London is a city known for its Royal Family and stately houses. The city is full of echoes from the monarchic past of the country, blue plaques assigned the names of Lords and Ladies from centuries of rule. The now fallen British empire, despite its insidious agenda, had a lot of iconic monuments and recognisable traits, still revered today. It is therefore good to remember the nostalgic elements from the UK’s stately past, the lush tea, the tailored suits and magnificent buildings in the city. There are more benign traditions of the English gentry which help to keep communities together and can unite the country. The British dress sense has always been impeccable, and the vintage fashion of Victorian London is still remembered fondly. Our artistry and design skills have outlived other parts of our history and visitors to the city can get a taste of the English gentry and some of the classiest shops in the city. Whether you’re looking for that special suit jacket or evening dress, or merely a great souvenir to bring back home, this list of London shops will keep you cool and classy.
If you’re making the most out of hotel deals near Hyde Park, then you’ll be staying in accommodation close to Harrods Department Store. This 5-acre retail space is one of the most well-known department stores in the city and includes food halls, clothes and Homeware sections among many others. The department store itself is popular among royal enthusiasts due to it having in the past held several royal warrants for the Royal Family. This includes for the Provisions and Household Goods of Queen Elizabeth II, the outfitters for the Duke of Edinburgh and the Prince of Wales. You can’t get any statelier than that, and despite the warrants no longer existing, there is a still a smart dress code within the shop. Any department store with a dress code must be held in high esteem.
Fortnum and Mason
Fortnum and Mason are a high-class department store located in the Piccadilly area of London. This historical store dates to 1707, when it was created by William Fortnum and Hugh Mason, thus establishing it as one of the oldest in the country. The shop itself is best known for its stocking of exotic and speciality foods and since its rapid growth in the Victorian era has even opened a “Gentlemen’s” department. For a real taste of the British life, why not try the much-revered Fortnum and Mason tea shop or one of the well-respected restaurants throughout the store. If you’re looking for a suitable London souvenir for a loved one, why not invest in one of Fortnum’s famous picnic hampers for a real indulgent treat.
Berry Bros & Rudd
Looking for the classiest wine in London. Berry Bros & Rudd are a wine and spirit merchant dating back to 1698. Collecting their wares from heady wine areas such as Bordeaux, Burgundy and Italy, the Berry Bros have earned themselves a royal warrant, dating back to the rule of King Edward VII. If you’re looking for a real taste of London, then book yourself on to one of the wine, spirit or champagne tasting evenings. There are also Italian tastings and wine cellar based introduction to Wine classes, giving you an insight into the dedication and care which goes into this respected shop’s wine making.
The Piccadilly Arcade is the perfect place for a boutique browse. Located not far from the Park Grand Paddington Hotel, you can find a range of independent tailors, jewellers and shirt makers which makes it ideal for a taste of how classy London truly can be. With a chinaware shop and a crystal seller, the Piccadilly Arcade has a history of selling antique oddities, including toy soldiers and vintage sportswear. Even if you’re not planning on buying from the pricey arcade, the area is great if you want a taste of the London Gentry life, especially when you remember its proximity to the lavish Fortnum and Mason and it being right across the road from the Royal Academy.
Based very close to the Soho area of West London and just off Oxford Circus, the Liberty London store is a seller of luxury goods which includes jewellery, furniture and children’s clothes. With a history dating back to 1875, Liberty has been frequented by such celebrities as Freida Pinto, Naomi Watts and Kelly Brook and is certainly one of the best places to go for fashion oddities. With a signature floral print, the Liberty design has been sought after and is well recognised across the country. Despite it’s ages and traditional mock Tudor exterior façade, the Liberty bran remains on the cutting edge, retaining its own style and fashion.
With a range of celebrities having entered its doors over the years, Selfridges is a department store which focuses on women’s fashion at the higher end of the spectrum. With Gwen Stefani, Beyoncé and Kim Kardashian being spotted in the building, Selfridges is well known for its designer clothes, books and houseware products, making it a must visit for any fashionista out there. On top of this, the high-end Selfridge’s food range spans from Japanese Beef sandwiches to white truffle and salt. This luxury shop will have you feeling pampered like a king and queen in no time!
Harvey Nichols is no stranger to the high life. The store opened in 1831 and is known for its iconic Knightsbridge flagship store as well as a vast range of clothes, accessories and beauty products. To top it off, you can even find a Harvey Nichols spa located within the department store and prize-winning restaurants which will knock your taste buds off. With Kate Middleton, Wayne Rooney and Adele having graced the store, you can expect a classy experience at Harvey Nichols who promise indulgences beyond anything you could ever imagine. Having grown from a humble linen shop owned by Benjamin Harvey in 1831, this London shopping hotspot has really come a long way since it’s humble beginnings.