My Personal Guide: Shop Small In South Kensington, London

30th November 2017

Sponsored post in association with American Express®

South Kensington has so many beautiful and inspiring places to offer. From iconic landmarks to design institutes, authentic restaurants and the coolest fashion boutiques, the list truly goes on.

This Saturday is Small Business Saturday, a day when people across the country are encouraged to get out and support local small businesses. I’ve teamed up with the founder and on going supporters of the initiative, American Express, to show you how I like to support my local high street not just on Small Business Saturday but all year round. So, to help inspire you to explore new areas here’s one of my favourite routes around South Kensington in London.

Hyde Park

Every morning, really early I try and come here for a walk, it’s a good way to clear my mind and start the day. I particularly love walking by the lido (lake) as it is so pretty and you can see the ducks and swans. Hyde Park is pretty magical anytime of the year.


I love nipping into Tombo, London’s first authentic Japanese café & matcha bar aiming to spread the word of the wonderfully versatile green tea. Tombo offers a new experience in modern Japanese food and the art of tea and matcha. I am always a regular here for a quick authentic light lunch. I love the matcha green tea lattes and cakes.

Jane Taylor Millinery

Since 2008 Jane Taylor Millinery has produced stunning ranges of bespoke, beguiling, beautiful hats and headpieces. Sometimes I just like to go and try the headpieces on and feel a million dollars. They are perfect if I need to go to Ascot or any other important occasion!

Baar & Bass

This fashion boutique really is a one of a kind experience. Baar & Bass is a boutique that seamlessly offers a blend of fashion, lifestyle and furniture. I love the fashion brands they have in this store and I am always so tempted to buy something. The Bella Freud Jumpers are my weakness!

The Flower Bar & School

The Flower Bar and School is a fantastic flower shop and floristry school in the heart of South Kensington. As well as having a fantastic range of exotic blooms, they also provide floristry classes where you can learn to make beautiful floral arrangements.

The Natural History Museum Shops

A short walk along Exhibition Road leads to The Natural History Museum. The Museum first opened its doors on 18 April 1881 and has since been one of Britain’s most striking examples of Romanesque architecture. It’s a building that always captivates me. Its grand entrance is quite a stunning sight! The museum shop is a lovely to place to visit to pick up a souvenir, wildlife print for adults or a dinosaur toy for kids.


If there is one design institution in London that pretty much has it all, it has to be the Victoria and Albert Museum (V&A). You could spend pretty much an entire day here exploring its many wonders. It’s the perfect place to feel inspired, I love nothing more than walking around here.

Bibendum Building

After the museum, take a walk to the Bibendum Building a stone’s throw away to admire its architecture. I always love passing by this iconic building on my way to Montpeliano Restaurant as it is really different and totally stands out. I have lovely memories of when I used to go here with my colleagues after work.

Montpeliano Restaurant

At the end of day, I love to visit Montpeliano. Opened in 1974, it’s a delightful authentic Italian restaurant and the perfect place to unwind. I have been going here ever since I was a little girl – firm favourites are the spaghetti lobster and Veal Milanese dishes.

I hope you’ve enjoyed reading about some of my favourite small shops in South Kensington. If this has inspired you, visit to find out where you can support small businesses in your area throughout the year and get some further ideas for your Christmas shopping.

What’s more, if you’re an American Express Cardmember you will be rewarded for supporting your local high street with the Shop Small offer. When you spend £10 or more in a single transaction using your registered American Express Card at a participating small business during the campaign period (2-17 December 2017) you will receive a £5 statement credit. There is no limit to the number of participating businesses you can receive your £5 statement credit from – however, you can only claim it once at each small business. Terms apply.

But the Shop Small offer is just one way that American Express can make every day more rewarding. The range of Cards from American Express are packed with ways to reward you for your purchases*; from Membership Rewards® points that can be used to treat yourself to virtually anything to discounts at top restaurants and hotels, money back on everyday purchases, or collecting frequent flyer miles* – check out the American Express website for more information.

Photography by Richard Boll.

*Selected Cards only. Terms and conditions apply. Subject to availability.

Promoter: American Express Services Europe Limited has its registered office at Belgrave House, 76 Buckingham Palace Road, London, SW1W 9AX, United Kingdom. It is registered in England and Wales with Company Number 1833139 and authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority


  1. Candy Pop

    1st December 2017 at 11:03 am

    What a wonderful post! It brings back lots of happy memories, I used to live on the Kings Road when I was the manager of agnes b, Fulham Road. It seems like a lifetime ago now! Have a fabulous Friday. x

  2. Stacey Sheppard

    1st December 2017 at 12:36 pm

    Love this post! You look amazing in all the photos. I’m so surprised to see American Express supporting small businesses in this way. What a great initiative!

  3. Jen

    1st December 2017 at 1:01 pm

    Great to follow you around like this Ari on your trip. Some of those stores look divine, and such a great idea too.

  4. Cate

    1st December 2017 at 5:05 pm

    My boyfriend’s got an American Express and we’re enjoying little haunts near us with the reward scheme, very clever idea! South Ken is such a lovely place to explore too, especially at this time of year when the shops are looking festive x

  5. Stephanie

    2nd December 2017 at 7:22 pm

    We’re coming to London on Sunday and I can’t wait. These places look beautiful too, lovely pictures

  6. Rachel

    3rd December 2017 at 9:32 pm

    What a lovely tour of your favourite places. You look so elegant in all the pictures, a natural model.

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