it's time or money you've got to burn, London is one big shopper's
playground. And although chains and superstores predominate
along the high streets, you're still never too far from the
kind of oddball, one-off establishment that makes shopping
an adventure rather than a chore. From the folie de grandeur
that is Harrods to the frantic street markets of the East
End, there's nothing you can't find in some corner of the
the centre of town, Oxford Street is the city's most
frantic chain store mecca, and together with Regent Street
, which crosses it halfway, offers pretty much every mainstream
clothing label you could wish for. Just off Oxford Street,
high-end designer outlets line St. Christopher's Place and
South Molton Street , and you'll find even pricier designers
and jewellers along the very chic Bond Street .
Court Road , which
heads north from the east end of Oxford Street,
is the place to go for electrical goods and furniture and
design shops. Charing Cross Road , heading
south, is the centre of London's book trade, both new and
secondhand. At its north end, and particularly on Denmark
Street , you can find music shops selling everything
from instruments to sound equipment and sheet music. Soho
offers an offbeat mix of sex boutiques, records and silks,
while the streets surrounding Covent Garden yield art and
design shops, mainstream fashion stores and designer wear.
off Piccadilly, St James's is the natural
habitat of the quintessential English gentleman, with Jermyn
Street in particular harbouring shops dedicated to his grooming.
Knightsbridge , further west, is home to Harrods, and the
big-name fashion stores of Sloane Street
and Brompton Road.
Opening hours for central London shops are generally Monday
to Saturday 9.30am to 6pm, although some stay open later,
especially on Thursdays. Many are now open on Sundays, although
hours tend to be shorter, from around noon to 5pm. The cheapest
time to shop is during one of the two annual sale seasons
, centred on January and July, when prices can be slashed
by up to fifty percent. Credit cards are almost universally
accepted by shops. Always keep your receipts: whatever the
shop may tell you, the law allows a full refund or replacement
on purchases which turn out to be faulty.
Fortnum & Mason 181 Piccadilly, W1 tel 020/7734 8040.
Tube: Green Park or Piccadilly Circus. Beautiful and eccentric
store featuring heavenly ceiling murals, gilded cherubs,
chandeliers and fountains as a backdrop to its perfectly...
Our listings concentrate on the home-grown rather than the
ubiquitous international names, but if you're after designer
wear, bear in mind that nearly all of the department stores
we've listed stock lines from both major and up-and-coming
As well as the big-name chain bookstores , most of which
have branches throughout the city, London is blessed with
a wealth of local , independent and specialist bookshops
, many of which are located on or around Charing...
Bermondsey (New Caledonian) Market Bermondsey Square, SE1.
Tube: Borough or London Bridge. Fri 5am-2pm. Huge, unglamorous
but highly regarded antique market offering everything from
obscure nautical instruments to attractive but pricey...
Anything Left-Handed 57 Brewer St, W1 tel 020/7437 3910;
www.anythingleft-handed.co.uk. Tube: Piccadilly Circus.
The place to go for left-handed tools, implements and gifts.
Davenport's Magic Shop ...
read more >>