Beyond Vintage – Exploring London’s Thrift Scene

Renowned for its department stores, money-green Harrods shopper bags and high-end luxury fashion labels, London is the epitome of extravagancewhen it comes to shopping.

But it is also home to a thriving alternative scene, where the expert browser can occasionally pick up a bargain from a one-off boutique, pop-up vintage fair or flea market.

The trick is to get off the beaten track and exploresome of the lesser-known shopping locations.

Shop until you drop in Soho

Centrally located in the City of Westminster, Soho is a thriving hub of all things quirkywith its curious mix of boutiques and curiosity shops,attracting seasoned vintage lovers with a passion for different.At its heart is one of the best independent record shops in the city,Phonica, which caters for all tastes from 'nu-jazz' through to French electro.

Experience the Brick Lane bric-a-brac

Head to the other side of the capital for bric-a-brac and one-off treasures at London's vibrant Brick Lane, which is perhaps better known for its Bangladeshi-Sylheti community, curry houses and East End hustle andbustle.

Food and people aside, this noisy street is also full of antique dealers, street art fanatics, and those on the hunt for something different.Do not miss the Brick Lane Market, whichsells anything and everything from organic food and handmade clothes toarts and crafts.

Grab a bargain in Lewes

Travelling off-the-beaten track to avoid London's premium prices will definitely pay off for real bargain hunters.

One that is well-worth hiring a car for, is Lewes Flea Market-an hour's drive away in East Sussex where you are sure to grab yourself a second-hand steal.

Not only will you find extensive collections of furniture, clothing and collectables, but it's situated in a converted church where quite literallyshelves are piled high with glassware, lights and even Victorian taxidermy.

Check out the nearby Church Hill Antique Centre, home to Dancing Fox Vintage and where you'll find a mixture of upcycled goods and handmade gifts.

Why not hire a car from our Islington branch, where you can spot the trends in the stylish boutiques of Angel before setting off to find something unique in Lewes.