Tag Archives: shopping guide

Pimlico and Belgravia second-hand guide

So, I have a friend who works in Belgravia and she’s been telling me about this cluster of great charity shops in the area. I rarely go to this part of town as I quickly become fed up with the stiff upper lip “I-buy-all-my food-at Harvey Nic’s-foodhall” segment that seem to populate the white stucco houses.

But, armed with a map, we decided it was time for an excursion. First we headed for the Red Cross Shop in Ebury Street. I’ve been to this one before, around 3 years ago and it hasn’t really changed: it’s small and quite overpriced but has a decent selection of clothes and accessories. We spotted a nice Courregès coat but it cost 80 pounds and had a big stain on it. No way. It’s one of these shops where you might be lucky but be prepared to pay the price.

Verdict: 2 1/2 out of 5 stars

Red Cross, 81 Ebury Street

Then we left Belgravia and walked past Victoria and towards Pimlico until we found Warwick Way, where four charity shops lie almost side by side.

First up on the righthand side is Hospices of Hope (charity that provides care for terminally ill children and adults in Romania). Very nice and quite spacious shop with a good and broad selection of clothes and accessories and a bit of bric-à-brac and furniture. Reasonable prices.

Verdict: 3 1/2 out of 5 stars

Hospices of Hope, 40 Warwick Way

Next up, on the opposite side, was the Sue Ryder Care shop (charity that provides care for people with terminal or long-term conditions). Ok little shop with a small and a bit boring selection. Prices are reasonable.

Verdict: 2 1/2 out of 5 stars.

Sue Ryder Care, 35 Warwick Way

Stay on that side of the road and a bit further down you find a very nice Oxfam shop. Upstairs are clothes, shoes and accessories for her and him and downstairs you’ll find the books & bric-à-brac. Quite a good and big selections with many high-end brands. Prices are ok but not low. I found two very nice big (and brand new) white tea mugs for 5 pounds.

Verdict: 4 out of 5 stars

Oxfam, 15 Warwick Way

Last up on this street is the neighbour shop, the Fara Charity Shop (Fara works with orphaned and abandoned kids in Romania). I honestly don’t know how great this shop normally is, but the day we went they had an amazing 1 pound sale and my friend and I both picked up very nice silk dresses (will show you later).

Verdict: 4 out of 5 stars (because of the amazingly cheap prices)

Fara, 13 Warwick Way

After that you turn left and walk up Upper Tachbrook Street. If you’re feeling tired and need to boost your blood sugar levels (or maybe you’re accompanied by some kids that you need to bribe)  you should pop into this lovely candy & chocolate store, Chocodeli – apparently the have a miniature train running under the roof, how magical is that…

Enough about candy. We had a more important mission, as we were heading for Retromania further down the street. It doesn’t look like a charity shop at all, more like one of the many annoying and privately owned “vintage” stores where everything is sooo retro and “hand-picked” and priced accordingly. But this is actually another Fara charity shop. And yes, the things have been handpicked and the prices are a bit higher than in your average charity shop but at least you know that your money goes towards a charity.

I loved the cosy dark and cave-like interior with rows of 70’s jumpsuits, fancy hats and sequined dresses. The staff was very nice too. This is where I found my (already very) beloved animal print scarf.

Verdict: 4 1/2 out of 5 stars

Retromania, 6 Upper Tachbrook Street

Last, but not least, we headed for Churton Street. We were aiming for the brilliant Crusaid Shop (Crusaid supports people living with and affected by HIV and AIDS). But alas! they had just locked the door when we arrived. After taking a look at our sad faces the two guys behind the counter let us in any way for a quick browsing. Lovely, lovely shop with a good selection (lots of designer brands, and apparently they often get never-used donations from various high-end designers like Ralph Lauren and Nicole Farhi).

Behind the counter was the most cheerful and energetic charity shop manager I’ve ever met. We both left the shop with a smile on our face after that encounter. Clothes, accessories etc. are in the front and the back room has been made into a cosy library, where you can test drive your books before you buy them.

