The distinctive terracotta façade with its dark-green awnings stirs up some of the most divided feelings in the capital: for every tourist who comes out clutching their must-have Harrods teddy, there’s a local who sniffs at its vulgarity. It’s true that all the glitz and marble can be a bit much, but it’s hard not to soften at the imposing grandeur of this London institution, even if you prefer to duck into Harvey Nichols down the road. If you do brave entry, the legendary food halls and restaurants are worth it: Andronicas on the fourth floor offers more than 60 different types of bean while the 5J Ibérico Ham House caters for ham and tapas fans. However, it’s on the fashion and beauty floors that Harrods really comes into its own with well-edited collections from the heavyweights and a Beauty Concierge service attracting cash-rich tourists. If you’re popping in solely for that luxury quirk, try Harrods’s pet bakery where you can buy your pooch a pet-friendly profiterole.
Harrods is number 11 in our list of the 100 best shops in London.