For a great shopping experience I highly suggest visiting Liberty London. The building has a turn of the century feel and is filled to the brim with high end pieces. I really loved the experience of walking through this store because they have some of the most expensive and sought after brands, yet you never feel turned away by security guards. I was able to get up close and personal with high end brands by feeling the fabrics and looking at their construction without getting glared at by Mr. Muscles standing in the corner. This is quite a feat in my book because unless you are wearing a $5000 coat, you almost always get glared at by security; because to them you are simply not good enough to be in the presence of such luxury (no matter how much you might have in your bank account). At Liberty of London you can find beauty products, fashion galore, furniture, little trinkets, and even fabric. It is a remarkable store that I wish I could shop at regularly.
A trip to London is never complete without stepping into Boots. This might seem bizarre but remember I am obsessed with beauty. Boots carries a lot of products that are not available in the states including Bourjois and Collection; and some others that are more familiar but are far cheaper if you purchase them in the UK (I’m looking at you Soap & Glory). They carry a lot of great products (including some high end) so I suggest going to one of the larger stores in order to get a true Boots experience, my favorite being between Marble Arch and the Oxford Circus tube stops.
Another excellent and quintessentially London shopping experience is found at Harrods, the most famous department store in London. Here you will find great displays throughout the store but I do warn you, it does feel like a cattle call. There are always hoards of people walking through the store and it often feels like you are being pushed from room to room. If you have any issues with being in large crowds or feeling claustrophobic you may want to sit this one out. But despite all the people it is a fun tourist experience walking around the beauty department, staring at handbags, jewelry, fashion (go to Super Brands), and eyeing the delicacies in the food hall. If you love shopping you will definitely love a stroll through Harrods.
When I think of London shopping I tend to think of the brand All Saints. They have shops all over the city and at every one you will be rewarded by the impeccable construction, beautiful fabrics, and the wall of turn of the century sewing machines that demand to be admired. I first discovered All Saints on my first trip to London and I have been obsessed with their clothes ever since. Unfortunately good quality comes with even higher prices, so this is not what someone would call budget friendly. I think of All Saints as an investment in your wardrobe, not an investment like a Chanel bag, but the kind of investment that you make gradually to elevate your everyday wardrobe. All Saints is a nice transitional brand from the cheaper clothing you buy when your young to high quality clothes that represent a shift in your maturity level. It’s the kind of wardrobe change that gradually moves away from synthetic materials to natural materials such as wool and cashmere. The best way to describe the brand is exceptional basics because this is the place to buy your t-shirts, your blouses, your sweaters, and your jeans. This is not the place for trend pieces, it is the place for clothing that will remain in your wardrobe for years to come and still manage to belong there years later.
Fortnum & Mason
Another great shopping experience is at Fortnum & Mason which is a famous tea store that was founded in 1707. Today it has become a department store that has a heavy focus on tea. This is a multi-story building with a main floor dedicated to tea, as well as floors containing a food hall, numerous restaurants, dish sets, and skincare. At Fortnum & Mason you can have the full high tea experience from £44 or if that is too expensive or way too much food for you, you can do what I did which is go to the Parlor and order tea and the duo of scones. I found this to be an excellent compromise because it allowed me to eat real english scones and drink tea without feeling stuffed and breaking the bank in the process. While your here browse through the many aisles of tea and take some home as a souvenir or a gift for a friend. Not only will you have a great time looking around the store but you will get what I think of as some of the best tea you can buy, it’s a win win.
Other excellent places for shopping include Regent Street starting from Piccadilly Circus to the Oxford Circus tube stop, and then exploring Oxford Street in the same area. In this area shops range from budget friendly to luxury so no matter your budget you will be able to find a shop tailored to your style and the size of your wallet. If you enjoy high end shopping (or window shopping) Covent Garden is also worth a visit. Lastly if you want to see a food market you should make a stop at Borough Market which is full of delicious treats.
London is full of amazing shopping experiences all over the city making it practically impossible to list every spot that is worth a visit. If you have any recommendations of your own please let me know by leaving a comment. Thank you for reading!