The English capital is a place where you can find more or less anything you want, every day or night of the week. A 500g Angus rib-eye steak dinner. A freshly poured glass of chilled champagne. Lightbulbs. The latest issue of Wired magazine. Some bathroom bleach. Gucci sneakers. A replacement fuse. All this and much, much more is available at all hours of the day in London, which – although still really a 20-hour city than a fully 24-hour one – is gracious and benevolent to the night owl, the insomniac and the late-shift worker alike.
Not that you have to want to shop around the clock to be a shopaholic. London is famed worldwide for its more conventional retail opportunities, which are enough in themselves to make it a destination for thousands of visitors each year. Whether you’re flying from Hong Kong to Harrods, Caen to Carnaby Street or Nicaragua to Notting Hill, here are some luxurious Airbnbs in some of the city’s best shopping districts that will give you somewhere to drop after you shop.
FOR HARRODS (Approx $915 per night)
Whether you’re in town looking for a home from luxurious home, or seeking to escape the more affordable realities of your own life into a world more opulent, this breathtaking executive suite in Knightsbridge could not be more London if it tried.
Decorated in a spirit of austere, modern minimalism? Check.
A dash of comfort to warm you inside and out on those days when the city gets lost in fantastical mist and fog? Check.
Vast windows overlooking one of the most sought after garden squares in the capital? It’s another check.
Situated just a three-minute walk from Harrods, this is a big brand shoppers’ dream, and comes with a record player and a little coffee terrace that looks tailor made for charging those morning batteries.
If you get bored of the shops, you’re just moments away from London’s best museums, the Soho nightlife and Hyde Park on this era-spanning street where Jane Austen used to live and Lily Allen used to go to school.
FOR OXFORD STREET (Approx $650 per night)
You’d be hard pressed to find a better location for a London shopping weekend than this, a penthouse just north of Oxford Street in swish Fitzrovia.
Tucked away right by the city’s main retail artery, as well as the world famous parades of Carnaby Street and Bond Street, this welcoming flat comes with its own roof terrace offering up views of the capital that people who’ve lived here for decades won’t have had the privilege of enjoying.
With blackout blinds and soundproofed flooring, you’ll be able to get yourself a good night’s sleep right in the heart of the capital, and there’s lots of room and light, so it’s ideal for staring at all the cool things you’ve bought!
FOR SPITALFIELDS MARKET (Approx $590 per night)
If you’re not really feeling up to the hustle and bustle of central London and have tastes that are a little more off-grid, this incredible loft space in Shoreditch is the place for you.
Since the 1990s, East London has been establishing itself as the place to be for the culturally and sartorially adventurous, and this flat gives you Spitalfields Market and Brick Lane right on your doorstep.
But access to these left-field shopping meccas – as well as the fact it overlooks the beautiful grounds of St Leonards Church – is not all this place has to offer.
The interior design is fabulously unique, an explosion of colour and idiosyncratic cool that is sure to provide ample Instagram opportunities – if not, the local street food markets and thronged bars surely will.
FOR COVENT GARDEN (Approx $575 per night)
London is a city built on stories, whether it’s the ones we all know about that get written down in history books or those of more dubious origin you’ll hear out in its pubs and clubs at night.
This gorgeous flat is one with more than a few stories to tell; during World War II it functioned as a members’ club within a former Norwegian Embassy – when it was busily filled, you’d imagine, with many stories of both grave historical import and dubious drunken origin as the Blitz bombs fell overhead.
But you don’t need to know about that right now!
You don’t wanna talk about wars! You wanna shop! Located just a stone’s throw from Covent Garden market and the fashionista’s paradise of Seven Dials, the big beams and oak panels of this place will keep your new stuff safe for you – there’s even an elevator in the building so you don’t have to drag it all up the stairs.
FOR WESTFIELD STRATFORD (Approx $436 per night)
If you’d told someone a decade ago you were going to Stratford for a weekend of action-packed shopping, they would probably have looked at you strangely and asked what it was, exactly, that the Stratford Centre could offer that any local mall anywhere else in the world could not.
But then, in 2011, Westfield was built and the little precinct that used to serve the area was blasted into irrelevance by the sheer power of Europe’s largest urban shopping monolith.
This penthouse just a short stroll from Westfield is large, light and airy, and offers great views over the Olympic Park, one of the lasting legacies of the 2012 London Games.
Just a few words of warning: Don’t come here expecting to be able to visit William Shakespeare’s house or whatever, history’s most famous playwright was actually born in Stratford-upon-Avon, a quaint little village 100 miles away where people still travel by gondola and turn into donkeys when the clocks strike midnight.
FOR PORTOBELLO ROAD (Approx $410 per night)
Notting Hill: home to Europe’s best street carnival, a brilliant weekend antiques market, amazing nightlife and lots of day-trippers who saw a film with Hugh Grant and Julia Roberts in it once.
And also: this flat, a charmingly idiosyncratic bolthole that can accommodate four people and was once the rectory to the church next door.
Less than a minute’s walk away from Portobello Road – West London’s most renowned shopping street – this beautifully roomy abode is the perfect crash pad for anyone keen on exploring this bargain-filled locale full of second-hand vintage clothing and furniture, record shops and mouthwatering dining spots.