Covent Garden is a historic district that is famous for its street performers, shops, restaurants, bars and theaters. The most well known attraction in the area is the Royal Opera House. Before it became the capital’s premiere destination for entertainment and leisure, Covent Garden served as the largest fruit and vegetable market in England. Currently, the Apple, East Colonnade and Jubilee markets are held in the piazza area. Visitors can browse through antiques, artwork, jewelry and clothing that can be found among the market stalls.
This is one of London's most prestigious shopping venues and serves as a glittering tribute to everything opulent and stylish. Owned by Mohammed Al Fayed, each floor scales the heights of designer fashion clothing and accessories, luxury furniture, cosmetics, fine jewelry and classic toys. Adding to that, this Knightsbridge palace has multiple cafes and restaurants, an online casino, a designer shoe salon, and a pet department. A complimentary Harrods personal shopper will even assist you if you are in a hurry. Harrods' own brand provisions make perfect presents, and you can have your purchases delivered anywhere in the world. Also note, in the basement, Al Fayed has erected a small gilded tribute to Princess Diana and his son Dodi, who died tragically in 1997.
Selfridges is one of the best (and best known) department stores, not just in the city, but the world. A store from which customers have come to expect only the best, at Selfridges you can find branded clothing, accessories, cosmetics, eatables and so much more. When you take into account the quality and variety of services and products it offers, it is really no wonder that this high-end store has become one of London's attractions.
The chic and modern Knightsbridge Harvey Nichols store was a favorite of the late Princess Diana. Harvey Nicks, as it's affectionately called, concentrates mainly on selling beautiful designer clothes. The indecisive or time-pressed can even book a personal shopper to assist them free of charge. Other departments include the ground floor perfumery, the fourth floor Beyond MediSpa and the Fifth Floor Café and Bar. If that isn't enough, you can take some exquisitely packaged goodies away from the food hall. Perch at the espresso bar or browse through the organic and vitamin section, where you can use the touch screen computer for health food information.
Alfies Antique Market is the destination for those who love to collect vintage items. Choose from a plethora of collectibles like period clothing and Victorian jewelry, fascinating china, glassware, silverware, ceramics and many more articles, that have over the years appealed to celebrity clientele and locals alike. Alfies' team of seventy five antique specialists are available to help you find the perfect hostess gift or make that distinct addition to your antique collection.
One of the most popular bookstores in London, John Sandoe Books Ltd., located in Chelsea, was established in 1957. Boasting thousands of books on various genres such as arts, politics and literature to name a few, every inch of the store is covered with printed masterpieces. If you've been searching for a hard-to-find book, John Sandoe is probably the only place you'll find it. Open all week, this bookstore is great for adults as well as children.
Established in 1979, Lambert Souvenirs, located to the south of Trafalgar Square, is where you can pick up items to remember your London trip by. You can buy loads of 'I Love London' T-shirts, London fridge magnets, pub and train station signs, as well as plates and mugs. Some of their most popular items are glossy iPhone covers designed like the Union Jack, telephone booth money boxes and the Drunken Duck pub signs. If you want to give friends and family a feel of your London trip, you should definitely take back some souvenirs from Lambert.
Crest of London proudly bears the honor of being one of the city's premiere souvenir shops. With five stores across the village and an online store to boot, finding that perfect memento could hardly be easier. Crest of London carries nothing but the finest merchandise, whether it be the London historical ashtray, the mini shot glass set, or the adorable teddy bears (your choice of Beefeater, police or guard) for which your heart pines. Crest of London at Whitehall is conveniently located just off Trafalgar Square, and is a great place to pick up a little something to commemorate your sojourn in the city.
Spacious and airy, the National Gallery Bookshop stocks an impressive selection of artists' biographies and prints. In addition, a gamut of art-related books, postcards and gifts are available as well, rendering the store the perfect place to find eclectic gifts and souvenirs. With so much on offer, you're not likely to leave empty-handed, even if you intended to just have a look around. Breeze in here and find yourself surrounded by centuries of rich history and culture.
Located in the basement of the National Portrait Gallery, alongside the swanky restaurant, the National Portrait Gallery Shop is a true treat for art lovers. The shop specializes in British Art primarily (much of which has been or is inspired by the gallery's ongoing exhibitions and/or permanent collection), but it also stocks a wide range of biographies and history and painting titles. There is a mail order service available and you can also buy CD ROM's and educational aids. Accessories, greeting cards and artistic homeware items can also be bought here.
Located in the heart of London, Davenports Magic is one of the most popular magic shops in all of London. Opened way back in 1898 by Lewis Davenport, the shop continues to be owned and operated by the Davenport family, making it one of the oldest shops of its kind in the world! The Guinness World Record holding place stores thousands of quirky and amusing magic toys and products for both kids and adults. Davenports Magic also frequently conducts magic classes and magic shows at the Davenport Magic Studio located within the facility.
Whether you are looking for a quintessential shopping experience or are in mood for some entertainment, The Arches at Villiers Street is the place to be. Out of the many establishments that are located at this shopping arcade, a play at the Charing Cross Theatre and or a vibrant evening at the Heaven (a live-music venue) come most recommended. The place is dotted with several restaurants where you can grab a laid-back meal after a long day.