London is one of my fave cities in the world. With my sister living in London, I visit quite often. Being the shopper that I am, Oxford Street is a mecca to me. Whilst we have been lucky enough for some of these stores to be brought to South Africa, we still can’t beat the sheer size and ranges available at these flagship stores in one of the busiest high streets in the world.
As you may already know, Foschini is running a competition to win a trip to LONDON FASHION WEEK in February next year! Winning is so simple so I thought I would remind you of how to enter and also tell you the BEST shops to visit whilst you visit London when you win the competition (positive thinking, people!).
Now, onto the shopping part… I have been shopping in Oxford Street so many times that I now reckon I am adequately equipped to tell you the BEST shops running down this busy street. Keep in mind that there are probably 5 H&Ms (easily) down the street, lucky for you I know the best one!
I will give you the address of each of them, a note on why that store is the best, a pic of the store off Google Maps so that you can recognise it when you visit, and it’s position on the map. How handy is that?
This H&M is right over the road from the Oxford Circus tube station. It’s the best one because of its size. There are a few levels to this store and what I like is the way it’s set up. There’s a men’s floor, which I know I don’t even need to venture in, then a lot of the very trendy items are on the ground as you walk in and there’s another massive section with plenty more on offer from basics, to party dresses, to shoes and accessories. This is my favourite store in the world!
LUSH ~ 175 – 179 Oxford Street East, London
Yes, this is the three-story LUSH store you have read about. Sometimes I just stand outside to experience the heavenly scents emanating from store as I know I will go buck wild if I enter with a credit card. There are tons of items that are exclusive to this store. If you want to read about the store then you can click here, but the keywords that stand out to me are spa, hair lab, music station, selfie mirror and ‘newest products’. LUSH is on the opposite side of the road to the huge H&M and Topshop and is near to River Island, Zara and M&S.
PS. My next favourite H&M store, which is much quieter, is just down the road in Regent Street. It’s south from Oxford Street and has a huge selection of kiddies clothes 😉
River Island ~ 207-213 Oxford Street East, London
This is the best River Island I have been to, easily 4 times bigger than the Rosebank Mall store that opened last year. The stores in Rosebank and Sandton have such a small range of clothing, bags, shoes, accessories, swimwear, women’s wear and (especially) men’s wear. This store outdoes our local stores ten fold. River Island is near LUSH, as mentioned above, and is next door to Zara and New Look.
Top Shop ~ 214 Oxford Street East, London
This store, like H&M, has strategically placed floors to help plan your shopping efficiently. My fave part? They have a whole section on the lowest floor for food, hair dressers, nail salons, and more! Do yourself a favour and get a Banoffie Pie from the cafe just on the left of the escalator, you won’t be disappointed!
PS. If you want a really good English Pub lunch, then visit The Argyll Arms pub just off Oxford Street in Argyll Street. Some pubs are hit and miss, but I can personally recommend this one! It’s also just down the road from the London Palladium where I once saw the red carpet for the BAFTAs.
Boots ~ 361 Oxford Street, London
Trust me, this is the best Boots in Oxford Street! It’s huge, imagine a two- or three-story Dischem – like that big! The ground floor has all the makeup and skincare, some high-end but mostly drug store. I head straight to the back of the ground floor to Sleek and Soap & Glory, they are my fave brands that aren’t available locally. Next is Collection and No7. Then downstairs is all about hair and skin care. So many products we have never heard of!!! I can spend hours (and thousands) there.
Forever 21 ~ 360 Oxford Street, London
As far as I know, this is the only Forever 21 in London. This was always a must-visit for me when I went to London, but it has lost a bit of its appeal now that there is a (large, apparently) store in Sandton. I can’t compare as I haven’t had the opportunity to visit the Sandton store though. It’s just over the road from the Bond Street tube station.
PS. Around the corner from the tube station and Forever 21 is Victoria’s Secret! Some of their lingerie gets a bit pricey but I always go for the “Pink” brand specials. I even mentioned in this blog post how much I love their panties.
Selfridges ~ 400 Oxford Street, London
Oh my word… Selfridges is the heaven I want to go to when I ‘pass on’ one day. Just imagine the biggest department store in existence with 9 floors and thousands of brands! Most of the time all I can afford to do is browse! I spend hours checking out all of the high-end makeup brands, designer clothing and handbags and trying on so many designer shoes that I lose count! Christian Louboutin, Charlotte Olympia, Jimmy Choo, Chanel, Manolo Blahnik, Giuseppe Zanotti, Nicholas Kirkwood and so much more!
Primark ~ 499-517 Oxford Street West, London
This is my other favourite store in London, along with the H&M mentioned above. There are now two Primarks in Oxford Street. The one on the east side of the street is new, not even two years old, and is much cleaner, more organised and quieter. The only problem is that it seriously does not have the same range as the original one (on the west side near Marble Arch tube station) has. The better and bigger store is chaos, I must warn you.
It’s always crazy busy with people trying things on in the aisles and clothing and shoes scattered all over the place. I reckon this is probably the most cosmopolitan part of the city because I have never seen so many people from different countries in my life. I hate sales, blatantly can’t stand them, but I will put up with the sheer chaos in this Primark for the huge amount of epic things I can find.
I spend so much money at Primark, but I walk out of there with so much stuff! I usually do a special trip to and from Primark specifically as I can’t carry all my wares around for the rest of the day. A tip – go on one of your first days in London. It’ll take easily an hour to get into the change room so I always go home to try things on and then take things back to exchange. Another tip – when exchanging clothing make sure you stand in the right queue, there is a vat return line right next to the one where you do exchanges and you will break down and cry if you stand in the vat queue for an hour!
A couple years ago it was R10 to the pound which made Primark cheaper than Mr Price, which is pretty tough to do. Now, with the exchange rate at almost R23, it’s not that much of a bargain. Still worth the trip though! Especially for jewellery and handbags.
I hope that you enjoyed this blog post! I had a lot of fun writing it, even though it took me days 😉 GOOD LUCK with the Foschini #BestDayOfMyLife competition, I’ll be at Gateway this weekend taking selfies with shoppers – maybe I’ll see you there!