Paddington—the protagonist of the popular children’s storybook series that started in 1958—came here to visit his friend’s shop, where the two enjoyed elevenses (tea, served with cake), and to pick up fruits and vegetables.
For more timeless treasures, visit on weekends, when antiques vendors set up stalls. Skip the kitschy Will and Kate tea towels and head to the pastel-painted terraces around the Vernon arcade, where sharp eyes can find pocket watches, porcelain, and rare jewelry.
Browse through time via Barbarella dresses, aging coin collections, and wiry tongue scrapers from when flushed pink palates were the height of sophistication.
This piece, written by Abigail King, first appeared in the December 2014 issue of National Geographic Traveler magazine.