London Drum

Harrods – Luxury department store in London

Where? Harrods, 87-135 Brompton Road, Knightsbridge · Web: Opening times? 10 AM to 9 PM (Mon-Sat); 11.30 AM to 6 PM (Sun) Visiting hours may change Time required? A typical visit is 45-60 mins Parking: Nearby car parks Buses: 9, 10, 14, 19, 22, 52, 74, 137, 414, 452, C1 Bus fares Trains: The closest station is Knightsbridge Piccadilly Train fares

Craig’s review… They have doorman at Harrods wearing frock-coats and olive green gloves and when I was younger I remember trying to walk in wearing ripped jeans. This was way before ripped jeans were a fashion statement (they were just ripped, for real) and the old guy on the door wouldn’t let me in! These days I’m a bit better dressed so I get in easy-peasy. To be honest I’m not even sure they have a dress code any more judging by some of the scruffs walking around, so maybe they’ve relaxed the rules. They let me in, for starters, so that is clear evidence of a drop in standards.

Before you go inside check out all those lightbulbs on the front. There are thousands of them (literally thousands) and if you come back at nighttime then the whole place will be lit up like a Christmas tree. It looks like Chevy Chase’s house in Christmas Lampoons.

The Food Halls

The confectionary hall looks like Willie Wonka’s Chocolate Factory. They’ve got orange segments dipped in dark chocolate for two quid a go, rose cream fondants with rose paper petals, bright pink macaroons for three quid fifty, stem gingers, decorated truffles and little whipped cones in edible gold paper.

Even the teabags cost a fortune. You can forget about buying a bargain box of PG Tips in here because what they’ve got are tea leaves chopped from the top of a Peruvian mountain. Everything comes boxed in a decorated metal tin… they’ve got breakfast tea, morning tea, afternoon tea, early afternoon tea, late afternoon tea and evening tea in gold tins, silver tins, caskets, baskets, jams, hams, glacé fruits, nuts, grapes, dates and cakes. All of the food halls are fabulously ornate, staffed by a cast in boaters and blue-and-white striped aprons. They’ve got a sit-down caviar bar as well, if you feel like sampling some of that.

Next-door they have all of the exotics fruits on show: dates from Jordan, coconuts from Thailand, pomegranates from Peru and nuts from all over the place (too many to mention). The potatoes look like they’ve been buffed up out the back, and their button mushrooms are whiter than my teeth! And don’t even get me started on the lettuces… their green leaves look like they have been styled by a hairdresser.

If you want to buy something that is actually affordable then check out the boulangerie. They’ve got some bread rolls in there that are so overstuffed with ham and salad that they look like one of those suitcases that you have to jump up and down on to squeeze all your clothes inside.

I thought I might be able to afford something in the stationary section but the fountain pens were 400 quid a pop. They’ve got some really nice pads and notebooks as well, all leather-bound and hand-stitched with golden braid.

To be honest I always feel a bit self-conscious when I’m walking through Harrods. I don’t mind walking around the teas and sweets because that’s where all the normal people like you and me go, but the watch and jewellery floors look like bank lobbies with mirrored glass and marble floors. Some of their artworks look like they’re on loan from the Courtauld. The vases might have come straight from the V&A.

Egyptian Hall and escalator

The Egyptian Hall is definitely worth a look. Don’t just ogle at the first Egyptian obelisk and leave though, because what you need to see is the Egyptian escalator in the middle of the store.

And don’t forget to nip inside the toilets and the lift either. And yes, I am being totally serious… the toilets and the lift. If you want to have a wee in luxurious surroundings then this is where you should do it (in the toilets, I mean, not the lift). They even have one of those blokes who stands in the corner handing out paper towels when you’ve finished.

Worth a visit? Value for money? n/aGood for kids? Easy to get to?

I also recommend… If you enjoy this then try Fortnum & Mason (walk it in 26 mins or travel from Knightsbridge to Piccadilly Circus by underground) and Selfridges (walk it in 24 mins or catch a tube from Knightsbridge to Bond Street)

London Squire bookThe owns and has spent the last decade reviewing the capital’s landmarks, attractions and hotels. His guidebook is available from Amazon

Your comments and questions

BPeters Like always I enjoyed to read your review of Harrods. I like your humorous style, you always cheer me up. Thank you! Now Harrods is on my to-do-list (on those for rainy days) when I visit London. One question: Is it possible to take any photos inside the building? I would do it very discreet with the smartphone but I worry that they will call the police or their own secret personal and throw me out. How embarrassing, or not? I'm really grateful for any suggestion. Brigitte Peters, Hamburg, Germany

Craig Hi. They don't seem to mind you taking photos on your smartphone (that's how I took all the photos on this page). Whenever I go into the food halls and confectionary hall there are always a few people taking photos. Don't forget to take one of the Egyptian escalators in the middle - that's my favourite bit

Cathy Hi, I read somewhere that Harrods has a strict dress code ie, no jeans, shorts or leggings - would someone be able to confirm this, as this clothing would make up a lot of my packing.

Craig Hi Cathy. There definitely used to be in the past, but they've relaxed it. You can basically wear anything you like, as long as it it's not offensive to other people (their words). Here's a link to their FAQs -​en-th/​faqs/visitor-guidelines

Cathy Thanks heaps, that makes me feel much more confident!

chris Can you wear jeans in harrods?

Craig Hi Chris. According to their FAQs you can wear normal jeans but not ripped jeans

PClose Do they still give you those dark green carrier bags when you buy something. That's all I really want!

Craig Hi PClose. They do, yes. I reckon they should just sell empty carrier bags because everyone wants one and they'd probably make a fortune

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