This one’s for the ladies. While my last bundle will bring you by an assortment of darling boutiques to enhance your wardrobe and accessories, if you want to get really hardcore, follow me…
Today we start at Oxford Circus Tube station, not to be confused with its far more obnoxious neighbor, Piccadilly Circus,
although you could as easily start from there if you please and make your way to Oxford Circus via Regent Street; I won’t stop ya. Beginning at Oxford Circus, though, presents you with the immediate option of initiating your shopping extravaganza on either Oxford or Regent Streets (SO fun to visit during Christmastime when they close the streets to traffic for holiday shopping!). If you go south on Regent Street, you’ll pass the 250-year-old Hamleys of London toy store (go on, pop in and play! And if you want grown-up toys, it’s near the Apple Store); from here, you can keep wandering down into the Piccadilly Circus tourist trap.
Or, if it’s starting to look too Magnificent Mile or 5th Avenue and you want some old London atmosphere, cut off of the high street at Great Marlborough Street to the left and immediately see the Tudor-style Liberty department store. To the left of Liberty, you can then enter Carnaby Street. You’ll think you’re in the quaint little Epcot World Showcase for England or Harry Potter’s Diagon Alley when you wander into this intimate network of streets offering an array of shops and restaurants.
From here, we’re on to Knightsbridge! I leave it entirely up to you how you choose to get there–you can cut over to Hyde Park‘s northeast corner from Oxford Street (Marble Arch area)—you’ll pass Selfridges department store on the way—and enjoy a relaxed walk through the greenery until you reach its south end at Hyde Park Corner. Or, if you do follow Regent Street down to Piccadilly Circus, you can follow Piccadilly westward to Hyde Park Corner and ultimately onto Knightsbridge (check out the Ritz on the way). OR, you can zigzag through the posh Mayfair streets that contain some of London’s most expensive properties and fine dining (might I recommend Gordon Ramsey’s Maze off Grosvenor Square—across from the U.S. Embassy—for contemporary ambiance and small but flavor-packed portions or The Guinnea, a historical pub that serves high quality steaks in its rear restaurant—Guy Ritchie’s Punch Bowl is nearby there as well if you’re thirsty). If you’re game to window-shop for cars, you’ll find Aston Martin, Lamborghini, and Porsche dealerships in the area to gawk at.
However you get there, once you hit Knightsbridge, just walk on along for more high street shopping, drinking, and dining…all three of which activities you can do right inside the infamous Harrods, level upon level of garish opulence and high prices, well worth a look even if you are, in fact, only looking versus buying. Walking further west along this road (or cutting southwest onto Brompton Road) will ultimately bring you into South Kensington, the vicinity of my Kensington Gardens Gallivant bundle, if that helps you get your bearings.