Interesting shops from around the world

Posts from the online Category

The Hambledon always wanted to be a shop which sold things the owners loved, in a space they loved, to customers they would grow to love.

It’s a sentimental and very honourable kind of aspiration borne out of a genuine belief in the worth of shops and shopping and shopgirls (and boys).

They opened in September 1999 in a beautiful double fronted Georgian building in Winchester’s Cathedral Square, the scale of which was somewhat daunting. The past decade and a bit has seen their team refining and developing what they want The Hambledon to be: a really good shop by any measure, uncompromising in its choices, entertaining in its presentation and always super-friendly in its approach. Yay!

They have extended womenswear into three rooms on the first floor with enough space for key British labels to rub shoulders with US and European brands without getting in a tangle. The Norman basement (once a warren of spooky stockrooms) is now a happy home for a fully fledged menswear offer.

Homeware and all its associated friends live on the ground floor.

The first mezzanine level is a brand new, and indeed quite a grown up bath and beauty department. The Tudor rooms at the rear of the building are now a stationery and book department and a project space to house temporary exhibitions and collaborations.

Old fashioned shop keeping is a brilliant, hugely varied and funny business.
And we wouldn’t want them to do anything else.

Yesterday I thought I’d actually go and look at clothes for myself instead of looking in the children’s section or the food appliances section – at John Lewis. And what an amazing surprise! They had loads of really great clothing brands – some I knew and some that weren’t so familiar. I looked around the fancy nice clothes area for ages and didn’t find anything I liked – and then I came across the mumsy-country department with Barbour, Fat Face, Seasalt and John Lewis weekend.

Well I am most definitely mumsy-country and I scanned the mumsy-country section and headed straight for White Stuff. I’d never heard of them but all their clothes were great! Lovely pretty dresses in good muted colours. They had a great little selection there – woollen skirts, knitted fairisle dresses, the best short straight skirts (over the knee and not the dreaded at the knee length) and great little jumpers – again all in good colours.

The best bit? The price. I bought a new dress, new skirt and a lovely woollen jumper for around £50 each.
Thanks White Stuff – what a brilliant discovery you are.

At the school spring fair I spied a young lad with big brown eyes wearing the most beautiful faded French vintage linen overalls. Following closely behind was his mother who could quite easy be mistaken for Amélie. The Amélie lady was wearing the most amazing woven-looking green gingham hat, and surprisingly, spoke with a slight trace of an Australian accent.

She had made her own hat. And the vintage overalls were a fleamarket find. Brenna does however make little linen jumpsuits for children, lovely hand-dyed dresses and beautiful little (well, quite big) felt dolls.

From top left clockwise: LSA Milo Jug, Mooi Five o’Clock Chair, & Small Wall Clock, LSA Rose Vase, Eichholz Corbusier Sofa

A new discovery for Lovely Shops is OCCA HOME. With a superb collection of LSA, our favourite glassware, along with a few delightful surprises, such as the mooi range – with pretty vintage rose prints on chairs and coffee tables; an amazing Corbusier sofa by Eichholz in our favourite grey and a super sweet orange wall clock by &.

Be sure to check their lovely blog for interiors features and new products.

Ollie loves Alfie
84 Stoke Newington Church St, London N16 0AP | Tel: +44 (0) 0207 241 4212

Quite a recent discovery but already a wardrobe staple. We even have a new set of rice lunchboxes for Edith’s days out.

Ashlyn curates a beautiful and thoughful collection of clothing, swimwear, shoes and accessories (read: Miffy lamps!). In fact it was the Miffy lamps in the window that made us stop the car whilst driving through Stokie one afternoon.

Since then we’re now the proud owners of beautiful party dresses, a dinosaur dress with matching leggings, a very sweet little heart skirt, brilliant flouro purple striped leggings cut on the bias and soon to be getting some beautiful soft leather sandals for summer. Not forgetting Edith’s new black togs and Astrid’s soon to be hers pink and red gingham beach ring.

Labels you can find at Olive loves Alfie include Mini Rodini, Louie Louis, Mini Numpf, Katvig, No added sugar and Nutured by Nature. Organic cotton and good colours abound.

15, rue Claude-Tillier
75012 Paris
Tél : 06 77 08 51 29

A lovely french shop we discovered today via Le Train Fantome. They stock beautifully designed pieces by designers Masanori Oji, Yumiko Sekine, Anne Flohr, Masami Akatsuka and Karin Eriksson. They also stock Fog Linen, and my favourite tea towel design by Rie Elise larsen.

They’re having a little sale on December 11th and 12th so if you are in Paris it’s definitely worth a visit.

Drats, I knew it wasn’t the H&M website I was waiting for – it was Zara. And I’ve just remembered to look today much to my delight. Beautiful dresses, knitwear, coats and jackets.

The clothes are amazingly sophisticated, beautifully cut and great lines. Our two and four year old girls will look fabulous in these dresses. The best thing is the colours – lots of muted pinks and purples as well as charcoals and black. Brilliant.

Definitely will be doing our next lot of shopping here.