Friday, 16 March 2012

Shopping with the Rich and Famous

It's funny to think that a shopping centre could become a world wide tourist attraction, but Harrod’s Department store is exactly that. People flock from around the world just the walk through looking at things that most of us can’t afford. I guess it is also a glimpse of what high society is like. Granted, visiting Harrods was not high on our priority list of things to do, but when you are living in London it’s a visit that you need to make, just so you can tick it off the list. Cara was more excited about the exploring Harrods than myself, but I was also intrigued in what all the hype was about. As we jumped off the London underground, the first thing we noticed was the amount of people walking towards us, all with little green Harrods shopping bags by their side. A little affordable souvenir to remember the day by. When we came up from the tube stop, the second thing I noticed was the cars parked around the store and in the area. You know you are in a fancy part of town when the streets are lined with Aston Martins and other high-end sports cars. It really was a place that you felt under-dressed going too.

The history of Harrods began with Henry Edward Harrod. A business man who started his first store at age 25 in 1824. He began selling haberdashery in a store in Southwark, south of the River Thames. From there his empire grew moving into other areas, such as groceries, medicines, perfumes, etc. In 1849 it was relocated to the the site that it currently has today. Over the years the store has made many owners after Henry Edward Harrod. His son took over in the late 1800’s and when his son retired, the company was sold to the “House of Fraser” department store holding company. In 1985, business man Mohamed Al Fayed purchased the House of Fraser company, therefore becoming the new owner of Harrods. The sale cost Al-Fayed a massive $615 million.

As we walked through the store, I did spot a little souvenir which I couldn’t resist. It's the Harrods 1849 Premium Lager. A Specially brewed and bottle beer which is only sold at the Harrods store. This lager is brewed and stored for 90 days to ferment before hitting the selves. It has a deep colour and rich taste. The sort of qulities you don’t usually see from a lager. It’s favour was full bodied and if you had just one, it would go down nicely, but I think two would be to heavy to take. A nice all round beer, presented in a sophisticated style which suits the Harrods style.

Cara’s highlight for the day was the chocolate shop which she spent some time in picking which sweets to buy. The chocolate shop consisted of some of the tastiest and most expensive sweets in London. So our day ended with both me and Cara making our way back to the tube station, both with our little green Harrods bags in hand. It was a day in the life of the rich and famous.

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