With its winding lanes and artisan shops, the corner of London that is Marylebone Village is renowned for being one of the most fashionable spots in town. In fact, this reputation for being a hub for artisan makers dates back to the 1770s, when musicians and artists lived and worked in the area.
These days, it is famous for its line-up of independent shops – which – counter to what’s happening in the rest of the UK – seem to thrive in this corner of London. During the late-18th century, the main street became the Marylebone High Street we recognise today, lined with shops and houses. The Portland Estate leased pieces of land out on 99-year leases, on which builders of all types built according to plans approved by the Estate. This led to a great variety of buildings in terms of style, size and occupancy. Tradesmen included an apothecary, baker, goldbeater, hairdresser, shoemaker and watchmaker.
Looking around today, the shop signs may have changed in 2023, but Marylebone still retains a characterful, ‘small town’ feel, despite it being a short walk from the hubbub of Oxford Street. Still known as ‘Marylebone Village’, one of the most-loved shops is the charmingly timeless VV Rouleaux, found on Marylebone Lane. Home to ribbons, haberdashery, millinery and trimmings, the store was founded in 1990 by Annabel Lewis, with the belief that “there are no barriers between fashion and decorating, home and catwalk”. It quickly became a destination store for designers, sewers and decorators and its rainbow-hued window displays are always one of the most imaginative on the high street.
Daunt Books, found in a period Edwardian store,