Luckily for the gentlemen–and gentlewomen–among us, all of these shops and dozens more are still in business, providing the traditional British goods and food that they've been supplying Londoners for a century or more. More than thirty venerable stores, along with another twenty or so eateries, are profiled in The Historic Shops and Restaurants of London.
The most beautiful shop in the world . . . is how Esquire magazine describes John Lobb, Bootmaker's opulent premises in Mayfair. Less grand, but no less quaint, is Paxton and Whitfield, now on Jermyn Street, which dates to 1742 when cheese monger Stephen Cullum sets up his stall in Clare Market. (Now the shop sells the most prized artisanal cheeses in Great Britain.) Have a drink at the long, narrow little Grapes Pub. Built in 1720, on the site of a previous pub, the Grapes was a working class tavern that Charles Dickens knew well. As a child, he was made to stand on a table and sing to the customers. As an adult, he immortalized it as the Six Jolly Fellowship Porters pub in Our Mutual Friend. These are only a few of the many of the establishments described that are holders of the Royal Warrant, dating back to the 15th century and still granted today to recognize excellence and quality.
Bespoke shirt-makers, hatters, haberdashers, perfumers, bookstores, chemists, an umbrella maker, and chocolatiers are only a few of the small specialist shops included, most of which are located in the most quaint and beautiful settings in London.
Also included are traditional restaurants and bars, ranging from picturesque pubs and caffes to fish'n'chips stands and eel-and-pie shops.