Homeware shopping by river taxi

The Thames is London's new retail superhighway. Barbara Chandler takes the river taxi to shop from Chelsea Harbour to Greenwich Market Shopping
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1. DESIGN CENTRE CHELSEA HARBOUR


The must-go-to for London interior design - more than 80 showrooms fill three glass domes, a shining showcase for 470 world-class brands (wallpaper, fabrics, tiles, furniture, carpets and more). Open Monday to Friday 9.30am to 5.30pm. For savvy Londoners, a personal shopper is free for an hour, and £75 an hour after that. Book on 020 7225 9129; dcch.co.uk.

LOVE the all in one showroom: Zoffany papers with classic pillars (zoffany.com); the Sanderson showroom (sanderson-uk.com) and wall-to-wall William Morris (pictured) where "new" designs celebrate the 150th anniversary of this wonderful Arts & Crafts outfit (william-morris.co.uk) .

2. GABRIEL'S WHARF


A secret enclave that is easy to miss. Don't. Alight at Bankside pier, turn right along the river walkway, and look for the sign to the left. You'll find specialist shops around a pretty courtyard with hand-made crafts, fashions, and outside snackeries. Here, lingering is truly lovely (coinstreet.org; 020 7021 1686). Open Tuesday to Sunday, 11am to 6pm.

Tiger rug
£350: hand-knotted pure wool Tiger rug, from Ganesha
Star store: Ganesha, 3-4 Gabriel's Wharf, SE1 (020 7928 3444; ganesha.co.uk). Purnendu Roy and Jo Lawbuary are long-standing Bollywood buffs with authentic CDs and collage and they bring fair-trade treasures from Asian co-ops and cottage industries to London. Bernie Spain Gardens in between here and Oxo Tower is a perfect place for a picnic.

LOVE Tiger rugs (pictured) in handknotted pure wool with natural dyes; age-old designs from Tibet, made by Bhutia weavers in the Indian Himalayas; £350 (100cm by 200cm).

Hot-pot BBQ
The Hot-pot patio BBQ (£99) from Black-Blum

3. OXO TOWER WHARF


The lower three floors of this muchloved London landmark house a stash of designer shops/showrooms (coinstreet.org; 020 7021 1686). Open Tuesday to Sunday, 11am to 6pm. The designers are in residence in studios and workshops. Long-time residents Back+Blum, now joined by artist Snowden Flood with London textiles, ceramics and glass.

Innermost has exclusive classy lighting that is also sculpture, and W2 Products has mugs in punchy Pantone shades, with WW2 slogans, or with wraparound old and new master paintings from the National Gallery (w2products.com). There is fashion, jewellery, art galleries, and (literally) a top restaurant. There is also a free public viewing gallery.

LOVE Hot-pot BBQ: this terracotta pot (pictured) sits on your patio growing herbs - but whisk off the top, and you've got something to sizzle on: £99 (020 7633 0022; black-blum.com).

Earthenware plate
Mark Hearld earthenware plate, £19.95

4. TATE MODERN


Do the art, and buy (main shop Level 1). The best specialist book choice on modern art/culture in the UK, and children's books. Also exclusive textiles, stationery, ceramics and glass. The Colour Change umbrella reveals its pattern in the rain, for £26.50. Browse wall art, from postcards to huge prints, and arrange for framing. Top-notch art materials have a big fan base; open Sunday to Thursday, 10am to 6pm; Friday and Saturday, 10am to 10pm; tate.org.uk.

LOVE Mark Hearld earthenware plate (pictured) with charming British birds; £19.95.

5. CANARY WHARF


Three shopping malls house 200 shops (but almost all fashion), and bars and restaurants are prolific. Open: Monday to Wednesday, 9am to 7pm; Thursday and Friday, 9am to 8pm; Saturday, 10am to 6pm; Sunday, noon to 6pm (canarywharf.com). Waitrose Food & Home is open Monday to Friday, 7.30am to 9pm; Saturday, 8.30am to 8pm; Sunday, 11.30am to 6pm. It is over three floors with a John Lewis Home at the bottom (waitrose.com).

London deckchair, £75
London deckchair, £75, at John Lewis Home at Waitrose
The nearby Museum of London Docklands is free to enter; (museumoflondon.org.uk/docklands). On Tuesday June 28 the alfresco Lunch Market is at Canada Square Park, with 30 international food stalls.

LOVE London deckchair, £75, at John Lewis Home at Waitrose (pictured), decked out with architectural icons.

6. GREENWICH MARKET


Greenwich Market, open Wednesday to Sunday 10am to 9.30pm. Wednesday, homewares; Thursday and Friday, crafts/antiques; Friday, arts/crafts/antiques; Saturday and Sunday, arts/crafts (greenwichmarket).

Watch out for Denise and Dudley cushions, SteamPunk Glass marbles and bottlestops, Andrew Pledge cards, Susie Lee knitwear, Ng Jewellery and Tom Biddulph, a wood turner. There are many design shops (shopgreenwich.co.uk.) Lush Design does homewares/gifts with its own quirky prints. More original prints on laminated cloths at Sophie and Matt (sophiaandmatt.co.uk).

London print
Hartwig Braun's zany London graphics for prints
Greenwich Printmakers has excellent artworks (greenwich-printmakers.org) Bert & Betty do heavenly hardware (bertand bettygreenwich) and Paper Moon (07946 211878), has specialist Chinese folk cut-paper art, and for interiors Pickwick Papers (pickwickpapers.co.uk) and Susan Clark Interiors (susanclarkinteriors.com).

LOVE zany London graphics for prints, posters and homewares by Hartwig Braun (pictured) at Arty Globe, 15 Greenwich Market; 020 7998 3144; artyglobe.com


Check out transport and times on tfl.gov.uk, with river guides and timetables to download

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