The whimsical Luna & Curious on east London’s tree-lined Calvert Avenue is in good company, with deliciously rustic Leila’s Café opposite and snug menswear shop O’Dells next door. It’s also appealing architecturally: part of the historic red-brick Boundary Estate – the UK’s first social housing – and a stone’s throw from the two-tiered Arnold Circus and its bandstand.
This independent Shoreditch stop-in was established by creative trio Polly George, Kaoru Parry and Rheanna Lingham in 2006 as a warm and welcoming collective retail space with a flair for design. The white-walled, wooden-floored shop – gently lit by overhead lights shaded by white umbrellas – is a blank canvas for beautifully designed products from local and international brands.
Luna & Curious stocks womens’ and childrenswear, accessories, beauty products, homeware and stationery. The benchmark: each item must be the result of high-quality craftsmanship and have a story to tell, whether through material or maker. The effortlessly cool womenswear of Danish brand Mads Norgaard pairs nicely with the delicate and often geometrically inspired jewellery from Hackney-based Swedish designer Karin Andréasson.
My favourite? The delightful handpainted wooden critters from German toy manufacturer Holztiger. A safari of animals await, from hippo to zebra, but who could resist that darling little mole.
Luna & Curious, 24-26 Calvert Avenue, London, E2 7JP
Photo: Luna & Curious.