I lived in London for three months in the summer of 2001, and I needed to find some of the basics while I was there. I knew where the grocery stores, drugstores and bookstore all were, but I didn't know of a good place to get a haircut.
Time Out was my weekly bible for plays, concerts and movies, and I saw the Time Out London Shopping book in the newsstand store near my flat where I got my daily newspaper. Thumbed through it and bought it.
One of the most memorable experiences I ended up having in London was going to Geo. F. Trumper on Curzon Street in Mayfair, near the Green Park Tube station. It's over 125 years old and still has the character of a barbershop from the era. Glass cases in the front of the shop with their signature men's grooming needs, wood and brass everywhere, and barbers dressed in white button-down shirts, ties and vests.
Price-wise, at 24 pounds (or was it 26 pounds?) for a men's haircut, it was no higher than Dellaria in Boston or Piaf in Washington, D.C., adjusted for the exchange rate, of course. What really set it apart from anywhere in the States was the decor and the level of professionalism. We're talking about a barbershop that offers lessons in how to achieve the perfect shave! I had to take pictures of the barbershop. It's that memorable!
If you want to step back in time and feel quintessentially British (and you are male, since they are a gentleman's barbershop), go to Geo. F. Trumper.
I also found a great chocolate shop and a great cheese shop through the Time Out London Shopping guide -- Charbonnel et Walker on Old Bond Street in the Royal Arcade (don't let the French in the name fool you... it's a British chocolatier) and Paxton & Whitfield on Jermyn Street in Mayfair for cheese.
These are just three of the finds I found in London thanks to the Time Out London Shopping guide. If you need to find something in London while staying there or living there, this is as indispensible as the Time Out weekly guide to everything entertainment.