Wednesday, 22 July 2015

London Kensington Charity Shops

I recently started a new job in a new part of town. Kensington to be precise,and I have some tough choices to make at lunchtimes as there are so many good options: Hyde park, of course, Kensington High Street, the Royal Albert Hall steps (when I have a good book), Kensington High Street - for TKmaxx, Wholefoods, COS, Zara, Gloucester Road charity shops.. ah yes, charity shops. I scoped them out early on.

So here is my round-up of Kensington Charity Shops (in parts):
1) Gloucester Road (SW7 4RB) 
2) Kensington Church Street
3) South Ken line-up

And so we begin with the Gloucester Road trio. Here they are on a map (click to see it bigger). Bear in mind, this is Kensington, as a rule the stuff in these charity shops will be more expensive than your usual, but keep an open mind and you are very likely to find something fancy for not as much as you might expect. The main thing to watch out for is garments from the cheap end of the high-street, which will be priced in line with the rest of the shop.

Fara (26 Gloucester Rd)
We begin with Fara which is the best (and biggest) of the three. It's over two floors and upstairs there are lots of lovely clothes - I still kick myself for leaving behind a Cabbages and Roses dress a few weeks ago. I missed out because I told myself 'it's too expensive at £15'. In reality, £15 isn't cheap, cheap - but for a Cabbages and Roses dress it's certainly excellent value. And, comparatively, I have seen the prices soar at my local Walworth chazza shops and wouldn't be surprised to see proper cheap high street dresses in there at that price. What's more, Cabbages and Roses dresses are made in London with lots of love, care and beautiful fabric. You can buy them new for about £200. Yep.

Below ground there is a good selection of homewares and bric-a-brac I bought a silly hand-made ceramic spoon in here for 50p a few weeks ago which I was pleased with. All good apart from their line in 'la fermiere' yoghurt pots - £1. A word to the wise, if you like these (and they are very pretty and useful) go to Wholefoods and buy yourself a new one so you can actually eat the yoghurt. This type of thing should really be 10p in charity shops in my opinion. The same with the glass Gu ramekins - I have seen those for sale at £1 - crazy! 

The mens clothes in this Fara are excellent - lots of pretty-much-new fancy shirts, and even fancier suits - I have seen Brioni in there for around the £80 mark which bearing in mind these suits cost somewhere in the region of £4000, is quite excellent value.

They also have nice designer ties for about £6. I have been eyeing up a Liberty print one recently, it's a shame my boyfriend claims not to like pretty patterns. 

Trinity House (28a Gloucester Road - next door to Fara) 
This CS doesn't have quite the same quality of products its counter-part next door, not a lot of bric-a-brac, the smallest book selection I have ever come across in a charity shop, but some nice clothes if you hunt a bit. The Trinity House on the Walworth Rd is in my top three charity shops of all-time-ever, I think the main problem with this one is that it doesn't have the space. Its saving grace is its selection of hats which always seems quite good. It's worth a visit since it's just next door to Fara and you never know.  

Oxfam (5 Gloucester Road).
This shop is, again, rather small and is priced in line with all other Oxfam charity shops (expensive, I guess they do strict auditing). This branch has nice a rather good selection of clothes from fancier high-street shops such as Cos and they often have some designer clothes which are priced accordingly. Unlike the other two shops of the trio, Oxfam has quite a good range of children's clothes, some of which are nice brands like Petit Bateau and often in very good nick. So far I have only browsed in here, but I'm sure I will find something worthy of my pocket money in here soon.

After your charity shop trawl you could stop at The Queens Arms for a half, a sweet pub down a little mews nearby.