London Style Guide by Saska Graville.

15105986Hardcover, 293 pages

Published June 1st 2012 by Murdoch

There is an essence to London style and you find it in the small, off-the-radar places: the one off shops, street markets, corner pubs and local restaurants that Londoners themselves go to. London Style Guide takes you on a journey to the heart and soul of London, revealing more than 150 hidden venues that make this city unique. Author and journalist Saska Graville breaks the city down by village, unveiling the places the locals love. Rather than the more familiar iconic spots, these places share a certain eccentricity, quirkiness and independence of spirit. Also featured are some of the Londoners behind the shops, cafés and hotels, and Saska asks them to reveal their city secrets.

It’s London, up close and personal.

This is another lovely travel book. It’s filled with full colour pictures, and the paper has that matte, recycled feel to it that always makes a book feel special and one-off (or is that just me?).

The thing missing from London Style Guide that The Stylist’s Guide To NYC  by Sibella Court has – I can’t help but compare the two, they’re really quite similar –  is that Sibella Court had all these walks mapped out for you, and wrote about them in such a way that you could experience them vicariously through the book – there was just a more in-the-moment details, like saying you should get a courier to take your stuff back to your hotel while you do lunch or whatever. Having said that, I don’t think that the London Style Guide really suffers from not having that. There’s still a lot of details about the shops, and it’s a nice touch having all the interview sections with Londoners. It’s a subtle difference, really.

The photos are gorgeous, and very inviting. There are lots of pub and bistro style places featured – for me personally, I would prefer to go to a pub over some fancy restaurant, so it was nice to see so many in here. And of course, there are many quirky shops that I would love to visit.

Reading a book like this, I wish that someone would write one about my city. But I fear it would be a bit like in Fawlty Towers – ‘Things to do in Torquay – it’s the world’s shortest book!’ – well, not quite, but still!

My rating: 5/5

Goodreads rating: 4.57/5

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