Head off the beaten shopping tracks of Oxford Street and Regent Street and you'll find that London is a goldmine of pretty independent boutiques offering unique, high-end finds. Often, these bijou boutiques congregate together, on charming stretches like Wilton Way and Elizabeth Street and can completely transform a quiet enclave or bring much-needed pizzazz to a residential area. With non-essential retail reopening this week, there has never been a more important time to support the capital's vibrant array of independent retailers – see our pick of the best below.
Mouki Mou, Chiltern Street
Maria Lemos is well-known in the fashion industry as the founder of influential showroom and PR agency, Rainbowwave. She opened Mouki Mou on Chiltern Street in 2013, and the vibe is more akin to a gallery than a shop. Products share a minimalist, neutral aesthetic, with a focus on handcraftsmanship and quality fabrics. This season’s covetable edit includes minimalist leather bags by LA's Are Studio, sculptural jewellery by New York’s Ted Muehling and tableware by British ceramicist Ali Hewson.
11am – 7pm, 29 Chiltern Street, Marylebone, London W1U 7PJ, moukimou.com
Cire Trudon, Chiltern Street
Chiltern Street also lays claim to the only standalone Cire Trudon boutique in Europe, outside France. Founded in 1643, Cire Trudon is the oldest candlemaker in the world and originally provided flickering light to the Palace of Versailles, as well as Napoleon and Mary Antoinette. Furnished with reclaimed wooden floors, French wallpaper and ornate chandeliers, this beautifully scented and darkly ambient space has an air of old-worldly Parisian charm. It stocks Cire Trudon's complete collection of fragrant candles and room sprays, alongside pick 'n' mix tapered candlesticks in an enticing spectrum of appealing shades.
10am – 7pm (closed Monday and Sunday), 36 Chiltern St, Marylebone, London W1U 7QJ, trudon.com
Jessica McCormack, Carlos Place
You would be forgiven for mistaking Jessica McCormack's destination boutique in Mayfair for an art gallery or private home. The five-storey Georgian townhouse curates her fine jewellery collections among a cornucopia of antiques, books and curious ephemera, alongside a self-playing piano and a rotating collection of contemporary world art. It is very much a shop though, and a welcoming one at that. Drop by to view the New Zealand-born designer’s enticing array of modern diamond jewellery, created using centuries-old techniques.
10am – 5pm, 7 Carlos Place, Mayfair, London W1K 3AR, jessicamccormack.com
Floris, Jermyn Street
British perfumer Floris opened on Jermyn Street in 1730, making it one of the oldest shops in London. The boutique remains a family business, run by ninth-generation perfumer Edward Bodenham. The luxury fragrance house bears a prestigious royal warrant from both Queen Elizabeth II and the Prince of Wales and makes a new scent for the Queen every year on her birthday. Perfumes are accompanied by body care, candles and plush shaving accoutrements, housed in smart mahogany cabinets. Former clients include Oscar Wilde, Ian Fleming, Marilyn Monroe and Queen Victoria, for whom the bestselling Bouquet de la Reine was originally made to honour her wedding to Prince Albert.
9.30am – 6.30pm (Sundays 11am – 5pm), 89 Jermyn Street, St. James's, London SW1Y 6JH, florislondon.com
Choosing Keeping, Seven Dials
Choosing Keeping is an inspiring stationery mecca in Covent Garden founded by gallerist-turned-art supply extraordinaire Julia Jeuvell. Mochaware ceramic pots are filled with all kinds of pens and pencils, while walls are lined with reams of paper, including Japanese silkscreen prints and opalescent marble designs. Glass cabinets hold rarer treasures, including Caran d’Ache sharpening machines, Zenith staplers and luxurious leather-bound notepads.
10am – 5.30pm (closed Sunday), 21 Tower Street, West End, London WC2H 9NS, choosingkeeping.com
Les Senteurs, Elizabeth Street
Famed for its blossoming façade, Les Senteurs is London’s oldest independent perfumery, specialising in niche, luxury fragrance for men and women. Its olfactory curation includes Creed, Frederic Malle, Cloon Keen and Maison Rebatchi, as well as a host of UK exclusives including Sylvaine Delacourte, the eponymous brand of Guerlain's formerly creative director. Shopping at Les Senteurs is an intimate, tranquil joy and a complete treat for the senses.
10am – 6pm (closed Monday and Sunday), 71 Elizabeth Street, Belgravia, London SW1W 9PJ, lessenteurs.com
Anya Hindmarch Bespoke, Pont Street
Anya Hindmarch’s Bespoke boutique on Belgravia’s Pont Street is a charming trove of leather swatches and suede-lined trinket boxes, which can be beautifully embroidered with personal messages. There are also photo frames, folios and dinky key fobs, as well as canvas weekend bags boldly stamped with colourful monogramming. Hindmarch quietly launched her bespoke offering in 2009 and was, as she has proved to be time and time again, ahead of the curve in realising the demand for personalised accessorises, which are timeless, as opposed to trending. Each personalised piece is beautifully made in Britain and built to last.
