I can remember the first time I experienced the buzz of Oxford Street. It was my 14th birthday and my mum had promised me and my friends a day of shopping in the capital.
We’d been so thrilled about the prospect that we’d even had personalised hoodies made to mark the occasion. I’ll never forget how amazing it felt to walk up the steps of the tube station and into this wonderland of high street stores and market stalls. By the end of the day, we’d all successfully spent the entirety of our pocket money and each landed ourselves a highly coveted Abercrombie & Fitch carrier bag to take to school.
Fast forward seven years and I’d got my first job in the city, the offices are just off Oxford Street and I spend every single lunch break spending a large portion of my tiny wage on tops, shoes and accessories I don’t need.
And last week, after many months of shopping virtually – I was craving a trip back to this unrivalled shopping district and so decided to book train tickets online, next stop London Euston!
Any reservations I initially had about heading into a busy area during the current pandemic were immediately quashed when we arrived at the station and saw how thoroughly everything was being cleaned and maintained.
It was so easy to travel by train and Network Rail are continuing to provide a number of measures to help us all feel safe while travelling – there were even hand sanitiser dispensers dotted every hundred metres!
In case you (like me) are a little rusty on the London shopping scene, here are a few places you won’t want to miss…
Start your day at London Euston and take the short walk to Tottenham Court Road, where you’ll find a hub of interior showrooms and homeware shops like West Elm, Moooi and BoConcept.
More time at home has meant that we’re all a little more aware of how our living spaces make us feel, so renovations and redecorations have increased two-fold. It was refreshing to get some ideas in-person rather than squinting at a screen trying to work out if the cushions I’d ordered were going to be too green for our sage living area.
Once you’ve got your fill of sofas, beds, coffee tables and vases, keep walking and you’ll soon come onto Oxford Street – which we were delighted to find was still alive with activity!
Lush, Mango, Bershka, Zara, H&M, Nike, Pandora and John Lewis – there are so many options you’ll just have to make a beeline for wherever piques your interest first!
And if all that window shopping (or purse exercising) has made you hungry, make sure you head over to St Christophers Place, a vibrant quarter of boutiques, bars and restaurants nestled between Oxford Street and Wigmore Street. My favourite spot for pan-Asian sharing plates is Cocochan (you won’t miss their bright pink forage frontage) although if you have a sweet tooth, Crosstown is famous for their intriguing donut flavours, so it would be rude not to swing by.
Of course the usual signs of a successful shopping trip are hands full of bags, tired legs and a slightly aching purse – but after the crazy year we’ve all had – success is being able to experience the excitement and the buzz of real life browsing once again!
Are you planning a shopping trip anytime soon?