ASPINAL OF LONDON
The second standalone shop for this affordable heritage brand, Aspinal has a plum position at the start of the Street, and is a wonderfully windowy space, glinting with cufflinks, jewels and charms and full of its signature bright croc skin bags and wallets.
There were nearly 400 people queuing to get into Forever 21 in Stratford on Tuesday morning. What’s the appeal? The shirts for girls that say “Allergic to Algebra” on them? Hopefully not, but either way this Korean-founded, US import offers cheap, cheerful, sexy clothes that your daughter will be begging for when she’s old enough. Whether you agree to buy them is a different story.
It’s main virtue in this setting is that it is very big.
HAWES AND CURTIS
This Jermyn Street classic is a nice bit of traditionalism among all the glitz and glamour.
Another US import specialising in the upper crust preppie look: polo shirts, chinos, boat shoes and chunky fabrics. Women can expect comfy country classics and knitwear.
London’s first brand new John Lewis in more than twenty years. Over 70 per cent of the layout is newly designed.
It’s too big and bright to be ignored – the food hall is a delight and the Menswear department has been re-designed to make it less like the “poor relation”.
If you have a teenage daughter – or indeed if you’re hip at heart yourself – you’ll know about this cult brand capitalising on the craze for silver charms. They don’t come cheap but there are other options too, including bracelets, rings and necklaces that may offer more (glittery) bang for your buck.
LINKS OF LONDON
The classier purveyor of charms and silvery things, this is a very smart and spacious outlet.
BATH & BODY
Top-line skin treatment brand with a medical twist favoured by serious facialists. This airy store is a must for anyone after the brand’s range of excellent moisturiser and cleansers.
Holistic brand with great range of organic products for men and women. Aromatherapy, haircare, mother & baby and more.
The world’s most exciting makeup brand: play around inside and you’ll feel you’re in a Charlie’s Chocolate Factory for makeup. This is the biggest urban mall in Europe – you do the math.
Another classic, holistic skincare brand with awesome lip balm.
Bring it back to old school basics with a trip to a dedicated Lego store.
A blessed quality bookshop in a world in which they’re fast disappearing – this one deserves good patronage too in celebration.
You might know JI from its bustling Canary Wharf outpost, or the one in Kingston. This one has a nice corner spot with outdoor seating. It has a great home-made pasta-making machine.
Quality restaurant with Best of British hearty stews and meats, and a killer brunch. The classiest dining option in this shopping centre.
Truly delicious Thai chain with soups to die for and a range of other flavoursome options. You have to queue to get in but it’s worth it.
Cult US frozen yoghurt brand that recently opened its first UK shop to great fanfare at Selfridges. This is a big concession, not open yet though.