Shopping in London

Shopping in London: Luxury Boutiques, Big Household Names, and Grand Arcades

Fashionistas and gentlemen of the world, take note: London sets the trends and the agenda, so whether you are looking for a full wardrobe update or a frock for a special occasion, this city has it all.

Luke Abrahams
20 May 2023

Like Paris and Milan, London is one of Europe’s most celebrated shopping capitals. From Chanel and Gucci to Prada and massive department stores like Harrods, nowhere else on the planet does fashion, perfumes, handbags, suits, tea and posh biscuits quite like this buzzing metropolis.

Oxford Street

The city’s premier shopping stretch has attracted tourists and locals for nearly centuries. All the big global high street brands are here from Nike to Gap and H&M, plus the UK’s iconic department stores Selfridge’s, John Lewis and Marks & Spencer. In between all the names, you’ll find small boutiques lurking in places like Christopher Street and other grand shops (Liberty, especially), so it’s well worth a detour if you are looking for something special to pack in your suitcase.

Address: Oxford Street, London, W1D 1BS

New & Old Bond Street

For those who love nothing more than their luxury brands, this is the place to strut your heels. The biggest names from the world of fashion are here. Burberry, Chanel, Dior, Alexander McQueen, Louis Vuitton, Ralph Lauren, Lora Piano and Dolce & Gabbana, to name just a few. Aside from all the highbrow fashion boutiques, New & Old Bond Street is also where the world’s most iconic jewelry brands show off their bling. Cartier, Garrard and Harry Winston are just a few of the stellar names to look out for. Even if you don’t like jewels, the houses often put on really interesting exhibitions that are free to visit.

Address: Old Bond Street, London, W1S 4PN

The Piccadilly

This is where you will find some of London’s finest shopping arcades and galleries. The biggest draw is Fortnum & Mason, purveyors of luxury goods to the Royal Family for centuries. It’s where most flock to buy fine teas, sweets, and coffee. If you are visiting during the summer, my advice is to grab a small hamper. You can try all the goods from delicious jams to chutneys – it’s what I dub, a small taste of England in a wicker basket. Just a few doors down you’ll find the legendary bookstore Hatchards. They say it’s Europe’s oldest, and despite its period furnishings being a real treat to behold, it’s really the celebrity book signings you want to look out for.

Dotted down the long street you will find the art deco gem Piccadilly Arcade. Beautifully historic, the stretch connects The Piccadilly to Jermyn Street (known for its fine men’s tailors) and houses small boutiques from Italian export Santa Maria Novella to boutique independents. For something even grander check out The Burlington Arcade. The historic gallery was London’s original luxury department store and is famous for all its independent and designer jewelers, perfumers and fashion houses. Prices are generally sky-high, but a small and sweet macaron at the flashy Ladurée café won’t break the bank (too much).

Address: The Piccadilly, London, W1J

Mount Street, Mayfair

Mayfair is the home of London’s elite. It’s here where publishing houses like Condé Nast dictate all the trends and where high-flying hotels like Claridge’s and The Connaught welcome the world’s A-Listers. The beauty of coming shopping here is that it’s generally much quieter than its neighbors. While pricey, you can find the odd bargain present in one of the high-flying boutiques, but perhaps the biggest draw to this part of town is the eccentric, red-bricked nirvana that is Mount Street. Goyard, Marchesi, Celine and Christian Louboutin are squeezed in between local haunts and drinking dens like Delfino’s and the very pretty Connaught Patisserie. Restaurant Scott’s is also worth a visit (if you can get a reservation), as is a stroll through Mount Street Gardens.

Address: Mount Street, London, W1K 3NW

Shoreditch and Brick Lane

Shopping Around Pays Off

I've always believed everything is 10% way more expensive in the city. Head out a little more and you will find exactly the same products at hear half the price. For big names like Harrods and Fortnum & Mason, the airports are best to seek out a bargain.

Shoreditch and Brick Lane is one of the most vibrant places to shop in the entire city. Most, if not all, of London’s designer vintage boutiques and lifestyle concept stores are concentrated here, alongside hip cafes that serve java as well as apparel. Trendy and eclectic. Rokit, Beyond Retro and Kin stock a mind-boggling selection of clothes and accessories from different eras. Love a market? Brick Lane is great for shops, live music and food, plus, if you are into your florals, Columbia Road sells some of the freshest bunches out there. For the area’s grandest selection of artisanal foodie goods, wander around Spitalfields Market for a blend of traditional stalls piled with fresh produce and delicious street food.

Address: Shoreditch High Street, London, E1 6PQ


This part of town is super cute. It’s just off the mania of Oxford Street and is where people in the know go shopping and eat away from all the tourists. The high street is where you’ll find most of the action. Daunt Books is a must visit for its antique-esque interiors as are the thrift stores that stock designer hammy downs. A few blocks west, Chiltern Street dazzles with all its red brick glamour and glitter. Sunspel, Monocle, Mouki mou and Hamilton & Hare are a handful of fun and exciting shops to check out.

Address: Marylebone High Street, London, W1U 5JH

Sloane Street & Knightsbridge

“Though you might be tempted to visit all the big department stores in the city my advice is to ditch them and shop local. You'll find all sorts of amazing independent shops in London, especially in places like Shoreditch, Bloomsbury, Notting Hill and Islington where you can find amazing gifts and quality souvenirs.”

Sloane Street is London’s original fashion Mecca. The luxury shops here need no introduction. Versace, Tom Ford and Prada all have homes in the shadow of the world-famous Harrods, one of the city’s greatest department stores. It’s worth noting this part of town is not cheap, but don’t let that put you off as you’ll be treated like royalty wherever you step into, day and night.

Address: Sloane Street, London, SW1X 9NU

Typical Local Products, Souvenirs to Take Back Home


You can’t leave the UK without taking a tin of these traditional teatime treats home with you. Sweet or savory, they are simply an unforgettable taste of Britain in a tin.


Tea might not be native to Britain but we sure do know how to brew a mean cuppa. Fortnum & Mason stocks some of the finest caddies in town.


It might sound hilarious but we Brits love a good teapot. You can find all sorts of fun and quirky designs in big department stores like Liberty or in chains like Whittard. They make for great gifts, too.


It rains in the UK a lot, so naturally, umbrellas have become a go-to accessory over the years. To find an extra special one, head to James Smith & Sons in Bloomsbury for brollies crafted using traditional British techniques and designs.


It’s no secret that we love cheese here in Britain. Stilton, cheddar and blue, dedicated cheese mongers and supermarkets stock all sorts of fromage for a taste of England in your fridge.

Harry Potter merch

It might sound ridiculous, but this is big business here in the UK. Wizards and witches can find the best magical merchandise at King’s Cross Station in a boutique dedicated to J.K. Rowling’s fantastical fiction.


The British do like to drink and will find any occasion to do so. Gins, whiskies and speaking wines are generally the ones you want to go for, along with ciders and storied bottled stouts.

About the author

Luke AbrahamsLuke Abrahams is a London-based freelance journalist specializing in news, luxury lifestyle, and travel features. Luke was previously the features social media editor at the London Evening Standard. His work has appeared in more than 25 U.K. and U.S. publications, including British Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, Elle, The Times, Town & Country, The Telegraph, Condé Nast Traveller, Time Out, House & Garden, Suitcase, Elite Traveler, Insider, and more. So far, Luke has visited 82 countries. His favorite is Italy, and it always will be.