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London Information
Overview:
One of the best ways to orient yourself is to take a double-decker bus tour. Those famous red two-storey buses provide  More...
Dining:
London hasn't always been known for its extraordinary culinary legacy. And while items  More...
Attractions:
Let's face it… London is regal, royal, and full of pomp and circumstance.  More...
Shopping:
One of the great things about London is the fact that the lines seem to blur…you can go shopping and  More...
Entertainment:
In London , the play is definitely the thing. This city has always been associated with the theatre  More...


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Guide To London
One of the great things about London is the fact that the lines seem to blur…you can go shopping and sightseeing at the same time because many of London 's greatest attractions are its stores and many stores are in the great neighborhoods you will want to visit. Plus, you can combine dining and shopping because many of the department stores are also home to well-known eateries. Got that?

No trip to London is complete without a stop in Harrods in Knightsbridge, the most well-known store in London and the source for those green vinyl Harrods shopping bags you've seen back home. Harrods offers something for everyone, and is a great place for “classy” souvenir shopping. You need not spend a fortune in Harrods…you can bring home an elegant Harrods china teacup, a teddy bear, or even a selection of English teas or candies. Also plan to stop in the Food Hall…each of the counters has mouthwatering delicacies from meats to fish to sweets, and you can sit on a stool, get a nice lunch or snack, and chat with your neighbor or just people-watch. It's a wonderful experience that can only be had here. Hotels near to Harrods include the Best Western Phoenix and the Gallery Hotel.

If you're mad for plaid, London is the home to that very famous black, tan, and red pattern which signifies the Burberry brand. It's been close to 150 years since a 21-year-old lad named Thomas Burberry began this brand that has become a fashion icon. The flagship store is located on New Bond Street where the home to the once stodgy trench coat with the plaid lining has now transformed itself into a fashion hotspot where plaid graces everything from shoes and shirts to belts and bikinis. With just one stop on Bond Street you will realize that this is the place where all the designers “hang out” and you'll pretty much find every designer name from Armani to Vuitton. If you want to stay in the heart of Bond Street shopping, consider the Millenium Mayfair which is just a five-minute walk away.

London seems to be famous for department stores that cater to your every need from home furnishings to clothing and food and wine. Another “must-see” on your shopping escapade is Fortnum & Mason in Piccadilly (the Flemings Mayfair is here) that dates back to the early 1700s and maintains a very regal air. Many stop in for afternoon tea, and their Food Hall also rivals that of Harrods.

If you've got the kids in tow, you can keep the little ones occupied with a stop in Hamleys, which bills itself as the “finest toyshop in the world” and has a great child-like ambiance of fun and games. Imagine seven floors overflowing with more than 40,000 toys and games…you and the kids will most definitely be overwhelmed.

Fashionistas seeking the latest runway trends must visit Harvey Nichols in Knightsbridge. This is definitely the sophisticated fashion funspot featuring Versace, Alexander McQueen, and more. It's a great place to browse and catch up on the newest styles and you'll also find home designs, cosmetics, and a café with a great view of West London. If the prices of the top spots have given you a bit of sticker-shock, don't despair… London has its share of more affordable department stores as well. Marks & Spencer (various locations including on Oxford Street ) is a great all-around store that prides itself on quality at a great value. Locals rave about the underwear here and say you can pretty much find any of the basics that you might need. Selfridges is another good spot with a wide variety of items including stationery, housewares, fashion, and more.

London has always been known for being a trend-setter and fashion with a twist can still be found here. “Swinging London ” (a la Austin Powers) is headquartered on Carnaby Street where you'll find things that are definitely mod, hip, and cool. Plus it's got over a hundred shops, restaurants, and bars so you can definitely plan to spend the day browsing here. King's Road is also a “swinging” and “punk” area and fans of Vivienne Westwood can find her original store here. King's Road also features modern day high fashion including Benetton, French Connection, and more.

Many people might not know it, but London is a great place for Vintage fare. Most vintage clothing can be found in the Covent Garden area in places like Blackout II and The Loft. And speaking of vintage, if you are a serious antiques collector, the best spots to visit are the Bond Street Antique Centre, Gray's Antiques Market, and Philips.

Yet London has a world of great shopping far away from the shops. The street markets and flea markets of London are absolutely fascinating and provide the opportunity to uncover some incredible treasures from affordably priced CDs to steals on furniture. The key, however, to market shopping is that most are only open on Sunday, so you need to get up early and know where you are headed in order to make sure you have plenty of time for browsing. The Old Spitalfields Market near Christ Church does happen to be open weekdays and features over 200 stalls including an organic market. Petticoat Lane (on Middlesex Streeet) is a Sunday-only market which sells primarily clothing. Those who are shopping for antiques cannot possibly pass up the Portobello Road antiques and flea market in Notting Hill which takes place every Saturday beginning at 8 a.m. (a smaller market is there weekdays; however, the Saturday event features over 2,000 stalls). The Pembridge Palace Hotel and the Best Western Paddington Court are both close to Portobello Road and Notting Hill. For handcrafts, consider the Greenwich Market off Greenwich High Road. And for a truly visual market — and a wonderful spot for photography — the Columbia Road Market features flower stalls with topiaries, bulbs, bouquets, and everything having to do with gardening. It is open on Sundays only.

Finally, if you are a traveler who enjoys bringing home trinkets to decorate your home, you'll find the famous Conran Shop here, as well as The Holding company, and the Designer's Guild with modern and innovative home designs.

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