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  • Writer's pictureJoanne Hodgson

Explore London with London Shopfronts!

A copy of London Shopfronts by Joel Holland is lying on a wooden floor and surrounded by plants and a light up London Underground sign

London really is one of my favourite places, and you can now see it from a whole new perspective with a brand-new and beautiful art book which published this week in the UK through Prestel.

Illustrator Joel Holland’s previous book was a collection of illustrations of New York’s most iconic stores, lovingly drawn over the course of Covid lockdown when he couldn’t see them for himself. He has now brought our fair capital to life in his charming style in this new volume.

Each drawing is accompanied by a description written by Time Out London’s Events Editor, Rosie Hewitson, giving you a little insight into the history of that particular business.

Some of the featured businesses are world-famous and others are tucked away, quirky staples of daily London life. Everything from restaurants to florists, huge department stores to tiny specialist shops selling everything from books to Sylvanian Families… this really is a treasure trove of all the delights you can find in London town.

The book is divided up by five different areas of the city: North, South, East, West and Central. As well as the stunning artwork, you can use this as a guide to exploring both the busy central sections and the lesser-known areas of the city. Whether you want to get to know the shops from the comfort of your own sofa or actually take a trip to see them with your own eyes, I guarantee you will find out things about London you never knew before! I’ve lived near London for over 15 years and suddenly saw it in a whole new light whilst reading this book. For example, given how often I am in Holborn, I’m a little embarrassed to admit that I’ve walked past James Smith and Sons Umbrellas countless times and never realised the shop was there! It’s a timely reminder to stop and look around more as I make my way through the streets.

This really is the most beautiful of books about London, and I’ve made a list of a fair few bookshops I haven’t been to before to visit in the coming months! I recently took the book with me to explore Central London; you can take a peek at some of the businesses I visited on my Instagram and TikTok!

With the festive season nearly upon us, London Shopfronts will make the perfect gift for those in your life who love all things about this most historic, diverse and lively of cities. You can order a copy now using the affiliate link below:

My thanks go to Prestel and Midas PR for an advance edition of this stunning book; it is one I will return to time and time again.


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