Shopping can be fun or it can be torture.
Say what you like, but I love a spot of restorative shopping. Yes, of course you can order things on line and One often does, but nothing beats first hand experience and looking at things in person does it?
It is often a surprise when you order something on line and by the time it arrives, it’s ridiculously bigger, smaller, less or more shiny than you ever thought possible.
If you are visiting London for any kind of shopping event, read on and heed my words of wisdom…
# Best time for professional London shopping is early morning, be there by 10.00am when the shops open, earlier in some cases.
# Worst time for London shopping is Saturdays and/or afternoons. That’s when amateurs shop.
# London is expensive, prices will probably be higher than on line. However the choice will be more extensive and quality easier to judge.
# Dress for the occasion, comfortable shoes are of course nonnegotiable – however I mean dress for the occasion, we do get judged by the way we look, it is a cruel world.
# Avoid any London shop assistant that refers to you as “love” or “darling”. It’s just sloppy.
# London is very, very busy, don’t bring a child in a pushchair, a toddler or your poor dog along for that matter. It’s a horrifying experience for them.
# Some may go as far as to say, don’t bring your husband. That’s a personal choice and depends on the husband. I do like to bring mine along, I find him useful and he helps carry things.
# Many London shops, (Harrods, John Lewis, Peter jones, longchamp, Chanel, to name but a few, personally tested) will deliver your purchases at no extra cost, if you live close by. Others will deliver to your hotel, if you are a visitor. It’s worth asking, so you are not schlepping huge packages, heavy bags, awkward boxes, etc, through the crowds.
# I never shop with my sister, whom I find distracting, with a somewhat annoying shopping style. I am happy to meet her for lunch though, after all serious business has been conducted with success. A glass of something alcoholic is a must!
# Arrange somewhere civilised, to stop for lunch or afternoon tea. You will need plenty of pleasant breaks to refuel. Factor the cost in, this is London, everything is more expensive than you think.
# If you really want to go to town so to speak, arrange a SPA visit in the afternoon. Perfect way to escape the madness and the amateur shoppers who arrive late afternoon. According to Rosie the foot massage here was divine. It’s lovely place and trust me, you’ll need it, post Christmas shopping.
# Private shopping events, are in my view, the very best. One gets special offers and space to try things properly. This year we organised our very own. And that was so much fun! It helped with the wardrobe clear out – and raised funds to Save the Elephant!
Thank you so much to all the generous friends who donated their fabulous wardrobe reject items (as well as their valuable time), and to those of you who attended and shopped till we dropped. It is all for a good cause right? And a couple of glasses of (vintage) champagne (as well as a few canapé make it all worthwhile).
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