If you’re heading to the lively capital city of London then make some time for a spot of shopping and find out why London is consistently ranked in the top five best shopping destinations list year after year! With designer boutiques, famous department stores, bespoke tailoring and luxury jewellery shops, not to mention the quirky pre-loved vintage clothes markets and independent retro shops dotted around, London is a veritable feast for all shopaholics (though possibly not so much for your purse!)
Harrods Department Store
Knightsbridge station on the London Underground provides access to world’s most famous luxury department store, Harrods. Harrods has become a shopping mecca for tourists from around the globe desperate to enjoy afternoon tea and browse the seven floors filled with quality merchandise and 27 restaurants. You can purchase designer clothes and accessories for men, women and children as well as things for the home. Situated on Brompton Road, Harrods welcomes more than fifteen million visitors every year, many drawn to the famous Christmas department which opens in July (it feels strange Christmas shopping in the summer and a full six months prior to the event!)
Westfield London is the biggest European urban shopping center, and Debenhams is one of four flagship department stores located there. It is a glitzy structure with four floors full of an array of fine goods. You can buy clothes, shoes, furniture, toys and even appliances like refrigerators and washing machines. Debenhams has long been a UK high street institution and was founded in 1778 and is today famed for a huge array of goods at a more affordable price than Harrods or Selfridges.
St. Christopher’s Place
If department store shopping is not your cup of tea, you can check out the many boutiques located in the West End shopping district at St. Christopher’s Place. In the field of women’s fashions, Mulberry at 11-12 Gees Court and Jigsaw at 14-15 Stratford Place offer unique designs that you won’t find elsewhere else. Men can find a creative collection of Italian-made clothes at Diverso, 23 St. Christopher’s Place.
Many celebrities come to London to shop on Bond Street. The flagship store of the venerable British clothier Burberry is located on New Bond Street as is one of the stores of fashion designer Louis Vuitton. The iconic jewellery store, Tiffany & Co., is in the Mayfair section on Old Bond Street, and it is a fascinating place to shop. Bond Street is also home to several high-end arts and antiques stores, sumptuous day spas and five star hotels such as Claridge’s, The Ritz and The Dorchester.
King’s Road, Borough of Chelsea and Fulham
Operating from a very stylish building, Heal’s specializes in products for the homeowner–everything from kitchen utensils to furniture. This store also offers curtain and blind making services and interior design consultation. King’s Road, or just The KR to locals, is also home to boutiques and designer shops and a hint of the 1960’s style remains, when Mary Quant and Vivienne Westwood made this area famous.
Savile Row, Mayfair
On Savile Row near the Piccadilly Circus tube stop, you can get fitted for a hand tailored suit at Henry Poole & Co. You can also shop at the flagship store of Abercrombie and Fitch which features American style casual clothes. Savile Row is known worldwide as THE place to go for a bespoke fits-like-a-glove suit.
The well-known shopping district, Regent Street is situated in London’s West End and features Hamleys Toy Store, The Apple Store with its iPad and iPhone 4S, and the Liberty and Co. department store with its distinctive Tudor exterior and its designer fashions and unique print fabric inside.
Selfridges & Co.
Located on Oxford Street, Selfridges has been voted “best department store in the world.” It is a shopping extravaganza in an imposing building that houses the biggest shoe department in the world as well as fine dining and art galleries. There are 4 Selfridges stores dotted throughout the UK and the Oxford Street branch is the flagship shop.
This is just one post as part of our focus on London for 2012, we have also posted the 10 Cultural things to do in London with more posts coming soon (hint, we have an RSS feed above if you wish to follow us). The Wimbledon Tennis Championships are also underway in London, the Olympics are just 30 days away and the Henley Royal Regatta 2012 also starts today for the next five day. Oh, and the sun is out, enjoy!
This district in the West End features shops with the latest fashions, luxury cosmetics, toy stores and gourmet food. The Covent Garden Apple Market in the center building displays British arts and crafts, and presents antiques on Mondays.
The Notting Hill area of West London is a lively and fun place to shop. There are many boutiques selling novel and interesting types of clothes. You should not miss the Portobello Road Market, with its mile-long assembly of booths displaying exciting wares. Notting Hill of course became known internationally thanks to the 1999 film of the same name, starring Julia Roberts and Hugh Grant.
By Julie Bowman