Still plagued with wanderlust, I'm continuing my posts on my former favorite travels. This time, it's historic department stores.
Here is the front of the building:
The ornate clock above the door. Lovely things: colorful (and expensive) clothing:
When Mr. Selfridge, an American who began his career at Marshall Fields in Chicago, opened the store, the window displays were the main attraction. He was known to have the most unique window dressings in London. Here are two:
Here is an example of the original brass work on an upper floor (left) inside the front entrance (middle), and a view down the escalator:
Because we spent the hour before closing (after taking a quick tour) eating dinner on the top floor, we did not have the chance to shop. Not that anything was in our price range, but we could have found a small item. I wanted a bright yellow Selfridge's bag as a souvenir, so I asked on the way out as they were closing out the registers if I could have one. But alas, because of security issues, they were not allowed to give them out without a purchase. Too bad.
I was disappointed that Selfridges had lost the 'Victorian' look of old fashioned glass cases and displays. Instead, it was quite modern!
But, we did find one that was. . .
. . . my favorite department store, Fortnum & Mason!
It features men and women's accessories, China, silver, stationary, and, of course, their speciality foods: tea, lemon curd, marmalade, etc. They opened in 1707, and were known for their 'Scotch egg' for travelers, which consisted of a soft boiled egg, wrapped in sausage meat, then rolled in bread crumbs. They also supplied to royalty and to soldiers, are known for their sumptuous picnic hampers, winning an award at the Great Exhibition.
Find more fascinating information on Fortnum & Mason's website.
The accessory floor was eye-catching, and had some fashionable hats:
The woman below was representing her husband's great, great grandfather's perfume company, called Grossmith. To the lower right, in the glass case, are their Victorian versions, which are found in a few Downton Abbey episodes!
We were fascinated with fascinators, made popular by Princess Katherine. They really are to be worn askew on the head. These two were particularly comical (the purple puff is actually an ice cream cone). So much so, that our friend Hannah and my daughter Olivia almost burst out laughing. But of course, they displayed proper British self-control:
Here is a final photo of what they called the ground floor. Not the first floor, mind you, which was quite confusing to us at first:
You can see why it is my favorite Victorian-styled department store. Wished we had much more time to browse. Have you visited any historic department stores? Let me know in the comments below!
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My MG Biblical fiction "The Heart Changer" debuted in 2019 with Ambassador International.