In fact, the lure of the shops was one of the first things that made me want to set up home in London. It’s a place that I am never likely to get tired of, because the range of shops on offer in London is nothing short of amazing. I don’t think there is any other city in the world that has a more fantastic variety of different retail opportunities.
A cosmopolitan atmosphere
This part of the world is amazingly accessible, as I discovered recently when I was researching my travel options at eDreams Odigeo via each of the five airports that serve London and the surrounding area. People are flocking to London because it has such a long history of welcoming visitors from all corners of the world. The city is obviously a major city break destination for international visitors, and you can hear it in the huge variety of accents and languages on the streets. For me, this adds to the fascination of the city at the weekends. There are fewer commuters rushing to work, and everybody is much more relaxed. I really enjoy seeing the international tourists mingle with the day trippers and local Londoners in a happy, weekend atmosphere.
Bond Street and Oxford Street for a touch of class
I really love the classic shops in these two prestigious streets. This is where the great and the good of the capital city come to do their shopping. If you want to increase your chances of bumping into celebrities, then this is the place to start. Famous names like Liberty and Tiffany are located here. Even if I can’t always afford to buy the stunning products on sale here, it is always an inspiration to go and look at their displays. And who knows? You might even find a bargain that you can take home and enjoy for ever after.
Covent Garden, Borough Market and Portobello Road – street market heaven!
Street markets have always been a favourite haunt of mine at weekends. Fortunately, London has dozens of them, and you can take your pick from food markets, to books, antiques, fashion and flowers. The vendors call out to the shoppers, and this reminds me of the special character of market stall holders who were born and bred in London. They are cheeky and smart, always joking and flirting with the customers. It’s a joy to wander round the stalls and take in the colours, sounds and smells of a lively market setting.
Cafés, bistros, pubs – what’s not to like?
Delightful though weekend shopping is, it can also be quite tiring, especially after a hard week at work. Every street corner has a café or a pub, and so it’s quite easy to find a restful spot for coffee, tea of something stronger. An Italian cappuccino, a Turkish coffee, a fine Darjeeling or a sophisticated Earl Grey – the choices are endless. My partner loves his beer, and so quite often we go to an old-fashioned British pub, or we compromise and choose a continental bistro. That way he can have his beer, and I can sample the speciality coffee or tea.
Parks and walks – the surprisingly beautiful side of London
Another reason why I love weekend shopping in London is the chance to go to parts of the city that I have never seen before. I am always amazed to see how many parks the city has. Some are vast and very well known, such as Hyde Park and Regent’s Park, but there are many green spaces that are quite small and full of character. It’s my secret pleasure to walk along the banks of the Thames or through these recreation spaces on my way to another weekend shopping destination.