Monday, May 11, 2009

Getting Settled in London

I arrived in London on Saturday in the early afternoon and took the subway, I mean, the tube, from Heathrow to Knightsbridge station, which is apparently a five minute walk to my apartment, I mean, flat.  I didn't know that, though, so I hailed a cab (is there another word for cab in Brit speak?), told the cab driver where I was going and he told me not to waste my money and how to walk there.  Nice!

A lady from the rental agency met me outside the flat and showed me around. I'm in a studio and everything I could possibly need is here, though the washer and dryer is actually the same machine, so that's taken some getting used to, but I think I have it figured out.  Since I'm in London for 12 days I wanted an apartment so I could eat some meals in, do laundry and just generally feel like I'm at home... except in London - brilliant!  (Sorry, more Brit speak.  I can't help myself.)

The street I'm on is just one block behind Brompton Road, which is full of shops and cafes.  I'm only a couple of blocks from some of the major museums - the Victoria and Albert Museum, the British History Museum - and I'm a short walk to Hyde Park.  

As I came off the subway on Sunday I realized I was right in front of Harrod's. After I unpacked and went out for groceries, I went for a walk.  It's warm (mid 60s) and sunny here in London - a sharp contrast from the weather in Ireland. As I walked I found myself in front of Harrod's. Even though it was after 6pm and most shops here close at 6, Harrod's was open until 8, so I decided to take a look inside.

As I walked in the door, a lady handed me a guide to the store.  Is this really necessary?  Yes, absolutely.  Harrod's puts every department store I've ever been in to shame.  Take Saks, Bergdorf Goodman, Barney's and Neiman Marcus in NYC, and you still don't have a Harrod's. Sure, you've got your regular departments - men's and women's clothes, shoes, bags, cosmetics, fragrances - but it's oh so much more.  Need bulletproof clothing?  Sports, fifth floor.  Need a customized petrol-driven, off-road vehicle for kids? Toy Enquiries, fourth floor.  Need your tennis racquet restrung? Wigmore, fifth floor.  Need a customized Monopoly set?  Adult Games, lower ground floor.  I could go on and on.  In addition to the shops, there is the food.  I counted 28 bars and restaurants in the Harrod's guide.  28! There is a creperie, a champagne bar, a Lebanese restaurant, a kosher deli, a gelato, a sushi bar, a dim sum bar and even a Krispy Kreme.  Hmmm... maybe I should write copy for Harrod's.

After I got over the initial shock of Harrod's, I browsed around.  I ended up in the shoe department.  Is anyone out there laughing?  This should not come as a surprise.  As I moved through the department, I was on the lookout for the Christian Louboutin section.  It was nowhere to be found.  I couldn't believe it! Harrod's makes bulletproof vests yet doesn't carry the holy grail of women's shoes?  So I left the shoe department a tad disappointed in Harrod's until I rounded a corner.  And there in a curtained-off room, all by themselves, displayed in their grandeur as they should be... Christian Louboutin.


No, I didn't buy any!  I haven't bought anything actually, but I've had requests to post anything I DO buy (or consider buying).

More to come on London.  Geez, maybe I should have entitled this blog simply, Harrod's.


  1. You must buy, at least, one pair!

  2. Yep, I can totally see you as a Londoner!

    (As a gal on a shopping moratorium, the CL photo is almost more than I can take...)

  3. I have to agree. I also am on a clothes shopping moratorium.

  4. Chris, you don't need to put yourself on a clothes shopping moratorium. A MAGNET shopping moratorium maybe...

  5. Are you implying that I need to shop for more clothes?
    p.s. the new star trek movie is great

  6. I love that you are so close to Harrod's! My favorite was to ride up and down the Egyptian escalator. I would always jam up the line b/c I wasn't paying attention... too much to see!

    The giant Burberry across the street is great too.

    I'm so happy for you getting to do all of this! This blog was a great idea!