the old chriosity shop london shopfronts book feature image

Lovely London Shopfronts Book Launches Today

Discover the London Shopfronts book, which launches today. It’s more than just pages and ink; it’s a chronicle of the City’s heart. You’ll be taken on a nostalgic journey through London’s iconic storefronts, evoking the memories of the many pubs, bakeries, clubs and eccentric shops you might have visited. Destined for your coffee table, it promises countless hours of entertaining conversations with friends.

london shopfronts book cover

“London Shopfronts is more than a book, it’s a living testament to the city’s ever-evolving legacy,” Homegirl London.

Introducing the London Shopfronts Book

Following his commendable effort with NYC Storefronts, Joel Holland brings to life the distinct essence of London. He captures the City that seamlessly blends antiquity with modernity and tradition with idiosyncrasy. With a uniquely British touch, London Shopfronts compartmentalises the City into five easily traversable sections: Central, North, East, South and West. Each unravels a multitude of shops, depicted through Holland’s delightful illustrations and complemented by the enthralling descriptions by London’s own Rosie Hewitson.

rio cinema london shopfronts book

This collection spans over 200 storefronts and paints the rich tapestry of London’s history. It captures the City’s heart, from elegant bookshops and old-fashioned umbrella stores to contemporary eateries and boutiques.

james smith and sons umbrellas london shopfronts book

The book highlights many of London’s most loved gems, from the old-school chippy Fryer’s Delight to The Old Curiosity Shop built in 1567, the LGBTQ+ legendary institution Gay’s The Word bookshop to the family-run Punjabi restaurant Tayyabs. Then you have one of London’s oldest surviving cinemas, Rio in Dalston, not to mention the iconic establishments of Liberty, Harrods and Fortnum & Mason.

My Favourite Shopfronts

With over 200 shopfronts, I’d like to spotlight a few personal favourites. First, we have Rowan’s Tenpin Bowl, a hallmark of Finsbury Park, where I’ve lived for over two decades. Mention Finsbury Park to anyone, and Rowan’s is bound to come up.

rowans tenpin bowling london shopfronts book

Then there’s the unique Attendant Coffee I recently featured on my blog. Imagine sipping coffee in a refurbished public lavatory, where the legacy of the Doulton & Co. porcelain urinals and the ironwork entrance persists.

attendant coffee london shopfronts book

And who could forget the legendary Beigel Bake on Brick Lane, established in 1855? It’s a relic from the times before Brick Lane turned hipster. A few steps away, its counterpart, the Beigel Shop, traces its roots back to the same family, but they are now rivals. While the former is renowned for its delectable Jewish-style bagels, the latter claims to be Brick Lane’s original beigel bakery. I encourage you to embark on a tasting spree to decide your favourite.

beigel bake london shopfronts book

The London Shopfronts book is published by Prestel and launches on 25 September 2023. The 176-page hardback edition is £19.99 (ISBN: 978-3-7913-8915-8). It’s perfect for birthday gifts, thank you presents, Christmas stocking fillers and just because you like someone and they love London!

Author: Homegirl London. Photographs: Courtesy of London Shopfronts.