London is one of the best cities in the world for a spot of retail therapy. Home to the flagship shops of major global department stores like Selfridges and Harvey Nichols, as well as the iconic Harrods, the UK capital has endless options for shopping till you drop.
1. Westfield Stratford City
Westfield Stratford City is one of the biggest shopping centres in the whole of Europe, which means you can find all of your favourite high street stores under one roof.
The mall is situated next to the London Olympic Park and is a key feature of the Stratford area, which underwent significant regeneration ahead of the London 2012 Summer Olympic Games.
John Lewis is the largest department store at Westfield Stratford City and is in good company with high street names such as Primark, Topshop, Boots, Marks and Spencer and Lush all having outlets here.
There’s also a cinema, an All Star Lanes retro-style bowling alley and plenty of options for food and drink. In fact, Westfield’s food courts are themed, which adds extra ambience to what would otherwise be an everyday dining experience.
For instance, there’s the Great Eastern Market where you’re most likely to find street food-style dishes, as well as the World Food Court, which serves fare from Italy to Thailand and from Mexico to the Caribbean.
A particular quirky highlight is the Bat and Ball, a deli and bar where you can also play ping pong – perfect for keeping any grumblers in your party entertained while you hit the shops.
How to get there: From the hotel, walk to Liverpool Street Underground station and take the Central Line Tube to Stratford, from where the shopping centre is just a few moments’ walk away.
2. Oxford Street and Soho
The image of hundreds of shoppers laden with bags while scarlet double-decker buses trundle past has become an iconic one for London and is one that can be seen every day on Oxford Street.
This famous street is where many flagship stores – from the high-end Selfridges to the hugely popular Primark – are located, while its Topshop store is the stuff of dreams for many a teenage girl, with several famous models having been scouted here in the past.
There are also plenty of places to grab a bite to eat, with Nando’s and the various Italian chains being ever-popular choices, while dessert haven Wafflemeister is a must-visit for anyone with a sweet tooth.
Just around the corner in Soho, the UK capital’s oldest department store Liberty London can be found, famous for its delicate floral-printed silk scarves. Soho offers a slightly more bohemian vibe than the hustle and bustle of Oxford Street, with men’s and women’s vintage clothing store Beyond Retro a particular favourite.
How to get there: Take the Tube from Liverpool Street to Oxford Circus via the Central Line to reach the heart of Oxford Street. From there, Soho is just around the corner.
3. One New Change
Located just around the corner from the majestic St Paul’s Cathedral, One New Change is a small but charming shopping centre, home to designer brands including Hobbs and Kurt Geiger, as well as an excellent food court.
Much-loved chef Jamie Oliver’s Barbecoa restaurant has a branch here, while there’s also a Byron Burger, Pho, Wahaca, Zizzis and Bea’s- a boutique dedicated entirely to cake, afternoon tea and all things sweet.
How to get there: One New Change is just a 15-minute walk from the Montcalm at the Brewery London City. The walk will take you past the London Stock Exchange and the Museum of London, both of which are worth exploring themselves.
4. Brick Lane and Spitalfields
Brick Lane is a wonderfully vibrant corner of London to explore, thanks to the fusion of Jewish and Bangladeshi cultures in the surrounding area, which come together at the regular market to sell wares ranging from delicious street food to leather goods and vintage clothing from around the world.
One item you must buy during a visit to Brick Lane is a traditional beigel – that was their original name before ‘bagel’ took hold – from the Beigel Shop.
Nearby Spitalfields is also home to a regular market, with stalls having set up on land here since medieval times. You can find second-hand handbags, clothing, books and antiques in abundance here.
How to get there: Brick Lane is around a 20-minute walk from the hotel and is just a few moments’ walk from Spitalfields. The eclectic pop-up shops and diverse street food stalls of Shoreditch High Street are also in the same vicinity.