My design London: design writer Saska Graville

London-born journalist Saska Graville has been on a mission to track down the capital's top style secrets — from pop-up interiors stores in Hoxton to chic little cafés in Bethnal Green
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London-born journalist Saska Graville has been on a mission to track down the capital's top style secrets — from pop-up interiors stores in Hoxton to chic little cafés in Bethnal Green. Some will be unfamiliar even to the most seasoned Londoner but all are now in her new book.
1 BAZAR ANTIQUES
82 Golborne Road, W10
"Tourists who head straight to Portobello are missing out on the best street in the area — Golborne Road. I love its quirky interiors shops and chic stores like Bazar Antiques. Actually, let's hope the tourists stay away, it's better without the crowds." (Bazar Antiques, 020 8969 6262)
2 RYANTOWN
126 Columbia Road, E2
"A Sunday stroll down Columbia Road is a must. I go late afternoon, when the flower stalls are packing up and you can get serious bargains. Ryantown is one of the loveliest shops on the strip — artist Rob Ryan's hand-cut paper prints are quirkily charming." (misterrob.co.uk)
3 PELICANS AND PARROTS
40 Stoke Newington Road, N16
"This is a treasure trove of vintage interiors and fashion buys. Owner Juliet da Silva has a fantastic eye and she mixes the likes of old prints, antlers and glass pharmacy jars, with slightly bonkers buys like a stuffed peacock or Notting Hill Carnival feathered headdress. No wonder interiors stylists love it." (pelicansandparrots.com)
4 THE ZETTER TOWNHOUSE
49 Saint John's Square, EC1
"Baby sister to the Zetter Hotel, the Townhouse is only 13 bedrooms in a Georgian house at the back of a cobbled square. I love the sexy décor — lots of old fairground carousel signage has been used — and the cocktail bar is one of my favourite London drinking spots. All a bit Dickensian and slightly debauched." (thezettertownhouse.com)
5 THE TOWPATH CAFÉ
Regent's Canal Towpath, N1
"Wander Hackney's gritty backstreets to find this café, it's worth it. Sitting on the Regent's Canal between Whitmore Bridge and Kingsland Road Bridge, it's a tiny hole-in-the-wall, with no phone and no bookings, but the coffee is fantastic."
6 SCARLET AND VIOLET
76 Chamberlayne Road, NW10
"When I'm rich I'm going to have flowers delivered every week from Scarlet & Violet. The blooms have a wild, just-picked-from-the-garden feel to them, and the shop is always crammed with inspiration. The Christmas wreaths are legendary." (scarletandviolet.com)
7 BEAS OF BLOOMSBURY
44 Theobald's Road, WC1
"If you love foodie shopping but you're frustrated by the crowds at Borough Market, the cluster of producers selling from the Victorian railway arches along Maltby Street in Bermondsey is a must-visit. Only open to the public on Saturday mornings, the area is packed with delicious buys. I am slightly addicted to the "duffins" at Beas — a cross between a doughnut and a muffin. Lethal." (beasofbloomsbury.com)
8 EXPERIMENTAL COCKTAIL CLUB
13A Gerrard Street, W1
"If you don't know about this speakeasy-style bar in Chinatown, chances are you'd walk straight past. But go through the shabby front door and up the scruffily carpeted stairs and you're in for some of London's best cocktails. The doorman can be a bit on the terrifying side so the best thing to do is phone ahead to book a table — that way he'll have to let you in." (chinatownecc.com)


* London Style Guide: Eat, Sleep, Shop, by Saska Graville, Murdoch Books, £16.99.
* Photography: Jessica Reftel Evans and Martin Reftel.

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