Sunday, 30 October 2011

My favourite London shops ~ Shepherds Falkiners: A perfect paper heaven

For the past 5 years, I've spent at least one week of my summer holiday in London, taking courses in Book History at the London Rare Books School (LRBS). I love the area around Russell Square, in the famous Bloomsbury area, and I've discovered some fabulous shops which are leading my London Top Favourite Shops List. I've meant to write about my three most favourite art materials and craft shops alredy in summer, but I forgot to take the pictures of their shop fronts that I meant to. So I decided to put it off until after my short trip to London in October. But what can I say - I forgot to take pictures again! Well, I must have been so excited to enter the shops, that it completely slipped my mind (and afterwards had my hands too full...)!.

So I've now decided to write about them anyway. After all, I've got enough photos of the fabulous stuff I bought there :). All three shops are conveniently close to each other, and only a few minutes walk from the British Museum's main entrance. The first shop I want to share with you is the one I've discovered the first year I stayed in Bloomsbury: Shepherds Falkiners, a fabulous shop specialising in fine papers and bookbinding supplies, located in Southampton Row (turn left on Great Russell Street (facing away from the BM entrance), cross Southampton Row, and then it's just a few steps to your right). The shop, though not big, is nice airy and light, with some lovely dark wood furniture, and the colours, patterns and textures of the papers are just so wonderful, a real feast for they eye. It's probably a good thing I don't know anything about book binding, at least the practical-making-it-yourself-part, or I'd probably spend a fortune in there. They do have a series of courses they offer, both in London and Wiltshire, and I'm still hoping that they'll be having one at a time when I happen to be staying in the area. I've always fancied learning some basic book binding :)

I'v wanted one of those gorgeous boxes already the first time I've stepped into the store, but I never figured out how to get them home. No space in the suitcase, and back then, it was still strictly one hand lagguage policy in the airplane. I didn't want to send it back by mail either, as I feared the edges would all get damaged. So no chance. But this time, at last, I got my box! I took my big suitcase for the few days, half empty, to fill it up with goodies :). And I didn't just get a box, but also a pencil box, a pencil holder and a sheet of paper. I simply couldn't resist the paper, even though it's almost impossible to get it home without creases. But I'm going to clue it on top of something anyway, so I guess it doesn't really matter.

I bought the bonefolder back in summer. I've been looking at quite a few bonefolders, but this one was the only one that really was perfect. The size and shape, and it's slight bend that makes it lie in your hand just perfectly. Why all that fuss about a simple bonefolder, you might ask. Well yes, maybe. But. It's the small details that turn an ordinary bonefolder into a fabulous, perfect one. And I love details :).

If you're ever in that area (and it's an areay well worth visiting), do pop in there and have a look. They also have notebooks, diaries, greeting cards and other things that make great gifts for people who appreciate quality paper crafts. And they also got an online shop (with reasonable shipping costs to Switzerland, which is not always the case), so I'm sure I'll be ordering some more of those papers :). Unfortunately, they don't seem to have the boxes in the online shop, though. Well, a good reason to go there again next time I'm in London :)

Oh and make sure to take a few minutes to visit lovely Russell Square. It's such a peaceful place, especially in the autumn light - and the café serves a tasty English breakfast too :)

Next Sunday, I'll show you another one of my Favourite 3 London Shops, and we'll be going stamping mad. (And maybe I'll even managed to get some pictures of the shop).

Have a fabulous longest-day-of-the-year Sunday!


  1. That's a beautiful photo of Russell Square, and it's a great part of the city to visit. It's got a touch of timeless class about it, and is relatively clean and airy compared to most of London! Plus of course The British Museum AND the library - two of the finest buildings in the land in my opinion. I could live in either and be perfectly happy.

    I can't say I've ever known Shepherds Falkiners but what a great name!

    As for bone folding, is that some kind of Yoga?

  2. The BM and the BL are definitely favourite places of mine too, I especially like going to the BM in the evenings, when it's open late. I always enjoy staying in that area, it has such a lovely atmosphere, and also lots of restaurants. And Dickens' House. I certainly wouldn't mind living there, at all.

    Bone folding is certainly how it felt for me, when I tried to do something good for myself and went to Yoga classes. I didn't enjoy it at all. Definitely not a Yoga person. Painting with watercolours, and even folding paper with my lovely bonefolder - I find that sooo much more relaxing and enjoyable.

  3. The shop sounds lovely and your goodies are really pretty! :-) The right tools are important, so I understand that you chose the bone folder with care! And that pic of the square is gorgeous! :-)

  4. The shop has moved to Victoria (Gillingham Street) - but still has a marvellous stock of papers.