“It is not down in any map; true places never are.” ~Herman Melville
Well, it’s official. I love Selfridges. (Don’t worry Big Ben, I still love you too.)
The very first time I came to London in 2011 my mother introduced me to Selfridges. She explained I had to see it, had to go, had to spend quality time in there.
I practically thought she wanted us to move in, the way she went on about it.
And so we went. I too liked it, but I am a girly girl with an addiction to fashion. So I generally like malls, shops, clothes, shoes, makeup, accessories… I didn’t quite get Selfridges full appeal, yet I returned on each subsequent visit.
For those of you who have never been to this legendary London spot, let me explain—as best I can. (And if I don’t do it justice, buy the book or watch the television show about this place starring Jeremy Piven as founder Mr. Harry Gordon Selfridge!)
Selfridges is a mega-store spanning an entire city block that will lure you in with their world renowned window displays. Built in 1909, it was the first “department store” that we are all familiar with today. Inside they carry the latest styles from the hottest designers. That in itself is worthy of a looksee. But, Selfridges is so much more than that.
In fact, I think I could easily move into Selfridges after all, at least for a day or two.
You see, Selfridges offers more than a market, more than a mall. That’s why it’s six—yes six—floors.
For starters, it has a Food Hall which far surpasses any food court in any country. In this Food Hall, you can find any-thing to suit your tastes. A sushi restaurant? You bet. Falafel followed by baklava? No problem. Looking to fill your adventurous side? Try the cow tongue sandwich.
Need a sugar fix while you shop ‘til you drop? The candy selection in this place is simply out of this world. I have never seen so many Jelly Belly’s, gummy bears and gummy worms converged in one city. Chocolate more your style? Check out the wall of chocolate. I dare you to walk through this section and not buy something.
Looking for an unusual gift? Selfridges won’t disappoint. From gumballs in the shape of tennis balls to vodka bottles with real scorpions inside, to aphrodisiac lollipops—yes, that’s what I said—you are sure to find something to satisfy.
If you like bars, Selfridges has those too. Not just any bars—no, no. Hungry? There’s the oyster bar. Need a pick me up? Try the espresso bar. Need a different kind of pick me up? Check out the champagne bar. Getting ready for a night out? Why not hit up both the hair blow out bar and the mani-pedi nail bar… you get the idea.
Psychic Sisters. Yes. Take the escalator to the lowest level. Pass the home goods section and head over to the books. Tucked away in a corner that I might miss if I didn’t know it’s location by heart, is my little slice of peace. Get a reading, buy a crystal or some oils and leave feeling lighter and enlightened.
If you want to sit for afternoon tea afterwards, there’s the Ultralounge. And if you simply need a moment of quiet, away from the crowds and goodies, sneak away into the Silence Room where shoes and cell phones are left at the entrance. This sanctuary of solitude is so hidden that I only noticed it this trip.
And if all this still isn’t enough and you still need a little something extra before calling it a day? Satiate your sweet tooth. Try the gourmet cupcake stand. If you miss it, don’t worry. Krispy Kreme donuts and Pinkberry are calling your name just around the corner. Or go ahead—just get the chocolate hazelnut gelato. I did.
Thank you for a place that never gets old, never gets boring and always keeps me wanting to come back for more.
In fact, I think I’ll walk over there right now.