Seven Dials: A Handpicked Guide
This week is positively flying by thanks to our late start on Tuesday. Have you made weekend plans already? If you’re one of my London readers, I really recommend popping by Seven Dials this Saturday as they’re holding an exciting Spring Shopping Event across over 120 boutiques, bars and restaurants. You can register for your free ticket and get 20% off over participating shops, don’t miss out!
I blogged about http://vhealthportal.com/product-category/weight-loss/ Seven Dials and St Martin’s Courtyard earlier this week and shared a colourful photo-diary of my wanders in the fashion village so, if you missed the first post in the series, just hop on over. You will be pleased to see I brought Rob along and we played a little fashion dress-up which was really quite fun (a learning curve too!).
Now, there are so many interesting brands to discover in that area of London that I’m excited to be sharing with you today my curated handpicked guide to Seven Dials. I hope it will inspire you to freshen up your wardrobe, pick up some stylish gifts for upcoming occasions at a friendlier price, or perhaps even bring to your attention the numerous pop-ups and events they’re organising this Saturday with participating boutiques.
To make things really simple, I have divided my favourites into four categories: Fashion (Blue), Accessories (Purple), Lifestyle (Orange) and Beauty (Pink), and pinned them all on a little map for easy reading. You can look at a single layer / colour on the map if you know exactly the sort of shops you’re interested in, or you can look at all of them together to get a good overview of what the area has to offer. Let’s dive right in!
My Fashion Picks in Seven Dials
I enjoyed meeting the passionate team at LOFT design by…, a French label that straddles fashion, art and literature. Their clothing is inspired by authenticity and delicate handicraft, which really translates in the design of the space, the poetry dotted everywhere, and their commitment to using natural, organic and recycled fabric for their garments. They stock both menswear, womenswear and accessories.
Another great discovery for me was the American brand Eileen Fisher and I have to say, I was smitten the minute I set foot in the store. The design of the pieces is quite simple, but so chic. It is pretty much the wardrobe of the woman I want to be when I grow up, even if that sounds like a silly statement. Classy, comfortable, and quietly confident. Sustainability is at the heart of their brand and it really shows.
The White Company makes an unexpected appearance here, because disclosure: it’s a brand that I was familiar with but didn’t necessarily saw in my home or wardrobe. However, I have to say I really liked their Womenswear Summer collection, which was all breton stripes and light palette. They also have an interiors range with candles and homewares, including outdoors staples to refresh your garden or terrace. Worth a visit!
A deep authentic love of the sea runs through the narrative of Cornwall label Finisterre, and they are passionate about innovation as well as working hand in hand with British artisans. Their range is both for men and women and features pieces originally inspired by and designed for cold water surfing. They have a relaxed cafe in the shop, and host regular talks and events (the last one was with freediver Hanli Prinsloo).
I can’t list fashion favourites without mentioning Carhartt, a brand Rob is so loyal to, dating all the way back to his years of skateboarding (you heard that right). This is basically the safe bet for me every time I need to get a gift for Rob; he loves their shirts and knitwear in particular. Just across the street, Super Superficial is really worth popping into, their tees, shirts and hoodies feature quirky, witty and colourful designs by a variety of artists and designers.
Finally, if you’re looking for really cool sportswear and footwear, you need to give Le Coq Sportif a visit. They had so many trendy and colourful paris of sneakers in there, plus I wanted their whole women sportswear section even though my yoga practice is at best intermittent (at the moment at least). Am I the kind of person who would consider giving running a go just because I would have a cool outfit? I might just well be.
My Accessories Picks in Seven Dials
Another French label I’m happy to see cross the channel is Les Néréides. The design duo behind it started making their distinctive whimsical jewellery in the 1980s and they have taken the world by storm since then. This was my boutique of choice in Avignon every time I wanted to make an original birthday or Christmas gift and I’m sure you will fall in love with their pieces, featuring lots of pastel colours and miniature figurines.
