Last weekend, Tibo and I discovered one of these incredible places that seems to have just fallen out of the sky into the heart of a giant metropolitan area. I’ll let you be the judge.
It is truly a hidden gem. The facade looks like that of a typical cute London book shop. Nothing about it suggests that it is one of the most incredible ones that exists.
Daunt Books was founded by James Daunt in a beautiful Edwardian house originally built in 1910 for antique booksellers. More than a century later, it has preserved its charm of yesteryear and its original layout.
Once up the side staircase, you reach a mezzanine surrounding the heart of the shop: a long gallery and a beautiful stained-glass window.
After having admired the beauty of the premises for long enough, we switched our attention to the books and collections on display. The works are primarily arranged by country or region, regardless of the genre (novel, guidebook, essay, …), which invites shoppers to take a journey across the world through its bookshelves, beautifully lining the walls.
Speaking of traveling, the bookshop has numerous guidebooks, which undeniably makes it a store specialized in this genre. We also took the time to explore the basement, which holds an immense section on Asia and the Americas.
The natural lighting, the wooden interior, and the creaking hardwood floors give Daunt Books an extremely warm and hearty feel. You’ll quickly build up the desire to roam the hallways, and their sofas are seemingly calling out to you to sit down and choose your next book. Take the time to permeate the ambiance of this place, and to ask employees for advice, who won’t for a minute make you feel like you’ve overstayed your welcome.
Daunt Books is one of those magical places where you have the impression of having entered a different world. Definitely not to be missed if you are in Marylebone!
83 Marylebone High Street
Open Monday to Saturday from 9:00 am to 7:30 pm, and Sunday from 11:00 am to 6:00 pm