London simply has it all for seekers of retail heaven – not least those on the hunt for refined boutiques, glamorous outlets chock-full of exclusive brands and awesome department stores, all located on streets steeped in history. Frankly, the tricky part can be deciding where to stay to maximise your retail therapy experience; yet, don’t doubt it, we definitely advise you to choose accommodation such as the Park Grand Central hotel London, where you’ll be perfectly positioned to make the very best of all the area around you has to offer – and no mistake…!
For a glamourous shopping atmosphere, pick Mayfair as your excursion base. Pamper yourself mid-shopping with an afternoon tea at Claridge’s, flock to the labels on designer-encrusted New Bond Street, or experience the atmosphere of an art auction at Sotheby’s. If you’re lucky enough to be in Mayfair at Christmastime, stroll through Shepherd Market, open all year round – but specially decked out in lights for the holiday season.
Ever wondered where the Royals get their hats from? Lock & Co. Hatters on St James’s Street has an innovative range of headwear designs. Prominent British designers like Paul Smith, Stella McCartney, Alexander McQueen and Vivienne Westwood all have stores in Mayfair, making it a shopping destination of choice for London’s distinguished elite.
So, Mayfair’s a super-central location, within walking distance of other fabulous neighbourhoods, such as Soho, Westminster, and Belgravia. With Hyde Park at your doorstep, rest assured that there are plenty of ways to entertain the rest of the family, while you tick off your London retail bucket list.
It’s famed, of course, for the über-glamorous department stores that are Harrods and Harvey Nicks, yet don’t be fooled; Knightsbridge has much more to offer besides. Create – yes, yourself – a bespoke, personalised gift for that special someone at Anya Hindmarch, browse classy contemporary home accessories at The Conran Shop, or peruse fine foods at the Duke of York Market, open on Saturdays.
Rigby & Peller offer some great designer British lingerie and swimwear, with personal fittings available. Prada, Burberry, and Gucci all have stores in Knightsbridge. For upmarket Italian design, visit Bottega Veneta, for the finest range of leather handbags and men and women’s fashion.
Oh, and if you are planning to head to Harvey Nichols, don’t forget to visit their fifth-floor café, for one of the best brunches in London.
South of Regents Park and especially ideal for those who’ve made as their base hotel accommodation London in the Paddington area, Marylebone has an elegant high street that is a joy to stroll along because of the area’s affluent architecture. It’s close enough to Oxford Street that you’ll never run out of shops, but far enough to avoid the shopping mob. On a Sunday, take your pick of the fresh produce at the local Farmers Market.
Head to Selfridges on the northern side and western end of Oxford Street, a must-visit shopping icon, for nine floors of designer fashion, homeware, and gifts. Visit Skandium, a high-end home store with chic Scandinavian furniture, and indulge your visual senses and Martha Stewart tendencies. Alfie’s Antique Market, a large indoor market on Church Street, boasts an impressive range of antique and vintage stalls, selling everything from ceramics to vintage clothing. Last but not least, Daunt Books, renowned for its stunning Edwardian architecture, is a delightful place to spend an afternoon nosing through novels.