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I asked leading British interior designer Abigail Ahern to tell me what’s hot in my home city of London for design lovers right now. I’m planning a stop-off at the end of our honeymoon in November, and I can’t wait to check out a few of these new shopping and dining finds!
In an age of lookalike high streets, Abigail calls East London’s Columbia Road a breath of fresh air. “Every Sunday, a flower market runs down the middle but if you want to explore without the crowds and the celebs, get there after 12 on a Saturday. It’s full of little independent homewares stores like Nelly Duff (for fab prints) and Nom Living (for great tableware) and the vibe is magical.”
Petersham Nurseries, Richmond
Abigail’s “obsessed” with this place. Its restaurant has a Michelin star but without the fuss or snobbery. You dine in a greenhouse, next to another greenhouse selling beautiful homewares, plants and cool garden stuff.
Shoreditch shops worth visiting
Squint: for bespoke patchwork furniture.
House of Hackney: newly opened to rave reviews, for homewares, bedding and clothes with a twist.
2 Columbia Road: for amazing vintage pieces.
Atomic Antiques: “Love this guy’s eye. Fab fab vintage lamps and rugs, I am continually there.”
Labour and Wait: Traditional products for the home. “Such a sweet, cool store.”
SCP: for upholstery, lighting and accessories.
If you are in this area, you have to try and swing your way into the rooftop of Shoreditch House for a swim, cocktail or both, have coffee at The Boundary, Sir Terence Conran’s cafe, restaurant and mini grocery store, and go to Rochelle Canteen.
Central and chain stores
Heals is going through a major revamp stocking mainly British products, from the end of this month. Also check out Habitat, Anthropologie, Zara Home and Debenhams (launching Abigail’s own homewares line from next month).
Liberty top floor: “Amazing!”
The Conran Shop (recently revamped with son Jasper at the helm) and Tricia Guild, both on Marylebone High Street
Core One Antiques for amazing vintage furniture.
Sigmar for beautifully made classic furniture.
The Shop at Bluebird, a super cool concept store!
Retrouvius and Lassco for super cool vintage. Go on a Saturday and stop at the Maltby food market.
Want $10,000 to spend on your own designer destination?
This competition has now closed
Has this post got you yearning to explore London? Or anywhere else really? The Laminex Group is giving away a $10,000 travel voucher to 1 lucky person in its latest promotion – Designer Destinations.
Visit The Laminex Group Australia’s Facebook page and complete a quick 4-question multiple choice quiz to find out which city suits your style: cosmopolitan New York, eclectic Shanghai, historic London or fashion capital Milan. My result was New York, which I’d have to agree with, much as I love the Motherland!
Along with the grand prize of a $10,000 travel voucher, there are also weekly prizes of $250 eftpos cards up for grabs. The promotion runs until 2 October, with a new set of questions each week, meaning you can enter once a week over the promotion period.
To enter the competition and keep up-to-date on design trends from around the world and stylish home living ideas, visit the Facebook page.
Emma - My Bespoke Chair says
Great list – I’m excited just reading this post. I shall bookmark this for when I go home at Christmas. I’ll block 2 days alone in London, ‘sans famille’, and gorge myself on home-wares, interiors and general cool stuff.
P.S just popping to the Laminex fb page now to win my 10k prize!! 🙂
Jen Bishop says
Glad you like it, Emma! I can’t wait to visit some of these places too!
Louise Waddington says
Hi Jen, I will be keeping this post for the next trip to beautiful London but for now I have an emergency request. I’m off to New York in 2 weeks, do you have a similar list for there? I’ve never been and would appreciate some guidance. Cheers, Lou x
Jen Bishop says
I’m actually working on one to publish on September 5th. Is that soon enough?
Louise Waddington says
Fantastic! I’ll be there by then and will check in for your recommendations. Thanks.