4 December 2011
Lamb's Conduit Street
Lamb's Conduit Street, for those of you who do not know, is situated in Bloomsbury between Holborn and Coram Fields. It continues north across Theobald's Road from Red Lion Street and roughly forms the western edge of some of the oldest Georgian Streets in London, namely Doughty Street, John Street, St James' Street and especially Bedford Row which, I am told, contains one of the oldest complete Georgian houses in London (or something like that – please feel free to put me right about this – I seem to recall either Dan Cruikshank or Maxwell Hutchinson talking about this on a TV programme years ago).
This area is great for those one-off gifts – a shopping experience very unlike Oxford Street. And nothing at all like Westfield (ech spit).
Ignoring the prescence of one of the major coffee chains (ech spit 2), Lamb's Conduit Street, and adjoining Rugby Street, boasts a range of independent shops offering all sorts of wonderful things – groceries, homewares, gifts, books, bicycles, lingerie, food, alcohol, curiosities, clothes and proper coffee. Plus a chemist, a florist a funeral director, and a community-run supermarket. So much in such a small area.
Every time I visit the street I wish I lived closer to it. Years ago I had the option of buying a flat near this area and I let someone talk me out of the idea. What a fool I was! Did I mention the good pubs and choice of restaurants too?
There's a late night shopping event coming up soon on Friday 9th December. The shops will be open until 8pm and there will be mulled wine on offer.
Actually, don't tell too many people about this gem... please only tell the lovely people who will appreciate it. We don't have enough areas like this left in London – I remember when Camden Parkway was similarly special... sigh.