Whether you’re looking for a raven or a writing desk, London has you covered. You’re never far from an opportunity to splash your cash here, and, with all these choices, we can sometimes be left feeling baffled when we’re faced with the task of finding an ‘authentically English’ souvenir for a faraway family member. Here at Secret London, we like to celebrate what our city has to offer, so we’ve put together a boutique cheat-sheet to help you source the most unique items possible…
1. A custom-made suit from a Saville Row tailor
It doesn’t get much more bespoke than this! While you won’t be able to buy one unless you show up in person, a custom suit will definitely offer you a long-lasting London legacy. With hundreds of shops, styles and fabrics to choose from, you’re bound to walk away with a one-of-a-kind suit that stands the test of time. It’s all about quality, not quantity.
2. Fabric from Liberty of London
This place is a haberdashery haven! Liberty of London offers loads of quirky prints that are sure to spruce up even the dingiest room. Liberty fabric is uniquely ‘London’ and uniquely beautiful.
3. A book from Hatchards
Ok, yes, you can buy books all over the place, but ordering a cut-price paperback from Amazon is definitely not the same as hand selecting a copy from the UK’s oldest bookshop. Hatchards have been selling their stories from the heart of the city since 1797, so we reckon that makes it the perfect place to shop.
4. Custom art prints from the V&A
The Victoria and Albert museum gift shop a place dreams are made of! This shopping spot is filled to the brim with arty artefacts, most of which you can’t find anywhere else. We know you’ll love the custom art prints they offer as much as we do – they’re made-to-order and are all available in the size and frame of your choice. You can’t go wrong!
5. Doughnuts from Bread Ahead Bakery
Ok, so you’re not likely to be getting through customs with these delicious doughnuts in hand, but Bread Ahead doughnuts happen to be a perfect London treat for your ravenous visitors. Pick up a box of these bad-boys for breakfast and prepare to impress your guests.
6. Cupcakes from Primrose Bakery
Continuing the food theme with some more baked goods, this time from the beautiful Primrose Bakery. A box of these beauties is bound to make you the most popular person around (at least for as long as it takes to wolf them all down!).
7. Stationery from L. Cornelissen & Son
This place looks like it’s straight out of a Harry Potter book. L. Cornelissen & Son is filled to the brim with everything you could possibly need to unleash your artistic side. A quick browse will certainly help you find a few things to get your creative juices flowing! (Check out our guide to great London stationery shops.)
8. Regent’s Park honey
Urban beekeeping is more popular than ever, and now you can buy local honey directly from London apiarists like Toby Mason, who produces Regent’s Park Honey. Not only is this honey delicious, but, if you’re living in London, it can even help you build up a tolerance to pollen allergies in hay fever season! Regent’s Park Honey is available seasonally from selected retailers.