London is a shopper’s paradise with independent boutiques, eclectic markets and luxury department stores to discover. To celebrate the best bits of London’s shopping scene, Culture Trip has teamed up with British Airways, the nation’s flag carrier, to take you on a shopper’s adventure. With convenient flight times to centrally located airports, you’ll get more time to spend exploring.
Finding this boutique and coffee shop tucked away in London Fields feels like stumbling across a hidden treasure. The old warehouse is home to the workshops of Earl of East candles and Kana ceramics. Alongside beautiful wares from these two companies, you’ll also find a stylish selection of homeware, accessories and cosmetics from other local artisans. The friendly staff are happy to tell you the stories behind the products, so order a coffee and enjoy a gentle browse.
This legendary West London market is a must visit. During the week, it’s mostly for locals buying vegetables, household items, toiletries and new socks, but on Saturday it erupts along the full length of the road with a vast range of antiques at the Notting Hill Gate end and vintage clothes and homeware towards Ladbroke Grove. There are plenty of bargains to be had, but if you’re after high-end vintage items, head over to the area under the Westway early on a Friday morning, as that’s when the serious clothes dealers go to sell their wares.
Yes, Liberty is a department store, but not like any that you’ll have shopped in before. It was founded in 1875 by adventurer Arthur Lasenby Liberty, who wanted an emporium to sell the items he’d found on his travels. He built the store’s iconic Great Marlborough Street home in 1924 using timber from two huge battleships, and you can feel the heritage as soon as you walk in. Today it sells all the luxury cosmetics, designer clothes, accessories and homeware that you could hope for, but if you want to see why it’s so special, pay a visit to the incredible rug department and browse the Liberty-designed fabrics.
Based on the the never-ending library in the Jorge Luis Borges story The Library of Babel, this beautiful bookshop with a mirrored ceiling just off Brick Lane is an ode to the written word. The books are arranged by theme, rather than alphabetically, so while perusing the shelves, you’ll may chance upon new titles you’ve never considered before. There are cubby holes built into the shelves for you to settle into with a new purchase, as well as Risograph printing workshops in the basement, poetry-reading events and regular book-launch parties. There’s only one rule: no phones allowed.
After outgrowing its Art Deco home on King’s Road, this chic boutique founded by John and Belle Robinson (the folks behind Jigsaw) recently moved to a spacious, 19th-century former coach house in Covent Garden. Over three floors you’ll discover contemporary niche labels, collections from big hitters including Alexander McQueen and Chloé, carefully selected beauty products, homeware, books, music and furniture, a Blink brow bar and Light Salon therapy rooms. Once you’re all shopped out, head to the top floor to enjoy the cocktail bar, restaurant and leafy roof terrace.
A trip to DSM can feel like a cultural outing. The interior and displays of the Comme Des Garçons-concept store are so artfully crafted and the clothes are so spectacular that you’ll want to go slowly through the four floors of the Grade II-listed building to take it all in. Start in the basement and work your way up through the different Comme lines plus concessions from Nike, Palace, Stüssy, Gosha Rubchinskiy, Simone Rocha, Stephen Jones, Céline, Gucci, Rick Owens, Raf Simons and many more. Then end your shopping spree with a slice of cake at Rose Bakery.
Looking for flights or a great flight and hotel deal to hit the shops in London? Check out British Airways for convenient flight options and carefully selected hotels in the heart of London to combine and save. Book your trip now with the nation’s flag carrier.
Le Méridien Piccadilly
Discover the best of London’s shopping scene and relax in style at the Le Méridien Piccadilly. It’s perfectly located for Regent, Bond and Oxford Street and only minutes’ walk to Covent Garden. An elegant Regency façade sets the tone for this stylish hotel with its iconic address close to Piccadilly Circus. For a mid-range option, the Strand Palace is ideally situated for the Theatreland district and Covent Garden. After a day hitting the shopping streets of the capital you can unwind in their Gin Palace bar for a drink or two. Travelling on a budget? The centrally located Royal National is a good place to rest your head.