instead quickly turning into the best place in east London to shop for British designers. What started as a loose cluster of outlet stores set in converted railway arches has grown into a whole fashion district. You really get the feeling that you’re supporting the best of British when you’re shopping here with the likes of Burberry, Aquascutum and Pringle all on display, and summer of 2016 saw a host of new stores, designed by award-winning Brit-architect David Adjaye, which upped the fashion ante. Look out for London fashion taste-makers Matches whose store here is a great capsule collection of what’s hot in the city right now. Where: 145 Morning Lane, E9 6LH When: 10am-6pm Monday to Saturday, 11pm-5pm Sunday Travel: Hackney Central train Aida
On a good day at Aida you can buy something new from an up-and-coming east London designer, get your hair done in a genuine 1940s style, browse accessories from watches to books to go with your new look, pick up a bag to keep all your new purchases in and see a band. All without leaving the shop. because Aida is less a boutique, more a neighbourhood hang-out. It’s a carefully curated collection, focusing on simple, beautiful European brands that go together well so you can put together a whole look, and with fashion events, DJ nights and even live bands there will somewhere close at hand to show off the new you. Where: 133 Shoreditch High Street, E1 6JE When: 10.30 am – 7 pm Monday to Saturday, 12 am – 6 pm Sunday Travel: Shoreditch High Street underground Tel: 020 7739 2811 Bicester Village
Qbic’s in London. Some of the world’s best fashion is in London. So why are we recommending a shopping destination 60 miles away in a sleepy countryside village? Because Bicester Village is where Londoners go for their luxury bargains. And village is a fair name for it – this is more than an outlet store, this is a whole street packed with some of the most desirable brands in the world. There are too many to mention here so check the website for details but Prada, Gucci, Burberry are just some of the big names that have huge shops here selling end-of-line classics and some lines made specially just for Bicester. There’s a swathe of great food places too, and with an additional 10% off for Qbic guests it’s worth making one of your days in London a Bicester shopping excursion. (Just ask at reception for details on how to get your extra 10% off!) Where: 50 Pingle Dr, Bicester OX26 6WD Travel: See website Goodhood
If you want that genuine east London look then Goodhood‘s your place. Shoreditch’s favourite shop got so popular that it had to move up the road to this new two-floor Curtain Road site where it expanded its range of quirky clothing and accessories. Expect retro Ts, slouchy pants, cult Japanese brands and left-field sportswear (think more mountaineering gear than jogging!) It’s also home to a rather nice cafe and a beauty section that steers clear of the big names for some hard-to-find grooming brands. A one-stop shop for the east London look. Where: 151 Curtain Road, EC2A 3QE When: 10:30 – 18:30 Monday – Friday, 10:30 – 19:00 Saturday, 12:00 – 18:00 Sunday Travel: Old St underground and train