Part of the fun of going on holiday is getting some quality retail therapy in, and there’s lots of wonderful shops to explore on your travels; whether it’s getting one-of-a-kind gifts and souvenirs from cute little independent boutique stores, or revelling in the bourgeois splendour of a big-name brand’s flagship store. London has some of the best shopping experiences that Europe has to offer, and you can while away a whole day on a shopping trip easily in England’s capital. Let’s have a look at what the fair city has to offer the discerning shopper.
Dover Street Market, 17-18 Dover Street, Mayfair
Curated by fashion designer Rei Kawakubo of Comme des Garçons, Dover Street Market is a chaotically beautiful multilevel store based around the concepts of art and high fashion, and has branches in New York and Tokyo following this avant-garde formula. Designers, artists and creators from all over the world are invited to take a space in this six-storey industrial space and curate their space as they wish, creating visual spectacles as well as offering retail space to brandish their wares. In addition to the house label Comme des Garçons, you can also find famous fashion brands available here, from Dior to Alexander McQueen to Saint Laurent. After enjoying a shopping spree in this vibrant melee of art and commerce, you can have a coffee and a light bite to eat at the light and airy 6th floor Rose Bakery.
Chelsea Antiques Market, Kings Road, Chelsea
If you prefer to shop for collectables, knick-knacks and curios to clothes, you will love the antiques market located right in the heart of fashionable Chelsea. Famed for being an excellent place to find the more unique and quirky pieces, there’s something for just about everyone here, and the market is best known for books, clocks, watches and jewellery. The Chelsea Antique Market is open for business every day except for Sunday, and if your lust for antiques isn’t already sated, there’s around 120 antiques shops located on Kings Road, so make sure to get the most out of this veritable treasure trove of trinkets.
Harrods, 87-135 Brompton Rd, Knightsbridge
You can’t talk about luxury shopping in London without mentioning Harrods – this infamous 160 year old department store welcomes a typical 300,000 customers through its doors on peak days, and offer a vast array of quality products from its 330 departments. You can purchase anything from high-end food and drink to clothing to furniture to cars to… well, in 1969 they famously sold a lion! You get the picture. They also offer other services including a concierge personal shopping assistant. In terms of things to buy, Harrods certainly lives up to its motto of Omnia Omnibus Ubique, which is Latin for ‘All Things for All People, Everywhere’. However, if you happen to visit Harrods, remember to dress to impress – they do in fact have a dress code, which is strictly enforced by the door staff.