Daunt Books

While Daunt’s originally concentrated on travel books, its branches now stock books on a huge range of subjects and their staff are most unusually helpful and informative. The atmosphere in all shops is almost dangerously agreeable – dangerous to the pocket, that is. The original branch in Marylebone High Street is ‘the most beautiful bookshop in London’, according to The Daily Telegraph.

Hours Monday ~ Saturday 9.00 ~ 19.30. Sunday 11.00 ~ 18.00. The Belsize Park branch is open an hour longer on Sunday. Check their web-site at www.dauntbooks.co.uk

Daunt Books

While Daunt’s originally concentrated on travel books, its branches now stock books on a huge range of subjects and their staff are most unusually helpful and informative. The atmosphere in all shops is almost dangerously agreeable – dangerous to the pocket, that is. The original branch in Marylebone High Street is ‘the most beautiful bookshop in London’, according to The Daily Telegraph.

Hours Monday ~ Saturday 9.00 ~ 19.30. Sunday 11.00 ~ 18.00. The Belsize Park branch is open an hour longer on Sunday. Check their web-site at www.dauntbooks.co.uk

Booth’s Supermarkets

Founded in 1847 and still run by the same family, Booths has 26 branches in Lancashire, Cheshire, Yorkshire and Cumbria. It prides itself on selling as much locally grown food as it can (80% of its fresh meat is locally produced). It frequently wins awards, including several from CAMRA, the International Wine Challenge Award and the Food and Farming Industry.

All staff share in the company’s profits and are free of the menace of stress-inducing piped music. This helps to make the stores agreeable places in which to shop or to work.

N.B. The map shows the central office. For the time being, please use the store locator at the URL shown below.

A family-run chain of supermarkets with a human face in northwest England.
www.booths-supermarkets.co.uk

Heywood Hill

Founded more than 70 years ago, this is one of London’s smallest bookshops and one of the most elegant and individual in the world. It is also one of the most delightfully old-fashioned, with receipts written out by hand.
Old and new books jostle for space but, if you cannot find what you are looking for, one of the hugely urbane staff will order it. Not a place to go if you are looking for ‘three-for-the-price of two’ best-sellers or for memoirs purportedly written by footballers or superchefs, but a quiet reserve for true bibliophiles. Open traditional hours – no 24/7 mania here.

London’s most individual bookshop

Lidls Supermarkets

It may surprise some people that Lidl, the famous cost-cutting chain of supermarkets, is free of piped music, but it should not.
Piped music is an unnecessary extra expense for a chain that concentrates on low prices.
Lidl stores, if not luxurious, are therefore pleasant to shop in – far more so than muzac-polluted places such as Somerfield or Asda. Lidl staff, being free from the stress of unwanted music being forced on them, are actually more likely to be relaxed and helpful.

Lidl’s: a muzac-free discount supermarket chain
For details and locations of their stores visit www.lidl.co.uk/uk/home.nsf/pages/c.service.s.sts.index

John Lewis/Waitrose chain of stores

No real need to say anything about this famous and excellent chain of department stores and supermarkets run on cooperative principles (all the people working in them share in the profits) except that the chain has been growing steadily for many years – at least in part because of the lack of piped music. Their no-music policy has recently been confirmed.

The John Lewis chain of department stores and the associated chain of c. 150 Waitrose supermarkets are free of piped music.
For details of branches visit http://waitrose.com/branchfinder or call free 0800 188884.

London Review Bookshop

Just down a street opposite the British Museum, the London Review Bookshop is a gem.

Just down a street opposite the British Museum, the London Review Bookshop is a gem. Well stocked, particularly considering its apparently small size, and with a knowledgeable and friendly staff. Associated with the London Review of Books, the shop specializes in literature, the arts, politics, history etc. It has a particularly wide range of evening and weekend events such as readings by authors, as well as discount evenings and customer socials. All the details are on their site at www.lrbshop.co.uk.

A further major attraction is the excellent London Review Cake Shop which is, however, not open on Sundays.

The web-site has details of evening events as well as reviews of books.

Normal opening hours:

  • Monday to Saturday: 10am – 6.30pm
  • Sunday: 12am – 6pm