Oh Harrods. The haute emporium has always been my happy place and not just by pandering to my penchant for pretty handbags and glad rags. No, it’s glossy halls and colossal corridors cosset all fashions of compelling attractions – right from harbouring London’s best-kept beauty secrets, to epicurean essentials and so much more!
In fact, as I recently discover, it’s no tall order to spend an entire day blissfully ensconced here. Herewith are the high-level highlights, if you ever fancy doing the same…
10 a.m.: But First, Breakfast
The cathartic aroma of freshly-roasted coffee and still-warm-from-the-oven sourdough, sets a steadying start to the day in Harrods Roastery & Bake Hall.
There are no dearth of delicious draws to this theatrical food hall, complete with Art Deco aesthetics, an artisanal made-from-scratch bakery, a picture-perfect patisserie and bespoke tea counter, with a Tea Tailor on hand to create bespoke loose leaf blends tailored to personal preferences!
Coffee is taken very seriously here too, with an imposing Probat roaster commanding pride of place and an inviting Coffee Bar championing a bean-to-cup experience. For the record: Harrods’ Grand Cru hot chocolate is just as enriching, while The Ultimate Truffle Toast spins a new definition of decadence with its soul-stirring combination of Gruyère, cheddar and truffle béchamel!
11 a.m.: A VitaDrip Cocktail at The Elixir Clinic
“Hang in there, you’ve got this,” Carolann – my unimaginably-glamorous nurse reassures me as she expertly finds a vein in my arm, hooking me to a “VIP VitaDrip” – an infusion of no less than 16 essential vitamins, blended with a feel-good-boost.
I’m now in the sumptuous surrounds of The Wellness Clinic. Leading off from the Fashion Lab on the fourth floor, the whopping 10,500 square foot space is devoted to a holistic 360 degree approach to health and wellbeing. Cutting-edge treatments here run the gamut from cryotherapy to vitamin drips, with the latter administered by The Elixir Clinic (the only vitamin infusion clinic registered with the Care Quality Commission). They have a heady menu to choose from, featuring the likes of a Jetlag VitaDrip and even a Diet & Detox-oriented one!
I’ve plumped for the VIP Elixir, which is a bit longer as it spans two separate infusions. I have to admit I’ve always had a phobia of needles, but Carolann’s hand is exceptionally steady. I feel just a small pinch before the heady cocktail slowly starts filling my bloodstream with a potent kick of immunity-enhancing Vitamin C and Zinc; stress-reducing and restorative sleep-inducing Magnesium; all the essential B vitamins and other key nutrients, chief among them the elusive Gluthathione – a “Master Antioxidant” with a superlative impact in improving skin tone and boosting radiance.
To answer the obvious questions, I feel the effects almost instantly. I’m miles more energetic, my skin feels fresher and I’m rather ready for all that lies ahead today…
12 p.m.: Travel Essentials For Our Next Vacay
… So much so, that I’m quite motivated to start ticking things off my to-do-list, particularly prepping ahead for our upcoming vacations (#WatchThisSpace)! If one ever needed an added incentive to travel, I suspect it would be in the sleek and shiny shapes on display in Harrods’ luggage department.
Here, one can find state-of-the-art-suitcases capable of packing your pilates machine (perfect for maintaining that beach bod) or even a full-blown cooking station (if you fancy elevating your next camping trip). There are gargantuan suitcases which snap open to reveal a full-blown wardrobe complete with hanging rods, drawers dedicated to storing your shoes with ease and compartments to neatly store all your accessories.
But if true luxury lies in simplicity, all the classics are here too – from Globe Trotter’s chic and colourful carriers, to the bucolic charms of Croot’s leathered rucksacks!
1 p.m.: Carbs on Cheese on Truffles
It’s time for lunch and a classic margarita draped with black truffles is the stuff of solo gluttony at Harrods’ Pizzeria & Canti Prosecco Bar. Of course, it’s impossible to resist the palpable pleasures of a perfect tiramisu either! If you’re tempted to visit over the weekend, be sure to grab front-row seats at the Pizzeria’s dining counter. You’ll be in for a treat, as the head chef regales regulars with his soulful renditions of Italian arias!
2 p.m.: Style Notes Ahead of a Season of Soirées
Right. It’s officially down to business as Harrods’ exceptionally-vivacious Head of Sales of International Womenswear – Gemma – leads me on a whirlwind tour of the need-to-know-trends this summer.
As I discover, it’s all about sparkles, embellishments, statement prints and sorbet hues this season. There’s much to covet from Zimmerman’s unapologetically feminine-cuts to structured elegance at Peter Pilotto. Jimmy Choo’s strappy heels are making a comeback, while Malone Souliers’ mules and Chanel’s slides bring comfort to the fore of fashion. Joy of joys, the SS19 edit is all about kicking back, having fun and finishing your look with accessories that show off a playful personality! Read more, here.
4.30 p.m. : But Really, it’s 5 o’ Clock Somewhere in the World…
Whew. With my summer wardrobe suitably refreshed, champagne cocktails are the need of the hour and Perrier Jouët’s new terrace, tucked away on the fourth floor of the store, rises to the occasion with inviting aplomb.
La Méprise is quite thrilling to sip on; a Negroni reduction exquisitely enlivened with champagne, orange peel and junipers. To eat, the menu majors in an array of exquisite platters spanning seafood, fresh cheeses, charcuterie and caviar (all sourced from the food halls downstairs), alongside attractively-assembled small plates.
The market-fresh strawberries ought not to be missed either, ceremoniously presented with crunchy shards of meringue and a moreish medley of dips (chocolate sauce, ruby cream ganache, vanilla Chantilly and lemon curd). Paired with a crisp glass of Perrier Jouët’s Grand Brut, it’s an elevating lift to the timeless combination of strawberries and champagne!
5.30 p.m. : Tending to Hair & Beauty
Last, but certainly not least, I zip across to the Hair & Beauty Salon on the fifth floor. I’ve been searching for that right facial for some time now and Dr Dennis Gross holds much promise. My therapist Emma has been with Harrods for close to 14 years now (having by this point, likely seen it all); and she can’t stop extolling the virtues of this recently-introduced American skincare brand.
The facial constellates around a peel packed with naturally-derived, plant-based acids (including willow bark!) with anti-ageing properties to encourage cell turnover, reduce fine lines and wrinkles and improve uneven skin tone. A lot to process I know.
There’s also an LED mask emitting red and blue lights to stimulate collagen and combat acne; and an algae mask to finish on an intensely-hydrating note, whilst my neck and shoulders are indulged with a quick but wonderfully-effective deep tissue massage!
While the VitaDrip earlier today has done wonders in revitalising an internal lift to my health and wellbeing, Dr Dennis Gross’ facial has catalysed an external radiance and a brighter glow.
All I need now really, are glossy locks for breezing through an evening ahead of dinner & dancing. Yes, I think a blowout blow-dry is definitely in order, before I finally tear myself away long enough to make it to Loulou’s, 5 Hertford Street in time.
Until next time then, Harrods!
Harrods, 87-135 Brompton Road, Knightsbridge, London SW1X 7XL, United Kingdom | https://www.harrods.com/en-gb