Biblio-Text: Daunt Books

Rachel Holdsworth
By Rachel Holdsworth Last edited 111 months ago
Biblio-Text: Daunt Books
Even more travel books and a jaunty colonial-style wicker set in the basement
Even more travel books and a jaunty colonial-style wicker set in the basement
Window display on lovely swagged cloth
Window display on lovely swagged cloth
It's quite hard to get a shot of the outside of a shop on Marylebone High Street, without also getting Chelsea tractors and lots and lots of passers by
It's quite hard to get a shot of the outside of a shop on Marylebone High Street, without also getting Chelsea tractors and lots and lots of passers by
The balcony. Are we the only ones to be reminded of a Methodist chapel?
The balcony. Are we the only ones to be reminded of a Methodist chapel?
Love these fabulous glass light fittings
Love these fabulous glass light fittings
The 'famous' view: the long oak gallery
The 'famous' view: the long oak gallery
What it says, really
What it says, really
Never seen these series before: Penguin Great Ideas, Loves and Journeys - all small (and cheap) volumes, beautifully designed
Never seen these series before: Penguin Great Ideas, Loves and Journeys - all small (and cheap) volumes, beautifully designed
Close-up of that frieze
Close-up of that frieze
Look closely: there's a frieze painting of the British countryside running around the top of the room
Look closely: there's a frieze painting of the British countryside running around the top of the room

Continuing our amble round London's independent bookshops

Daunt Books. We had a big debate about whether, since it seems to be spawning more heads than a Hydra, it was still an independent. We decided it was, which is a good thing because the original Marylebone High Street branch is possibly the most beautiful bookshop in London. Possibly the most beautiful shop full stop.

At first glance it looks fairly ordinary and whatever, but pass through the narrow corridor towards the rear and the building opens out into an incredible long gallery, with an oak balcony lining the walls, Edwardian stained glass windows at either end and a glass roof that floods the room with light. This is where you'll find the backbone of Daunt Books - its travel section. Although it's now branched out into other areas, Daunt is primarily about travel, packed with new and second hand guides over three floors, fiction and non-fiction, covering every area of the world.

We were also delighted by the obligatory greeting card section for its literary leanings, and spent ages poring over the display of Penguin Great... These gorgeous themed series are new to us and we got quite excited at the idea of owning beautifully designed classics for less than a fiver.

They also run talks (£5, including wine) but the appeal of Daunt is simply the elegant surroundings. It's very easy to lose yourself in the peaceful atmosphere, so we recommend setting aside plenty of time whenever you pop in.

Daunt Books, 83 Marylebone High Street, London W1U. Map after the jump, images author's own. Know a good bookshop? Email us at londonist (@) gmail.com.


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Last Updated 12 May 2009