When I want something unusual – say a snazzy vintage shirt to make an impact at a party – Afflecks will be my shop of first choice. Afflecks is to alternative shoppers what Harrods is to conventional types – a one-stop shop in the tradition of department stores. In fact, the building was a department store in the 1860s when Messrs. Affleck & Brown ran it. But when bigger players came along they threw in the towel and, eventually, in 1981, after years of mixed use, Afflecks was born-again as a sort of shopping mall occupied by independent traders. Since then it has established itself as an institution, serving the eclectic tastes and varied needs of the alternative brigade with determination and devotion to the cause.
If I had the day to spare – and the inclination – I would go there for a Thai massage, followed by a pot of green tea, a session of hypnotherapy, then a vegan lunch to fortify me before an afternoon of shopping for rare vinyl, original artwork and that vintage shirt. I would probably give the nail bar a miss and skip the tattoo but that’s just me: this place caters for everyone – everyone, that is, who thinks Harrods is for suckers.