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Shop Small in Victoria

Sponsored post in association with American Express®

Victoria has been my home in London since I left university and I don’t need to tell regular readers how much I love living here. Through the years I’ve been witness to so many changes in the local area which has led to so much more choice for places to eat, drink and shop. One of the best positive changes is the number of small businesses that have cropped up in my neighbourhood and I love spending my weekend enjoying my favourite places that are all in walking distance from my home.

This Saturday is Small Business Saturday, a day when people across the country are encouraged to get out and support local small businesses. I’ve teamed up with the founder and ongoing supporters of the initiative, American Express, to show you how I like to shop small not just on Small Business Saturday but all year round. So, to help inspire you to explore new areas here’s one of my favourite routes around the wonderful small shops, bars and cafés in Victoria.

Coffee Geek and Friends

Literally I can’t imagine starting a day without coffee and I’m fortunate enough to have Coffee Geek and Friends right on my door step. It’s a small café, that’s big in flavour as they use the latest in technology and special coffee from a London based roaster Allpress espresso. It offers plenty of tasty baked goods to have with your brew including cakes, pastries and sourdough breads all made fresh in the café. With your coffee in hand take a walk along Victoria Street to admire the breath-taking Westminster Cathedral.

Westminster Cathedral

One of the most incredible things about living in Victoria is the amount of history in the area and as you make your way through the streets you’ll see so many of London’s most famous landmarks. Westminster Cathedral is located right on Victoria Street and is one of the most beautiful churches in London.
(Photo by Richard Boll)

It’s the perfect place to take in a spot of culture whilst exploring Victoria and you’ll avoid the crowds around the more well-known Westminster Abbey.

Vagabond Wines

Vagabond Wines is my favourite wine bar in Victoria – also located in the Nova Building. You purchase a card and then you can use this to sample wine from the tasting machines. A wonderful way to try before you buy! There’s super comfortable seating and you can settle in for a date night with cheese and charcuterie platters or you can purchase a bottle to take away with you from their extensive stock.

(Photo by Richard Boll)

St James Park

Another wonderful thing about living in Victoria is the proximity to the Royal Parks. St James Park is my favourite for the beautiful flowers and views of Buckingham Palace. I especially love it in autumn when the leaves are crisp beneath my feet. If it’s not too cold, I’d suggest buying some food from Sourced Market and heading down there for a little picnic to fuel up for the day.

(Photo by Richard Boll)

Blo by Real Hair

Next, head to Elizabeth Street, one of my favourite shopping streets in the Victoria / Belgravia area. Regular readers will know that I love getting my hair done for a night out and I love this local salon for a super speedy blow dry.
(Photo by Richard Boll)
The staff are experienced and well-trained to create many different looks and the overall experience is luxurious and perfect for a pamper. They only use premium hair care products that give my hair a great finish.

Beulah 

By now you may be feeling like a spot of shopping and Elizabeth Street is the perfect place to explore some beautiful boutiques. One I’ve just discovered is Beulah – a gorgeous store founded by Lady Natasha Rufus Isaacs and Lavinia Brennan and selling high quality and luxurious fashion pieces.
(Photo by Richard Boll)

The difference with Beulah is the social conscience and the desire to bring positive change to the world. With every garment sold they donate to a women’s charity in Delhi.

The Belgravia Mews Houses 

Victoria and Belgravia are quite simply gorgeous places to walk around and sometimes it feels like you’ve stepped out of central London and into a country village. One of my favourite places to discover are the mews houses in Belgravia which are conveniently en-route to our next stop Neill Strain.

Neill Strain

It’s not difficult to see why Neil Strain is regarded as one of London’s most beautiful florists and the Belgravia boutique is known for its exceptionally lavish exterior displays reflecting the seasons throughout the year.

Neill Strain is different to most florists as the bouquets are designed as totally unique and exciting creations plus they only use the absolute freshest flowers so that the bouquets last for as long as possible.

Kazan

With all this shopping and walking I love to end the day with a delicious dinner. Kazan on Wilton Street has been one of my favourite restaurants in Victoria for years, I’ve even become well acquainted with the owner now.
Serving fantastic Turkish food from the Ottoman Era, the chicken kebab is my favourite whereas Mr S loves the mixed grill. Don’t miss a Turkish coffee and some Turkish delight or other Turkish pastries afterwards.

So, there you have it my favourite route to shop small in Victoria. To find out more about Shop Small and to discover guides in your local area, visit amexshopsmall.co.uk.

What’s more, if you’re an American Express Cardmember you will be rewarded for supporting your local high street with the Shop Small offer. When you spend £10 or more in a single transaction using your registered American Express Card at a participating small business during the campaign period (2-17 December 2017) you will receive a £5 statement credit. There is no limit to the number of participating businesses you can receive your £5 statement credit from – however, you can only claim it once at each small business. Terms apply.

But the Shop Small offer is just one way that American Express can make every day more rewarding. The range of Cards from American Express are packed with ways to reward you for your purchases*; from Membership Rewards® points that can be used to treat yourself to virtually anything to discounts at top restaurants and hotels, money back on everyday purchases, or collecting frequent flyer miles* – check out the American Express website for more information,

*Selected Cards only. Terms and conditions apply. Subject to availability.

Promoter: American Express Services Europe Limited has its registered office at Belgrave House, 76 Buckingham Palace Road, London, SW1W 9AX, United Kingdom. It is registered in England and Wales with Company Number 1833139 and authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.