Autumn Shopping in London

 

As the seasonal changes of autumn draw in there are a few essential purchases every Londoner is encouraged to invest in.  Autumn days can be bright, fresh and dry but occasionally we must suffer the gentle pitter-patter of rain as it falls on London's streets.  An umbrella is highly recommended and even a pair of water-tight Wellington boots.  Autumn is also the time to prepare for the winter ahead.  Shops are filled with this year's winter apparel.  A decent winter coat is a fine excuse for a shopping spree.  Then there is the seasonal food which one must take the opportunity to sample while autumn is upon us.  Game birds make for a mighty yummy roast.  It's not often that grouse or partridge is readily available so we recommend that while they are in season you hit the local butcher and acquire some decidedly lovely fowl. 

 
 
Autumn Shopping in London
 

Umbrellas

Sunny summer days are over and despite the more appealing seasonal changes it is an accepted fact of life that autumn rains are very much a part of autumn days.  Londoners and visitors alike need to brace themselves for the showers and, most importantly, arm themselves with a first-rate brolly to shelter under and escape from the rain.  London's shops are full of umbrellas this time of the year.  They come in a whole raft of colours and sizes.  We've put together a quick list of some particularly recommended outlets.
 
James Smith & Sons

53 New Oxford Street, WC1A
Arguably one of the most famous umbrella shops in the world, this historic establishment is incredibly prestigious. Truly the home of the London umbrella, the shop has been on New Oxford Street since 1857. Famed for equipping sophisticated Victorian ladies and gents with smart, fashionable, very sturdy umbrellas the shop is still popular today in contemporary London society. Stepping into this appealing time warp does give you an indication of what the shopping experience might have been like before the dawning of today's faceless high street offerings. Its shop front represents an exquisite example of Victorian design and has remained miraculously unaltered in 140 years. Inside, many of the intricate fittings were designed and made by a skilled fitter kept in full employment.
 
You are guaranteed to find the perfect brolly in this London institution. With wonderful handles and huge tops there is so much to choose from. Walk in and you will inevitably be met by a sea of umbrellas. Thankfully the staff are impeccably polite and will happily help you find the best umbrella to suit your needs among the myriad of high-quality models. Even today the company leads the field in using the most advances in fabrics and structure. Should a nasty gust of wind blast your brolly as you scuttle along the street, a James Smith special is guaranteed to withstand the squall. They also look rather snazzy too. Prices start at £15 per umbrella.
 
 
James Smith & Son - Information | Hotels near James Smith & Sons 
 
Swaine Adney and Brigg

54 St James's Street, SW1A
This rather exclusive establishment will happily arm London folk with a seriously upper-class, posh brolly should they be in need of one.  An incredibly timeless store, nothing seems to change here.  In addition to serving up some classy umbrellas it also sustains its business on providing excessively big hats for Ascot, tweed jackets and breeches for those city folk who like to head to the country to try their hand at blowing birds out of the sky during the shooting season, and, of course, the obligatory humungous (if slightly unnecessary) picnic hampers.  Umbrella wise, well yes they do excel.  They sell absolutely stunning, walking length umbrellas for gentleman with a choice of Malacca, hickory or cherry handles. Prices - which start at £175 (gulp) - mean you'll be positively praying for rain.
 
Even if you can’t afford it – it’s worth a look simply to pop in, stand back, look aghast and marvel at a wonderful example of British eccentricity.  Yes, there are still some people, dotted around this dear country of ours, who wear panama hats complete with private club ribbons (my grandfather for one).  I’m all in support of this shop.  It reeks of British tradition and that is definitely something London folk cling on to.  So yes, it’s a ‘spiffing’ establishment for brollies and so much more.
 
 
Swaine Adeney Brigg Ltd - Information | Hotels near Swaine Adeney Brigg Ltd 
 
Gabriela Ligenza

5 Ellis Street, SW1X
Sophisticated London ladies will be able to bag themselves a lovely umbrella in this wonderfully classy, feminine shop.  No surprise, Gabriela Ligenza is the fashion designer behind the shop.  She has a truly contemporary edge designed to bring the best out in women.  Her forte is actually hats.  Working to the principal that hats are like moving sculptures, she has designed these three-dimensional, incredibly flattering creations that when not being worn look a little plain but once on the head just look stunning.
 
