My sister Natalie is back today with the third and final part of her review of the London Stationery Tour!
Most Waterstones have stationery sections, but the stationery section in this one is big enough to be its own shop. I love bookshops so i tend to pop into Waterstones whenever I see one (there’s quite a nice one near The National Gallery for example) and I always have a browse of the stationery section, since they all tend to sell a nice range of different products. This Waterstones just seems to sell everything stationery related that you could wish that a bookshop could sell. There are more notecards than I have ever seen in one place. There is not only a wall of them but they also spread over the shelving underneath the wall of gift cards. There are colouring books, note pads, a great supply of gift wrap including wrapping string and Cavallini gift wrap sets (I love these). Along with the usual rolls of wrapping paper there are also papers you can buy by the sheet which come in so many lovely designs, some again by Cavallini. If you’re not a Cavallini convert like me, they are an Italian paper company who produce gift wrap, stamps, postcards, stickers…etc, all based on vintage designs. They’re amazing, I especially love their anatomical posters and 1950s Christmas sets, they’re great to use in papercrafts or for some seriously well wrapped gifts.
Like all the other Waterstones stores, you can also buy products by ‘themes’, for example you might find a shelf full of gardening related gifts. Some of these will be stationery related but you’ll also find things like water bottles, herb growing kits or Orla Kiely mugs. It’s so easy to do a bit of christmas shopping in these kind of stores, and you can never start this too early! This particular store has a really good selection on London related items, from postcards to guide books to Paddington bear memorabilia. Being a bookshop it also has plenty of book related items, I love the Penguin gift section, who doesn’t want a mug with their favorite Penguin book cover on it??
London Graphic Centre
The London Graphic Centre is a small hidden away shop a few minutes walk from the centre of Covent Garden. It sells mostly art supplies but it’s worth having a look at for general stationery too. You will be able to find a vast amount of papers, pens, paints and other art materials like brushes and easels. There is also a small section of Leuchtturm notebooks which I’m personally a big fan of, and a rainbow of MT washi tapes. They’re not cheap here, but then they’re not really cheap anywhere in London.
You will come across Moleskine stands in a lot of the larger stores but the Moleskine shop has EVERYTHING. If you’re a firm Moleskine fan then you can shop for the whole range here, including all of the basic notebooks, limited editions and the majority of the passion journals. The themed journals are great, especially as gifts. If you know someone who’s into Superman or the Avengers, or even Hello Kitty, there’s a Moleskine journal for them here. Moleskine are a bit more expensive than your usual standard notebook but I think you get what you pay for. The covers are thick are sturdy, they won’t get bent if you have to carry them in your bag or travel with them. The paper is also good quality and ink doesn’t tend to bleed through. The plain notebooks are great to use for sketchbooks or art journals due to the good quality of the paper allowing you to use different mediums, including paints, without the water seeping through to other pages or bleeding through.
I like to pretend I’m more organised than I really am, and I also enjoying having a notebook that I can purposefully decorate. These reasons together make me a passion journals fan. I’ve had a travel journal for a few years and I love filling it in after every holiday I go on. The journal is divided into various sections, there’s a timeline at the beginning for you to enter each trip in chronological order and then pages set aside for each holiday with space for packing lists, memories, tickets and photos. There’s also space to plan future trips or even list dream destinations. I really feel like this journal is perfect for someone who loves holidays. In turn the other passion journals are great for their intended purpose. And some of them are so specific, I don’t think I would ever need a chocolate journal because page one would say Cadbury Caramel and I would need go no further!! But for a true chocolate fan, you can document everything you love about it. I’ve actually just noticed there’s a wedding journal, I’m not getting married for years but I know I need this now.
Il Papiro is a tiny little shop within the Covent Garden market. It sells rather expensive notecards, envelopes and papers which have old fashioned monogramed or vintage designs on them. The paper looks very high quality, I imagine they would be put to good use in sending out invitations, or perhaps writing a letter to someone who would appreciate the design. I think that these designs are a little niche in that they’re quite old fashioned and also very expensive. I could never justify shopping here, and it’s not quite my style, but the shop is so small that it only takes a couple of minutes to have a look in, and you’re seconds away from it from Moleskine and Kikki.K. Also, you’re in the middle of Covent Garden! Whilst you’re here it’s well worth looking around some of the other shops nearby. I love the Moomin shop which is up stairs a couple of doors down. You can also pick up some macaron at La Duree whilst you walk to your next destination.
I’ve never been a huge fan of Kikki.K, I didn’t really think it was my kind of stationery. That might not make sense, but I feel like people tend to have two types of planners. One is my kind, which is a planner with squared paper which I’m in control of what goes where, it’s pretty free flowing and you can completely change what you do page to page. The other kind tends to be spiral bound notebooks where you ‘plan’ in lists day by day and month by month. I’m just not a list maker, but I always assumed Kikki.K sold more of the list making stuff. I think after visiting this shop I’ve been converted. Kikki.K sells various ranges of stationery so you can make your collection as co-ordinated as you like. Some is more subdued and classy whilst others are bright and vibrant. This shop also has a London range which i thought was really cute. It does sell a lot of list making aids, like desktop notepads, study lists, weekly planners. It also sells themed journals which i think could be quite fun, such as gratitude journals, or journals where you can motivate yourself to fulfill your hopes and dreams. I do think it’s a bit expensive, even with the 3 for 2 sale on when i visited it was out of my price range. I might treat myself to a journal though one pay day.
87-135 Brompton Road, Knightsbridge
Harrods is one of my favorite shops in London and it is so surprisingly affordable. You might be thinking that it won’t be worth going to on a serious shopping trip do to the cost but trust me, anyone can shop at Harrods. The stationery section here is huge, it’s so big that the second time I visited it I ‘found’ another part of it that I’d somehow overlooked on my first visit. One part of it sells stationery by brand, each brand displayed on its own white trolley. In this part of the store you can find stationery that you will have seen in other stores. It’s all fairly upmarket and not exactly cheap but neither is it completely unaffordable. There are a lot of Kikki.K products along with some more ‘serious’ looking stationery that i think would look at home in quite a swanky London office somewhere. There is also a really good Cath Kidston section, it sells items from their full range, but of course the stationery selection is very good here. There is an entire section on gifts cards and wrap which has yet more stationery collections organised on individual tables.
There is a great selection of books of papers here, I’m always tempted by these, I need a new hobby so I have a reason to use them! There is a really lovely section of arts supplied here too. It’s not cheap, but it’s lovely to look at. I found myself being drawn into an extensive collection of drawing pencils in a beautiful wooden book and then I looked at the price and realised that if I had a spare £10,000.00 it would be going on a mortgage, not on colouring in. If you did want a £10,000.00 set of pencils you could quite easily buy a fountain pen of a similar price to go with it. The pen display is really nice to look around, although it does make you realise that your life it just way too practical to spend that much money on stationery. And we thought our stationery addiction was getting out of hand!!
This post finished off our mini series about the London Stationery Tour. I hope you’ve enjoyed it. I’d love to know what you thought and what you’d like to see more of in term of stationery on the blog!