Bags and leather accessories on display at Smythson on New Bond Street, London

Where to shop in London

From centuries’ old heritage brands to fleeting pop-ups, concept stores to specialist boutiques, London is a city that knows how to let you shop in style. The spectrum of its best shopping ranges from upscale Sloane Street to quirky Lamb’s Conduit Street. Meanwhile, different scenes collide on Redchurch Street in East London, with luxury brands keen to tap into the area’s cool cachet

Colourful decorative pieces and wall art inside The Conran Shop

The village enclave

It’s just around the corner from Oxford Street, but Marylebone High Street feels like another world, with its stately red-brick buildings and laidback village vibe. It’s anchored by The Conran Shop, a three-storey temple to design that’s full of beautiful finds, from kilim rugs to sculptural ceramics. Elsewhere, you’ll find sweet pavement cafés and small boutiques, stocked with little luxuries. Look out for Ortigia’s Sicilian soaps and fragrances (try a spritz of Mandorla, made from bitter almond-tree flowers). At no.37, drop by Pierre Marcolini for a box of pastel-hued macaroons – perfect as a quick pick-me-up, or elegant take-home gift.

Leather bags displayed in the window of Smythson shop, London

The flagship-lined classic

New Bond Street’s long been one of the city’s smartest retail thoroughfares. It features a succession of fashion’s biggest players, from Chanel to Saint Laurent, vying for attention with their opulent window displays. London designer Anya Hindmarch’s store showcases her playful bags, while Church’s is the place for handsome handmade brogues. Nearby, heritage brand Smythson also adds a personal touch, gold-stamping initials on to diaries, card-cases and more. After pausing for coffee and cookies at Ralph Lauren’s in-store café, check out the cluster of jewellers just before Old Bond Street. The diamond-studded window-displays at Moussaieff are always a standout ­– think exquisitely cut sapphire rings and expertly crafted diamond necklaces.

A decorative stool in front of a mirror in a corner of Monologue shop, London

The cool kids’ hangout

Over in Shoreditch, things have changed on graffiti-scrawled Redchurch Street. Reinvented as a sleek shopping hub, it’s geared towards well-heeled creatives; APC, Aesop and Sunspel all have outposts here. Labour and Wait sells utilitarian, curiously covetable homeware, while just off the main drag, Browns East is a futuristic fashion showcase. For lunch or an early dinner, try Cecconi’s for sleek Italian eats – or book ahead for a table at Michelin-starred Brat.

Mannequins and designer clothes displayed inside Harvey Nichols, London

The label-lover’s choice

Just across the road from Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park, London, Sloane Street is West London’s answer to Bond Street. It starts with Harvey Nichols, on the corner with Knightsbridge: a one-stop shop for all things luxury, topped by the soigné Fifth Floor Café and Terrace. That’s followed by an impressive array of marble-clad designer flagships, from Fendi to Tom Ford, Vuitton to Versace. After a residential stretch, centred on Cadogan Gardens, the street ends with a final sprinkling of boutiques, along with the Sloane Street Deli – a laidback spot for a restorative glass of wine.

Mens shoes displayed in front of a colourful photography wall at Grenson shop, London

The offbeat gem

To escape central London’s crowds, head for leafy Lamb’s Conduit Street in Bloomsbury. It’s a short but charming stretch, dotted with interesting boutiques, from cult menswear label Folk to British shoemaker’s Grenson. Halfway along, Persephone Books reprints works by 20th-century women writers, in elegant grey covers that match its diminutive shopfront. Afterwards, take a detour down Rugby Street to find Pentreath & Hall. Tiny though it is, it’s the perfect place to hunt for presents, from colourful Berber rugs to gilded alphabet pen-pots.

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