The umbrellas use a selection of gentle patterns and dark colours such as grey-blues and plum and are refreshingly understated.  The handles are lovely and small for little womanly hands. They have also been exquisitely designed to be delicate and attractive.  Ligenza is keen that the umbrellas should be compact so they comfortably fit into designer handbags along with all the other essential clutter that gets crammed in.
 
 
Gabriela Ligenza - Information | Hotels near Gabriela Ligenza 
 
 
Autumn Shopping in London
 

Wellington Boots

When autumn comes, the ground can get a little bit damp and stodgy.  There's nothing more liberating than stomping through puddles, mud, bogs and mire with a nice chunky pair of Wellington boots adorning your feet.  They've taken a trendy turn in recent years but still tracking down a pair can be a challenge on the streets of London town.
   
Barbour

12 Ship Tavern Passage, Leadenhall Market, Gracechurch Street, EC3V
For sensible, sturdy Wellingtons well-suited for hardy winter wear, Barbour specialities are the obvious choice.  Since 1984, J. Barbour & Sons have produced Wellie boots perfectly suited to tramping across Hampstead Heath or weekend escapes to rural parts.  They have a commitment to quality and durability and guarantee to adorn your feet with Wellies that will last for years.
 
For ladies they offer a range of Wellie options.  You can choose the rather swanky Ladies Field Boot or simply opt for a very lovely, very ladylike pair of powder blue classic Wellingtons.  The inside is lined with pink tartan and there is a little strap at the top to tighten them round the top of your calves.  If powder blue doesn’t take your fancy you can also choose from pink, pale green, navy and olive.  For men, again they do the Field Boot – a smarter version of the average Wellie.  The also do the Country Boot which is a fairly simple Wellington boot.  It comes in only olive green and is a very good option for boys. 

All Barbour Wellies are made of rubber and are absolutely watertight.  Another reason to go for Barbour as a brand is that they are big on comfort. Wellies can be notoriously hard on delicate feet but Barbour boots work hard to mould to the feet, reduce rubbing and basically be very foot friendly.
 
 
Barbour - Information | Hotels near Barbour
 
 
Autumn Shopping in London
 

Autumn Food Shopping

When temperatures gradually drop and evening light begins to dissipate late afternoon, we look to our stomachs to provide us with comfort.  Hearty meals and seasonal fare are both highly recommended when it comes to celebrating autumn in style.  Roast dinners, seasonal game dishes and plenty of meat are traditional options. Finding an affordable, good quality butcher to get your hands on this kind of food can be tricky in London.  It's all about knowing where to go.  We've recommended three personal favourites where you can pick-up some succulent sausages and a pheasant or two. 
 
B & M Seafoods / The Pure Meat Company

258 Kentish Town Road, NW5
This small company excels in doing a whole myriad of produce exceptionally well.  As well as being a butchers and fishmongers the shop also sells some incredibly high quality poultry, game and more recently delicatessen items.  There is such an exquisite choice so you will be able to pick up some fine lumps of meat to cook up an autumnal feast at home.  The vast chillers are crammed with organic beef, duck, chicken, pheasants and succulent homemade sausages.  They also serve some seasonally spicy hickory-smoked turkey and chicken.  The turkey is particularly yummy – especially if you're warming up for the festive season.  The fish is varied and of an exceptionally high standard.  It lies stacked at the back, packed in ice and laid out in a colourful design.  They do a flaky, smoked fish speciality, while the halibut and marlin are deliciously savoury.  The deli features a broad range of cooked meats, pies and cheeses.  Incidentally, the Cornish cheese is utterly divine.
 
 
B & M Seafoods / The Pure Meat Company - Information | Hotels near B and M Seafoods, The Pure Meat Company 
 
Kingsland - The Edwardian Butchers

140 Portobello Road, W11
It’s so refreshing to stumble across family establishments in these times of faceless corporations.  This little gem is all about family.  Brothers Philip and Hadyn Field and both their sons work in the shop, while even Mrs Field busies away making all the pies.  The shop itself has been recently refurbished and has styled itself as an Edwardian butcher with good wholesome, old-fashioned values.  It’s such a friendly place and the service is wonderfully personal.
 
