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The Five Stars: London's Most Famous Department Stores

CEO Tinh Phung
London is home to some of the world's most famous department stores, each with its own unique identity and history. From luxury victuals to cutting-edge fashion, these stores offer a shopping experience unlike any other....

London is home to some of the world's most famous department stores, each with its own unique identity and history. From luxury victuals to cutting-edge fashion, these stores offer a shopping experience unlike any other. Let's take a closer look at five of the most iconic department stores in London.

Fortnum & Mason

Fortnum & Mason Image source: Shopmrkatin.vn

In 1707, Fortnum & Mason was born out of a unique idea. William Fortnum, a footman in the court of Queen Anne, sold half-used candles to fund his venture with his landlord, Hugh Mason. Over the years, the store grew with the support of its royal connections, becoming known for its luxury victuals. The iconic travellers' hamper was a favorite among Victorian society, and even Charles Dickens himself couldn't resist its allure.

Don't miss: The famous clock on the shop's frontage, crafted by the same foundry that made Big Ben's bells. Every hour, two doors open to reveal Messers Fortnum and Mason in situ once again.

Don't leave without: A hamper from Fortnum & Mason. Whether you choose a pre-packed option or fill your own, make sure to include Stilton cheese, handmade rose and violet creams, and a jar of honey from the store's colony of bees, which venture to Buckingham Palace's gardens for the finest nectar.

Selfridges

Shopping at Selfridges is like experiencing a grand theatrical performance. The retail empire, opened in 1909 by Harry Gordon Selfridge, introduced the concept of elaborate window displays. These displays have become a cultural phenomenon, captivating visitors with their artistic brilliance. Selfridges quickly gained popularity in London and attracted the city's artistic elite with exhibitions and performances.

Don't miss: Selfridges' commitment to celebrating London's cultural diversity is evident through its collaboration with theatres, hosting concerts by legendary artists like Stevie Wonder, and even featuring a rooftop boating lake.

Don't leave without: A limited-edition designer collaboration piece from Selfridges. With a mix of London-centric and kitschy designs, you'll find something that encapsulates the spirit of the city.

Liberty

Liberty Image source: Shopmrkatin.vn

When Arthur Lasenby Liberty opened his doors in 1875, he took London on a journey through the Far East and beyond. Liberty played a pivotal role in pioneering the Art Nouveau movement, introducing beautiful fabrics and objets d'art. Celebrities of the time, including Oscar Wilde, flocked to Liberty, considering it the ultimate destination for artistic shoppers.

Don't miss: The hidden carved wooden animals in Liberty's third atrium, glass paintings from ships' captains' quarters, and the replica of the Mayflower gilded weathervane. And don't forget to admire the colossal chandelier, said to be the longest in Europe.

Don't leave without: A ream of William Morris-inspired fabric from the world-famous haberdashery department. If fabrics aren't your thing, explore their exquisite selection of rugs sourced from bazaars around the world.

Harrods

Harrods Image source: Shopmrkatin.vn

Harrods, a symbol of British culture, traces its roots back to a humble grocery store. After a devastating fire in 1883, Harrods managed to fulfill all its Christmas orders, establishing its reputation for exceeding expectations. The store now boasts a staggering 330 departments, offering a wide range of goods and experiences.

Don't miss: The awe-inspiring lights that adorn the outside of Harrods, creating a mesmerizing spectacle with over 12,000 bulbs.

Don't leave without: A teddy bear from Harrods' famous toy department. It was here that A.A. Milne found the inspiration for Winnie the Pooh.

Harvey Nichols

Harvey Nichols Image source: Shopmrkatin.vn

What started as a small linen shop in Knightsbridge in 1831 has evolved into the epitome of haute couture. Harvey Nichols has long been at the forefront of fashion, with founder Benjamin Harvey's vision and the contributions of James Nichols. The store's influence on designers led to the release of collections across various departments, setting new trends in the industry.

Don't miss: The Fifth Floor Terrace & Bar, a perfect spot for a mid-shopping break. While you may not be able to sit at Princess Diana's reserved table, you'll still feel like a character from Absolutely Fabulous.

Don't leave without: Pampering yourself at the beauty rooms. From LED rejuvenation facials to expert manicures and blow-dries, the team at Harvey Nichols will ensure you look and feel your best for any occasion.

Now that you're acquainted with London's most famous department stores, start planning your visit to experience the rich history and unique offerings of each iconic establishment. Like, share, and comment below to let us know which one you're most excited to explore!

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