Autumn is the time of the year where everything seems to slow down a little, the time to enjoy a good book with a cup of tea in front of a warming fire. London has many wonderful independent bookstores to get inspiration from and to spend countless hours browsing. Below is a small list of the bookshops that I treasure most but there are many more incredible bookstores to get lost in!
Foyles is one of those bookstores where it is easy to lose track of time. It is one of the largest bookstores in the UK with an impressive collection that is spread over four levels. The choice is almost endless, I love their recommendations as well as their knowledgable staff. This is always the place I go to when I do not know what to read next – there is no chance that I leave without a book under my arm.
On the fifth floor is Foyles cafe which is a lovely place to sit down and flip open the first pages of a newly acquired book. Foyles also hosts literary and music events and has a nice selection of classical music as well as Jazz in Ray’s Corner.
Foyles, 107 Charing Cross Road, London, WC2H 0DT
Persephone Books is an exceptional bookstore in Bloomsbury that specialises in the reprinting and selling of out of print books from the mid 20th century. The focus is especially on the work of female writers that otherwise may have been forgotten. Their books are utterly beautiful, wrapped in elegant light grey jackets with patterned endpapers and matching book marks. This is the place to go to find something special with books that you cannot find just anywhere. It is also worth looking out for their events.
Persephone Books, 59 Lamb’s Conduit Street, London WC1N 3NB
London Review Bookshop is another bookstore located in the intellectual and literary stronghold of Bloomsbury. Only a stones throw away from the British Museum it offers a wide range of books from classic to contemporary fiction, cookbooks, children’s books and a host of events.
I love their restaurant that offers real tasty food – I had a delicious Spinach & Chickpea Dahl with black olive dressing and bread at my last visit – exactly what I needed that day!
London Review Bookshop,14 Bury Place, London, WC1A 2JL
Books for Cooks is my absolute favourite bookstore as a foodie – a book store entirely dedicated to cook books! Located just off the famous Portobello Road in Notting Hill. Hundreds of cook books from all over the world are on offer – it is impossible not to get hungry while browsing … Thankfully Books for Cooks has a test kitchen at the back of the store with casual tables where hungry readers can have a 2 course set lunch for the incredible price of £5, for an additional £2 you can choose one of their tasty cakes and for wine lovers Eric Treuvill, co owner of the shop offers wine from his own biodynamic vine yard.
The atmosphere is almost like spending lunch with friends or family. If you come in alone you are seated with others which makes for lovely conversations. Once the food is gone its gone – you have to come in on time (lunch starts at 12 pm sharp – only weekdays, except Mondays) to make sure to get a seat. Dishes change daily and are chosen from one of the cook books in store.
For me one of London’s best kept secrets!
Books for Cooks, 4 Blenheim Crescent, Notting Hill, London W11 1NN