The London flagship branch of this reliably good department store chain has had a revamp of late. Well aware of the competition for Oxford Street shoppers’ footfall, House of Fraser have gone on something of a campaign to secure exclusives to edge its fashion offering above that of its neighbours. In recent years that has meant the HOF is the only stockist of the re-launched Biba line, including its lovely new lingerie line, a concept boutique by LOVE Moschino, East end thrift finders Assembly Vintage, Farrell by Robbie Williams (who launched the range in person). But arguably the jewel in the HOF crown is the Mary store- a wonderful shopping experience designed by retail guru Mary Portas to target the needs of the forty something stylish shopper. The department is reached via dedicated orange lifts (modestly recalling the garish shade of Madame Portas’s terrifyingly unmoving glossy bob). The stock, a mix of hand-picked grown up high street pieces from Whistles and J Brand along side Portas’s own name label, is beautifully presented. Customer service is the best on Oxford Street- with a uniformed bell boy on hand to fetch extra sizes to the changing rooms, and a ‘moan phone’ allowing you to leave feedback messages of congratulation or complaint. Plans to roll out the hugely successful ‘Mary’ concept across the UK are coming along predictably speedily, but for the time being you’ll find it only at House of Fraser Oxford Street. And for that reason, the main problem with the department is how unbearably busy it always is.