NFT London Marylebone (East)

Marylebone (East)

Granted, the plush boutiques and old moneyisms of Marylebone are far removed from most Londoners' lives, but that's not to say you can't go window shopping, and with VV Rouleaux and The Button Queen nearby, you could even craft your own outfit. Don't forget to stop in at Claridge's to tell Gordon Ramsay to f*** off, then sedate yourself in the beautiful book haven that is Daunt.


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Posted By:  Claire Storrow
Photo:  Claire Storrow

Saint Espresso
I had an interesting conversation with someone recently where they referred to "hipster coffee" with a derisory tone. "What do you mean 'hipster' coffee?" I asked. "Oh you know, all that agonising over fresh beans, provenance, what temperature it is, what pressure you use..." they responded. "Oh, you mean 'good' coffee?" I said. Because there is this misconception that this is a hipster thing when really, this kind of love and attention to detail has been going on for decades. It's just one of many things that hipsters have "discovered" and to be fair, they have probably contributed to the evolution of coffee as we know it now. I don't have a problem with it, I would just rather people acknowledge that this means "good" coffee. Baker Street is a terrible place for a Londoner to find herself: hordes of tourists search for Benedict Cumberbatch; it is a boulevard of chain eateries with the odd independent hanging on for dear life. Thank god for Saint Espresso then, where I can get a decent cup of joe, before bracing myself to face the masses like a salmon trying to swim upstream. The day I went, they had Alchemy beans from Guatemala in the hopper. Hey, it's hip to be square when it comes to coffee.

Posted By:  Claire Storrow
Photo:  Claire Storrow

Postcard Teas
There is nothing more of an affront to your status as a Londoner than knowing about a place but never having been there. Postcard Teas is one of those places for me. It's been around about as long as I've lived here and I've heard it referred to in hushed tones amongst those in the know but didn't even realise it was an actual shop (you can order teas online too). In fact, this is one of those shops that people travel specifically to London to visit. It's not on a street that you may walk through regularly so stumbling across it as you search for a less congested route through the city (as I did on a wretched tube strike day) gives it an added aura of magic. It had actually started to tip it down as I arrived in what looks like a gallery space. The shopkeeper, taking pity, offered to make me a brew so I could sample my selected tea until the rain had passed. I've recently developed quite a taste for Pu-erh tea and discovered that trading in these leaves is a little bit like being part of a secret society. They come in different vintages according to age but for my entry level tastebuds I bought a caddy of Mr Liu's Nannuo Shan Cooked Pu-erh. Now you know about it--go visit.

Posted By:  Justine Forrest
Photo:  Justine Forrest

If you know your Alvar Aalto from your Eero Aarnio and that Verner Panton put his name to more than a colour palette, then Skandium will be a piece of heaven for you. If the previous sentence made no sense to you at all, but you appreciate the simple Scandinavian design style, then you may still want to check out Skandium's wares. Their stock comprises of a mixture of iconic designs (such as the Eames lounge chair) and newer, but equally stylish designs from Northern Europe. Other delights include a whole section of ceramic birds by Iittala, Marimekko fabrics and a corner devoted to chairs. Unsurprisingly the stuff sold here isn't cheap (and stuff is certainly not the right word for such high quality items) but it isn't entirely out of reach of mere mortals either. Personally, I'm saving for a Panton flowerpot lamp.

Posted By:  Julia Dennison
Photo:  Julia Dennison

Eat and Two Veg
While the rest of the world worries about whether or not the turkey they're eating for Christmas had the life it deserved (unlimited access to Sky, a good local pub and the occasional chip buttie at a minimum), the punters at Eat and Two Veg are enjoying a dinner that outshines even the meatiest of holiday feasts. Christmas at this vegetarian homestyle diner on Marylebone High Street is unrivalled. The menu's riddled with plates piled high with just-the-sides (stuffing, cauliflower cheese, potatoes, brussels and chestnuts), mince pies and steaming puddings that bring on an immense amount of cheer. The sticky toffee pudding is out of this world, and worth stepping over the copious amount of children that infest this place on any given Sunday. The best bit? You don't have to feel bad about eating these organic vegetables: they--unlike turkeys--don't have feelings... that is, unless you look at broccoli the wrong way.

Posted By:  Claire Storrow
Photo:  Claire Storrow

Emmeline 4 Re
Some of us love nothing more than a good rummage in a second-hand shop; some of us plain don't like it and for good reason--underarms saturated with body odour, stinky shoes full of verucca spores, and all kind of grossness that no amount of insistence that "it's vintage, dahling" can excuse. But! And this is a big But! Emmeline 4 Re is by no means a second-hand shop. No, no, Emmeline and her team design clothing from material that would ordinarily go straight to landfill and all buttons, zippers and fasteners are recycled too. This is ethical fashion so genius in its obviousness, one wonders why it hasn't been done before. And with such style and wit. At the recent opening of the store I ooh-ed and aah-ed over dresses, jewellery, and ethical shoes from Beyond Skin. A characteristic of reclaiming all these fabrics is that there is a great contrast in textures and print which can be lacking from flat displays of mass-produced goods on the high-street. Wearing these clothes you could get a layered look (pretty darn hard as you will know) with minimum effort. Buying something new doesn't have to be bad.

Posted By:  John Parton
Photo:  John Parton

Daunt Books
I find the independent London bookshop to be a curious establishment. Some are staffed by dusty types (authoritarian, vitamin-C deficient ex-librarians), others by wonderfully enthusiastic young things. Both these types are evident at Daunt Books, which is partly why it's such an interesting place. That, and its Edwardian oak panelling, enormous selection of books, general architectural majesty, enticing location and overall gravitas. Moreover, both species of the bookseller at Daunt will assuredly be able to rustle up more than a copy of whatever Richard and Judy are currently pretending to read if you ask for a decent recommendation. So far so good. Daunt also arranges its books by country, meaning you'll find Dostoevsky alongside guides to the Trans-Siberian Railway. This makes browsing an odd process, but also ensures that the shop retains a charming sort of Victorian 'could you have your man send these on with my trunk?' explorer feel. So all in, rather good, try to think of it as the Moleskine diary of bookshops.

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