A serendipitous find off the King’s Road: John Sandoe Books

As we walked down the King’s Road toward Sloane Square, it was only by chance that we noticed John Sandoe Books down a side street. In recent months both John and I had come across references to this bookshop. John saw it in a design magazine and I saw it in my Book Lover’s Guide to London. But neither of us were looking for it, or even thought to look for it, when we stumbled upon it.

Its piles of books reminds me a bit of the lovely little Primrose Hill Books in another part of London, John Sandoe is easily the most gloriously disheveled bookstore I have ever been to. I have been to far crazier second hand shops, but these were all new.

While there I discovered Slightly Foxed editions and bought two two volumes of which I will blog in the near future.  Afterwards we went for a little tea in Sloane Square.

12 thoughts on “A serendipitous find off the King’s Road: John Sandoe Books

  1. Kim November 21, 2010 / 12:39 am

    I am loving every one of your travel posts. The pics are perfection. I've not been to John Sandoe Books but just added it to my list. Love the black paned windows and the piles of books. And that restaurant, the Botanist, is gorgeous! My list is getting longer and longer. I'm like you, scones first!


  2. irisonbooks November 21, 2010 / 4:56 am

    It might be disorganised, but it looks very beautiful and like a perfect bookshop. I forgot to comment on this at your previous post, but seeing another scone here I feel I can still say that if I have high tea on family occassions (well, that only happened 3 times) I always get most obsessed about the scones as well!


  3. savidgereads November 21, 2010 / 6:47 am

    Oh my goodness, I live in London and I have never seen this book shop before!!! I think I am going to have to go and hunt it down as it looks absolutely amazing! Thanks for sharing Thomas.


  4. Francine Gardner November 21, 2010 / 9:47 am

    This is just my type of bookstore. I could spend the day, browsing through the shelves, taking in the atmosphere.


  5. Steph November 21, 2010 / 2:12 pm

    London really seems like a such a bookish paradise. I have a feeling that my next trip there will be extremely book-centric… I'll be returning to your posts for plenty of ideas!


  6. Daniel-Halifax November 21, 2010 / 4:54 pm

    What an amazing find! The best part of a trip! And Devonshire clotted cream…I've been craving that lately. Yum!


  7. Aarti November 21, 2010 / 11:34 pm

    I've been there! Well, I think so. I went to a used bookstore on that stretch of road when I studied abroad in London. It looked pretty much exactly the way your pictures portray it, so I think it must be the same one. How fabulous!


  8. Paperback Reader November 22, 2010 / 8:43 am

    Oh my.

    Did you make it to Slightly Foxed itself? Verity and I happened across it one day on the way back from Carlyle's House (I managed to lose us). That reminds me: I didn't pronounce “Ecclefechan” for you in person!


  9. Carolyn November 22, 2010 / 1:15 pm

    Lovely! It looks a bit like the crowded chaos in Shakespeare & Company in Paris.

    I'm loving all your London posts too, hopefully I'll be able to go back in a few years.


  10. chasingbawa November 29, 2010 / 5:17 pm

    I used to live around the corner from this bookshop years ago. It's wonderful isn't it? There's another secondhand bookshop that's very similar to John Sandoe's just off Hampstead High Street but I've forgotten it's name. Maybe on you next visit:)


  11. Thomas at My Porch November 30, 2010 / 1:41 pm

    Kim: The only problem with tea at The Botanist was that it was too warm inside. We both felt uncomfortably hot and couldn't wait to get outside.

    Iris: I love a disorganised shop as well.

    Simon S: It is amazing what lurks around the corners.

    Francine: I was somewhat inhibited from spending enough time there by our schedule.

    Steph: You should also track down a copy of A Book Lover's Guide to London.

    Daniel: Best thing about clotted cream these days in the US is that we can get it at just about any grocery store.

    Aarti: This crazy jumble was actually made up of all new books.

    Claire: No you didn't pronounce Ecclefechan. Ek-ul-fek-un?

    Carolyn: For some reason in Paris I never seem to be drawn to Shakespeare & Co. I have gone in once or twice and recognize what a cool place it is, but my mind in Paris always seems to be on other things.

    Sakura: So many things to see on my next visit.


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