What?: Pint-sized department store stocking an elegant edit of artisan-made gifts for discerning children and adults. The self-styled family-lifestyle store solves the age-old problem of how to entertain little ones when you’re in dire need of some retail therapy by displaying an enticing selection of pocket-money toys at child height in the centre of the shop, which should hopefully buy you a few minutes to browse the chic grown-up assortment of tasteful homeware, stylish magazines and luxury toiletries before your little person clocks the alluringly smashable display of handcrafted ceramics.
Hop was borne of its founders’ desire to salvage memories of being a child whilst satisfying an adult’s need to source, and it fulfils both criteria handsomely, achieving a contemporary, minimalist aesthetic with a hint of retro nostalgia that will delight young and old. The store is unique in its balanced approach to its target audience, with the left half of the shop devoted to its younger customers and the right to its adult clientele; though despite the well-defined 50:50 split there is a harmonious, zen feel to the space, with everything on sale united by its good looks and grounding in great design. The store also hosts occasional events and workshops, with past events including children’s crafternoons, Easter egg hunts, book readings and late-night shopping.
Where?: 68 Chatsworth Road, Lower Clapton, an 11-minute walk from Homerton (Ginger) station.
Price Range: Products generally err on the side of luxury, although many of the smaller toys are under a fiver so it balances out if you’re shopping for a grown-up gift with the kids in tow. Conversely, if you’re splashing out on a slightly extravagant baby gift but you’re on a budget you can satisfy your own desire to buy by picking up one of the lush lifestyle magazines on offer.
Best Bits: The stationery – both for kids and adults – is particularly lovely, comprising unusual, hand-illustrated cards and wrapping paper, while magazines include cult favourites The Gentlewoman, Frankie and Papier Mache.
Worst Bits: None, other than the proximity of breakables to clumsy little hands. This led to my spending our entire visit in a state of heightened anxiety, convinced that we’d have to leave with a depleted bank account and Hop’s entire glass and ceramic collection in pieces in a bin bag.
Did We Buy?: We bought a tub of pink Play-Doh, some hand-illustrated wrapping paper and a Pantomime wash bag.
Would We Come Back?: I get the feeling stock is refreshed quite regularly and I’m excited to see what’s next for this exciting little shop.
Bab admires the pocket-money treats at Hop of Hackney, Lower Clapton.