Continuing our amble round London's independent bookshops...
Completing a trilogy of bookshops not just in Notting Hill, but on Blenheim Crescent, is the locally named Blenheim Books. You might expect a certain amount of crossover and competition between shops that are next door to one another but Books for Cooks, The Travel Bookshop and Blenheim Books all have their own distinct spaces. What else would one expect from this highly civilised area of West London?
Originally opened as Garden Books in 1996 by Valerie Scriven (co-author, with Rob Cassy, of Everything You Need To Know About Gardening But Were Afraid To Ask) specialising in - well, gardening, with a vibrant children's section, it grew to encompass interior design, architecture, photography, biography and poetry. One sleek book table carries the slogan 'aesthetics first', and it's very apt. The shop is a cool, white, wood panelled space that feels more like an art gallery than a bookshop. It's a vibe that suits the stock. There's something very enticing about thick, glossy, art books and the peaceful atmosphere is an ideal place to browse.
These three shops really do complement each other and should be a destination in their own right, away from the bustle of Portobello Road. We can't recommend them enough.
Blenheim Books, 11 Blenheim Crescent W11. Map after the jump. Images author's own. Know a good bookshop? Let us know on londonist (@) gmail.com.