You can’t plan a hen do in London without considering time for shopping. London's department stores have become must-see landmarks, they offer something for everyone: from admiring the breathtaking architecture and history to enjoying the magnificent window displays and swooning at high-end fashion. You don’t even have to spend hundreds of pounds to enjoy a shopping trip. Just having a slice of cake or a glass of champagne and watching the world go by as the others shop will be an experience in itself. But where to start? Check out our list of London’s most iconic department stores.
Fortnum & Mason
Food lovers, this one’s for you. Fortnum and Mason is London’s oldest grocery store at 300 years old. You can pick up artisan foods, specialist teas, fine wines and luxury hampers, all at prices that’ll probably break the bank. It’s a beautiful quintessentially British store with the added luxury of chandeliers, fountains, ornate staircases and red carpets. It’s not just food either; there are homeware and gifts too.
Nearest tube: Piccadilly Circus
Harrods is a huge department store at the height of luxury retail. With seven floors and 330 departments, you could easily spend a whole day here, overwhelmed by choice. It’s stylish yet outrageously over-the-top in the best way, from the dress code to the impressive toy department and selection of designer labels. The world-famous food hall is the real star of the show; it’s filled with extravagant delicacies.
Nearest station: Knightsbridge
Fashion is at the forefront of department store, Harvey Nichols. With eight floors of high-end fashion, cutting-edge cosmetics and stylish jewellery in its flagship store in Knightsbridge, it’s a place that brings together designers from around the world all in one place. You’ll find the likes of Gucci, Stella McCartney and Alexander McQueen among many, many others.
Nearest tube: Knightsbridge
John Lewis, Oxford Street
The highly popular department store, John Lewis, has been going by the motto “never knowingly undersold” since 1925, promising quality at the best prices. The flagship store on Oxford Street is home to seven floors of fashion, homeware and technology with particularly stand-out electronics and beauty departments. Its famous amazing customer service makes the shopping experience a favourite among shoppers.
Nearest tube: Oxford Circus
With its breathtaking mock-Tudor exterior and elegant, balcony-filled interiors, Liberty is one of London’s more traditional department stores. Known for its iconic floral fabrics, you’ll find some of the biggest names in fashion as well as a treasure trove of haberdashery, lingerie, accessories and beauty products. It’s a truly atmospheric place to shop.
Nearest tube: Oxford Circus
When it comes to innovation, Selfridges shines through. With their creative window displays designed by artists, Europe’s largest cosmetics department and prices to suit all kinds of budgets - not just the ridiculously rich - it really is a one-stop shop. It’s a fashion follower’s paradise with all the latest trends and designer labels. The Food Hall is practically a feast with everything from hard to find foods to delicious sweet treats.
Nearest tube: Bond Street
We've handpicked the best of the best across London, but if you have more time to shop check out Hamleys toy shop, the flagship store of British institution Marks and Spencers, the popular House Of Fraser or Fenwick of Bond Street for high-end goods. These department stores stock everything from cosmetics to champagne, designer labels to caviar and most London department stores also have cafes, restaurants and bars for you to recharge in until you are ready for more.