Tallulah Lingerie, Islington

A little jewel of a lingerie shop...

Knickers. That's a wonderful word isn't it? So quintessentially British. You can imagine it being boomed out by Brian Blessed or Melchett from Blackadder ("KNICKERS!") It feels like a word that should have faded away with the Victorians, it sounds so antiquated. But yet, there it is. I do love knickers - not just the word but actual knickers in themselves. And lingerie in general. I think many women would spend more on underwear than outerwear - and why not? They're the most intimate garments you wear after all. And posh underwear has a wonderfully old-school Hollywood quality to it, Like a classic perfume by Caron or Guerlain, you can imagine yourself in Marlene Dietrich or Catherine Deneuve's dressing room circa the 1960s. And one boutique that captures that dreamy appeal of lingerie is Tallulah, tucked away on Islington's Cross Street.

The pictures pretty much say it all don't they? The shop is presided over by Nicola Adams, who represents the type of bra shop you wish London had more of, where assistants take their time to fit you properly and most of their wares are on display, rather than hidden away in a drawer. As well as gorgeous sets from the likes of Aubade and La Perla, they stock a whole host of niche labels (hand-picked by Nicola), together with some stunning silk and lace chemises, basques and robes - not to mention one or two risqué items for a bit of bedroom fun. It's pretty much a lingerie wonderland, with everything laid out beautifully amid a few trinkets, teacups and other knick-knacks. Definitely worth a visit in the last few shopping days before Christmas - or in the run up to Valentine's Day...

Open Monday - Friday 11 - 6; Saturday - 10.30 - 6; Sunday - 12 - 5

65 Cross Street  London  N1 2BB  UK (nearest tubes: Angel and Highbury & Islington)

020 7704 0066 / www.tallulah-lingerie.co.uk