Whether for London Fashion Week, the holidays or a summer vacation, you may be heading to London soon. And you may, at some point, be in the mood to shop. So where is the best luxury shopping in London? Here are our insider tips on the top 5 luxury shopping districts in London that we think you’ll love. And the specific stores you should check out if you go. Consider it your trusted guide to luxury shopping in London.
insider tips on luxury shopping in london
There are thousands of great ways to spend time in London. For many, though, at the top of the to-do list is luxury shopping in London.
If that’s your objective, here are our insider tips on the best luxury shopping districts and stores that you really need to visit on your next trip to London.
what to do before you get started
The biggest challenge of shopping in London is that there are so many choices, so many people on foot, and so little time. The FOMO can get so intense that it ruins your mood and the fun of being here.
So our first tip is to have a plan, and to pace yourself. Pick a neighborhood and a category (apparel, fragrance, home goods) and make that your focus for at least half a day. You’ll be happier and more productive than if you try to buzz all over town doing everything.
Our other tip is to be sure to visit the flagships of favorite designers who are based in the U.K. For us, that list includes Alexander McQueen, Erdem, Roksanda, Emilia Wickstead, Nicholas Kirkwood, JW Anderson, and Christopher Kane. It’s big fun to see what they have to offer in their home market.
start with the local icons, then explore emerging neighborhoods
Depending on your personal style and income level, you’ll be naturally drawn to certain shopping districts in the city. Overall, if you’re looking for luxury, women’s apparel and accessories, whimsy, cutting-edge retail formats and exquisite service, then this list is for you. There are 5 iconic shopping districts that you’re going to love, and we’ve highlighted some of our favorite shops in each one.
Once you’ve done these, you’ll want to visit the Royal Exchange in the financial district of London (just to keep things confusing, Londoners refer to that part of town as “The City”). And Covent Garden, Marylebone, Notting Hill, SoHo, Bloomsbury, Leadenhall Market and Shoreditch (for Aime London, among other cool boutiques on Redchurch Street). Coal Drops Yard in King’s Cross is also starting to reach critical mass of interesting retail shops to explore.
If you have a gentleman shopper with you, then Savile Row is a must (he might also want to hit Park Lane, where all of the supercar showrooms can be found).
And if you love shopping for vintage goods, London is the perfect place to explore. But all of those are for another day (and another post).
the best luxury shopping in london
Here’s our simplified guide to luxury shopping in London – these 5 iconic destinations are where you should start.
Bond Street and New Bond Street.
Bond Street and New Bond Street are the epicenter of luxury shopping in London. You’ll find Burberry, Chanel, Dior, Alexander McQueen, Valentino, Gucci, Louis Vuitton, Fendi, Ermenegildo Zegna and Longchamp. Among others.
Loewe returned to the street with a new flagship in April 2019. And new Celine store is slated to open later this year.
One of charming elements of this shopping district is the iconic sculpture of Franklin Delano Roosevelt and Winston Churchill. You’ll sometimes hear people ask which side of this statue a particular store is on.
Six-story fashion store Dover Street Market is awash with luxury labels, from Alexander McQueen to Saint Laurent. Created by Rei Kawakubo of Comme des Garcons, Dover Street Market’s austere industrial space has concrete floors and reconfigured Portaloo dressing rooms. The Rose Bakery on the top floor is must-visit.
Brown’s flagship store in London is located on South Molton Street in Mayfair. Now owned by Farfetch, in the summer of 2020, Browns will set up shop at 39 Brook Street on the corner of Avery Row, a few doors up from Claridges Hotel, and deeper into the luxury precincts of Mayfair.
Carlos Place and Mount Street
For a much more serene luxury shopping experience in London, whether you’re seeking designer fashion, fine jewelry, beauty, art or antiques dealers, Carlos Place and Mount Street in Mayfair are ideal. In addition to exclusive restaurants like Scott’s and luxury hotel the Connaught, you’ll find Balenciaga, Roksanda, Simone Rocha, Christopher Kane, Jessica McCormack, and Roland Mouret, among others.
2. St. James
St. James’s is defined by four corners – Trafalgar Square, Piccadilly Circus, Green Park and Buckingham Palace – that form a “luxury quarter” in the center of London.
Many of the Royal Warrant holders have shops here; those are the makers and retailers who have been granted leave to serve the Royal Family. Jermyn Street is the home of shirt-makers like Turnbull & Asser. You’ll also find London’s oldest cheese shop, Paxton & Whitfield; and a perfumery now in its ninth generation, Floris.
Around one corner you’ll find the millinery shop Lock & Co. and cobbler John Lobb.
St. James is also where you’ll find the uber-British shop Fortnum & Mason. It’s a wonderful source of gourmet food items of all kinds. And it’s a lovely place to have tea.
And further along Piccadilly, in the West End in Westminster, you’ll find the iconic British department store Liberty of London. The brands on offer include Vivienne Westwood, Chloé and Tod’s. And there’s a large beauty hall and haberdashery.
3. Oxford Street
While Oxford Street contains many stores that don’t necessarily rate as true luxury retail, and it can be horribly crowded, you still have to make a pilgrimage there. One word: Selfridges.
It’s a fantastic luxury shopping experience – theatrical, abundantly stocked, and just plain fun. There are over a dozen eateries, a florist, an incredible selection of beauty products, fine jewelry, accessories and designer fashion. And since their Christmas Shop opens in mid-July, chances are if you’re in the mood, you can stop by for some ornaments or stockings.
Harrods is a must-visit on any guide to luxury shopping in London. You’ll find seven floors and 330 departments dedicated to food, fashion, home goods, luxury technology and more. Plus 20 restaurants.
5. Kensington and Chelsea
Sloane Street is a must visit for designer handbags and couture fashion. Situated in the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, it stretches from Knightsbridge in the north to Sloane Square at the southern end.
King’s Road is home to an eclectic mix of trendy boutiques, unique labels and designer shops. It’s also a great place for inspirational interior design, with Peter Jones, Cath Kidston and Habitat. Don’t miss the treasure trove of antiques at the Chelsea Antiques Market.
the top luxury shopping districts in London
That’s it! Our picks for the top 5 luxury shopping districts in London. Where will you start your London retail adventures on your next trip?
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For access to insider ideas and information on the world of luxury, sign up for our Dandelion Chandelier newsletter. And see luxury in a new light.