No doubt I have mentioned my love of French pharmacies before- but I actually love British ones too- I love them all!
I was always fond of a tiny place, what I called a pharmacy but actually I’m not sure if they dispensed medicine or not, at the opening of the Royal Arcade on Piccadily. I walked past recently and it was gone- I stood staring into the window with sadness.
Where could I go for real sponges, hairbrushes with different thicknesses of bristle and 4711 now that this place was closed? It was so perfectly Edwardian looking, it could have featured in a Poirot or any number of costume dramas. A little bit of London is gone. I suspect the problem is that no shop can survive on the sales of sponges and Marvis toothpaste alone- and that although I loved looking at this place I only ever went in once a year- always at Christmas, always to buy little stocking fillers.
Thankfully my favourite pharmacy of all, Bliss Pharmacy at the very bottom of the Marble Arch end of Oxford street, is still going strong. I went in for a visit earlier this week and it’s still fantastic. Not only does it have all the weird and wonderful things pharmacies should sell, corn plasters, 4711 (again), things from Bronley/ Yardley and so on but it also has loads of hip brands- it was the first place I ever found Essie nail polish in this country. They also sell a beloved shade of Dior lipstick that seems to have been discontinued everywhere else, Rosebud salve, all kinds of manicure and pedicure equipment and of course medicine!
If you need a pharmacy in the Marble Arch area give Bliss a try- we need to save our strange and eccentric pharmacies.