London, England is an eclectic mix of trends and styles, fabulous taste in food and a passion for the arts. And there’s no better place to enjoy all three than on a stroll down Carnaby Street, the fabulous and ultra-famous pedestrianized shopping precinct nestling in London’s Soho district. It literally rubs shoulders with the exclusive shopping scenes of Oxford Street and Regent Street, with their upmarket and designer trends, and it’s just a stone’s throw from the Charing Cross transportation hub.
Carnaby Street is a haven for followers of Mod fashion, and the townhouses that the street originally grew from, which now accommodate fashionable and unique boutiques, are as eclectic in style and structure as the products they are home to. Step inside mnini, an unusual portal for independent designers of everything; from accessories and handbags, to handcrafted apple-pie flavoured white chocolate – organic, no less! Or take a peek inside Liberty’s, where I remember buying a blue lipstick once upon a time, for no reason other than I didn’t have one already!
Recent years have seen the introduction of modern chain brand stores to this exclusive locale, but Carnaby Street is still the place to go for unusual style and creativity. While you’re there, and if you’re weary, stop and sample some traditional ‘pub grub’ in the Shakespeare’s Head, a conventional English watering hole and restaurant. The food is a fine example of how a pub should be, with fish and chips fighting a never-ending popularity contest against a plate of roast beef and potatoes. The menu here is, honestly, about as English as you can get. Overall, for visitors to London, a visit to Carnaby Street isn’t just about grabbing some London retail therapy. It’s about the lifestyle experience that comes with it.
Written by: Fiona Galloway, Editor