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 27 restaurants are worth it: the Georgian has been open since 1913, and is a prime spot for a traditional afternoon tea, while new restaurant Tartufi & Friends caters for truffle lovers.
However, it’s on the fashion and beauty floors that Harrods really comes into its own, with well-edited collections from the heavyweights in the new Superbrands department and the stunning Shoe Heaven on the fifth floor.
Harrods is number 11 in our list of the 100 best shops in London.