Posted by: hiddenlondon | April 16, 2012

Hidden London Top 5…Specialist Bookshops

Inspired by this lovely photo essay at Mark and Marianne, and to celebrate the survival of Londoners’ love of books, a listing of five of London’s fabulous specialist bookshops!

1.  Stanfords

This specialist in travel books and maps was opened by Edward Stanford in Covent Garden in the mid 1800’s, and in it’s current position on Long Acre since 1901.  Stanford was orignally the only map seller in London and he also commissioned a team of surveyors to make the first accurate map of London.  As well as maps, the shop stocks an impressive collection of guide books and travel literature.  It also plays host to writers at an excellent series of events and now has Sacred, a coffee bar near the back entrance to the store, serving some of London’s best coffee!

Stanfords, 12-14 Long Acre, Covent Garden, London, WC2E 9LP.

2.  Books for Cooks

Hundreds of books covering every cuisine you can think of. If you need a little inspiration in the kitchen or fancy having a go at that dish you loved on your holiday, then this is the place. And there’s a even café at the back where they host events and experiment with the recipes from the books!

Books for Cooks, 4 Blenheim Crescent, Notting Hill, London, W11 1NN

3.   The Lion and Unicorn Bookshop

A children’s bookshop with freindly and knowledgeable staff.  The shop has been on this spot near Richmond Green since 1977, hosting events with leading children’s writers and inspiring generations of readers.

The Lion & Unicorn Bookshop, 19 King Street, Richmond, Surrey TW9 1ND

4.   The Persephone Bookshop

Persephone are publishers of previously out of print works, mainly neglected fiction and non-fiction by women, for women and about women.  The books themselves are beautiful to hold and to look at with their distinctive grey covers and fabric print end covers chosen to reflect the content of the book.  The offices of the company also house the tiny shop, which sells all of Persephone’s titles.  It sits on Lambs Conduit Street, which a lovely spot for discovering a little Hidden London of your own!

The Persephone Bookshop, 59 Lamb’s Conduit Street   London WC1N 3NB

5.  Grant and Cutler

A specialist foreign-language bookseller, Grand and Cutler was established in 1936.  It is now housed within Foyles (itself a great independent bookshop established in 1903), and claims to represent all living languages from Afrikaans to Zulu!  You can find the store on the first floor of Foyles.

Grant & Cutler at Foyles 113-119 Charing Cross Road London WC2H 0EB



  1. I love Stanfords.

  2. Lovely post, I have spent time in all but the last one of these 🙂

    • Good to hear from a fellow lover of a good bookshop!

  3. […] hankering after the literary life, the area does still retain a collection of bookshops, including Persephone Books. Share this:RedditFacebookStumbleUponTwitterEmailLike this:LikeBe the first to like this […]

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