Old Spitalfields Market
I’ve visited a few markets in London and I think that Old Spitalfields is definitely the best for general atmosphere and finding treasures. It’s a great people watching spot. I would describe it as a really modern and trendy (without being too hipster-ish) version of an antique/handmade market surrounded by mainstream and not-so-mainstream shops.. a bit of something for everyone really. And, if you're hungry, this is the place to be - some really amazing restaurants and food stalls.
Museum of Brands
If you’re into graphic design, particularly product packaging and print advertising, this place is for you. There's tons of items on display (over 12,000!) dating back to the 1890’s to the present day. A visit to this museum will take you back in time, and is bound to have you reminiscing about your favourite childhood snacks.
I don't know how I stumbled across this fact, but I somehow discovered that Buckingham Palace was actually open to the public during the Summer months (when the Queen retreats to Balmoral Castle). I remember visiting London for the first time when I was 10 and dreaming about actually walking inside the stately home.. and much to my surprise, almost two decades later, this dream came true. I don’t really have any words to describe exactly how beautiful this Palace’s interior is (the small portion that I was allowed to see was amazing - I can only imagine what the rest of the “house” is like). It actually brought tears to my eyes. If you are in London between July and September, you simply must pay a visit.
Selfridges, Oxford Street
Selfridge & Co is one of the most quintessential department stores in the UK, and its flagship store in London is a fab place to explore.. And given that it is the second largest store in the city after Harrods, there is A LOT of exploring to do! From a design perspective, I loved visiting the homewares and stationery sections but I found that the store had many different displays and installations (particularly lighting) that were visually spectacular.
Fortnum & Mason
Continuing with the shop theme, I recommend stopping by Fortnum’s in Piccadilly. It has been open since 1707 - can you believe that? The ground floor, where the tea and confectionery sections are situated is meticulously set up and the facade and front windows are always beautifully decorated. They currently have an ‘Alice in Wonderland - Through The Looking Glass’ window at the moment - check out this Insta post.
M&S Simply Food/Food Hall
This one might come as a surprise coz the Marks and Spencer Food Hall is “just a grocery store” but every time I go to M&S I am always so impressed with their (and their suppliers’) packaging (I am also in love with what they choose to stock) - individual servings of trifle and plastic glasses of wine - genius)!. Usually I find going to supermarkets mind numbingly boring and I avoid grocery shopping like the plague (online shopping is a god-send) but I actually find that I quite like a visit to this particular food hall. M&S branding is on point and totally stylish.