The organisers of National Stationery Week published a Stationery Tour of London which sounded like a great idea to Papers Pens Poets although to do the whole tour on one day would be a bit too much for anyone – even us. The official tour takes in 18 outlets, mostly nationwide chains with a few well know emporiums thrown in. Sadly there is a lack of independent stationers so Papers Pens Poets have decided to do their own rambling tour of London taking in all sorts of retailers, big and small.
We started with one of the biggest – the Paperchase flagship store on Tottenham Court Road.
Paperchase is a familiar shop on many UK high streets. They are best known for their ranges of matching notebooks, pens and organisers. This season’s themes are Get Away – beach huts, maps and backpacking; Let’s squawk – vibrant tropical colours with parrots and Aqua Marine – bold origami crabs and fish. As well as stylish, quality products including greetings cards, wrapping paper, diaries and storage solutions.
However their Tottenham Court Road store has a whole lot more. The shop is spread across three floors. The ground floor would look familiar to any regular Paperchase shopper except on a bigger scale. This season’s themes are featured near the front of the store but they only make up a small part of the display. The rest of the floor has the full Paperchase range which is impressive. More wrapping paper, more writing paper, more birthday cards. All of them beautiful and interesting. This Paperchase has something for everyone.
The first floor is a designer’s heaven. This features specialist suppliers that we haven’t seen in any regular Paperchase. There were pencil pockets from Pijama and cool hole punches from Danish brand Nomess and a wall display from the ultra cool Midori Japan. Our photos didn’t do justice to the amazing displays, so it would be better if you visited and saw for yourself the wondrous array of stationery on offer.
Even if you have always considered Paperchase to be twee and for teenagers, please go to the flagship store and be blown away.
Luckily there is a very nice coffee shop on the first floor and Papers Pens Poets were grateful to have a sit down and refresh themselves before heading up to the second floor.
The top floor is an art shop. It doesn’t have everything that a large Cowling and Willcox or the London Graphic Centre (shops we will be visiting soon) would stock but it does have a lot. Including a gorgeous array of coloured paper and large area for their project craft workshops.
Papers Pens Poets – the personal view
Jo – I’ve been coming to this store forever. This is where I bought my writing paper when I was at boarding school. Writing letters was the only way to communicate confidentially as mobile phones hadn’t been invented yet and the pay phones were on the ground floor of the Science Block. Your conversation would echo up the stair well for everyone to hear. This shop has got better and better over the decades and I always drop in when I am in the area. Now that my children are stationery addicts, I always visit in December to buy stocking fillers.
Anita – This was my first visit to the flagship store in London and I was in three-whole-floors of heaven. My only dilemma was where to browse first. I was particularly taken with their new for summer Get Away range. Although, the Vintage Floral range still gets my vote too. My visit would not have been complete without going to the far left of the top floor to see their sale stock. I challenge you not to buy anything.