This week we visited Hatchards on Piccadilly which is the oldest surviving bookshop in Britain and has maintained its address for over 200 years! Piccadilly is one of the main thoroughfares in London and even features on a standard Monopoly board, it’s one of the yellow tiles! Always good for hotels. Probably because The Ritz has a Piccadilly address, as does Fortnum and Mason. The famous Eros statue sits at the East End of the street close to Piccadilly Circus underground station. Just behind Eros is the Criterion Bar where Dr Watson met his former colleague Stanford who introduced him to Holmes, who was also looking for lodgings, in A Study in Scarlet.
Hatchards is the bookshop of the Queen and holds three royal warrants.
It mainly sells new books though on the ground floor there is a First Edition and Antiquarian section.
The bookshop is a rather special space. The staircase winds up in the centre of the building and seem to go on forever. Each floor has a clear character and there are some rather marvellous looking books here, particularly on the art floor.
I got a bit stuck on the crime floor. Bookcases and bookcases of crime novels. Whole bookcases for Sherlock and Agatha Christie.
The bookshop was beautifully carpeted with interesting piece of art throughout featuring members of the Royal Family.
Pretty flowers and interesting table displays certainly served to make this huge space appear more cosy. Attractive sofas in different areas made the shop feel welcoming and people took advantage of these seating areas as they went through piles of books, deciding what to buy!
The clientele certainly appeared to be well to do and their dogs all looked well bred.
This was certainly a bookshop where you would find the book you were looking for I think. There were a huge amount of books, it was a warehouse as much as a shop! I think if I were looking for a particular book I would go here to find it but I didn’t feel inspired to browse. You know how much we loved Daunt and Stanfords, I think those bookshops will continue to feature in our trips to London but this shop may not be welcoming us again.
What do you think of Hatchards? It’s fantastic that it has so much history isn’t it and they certainly have the selection. Have you shopped there?