Harrods is an upmarket department store located on Brompton Road. A quick stole to indulge in the luxury. This store also houses the Godiva chocolates (Godiva is a manufacturer of premium chocolates) A hot chocolate here could be worthy.Don't miss to take a picture with the Harrods Bear.
Taking the tube down to London bridge, Borough market is definitely one of the places in London that I miss greatly for it's wide range of gourmet treats and alluring carts of delicacies (missing the Banoffee pie immensely, if only R could pack it back from London). I'm no food connoisseur myself, but even if you're full from lunch, you can always score some free samples before making your purchase decision or get nuggets of trivia from the friendly store owners.
The Markets: To get acquainted with London, one should visit the numerous markets in its periphery. Covent garden is one place where one gets to shop amidst vibrant outdoors on cobbled stone paths and upmarket boutiques. Various other markets worth a visit are Chinatown, bricklane Market and kids will certainly enjoy visiting Mudchute and Vauxhall farms. Window shopping in upscale areas Oxford Street and Bond Street are a shoppers delight.
And if shopping is one of things on your mind, make sure you visit Camden Market. Its practically a maze, a gigantic maze, with stores that sell almost anything that you can think of. Books, clothes, cameras, posters, handmade goods, costumes, memorabilia, art, jewelry. Old things, new things. Strange things you may never have seen before. An old camera. A Banksy print. And then, the food market. The place is a congregation of cuisines from across the world, and I am not exaggerating. You can take your pick from Italy, Spain, Africa, India, China, Vietnam. Or you can dig into a home-made cake. Or sit down on the pavement for a cup of coffee, or a glass of cold beer. Camden is like a jigsaw puzzle with bits and pieces of London all joined together to form an eccentric, exuberant whole. Like the city itself. Eccentric. Exuberant. Impossible to contain in words.
Berry Bros. & Rudd
The next stop was wine merchants Berry Bros. & Rudd the most fascinating shop for me. A shop owned by the same family since it opened in the 1600’s selling exotic spices, tea and coffee. Which means it has been open longer than Canada has been a country, very impressive to a Canadian. Little of this shop has changed since opening except the barest of modern essentials such as electric lights. You can see in the photo below how the original shop front has been preserved over time. The shop is very proud of it’s history and has interesting artefacts and documents from over the years on display. It was due to one these artefacts we learned how the shop’s clientele (in the 1700’s) were offered the perk of weighing themselves on the coffee scales which are on display. Berry Bros. & Rudd were suppliers to the the Titanic and they have a copy of the letter from White Star Line apologizing for the loss of 69 bottles of wine due to the sinking of the ship.Before leaving we were given a taste of King’s Ginger, a gin infused with ginger and lemon, which was formulated for King George VI in 1903 and “has been appreciated by bon viveurs, sporting gentlemen and high-spirited ladies ever since”. I can confirm it is a very nice drink on a winter’s afternoon.If you aren’t in London and would like to take a peek into this fascinating shop they have an online virtual tour here.
Lock & Co. Hatters
Off we went next to see Lock & Co hat shop which also opened it’s doors in the 1600’s (it’s the oldest hat shop in the world) where the bowler hat was invented and where Sir Winston Churchill, Chaplin and Lord Nelson all shopped. Upstairs they have a stunning collection of hats for women. The hat boxes at Lock & Co will set you back £60, so I didn’t dare even look at the price of the hats I liked. Lock & Co’s understated Christmas window display with more stunning hats was my favorite of the day.