London – Shopping
By Amelia Meyer
England’s capital city, London, is certainly one of the world’s most renowned shopping hotspots. Boutiques, markets, retail outlets and custom stores are plentiful, making spending your pounds all the more easy (and fun). In addition to designer quality and styles, London also benefits from its quaint appeal coupled with a distinctly cosmopolitan air; lending any shopping spree the feeling of sophistication, while never negotiating on variety.
Carnaby Street in London, one of the most famous shopping streets in London.
The three major shopping hubs in London are Oxford Street, Regent Street and Bond Street. However, other hotspots include:
•St. Christopher’s Place
•Tottenham Court Road
Oxford Street is the busiest and most densely populated street in all of Europe. Part of its popularity lies in its also not being one of the most expensive shopping destinations in England, making it more accessible to the hordes. Together with Bond Street and Regent Street, it makes up a huge shopping Mecca in central London. Its shops range from small boutiques and designer outlets to massive department stores, guaranteeing hours of fulfilling shopping bliss. Many chain stores in England and Wales consider their Oxford Street outlet to be their main store because of the human traffic and recognition it gets being situated here.
Some of the more than 540 major stores located on Oxford Street include:
•Marks & Spencer
•House of Fraser
•H&M (Oxford Circus)
•United Colors of Benetton (Oxford Circus)
Regent Street comes alive especially during Christmas time, when it is illuminated by an impressive display of lights. However, it is also popular amongst locals and visitors for its varied and fabulous shops.
Some of the Regent Street attractions include:
•The Apple retail store
•Broadcasting House (home to the BBC’s headquarters)
•The Café Royal
•The Liberty Department Store
Bond Street is the more upmarket of the three, and has been a respected shopaholics’ paradise since the 1700’s. With the restructuring and development of London, the former Bond Street was done away with. Technically, then, we refer to the Old Bond Street and the New Bond Street, although this terminology is seldom used in everyday speech.
Some of the shops and attractions in Bond Street include:
•House of Labels
•The Royal Bank of Scotland
•The Fine Art Society
•Tiffany & Co
•Watches of Switzerland (Rolex)
•Yves Saint Laurent
•Van Cleef & Arpels
•Dolce & Gabbana
Another famous feature of the opulent Bond Street is the charming statue of Winston Churchill and Franklin D. Roosevelt sitting on a park bench, deep in conversation. Because of its historical and cultural relevance, Bond Street has even been mentioned in literary works (e.g. Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen).