Shops in London you wont want to miss.
- Fortnum & Mason: This grand department store is typically English and is one of the great London shopping experiences to visit. The Brits understand the graciousness department stores must have, and they love and understand high end food. This is one of their finest presentations of both as the store itself is grandly overstated, and selections of food are irresistible. From hampers to locally made jams, chocolates, sauces, you name it (great for gifts) everything is packaged to perfection. A gorgeous spot for lunch or high tea, and divine at Christmas. (Have a London shopping break here at one of the many restaurants).
- Penhaligons, Kings Road: Quoted as the fragrance equivalent of Alexander McQueen or Vivienne Westwood in the fashion world, Penhaligons is one of the few genuine perfume houses left in the world. The British perfumery was established in 1870 in Jermyn Street by barber Henry Penhaligon who ended up making fragrances for the Queen,The Prince of Wales and The Duke of Edinburgh, but never mind the royal connections, the brand is far from conservative. Today the stand alone stores are a beautiful place to indulge in their 34 stunning fragrances for both men and women, which are strong, bold and varied and made with fine raw ingredients. Sold in beautiful vintage style signature glass designer bottles, with gorgeous inspiring stories to go with them, this is the ultimate UK souvenir.
- Wolf & Badger: This eclectic Notting Hill store is cute and welcoming, but packed with designer clothing mostly design by independents you will struggle to find elsewhere. There’s jewellery, knick knacks and gorgeous things you will love getting into. There’s art, candles, even sexy underwear, and the prices really vary. You can grab a bargain or spend a fortune, but you have to dig to find things, which I like. I also like the well priced art collection, great for someone who has just moved to London. There’s women’s and men’s wear and a selection of items you wont be able to resist.Classic London shopping.
- Paxton & Whitfield Cheese Shop, 93 Jerymn Street: This little shop is a piece of heaven for cheese lovers, and the great news is they will let you try anything you like. Everything from truffled cheeses to peppered, chilli and everything in-between as well as foreign cheese from just about everywhere are here. There are cheese boards and every other cheese accessory you could wish for. This quaint little hole in the wall is one of the coldest places to go on a hot London summer shopping day.
- Manolo Blahnik, Chelsea: There are very few Manolo Blahnik shops in the world, and this was the first and is today the shrine where the Spanish shoe creator dreamt up his world class shoes which are now a favourite of the rich, famous and everyone in-between. The store is decidedly low key as is this London shopping experience – you could easily miss it, but the service is amazing. These are the shoes Carrie Bradshaw made famous in Sex In The City. (Check out the local pub The Pig’s Ear on the same street for a cleansing ale).
- Hermes, Sloane Street: I’m a Sloane Street fan when shopping in London, as there are so many gorgeous shopping places here, which is why I favour this Hermes store (note this is a temporary store whilst the new one will open closer to Sloane Square Spring 2017). The staff are mainly male, and know everything about the saddle bags, fragrances, scarves and everything in-between. When you buy anything Hermes, you are buying a piece of fashion history, which is why I loved the stories and history the staff told about every item I looked at. Yes, we have Hermes in Australia, but this store takes the brand to a whole new level. (Stop in at The Botanist on Sloane Square afterwards for a stunning and very social martini).
- Duke Of York Square: This fabulous spot in upmarket Chelsea is one of the great London shopping places, home to one of Europe’s largest Zara stores, as well as a handful of other high street stores including Banana Republic and designer boutiques, as well as some fabulous eateries.
- Gucci, 34 Old Bond Street: This huge Gucci London flagship store has three floors over 635 square metres. They’re packed with divine goods from this luxury Italian leather goods, clothing and accessories brand. If you like Gucci, you will love the shopping experience here. The store, and the merchandising is absolutely beautiful – and the surrounding boutiques will provide hours of pleasure.
- Dior, Sloane Street: If ever there was a place in London to have a Pretty Woman moment, this is it. The divine little potted trees out front and the huge floor to ceiling windows create a feeling of extreme opulence, grace and luxury. I have only ever experienced on Rodeo Drive in LA. The staff are a tad snobby, but it’s still worth popping in to see the incredible fashions first hand, and the bags, oh those bags. Ah, London shopping.
- Wolford Regent Street or Kings Road – This luxury bodysuit brand understand women’s bodies, and have bodysuits, tights and tops to flatter every body shape, whether you have a long or short torso, large or small bust, shoulders or not. Kylie Minogue wore a white Wolford body suit in one of her film clips, and it looked incredible (yes her killer body does help). Much like a bra fitting, the key here is to get fitted and try on a lot of different styles. That’s where the Kings Road or Regent Street stores are brilliant as the sale staff are excellent London shopping experiences. I bought a body suit there three years ago and it is still a favourite.
- Loro Piano, Sloane Street: This Italian luxury brand for men and women was started in the 1920’s in the Piedmont region, and was taken over by by two brothers in the 70’s. They specialised in cashmere and wool products which led them to become billionaires three years ago when LVM Moet Hennessey and Louis Vuitton SA knocked on their door and bought 80% of the business from them. The cashmere is spectacular, but will set you back around 1000 pounds for a jumper, and up to 5000 pounds for a jacket. The store in Sloane Street, a great London shopping place, is extensive and spread over two floors with women and menswear. The good news is everything goes in sale twice a year – late June/July and late December/January.
There’s not much not to like about London shopping when you’re visiting.