Built in 1819 by Lord Cavendish, to provide ‘industrious females’ with employment, and to stop people throwing oyster shells into the garden of Burlington House, Burlington Arcade is the grandest in London. With its ‘whale mouth’ entrance and soft globe lights, you can dive from the flurry of Piccadilly into a far more genteel shopping experience.
Decorum is guarded by the ever-present Beadles who to this day prevent shoppers from whistling, running, and ‘making merry loudly’; you’ve been warned. Step into Ladurée’s golden grotto for one of their rainbow hued macaroons before idling past the arcade’s sparkling row of jewellers. The strands of pearls hanging in Milleperle caught our eye, as did the antique jewellery in Matthew Foster.
Luxury goods abound in the form of watches from David Duggan, pens from Pen Friend and custom made gloves from Sermoneta Gloves. Make sure you step into the quintessentially English fragrance house, Penhaligon’s, for old fashion scents like Bluebell, Violetta, and the rather bracing Extract of Limes.
Burlington Arcade also houses a proper shoe-shine boy working with waxes and creams for just £3.50. Suits you guv’nor!