Breakfast in Covent Garden
Start your London shopping day in style by heading to Covent Garden. Take the Tube to Leicester Square or Covent Garden and walk the cobbled streets to Covent Garden piazza, where you will see one of London’s biggest Christmas trees, surrounded by immaculately decorated streets.
Breakfast options range from the extravagant at Balthazar (or its own bakery), to the simpler Le Pain Quotidien on the main square. Once you’ve had your morning coffee, you can pick up the latest iPhone or other Apple goodies at the Apple store, or grab the best in British fashion at Barbour, Ben Sherman, Burberry Brit, Hackett, Jack Wills, Paul Smith, Ted Baker and lots more.
Morning in Mayfair
Take a stroll through the West End and past Piccadilly Circus into upmarket Mayfair, where you will find high-end fashion, jewellery and iconic arcades.
Turn into Bond Street for some serious window shopping at the likes of Burberry, Louis Vuitton and Tiffany & Co; pick up festive chocolates at Prestat in the Princes Arcade and stroll the red carpet into Burlington Arcade for independent boutiques and to marvel at the towers of colourful macarons at French luxury baker Ladurée. South Molten Street always wows shoppers with its amazing Christmas decorations and lights.
Afternoon tea along Piccadilly
While in Mayfair, it's an absolute must to pop into the Queen’s grocer for a spot of food shopping, and maybe even a quick cup of tea. Fortnum & Mason is just across the road from Burlington Arcade and pulls out all the stops at Christmas, from the ever-beautiful window displays to the legendary Christmas puddings and hampers to buy. If you want to really treat yourself, book in for afternoon tea in the Diamond Jubilee Tea Salon to refuel in preparation for more retail therapy!
Buy your Christmas tree decorations at Harrods
Keep walking down Piccadilly, past Hyde Park, or jump back on the Tube for two stops to Knightsbridge, where you'll make a beeline for the twinkling lights of Harrods.
Christmas and Harrods go together like jam and scones. Tickets for the wildly popular Christmas Grotto go on sale as early as September and often sell out straight away, but the Christmas shop is there for everyone to enjoy, with festive decorations galore, including Union Jack baubles, sumptuous stocking fillers and luxury crackers. The other 300-plus departments will have you covered for gift ideas, from accessories for your dog to sports equipment.
Oxford Street after the sun goes down
If your feet are not too sore and you don’t have too many bags to carry, take a walk through Hyde Park to Marble Arch, before swinging a right onto Oxford Street. This is where you can get the bulk of your shopping done, with everything from luxury brands and historic department stores to high-street favourites represented here and along nearby Regent Street.
Both are lit up with spectacular lights so make sure you go after dark to soak up the festive atmosphere. Some of the capital's most iconic shops are located here, from Selfridges and Hamleys, to John Lewis and Liberty. If you want to get off the beaten track, check out the Christmas Lights on Carnaby Street.
Last-minute shopping at Westfield
Westfield London is open until 10pm every night except Sunday and Westfield Stratford City closes just one hour earlier at 9pm, allowing for some late-night scrambling to find that special gift that has been eluding you all day.
Both are a short Tube ride away, with Westfield London being the closer of the two from Oxford Street (just an 11-minute Tube ride away). With more than 100 restaurants between them, either shopping centre is a good place to finish an epic day of shopping with dinner and a well-earned drink. If you want to get active, Westfield London has a pop-up ice rink over the festive season.
Find out more about what to see and do in London this Christmas.