Verdict: 5 out of 5 stars

Crusaid, 19 Churton Street

Second-hand guide to St. John’s Wood

Photo: Mette Bassett

Så er tiden kommet til at introducere jer for et af mine yndlingsområder i London, når det gælder genbrugsshopping. På hovedgaden i St. Johns Wood i det nordvestlige London, St. Johns Wood High Street bor nemlig tre gode butikker. Er du på ferie i London, så er der også meget mere end genbrug at komme efter i området, som ligger side om side med legendariske Abbey Road og ikke langt fra det smukke kanalområde, Little Venice.

St. John’s Wood er nobelt og pænt og befolket af en blanding af ældre damer iført stram overlæbe og højt hår og mænd i små sorte Porscher. Her er tale om “ooooold money” og lejligheder der går i arv gennem generationer. Til gengæld følger den gode smag ikke altid med pengene, så gaden er også fyldt med halvdårlige cafeer, der har haft succes med at installere et par italienske søjler og skråskrift på menukortet og på den måde skruet priserne i vejret.

English: Time has come to introduce you to one of my favourite second-hand shopping destinations in London. St. Johns Wood High Street is home to three shops that are worth the detour. The quiet area makes a nice change from the busy centre and while you’re there you can also cross the famous Abbey Road and see beautiful Little Venice – both areas are within walking distance.

The St. John’s Wood area is affluent and noble, and to be honest quite boring with  a snooty atmosphere. We’re talking oooooold money and women with high hair and stiff upper lips, men in black Porsches and overpriced cafées that are trying to justify their inflated prices by serving French-inspired food and writing their menues in cursive. But hey, their second-hand shops are great!

Photo: Mette Bassett

MEN, men, men. Der er mærkevarer i omløb i områdets genbrugsbutikker. Start i den nordlige ende i nr. 86 i St. John’s Hospice, som er klart den bedste af de tre. Her har jeg fundet alt fra Thierry Mugler jakke til Loewe toilettaske og en Burberry jakke til 30 pund. Personalet er ikke super venligt, hvilket er en skam. De har åbent alle ugens syv dage. 4 1/2 ud af 5 stjerner.

English: Start your second-hand expedition in North in number 86, St. John’s Hospice. This is the best of the three shops and where I’ve found a Thierry Mugler blazer, a Loewe cosmetic bag and a dirt cheap Burberry trench (30 pounds). Not the friendliest of staff though, and that is a shame. 4 1/2 out of 5 stars.

Photo: Mette Bassett

Næste butik ligger på den modsatte side, lidt længere henne og hedder Octavia Foundation. Det er den dårligste af butikkerne og priserne er ofte ret høje. Her har jeg dog fundet en Moschino-taske, læderbukser og sko fra Ferragamo. De har flere butikker i London og du kan følge deres sortiment på Twitter. 3 ud af 5 stjerner.

English: The next shop is one of the Octavia Foundation’s many shops. It is not that good, as their prices tend to be too high and the stock doesn’t change that often. I have managed to find a Moschino vinyl bag, leather trousers and Ferragamo shoes here. You can keep up to date with the foundation’s different charity shops on Twitter. 3 out of 5 stars.

Photo: Mette Bassett

Og her er den sidste. Denne to-delte Oxfam sælger bøger i den ene afdeling og tøj og tilbehør i den anden. Fin lys og velholdt butik, hvor sortimentet ikke er stort, men til gengæld nemt at overskue. Her har jeg fundet tonsvis af bøger, Moschino-ørenringe og andet godt. 4 ud af 5 stjerner.

English: Last up is this lovely Oxfam shop. It’s divided into two parts: one for books and one for clothes etc. It’s bright and clean and it’s easy to navigate through their stock as it’s never cluttered. I’ve bought a lot of great books here plus a pair of vintage Moschino earrings. 4 out of 5 stars.

Photo: Mette Bassett

Og kan du overhovedet ikke holde genbrug ud, så er der også en håndfuld andre fine butikker på gaden, blandt andet Gerard Darel og det dejlige, og ikke alt for dyre, engelske økomærke Neal’s Yard.

English: And if you just can’t stand charity shops: don’t despair and pop in at one of the other nice shops on the high street such as the Gerard Darel shop or British eco skincare brand Neal’s Yard.

Photo: Mette Bassett

Go’ shoppetur! Og husk den gyldne regel om at des oftere du kigger forbi, des større chance er der for at gøre et fantastisk fund.
Enjoy your shopping! And remember the golden rule: the more often you stop by the shops, the bigger your chances of finding a second-hand treasure.