Young and coffee in varying degrees, Kat also says stuff @ThoroughlyMode
Published September 17th 2010
How does a department store selling basically the same products as other department stores become a travel destination? How about by being a one-off for starters. And being known for selling premium brands can't hurt either. A historic façade and carefully designed rooms and 'galleries' certainly make the experience of shopping there feel a bit different to shopping at the mall, as do the smells which waft invitingly from the plentifully and richly stocked Food Hall. How about an annual Boxing Day sale known for its beyond belief discounts – who wants to buy a TV for 1 penny? Me!
But is it worth queuing for two days for the pleasure - over a London Christmas? To some people yes.
Is the Boxing Day Sale one of those things we should all do once? Probably.
Harrods is a part of London's history. It had the world's first moving staircase – us modern people would call it an escalator - and the pioneer travellers on it were given brandy at the top to stave off a potential shock, sadly not a practice still practised.
If you want to shop like the royal family there is probably no store with more guilt and gold paint. The Egyptian escalators aren't the easiest to navigate but they're awfully opulent and the wood on each floor has an expensive gleam. As do the colourful, fruit decorated tiles in the Food Halls.
A Harrods hamper, or some of its branded or premium food products, are probably the best things to walk away with, packed in the signature green and real gold. Their other departments have some unusual brands and some very desirable 'items' your materialistic tongue will loll over, but you'll probably pay more than you strictly need to. Here's the abbreviated store guide:
Lower Ground: Menswear and gifts, stationary and food
Ground Floor: Store guards who won't let you in if they don't think you're well enough dressed, Harrods branded souvenirs, hosiery, umbrellas, gloves, the glorious, glimmering rooms of beauty, and much more food, including the tea and coffee gallery, fruit and veg, a butchers, a fishmonger and 'the treat room'...
First Floor: Ladies shopping heaven, including SHOES.
Second Floor: Homeware, including something called Tableware as well as Kitchenware, the linen section and other accessories for your home. Also glass things that will set you back a huge amount if you break them, so skip it if you have a big bag or kids...
Third Floor: HOME ENTERTAINMENT (read cool things that you'll love if you have dreams of having your own home cinema), and furniture.
Fourth Floor: Clothes for kids and the women's clothes that didn't fit on the second floor.
Fifth Floor: Sports stuff and beauty – which means you can bring your significant other...
Best tip: the bakery on the ground floor – a delicious selection a pastries and fresh breads that almost anyone can afford.