Covering over 5 acres and 1,000,000 square feet, a visit to London’s Harrods department store can be overwhelming. It’s easy to get sensory overload and miss some of the standout experiences on a trip to this iconic store. In 2010 the store was sold to the Qatari royal family who have continued Harrod’s reputation for opulence. We spent an entire afternoon wandering the store and still just saw a fraction of the glamor and spectacle. Their motto “All Things, For All People, Everywhere” gives a clue to how much there is to see. These are our 5 “must see” tips for visiting Harrods.
Check out the Halcyon Gallery on the second floor. The gallery displays works by world renowned artists such as Lorenzo Quinn, Salvador Dali and Bob Dylan on a rotating basis. When we were there we saw Andy Warhol’s Mao series.
Don’t miss the Egyptian escalator located in the center of the store running up all seven floors. At the base of the lower ground floor you will find one of two memorials to Princess Diana and Dodi Fayed. Complete with sphinxes, hieroglyphs and celestial ceiling the escalators make for a fun ride. At the Basil Street entrance to the Grand Hall you can see the Amber and Gold Chandelier commissioned by Dale Chihuly comprised of 1400 hand blown glass elements.
Be sure to check their website or handy app for timely events happening during your visit. Are you interested in a free coffee masterclass, children’s toy detective mystery game, storytelling or mind blowing creations out of jelly? Harrods is famous for their unique and sometimes quirky special events.
A shopper could spend hours exploring the food halls and come away with an appreciation for the huge selection of food and drink from all over the world. Truffles, caviar, champagne, chocolates, jams, jellies, oysters, even Krispy Kreme Donuts….the list is endless. You’re bound to see ice sculptures in the fish department and each item is artfully displayed. Spend a few minutes taking in the wall murals and gorgeous art deco ceilings. In case you’re worried it’s all outside your budget, a recent survey found Harrods meat prices less than Asda and Tesco. This is a great place to put together a picnic to enjoy in the park after your visit.
We had a wonderful time wandering the store gaping at the ultra-luxury items on display. We saw $400 t-shirts and $250,000 watches. There are tiny, golden python handbags and itty bitty $1000 bottles of perfume. While none of these items fell within our means, it was such fun to daydream and window shop.
A visitor could spend days exploring Harrods’s. They truly do have something for everyone. Have you wandered the Food Halls? What was your favorite site?