Aeons ago I lived in London. In the arc of my life thus far it was for a relatively short period – a mere seven years. I loved living there but paradoxically only truly appreciated all London has to offer after my return to Ireland when world-class major museums, great art collections, a slew of shops, and a plethora of theatres were no longer a short tube or bus ride away. Not of course that Dublin doesn’t have a humongous amount to offer but the relative sizes of the two cities (Greater London population nearly eight million: Greater Dublin population not yet two million) means that Dublin is never going to provide the same vast array of choices that London does.
However too much choice is often overwhelming. So when I go back to visit London and have some spare time to shop, rather than visiting a monolithic department stores or an über busy and homogenous retail area a prefered shopping destination is Marylebone High Street. Of course it was there back in day when I lived in the metropolis but it was then an uninviting place: it has been much smartened up since I left and is now filled with an electic mix of shops, cafés and restaurants.
Marylebone High Street, which is north of Oxford Street, is the retail oasis that it is today thanks to the Howard de Walden Estate who own manage and lease not just the High Street but also approximately ninety acres of the surrounding district. They say on their website that they used ‘ creative management techniques’ to bring about ‘the striking and imaginative regeneration’ of the area. On Marylebone High Street they achieved an interesting and approved mix of tenants by targeting independent retailers rather than the big chains.
Many of my favourite shops have a branch on Marylebone High Street: Agnès B (I wrote about Agnès B here); Skandium (a retail haven filled with the best of Scandanavian design); Divertimenti (a wonderful kitchenware/tableware shop); The Conran Shop; Daunt Books … I was in London briefly last week and had an hour to spare to ‘do’ Marylebone High St. The beauty of the place is that an hour is fine but I could also very happily spend a full day there. For the record I broke one of my self-imposed shopping rules about not purchasing anything on impulse and bought a blouse in Agnès B.
11 responses to “Marylebone High Street”
Hi B this makes me want to drop all and pay London a long overdue visit. H
Hi H and thank you very much for your comment. I hope you get to make that trip to London soon. Bx
I love this street!!!! And just around the corner is The Fromagerie and the Ginger Pig. I go there whenever I am in London….I need to go back soon.
It’s a great street isn’t it – I have never been in The Ginger Pig but I will check it out on my next trip.
I think I walked through there when we visited London.. I crave shops like those and can lost in them for hours!! xo Smidge
It is such a lovely street to stroll down and to nip in and out of the various shops. Like you I love small independent shops. Thanks for your comment. B xo
which is the shop you feature with the lovely table and chairs? it looks great.
Hi Ursula the shop with the lovely table and chairs is called Skandium and I love looking around it – they have such great stock. They have a website and another branch in London (Brompton Road).
I love your pictures. We spent a week in London on our recent trip but didn’t make it to Marylebone High Street. One needs a year or two or seven to really see the sights.
Thanks and I am looking forward to reading about your London adventures.
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