Do you see London as a glittering metropolis? An industrial urban juggernaut? How about a rural idyll? No? Well, wait until you’ve seen what new book ‘London Villages’ has to say. Celebrating the tucked away neighbourhoods of London, it features thirty of the capital’s best ‘villages’ – that is, places with community spirit, indie shops and, er, a weekly farmers’ market.
Fancy a taste of country living? Just pop on a flat cap and check out these surprisingly un-urban London highlights:
Opportunities to shoot game might be few and far between in London, but that doesn’t stop this bespoke gun and rifle maker from doing roaring trade. Drop by to admire the mounted wildlife, hunting jackets and a basement room filled with impressive, hand-crafted firearms. 13 Shepherd Market, W1J 7PQ.
You may be able to pick up some lovely handmade gifts in Spitalfields Market, but to see some serious craftsmanship, head over to London Glassblowing on Bermondsey Street where you can pull up a chair and watch amazing glassblowers roll out high-end glassware. 62-66 Bermondsey St, SE1 3UD.
Nostalgic wooden toys, Victorian games, cap guns, mobiles and finger puppets – and not an Xbox in sight! This traditional toy shop is part of secret village Chelsea Green, just off the King’s Road – and it’s as popular with parents as it is with their pint-sized pals. 53 Godfrey St, SW3 3SX.
The Hamill family run this hyper-specialist store which stocks only honey-based products, from lozenges to candles. Apiarists since the 1920s, the Hamills also arrange urban beekeeping workshops for beginners. 93 Northcote Rd, SW11 6PL.
This distincely pastoral pub – think paintings of hunting dogs, dark wooden furniture and a cosy, candlelit atmosphere – prides itself on nose-to-tail cooking. The pub makes sure its meat is up to scratch by partnering with a Hampshire farm to rear its own animals in a special breeding programme. 67-69 Abbeville Rd, SW4 9JW.