14 Aug 2012

Shopping in London

There are not many places I love more than London. I have been going there about 1-3 times a year since my early teens and I still get withdrawals if I go less than twice a year :) There is just something about the city that I will never get enough off and lucky for me getting there from Cph is fairly easy.

So as I premanently have London on the brain I though I would do a "little" post about my favourite places to shop. I mean most people know about Oxford Street, the high street mekka of London and that is a great place, but most of the time it is just super crowded so through the years I have just found a few alternatives.

And no, I am not talking about the football club! Chelsea is a posh area of Central London, but very much worth a visit with its more cosy feel, (VERY expensive) houses and in the 1960s-70s this was THE place for fashion and style. If you take the tube and get off at Sloan Square you will be right at the end of King's Road which has all the good high street shops and considerably less crowded than Oxford Street, so the perfect place to visit on the weekends if you are a crowd-free fan like me.

TK Maxx
This is an "outlet" chain store that sell brand name clothing/bags/shoes for very attractive prices. There is one in the Hammersmith area, but I much perfer the one on High Street Kensington. Just take the tube to that same station and keep right once you come out of the station. It is just a 5min walk and this is the place to score Reebook and Nike workout tops for £8! 

Westfield London
This fairly new shopping centre at Shepherd's Bush has literally EVERYTHING, there is Jimmy Choo, Gucci and Mulberry as well as H&M, Zara and Top Shop, the list goes on. Personally I think that their Boots, with the largest make up department I have ever seen, is every shopper's wet dream :) So on a rainy day in London this place is perfect, there is also a cinema and a million different places to eat. Take the tube to Shepherd's Bush and it is a 2min walk to the centre.

Bicester Village Outlet
This outlet is located about 2 hours outside of London. It has all the high-end brands as well as a few high street brands. The place is built like a small cosy village (hence the name) and each little house is a different shop. All of it is outside, so if at all possible try to pick a non-rainy day.
They run a Shopping Express, a luxury coach, that picks up across from a hotel right by Marbel Arch and takes you back as well. It is super easy and conveniet and they give out a 10% voucher that can be used at the outlet which, if you spend enough, will pay for the coach trip! The Shopping Express can be booked online, where they also guide you if you prefer to take the train.

I have mentioned this store in a previous post and their flagship store on Oxford Street near Marbel Arch is definitely worth a visit. But I mean it when I say come as early as possible, preferably when they open because after about 10am the place becomes a small disaster zone and the line to the changing room is unreal. The reason is that their stuff is VERY budget friendly. They do basic tank tops and t-shirts for £2, leggings for £2.5, dresses for £10-15. They really follow the recent trends, so if you are a slave to fashion and on a budget this is the place. The quality matches the price, but don't let it put you off as you can find some really great things there.

Covent Garden
Also offers a good choice when it comes to high street shops and also just a really nice area to walk around. There is the market in the middle, but I find that the small streets leading away from there have some cool shops. If you have a sweet tooth a visit to the Primrose Bakery is a must. They have the most lovely cup cakes you could ever want.

Notting Hill
And the whole area around it is nice and cosy to walk around in and see some interesting shops. Portobello Road is a must for some, I personally prefer to go on weekdays as to avoid the (in)famous market. There are just too many people, so I like to go when you can enjoy the area in a more "peaceful" atmosphere. Leadning away from there is Westbourn Grove which is a really cool street with loads of shops different to all the the high street and brand names that you find elsewhere.

The area around Bayswater and Paddington is booming with hotels and it is where I normally stay when I am in London. On Queensway there are some high street shops and a lot of different restaurant and fast food places. At the end of the road you will find Whiteleys, a small shopping centre that also has a cinema at the top floor.
I like to stay in this area because it is a little less crowded, but you can still have food, shopping or a film within walking distance and without having to go into the city. There are also two tube stations, Queensway and Bayswater, giving you super good access to 3 different underground lines. Finally Hyde Park is also right there which is also a must when in the English capital.

London is massive and there are so many places to go, but these are just a few of my favourites, but wherever you go London is a fantastic place that has something for everybody :)

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