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The British Imports Shop in West Acton is Full of Unique Homewares and Gifts for Weddings, the Royal Coronation, and More.


A cozy corner shop in West Acton has captured the refined elegance of British tradition. The Bee’s Knees British Imports, one of the only shops in the country that sells notable British houseware and gift brands from across the pond, has become a beloved spot for Anglophiles, expats, and anyone who loves time-honored, high-quality British wares.

Situated in a hundred-year-old building with tin ceilings, The Bee’s Knees is stocked with high-end goods imported from Britain. You can find classic collectibles like mugs and pottery from iconic maker Burleigh, all handmade in the UK using traditional techniques. Authentic British teas and treats like shortbread, Yorkshire tea, and Marmite share the shelves with candles, soaps, glassware, teapots, bakeware, stationery, pillows, and countless other charming gifts.

“You’re not going to find [our products] at the mall – they’re not readily available around the country, even,” says co-owner Lucinda Sears. “They’re not cookie cutter, that’s for sure.”

This intensely curated selection of goods and the shop’s unpretentious graciousness make The Bee’s Knees a destination all its own—while most of the store’s customers hail from the Greater Boston area, visitors make the trip from all over, building it into their road trips from Pennsylvania to Maine. Even local folks will make a day of visiting the area with lunch in neighboring Concord and a visit to the town’s historical sites, or a trip to Idylwilde Farms right around the corner from The Bee’s Knees.

British expats Lucinda Sears and Donna Biscotti first opened The Bee’s Knees British Imports as an online-only shop in 2011. “I’d brought some really nice gifts back from the UK while visiting family over there,” says Sears, “and we thought, ‘you can’t find things like this in the US.’”

After nine years of doing business online—and a third expat, Trish Zarola, joining the team—they launched their first popup shop in Concord in 2020. It was a success, and they opened their permanent home base in Acton in early 2021. Along with their bricks-and-mortar presence, the online business is still going strong, shipping all over the country and even to Canada, Australia, and New Zealand.

Almost everything The Bee’s Knees sells is made in England, from artisan items created by small businesses to products from major brands. “People really care about that,” says Zarola. “It matters.”

The lineup includes products that will touch the heart of anyone with a fondness for England. The Bee’s Knees is the only U.S. retailer to carry Silverwood Bakeware, the muffin trays and tart pans seen on The Great British Baking Show. The shop is also the largest U.S. seller of ceramics by beloved brand Emma Bridgewater—Sears grew up near the factory where pieces are still made today. Colorful hand-embroidered textiles and pillows from British designer Jan Constantine have been a customer favorite since the shop’s early online-only days.

The Bee’s Knees also supports the work of smaller, up-and-coming craftspeople, selling aprons and coasters featuring the bold and whimsical artwork of illustrator Corinne Alexander and vases and other ceramics bearing the playful watercolors of Helen Beard, to name just two. Together, this selection of impeccably chosen items creates a unique shopping experience. 

“There’s nowhere else you can go and buy an Emma Bridgewater piece, a Burleigh piece, and a bar of chocolate all under one roof,” says Zarola. 

The shop carries an expansive lineup of themed goods commemorating the recent coronation of King Charles III and Queen Camilla on May 6. The Bee’s Knees hosted a coronation celebration serving tea and homemade pastries like scones and fairy cakes, while livestreaming the coronation coverage from London. Though the coronation is over, shoppers can still find coronation memorabilia like commemorative tea towels, mugs with the official coronation logo, and other themed treats. 

“The coronation has really sort of taken over the year,” says Zarola. “People are going to buy coronation memorabilia through Christmas.” 

Whether you’re looking to mark the coronation, add some more sophistication to your afternoon tea, or revisit fond memories of strolls through London, it’s worth it just to stop in, have a chat, and browse the product—and spend an afternoon in the UK without getting on a plane.

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