For shopaholics, there’s nothing like a trip to London. But as well as the vast department stores, designer brands and high street favourites, there are a number of shops that haven’t changed in centuries. Step back in time at one of these heritage stores and experience retail tradition at its finest.
Tea lovers will not be able to resist a trip to 216 Strand, where the Twinings flagship store can be found. It is the oldest tea shop in London, with more than 300 years of history and a tempting selection of merchandise. Far from being dated, however, the location features a state-of-the-art loose tea bar and masterclasses with tea ambassadors.
James Smith & Sons
If you’re in need of an umbrella that’s built to last, then visit a business that has definitely weathered the years. James Smith & Sons has been trading on New Oxford Street since 1830 and is a purveyor of umbrellas, canes and walking sticks. From the original sign on its exterior to the hand-crafted items inside, it’s a joy to visit.
Leave London smelling incredible with a purchase from Floris, which was founded by its namesake, Juan Famenias Floris in 1730. A large proportion of the perfume shop on Jermyn Street’s fixtures and fittings date back to 1851, when they were bought from the Great Exhibition. These include the beautiful counter and dark wooden display cases.
Berry Brothers & Rudd
Fancy a tipple? Then Berry Brothers & Rudd on St James’s Street is for you. Over three centuries and eight generations of the same family, this wine shop has made a fine reputation for itself. So much so, that in 1830, it began to supply the royal family with quality produce and even went on to select bottles to be drunk on board the Titanic.
Lock & Co Hatters
Whether you are attending a wedding this summer or need a new Panama hat, Lock & Co Hatters, which is also on St James’s Street, will be able to kit you out. It is the oldest hat shop in the world and among the longest-running family businesses that continues to trade to this day. Lord Admiral Nelson, Winston Churchill and Charlie Chaplin are said to have been customers over the years.
Get all your shopping bags home easily
After a long day of shopping, there’s nothing worse than lugging all your bags home on the Tube, bus or train. Plan a trip to London with a group of friends or family and hire a coach, safe in the knowledge there will be plenty of space for all your shopping bags.
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