Where to Find Top Vintage Treasures on Portobello Road

31 May 18
Visiting London

Where to Find Top Vintage Treasures on Portobello Road

31 May 18

If you’re looking for something a little more eclectic than the trinkets found in chain stores the world over, Portobello Road’s vintage shops have bags of character, baskets of charm, and are a favourite among Londoners and visitors alike. Famous for its antiques emporiums and independent collectors, allow our guide to point you in the direction of Portobello Road’s best vintage stores.

Alice’s: Curious curios

No one can wander past Alice’s charismatic red awning without being drawn in by the attractive bric-a-brac that clamours outside. Faux antique crates, old marmalade jars (an apt nod to the shop’s cameo in the 2014 Paddington film—the bear has a taste for the tangy conserve), quirky signage, flamingo garden décor and huge, leather-bound books all vie for attention here, and there’s much more inside. Our favourite? The vast collection of busy chintz Heron Cross Pottery teapots.


One of a Kind: Vintage couture

Its rails groan with Chanel, Gucci and Christian Dior. Its shoe racks gleam with old-world couture heavyweights that continue to sharpen fashion’s cutting edge. Those who appreciate timeless (and priceless!) fashion will adore the gold and pearl-studded treasures within One of a Kind, Portobello Road’s vintage fashion trophy. All who enter are in good company; supermodel Kate Moss and actress Sienna Miller have been known to emerge from the exclusive back room, where the shop’s most coveted pieces are guarded.

Collectors Prints: Rare wall-art

Design buffs should head to the Collectors Prints stall on a Saturday, when Portobello Road’s vintage and antiques market sets up in the street. You’ll discover a fantastic collection of rare posters and prints in stall-owner Jeremy’s collection. Whether it’s a charming seaside-themed La Vie Parisienne print, a Disneyland magazine cover—complete with the Big Bad Wolf—from the 1970s or a vintage botanical lithograph, you’ll find it in his fun-to-browse collection.


Henry Gregory: Vintage suitcases

For the more discerning antiques collector, Henry Gregory’s curation of gracious sports paraphernalia lovingly rescued from the Victorian era certainly delights. With tennis rackets from the 1920s and early 1900s Oxford and Cambridge painted rowing oars, as well as trophies, equestrian collectables and ice skates, it’s an athlete’s dream. But it’s actually luggage that Henry Gregory prides itself on. From leather Gladstones to steamer trunks and charming hat boxes, you may well find a vintage Louis Vuitton stacked in among its collectables.

Atlam Watches: Pocket watches, of course!

Keeping the eccentric spirit of Portobello Road alive is Atlam Watches, which specialises in antique pocket watches. While most of us are syncing our Apple Watch or replacing our Fitbit strap, Atlam is keeping time with beautiful handheld watches dating back as far as the 17thcentury. Bob, who runs the shop during the week, is happy to show you around its charming collection.


Honest Jons: Hard-to-find records

Vinyl junkies will marvel at Honest Jons’ sprawling collection of musical treasures, ranging from old-school jazz, soul and blues to trip hop and techno. A stalwart of the London music scene since 1974, this record store has weathered the digital storm with dignity, and its lovely to see its sharp, own-label LPs are on sale alongside its vintage vinyl.


Feature images © ellepistock/iStock; lillisphotography/iStock; rugby mouth/iStock; Henry Gregory; Honest Jons 

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