Want a totally unique shopping experience? Then book any of the budget accommodation in North London and head for Burlington Arcade on Piccadilly. This is shopping with a difference, in fact it is all too easy to feel that you have stepped back in time.
Describing itself as ‘curators of London style since 1819’, this is the place to find the most exclusive, most upmarket retailers whose trading style is pure understated elegance and sophistication. Many are British classics, while others are top names from around the world. It is where you can find Mulberry, Crockett & Jones, Strathberry, Penhaligons as well as Manolo Blahnik, Lalique, Azza Fahmy, Ciro, Maison Michel and Ladurée. Stop for a coffee at the Hideaway Café and watch the passersby as they stroll along the Arcade.
There is nothing quite like Burlington Arcade anywhere. Although the retail names have changed over the years, the style of trading and the ambience of the Burlington Arcade seems to have hardly altered since it first opened in March 1819.
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Beadles wearing frock coats and top hats, just like they would have done two hundred years ago, patrol the arcade ensuring that the conduct of all visitors and retailers is decorous. This is not a shopping venue where you can expect to run through, or even to hurry. It is a place to stroll, to browse and window shop. A long green carpet stretches from end to end of the arcade, carefully brushed and cleaned every day. A shoe shine guy waits to clean your shoes if you so wish. It truly is a little slice of history – and one which seems to offer an almost private shopping experience.
Décor is always understated, with elegant wooden framed shops that are always gloriously decked out at Christmas. An arched glass roof provides natural light and protection from the worst of the weather.
Not surprisingly, Burlington Arcade has featured in many films such as 101 Dalmations, Kingsman, and The Golden Circle. Over the years, many celebrities have shopped here including Fred Astaire and Ingrid Bergman.
Now and again there is another, albeit unseen visitor whose actions can cause just little havoc in store. Known as Percy, this ghostly visitor has been making his presence known in stores throughout the Arcade since 1953. Apparently leather goods outlets are his favourite. Staff know immediately he has been visiting, since he likes to take goods off the shelves and place them in semi circles on the ground!
So why not step back into the past and enjoy a shopping experience while a resident at hotel near Wembley Arena that is truly out of this world!