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Harrods is arguably the most famous department store in the whole wide world, and certainly the best in Knightsbridge.
Harrods was opened by Henry Harrod in 1849, and started out as a small grocery store. Its reputation was gained in 1873 when the shop burnt down to the ground. Rather than boarding up the windows for a month, like most owners might, Henry sent his customers a letter explaining
In consequence of the above premises being burnt down, your order will be delayed in the execution by a day or two.
The response to his stiff-upper lip missive was so overwhelming that it still carries their name today. The shop now boasts that it can sell you anything, from anywhere – even once selling a baby elephant from their pet department. Its motto is a simple
Omnia, omnibus, ubique –
Everything for everyone, everywhere.
The interior is worth the going alone, and has been fitted out with sumptuous decorations – don’t miss the Egyptian Hall, with gold-leaf columns. There is also a famous tiled ceiling in the first-floor food hall – even the toilets are worth a visit. (Seriously!)
Be warned that Harrods still has very strict rules on dress, and porters – known as the ‘Green Men’ – kick out kids in jeans, leggings and shorts.
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