I didn’t shop at all in Paris. Two days was not enough time to see all the sights and shop, and shockingly I didn’t want to, much like I didn’t want to have any baguette, croissant, or pain au chocolat (but such is the reality of gluten intolerance—I really didn’t want to get sick). I’m surprised at my willpower, both on the shopping and food front.
I made up for the lack of shopping in London, where I walked Will into the ground. We spent our time primarly in the Regent & Oxford Street areas. The credit card did come out, after my uncharacteristic restraint in Dublin and Paris.
A view of Regent Street. I’m in love with architecture and I wish Toronto looked more like this.
But the shopping didn’t happen until after we did what Will wanted to do.
I’m a football (soccer) widow on Saturday or Sunday mornings when Arsenal is playing. So we had to visit the stadium and the gift shop, where I bought my two-year-old nephew a whole Arsenal outfit (jersey, shorts, and socks) so he and Will can be best friends.
With that out of the way, we went to Harrods in Knightsbridge.
I hated it. Full of tourists (what department store has a gift shop?) and incredibly expensive. The food hall was pretty cool, but in the produce section, one pomegranate cost £9.99 (roughly CAD$17.00). I know that it’s a store with a long history, but it felt so tacky. I couldn’t get out of there fast enough.
On Saville Row, I went to Duo Boots and was custom-fitted for a pair of boots. My calves are not enormous but just slightly bigger than the boots found in most stores, so trying on boots that zipped up with no effort was a revelation. I chose the Hawthorn, a great mid-heel knee-high tan boot for fall. The store is lovely and the salespeople very helpful, so if in London and looking for boots that fit wide or very narrow calves, this is where to go.
I wandered around the Mayfair area where all the designer stores are, but I only bought tights from the Wolford Boutique London.
Vivienne Westwood’s window display
After my disappointment with Harrods, including the Food Hall, Will took me to Fortnum & Mason, which was much more satisfying.
Entrance hall of Fortnum’s
Unfortunately, my photos inside didn’t turn out very well, so I can’t capture the rows and rows of beautifully wrapped candy, chocolate, and preserves, or the staff dressed in formalwear (three-piece tuxes with tails!).
I did buy Morello cherry preserves and Pink Grapefruit Marmalade. Both a little sweet for my taste, but I like my fruit pretty tart.
My favourite store by far was Liberty of London, where sadly I was only able to spend about 15 min. Next time I’m in London, I’m going back to spend more time. Like Harrods, it has a long history, but unlike Harrods, it’s not tacky. The Tudor building is gorgeous, and their graphic art prints are amazing.
Apologies for the blurriness.
If I could sew, this would be Mecca to me.
The blurriness is partly due to me rushing; we had theatre tickets for that evening. I didn’t get a chance to buy anything either. Next time, I know to skip Harrods and just go straight to Liberty.
It was worth it to see Les Misérables, my favourite musical—I’ve seen it about 10 times and I know literally every word—even if we were in nosebleed territory.
I can’t believe that all this was two weeks ago. I’d do anything to be back on vacation again!