Harrods is, perhaps, the finest shopping experience in the world. There may be others that have come along since and done things bigger and brasher. But Harrods is Harrods, and the others are also-rans. It’s one of the few places in the world where the ‘own brand’ produce isn’t a cheaper and inferior version of the original, but the luxury choice. And it’s a shop you can buy anything from. Or could, once upon a not so long ago. Ronald Reagan once asked, jokingly, if he could buy an elephant. He was asked whether he wanted an Indian or African elephant. One was, apparently, delivered to him. Noel Coward bought an alligator. And there was a famous lion cub bought from the store in the 60’s. The story of Christian the lion cub is well worth watching.
The store has other recent fame, or infamy, attached to it. The IRA bombing in the early 80’s, and then the controversial take over of the store by Mohammed Al Fayed. The legacy of the latter remains to the present day courtesy of the Egyptian staircase and Diana/Dodi memorial he had installed. The legacy of the former is in the shape of a less grandiose memorial and an annual journalism prize.
Harrods is an enthralling shopping experience. The food courts on the ground floor are a wonder to behold. The design and architecture of the building are visit-worthy in their own rights. And you might, if your wallet is feeling up to it, do some shopping while you’re there. I declined to make any actual purchases. I just took some photos, which can be seen on Flickr by clicking here.