A day’s worth in-and-out of London’s vintage gems
London’s vintage scene is huge and spread out. It’s simply not possible to find your way around all of it over a day or two, but Soho is a great place to start. There’s variety and a great selection of vintage available. Being easy to get to in the city center, it’s well suited for a pleasant day of walking.
The West End in London is often referred to as Theatreland. With a history that traces back to the time of Shakespeare, it’s one of the most popular activities during a trip to London, with over 14 million yearly visitors to the many plays around town.
As one of the larger vintage chains in England, the nisch is well-defined and carefully selected. There’s a clear emphasis on so-called americana, with retro american outfits from various eras and decades. This is mixed with quite a few curveballs, such as a section with vintage kimonos.
Well worth the visit if you’re on the eclectic side. Everything from long rows of vintage furs to quirky sunglasses makes it easy to get stuck for hours in this treasure full of unexpected pieces from all eras of time.
Oh So Vintage
A petite boutique with carefully selected retro pieces for you to enjoy. This is where you could just run into that paisley Paul Smith waistcoat that you never knew that you couldn’t live without.
This would be the place to find a vintage Burberry field jacket. There’s one rack of about every shape and size imaginable. And a bunch of other items for completely different looks, such as floral shirts and cowboy boots.
Enter into a shopping mecca of neat, color-coded rows upon rows of vintage shopping. There’s plenty of household brands to be found in great quality, as well as statement pieces that most definitely will make you pop out in a crowd.
An experience just to enter. This would be the place to find menswear such as an army tailcoat from 1936 or a 1960s Belstaff Trialmaster jacket for £1150. The selection is exquisite and well-kept, so it doesn’t come as a surprise that it’s a go-to place for many large fashion magazines to borrow outfits for their shoots.
Most definitely worth the visit just for their display windows. At the time we visited, Rokit had decorated an elaborate pool setting. Once past the display and into the shop, there are well-organised rows of everyday wear with a lot of Americana vintage shopping, such as a large selection of vintage Levi’s jeans and Carhartt jackets.
The In-Betweens and Afters
Baking on the premises since 1871, Maison Bertreaux will not disappoint. Just enter the little patisserie and you’re greeted with shelves and shelves of beautiful-looking cakes and pastries, displayed on trays on doilies. Builders, actors, artists, tourists — they can all be found licking their lips and savouring a hot cup of coffee.
Traditionally chosen as “the show after the show”, Sarastro is a popular restaurant that offer’s it’s own entertainment in the theatre district. Arrive on a Sunday for dinner and end up with both a string quartet and opera singers serenading you
Old-fashioned hospitality in the heart of London, Hazlitt’s is by many considered one of London’s most well-kept secrets. Having found a balance between the demands that we have today and keeping true to their heritage, it’s quite a stay.
Soho House Dean Street
The townhouse on Dean Street is more than just a hotel. It’s a social gathering point and a home away from home if you spend a lot of time travelling. Several floors of what could be your own living room, perfectly balanced between tradition and modern minimalism, becomes a perfect place to relax and ground yourself.
And, of course, the theatre!
Harry Potter and the Cursed Child
Why not catch a show in London? The relatively recent release of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child shows how London continues to develop their theatrical culture, while staying true to their heritage. If you don’t happen to get tickets, there’s also a Harry Potter museum just around the corner called MinaLima, filled with memorabilia from the movies.