Stationers, stationery, paper goods, paper store... London
January 14, 2009 8:44 AM   Subscribe

I'm still searching for the perfect journal. New question! Updated specifications! Specifically, I'm looking for stationers/paper goods stores in London.

I will be on vacation for a couple of weeks, and will have ample time for running around the city and shopping, but I'm not sure how to go about searching for what I'm looking for. I'd like some sort of store where I can go and find a lot of journals, paper goods, fountain pens. I received a lot of very helpful responses to my last question about journals, but didn't end up getting one of those because I realized I wanted/needed to be able to see it and feel it for myself, so ordering online was less than ideal. Also, I've switched to using fountain pens almost exclusively, so I'd like a high quality paper that will absorb the ink so it doesn't smear.

I have this grand fantasy of walking into some little shop that's been there 200 years with a lot of heavy dark wood furniture that smells of ink, musty old books and tobacco. If anything approaching this exists in real life, I hope one of you can tell me.
posted by booknerd to Shopping (6 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
I can't answer the second, but it's a nice fantasy! For the first, Paperchase is not terribly romantic but I've bought a few great notebooks with good paper there before, and since it should be easy to get to, it's worth a look.

Also, I don't think they do notebooks, but you might want to stick your head into a branch of Shepherds if you get a chance, if your stationery love extends to beautiful paper or bookbinding.
posted by carbide at 9:51 AM on January 14, 2009

When I worked in London 20 years ago, there were some lovely old stationer's shops around the Inns of Court (Fleet Street and Kingsway sort of area). I don't know if they'd still be there.

A search online seems to just throw up The Pen Shop which has a few branches in London. This one might have what you're looking for.

There also used to be a pen shop in that short road between Charing Cross Station and Embankment Station, but again, it was a few years ago I was last there so doubt it's there now - it's probably a Starbucks or something!

The good thing about London is you'll be wandering around one day and come across just what you're looking for. I hope you manage that in the time you have.
posted by stenoboy at 12:15 PM on January 14, 2009

I came here to recommend Shepherd's, even though I couldn't remember the name! The shop in Holborn is very atmospheric and I believe that they do do some (really pricey) notebooks.

Also, Papyrus in Kensington is very much the kind of thing you're after, I think.

Paperchase did make nice notebooks once, but their stationery is declining in quality lately, to my mind at least. It's much more full of plastic gift crap these days.
posted by Acheman at 2:59 PM on January 14, 2009

Cornelissen's would be worth a look. They have more pigments, oils and rabbit skin glue than papers and books but may be able to point you in the right direction.
Also Faulkner Fine Papers, 74 Southampton Row, London WC1, 020-7831 1151
posted by Dr.Pill at 5:39 PM on January 14, 2009

Smythsons might be the place for a leather-bound journal and notepaper. It's only been going 140 years but it does have wood panelling and is by royal appointment etc. I've tended to buy fountain pens at John Lewis at Oxford Circus. For paper supplies, the London Graphic Centre has most things.
posted by boudicca at 1:59 AM on January 15, 2009

Paperchase did make nice notebooks once, but their stationery is declining in quality lately, to my mind at least. It's much more full of plastic gift crap these days.

Ah, sorry, it's been about 4 years since I bought a notebook there - a gorgeous hardcover one with thick blank paper - and I was thinking that their online product range had nothing similar. Good to know, but boo at Paperchase.
posted by carbide at 6:18 AM on January 15, 2009

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