Has anyone visited Selfridges in London? Would you recommend or is Harrod's a better choice? I'm a fan of the PBS series Mr Selfridge so I was thinking we would pop in next month but if its not that special, then we wouldn't. Thanks.
It's probably the second largest after Harrods, but it's just another large department store.
Since you are a fan of the show, why not pop in. The display windows are fun. I am not a shopper but enjoy architecture. Selfridges is interesting, but for me, Liberty is far more intriguing. Personally, I find Fortum and Mason the most enjoyable. Loved walking down Jermyn street last Fall to discover an adorable hidden garden adjacent to the Cafe Nero by St. James Church. One of those great spots in a busy city where you can enjoy some quiet moments. That one piece of art work though?! Ugly! Still, a lovely spot for a coffee and some solace.
I definitely think Selfridges is worth a visit; I like to eat lunch in the cafeteria upstairs. Lots of designer clothes and accessories so $$$.
Agree with Claudia re Liberty and Fortnum & Mason. Both definitely worth visiting.
And of course Harrods is definitely worth visiting. The Food Halls are very artsy. But also very crowded.
Selfridges is a lovely great big modern department store. The beauty area on the ground floor is huge and all the usual names plus European ones are represented. There's a very nice confectionary area and a short staircase takes you to the food hall where you can put together a fabulous picnic. There's even an American aisle! Upstairs there are 4 floors of fashion and home items; again, the usual suspects plus British designers abound.
Harrods is more of a visual feast. Their food halls are like a museum; beautifully tiled and very Edwardian in feeling. If you go downstairs, you can still see al-Fayed's memorial to Diana and Dodi. Do know that Harrods has duty free outlets at Heathrow, so if you want to buy a Harrods bag or keychain or green and gold box of biscuits, do it at the airport as you leave and save some money.
Thanks everyone. I think if we're in the neighborhood we'll at least try and visit but if not, no big deal. Harrod's I know is a Must See. :)
If you are a fan of the show, go to Selfridges just to do it and you will not end up with remorse over not having done it when you get home. While the food court at Harrod's is really impressive, the rest of of it is just another big department store. Liberty, on the other hand, is a really neat trip to another century and I'm glad my wife dragged me there.
"...While the food court at Harrod's is really impressive, the rest of of it is just another big department store..."
I disagree. I don't know of many other department stores that have a spy equipment department and live opera singers serenading shoppers. Also there lots of other eateries on the upper floors which are amazing.
Selfridges is nice but Harrods is in another league.
The Selfridges confectionary department allows you to get a taste of some of the best chocolate and patisserie producers from elsewhere in Europe, especially Pierre Marcolini and Pierre Herme. They also now (I don't know if it's long-term or not) have an alphabetical "library" of chocolate which has some interesting producers from Italy and Germany/Austria/Switzerland.
Do not, what ever you do, buy any spirits from Selfridges - the markup is absolutely horrendous and the rarer items will be available for more reasonable prices from places like Royal Mile, Whisky Exchange, or Vintage House..
After looking at a map, I'm thinking we will def pop into Selfridges for a visit, might not buy anything but at least to say I was there. Thanks for the input.
If you end going to Selfridges you should stop by the Wallace Collection which is very nearby on Manchester Square.
As you are a fan of the TV show, it may interest you that the current ownership of Selfridges has extended the show's theme, sort of. Selfridges is now part of the world's second-largest luxury department store chain, dominated by the Weston family, based in Canada rather than the US like Mr. Selfridge. More from Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Galen_Weston
My husband and I have totally enjoyed all our visits to Harrod's. We have probably been there seven times. We have had tea upstairs in the "Georgian Room". We have also eaten in the same room for their delicious buffet lunch. It is seved until 3:30 PM everyday. The "Georgian Room" is a beautiful setting for tea. We have also eaten in their fantastic food court. We have eaten the fish and chips at the counter there. Nothing there is inexpensive, but it is very good quality. We have also enjoyed sundaes upstairs in their ice cream restaurant. There are two departments where they sell touristy stuff. Actually the items are well made and useful. I have bought gifts for friends and bought items for myself and for friends. A few of my friends have requested that I buy them the same items, if we get back there in the future. It is definitely a store that you just walk around in and take it all in. You can even go to "Laduree" outside of Harrod's for treats. "Laduree" is also located in France and now in New York. "Selfridges" is also fun to shop in. People are so excited to be shopping in that store. The difference is most people can afford to actually buy something in "Selfridges" or "Liberty". It is just so absolutely exciting to be anywhere in London; the multitude of stores is just another benefit.
IMHO ..Selfridges is like Neiman. Harrods has no comparison. Liberty is Liberty. I buy my needlework there then have a nice cream tea. F&M is one of my favorites. We are also faithful viewers of Mr. Selfridge.