Best for gourmet food: Harrods
This luxury retailer’s twinkling fairy lights are a vision to those looking for bargains and first-rate service. At 10.00 on Boxing Day, the store launches its winter sale where queues are welcomed by Harrods butlers dishing out free pastries. Though there are half-price cuts on many luxury fashion brands, save some time for the beauty and cosmetics room, the toy kingdom and the spectacular food hall, which has recently opened an all-in-one coffee roastery, patisserie and bakery.
Nearest Tube: Knightsbridge.
Best for luxury make-up: Selfridges
The perfect blend of affordable and premium brands, Selfridges touts everything from capsule collections and exotic accessories to luxury homewares and designer fragrances. Avoid the rush and head over early evening – shoppers have free reign until 21.00, so you can wander at your leisure. Make sure to refuel at The Roof Deck restaurant and bar, currently swathed in charming, winter wonderland decor. Brace yourself for the shoe hall, which boasts some over 3,000 square metres of gorgeous footwear well worth a browse, if your shopping basket can take it.
Nearest Tubes: Bond Street or Marble Arch.
From the front
Built in 1924, Liberty’s timber frontage was fashioned using wood recycled from two historic British ships, the HMS Hindustan and the HMS Impregnable.Shop till you drop
A few streets down from Shoreditch House, Browns East is open from 11.00 to 18.30 on weekdays, but a lunch time browse will often guarantee fewer patrons.Explore London
A London institution
Get in line early to see Harrods’ butler-themed performance, which takes place outside the store on Hans Crescent during the winter sales.Discover London’s museums
Get your hit of both native and international labels on Liberty’s newly refurbished womenswear floor, or explore the cosy ground-floor stationery room for your fill of charming, beautifully crafted greeting cards.
Best for lesser-known labels: Liberty of London
London’s most ‘boutique’ department store is an old-world warren of winding staircases, glass atriums and timber balconies. Get your hit of both native and international labels on the newly refurbished womenswear floor, or explore the cosy ground floor stationery room for your fill of charming, beautifully crafted greeting cards. Don’t forget to swing by the fourth floor’s Christmas grotto to stock up on half price baubles for next year.
Nearest Tubes: Oxford Circus or Piccadilly Circus.
Best for fashion sneakers: Dover Street Market
One of the world’s first concept stores, Dover Street Market is renowned for its underground fashion. The shop offers each of the brands it houses a pop-up-like space, where designers can create a miniature ecosystem complete with décor to complement their creations. Step into the world of Gucci one minute, or turn the corner and enter the heart of Comme Des Garcons. At this time of year, gear up for 40 per cent discounts across selected brands and killer deals from the likes of Gosha Rubchinskiy, Common Projects and the iconic CDG x Converse.
Nearest Tubes: Piccadilly Circus, Leicester Square or Charring Cross.
Splash the cash
After browsing the installations at Dover Street Market, refuel at Burger and Lobster nearby for quality Nebraskan beef burgers and succulent wild lobster.Explore foodie London
Best for one-off wonders: Browns East
Housed in a former print factory, this cult fashion store recently opened a location in East London. Touting must-have brands such as Vetements, Jacquemus and Calvin Klein 205W39NYC in both its Shoreditch shop and South Molton Street flagship (a stone’s throw from Selfridges), shoppers can snatch up slashed prices off popular collections, one-off pieces and niche labels, but get there early for a slice of the limited-piece collections.
Nearest Tubes: Bond Street for Browns Central. Old Street for Browns East.
Best for ‘best of British’: Mount Street
Known for its home-grown talent, this cultivated row of boutiques offers one-of-a kind pieces alongside international labels looking to showcase on a more intimate stage. Roksanda, Christopher Kane, Nicholas Kirkwood and Mount Street Printers are some of the local names you’ll find, while at this time of year, cut-price Céline, Christian Louboutin and Balenciaga are just a few doors up. Break for lunch and nab the season’s remaining mince pies at Mount Street Deli or a glass of champagne at The Connaught hotel.
Nearest Tubes: Green Park or Marble Arch.