London Less Traveled
Detour off the shopping thoroughfares of this fashion capital to uncover tucked-away streets brimming with artisanal finds.
Named after William Lambe, a gentleman who rebuilt a conduit to supply water from the springs to the city, Lamb’s Conduit Street has become a destination for fans of independent labels and directional duds. Beyond fashion, the neighborhood is home to niche retailers stocking wares as varied as decoupage plates and out-of-print tomes to Bakelite switches for vintage home remodelers.
Spend an afternoon exploring the Grade II Listed buildings on the street, many of which now house cutting-edge retail concepts that are not to be missed.
Take a break from retail therapy and enjoy an afternoon pint at a historical pub like The Lamb, where star-crossed literary giants Ted Hughes and Sylvia Plath used to meet.
In a time when online book retail behemoths have revolutionized the age-old passion for literature, Persephone Books is an independent boutique that not only specializes in hard copy reads, it nestles itself within yet another niche — tomes by forgotten female authors. Traditionalists could thumb through “unjustly neglected novels, diaries and cookery books from the 20th century” in the unassuming yet utterly lovely shop, dotted with the original twisted balusters of the 18th century building. The intimate store also boasts a publishing arm, with its founders persevering to keep deserving books in print.
The fact that American retailer J Crew has opened a men’s store on Lamb’s Conduit Street does not spell the instant demise of indie shopping options. Take time to explore the street’s purveyors of understatedly luxe threads and one-of-a-kind accessories, dwelling within charming historical buildings. Lamb’s Conduit Street has established itself as a menswear mecca, offering more casual alternatives to the crisp tailoring associated with Jermyn Street.
The Lamb: 94 Lamb’s Conduit Street; +44 20-7405-0713
Persephone Books: 59 Lamb’s Conduit Street; +44 20-7242-9292