The Best Places to Shop in London
In need of some serious retail therapy? Here's our guide to the best shopping experiences London has to offer. (Credit cards at the ready, folks.)
Whether you're one for browsing the high-fashion boutiques of Mayfair or rummaging through the dimly-lit shops of Brick Lane, London really does have it all. The hardest part is deciding on where to stay to maximise the success of your spending spree. Luckily for you, Plum Guide’s got you covered with not only the best neighbourhoods for shopping in but the best homes to stay in nearby too.
Go glam in Mayfair
For a glamorous shopping atmosphere, Mayfair is most certainly your best bet. Lose yourself in labels on designer-encrusted New Bond Street, enjoy a mid-shopping-spree treat with afternoon tea at Claridge’s and after that, why not experience the atmosphere of an art auction at Sotheby’s? We love Lock&Co Hatters on St James’s Street (and apparently the royal family does too) thanks to its innovative range of headwear designs. You'll also find prominent British designers like Paul Smith, Stella McCartney, Alexander McQueen and Vivienne Westwood in Mayfair, making it a shopping destination of choice for London’s distinguished elite (aka you). And the best news? With Hyde Park on your doorstep, there are plenty of ways to entertain the rest of the family while you tick off your London retail bucket list.
Embrace the bohemian charm of Hackney
Chilled out and chic, and a melting-pot of cultures, Hackney is a whole world within a city. Away from the beaten track of common tourist hotspots (which is what we like to hear), Hackney is home to a myriad of creative stores, local markets and rustic restaurants. Begin the day with a hearty breakfast sourced from the local Farmer’s market, then head down to the famous Broadway Market for a day browsing the assortment of stalls selling food, vinyl music, books and art. Whilst there, visit Artwords, a bookshop focused on the contemporary visual arts, or 69b Boutique, which stocks sustainable fashion. If you're seeking some bargain designer fare head to Chatham Place, where you'll find a great Burberry outlet store.
Go upmarket along Kensington High Street
A royal borough, everything about Kensington whispers luxury. Featuring two of London’s most prominent designer high streets, and plenty of fine dining to reward yourself after a productive day of hitting the shops, Kensington is the place to stay for an opulent retail experience. Wander into The Cross, one of London’s original lifestyle boutiques, and spend some time browsing through its selection of classy casual clothing and homeware. Cologne&Cotton, another lifestyle store we recommend, has a beautiful collection of bed linen, nightwear, and bath and body products. Take a trip to The Library, which sells pieces from a number of cutting-edge designer houses. If the hustle and bustle of high street shopping becomes too much (you amateur, you), take a break at Kyoto Garden, a Japanese-inspired park right next to the London Design Museum. And speaking of culture, you’re also right next to a host of other institutions, like the Victoria and Albert Museum, Natural History Museum and the Royal Albert Hall.
Explore the unique boutiques in Notting Hill
Notting Hill is a rather romantic, quintessentially British neighbourhood. Picture young families walking their dogs and locals out and about getting their fresh groceries rather than a sea of tour guides and selfie-sticks. As well as this welcome village feel, it boasts some serious shopping credentials too. Head to Matches Fashion, selling pieces from big names like Alexander McQueen, and TOAST, which prides itself on soulful women’s fashion and homeware inspired by nature amongst plenty of others along the way. If you choose to stay in the area, Lola is a perfect Plum home for you.
Mix classics with quirk in Soho
No list of the best places to shop in London would be complete without Soho, it's home to Liberty after all. If you’re prepared to brave the crowds along nearby Oxford Street (get there at 9am before the masses descend), your patience will be rewarded with an impressive array of flagship stores. In the Soho area itself, you’ll also find Berwick Street Market, Carnaby Street and Chinatown. For an alternative take on the traditional British afternoon tea, head to Yauatcha, a Michelin-starred restaurant with the best dim sum in the city. While staying in on of Plum's luxury Soho apartments for the neighbourhood's shopping, you’ll also be within walking distance of fabulous West End theatres and most major London tourist attractions.
Think independent in Marylebone
South of Regent's Park, Marylebone has an elegant high street that is a joy to stroll along as you take in the area’s affluent architecture. Head to iconic Selfridges, for nine (yes, nine) floors of designer fashion, homeware, and gifts. Visit Skandium, a high-end home store with chic Scandinavian furniture, and indulge your visual senses and Martha Stewart tendencies. Alfie's Antique Market, a large indoor market on Church Street, boasts an impressive range of antique and vintage stalls, selling everything from ceramics to clothing. On a Sunday, take your pick from the fresh produce at the local Farmers' Market. And last but certainly not least, Daunt Books, renowned for its stunning Edwardian architecture, is a delightful place to spend an afternoon nosing through novels. Like the sound of this neighbourhood? Choose from one of our wonderful homes like Follow the Night in the area.
Splash the cash in Knightsbridge
The rest of its shopping charms are often overshadowed by Harrods, Britain’s top designer store, but don’t be fooled: Knightsbridge has much more to offer. Create a bespoke, personalised gift for that special someone at Anya Hindmarch, browse classy contemporary home accessories at The Conran Shop or peruse fine foods at the Duke of York Market, open on Saturdays. The greats like Prada, Burberry, and Gucci all have stores in Knightsbridge. If you're celebrating something special like a birthday in London, come here for a treat. For upmarket Italian design, visit Bottega Veneta, for the finest range of leather handbags and men and women’s fashion. Treat your senses by tantalising your taste buds with a guilty pleasure at Rococo Chocolates, which hosts chocolate masterclasses and tasting opportunities, or make a candle at Rachel Vosper’s. If you’re planning to head to Harvey Nichols, don’t forget to visit their fifth floor café, for one of the best brunches in London.
Has our guide to the best places to shop in London tempted you to a trip? After you've chosen the right neighbourhood to suit your retail therapy needs, all that's left is to choose the perfect Plum serviced apartment in London. Our home critics painstakingly vet each and every home listed on our site, meaning you're only ever choosing from the top 3% of vacation homes. We're serious about standards, and we know you are too.