Subscribe to the Oldie and get a free cartoon book


Hatchards, the ultimate bookshop – Harry Mount

Blog | By Harry Mount | Oct 03, 2020

On National Bookshop Day, Harry Mount celebrates the Piccadilly booksellers which has spent more than 220 years as London's best bookshop

In 2017, Hatchards held its 220th birthday party. Some of Britain's favourite writers were there, from AN Wilson to Anthony Horowitz to William Boyd.

But the real star of the show was the bookshop itself - that splendid townhouse, a temple to books, which reigns over Piccadilly. Ever since William Hatchard opened his bookshop in 1797, the place has celebrated the best of books: amusing and melancholy, highbrow and lowbrow, enchanting and educational.

In his 1946 essay, 'The Moon Under Water', George Orwell listed the 10 ideals of the perfect pub: from Victorian architecture to friendly barmaids. Well, Hatchards has all the attributes of the perfect bookshop: a beautiful building; a handy location; extremely knowledgeable, polite, amusing staff; and a selection of the latest and greatest books.

Hatchards has them all...

HARRY MOUNT, @mounth.