Today was our shopping day. We started out at Primark which is just down the street from our hotel and for less than 60 pounds I got 3 dresses, 2 satin nightgowns, a pair of leggings, 5 pairs of tights, and a set of bracelets. It was insane. Thank goodness we went early because as we were leaving the crowds set in and people we’re crawling all over each other trying to get their hands on a good deal.
Shopping on Oxford is fabulous. All in one easy row you have Monsoon, Next, Selfridges & Co., Barretts and further down near Picadilly Circus is a gigantic four-story Top Shop.
Selfridges is a hip, young department store on Oxford with an enormous beauty department that includes a huge Dior counter, plus a section of high-end shops like Hermes and Tiffany & Co, and mini pop-shops including Paul’s Boutique, Super Dry, Top Shop and Ted Baker. Follow Selfridges on Twitter by clicking here.
I liked the windows at Selfridges. This one (below) is a play on Fake Fur. The mannequin is outfitted entirely of stuffed animals, hence the “fake fur”.
We got a little parched after shopping and had to stop in Argyll Arms Pub for a beer. All of the pubs in London are unthinkably old and beautifully filled with original details like staircases, wood work, and in some cases, wallpaper.
After a small break we headed up to Piccadilly Circus. It was overflowing with locals and tourists alike and fortunately it wasn’t raining so we got some great pictures. Top Shop dominates this area with it’s huge store that is packed with people fawning over fast fashion finds. They have a great accessory section filled with jewelry merchandised by finish (silver, gold) and also by accessory type (headbands, bracelets, watches, sunglasses). Top Shop has a Selfridge Shop inside the store and if you head upstairs you can visit Top Man, a menswear boutique by Top Shop. There was also an insane assortment of shoes, vintage apparel and a beauty parlor and nail salon. A girl could spend hours in Top Shop…especially since downstairs there’s also a small café.
In the evening we headed to Notting Hill. It was a nice break from the hustle and bustle of the city and the neighborhood was so charming and warm. Since we went in the evening we got to enjoy the sunset reflecting on the pastel colored townhomes. The Victorian Style houses reminded me of Boston or San Francisco but the ones here are so rich with history and original architectural details.
We stopped for dinner at the Walmer Castle, which is an English pub downstairs and an authentic Thai restaurant upstairs. Even without reservations (or “bookings” as they are called in England) we got a nice romantic fireplace table. The walls of the upstairs restaurant were mauve and the adjacent walls had black wallpaper with a gold dragon print. The food was great even if the service was relatively slow.
When we got back to our hotel we stopped at Kua for a quick nightcap. I recommend the Lychee Indulgence which is similar to a standard Lychee Martini in the states, but if you’re feeling like something sweeter try the Melon Martini. Kua also serves light snacks including French fries with mayonnaise and ketchup (which my husband loves because he can make "fancy sauce", Caesar salads, Coconut Prawns and bar snacks.