London is filled with beautiful historic buildings, great shopping, places to eat and drink, high fashion, great design and interesting spots to people watch. There’s one secret location in London that has them all, under one exclusive, timber framed roof.
Liberty’s is my favorite London store, not because I leave with armfuls of shopping every time I go, but because I leave with a head full of craft and decorating ideas, a stomach full of tea and delicious cake, a notebook full of stories and a smile on my face.
Make time in London for a stop at London’s most unique shopping experience, and stay for tea.
Liberty’s Iconic London Store
You’d be forgiven for thinking you’d stepped into a centuries old Tudor emporium when you walk into Liberty’s. There’s nothing quite like it in the world, but despite appearances it’s only 90 years old. I say “only”, this is England after all, my house is older than that.
The wonderful beams that make up the visible frame of the building are older though. They come from the decommissioned Royal Navy ships HMS Impregnable and HMS Hindustan. The building is exactly the same length as HMS Hindustan, as the length of the available wood defined its size.
Once inside head straight up to the top floor for the best view. You can look down into the light filled ground floor and watch the shoppers go about their business. Each department is broken up into little rooms off central courtyards, so although you’re in a big department store, you can feel like you’re walking around an exclusive, relaxed, multinational, street market.
The store is on Regent’s Street, on the corner of Great Marlborough Street (look out for Hamley’s toy store in the neighbourhood too). The nearest tube stations are Oxford Circus and Piccadilly Circus.
What To Buy At Liberty’s
You can buy anything you like, it’s a department store after all. The fashion conscious will spot some unique finds that no-one else will be wearing, the furnishings are fabulous, but hard to pack.
The ultimate Liberty’s buy is a ladies scarf. The designs are so beautiful it will be hard to choose just one, but no worries, silk is light and easy to pack, it’s also wearable if you’re at the outer limit of your baggage allowance. Liberty’s will ship goods for you which is good to know, particularly if you go wild in the fabric aisles – no-one could possibly blame you, they have such a wonderful, eclectic collection.
Won’t You Stay For Tea
Liberty’s tea shop is a real treat. It’s a little cafe on the third floor and it’s largely tourist free. Whilst London is awash with Star*ucks, McDonalds, Costa and Nero’s coffee houses, Liberty’s offers something just a little bit more refined, but at a comparable cost.
Rather than going for broke on a tea at the Ritz or Claridge’s, you can treat yourself to a little slice of England far more affordably at Liberty’s, it really is just a department store cafe, but done with stylish little touches and design flair.
You’ll also get to see another slice of London life, away from the tourist shopping outside. Pop in for morning coffee or afternoon tea and you’ll likely be seated alongside some more interesting English characters than you’d ever see in a chain coffee joint.