The London windows published by Hoxton Mini Press

London Shopfronts is a delightful book of photographs capturing the charm and idiosyncrasy of London’s streets, passageways, alleys and arcades. It pays homage to the commercial facades which remain unchanging reminders of the past of this modern and progressive city. Here are a few, with excerpts from the book, for your enjoyment …

Photo: London Shopfronts / Hoxton Mini Press

The Old Cinema antique store, Chiswick

This former Edwardian cinema houses an array of antique, vintage, retro and industrial furniture. It began life as a single-storey music and dance hall, topped by a dome, nicknamed “La Grotte”, in reference to its scanty, dimly lit interior, before reappearing as the Cinéma Royal in 1912. During World War II the building was used to store parachutes, before becoming a Victorian furniture store in the 1950s.
160 Chiswick High Road, W4 1PR;

The Old Cinema Antiques Emporium, Chiswick

Hello Darling, Bar & Restaurant, Waterloo, Now closed.

The irreverent spirit of the experimental space was imagined in 2019 by Harriet Darling and Elise Edge, scenographers who have the gift of transporting the imagination. Thanks to the efforts of a small group of stage artists, carpenters, and set designers, it took just three weeks for the four-story Victorian building to transform from a standard bar to a magical refreshment bar.
131 Waterloo Road, SE18UR;

Hello Darling Bar & Restaurant, Wateroo

Ida, Italian restaurant and delicatessen, Queen’s Park

An old corner store might not be the obvious setting for a restaurant, but this family-run place seems completely at home in its surroundings. The Grade II listed store originally had two stores. “What is now our kitchen was a small confectionery and the dining room was a greengrocer,” says owner Simonetta Wenkert, who moved to the area in 1996. After a brief stint as a kebab shop, the The space remained empty for a few years until she and her husband Avi took over, reinventing it with their unique Italian-inspired style.
222a Kilburn Lane, W10 4AT;

Ida, Italian restaurant and delicatessen, Queen's Park

Ida, Italian restaurant and delicatessen, Queen’s Park

Umbrella store James Smith & Sons, central London

James Smith, son of the store’s founder, moved the business to this location in 1857, when a new Oxford Street was seen as both trendy and cosmopolitan. The Grade II listed building, now overseen by store manager Philip Naisbitt (pictured), has barely changed since and remains one of the city’s most comprehensive original Victorian storefronts.
53 New Oxford Street, WC1A 1BL

James Smith & Sons Umbrella Store, Central London

Lina stores, Italian delicatessen, Soho

The name of this delicatessen has been whispered among foodies for over 75 years. Yet few realize that this would be the result of a typo. Lina (whose last name seems to have been lost over time) moved here in 1944 and when she ordered the original signage she wanted it to read “Lina’s store”. However, an unfortunately placed “S” resulted in a subtle shift in meaning.
18 Brewer Street, W1F 0SH;

Lina Stores Italian Deli, Soho

Lina Stores Italian Deli, Soho

Bramble & Moss, florist in an old pharmacy, Richmond

The full story of this ornate Victorian storefront is, surprisingly, out of reach. His mosaic door sill bears the inscription “Blanchford” and a recent restoration of his fascia has led to the discovery of an original, carved and gilded lettering, revealing that he was a chemist – but that is all. we can glean from the beginnings of the building. . The facade, with its elegance
arched windows, probably added to the existing building around 1850; at the same time, the mysterious Blanchford is believed to have settled in.
64 hills, TW10 6UB;

Bramble & Moss Florist, Richmond

Bramble & Moss Florist, Richmond.

London Shopfronts is published by Hoxton Mini Press, featuring words and images by Emma J Page and Rachael Smith. List Price £ 22.95.

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