Shopping in London

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).

Would love to hear about your shopping habits. Any fundraisers or charity sales?

Sent from my iPad

© Ladysarahinlondon
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17 thoughts on “Christmas shopping in London – quick restorative guide.

  1. happyface313

    🙂 Thanks for all your advice, dear Lady Sarah!
    Haven’t been to London in ages, sadly. Would love to come over and see what the city has to offer. Probably not around Christmas, as beautifully as it might look.
    Have a very HAPPY 3rd Advent 🙂

  2. jennu

    LOL – 😃dont bring husbands along- or boyfriends. 😄They get in the way and slow us down. Lady Sarah, what shop is your favourite for Christmas shopping in London. if you only have time to visit one?

  3. anhistorianabouttown

    I would love to be in London for holidays, although it puts me fairly far from the family here on the Canadian prairies. These tips are excellent- organisation and planning is the key! Hope you are having a wonderful holiday season 🙂

  4. dottoressa

    I don’t like shopping jam so I start to shop from September,slowly and in shops,when I spot something that’s on my list. The things are usually full price, but I have peace just before Christmas,to enjoy the Season,go out,have coffee,mulled wine,a glas of Prosecco….so,my Christmas shopping is almost done.Still,there is always something left for the last minute
    Thank you for your advices,they are always welcome and you’ve helped me a lot and made all my London visits more beautiful indeed.
    I like to shop alone,to concentrate, and than meet someone to share experience and carry the bags 🙂
    Would you write more about your private shopping event?
    Have a nice pre-Christmas week

  5. lady sarah in london Post author

    I like your shopping style! 😄You work better alone, prepare early and enjoy unhurried glasses of prosecco…❤️👍I may do a post on Our little charity sale, it was really good fun and not too traumatising to organise…

    1. dottoressa

      Please do,it would be interesting !
      We have only some showbizz stars charity sale,only maybe a couple of things…..

      1. lady sarah in london Post author

        No celebrities! It was just a small private affair with a few of us who are wardrobe obsessed! The only rule was no high street items and we had some really lovely clothes for sale. And some one off samples from friends who work in fashion. 😊

  6. Susan

    I also shop early and try to be done in November. My shopping is a combination of online and in-store. Shopping the month of December in the USA is a crowded/mob scene experience. Checkout lines can be long. Parking is a difficult.. With everything done early, I can enjoy holiday gatherings.

  7. jennu

    We buy lots of raffle tickets and make charity donations too. we still try t remember the true spirit of christmas which is about giving rather than shopping. I got a couple of invites for private sales, Max Mara being one- I know you like it. Are you going ?


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