Photo courtesy of Liberty London
The Emporium for Heritage and Eclectic Designs
It’s no coincidence that walking around Liberty feels as if you’re exploring someone’s grand home; the department store’s founder, Arthur Lasenby Liberty, wanted to create that very feel, and so in 1875 settled on a Tudor-style building that featured a jumble of interconnecting rooms. A wooden staircase at one end connects the six floors, and there's a paper room sells stationery in the store’s iconic floral Liberty print, fashion and beauty halls, a cafe, and multiple branded treatment rooms. Still, it's the florist's shop outside that seems to provide the main draw; as any passing tourist will attest, its colourful array of blooms is highly Instagrammable.
By Emma John, AFAR Local Expert
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Famous flower-printed fabrics and scarves and knickknacks are only part of the appeal at this gloriously historic shop that first started trading in 1875. Recently overhauled, unusual fashion and beauty items, jewelry and stationery, plus antique and handmade housewares, are displayed on its hallowed wooden floors, all accessed through an elaborate entranceway that doubles as a florist's shop.
By Emily Mathieson, AFAR Contributor
Emporium for heritage + innovative and eclectic designs
A store that may not be too familiar with the average tourist is Liberty, which is a classic emporium that sells clothing and household items. The magnificent historical Tudor building with wooden interiors has been serving customers since the 1920's. Go there to buy fabric (Liberty is famous for its British designs), have a bite at its restaurant, or simply to take pictures.
By Azul Adnan, AFAR Local Expert
Cakes, Scones & Sandwiches
You can find afternoon tea served in many places around London. One cozy little spot for this British experience is the restaurant at Liberty, a wonderful emporium where the latest fashions sit alongside design classics. They start serving their afternoon tea quite early, at 12pm. So while the rest of the family had lunch, I couldn't resist indulging in some scones and sandwiches.
By Azul Adnan, AFAR Local Expert
In Pursuit of Liberty
One of my favorite things about London: afternoon tea. There’s something absolutely delightful about being served little desserts, sweet scones with jam and clotted cream, and finger sandwiches with the crusts cut off—all delivered to you on a shiny tiered tray. And let’s not forget about the tea, properly presented with your own personal tea kettle and fancy stylish black-and-white cups. If all I did on this vacation was this, I would return to America happy. Cafe Liberty on the second floor of the iconic Liberty department store offers a fun and fashionable afternoon tea. For an hour of so, I took my time indulging in all the three plates of little treasures before me. The shopping can wait.
La Vie En Rose at Liberty
Let classic tastes have Harrods: If you want threads from London with enviable street style, Liberty is where you should hand over your pounds. Set in a Tudor-style building on the sartorial hub of Regent Street, Liberty is best known for its floral prints, which can be seen on everything from button-downs to handkerchiefs. Not into bouquets? Peruse the store's other selections—like designer handbags and colorful stationary—instead. With fewer tourists than Harrods, and more of an off-beat atmosphere, you can do as you please. Once you're clutching the famed purple Liberty bag with your purchase inside, take a seat at the dining area for afternoon tea.
By Kelly Dawson
Regent St, Carnaby, London W1B 5AH, UK
+44 20 7734 1234
Sun 12pm - 6pm
Mon - Sat 10am - 8pm