Around the World in 80 Pairs of Shoes


February 27, 2013

The Visit Britain Perfect Shopping Trip

What I love about London is that you can go shopping in a store that was established in the 1700’s or 1800’s and which are still going strong today due to their fabulous reputations.  The scariest thought is that some of these shops are actually older than New Zealand!

If I had to choose my perfect shopping trip to London to visit these traditional shops my day would start with a hearty full English breakfast at Fortnum and Mason on Piccadilly, to set you up for the full shopping day ahead. The store was established in 1707 and is the official grocer for the Royal family.

After breakfast, take a wander around the beautiful store while purchasing some tea leaves to take home – if it’s good enough for the Queen, it’s good enough for me!

Check out the sweet counter that still sells beautiful sugar mice for a trip down memory lane.  If you are after a special memento from London, then I suggest maybe purchasing a silver tea strainer to use when you get home to go with the tea that you have purchased.

Once you have made your purchases, cross over the road and head towards the beautiful Burlington Arcade then connects Piccadilly and Bond Street.  There are timeless and luxurious treasures to be admired and lots of British brands offering beautiful keep sakes.  Be careful of the Beadles who walk up and down the Arcade in their fine livery – remember there is to be no whistling, singing, playing of musical instruments, running or opening of umbrellas in the Arcade!

A fact about Burlington Arcade, when it was first opened in 1819 there were 47 leaseholders and 6 of these were women.  The images below show the Arcade when it was first opened in 1819 and what it looks like today.

One of my favourite shops in the arcade is Penhaligon’s which was established in 1870. Try one of the beautiful perfumes, some of which are over 100 years old and the perfumes are still made in England to this day.  My favourite is the Elisabethan Rose Perfume which reminds me of my Nana’s rose garden on a warm summer’s day.

Take a short stroll to the iconic department store Liberty, which was established in 1875 by Arthur Liberty.  The store started building strong relationships with English designers in the 1890’s and this was the start of the Arts and Crafts movement in Britain.  Liberty became one of the most prestigious stores in London and still is to this day.

80 pairs of shoes perfect shopping day liberty store london

Liberty has an extensive range of British goods from your classic Mulberry bags, Liberty scarves, Barbour jackets and Bamford and Ren Beauty products.  If you are a budding fashion designer then choose some beautiful Liberty print material so you can make your own dress once you get home – something that no one else will have!

If you are visiting London a sunny day – you are one lucky traveller!  If not, then don’t panic – make sure that you pop in and visit James Smith & Sons, the Umbrella makers which has been in business since 1830.

Finish the day’s shopping with Afternoon Tea at a classic establishment like Brown’s Hotel in Mayfair.  Your feet will be tired after pounding London’s sidewalks!

Brown’s Hotel is currently celebrating their 175th Anniversary and this is one of London’s best hotels for Afternoon Tea; I can vouch after visiting twice.

Obviously a girl can dream for the perfect shopping day in London!

I’ve entered this post in the VisitBritain Shop blogging competition.


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