Whatever’s on your shopping list, if you’re in London you’re in the right place. And if it’s luxury brands you’re after, you really couldn’t be better served, with an extensive range of high-class department stores, designer shops and shopping streets ready and waiting to provide a truly exceptional retail experience. So, whether you’re treating yourself, or someone else or just simply browsing, here’s our guide to the best luxury shopping spots anywhere in town:
Think luxury shopping, think Harrods. Originally established by Charles Harrod in 1834, it moved to Brompton Road in 1849, where it remains to this day. With seven floors and an incredible 330 departments dedicated to everything from food and homewares to fashion and technology, this really is somewhere to lose yourself. Featuring twenty top-class restaurants and a range of specialist services, it might be one of the most expensive stores on the planet, but there are plenty of cheaper items too, like tea, stuffed toys and chocolates. Then at night, the store’s exterior is lit up by 11,500 bulbs. A genuine classic.
This hugely popular Oxford Street staple has been going strong since 1909, and it continues to be a creative haven, bringing together its own product selection with more young and unexpected brands. Add a host of designer labels, gourmet food, luxury beauty products and a lot more besides and it can, frankly, be somewhat overwhelming for first-time visitors. However, once you get your bearings, there’s just so much to see and do here it quickly becomes clear why it’s such a firm favourite. With exclusive pop-ups, legendary window displays (particularly at Christmas) and plenty of fun activities for the kids, this is a little short of a national treasure.
At the heart of Piccadilly is Fortnum & Mason, another wonderfully upmarket department store known for its gifts, homewares, silverware and tea. But what really brings people back time and time again is the Food Hall. Because, for many of us, our dream kitchen is only ever stocked with produce from the Fortnum & Mason Food Hall. Brimming with the very best in cheese, meats, pies and sweet treats, the overall quality is so high it leaves other outlets seeming, at times, like a pale imitation. Then there are the preserves, marmalades, chutneys and honey, which really are superlative. They also invented the Scotch egg, back in 1738, for which we are all eternally grateful.
First opened in Knightsbridge in 1831, Harvey Nichols continues to lead the way in designer brands. With the focus firmly on international and cutting-edge labels, it’s also a great place to explore premium beauty products, food, wine and perhaps further indulge yourself by visiting one of its award-winning, in-store restaurants. Thought of by many as the premier London department store, Harvey Nichols continues to define high fashion. After all, their mission statement is ‘to stand out, be unique and be fearlessly stylish’. Meanwhile, each day a team of dedicated consultants are on hand to take you through the latest collections and seasonal styles.
Dover Street Market can be found inside a stunning Grade II listed building in Haymarket. Founded by cutting-edge Japanese designer Rei Kawakubo, the store feels more like an art gallery than a retail outlet and regularly showcases experimental designers like Molly Goddard, Walter Van Bierendonck and Uma Wnag, along with household names like Gucci, Prada and Jean Paul Gaultier. For fashionistas of every stripe, this is something of a gold mine, predominantly because of its highly eclectic mix of ranges. A combination of department stores and boutiques, it prides itself on being genuinely distinctive, something absolutely key to its ongoing popularity.
Situated in an iconic, heritage-listed Tudor building on Regent’s Street, Liberty London is a quintessentially British shopping event. Over six floors, you’ll find superlative fashion, quality homeware, high-end beauty treatments, a well-stocked food hall and an outstanding restaurant. It is, however, perhaps most famous for its line of luxury and designer fabrics. Its historic archive features over 45,000 prints, all crafted to the very highest standard at the Liberty Italian Print Mill in Como, Italy. Hand drawn by the in-house design team, these bespoke patterns are instantly recognisable, and continue to be the mark of upscale excellence. Quite simply, one of London’s most beloved shopping destinations.