I grew up in a little farming village about 100 miles north of London and only made very rare trips to the ‘big smoke’ as a child. I remember one very special trip when my Godmother (literally one of the coolest people on the planet) brought me down for a WHOLE weekend in London for my 9th birthday. We saw a show and explored the city and I vividly remember stumbling across the most magical old-fashioned toyshop, which specialised in Toy Theatres.
Recently I had a reason to re-find that store, and the magic hasn’t left the place! Benjamin Pollocks is a delightfully old fashioned place (originally established in the 1880s) in the Covent Garden Piazza. I must warn you — it isn’t buggy friendly as you have to climb a narrow staircase to reach it and the shop is small and crammed to the rafters with toys, but worth the trip indeed.
The toy theatres are beautiful gifts for slightly older children (I think my kids may be more interested in ripping and chewing their cardboard constructions!) but they also have a good selection of other ‘oldy-worldy’ toys and games. I ended up getting Hopla for my 3-year-old and these darling counting flashcards for my daughter.
If Covent Garden is too much of a trip, they do also conveniently sell some of their wares through their website.