Russell Square Hotels

Russell Square Shopping

Alara Wholefoods
Alara Wholefoods Health shop on Marchmont Street has been recommended by one of our readers, poet Kim Morrissey, who took the trouble to write in to tell us, "This is one of my favourite shops, and it has been an essential stop for lovers of organic foods since 1979. They stock all the products you need for quick grocery shopping, and they have a lovely small cafe attached, if you want to stop for a break." High praise indeed. And, Kim continues, because it's open from 8am weekdays it's very handy for those early morning emergencies. Organic cosmetics include brands like Dr. Hauschka, Weleda and Rescue Remedy while their gluten free muesli is also available in major supermarkets.

London Review Bookshop
Opened in May 2003, with Alan Bennett cutting the ribbon, the London Review Bookshop is a welcome addition to the city's dwindling ranks of independent bookshops. Duck through the traditional shop front and, despite its compact space, you'll be impressed by the range of volumes on the towering, tightly packed shelves. There is just a single copy of some books allowing for more choice to be packed in. And, unlike the big branded bookshops, the presentation of the books isn't dictated by how much the publishers have paid to promote their latest blockbusters. The shop stocks the kinds of books that the London Review of Books (the literary magazine) reviews - political analysis, biographies, philosophy, poetry and literary novels. Subscribers to the magazine receive invites to regular late night openings where you get 10% off everything. Speakers at regular reader events - served with a glass of wine - are of the calibre of Alan Bennett, Melvyn Bragg, Slavoj Zizek, Timothy Garton Ash, Gerry Adams and Alastair Campbell. Bookshop heaven.

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