10.30am – 4.30pm (closed Sunday), 17, 15 Pont Street, Belgravia, London SW1X 9EH, anyahindmarch.com
Carolina Bucci, Motcomb Street
Carolina Bucci’s Motcombe Street boutique is an ode to Italian design and craftsmanship, furnished with Carrara marble and mid-century furniture, alongside an impressive array of Italian paintings from the 1960s and ‘70s, sourced by her art dealer husband. The Italian jeweller’s joyful Forte Beads collection renders plastic friendship bracelets in colourful precious stones, strung with 18-karat gold letters. In the boutique, these are arranged in pick ‘n’ mix-style apothecary jars, curated alongside Bucci’s homeware edit of Murano glassware, paperweights and gold photo frames, handcrafted using her signature Florentine finish.
10am – 36pm (closed Sunday), 22 Motcomb Street, Belgravia, London SW1X 8LB, carolinabucci.com
Jessie Western, Portobello Road
Jessie Western is a pocket-sized boutique on Portabello road stuffed full of Native American wares, from tasselled suede jackets and blanket coats to hand-painted cowboy boots and sterling silver concho belts. Cabinets showcase jewellery of varying price points, from talismanic charms to rare turquoise stones and fine diamond designs. The sisters behind the brand work closely with Navajo and Zuni artists to celebrate traditional, ethical craftsmanship and clients include Kate Moss, Chloë Sevigny and Carlotti Oddi.
10am – 6pm, 82B Portobello Road, Notting Hill, London W11 2QD, jessiewestern.com
Oyuna, Goldborne Road
Textile designer Oyuna Tserendorj has been creating beautiful Mongolian cashmere shawls, blankets and ready-to-wear woven pieces for almost two decades and counts Harrods among her stockists. She opened her first standalone Oyuna shop in 2020 – no small feat during a global pandemic – on West London's multicultural Goldborne Road. Her sublimely soft womenswear collection of utilitarian, languid silhouettes is available in a spectrum of colours, ranging from neutral ivory and charcoal to sunny mustard and cobalt blue. Her bijou boutique is a calm, light-filled space that stands out against the street's eclectic offering of market stalls and antique-packed troves, and also features a thoughtfully curated selection of books, accessories and homeware with a minimalist Japanese aesthetic.
Tuesday - Thursday 11am – 6pm; Friday – Saturday 10am – 6pm (closed Sunday and Monday), 89 Golborne Road, London W10 5NL, oyuna.com
Hostem Archive, Blue Mountain School
Spread over six floors of a 19th-century building in Shoreditch, Hostem was launched in 2010 by James Brown and was instrumental in driving the Redchurch Street retail boom that followed. Brown relaunched the space in 2018 as Blue Mountain School, offering an immersive curation of fashion, design, music and gastronomy. Hostem Archive occupies the ground and lower ground floors, showcasing artisanal garments, ceramics and artworks, available to browse online or by appointment. Grace's a private hire space designed for audiophiles can also be found in the building, alongside Mãos, the Michelin-starred, supper club-style restaurant originally launched by chef Nuno Mendes.
11am – 6pm (closed Sunday - Tuesday), 28 Old Nichol Street, Shoreditch, London E2 7HR, bluemountain.school
LN-CC, Shacklewell Lane
Housed in an erstwhile boxing gym in Dalston, LN-CC has always opened by-appointment-only, meaning that its model already supports social distancing measures. Entering the boutique feels more like walking through a sci-fi art installation, offering a labyrinth of immersive spaces where you’ll find established names, including Jacquemus, Rick Owens and Maison Margiela, alongside emerging British talent. Founder John Skelton previously worked as a buyer for Harrods and Selfridges before launching LN-CC in 2010. As a concept, it was extremely innovative for its time and remains at the forefront of luxury fashion, with a focus on sustainability, new technologies and collaboration.
10am – 6pm (Sunday 11am – 5pm), temporarily closed, 18-24 Shacklewell Lane, Dalston, London, E8 2EZ, ln-cc.com
Momosan, Wilton Way
Located on Hackney’s eminently charming Wilton Way, Momosan is a minimalist gallery of curious objects, with a distinctly Japanese aesthetic: cylindrical pottery by Mizuyo Yamashita, textured glass by Jochen Holz and dainty, hand-wrapped bundles of incense and soap. There are also wooden clogs, hailing from Finland, basket bags from Brazil and tactile wooden toys from Austria. Designs are handpicked by founder Momoko Mizutani, with a focus on hand-craftsmanship and natural fabrics.
Thursday – Sunday, 11am – 6pm (temporarily closed), 79a Wilton Way, Hackney, London E8 1BG, momosanshop.com