The Reluctant Anglophile: My Top Favorite British Stores


I love to shop, especially when I am traveling. It gives me the opportunity to find a treasure that I couldn’t find at home. England is no exception, it is my opinion that London in particular has some of the best shopping in the world. I have put together a quick list of some of my favorite British stores. I believe almost all them have several locations all over Great Britain.

1. The White Company

I love everything about this store, from the way it looks, to the products it carries, even down to the way the store smells. It’s just perfection. They sell housewares and clothing. Their style is simple elegance. I was introduced to this brand by Updown Cottage, our favorite holiday let, most of their linen comes from there. They are soft and luxurious.

2. Radley

One of my most prized possessions is a wallet from Radley. They specialize in wallet, coin purses and handbags….. beautiful handbags. I really like the timeless style of their bags and wallets. Their products, in my experience, are made really well out of gorgeous leathers.  It is truly worth a splurge if you like that sort of thing.

3. Jo Malone

A trip into an actual Jo Malone store is an experience. While you can find her lovely perfume and cologne in many high end stores here in the States, I have never been into a dedicated Jo Malone store outside of the UK.  The inside of the stores are like walking into another dimension, one filled with lovely scents and beautiful sparkling glass bottles. You are also free to sample, smell and combine scents until your heart is content or until you find your prefect Jo Malone scent.

4. Bravissimo

I love this store, love, love, love! I have been a customer of theirs for years. Here in the States I am a difficult size to fit when it comes to undergarments. I seriously visit a Bravissimo every time I visit the UK! In fact, it is usually my first stop. You can make an appointment for a free bra fitting by one of their trained staff and try on anything you’d like. I love undergarment shopping now. They offer adorable undergarments as well as bathing suits and clothing too. This store is a must see for the curvier girls out there.

5. John Lewis

There are some stores that you walk into and you just feel like you are home. John Lewis is one of them. It is what we would call a large department store, but it is done so right it is scary. Money literally leaps, from my wallet when I walk in the door. They carry quality items at reasonable prices. You can find everything from a kitchen sink to baby bibs. They also have a tea room in most of their stores with yummy cakes.

There are just a few of my most favorite British stores. However this is just a small sampling of what there is on offer. So if you are planning a trip to Great Britain make sure to budget some time and money to do a bit of shopping. It’s a lot of fun and you won’t regret it .


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  1. avatarMelissa Hill says

    two of my faves are BHS (British HomeStores) and Marks and Sparks (Marks and Spencers). I also LOVE Primark! We bought hubby a winter coat from there right before moving back to the states for 5 quid!!

  2. avatar says

    I too love BHS for pretty home furnishings! I love M&S food halls as well as their classic looks ladies fashions but no one, I think,can beat ASDA for the their prepared foods,especially at Xmas time! I miss Lakeland Stores for their exhaustive quantity of kitchen/home wares. Primary never really impressed me,their sales staff always look unhappy! Although M Hill is right the bargains available are great! All in all I too love shopping at home.

  3. avatar says

    I’ve been a Bravissimo customer for years! Like you, it’s my first stop when I get to the UK. It’s great for undergarments, but what I really love is that they have tops and dresses designed to actually fit. I usually buy one new item each time I go, and wish I could afford more.

  4. avatarLauren says

    Fortnum and Mason was my favorite store in London for the experience alone. My suitcase was quite small and overstuffed already so I didn’t do much splurging while I was there!

  5. avatarKevie says

    As a backpack traveler, I try to avoid shopping, at least until the last couple of days. The last time I was in London (Christmas Blizzard of ’11), I made the mistake of texting my equally clothes-loving sister that I was going to visit Uniqlo. Not a London store specifically, but we don’t have one in Denver, and we have heard so much about the great deals. She cost me nearly $50 in texts demanding a present from Uniqlo. Partly my fault for teasing her and not admitting that I went their to get her birthday present. The other thing I always buy in England is Twinings tea. You know, the Brits keep the good stuff for themselves. What we get in the US is inferior.

  6. avatarpsgifford says

    Marks and Spencers. I live in California now and most of my underwear and half my shorts have been purchased there over the years. ASDA is Wamart these days- and most of what they sell there (other than food) is available here. They do make great and affordable mince pies!

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