23 Apr 2019
Arising in vibrant colours from its former Victorian fog, London is now regarded as one of the world’s fashion capitals. Home to storied designers, host to cutting-edge showcases and purveyor of breakthrough collections. To find all of this in one place it’s best to head to one of London’s department stores packed with concessions from global fashion brands, gourmet food halls, restaurants and homewares.
Probably the most famous, and largest, department store in the world, Harrods first opened in Knightsbridge in 1851. The iconic late-Victorian façade dominates the busy thoroughfare beneath and hides over a million square feet of prime retail space. Harrods’ opulent interior dazzles shoppers with five extravagant floors, ornate architecture and glossy fashion. Famed for its Food Hall, rich green livery and Boxing Day sale Harrods has long been on the must-visit list of London’s moneyed tourists.
Around the corner from Jumeirah Carlton Tower, Harvey Nichols first appeared on Knightsbridge in 1831. The edgy neighbour to old-school Harrods, Harvey Nichols is known for its cutting-edge fashion, high class food hall and expansive beauty department. The magnificent neo-classical building’s bright avant-garde window displays draw in shoppers from around the world, but remains the firm favourite of fashion-forward Londoners.
Dreamed into existence by Harry Selfridge in 1906, Selfridges is impossible to miss – housed in a huge, sculptured Beaux-Arts building on Oxford Street and is perhaps the most progressive of the Grande Dames department stores. Throughout the six floors you’ll find everything from haute cuisine to haute couture. With one of London’s largest handbag departments, a tech store in the basement and a deliciously fragrant food hall, a trip to Selfridges is essential.
An offshoot of John Lewis and located in Sloane Square, Chelsea, Peter Jones is the mothership beacon to the affluent residents of South West London. More understated than its Knightsbridge rivals, the emphasis is less on towering stilettos than on practical simplicity. Generations of shoppers keep returning for Peter Jones’ homewares, children’s department and a name that has become synonymous with value and reliability.
FORTNUM & MASON
Founded three centuries ago, in 1707, Fortnum & Mason specialises in seasonal fresh food mostly sourced from around the British Isles. If you’re looking for festive treats, tasty delights – afternoon tea, chocolate, picnic essentials, gift boxes, champagne, preservatives (jams, curds, marmalades) and bespoke hampers – you’ll find yourself in heaven here. Fortnum & Mason also has a wonderful selection of bars, private dining venues and elegant restaurants, serving their carefully curated food.
Founded in 1875 by merchant and son of a draper, Arthur Lasenby, Liberty is a unique designer department store with rich heritage and a keen sense of artistry and expression. Located on the edge of Soho, the store specialises in luxury goods, a signature selection of covetable accessories, up-to-the-minute designs, homeware, food, floral prints and interior decorations. The iconic store is distinctly Tudor in appearance, constructed from battleship timber and draped with colourful hangings.
DOVER STREET MARKET
This concept-cum department store is the new kid on the block. A multi-brand retailer sitting in the huddled shade of Haymarket. The industrial aesthetic features a mixture of bare concrete ceilings and decorative fittings was created by the former director of Comme des Garcons – Japanese fashion designer, Rei Kawakubo. Defying traditional retail boundaries, designers are allowed to flex their creativity by expanding their own spaces. It’s a great place to get lost, with a mix of high and low-end seasonal brands from trend-setting designers and artists. The attitude is non-conformist, celebrating creativity and ignoring established rules. Brief exploration will uncover a blend of high fashion and streetwear brands, from Gucci to Raf Simons.
All our Jumeirah properties in London are within easy reach of London’s finest department stores, and just around the corner from both Harrods and Harvey Nichols.