Telling Tales now lives on a boat on the Regent’s Canal. Head to tellingtales.com for more info.
What?: Teller of tales, seller of stories and all-round shop of dreams offering beautiful books that will delight and charm children and adults alike. Owned by ex-teacher Daisy, who realised that work was no longer working for her after she had her first child in 2012, Telling Tales specialises in well-designed, lavishly illustrated books for thoroughly modern children, plus a few for their adults. Stocked titles include recent releases from top independent publishers such as Chronicle Press, Flying Eye Books and Frances Lincoln Children’s Books, and all books are dreamily displayed on clean white tables and shelves for optimum eyeing up and groping. There is also a small selection of clothing from British brand Where’s That Bear?, whose bold, practical pieces tie in with the storytelling theme by hiding a cute embroidered bear on each and every item for its wearer to find.
Where?: Just around the corner from Broadway Market, along a relatively quiet stretch of the Regent’s Canal. Cambridge Heath is a five-minute walk, London Fields is about 10 and Haggerston and Hoxton are both about 20. All are on the Ginger line, but if you’re coming by Tube then Bethnal Green (Central) is about 15 minutes away.
Best Bits: Daisy clearly has a great eye for a good book, and you will not want to walk away empty-handed. The space is the polar opposite of a fusty old bookshop with its white walls, high ceilings and well-laid-out offer. Daisy has also unwittingly managed to create a baby-proof space by positioning the displays out of the grasp of (Bab’s) sticky, grabby, book-destroying fingers. Oh, and they offer gift subscriptions themed by subject or age, which is just genius.
Worst Bits: Telling Tales is only open on Saturdays but when I spoke to Daisy she mentioned utilising the space for evening story-times, which would be bloody brilliant.
Price Range: £4.99 to £20 for books – fairly standard and very reasonable considering the work that’s gone into them. Clothes cost more, obviously, but are still pretty purse-friendly.
Would We Come Back?: Oh my God yes. Bring on story-time!
Bab pokes some literature at Telling Tales, Hackney