• Walk the Talk

Top 5 most charming bookshops in London

Updated: Jun 16

Indie books on the table, some delightful wine, poetry reading. These bookshops have more than words to offer, as if that weren't enough.

I know. How can we come up with a list of only 5 most charming bookshops in London? Unfair doesn't even start to cover it. We know, we know. But we must have a starting point and we also think these 5 picks have the world to offer in a very quaint sort of way. Read away.

LONDON REVIEW BOOKSHOP

Blink and you will miss it. Hidden away, off Museum Street where crowds are busy with the British Museum, this excellent bookshop is in Bury Place, in the heart of Bloomsbury. This bookshop was opened by the London Review Magazine and it has a selection of challenging and engaging fiction, very much reflecting the content of their publication. A lovely café with a selection of great tea and cake, for those with time to spare.

14, Bury Place, London.

www.londonreviewbookshop.co.uk

JOHN SANDOE BOOKSHOP

The very British black painted façade prepares you for an utterly charming shop. One of those places you will wish you'd own. John Sandoe Books has been opened since 1957 and it is located steps away from Sloane Square. A paradise for book lovers, particularly in a location where beauty and fashion shops are abundant, John Sandoe Books is a breath of fresh air and it has sustained itself as one of the most traditional bookshops in England with a carefully selected collection of books inside their gorgeous 18th century building.

10- 12 Blacklands Terrace, London

www.johnsandoe.com

LIBRERIA

Image by Iwan Baan

This cleverly designed space is made for book lovers. Everything flows from one bookshelf to another in an endless discovery of interesting titles and a vast range of genres. This bookshop is as cool as it gets. It is located in trendy East London, it offers workshops, lively discussions, it prints cards in the basement, it is available for private hires for drinks, book launches and it does not sell coffee and cakes! Libreria also offers a pretty great subscription service with very nicely curated titles every month. If you like surprises and wants to get something other than bills through the door, this is for you.

65 Hanbury Street

www.libreria.io

PRIMROSE HILL BOOKSHOP

The first title I saw when I stepped in was The Bell Jar. The owner spotted it and asked if I knew "she" used to live just round the corner. Of course, he was referring to world famous writer Sylvia Plath who was a resident of Primrose Hill for a while. A myriad of excellent books, some second hand, this place is owned by book lover you can tell. It is very crowded with titles everywhere and this is exactly what makes Primrose Hill Books one of those places you will spend hours without even noticing. It is seductive because it is just books, lots and lots of them and that is what matters in the end. If you need advice, do ask the owner. They will be happy to make suggestions, have a chat and recommend something very special for you to take home. A gem!

134 Regent's Park Road, London

www.primrosehillbooks.com

PERSEPHONE

If there were something like a feminine bookshop this would be it. But I don't think I would agree that art has gender, so this very pretty bookshop specialised in books written by women is for everyone who enjoys great titles. Persephone's name, naturally inspired by the goddess of all things creative also celebrates new beginnings, a concept that is perfect for one of their propositions which is to publish female authors that have somehow being forgotten. A renaissance of quality in literature. Do pay attention to the beauty of their books and their  fabulous covers. Persephone sells not only great titles, but lovely stationary and inspiring gifts too. All very pretty and very special with brilliant and relevant content.

59 Lamb's Conduit Street, London

www.persephonebooks.co.uk

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