I am also slightly head over heels with stylish and retro eyewear brand Bailey Nelson since I walked into their shop; their frames are gorgeous and at a set price of £98 including for prescription glasses, frankly they are a steal. Give me all the tortoiseshell. The shop is lovingly decorated with vintage memorabilia and I am just this close to getting a pair for myself. Specsavers? Never again.
Last but not least, I met watchmakers Larsson and Jennings and their delightful minimalism. Their unisex pieces range from classic to very contemporary and they are all equally good-looking. A crossover between Stockholm and London aesthetics, the range pays tribute to the vibe and culture of both cities and marries elements from each right down to the materials used in the production process.
My Beauty Picks in Seven Dials
As you can see, I didn’t pick a lot of beauty favourites but I promise the ones I am highlighting are really worth knowing. First off, Caudalie: a beloved French skincare brand from Bordeaux that you may be familiar with if you are a beauty lover. This family business has built an empire on the organic goodness of grape-seeds and it is a staple in our pharmacies and beauty cabinets in France. Whatever your skin problem is: a dull complexion, ageing, dark spots or scars, Caudalie can fix it. At the reins of the Seven Dials boutique is Jean-Alex and he is so passionate and knowledgeable about the range that it’s a little humbling, say hi from me if you pop by.
I am also fond of Neal’s Yard Remedies who have been Covent garden residents for over 30 years already. They have an old-school apothecary approach to health and beauty, except with really nice and contemporary packaging basically! You can find all the good stuff here: a great and affordable body range (Lavender! Mandarine! Bee Soap!), all the healthy tea you could ever want to try, and an exhaustive aromatherapy range. Also, you cannot go wrong with their gift sets, so I recommend paying them a visit.
My Lifestyle Picks in Seven Dials
Want to take a little break away from the crowd of shoppers? Head to the swoon-worthy Covent Garden Academy of Flowers. With delicate arrangements cascading from the shelves and stunning colourful bouquets everywhere you look, this place is begging to be Instagrammed. They stock a small interiors range and can assist with events, weddings etc. And if your heart beats faster at the idea of flower art, then you might be interested in their classes.
You might not be a graphic designer, art student or architect but I dare you to spend less than twenty minutes in the London Graphic Centre. From all the supplies you could ever need for studio projects to beautiful independent magazines, novelty gifts, notebooks and a range of accessories made from recycled material, I guarantee this shop will wake up your appetite for getting your craft on.
If you love records you will have recognised Fopp as I blogged about it before. Here you can grab all the music, films and tech. There is a passionate team behind the till so don’t hesitate to ask for suggestions, or you can do like me and pick something at random, because sometimes the best thing is to discover something entirely for the sake of broadening your musical horizons (unlike on Spotify).
The beloved and iconic Magma Books is so much more than a bookshop and a regular stop for Rob and I every time we are in the area. A curated selection of beautiful things to read, see and do, you can tell there is a terrific design flair at play here because it is hard to find something in the store that you don’t respond positively to. From the jewellery to the DIY kits, the tote bags, the homewares, and some great art and design books, if you are culturally curious, you will fall in love with Magma.
And to wrap up this post I have to tell you about the DO shop, which astonishingly I had never visited until last weekend and that has shot up to the top of my favourite interiors shops in London. And where should I start? With the beautiful and affordable design pieces they have lovingly curated for their originality and affordability? With their championing of small makers and creatives? To make is simple, if you are a design lover and didn’t know about this shop either, do yourself a favour and let’s rectify that.
That’s all folks!
I hope you have enjoyed this collaboration feature with Seven Dials and St Martin’s Courtyard, it’s really been a pleasure for me to work with them and I hope that whether you visit this Saturday May 9th for the Spring Shopping Event or at any other time this year, my handpicked guide and little map will come in handy; please don’t hesitate to share it if you know someone who would enjoy it!
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