A global field guide to design, (life)style and secret finds
est. 2007
  1. My Secret London with Neal from Present & Correct (Part 2)

    DSCN1105 copy In part two of My Secret London with Neal from Present & Correct, we find out exactly where he shops for stationery, children's toys, skincare … and stacks more. Dig in, birdies.

    Best for stationery?
    Present & Correct of course! I always check out Magma, Muji and Shelf too to see what they are stocking on their shelves. Most of all I think that there are some brilliant old-school stationers dotted around. Belsize Stationers in Hampstead is a good example. Lots of binders, school notebooks and an eraser for any mistake. Holloway Arts, on Holloway Road is another good one. They have an old Letraset sign that I have been coveting for around 8 years.





    Some of the design and stationery goodies from Neal's online shop, Present & Correct.

    Best for kids?
    Caramel has a great selection of things. The museum shops too, especially The Natural History Museum. And Couverture. Anywhere that sells traditional wooden toys makes me happy.

    Picture 20

    Picture 21
    Above: wooden toys at Couverture.

    Best for skincare?
    I always buy Aesop products for myself and as gifts, I love the old-style apothecary packaging. The store itself is original and fun. You can’t beat Boots though. A good long walk in any London park will work wonders, too.

    Neal out for a stroll on Hampstead Heath.

    Best London shopping secret?
    My friend Emma introduced me to Sunbury antiques market in Kempton. Get there early and be prepared to dig through lots of nonsense to find a great gem.

    Antique market

    Picture 2

    Picture 1
    Above: Treasure to be found at Sunbury Antiques Market.

    Best London souvenir?
    A bag of Brick Lane bagels and something to put on them from Fortnum & Mason.

    Best place to eat?
    There are a few, because I love to eat lots and try new places. For breakfast The Modern Pantry on Clerkenwell Road is brill, as well as Bob Bob Ricard in Soho which is an OTT diner/brasserie where the staff have gold and pink uniforms and the menu features Farley’s Rusk milkshake!

    Above: the fabulous interior of Bob Bob Ricard.

    Ottolenghi is always good for lunch, as is Leilah's at Arnold Circus near Brick Lane. Market on Parkway in Camden is great and not dissimilar to the brilliant Quality Chop House in Farringdon – hearty British dinners.

    Café Paolina on Kings Cross Road is a wonderful, cheap Thai café. Wood panelling, fake flowers, melamine chairs. An old greasy spoon now run by a super-friendly Thai family. Monmouth is always great for coffee, at Borough Market or in Covent Garden. I plan to go to Petersham Nurseries this year as I have been wanting to go for ages. 

    I like eating on the sofa at mine, too. It’s BYO at P&C headquarters.

    For all addresses and a Wee Birdy map of Neal's secret London, click here.

    Read more about Present & Correct here.

    For more secret Londons, click here.

    • http://britdishaday.blogspot.com/ Alex

      What is that is so appealing about stationery?! I love this insider guide…

    • http://blog.matchesfashion.com/ Ruth

      I used to live on Hollway road and I know that stationary very well! Also you are missing the fab vintage shop 21st century retro on Hollway Road! Best vintage shop in London! Ruth @ Matches

    • http://www.treaclezoo.etsy.com treaclezoo

      BBR looks wonderful! It would be worth a visit just to see the interior & the uniforms alone :o) I really really enjoy reading these guides & interviews, and being able to check out all those wonderful places without having to trek into London with 2 kids!

    • http://designholeonline.com Jennifer

      Thanks for the tour! I have a friend who has started to travel to London on business. She’ll love reading this.

    • http://conversationpieces.co.uk Zoe, Conversation Pieces

      What a great guide (and what a fab blog!)… I’ve stalking those elephants on ebay for a while!

    • http://profile.typepad.com/paisleystclaire Paisley St Claire

      Fabulous posts! Hope I can go to London someday to check it all out myself!

    • http://skimlinks.com Joe

      This is a fantastic list!! so many new places to try…
      can confirm BBR is great fun, even if AA Gill gave it no stars.. a friend designed the interior and that alone is worht it.

    • http://silksheetsboutique.com Silk sheets

      Thanks for the fantastic London suggestions. I’ve only been once and am definitely going to put these places on my list to try next time I visit!

    • http://deebeale.blogspot.com/ dee

      Great, planning a trip to London this August will definitely be visiting a few of these.

    • http://www.theopenconsultancy.com Katie p

      this is brilliant!
      And i want to say THANK YOU so much to Present and Correct. They specialy wrapped one of my purchases as it was a thank you gift for a friend and it looks amazing!
      i want to blog about these guys.

    • http://littlelondonobservationist.wordpress.com Steph

      Great blog! Lots to explore. Well done.
      Swap links?