Friday, 4 July 2008

Iknit from Bonnington Square to Lower Marsh

Not SE11 related, but we wandered out to the wonderful haven of Bonnington Square, SW8, the other day, past where the Iknit knitting shop used to be. I'm not really into knitting, but the Iknit people are, and they've made knitting into something of a social activity again, so they deserve lots of points, because that can't be such an easy feat. And also, they're a local venture which, whilst based around business, appear to have a focus upon building the old fashioned community notion of "common good". Yay for them.

I always thought that the shop suited Bonnington Square (which is a beautiful tranquil jungle in Vauxhall), but they've been so successful in promoting their business that they've upped and moved to SE1. This is entirely forgivable because they've gone to the lovely Lower Marsh, one of /the/ best shopping streets in London, where you can do things like buy real books (Crockatt and Powell), healthy food (Coopers - if you go in early enough), coffee surrounded by Vespas (Scooterworks), vintage things (Radio Days - an utterly fabulous shop), real proper menswear (Trussons - and they're not rude about selling to women) and some outrageous outfits for visiting your granny (Honor). So Iknit are there now too, and the street gets huge marks for having relatively few chain stores. (Yes, I really think Lower Marsh, Waterloo is much cooler than Oxford Street, but being that the Three Wheeled One is the exemplification of anti-cool, that's not saying much).

Being an anti-essentials-consumer (where essentials for me are basically food, books and second hand clothes), I'm happy to report that all of those shops are shops where browsing is possible and one is not pestered! And for people that really like old fusty book shops, do check out "Second hand books" in 20 Lower Marsh, where they probably win my award for the friendliest welcome in London! (Ahem)

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