SHOPPING IN LONDON: From designer chic to beautiful boutiques
London is a world-class shopping destination and whether you want to purchase iconic British designer goods or a handcrafted one-off, you won’t be disappointed. Many of the areas with the best retail options have become famous all over the world. Savile Row is synonymous with fine tailoring and the prestige associated with Knightsbridge has not gone unnoticed.
To get the most out of a shopping trip in London, you will want to be briefed on the best areas for your tastes and the specialised shops that really can’t be missed. Read on to discover the locations that should feature on your itinerary.
Royal Garden Hotel is situated right in the heart of one of London’s thriving shopping districts. Be sure to make a visit to Kensington Church Street during your stay, as the selection of boutiques and independent retailers offers a great place to start your shopping spree. Pick up an alpaca throw or delicate atomiser at Cologne & Cotton.
Shopping on Regent Street is as much a lesson in heritage and aestheticism as it is a retail experience. Many of London’s oldest and most well-respected names continue to have a presence on the thoroughfare, which boasts Grade II-listed facades and the architecture of John Nash. Peruse the famous fabrics in Liberty and take a little piece of the brand’s heritage home with you.
Anyone with a love of designer chic is familiar with the name Mayfair, as it is a paradise for label hunters. A must-visit is the interconnecting townhouses that Joan Burstein transformed into a legendary boutique more than 45 years ago. It’s almost impossible to leave Browns without an entirely new wardrobe - right down to an impeccable pair of shoes.
Since the 1960s, Carnaby Street has been ahead of the curve in terms of up-and-coming brands and the latest trends. This remains true to this day and exciting new names sit amongst heritage brands and well-established names. Something of a misnomer, Carnaby Street is not just one boulevard of shops, but 14, making it easy to while away many hours in consumer heaven. Purchase a Harrington jacket from Baracuta for the ultimate British souvenir.
Duke of York Square
Just off the King’s Road in Chelsea is the former army barracks of the Duke of York, turned into a pleasant pedestrianised shopping area. It’s the perfect one-stop shop for the best brands encompassing fashion, beauty and lifestyle, meaning you can find a slice of luxury whatever your needs. Visit on a Saturday and you’ll be treated to a fine farmers’ market, with freshly grown and prepared produce.
Two of the big hitters are found in Knightsbridge - Harrods and Harvey Nichols - making it an integral part of the London shopping experience. Harrods is the ultimate luxury department store and is well-known for its food halls, as well as designer ranges. Harvey Nichols has been serving its clientele since 1831 and its flagship store lives up to all expectations.
When it comes to purchasing a new suit, nowhere comes close in terms of style, quality and prestige than Savile Row. While the first of the thoroughfare’s famous tailors to open its doors - Henry Poole & Co - is still plying its trade at number 15, there are no shortage of options when it comes to made-to-measure. Huntsman is the largest tailoring house on Savile Row and once held the royal warrant. It is known for its trademark flattering silhouette, which is all down to the skill of the cutters it employs.
Sometimes flying under the radar for high-end shopping in London, Westbourne Grove is a hidden gem you will want to discover for yourself. It is the area of Notting Hill that is peppered with designer stores and boho boutiques. Stop by Artisan du Chocolat to stock up on fine handcrafted salted caramels, decadent mallows and the freshest truffles you’ll find anywhere.
Bond Street is London’s capital of bling, with top jewellery brands ranging from Tiffany & Co and Bulgari through to Cartier and Asprey all represented. The number of royal warrants held by the proprietors of Bond Street is astonishing and any shopping trip to this corner of London will see you rub shoulders with the jet set.
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