London is home to some of the world's best shopping. Here, you can find everything from flagship big brands to the quirkiest independent shops selling things you didn't even know you needed.
My advice is to focus on the shops that are unique to the city (or country). Don't bother with chain stores that you can find at home; save your time and money on seeing new and unique things. Also, for British chain stores that you may not find at home, avoid the congested areas of places like Oxford Street, and head to areas of the city where you'll find the same shop in a less crowded area and discover somewhere new.
In London, there are some incredible shops - here, I'm sharing three of my favourites that are must-visits when in the city.
Liberty is a must-see and must-experience for so many reasons. You've probably seen its flower shop display at its front entrance all over social media as it is an Instagrammers' dream! Liberty's building just off Regent and Oxford Streets is in a beautiful Tudor building that is worth seeing on its own. Its window displays, especially for Christmas, are stunning. The interior of this historical building is beautiful, set over several floors.
- The famous Liberty prints (available in fabric rolls, scarves, bags, and more)
- Fantastic beauty and skin section which carries hard-to-find and coveted brands (including Biologique Recherche products and spa treatments)
- The Soho Home brand collection
- A beautifully curated contemporary women's fashion department
- Stunning newly renovated shoe department
- Delicious section dedicated to chocolates, including unique and carefully selected brands, particularly UK-based ones
- Beautiful Christmas Shop
Selfridges is one of the main (and only) reasons to trek to Oxford Street. This iconic building takes up a massive block filled with all kinds of treasures. Try and go earlier or later in the day to explore without big crowds making the experience unpleasant.
- Terrific and fun beauty and skincare department: It's filled with all kinds of fab latest and greatest brands that you may struggle to find elsewhere, including Korean skincare goodies (everything from creams to miracle sheet masks). There are also quite a few mini shops within the department to get the latest in high-tech facials, a Cowshed spa, Nails Inc nail bar, henna bar, and blowdry bar.
- Food and confectionary section: Here, you'll find delicious UK brands and imports from North America for those feeling a bit homesick. You can stop and snack on everything from cupcakes to champagne and oysters.
- Mariage Freres: there is an outfit of my absolute favourite tea brand, Mariage Freres, from France that I stock up on whenever I'm there.
- Handbags: There is a fantastic and extensive department focused on handbags and accessories to explore.
- Contemporary Women's Fashion: you can shop for brands exclusive to Selfridges or hard to find elsewhere in the city/country, as well as small outfits of some of the most popular 'high street' chains.
- Aubaine: This Instagram favourite is a french bistro restaurant on the second floor next to the extensive women's shoe section. Decorated with whimsical wisteria falling from the ceiling, it is a beautiful space for lunch or a glass of champagne.
- Housewares. There is an extensive collection of home goods to check out.
- Quirkiness. There is even a psychic available on the lower ground level in the home goods and accessories floor!
Fortnums is such a special place to visit. Located between Green Park and Piccadilly Circus, it is housed in a beautiful building spanning several floors to explore with a rich history, including creating the Scotch Egg! Founded in 1707, Fortnum and Mason also holds a Royal Warrant by Appointment by HM The Queen and HRH The Prince of Wales.
- Impressive selection of tea
- Wide selection of own brand and imported goods and confectionary
- Unique gifts
- Housewares section
- Afternoon tea at the Diamond Jubilee Tea Salon
- Made to order picnic baskets and hampers
- Beautiful window displays
- Magical Christmas Shop