For a bookshop with history and atmosphere head to Hatchards at 187 Piccadilly, next to Fortnum and Mason and opposite the Royal Academy. It was established in 1797 and is the oldest surviving bookshop in London. Previous customers include some of Britain’s famous political, social and literary figures such as Benjamin Disraeli, Rudyard Kipling, Oscar Wilde and Lord Byron.
It is made up of several small rooms, with an elegant wooden staircase connecting the floors (there’s a lift too if you need it). The rooms are decorated with paintings and sculptures, often related to the books in that section, creating a welcoming and helpful atmosphere. Add to that, friendly and knowledgeable staff and you have a great bookshop.
If you are a visitor to London, it has a comprehensive selection of London guides and associated travel writing.
If you have children with you, there is an excellent children’s section, including London-themed fiction, well known British authors, beautiful picture books and more.
Hatchards also have a nice website, where you can browse their recommendations of the month (VIP books as they call them) and other recommendations by category. You can order books online and give payment details either online or by phone.
A great bookshop with great service.
Hatchards, 187 Piccadilly, London, W1J 9LE
Telephone: 020 7439 9921