If you’re among the hordes of London shoppers – residents and visitors alike – who’ve recoiled in horror at the souvenir shops on Oxford Street and the like, bear with me for a second: this is no ordinary souvenir emporium. No postcards of Kate and Wills here (though a line of socks known as Kate Middle-Toe is said to do well). The souvenirs and London-related articles on sale here are many and varied, but they’re all original, tasteful, often hilarious and a thoroughly welcome antidote to what’s on offer elsewhere.
I love the maps – there are hand-drawn maps of London, novelty but informative Tube maps of various types, beautiful renditions of specific areas of London, and even special-interest maps such as wild London and a map of film-related sites. But there’s a whole range of other art too, along with often smile-inducing interpretations of all the usual tourist-shop fare.
Carnaby Street has always been well worth a gander, and never more so at this time of year, when the Christmas lights are rightfully attracting a great deal of attention in their own right, but We Built This City makes it even more so.