The choice of meat is vast.  Free range and organic, the pork is supplied from rare breeds such as Gloucester Old Spot, Middle White and British Saddleback, while beef is from Aberdeen Angus, Longhorn and Ayrshire grass-fed cattle.  They proudly carry the label of being London’s only accredited Rare Breeds Survival Trust retail outlet.

The homemade sausages come in imaginative combinations such as apricot and garlic, merguez or wild boar and apple.

Autumn is the time to sample the fine game at this butcher.  From English partridge, teal and woodcock to guinea fowl, grouse, mallard, pheasant, pigeon and even the odd peacock – the list is endless.
 
There really is so much choice, prices are reasonable and everything is served with a smile.  How very British!
 
 

Kingsland- Information | Hotels near Kingsland 
 
C. Lidgate

110 Holland Park Avenue, W11
Another family establishment, David Lidgate is the fourth generation to run the family business.  Incredibly, it was established by his great grandfather back in 1850.  Regarded as one of the best butchers in London (attested by a series of awards proudly displayed on the wall) this is a fantastic place to pick up some delicious seasonal grub.

The meat is entirely organic and the animals all organically fed.  A right royal business, among the raft of organic meats on offer you will find beef and lamb from Prince Charles’ farm at Highgrove and Aberdeen Angus beef from the late Queen Mother’s estate at Castle May.  Shoppers can also choose from a mouth-watering selection of sausages, hams, pates and quiches – all made on the premises.  The pies are also an autumn must-eat.  Lidgate actually holds the title of ‘National Pie Champion’ and justifiably so, they are made daily with fresh vegetables, homemade butter-based pastry and good cuts of meat.

In autumn months you can order from a fine selection of game birds and if you are getting geared up for Christmas early why not bagsy a turkey.  They are absolutely fantastic.
 
 
C. Lidgate - Information | Hotels near C. Lidgate 
 
 
Autumn Shopping in London
 

Winter Coats

We Londoners cannot face a winter of cold, drafty days without a thoroughly reliable, thoroughly warm and thoroughly fashionable coat.  Finding the perfect coat can be a formidable challenge.  It's such an important purchase and one doesn't want to opt for the wrong coat in desperation.  To help you on your way to coat perfection, we've selected a number of shops that are bound to serve you up a wonderful warm coat for the wintry months ahead.
 
Topshop - Coats for Ladies

36-38 Great Castle Street, W1
The high street darling o]f the fashion pack, the ever increasing popularity of Topshop knows no bounds.  They feature in our shopping articles on a regular basis but that is because the shop is just so darn good.  Surprise surprise, they go into winter coats in a big way.  Offering up a swathe of different designs, they just have so much choice.
 
The flagship store on Oxford Street is a sweet haven for girls searching for the perfect winter garb.  Their coats are, as ever, the latest designs flaunted on the catwalks.  Snazzy colours with a funky vintage edge are once again all the rage.  It's a strikingly trendy collection this year, however, they are also keen to supply a more conservative look too.  They do a sleek selection of plain, dark-coloured coats with sharp angles and exquisite fitting for those looking for sensible coats for work and smart occasions. Most importantly many of their coats are cosy and warm and will keep the winter chills at bay.
 
Be warned, the shop is huge and swarming with merciless fashion victims.  Expect the odd bit of jostling and elbowing when you do go in.  Your coat search may indeed be a bit of a hectic affair.  Opt for times when most people are at work if at all possible. 
 
 
Topshop - Information | Hotels near Topshop 
 
Paul Smith - Coats for Men

122 Kensington Park Road, W11
Paul Smith is a reliable option for boys in search of a really decent, hard-wearing but equally stylish winter coat. It is fair that this designer still leads the fashion race in popular menswear.  Launched in a tiny shop in Nottingham in 1970 he is now a global brand.  The undisputed knight of immaculate tailoring with a twist, the coats are elegant and sophisticated.  It’s nice to see this designer moving away from the normal blacks and dark browns. - they’ve some very trendy tan coloured goodies in this year.  For boys wanting a trendy coat to wear with jeans that are equally as warm, Smith is doing a knee-length sheepskin coat and a very cool khaki ranch coat.  These two are personal favourites.  There’s definitely an element of cowboy to the autumn collection.  Yee-ha.
 
