Row upon row of books greets me as I open the creaky door to Daunt Books. Thanks to the rise of Social Media, the place is a little crowded… But not so much so that you’re not able to admire the architecture of the shop, the narrow lanes of books and the piles of stories just waiting to be told. Located in leafy Marylebone, you could easily get lost for hours in the Edwardian built store.
Daunt Books: Stories in an Edwardian Setting
Opened in the 1990s, Daunt Books is a chain of bookshops dotted around central London. The brainchild of former banker, James Daunt, the first flagship store opened at 83 Marylebone High Street- which also happens to be the beautiful premises I visited a couple of weeks ago.
Other locations of Daunt Books are dotted around the capital. In the 2000s, the business expanded and premises were opened in North London at Haverstock Hill, in Belsize Park, and South End Road in Hampstead. In 2010, an additional Daunt Books store was opened at Cheapside (next to Bowchurch). But the most impressive store of all remains that of 83-84 Marylebone, Daunt Books’ flagship store.
Daunt Books Flagship Store Addresses | 84 Marylebone High St, Marylebone, London W1U 4QW
83 and 84 Marylebone was first constructed in an Edwardian style for the bookshop Francis Edwards in 1910. Inside, thanks to an abundance of skylights, you’ll find plenty of brightly lit shelves. You’ll also see William Morris printed wallpaper and row upon row of oak, wooden bookshelves. Set over two floors, many believe that this may well have been the first custom-built bookstore in the world.
But best of all? Daunt Books caters and specialises particularly towards travel and travel writing. Wander in at any given moment, and you’re sure to find plenty of travel books; these include memoirs, phrase books, fiction and history, each collection grouped and organised by country.
Each year, in the month of March, Daunt hosts its annual ‘Daunt Books Festival’. For the entire month of March, literary works are celebrated in all kinds of ways. Author talks are held and books are signed. So if you’re visiting the capital in the springtime (something I highly recommend, after all, the spring blossom renders London so pretty!)