After a long festive season of buying presents for friends and family, January is the time to treat yourself, so why not head down to one of London’s greatest shopping haunts to find the perfect gift to yourself, plus all of the walking around the shops will help you burn off that extra Christmas weight, so it’s a win-win day out.If you’re idea of a perfect days shopping is hunting for something a little bit quirky in a lively, dynamic setting, one of London’s famous markets may be the place for you. This time of year Greenwich Market offers the perfect opportunity to browse through unique stalls, all under the cover of its fantastic roof, and surrounded by a selection of vintage shops and delightful pubs if the cold is still too much for you. The market has hundreds of stalls to offer, including marvellous food ranging from delicious fresh sushi to hearty stews, as well as clothing stalls, retro gifts and all manner of handmade curiosities. Greenwich itself offers a range of lovely shops, restaurants and museums, including the Cutty Sark itself, as well as the beautiful grounds of the university and park, which are perfect for a stroll if you do catch a moment of winter sunshine.For those shoppers more interested in the modern, chic and slick style of retail therapy, London’s Olympic park is home to Westfield Stratford, the largest shopping centre in Europe, a magnificent ‘city within a city’ that houses everything from designer to high-street, over 70 restaurants, bars and cafes, a 17 screen cinema, casino, and even a few hotels to stay in if you can’t bear to leave. Westfield’s offers every manner of shopping experience you can think of, with everything available to spend an entire day exploring its halls and purchasing anything your heart desires, if you’re planning a complete new years over haul why not hire one of the centres professional personal shoppers, who can help you select the bet styles to suit yourself and your budget, and don’t fear the weight of all your new shopping holding you down, Westfield’s even has pop up massage stations dotted around so you can get some well needed ‘tlc’ along the way.
If you’re looking for a shopping experience that still embraces luxury, but excludes the hubbub of a modern, sprawling shopping centre or a vibrant market, why not try stepping back in history into the sumptuous and decadent halls of Mayfair’s Burlington Arcade. Here a far more genteel shopping experience is on offer, with its classic 1800’s decorum guarded still by Beadles, making this experience truly feel like stepping back into a world of Victorian indulgence. Pick up all your luxury essentials here, like custom gloves by Sermoneta, watches from David Duggan, and decadent fragrances from quintessentially English Fragrance house Penhaligon’s. The Arcade even offers a traditional shoe-shine boy to keep the gentlemen present entertained while the ladies spend.
When and Where?
• Greenwich Market
Open daily from 10am – 5:30pm
It would be recommended to bring cash to buy from most stalls
Nearest Tube – Cutty Sark DLR
Website – www.greenwichmarketlondon.com
• Westfield Stratford City
Open Mon – Sat 10am – 9pm, Sun 11am – 5pm
Great Eastern Road
Nearest Tube – Stratford
Website – uk.westfield.com/london
• Burlington Arcade
Open Mon – Fri 8am – 6:30pm, Sat 9am – 6:30pm, Sun 11am – 5pm
Nearest Tube – Piccadilly Circus / Green Park
Website – www.burlingtonarcade.com