BrandArena: British Airways Provide insider’s guide to London shopping

Thursday, 18 December 2014

British Airways Provide insider’s guide to London shopping

As one of the world’s commercial hubs it’s not that surprising that London is also one of its great shopping capitals and few visitors leave without an indulgent memento or two, or maybe a lot more.

What can be daunting is where to shop for what, given the sheer variety of retail real estate from Boxpark, the first pop-up mall, to the rich tailoring tradition of Saville Row.

Londoner and British Airways says that any Nigerians wanting to cash in on the New Year sales should definitely include Oxford Street on their itinerary. With more than 300 shops and designer outlets it’s sure to offer a bargain or two.

Kola Olayinka, British Airways Regional Commercial Manager West Africa, top tip is not to overlook the side streets as these are often home to smaller shops stocking unexpected treasures.

Regent Street offers some well –known shops such as Hamleys and as well as good mid-priced fashion shopping for any Nigerians who is willing to shop for fashion during the yuletide period. The rejuvenated Covent Garden is a must-see for hip fashionistas. Technogeeks can lose themselves in the massive Apple store, while their trendy partners browse handmade jewellery.

Visitors with more extravagant budgets, those who just fancy a spot of envious window-shopping or chance celebrity spotting must try Bond Street and Mayfair. The purview of the particularly well-heeled, it is home to Burberry, Louis Vuitton and Tiffany & Co amongst others.

Knightsbridge and Brompton Road also offer a variety of top brands and big-name fashion designers, as well as the famous department stores, Harrods and Harvey Nichols.

Canary Wharf, better known as a business precinct, is also home to Canada Square with more than 200 shops. All the main high-street chains are represented as well as a number of designer stores.

For Nigerians who wants a mix of luxury brands, Westfield London offers a good mix of luxury brands such as Jimmy Choo, All Saints and Ted Baker alongside high-street fashion stores including Debenhams, Next and Marks & Spencer. There are also plenty of restaurants, bars and entertainment all under one roof, so it’s a good place to visit if time is an issue.

Those with more time and an inclination to browse may prefer the Kings Road with its mix of trendy boutiques, one-off labels, designer shops and abundant cafes and eateries.

Carnaby Street, once the hub of swinging sixties fashion, is still a shoppers’ paradise today, with more than 150 brands and over 50 independent restaurants and bars. As well as a variety of independent boutiques, big brands and designer labels, the many pubs, bars and cafes offer plenty of opportunity to refuel or abandon exhausted partners.

Notting Hill is much more than just a movie location and is ideally suited to the quirky browser looking for an antique, books, vintage clothing or an unusual gift. The Portobello Road Market is well worth a visit.

If you’re into vintage or retro once-off pieces, Brick Lane in East London is another must see. It’s also a great place to soak up the edgy, cool sights and sounds of Shoreditch and explore its pop-up bars and restaurants.

“There really is something for every Nigerians, no matter your taste or budget,” says Kola Olayinka. “Everywhere is easily accessible by tube, but my final tip would be to avoid it at rush hour, particularly if you’ve been on a bit of a binge and have lots of bags.”

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