A few weeks ago I wrote an article about the independent boutiques of East Sheen, so I thought it was only fair to follow-up with a few of my favourite shops in the neighbouring village of Barnes. This South-West London suburb is a classic example of a place that's been hit hard by rent rises, with so many independent shops closing down and becoming estate agents (how many estate agents does one town need?). In the past few months alone Barnes has lost a long-standing shoe shop, a children's clothes shop and a restored antique furniture shop, which is a strong reminder of why it is so important to support the local high street. Thankfully, there are still a number of interesting stores dotted about, so here's a taste of some – but by no means all – of what Barnes has to offer:
Sitting at the top end of Church Road near the crossroads is Luma. This is a lovely home interiors and gifts shop that sells a range of cushions, throws, rugs, lamps, storage jars, ceramics and more. Visit the shop or check out their website – it's slightly on the pricey side, but you can tell just by looking that everything is great quality and one-of-a-kind.
Address: 98 Church Road, Barnes, SW13 0DQ
Telephone number: 020 8748 2264 Opening Hours: Mon-Fri 9:30-5:30, Sat 10:00-5:30, Sun 11:00-3:00 Website: www.lumadirect.com
Further down the street on the same side of the road is The Barnes Bookshop, offering two floors of books, books and more books as well as gifts, cards and toys. There's something quite beautiful about browsing in a proper bookshop and smelling that distinctive new-book smell as you flick through the pages.
Address: 60 Church Road, Barnes SW13 0DQ Telephone number: 0208 741 0786 Opening Hours: Mon-Sat 9:30-5:30, Sun 11:00-5:00 Website: www.barnesbookshop.co.uk
Head along Church Road toward Barnes Green and you'll find a traditional fruit and veg shop called Two Peas in a Pod. There is a distinct lack of proper greengrocers in London these days due to fierce competition from supermarkets, so it is lovely to see a thriving village shop full of fresh produce and friendly staff.
Address: 85 Church Road, Barnes, SW13 9HH
Telephone number: 020 8748 0232
Opening Hours: Mon-Fri 8:00-5:30, Sat 8:00-5:00, Sun 10:00-1:30
Also part of this parade of shops is Nina – an independent lifestyle boutique that sells an array of clothes, shoes, accessories and gifts. It's the perfect place to pick up a unique present for someone special. They have a fun selection of greeting cards and gift-wrap too.
Address: 55 Church Road, Barnes SW13 9HH
Telephone number: 020 8240 0414
Opening Hours: Mon-Sat 9:00-5:00, Sun 11:00-4:00
Talking of presents, if you walk along Barnes High Street in the direction of the river, you will stray across Presents. As the name suggests, it's your one-stop-shop for gifts for all occasions, as well as row upon row of greetings cards. It also sells a range of fun Barnes-related gifts if you're buying for someone local.
A few doors down is the Fara Kids charity shop. This colourful store is as well stocked as any new children's shop with floor to ceiling shelves full of nearly-new toys and clothes. That's not to mention pushchairs, highchairs and cots. You can feel good in the knowledge that you are supporting a great cause by buying here.
At the far end of Barnes, on the way to Mortlake, White Hart Lane is slowly taking over as the main shopping street, with a good selection of independent stores and cafes. Here you'll find one of only two London shops run by the designer Marilyn Moore. The little shop is spread over two floors and sells a lovely collection of knitwear and casual clothing.
Finally, at the top end of White Hart Lane is Tobias and the Angel, selling all manner of antique furniture and collectibles. It is a lovely shop to browse around with so many interesting products to see.