This small shop provides a high quality, the alternative range of children's clothing without you having to pay top-designer prices. Daisy Chain caters to newborn babies up to children of primary school age and is a great place for a special outfit or for something a little out of the ordinary. This is also a great shop for some innovative educational toys and gifts, as well as wooden toys, soft toys galore, mobiles, wall hangings and even a battery-operated hobbyhorse.
Paxton & Whitfield has been Britain's leading cheese monger. The rich and the famous, royalty and politicians alike all beat a path to their door. In Stratford, that door hides a beamed shop with low ceilings and a warm, intimate atmosphere. The inviting shop is a perfect place to browse and taste a variety of hand-made cheeses that are aged to perfection. Every tasty morsel associated with cheese is available, from bread and biscuits to pickles and the most plump olives with herbs. Please call for open hours.
Meridien Maps carries an exclusive range of old prints. For example, you could buy a delicately hand-colored 19th-century print. Choose from rolling landscapes, detailed still life or a sporting moment frozen in time. You will also find a wide range of fascinating old maps, all of which tell you so much about the changing face of Britain. If you cannot find what you want, then you could use the unique search service that the gallery offers. All of the prints are mounted and you can have them specially wrapped and sent anywhere in the world.
Smithsonia is a superb, friendly and unimposing gift shop in the eclectic Piccadilly Arcade. It sells silver jewellery, prints, frames, clocks, ornaments and art deco curios, all at favourably realistic prices. There are lots of Charles Rennie Mackintosh-inspired pieces and a fine range of earrings. All the merchandise is either innovative or interesting, or both, and it'll be a surprise if nothing takes your fancy. Ideal for buying impetuous gifts, whether for a friend or yourself.
Autograph is a designer menswear store with a stylish, minimalist feel, specializing mainly in Helmut Lang, Stone Island and Paul Smith. It sells elegant, casual clothes for both sexes at affordable prices. The shop is favored by the new breed of well-dressed footballer (for example Lee Sharpe, the former Manchester United player, has been spotted here).
The jewelry industry developed in the city from the mid-19th Century. At its peak in the early part of the 20th Century, it employed nearly 20,000 workers. Today, the Jewellery Quarter is a bustling area that produces over a third of the UK's jewelry, and you can find tons of bargains in its many small shops. It's also home to the award-winning Museum of the Jewellery Quarter and some good restaurants.
This specialist store, Shipton & Co stocks virtually every gem stone imaginable. With its unrivaled depth of experience and its own team of craftsmen, Shipton & Co can re-polish or re-cut worn or damaged stones as well as remount, remodel and rework old jewelery to your specification. It carries a vast stock of stones and is able to match or replace existing items as well as create new jewelery to complement your favorite pieces. If you are buying for a birthday, make sure that you check out the birthstones collection. For example, amethyst for February, cornelius for July and turquoise for December. Or take a look at the traditional gold and silver bracelets and necklaces including contemporary designs in the shape of power bracelets.
Styles here are suited to the more mature woman concerned with being both casual and smart. The atmosphere in this established shop is relaxed and warm; the clothes seem to echo that with their softer, more muted tones. Here you will find a good range of two-piece outfits as well as dresses. In addition, this is the place to go if you have been invited to a country wedding and you are looking for a style that is both wearable and good value for money. Names to look out for include Karelia, Janique and Henri Gras.
Austin Reed is spacious, comfortable store specializing in the well-dressed British look that arguably suits everyone from 18 to 80. Women can select from quality clothes in almost every color, and can choose from accessories that include hats, ties and hand made shoes. You can choose from a range of quality formal clothing, that includes skirt suits, trouser suits, dresses and separates.
You can try before you buy from the extensive range of coffee - from Kenyan to Italian - on sale in this quirky, little shop. If you do decide to buy, make sure that you pick up information on how to store and brew coffee to perfection. Whittard also carrries a range of teas, again to try or to buy. Note that they are committed to supporting developing world suppliers and sell hand-painted china to ensure that you enjoy a quintessential English drink - the perfect cuppa! Visitors to the shop will also delight in its unusual gift items, including a connoisseur's coffee machine.
Chaucer Head Bookshop is a gloriously, well-organized stock of books that seemingly covers every subject. There are specialist sections on Shakespeare, the theater, English literature, topography and natural history, nestling amongst the shelves. Many of the books are easily affordable but you will also find the more expensive "coffee table" photographic masterpiece here. The shop carries a range of unusual greeting cards and Tudor quills with which to make your mark! Note that the building is thought to date back to Shakespeare's time.