Tuesday, July 08, 2014

London ~ Shopping Tips

Hello there,

in the beginning of June I went on a four day trip to London with my boyfriend. We were mainly there for sight-seeing, but of course you also gotta do some shopping when you have the chance, right?! So I went on a major shopping spree and you can see the outcome here
Quite a few of you asked for good places to shop in London, so I thought I'd share with you my favorite places to hunt for nail polish, beauty items and food!

If you are looking for drugstore brands such as Barry M, Bourjois, Rimmel, Revlon, Collection etc. you can find these at Boots or Superdrug. These stores are dotted all over London's city and you do not have to search long to find one. However, I find in some stores the displays were quite yucky (opened products, spilled foundation, nail polish everywhere) or empty. Personally, I liked the Boots on Oxford Street and Westfield best. 

Speaking of Oxford Street: this is the main shopping street in London where you can find all sorts of highstreet brands. Also on Oxford Street is Selfridges, a giant department store with a very pretty beauty department that is worth checking out!

If you are looking for more high class fashion, you should take a stroll along Regent Street. There you can find everything from Armani Exchange, Burberry over Hollister to Ted Baker and Zara. If you get thirsty or hungry on your shopping trip I recommend checking out the food quarter on Heddon Street.

Right off Regent Street, on Great Marlborough Street, you will find Liberty, one of London's prettiest stores I find. This department store sells mostly luxurious goods and if you're looking for Aveda, Hourglass, Laura Mercier or OPI, this is the place to go. 

If you exit Liberty at the main entrance and turn right, you will reach Carnaby Street. In this pedestrian area you will find a MAC store, Pixi, Illamasqua, a Benefit store, Muji, Make Up Store and lots more. Of course I also couldn't pass by the Dr. Martens store, but I did not buy a pair because they were quite expensive. All in all, it is just nice to walk around this part of the West End.

Between Carnaby Street and Covent Garden is SoHo, or China Town. We stopped by one of the many many Chinese restaurants for lunch. The food here is more authentic than the "Chinese" dishes you get in German chinese restaurants. I went with some yummy dim sum and the boyfriend had Satay chicken.

One of tourists' favorite places to shop is Covent Garden. This place offers a variety of stores, like fashion, shoes, jewelry, toys, sports, accessories, stationery... There even is a Moomin Shop! How cute is that?!
You can also find great food in Covent Garden. By the time we were there there was a little market going on outside where they sold pulled pork burgers, Moroccan specialities and more. It smelled so good! But we ended up having a Smoke Shack and ice tea at Shake Shack which was delicious!

As dessert we bought a huge box from Ben's Cookies. OMG! These are the most delicious, soft and mellow cookies I ever had. No joke! I especially loved the peanut butter ones, but triple chocolate chunk wasn't far behind. These were so good, I had to insert two photos to do them justice, hehe.

Not far from Covent Garden, on King Street is Jo Malone (they also have shops on Oxford Street, Brook Street, Sloane Street and Royal Exchange Houses). Their scented candles were amazing, but they were way beyond my budget...

I had to at least browse through Harrod's in Knightbridge. This is one of the biggest - and probably most expensive - department stores in Europe. I liked peeking at all the pretty things I will never be able to afford. The food hall is worth a look and the scones you can get there are super tasty!

Already before we took off to our trip we knew we wanted to have authentic British afternoon tea while we were in London. Saira, a London-based nail blogger I finally got to meet on that trip, recommended Fleming's Mayfair Hotel, just across Green Park. They did not disappoint, everything was scrumptious. Now I need to find a way to get my hands on clotted cream and fruit scones over here!

Speaking of tea: if you like tea, you should pay the Twinings store a visit! It can be found just across the Royal Courts of Justice on 216 Strand. They offer a whole variety of black, green, white, fruit and herbal teas. I had a hard time narrowing down my purchases. Luckily, my boyfriend had a large suitcase :) If you want, you can try any tea you like and have a look at the history of tea in their museum.

If you like to have everything in one place I recommend Westfield Shopping mall. It is not too far from the city center and a direct ride on the Central line. I believe this is one of Europe's largest malls and you can find absolutely everything there! There is a two-storey Boots, a Kiko store, an Essence store, Inglot, an OPI store, Bobbi Brown, Lush, MAC... just everything you can imagine. 

At said mall I had my nail polish people meetup, which was just so much fun. Thanks again ladies :) Can you guess which hand is mine?

I guess these are all my recommendations. There are so many things to see, do and shop for in London, you just have to experience this city yourself. If you have any further questions about what to do in London, let me know!
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