We started our second morning in London by going to breakfast in Piccadilly at Patisserie Valerie, a chain bakery where we had eaten last trip and had a good experience. On our way to breakfast, we walked through St. James’ Park and looked at the Queen’s waterfowl (ducks, geese and swans). We continued up the Mall and passed by Buckingham Palace. The last time we were there, barricades were up prior to the wedding of Duchess Kate and Prince William, so it was nice to see the palace in its normal state. We meandered by Clarence House and up towards Piccadilly to the restaurant.
I am on a poached egg kick lately and had the same thing I had last time (eggs Florentine). My husband had a full English breakfast (scrambled eggs, baked beans, bacon, sausage and mushrooms). We also both had flat whites, our theme of the London trip, it seems. The breakfast was filling and got us off to a good start to what ended up being an extremely long yet fantastic day.
Bellies full, we began our morning of walking and shopping. Our first stop was the Burlington Arcade, which is an arcade of shops that has been around since 1819. The shops were just opening, and since we were not in the market for haberdashery or cashmere coats, we kept on walking. We stopped into Fortnum and Mason, a beautiful department store that we did not have time to see last visit. We arrived just as the doors were being opened and toured each floor of the store. Being a veteran shopper (apparently my first shopping outing took place at 3 weeks of age at Lord & Taylor), I enjoy seeing beautiful stores and Fortnum and Mason did not disappoint. Gorgeous as the shop was, we ended up not purchasing anything (though I wanted basically everything in the stationery section–one can never have enough notecards!) and continued on.
We walked up Bond Street and over to Regent Street, ultimately winding up at another national treasure of commerce, Liberty, a department store that was founded in 1875. The store is famous for its unique fabric prints, which have been parlayed into collaborations with companies such as J.Crew. The building is a tudor-style exterior and has beautiful wood beams and paneling inside. They also have a nice yarn department and I purchased some knitting needles, as I am an avid knitter and they were really nice needles for a relatively reasonable price (£5). I also ended up buying a gift for my sister-in-law, who loves Liberty patterns.
After leaving Liberty, we walked over towards Harrod’s, another iconic luxury London department store. We never made it there during our last trip and wanted to stop in to see what the fuss is about. The scene in the food hall lived up to the hype, particularly the elaborate tiled ceilings, however we did not actually eat anything (or buy anything for that matter). The food hall at Harrod’s is filled with indulgent food–there is an entire room devoted to chocolate and an excessively large counter that houses oysters and caviar. I happened upon a leg of Iberico ham that cost £2,800.
We left Harrod’s and walked over to Patricia Roberts, a shop that sells yarn and knitwear. I bought a couple of skeins of pale blue mohair yarn for myself. On the way to the yarn shop, we spied this insane Mercedes. We also walked by Harvey Nichols but I was department store’d out and had subjected my poor husband to enough retail therapy for the day (or month…or year…) so we returned to the hotel to drop off our wares.