www.uniqueboutiqueblog profile











One rainy weekend, I was visiting Barcelona for work.  The rain wasn’t going to stop me from shopping.  I headed for the main areas suggested by my hotel concierge and guidebook. I hoped to discover: quirky jewellers, trendy record shops and the tiny, little-known shops of Catalan designers.  Instead, I found Zara.  Topshop.  HMV.   H&M.  And M&S.  An idea was born.

Years ago, I set out to shine a light on independent shops in the world’s best cities, and this is the result. A blog of stories, photos and ideas to inspire and share.

Please leave a comment below to let me know you’ve been here or if you want to suggest a shop to feature.   I’m looking for shops anywhere, selling anything.  My criteria:


1. brilliant products

2. outstanding design or atmosphere

3. soul. (For me, the best shops are blessed with soul because of simple history, or because their keepers breathe a special kind of life into their creation.)

4. uniqueness

This last one is the most important. All Unique Boutiques will be one-offs.  I think the world’s best shops are truly original: unique to their location, cultural monuments to a place and its people.


Thanks for visiting and a very big thanks to all the folks who’ve helped along the way.*

Sam x

*the hub; all of those who have looked after my kids while UB gets made; all the shopkeepers for their enthusiasm and time lent for interviews/info and also Garet Cousins, artist and illustrator for my beautifully unique header.

  • Catherine

    What an honour to be the first to leave a comment! Congratulations of the launch of your beautiful blog. I know how much thought and effort has gone into this, and I’m so proud of you! Beautiful photography, and your writing really tells a story and brings the shop to life. I can’t wait to read future posts!

  • Cara

    A beautiful blog indeed! It gave me the impression that I was visiting London with you, which is always a wonderful thing. I (and Mom and Sis) will be watching the posts carefully. Good luck!

  • Mum

    I am thrilled to see it up and running and REAL!!! Congratulations! What you are doing is so close to my heart and do hope your efforts will help to convince shoppers of the importance of soul in their lives. Brilliant indeed! xx

  • Sydney

    Wow, what a neat idea!! I love it! *bookmarked*

  • Andrea Palacios

    I think I remember that very work trip that inspired your fabulous blog, congratulations Sam. Perhaps we can tempt you to do a research trip over to New York? Come and visit us soon. In the meantime, keep up the marvellous work.

  • Bronwyn

    Great concept Sammi, I love it and your writing is beautiful (photos amazing too). I feel like I tip toed through the shop with you, arm in arm, as you marvelled over things and chatted to the owners, thoughtfully drawing out the story and bringing it to life… congratulations x ..and it makes me miss you more!!

  • Valerie

    Sam, what a stunning blog, it is a delight to read and the photos really capture the essence of the shop you are reviewing. I really look forward to receiving updates in my inbox; I will pine over Europe that i miss so much through your thoughtful and sensitive write-ups! I am so pleased that it is off the ground, you have worked very hard and the time and effort has paid off, it is stunning and unique and a pleasure to read. x

  • libby

    clever, clever lady. beautiful work x

  • rebekah molloy

    ello! i was hoping to speak with you about a few things but i couldn’t see an email to get in contact! if you could email me when you get this that would be fab! hope to hear from you soon! x


  • Jenny


    I am now planning my new house decor – moving in in 4 weeks and works are underway – and the bedroom is going down the F&B Downpipe road. So while looking for similar decor, I found a photo on Pinterest that led me to an article about your “elegant duplex”. What a boring title. Just Elegant? How about “AWESOMENESS INCARNATE in Scottish Georgian”?

    I think you’ve done a wonderful job to it, it’s a dreamy home. I am being modest and obviously green with envy. Never has a Georgian looked so cool. Or any duplex for that matter.

    I. LOVED. IT.

    If you ever want to exchange for a week – I’ll offer my Greek 3 bed villa with lovely views of both mountain and sea.

    For those who haven’t seen it, get some towels, you are about to start drooling:


    Your blog seems very interesting, the photos are great. I still can’t get over the duplex though. Will have to come back to the blog.


    • admin

      Thanks so much, Jenny, it was a lot of work so that is very nice to hear! Good luck with your deco project, embrace the dark paint! Risk is good! Greek villa, you say?! Hmmm… may just email you separately sometime!

  • Rolf Fassmann

    Please notify me of new posts by email.
    Thank you,

  • Deborah Norman

    Beautiful shops. Thank you!

  • Sofia Fenichell


    What a lovely blog. Looking forward to receiving it.