London Sights to See
Harrods Department Store
Much of the allure of London, at least for most tourists, is the historical stuff.
After all, the city abounds in ancient buildings and centuries old monuments. A walk down almost any street
invokes thoughts of historical events and great works of fiction...and fact. The city teems with palaces and works of art from the ages.
On the other hand, Harrods, even while its origins are from
over 150 years ago, is as up-to-date as the latest computer...which it will be happy to sell you for a very high price indeed!
What many consider the world's greatest department store was established on its current
site in 1849 by Charles Henry Harrod (1799-1885), a wholesale grocer. Charles Henry Harrod's son,
Charles Digby Harrod (1841-1905), rapidly grew the business and by 1880 employed 100 staff.
Never one to be bowed by setbacks, not even a highly devastating fire in 1883, Harrods went on to make all its
Christmas deliveries in that year and many since. Whether it was flying fresh fish to
Alfred Hitchcock or embalming the body of Sigmund Freud,
the store that promises "Everything to Everybody
Everywhere" never fails to deliver as promised...or expected.
For the most part, much of the architectural additions - including
terracotta tiles and Art
Nouveau windows topped with a baroque dome - can still be
seen by a
careful observer. What you won't see at today's Harrods, however, is
the original Winnie-the-Pooh.
took that home for his son, Christopher
Throughout the decades Harrods has housed, among other services and
sections, a funeral service, a lending
library, and has even sold airplanes and elephants. As difficult as
that may be to comprehend, today, the selection is
possibly larger. The expansion began when the Fayed family
acquired the House of
Fraser Group (and thereby Harrods) for £615
million ($1.1 billion) in 1985. Another £300 million investment for
refurbishment has brought the department store to its current peak.
For those hoping not merely to buy - but to experience - may find, on
any given day, opera singers performing at the top of the Egyptian
Escalators or a future star serving at one of the
Brosnan once worked in the pharmacy and the original Darth Vader was at
one time a
fitness consultant in the sports department.
While your "assistant" is booking some theater tickets for you, why not
have a facial in the salon or relax at the Irish spa? When you're done with that, visit Donatella Versace to discuss a new perfume.
But for those who simply do want to shop...there's no better word
In these seven floors, which once housed the world's first escalator,
can be found 4.5 acres of... well, just about everything you can need...or
simply want. Thanks to the 12,000
lightbulbs you'll have no difficulty seeing it either. Even if all you
want is a humble drink of cool water, you can have a sip drawn from one of the
under-the'site artesian wells, the deepest of which is 489 ft, or 149 m.
At Harrods, you can purchase any of over 300 varieties of cheese or have a unique chocolate drink, such as an Italian "suckao" available from the Chocolate Bar.
You can even purchase your own custom-made Madame Tussaud's waxwork - for a paltry
£250,000 ($442,000). If you happen to be on a budget, you can bid for the £20,000 ($35,000) 24-karat
gold Lindt bunny.
On the way out, since you probably haven't any money left, just do the
touristy London sightseeing thing and take a look at the
extraordinary chandeliers or the specialized jewelry. But be sure to
bring your ear plugs and elbow pads. Harrods is not only home to a
million square feet of merchandise, but hordes of shoppers and visitors
from every corner of the world.
Getting to Harrods is simple as it is easily accessible via the tube
(the London Underground
subway system). Just exit at the Knightsbridge
87-135 Brompton Road
London, SW1X 7XL
For Sat-Nav please enter SW3 1BB.
+44 (0) 20 7730 1234
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