There are few more favourite destinations for an indulgent retail therapy weekend than London. And here’s an unbeatable itinerary for 48 hours’ London shopping bliss in the UK.
(2-10 Bethnal Green Road E1 6GY)
This shopping-cum-dining mall’s something else; it’s outlets and eateries housed in refitted shipping containers located beneath an elevated section of Shoreditch High Street. Yes, it’s very Shoreditch, all right (i.e. very hipster); but what’s wrong with that? Especially as the retail options include brands like Dockers and Nike and Scandi home furnishings fave Marimekko. Among the food and drink options available, be sure to check out Burkowsk’s grill and Chop’d.
Old Spitalfields Market
(Brushfield Street E1 6EW)
One of London’s grandest old-time market halls, Spitalfields was opened back in the late Victorian age. Yet the aesthetic appeal of its interior and exterior is only one of its many draws for visitors. Principally, its popularity as a retail destination hinges on its comprehensive collection of stalls, vending everything from antiques to handmade toys and fashion to food. Here then, you can pick up clothing in styles ranging from boho chic to the latest, up-and-coming designers’ output, while the mix of affordable and high-end gastronomic delights make it the perfect spot for lunch on day one of your retail-focused weekend.
Camden Lock Pl, Camden Town, London NW1 8AF, UK
Why not head up to Camden to close out the day and experience the extraordinary colour and eccentricity of this, the capital of alt-culture in the UK capital? If you’ve the appetite for more shopping, then the sights, sounds, aromas and bargains that abound in the outside and indoors stalls of its markets await you, while the curious but fascinating shops that line the high street (some featuring punk gear and go-go dancing!) are simply calling out to be experienced. Just as are so many of the pubs, bars, restaurants and nightspots come the evening – before you head back to your weekend’s accommodation, preferably somewhere nearby like the Park Grand Central hotel London or the Park Grand hotel Paddington.
Oxford Street/ Regent Street/ Bond Street
Oxford Street Shops
Right at the very nucleus of the West End’s where you’ll discover the beating heart of London’s retail culture – it may be regularly challenged by other shopping spots that come and go, but the hub that pivots around Oxford Street remains hard to beat and one for retail purists. The thoroughfare itself’s one of the most famous in the world, jam-packed full of flagship high-street shops, brand outlets and department stores of the calibre of John Lewis and Selfridge’s.
Bond Street Shops
Regent Street Shops
Meanwhile, the shopping boulevards that intersect Oxford Street – Bond Street and Regent Street – are famed for their bespoke tailoring, designer fashion and luxury stores, among them Burberry, the Apple Store and the toy shop deluxe, Hamleys. And don’t forget the little pedestrianised alley that was once at the beating heart of the Swinging Sixties fashion explosion, Carnaby Street – it still retains a deserved boho-boutiquey reputation.
87-135 Brompton Rd, Knightsbridge, London SW1X 7XL, UK
Having enjoyed a good lunch at one of the plethora of eateries that litter the West End, what better way to complete your retail-devoted weekend than by visiting the ‘daddy’ of all London shopping experiences, perhaps the most iconic of all department stores anywhere in the world – yes, Harrods. This place is luxury incarnate; few who visit can really afford many of its wares, but for aspirational window shopping there’s nowhere like it. And if, by now, you’re cash-strapped (very likely!), content yourself with purchasing a Harrods shopping bag – it shouldn’t set you back… too much!