Tuesday, 15 July 2014

A Guide To Charity Shops in London: Notting Hill

Notting Hill is a favourite part of London for me and not just because I used to work here. I avoid the market on a Saturday like the plague because it's so full of slow walking tourists, taking photos of the Portobello Road sign and asking where the blue door is. If you have to go on a Saturday I recommend going before 8am. All the charity shops are open on a Sunday anyways. If you're in the area on a weekday, one of my favourite London secret places is Books for Cooks on Blenheim Crescent which not only has every cookbook under the sun but they also try out all the recipes from the books, so if you get there at about 11.45 you can get a delicious 3 course meal for £10.

This charity shop is great if you're looking for something to wear to the office. It's all very middle of the road in here. Lots of Zara and Boden. The pricing scheme seems utterly bizarre but I've actually got it figured out - they have heard of some designers thus a Stella McCartney Dress priced at £69.99, but not others - Chloe and Marc Jacob trousers for £9.99. They seem to know their high end high street, but it is a little odd to see a pair of Jack Wills (£9.99) trousers priced higher than a pair of Jil Sander (£8.99) ones. Especially when a pair of Primark jeans is £5.99.

Prices: Zara top £5.99

Trinity Hospice
20 Notting Hill Gate, Notting Hill, London, 

This charity shop is more like charity shops used to be - hiddledy piggledy and full of random stuff. However those charity shops tend to be cheaper and this one is not - maybe because of the location. They had quite a few designer shoes last time I went in at about £60 each which isn't bad, but then a H&M dress is £11. They have a half price rail and the other rails usually have a lot of stuff that has been marked down.

Prices: Forever 21 top £14

Cancer Research

183 Portobello Road, Notting Hill, London , W11 2ED

This is one of my favourite charity shops in the area, maybe in London, I've has some great bargains from here. They stock a lot of good quality high street stuff, no tatty clothes here. I also know that they ask companies to donate unwanted samples and things that they can't shift so there's a lot of new in here. I once got a brand new Dorothy Perkins top for £3.50 and I have a friend who got Urban jeans for £10. And there isn't an abundance of Primark either. They have a good vintage section at the back. Not much in the way of books and bric-a-brac. When I last went they had a bunch of new pineapple studios stuff in and a fur coat from the 20s. The prices here are pretty reasonable in my book and I once saw a pair of Prada shoes in here for £20.

Prices; Topshop Dress £8, H&M Top £4, Vintage dress £10

10 Elgin Crescent, London W11 2HX

I'm less keen on this charity shop, mostly because of the prices, I think their a little steep for what they are especially with the Cancer Research just around the corner, but it's still a favourite in Notting Hill. They do have a better selection of designer and higher end stuff than the Cancer Research. It's always worth a look though because occasionally they mark the stuff that isn't selling down to half price and I've seen a Lacosse polo down to £3.50 and a Luella (for target) jacket marked down to £28.  There isn't load of bric-a-brac or books here either. There's an Oxfam books up on the Portobello so I doubt there's much point for these two charity shops. This charity shop is worth a look just for their truly bizarre window displays. I read somewhere that they are 'open to interpretation' which I took to mean 'WTF?'. Seriously they once had a mannequin wrapped in fabric lying at the bottom of the window. I mostly can't tell what they are going for. (Pro-tip for VMing your charity shop -don't try to be clever, just put two of your best/most eye catching outfits in the window or pick a colour theme and stick to it) And if you're on Elgin Crescent you have to check out Rococo Magazines, for one of the best selections of magazines I've ever seen.

Prices; Topshop Dress £18

Fara Baby/Child 
39-41 Ledbury Rd, London, London, W11 2AA
I don't have a baby/child so I have basically no interest in this charity shop and no gauge on how good it is. If I did have a child though I'd buy all it's things from charity shops and car boot sales because kids break everything anyway.

245 Westbourne Grove London W11 2SB

This is one of the more expensive charity shops in the area, with a Dorothy Perkins skirt being about £14 and a Miss Selfridge dress for about £16, but if you're looking for high-end high street or a few designer bits this is your charity shop. They have lots of Joseph, Hobbs, Max Mara, Maje - basically the shops that are the other side of the road, where the locals shop. An LK Bennett dress is about £35 and an Acne top is £39. Not many knick knacks in this shop either, but it's great for accessories with a leather belt coming in at about £6 and a handbag for about £15.

Traid Bayswater  
 61 Westbourne Grove London W2 4UA

I love a good Traid especially when they do an everything £2 (or sometimes everything £1) sale. This one is pretty much your standard traid with a mix of second hand, new and vintage. Like all Traids I can not figure out how they decide the prices on the vintage with the prices ranging from £12.99 to £35 for a vintage dress. The pricing on the new is more expensive than the second hand with a new Topshop skirt at £10.99 and a second hand Topshop coat at £15.99 which makes sense. This one also has a separate rail for all the designer stuff so it's easier to find, but priced accordingly with a McQueen dress for £89.99.

Prices; H&M Top £5.99

Mary's Living and Giving
177 Westbourne Grove, London, W11 2SB

You aren't going to find a top for £4 at Mary Portas's Living and Giving, but then you aren't going to find any old Primark stuff either. It's a really lovely shop, even if it wasn't a charity shop. And it's much better than it's Barnes branch. Most of the stock is designer or high-end high street and the staff obviously know their labels so there's no mis-priced items. But with a Lulu Guinness handbag for £50 , you're still getting an utter bargain. They also get a lot of new stuff, last time I was there I got a brand new Lazy Oaf tee for just £12. I'd really recommend this place if you have an event to go to, but are on a budget as a lot of the fancy dresses are hardly worn (probably donated by the type of woman who can't be seen at an event in the same dress twice).

Prices: Miss Selfridge top £16.99, Jil Sander trousers £85

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