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Christmas Shopping at Harrods

By 12th November 2013October 15th, 2016Day Trips

All things for all people, everywhere – Harrods

Christmas shopping at Harrods, travel in comfort

Christmas shopping at Harrods, travel in comfort

There are stores. And then there are Stores. The big department stores whose names don’t just mean a quick bit of retail therapy, but a shopping experience with heritage, with history, with celebrity. There aren’t many. Bloomingdales and Macy’s in New York possibly. Selfridges and Fortnum & Mason in London. But king of them all, and certainly the biggest in Europe, is Harrods. Harrods of Brompton Road, Knightsbridge occupies a site of no less than 5 acres in size. That’s 20,000 square metres. And 330 different departments spread over 90,000 square metres of shop floor across seven floors. That’s nearly twice the size of Selfridges. It’s a unique shopping experience, and one that Mayday Travel can take you to in comfort and style.

A touch of heritage

Harrods wasn’t always in Knightsbridge. It used to be south of the river, where taxis rarely go. Charles Henry Harrod set up his first shop at 228 Borough High Street, Southwark (an address occupied now by a rather undistinguished-looking letting agents). That was back in 1824. By 1851, and in order to capitalise on the Great Exhibition that was taking place in nearby Hyde Park, they’d moved to their present site. From one shop, they expanded, and took over the adjacent buildings. And when the store burned down in December 1883, they just rebuilt on a bigger and grander scale. The rich and famous have shopped here since those days too. Oscar Wilde, Charlie Chaplin, Noel Coward, Laurence Olivier and Vivien Leigh, and of course, the British Royal Family. More recently, David and Victoria Beckham, Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie, Beyonce and Lady Gaga have all spent time, and money, at this star of stores.

A tall story?

So, what’s on offer? It would be easier to say what isn’t. Harrods have a motto ‘All things for all people, everywhere’. In other words, if you want it they can get it for you, no matter what it is. The tunnel that runs underneath the Brompton Road to the store from the Harrods warehouse is supposedly tall enough to transport a giraffe, in case a customer should ask for one. To date, I don’t think anyone has. But in 1969, their pet store sold a lion to a couple of Australians (Don’t worry, it was later released into the wilds of Africa). The store today, from men’s fashions and the Harrods Bank (where you can by gold bullion, if you’re looking for that really unusual present this Christmas) on the lower ground floor, the ladies’ fashions on the first floor, to the sports fashion department, personal shopping and Urban Retreat (the ‘ultimate’ hair and beauty salon) on the fifth, is alive with ideas for presents this Christmas. And if, from time to time, it all gets a bit too much, there are restaurants on every floor for you to sit back, chill out and make the most of this very special occasion.

Christmas at Harrods
Christmas, they say, is for the children. Harrods would agree with that. But for children of all ages. That’s why their spectacular Christmas window display ‘The Harrods Express’ is a big steam train decked out with thousands of fairy lights (It took 50 people three weeks to build!). And maybe that’s why they’ve put The Toy Kingdom on the third floor next to the Technology department. Dad can check out the plasma screen TVs while mum’s looking at new iPad and the kids are looking at the latest must-have toy of the moment. But everyone can relax. You don’t have to worry about driving into town, the congestion charge, ridiculous parking restrictions and even more ridiculous cost. You don’t need to concern yourself with crowded trains and worse tubes, getting lost or working out how you’re going to get all your shopping home. That’s the beauty of taking a Mayday Travel coach. We take you there and we bring you back in nice, big, comfy seats. We carry your shopping. We let you have that cheeky second glass of wine at lunch, because you’re not driving, one of Mayday travel’s expert, knowledgeable and friendly drivers is. Take the stress out of Christmas, and put the glamour in. Let Mayday Travel take you to Harrods.