Youthful but elegant, quirky but classic – Paul Smith’s assortment of casual and smart winter wear once again appears to suit the needs of fashionable men in London and across the globe.
 
 
Paul Smith - Information | Hotels near Paul Smith 
 
Ted Baker - Coats for Men and Ladies

9-10 Floral Street, Covent Garden, WC2E
Ted clothes are a zany collection of eccentric prints and soothing colours.  Come winter they always churn out a number of first-rate coats.  Although their designs do steadfastly follow fashion trends there is something so uniquely ‘Ted’ about all their items.  Many of the ladies' pretty coat designs are simply embroidered in sharp shapes and graphics.   Some even tend to be finished with distinctive frills, ruffles and sequins.  Sophisticated, practical, stylish and exceptionally high-quality these coats are some of the most sought-after garments in the capital for modish young ladies.  
 
They are exceptionally good at adorning men in sleek winter coats.   More understated than some of the ubiquitous menswear designer labels, Ted Baker combines inconspicuous elegance, comfort and fashion.  The coats are slicky tailored to fit perfectly, while the dark, soft colours add an exceptionally classy charm. 
 
Pricey? Yes, very.  However, I always perceive a winter coat as an exceptionally justifiable purchase and a bit of an investment.  If you're going to splash out on anything to do with your attire I thoroughly recommend putting stashes of cash down for a mighty fine winter coat. 
 
 
Ted Baker - Information | Hotels near Ted Baker 

Autumn in London 2006

Autumn Events in London

Autumn Events in London

After one of the hottest summers since records began, the capital's museums, galleries and events organisers must be breathing a s...

Autumn Events in London
 
 
 
Autumn Theatre in London

Autumn Theatre in London

Neon lights glimmering through mizzling rain. Friends and couples spilling from Chinatown restaurants into the early evening darkn...

Autumn Theatre in London
 
 
 
Autumn in London's Pubs

Autumn in London's Pubs

As the luxuriant green of an English summer fades into rich chocolate, coffee and auburn mounds of leaves, and the days hastily sh...

Autumn in London's Pubs
 
 
 
Halloween in London

Halloween in London

Halloween is a super spooky occasion. With tradition and customs a plenty, it's a gruesome excuse to dress up, eat pumpkin soup, r...

Halloween in London
 
 
 
Bonfire Night in London

Bonfire Night in London

"Remember, remember   The Fifth of November Gunpowder treason and plot We see no reason Why gunpowder treason Should e...

Bonfire Night in London
 
 
 
London's Indoor Autumn Attractions

London's Indoor Autumn Attractions

London is blessed with a collection of fabulous attractions nestled away from the hubbub and clamour of the busy streets. Take a l...

London's Indoor Autumn Attractions
 
 
 
Autumn Colours in London

Autumn Colours in London

London is awash with open spaces and they're primed to set themselves alight in all the splendour of autumn colour. Wander along i...

Autumn Colours in London
 
 
Autumn in London's Restaurants

Autumn in London's Restaurants

However much we claim to admire light, healthy cooking and crisp organic vegetables, the LondonTown.com restaurant team ...

Autumn in London's Restaurants
 
 
 
London's Alternative Autumn Museums

London's Alternative Autumn Museums

Having spent a long summer soaking up the sun and lazing in London's parks, the arrival of autumn sparks a mass exodus into London...

London's Alternative Autumn Museums
 
 
 
Live Music in London this Autumn

Live Music in London this Autumn

Summer's over, so banish your thoughts of festival frolics for another six months. Tell yourself - the sound's rubbish a...

Live Music in London this Autumn
 
 
 
Autumn Walks in London

Autumn Walks in London

Head to Paris or Milan to meet the designers, but it's in London's West End where you can pick up the latest designs from the worl...

Autumn Walks in London
 
 
 
London's Autumn Hotels

London's Autumn Hotels

Autumn is a beautiful season in London, and a very busy one. At the end of the day it fills the heart with pleasure to retreat to ...

London's Autumn Hotels
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
SALE
London Hotels

From cheap budget hotels to luxury 5 star suites see our discounts for hotels, including Novotel London Greenwich from 61% off.

 
 
Call now: hotel deals 0207 420 4960