We had timed our Girls Trip 2022 to occur in mid-November after London had turned on their spectacular Christmas lights. I’ve travelled all over the world but never have I ever seen a big city light up like London does for the holidays. Streets are strung with lights, entire building facades are decorated, and don’t even get me started on the decorations in the classic huge department stores like Harrod’s. It is THE most wonderful time to visit London, a city I’ve visited many times over the years.
We had an entire day dedicated to shopping and checking out the department stores all decked out in their holiday finest. We started with the iconic Harrod’s where you can buy anything from very expensive designer items to tasty treats in the food court and affordable souvenirs in the basement where the tourist shop. I had to buy an extra suitcase for my Harrod’s Paddington Bear.
After the splendor of Harrod’s, we grabbed a taxi from the convenient taxi stand next to the store. Many stores are within walking distance of each other once you get from Harrod’s to Oxford Street. Luckily, the big department stores all have cafes and places to relax and sit. Shopping is exhausting work! We walked between these landmark stores:
- Selfridge’s on Oxford Street – six floors encompassing 10 acres
- Fenwick’s on Bond Street – from furniture to clothing, they have it all
- Liberty of London on Regent Street – especially magical for anyone who sews and loves fabrics
- Carnaby Street an entire street filled with specialty shops and cafes
- Fortnum and Mason known for their selection of tea, biscuits, preserves which make great gifts
One of our tour guides clued us in to look for the signs above shop entrances that indicate that they supply goods to the Royal family. I guess it is quite the honor. These are primarily small bespoke stores like tailors, hat stores, hunting clothes, etc. For those who aren’t on a Royal budget, check out Marks & Spencer or the Primark department stores around town-these are where the average citizen shops for clothes. We loaded up on bargains for ourselves and gifts at these stores. Patti even bought a coat to wear home!
We also hit the markets to shop and eat-when in London, visit at least one or more!
- Spitalfields Market-go to the The Flat Iron across from the market for lunch or choose from a wide assortment of food from the stalls in the market. There is great shopping at the market with everything from vintage clothes to vinyl to gift items.
- Covent Garden Market has been around since 1845 for wonderful food and shopping and is especially lovely at the holidays. We stopped into the Punch and Judy pub in Covent Garden market for classic fish and chips with mushy peas. The showstopper though was the sticky pudding-heaven in your mouth.
After a hectic day filled with shopping, we rested our tired legs and enjoyed the treats on Brigit’s Bus Tea Tour. We were on the first Christmas lights bus of the season. Touring all around town while sipping on tea/hot chocolate/champagne, we sampled the treats wearing our paper crowns and singing holiday carols. The perfect ending to a perfect day in London.
I highly recommend going to London in mid-November-less crowded, beautiful decorations and fantastic shopping. The trifecta for a perfect Girls Trip!