Shopping in the Rain
If you want to keep warm and dry when it’s pouring down with rain. Shopping malls, arcades and stores big enough to keep you entertained for several hours
by Kristina von Oertzen, editor & founder of myshoppingspy.com
When shopping calls, the thought of traipsing through the rain can certainly dampen anyone’s spirits! The good news is that fashionistas never have to fear the unpredictability of English weather and there are many options for shoppers who want to stay warm and dry. London is replete with some of the best shopping malls, arcades and stores big enough to keep you entertained for several hours.
Here are some top ‘rainy day’ shopping hotspots – no umbrella or wellies needed!
Situated in the heart of Mayfair is Britain’s first ever shopping arcade. Built in 1819, this covered shopping street arcade is steeped in history and is equally recognised for its architectural brilliance and impressive array of shops. The interior is nothing short of magnificent with its decadent glass shop fronts, red carpet and hanging globe lamps. Thanks to the glass-glazed roof, there is lots of natural sunlight, making for a very pleasant shopping atmosphere. Uniformed ‘Beadles’ patrol the shops to make sure that visitors behave with decorum!
One of the best things about the Burlington is that it celebrates a merging of the old and new, with the arcade boasting both antique and contemporary boutiques. The arcade is particularly well known for its shops that sell beautiful fine jewellery, antiques, watches and leather accessories, but there are also some clothing, footwear and perfume shops that are not to be missed. Richard Ogden is perfect for timeless jewellery and David Duggan’s vintage Rolex and Cartier watches will certainly impress male shoppers. If you are looking for more contemporary luxuries, Jimmy Choo’s shoes, Lulu Guinness’s accessories and House of Cashmere’s clothing are a ‘must’. One of my favourite shops is Penhaligon’s; a perfumery where you can make up your own scent! No visit to the Burlington Arcade would be complete without a trip to La Durée for exquisite French macaroons – a perfect way to round off your visit to this fantastic shopping arcade.
For more details check: http://www.myshoppingspy.com/london/burlington-arcade-0
Selfridges is one of the biggest names in British department stores and it is easy to see why! Selfridges fuses shopping with adventure; the Oxford street flagship store has become a tourist destination in its own right thanks to its impressive architecture and stunning window displays (which are like art installations). The ground floor is every makeup junkie’s ultimate dream, boasting all of the top beauty brands, whilst the 19,000 square foot ‘Wonder Room’ displays some truly wonderful luxury jewellery and watches from brands such as Gucci, Dior and Vivienne Westwood. Fashionistas will be truly blown away by the clothing, lingerie, handbag and shoe departments, which are a feast for the eye. Each department is filled with a plethora of great labels from top fashion houses, such as Armani, Chanel, Stella McCartney, Hermes, Marc Jacobs and Louboutin, as well as new designer labels. After you have finished shopping, take a break and have a bite to eat in one of Selfridge’s cafés or bars – Dolly’s is perfect for enjoying a delicious cream tea of finger sandwiches, scones and pastries!
For more details check: http://www.myshoppingspy.com/london/selfridges
Opened in 1875, Liberty has fast become an iconic brand name with a rich heritage. The quintessentially English department store located on Regent Street continues to draw a lot of tourist interest and is instantly distinguishable thanks to its Tudor-style building front and artistic window displays. Timber beams, wooden paneling and staircases give the interior an equally impressive appeal. Of course, this backdrop is perfect for perusing Liberty’s luxury womenswear and menswear, handbags, stationery, travel accessories, bed linen, kitchenware, furniture and cosmetics! If you are a fan of Liberty’s trademark decorative floral prints, you will love the quirky array of products on display – the Liberty scarves are particularly popular with shoppers and make for ideal gifts! To complete the English shopping experience, head to Café Liberty for a post-shopping tea platter!
For more details check: http://www.myshoppingspy.com/london/liberty
If you’re looking for both affordable and luxury trend-driven fashion, Westfield shopping centre at White City is a ‘must’. Westfield shopping centre is very spacious and well-lit, boasting a total of 275 shops. Shoppers will be spoilt for choice and high-street lovers can enjoy the best from department stores such as Debenhams and House of Fraser, alongside popular fashion retailers such as Topshop, French Connection, All Saints, Karen Millen, Zara and Warehouse.
For those in search of a touch of luxury, Westfield’s ‘The Village’ is fantastic, allowing shoppers to experience a more relaxed ‘boutique’ atmosphere amidst chandeliers and soft lighting. ‘The Village’ is home to 44 luxury shops, including Mulberry, Burberry, Versace, Jo Malone, Louis Vuitton, Wolford and De Beers.
Westfield London also boasts a brilliant food court area, with over 50 places to eat and drink and cuisine from all over the world. Enjoy everything from a tasty burger from the Gourmet Burger Kitchen to Comptoir Libanais’s delectable wraps, Busaba Eathai’s delicious Thai food and Yo Sushi’s Japanese treats.
For more details check: http://www.myshoppingspy.com/london/westfield-white-city