Streetlife

Lamb's Conduit Street

Streets worth seeking out.

I grew up around the corner from Lamb’s Conduit Street, in a brutalist council estate called the Brunswick Centre. I spent countless summer days in the amazing Coram’s Fields at the base of the street; playing in the fountains as a kid and trying to meet boys on the football pitch as an awkward teenager. Afterwards, we’d wander back up Lamb’s Conduit Street in packs, stopping at the newsagent to buy a packet of Space Raiders and a Ribena. When your childhood memories are instrisically linked to a place, it’s so easy to romanticise its appeal in retrospect. But countless return trips to Lamb’s Conduit Street as an adult always confirm that my love for this address is rooted in more than just nostalgia. It continues to be one of my favourite streets in London.

Lamb’s Conduit Street is located just off one of the busiest throughroads in central London and yet it’s always completely serene. I left this charmed and charming part of London several years ago but I still find myself retracing the steps back there, almost on autopilot, every time I’m in need of tranquility. Over the years, I’ve watched the gradual proliferation of numerous independent cafes and retailers along the street, but thankfully it has avoided becoming some sort of bourgeois stripmall. It’s just really nice. Here are a few of places that make Lamb’s Conduit Street worth a trip.

Persephone Books
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A unique bookshop that publishes both fiction and non-fiction mostly by women, for women and about women. The chic, dove grey novels, cookbooks and short story collections make nice gifts - especially for mothers and grandmothers (because who can ever think of a good present for their grandmother?)

Darkroom
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File under ‘Full of cool shit I would like to own’. A unique giftshop of sorts, offering a stylish, carefully curated edit of covetable men’s stuff, women’s stuff, and home stuff. The stock is constantly changing but you’re guaranteed to find something that you like the look of, whether it be a sleek black leather laptop case or a neon striped Scholten and Baijings merino wool blanket.

Danny’s Gourmet Wraps
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London is full of caffs and sandwich shops but there still aren’t enough places like Danny’s that serve properly healthy, properly fresh breakfasts and lunches. The self-proclaimed ‘home of the gourmet wrap’ does a good job of living up to its name, offering massive wholemeal tortillas stuffed with delectable fillings that are miles away from those grey, toilet roll-looking offerings that you usually find in chiller cabinets. My favourite is the Turkish - a mix of chicken kebab and hoummus, with either hot or sweet chilli sauce, roasted mediterranean vegetables, mixed leaves, tomato and red onion. So, so good.

Folk
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Given its diminutive size, Lamb’s Conduit Street yields a surprising number of good clothes shopping options. Folk is one of the best, offering simple but effective designs for both sexes that are set apart by unexpected and uplifting colour palettes - think basic neutrals offset by flashes of salmon pink, cerulean blue and lemon yellow (and that’s just the menswear). As well as its own range of clothing, accessories and footwear, Folk also offers a carefully edited selection of complimentary brands including Acne, Sessun and Won Hundred.

Oliver Spencer
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This stylish British clothing brand occupies two sites on Lamb’s Conduit Street, one of which (at number 58) is dedicated entirely to shoes, tailoring and accessories. The other sells Oliver Spencer’s range of men’s and womenswear, which is a mix of modern but traditional smart basics inspired by vintage Americana, Japanese minimalism and old-school British tailoring. Much like Folk, Oliver Spencer also sells a curated selection of external goods, including Il Bussetto leather goods, Seil Marschall backpacks and Han Kjobenhavn eyewear.

The Lamb
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A proper, traditional London pub in a Grade II listed Victorian building. The Lamb is full of original, quirky features if you care about that type of thing, but still a nice place for a quiet drink even if you don’t.

The People’s Supermarket
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In the hipster strongholds of New York, independent food co-ups seem to be as prolific as yoga studios and juice bars, but the trend is yet to catch on properly in London. Still, it makes sense that one of the few co-ops in the city is based here in bohemian Bloomsbury, providing the local community (which is far less well-heeled that you might imagine) with a commercially sustainable place to buy healthy, local food at reasonable prices. If London had a lot less Tesco Express branches and a few more places like The People’s Supermarket, it would be a better - albeit slightly more smug - place to live.