Rachel Khoo


Posted by Rachel

February 20th, 2014

On My Bookshelf – London Style Guide

IMG_8812Benjamin Disraeli once said that “London is a roost for every bird”, and I couldn’t agree more. I really think that there’s something for everyone in London (keep reading to find out about my latest book giveaway).

Now that I’m spending more time here in London, I’ve found I need some guidance to plan my London days – otherwise I can start to feel a little overwhelmed at the seemingly endless sea of bars, restaurants, parks, markets and food stalls to check out. So I turn to my various London bibles for help. One of my more recent finds (I picked up my copy at Papercut in Stockholm) is Saska Graville’s ‘London Style Guide’.

As soon as you start reading, you can tell that this is a true Londoner’s guide to London. You’ll be whisked away to little hole-the-wall cafes, charming boutique hotels, and truly British pubs (whilst there is a plethora of watering holes in London, it can sometimes be tricky to find an independently run pub). And each chapter includes a sweet Q&A with a local Londoner (‘Meet the Londoner’), which adds a nice personal touch.

The Zetter Townhouse Hotel

The Zetter Townhouse Hotel

I’m a vintage lover, and could spend hours browsing for secondhand finds. I know my way around Paris’ secondhand shops, but need to get back in touch with the London scene. This guide includes some of London’s gems, such as Annie’s in cute Camden Passage.


I love picking up a new book that I don’t necessarily need to read cover-to-cover. You can approach ‘London Style Guide’ in whatever manner takes your fancy. Bursting with beautiful photographs, the book is pleasure to flip through. It’s divided into different areas of London (and includes some off-the-map spots), so you can easily focus your research on parts of the city that you want to get to know better. And throughout the book, Saska kindly takes the pressure down, by reminding us that London is a huge city, and that it’s impossible to cover everything in one go.


When I’m exploring a new city (and London feels like a new city every week, things change here at such a rapid pace), I like to visit neighbourhoods by planning trips to local markets. Saska includes some of my favourite such as the Columbia Road Flower Market, Brixton Market, Broadway Market, and lesser-known spots like the Queens Park Farmer’s Market in northwest London.


Queens Park Farmer’s Market

Some of the places like Towpath Café are featured in my new show ‘Rachel Khoo’s Kitchen Notebook: London’, which is currently airing. It was fun rediscovering loads of creative (and delicious) spots all over the city when we were filming. From hidden pockets of Dalston to fab breakfast spots like Caravan and crafty spots like Drink, Shop & Do, you’re bound to find something (or most likely, several things!) that take your fancy in this book.

London Style Guide

In the meantime (if you don’t have a copy yet), here are ten of Saska’s favourite London haunts.

GIVEAWAY: Thanks to Murdoch Books, I’ve got one copy of Saska Graville’s ‘London Style Guide’ to give away.

For your chance to win, leave a comment here on my blog (and spread the word via your own blog, Twitter or Facebook for bonus points!) and share with me somewhere that you’d love to discover in London. I’ll be drawing a winner on Thursday February 27, so you have until Wednesday February 26 to enter. Bonne chance!

The fine print: This giveaway is open to residents of the UK. Any queries, send me an email 🙂

0 Trackbacks / Pings

16 thoughts on “On My Bookshelf – London Style Guide

  1. I have dreamed of visiting London’s vintage shops for years. I was in Paris and went to the flea market at Port de Vanves and found some great things to bring home. This book would be ideal for planning my (future) trip. Thank you! By the way, I saw you in Chicago back in July and you were a darling! Anita

  2. Oh I’d love to win this! I was lucky enough to meet Saska in person and would love her guide to London to help me do my own exploring. I’d love to see more of Mayfair and Belgravia, areas I haven’t been able to seem much of yet.

    I’ll definitely be sharing this on my own blog tomorrow to help get the word out!

  3. The Southbank Centre Book Market was under Waterloo Bridge, I haven’t been there for years but if i remember correctly its stuffed with second-hand books.Would love to visit it again. Classics, contemporary titles, maps and art prints, great for finding something you never knew you needed!

  4. I’d love my boyfriend to discover the more unique side of London! He only knows Leicester Square and all the mad hubbub. I am trying to convince him to move there and I think I might have more success if he knew more about younger, more idiosyncratic parts!

  5. I would love to discover Borough Market! I’ve been to London more times than I can count but it has always been for work or, years ago, for Uni.
    I’m such a foodie and I love farmers markets and deli’s. I always feel a sense of accomplishment when I come home with a jar of chutney I know was made by hand on a huge saucepan on a stove, or a loaf of bread that I bought from the person who made, so I know I would be in my element at Borough Market.
    Cor, I’m getting hungry just thinking about it!

  6. I love a local’s guide to places, particularly all the hidden gems they reveal! And it’s lovely to be able to plan a trip somewhere you’re not familiar with (happens a lot in the mass that is London) and have local insights to where you’re headed.

  7. I work in Central London (SE1) and I’m ashamed to say I’ve never visited Borough Market! My husband and family are always looking for new places in London to explore and I’d love to get to know Camden, Greenwich, Notting Hill and the Portobello areas a lot better- not to mention Brick Lane!

    I love London but like to explore places that are not necessarily known to too many people and a little off the tourist map.

    I’m sure with a little reading material and some planning- we will discover more new and exciting places in our Capital!

  8. I’d love to see more of London’s Chinatown. I got to visit back in 2008 and would like to go back and take the time to explore it more thoroughly.

  9. I have lived in London for just over 3 years and I still have so much to discover and explore! I love how London constantly evolves. I must get to Portobello Market and explore for vintage clothing and antiques!

  10. Hampstead is great for a Sunday afternoon stroll. Good range of shops on the high street with a crepe store if you are hungry. A lovely small cinema for the movies and some nice restaurants at the back streets. Is easy to get to by public transport too!

  11. What a super lovely book and blog post!

    I’d love to visit all the fantastic flea markets across London, especially Spittalfields and Camden Lock.

    I will share your beautiful page and blog on my Facebook page – Elsie’s Attic – because big girls can play dress up too now . . .

    Much love xx

  12. What a lovely post, and the book looks amazing!

    I’d love to discover a bit more of South London because despite living here for two years, it’s usually missing from most guide books. London’s markets are some of the best I’ve ever visited and it’ll be nice to see some pictures in his book that aren’t full of tourists 🙂

    Thanks for the giveaway!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to Notebook

Out Now!

Rachel Khoo's Chocolate e-cookbook

With over 30 delicious recipes, this e-cookbook showcases wonderful new ways to cook with cocoa. This is not just a dessert book; within you'll find a whole range of recipes for every occasion from a decadent chocolate tahini caramel torte, to a confit cocoa cod with lemony white chocolate sauce. These recipes are featured in Rachel Khoo's Chocolate TV show.

100% of the proceeds* from this book will be donated to Women’s Aid (charity number 1054154)