Not surprisingly, most of Fitzrovia’s best shops cater to artists and designers.
Best for spotting art-world heavy hitters The place to find creative supplies in Fitzrovia, Alec Tiranti has been selling every material imaginable—clay, wax, rubber, glazes—as well as hardware, from kilns to modeling tools, since 1895. Beginners can browse the hundreds of how-to books and videos.
Best for drama buffs Come to this London outpost of the iconic New York publisher to browse an encyclopedic selection of plays, both classic and contemporary. It’s also a clearinghouse for underground theater events in the area—ask the knowledgeable staff or scan the poster-crammed notice board. Closed on Sundays.
Best for design lovers Celebrating its 200th anniversary this year, the stately Heal’s interiors store is a British institution. Climb the stairs and check out the so-called Heal’s cat, a sinewy 1925 sculpture by Chassagne peering from the mezzanine. The family began as bed makers, but in the mid-1890’s, under fourth-generation chairman/designer Sir Ambrose Heal, the store expanded its offerings. It’s still the perfect place for browsing the best in British design, from glassware to throw pillows to fabrics.
Best for snazzy stationery Though there are now branches of this paper mecca across the world, the triple-decker Fitzrovia spot was the original Paperchase store, catering to artists in the area since the 1970’s. On the first floor, check out a vast range of cards, Pop-arty boxes, and one-of-a-kind printed gift wrap. Then move upstairs for professional supplies—paper in various weights, day planners, and dozens of types of pens.