WWKD Contributor C.C. is an American girl who loves to shop. Through her experiences in London, she shares Kate’s favorite places to shop, and the best of London’s shopping secrets. Read on to learn more…
Kate has been photographed shopping in Peter Jones for a decade, including very recently. The store isn’t a usual tourist stop, and she can easily spend an hour or so browsing here without anyone bothering her. It is my firm conviction that this is where Kate developed her clean, classic, down-to-earth style, and I’ll eat a Philip Treacy hat if I find out she isn’t still shopping here in person and/or online. Peter Jones is a London institution. Until online retail took over the world, Peter Jones is where every schoolchild in London went to buy their uniforms. It’s where one goes to shop with their mother and their children at the same time. It carries everything from shoe-laces to fascinators, including fabric by the yard, yarn, tea cozies, toys, cosmetics, refrigerators, curtains, sofas, and vacuum cleaners. It is truly one-stop shopping, offering a plethora of price points in an oasis of stylish gentility.
It will be hard to resist the displays of housewares on the first floor, where you’ll find mugs by Emma Bridgewater, with whom Kate designed ladybird mugs to benefit the East Anglia Children’s Hospices, but I’m betting you are pretty hungry by now, so head to the escalator in the middle of the store and go straight up to the top floor for lunch…and one of London’s best views.
The cafeteria style restaurant offers many classic English meals, like shepherd’s pie, trifle, and my favorite, bangers and mash with peas. I guarantee that Kate ate these dishes as school lunches, and soon George will, too. The food is excellent and affordable, especially if you order a child’s portion of whatever you want—which will be bigger than you expect it to be. As a welcome bonus, this floor has a free phone charging station–if you need it, plug your phone into one of the lockers before you eat, and it will be good to go when you’re finished.
From here, the Peter Jones shopping experience is self-explanatory. You’ll find sections devoted to many of Kate’s go-to brands: Goat, Reiss, Mint Velvet, J Brand, Max Mara Weekend, Somerset by Temperley, and more. There is also a nice hat section, where no one will mind if you try every fascinator on display. Accessory-wise, you can check out Azuni earrings and one of Kate’s new favorites, Etui bags. Beyond fashion, some fun departments to explore are: knitting, where my mother buys skeins and skeins of baby cashmerino, and Stationery, which is great for greeting cards and unique craft kits. There are multiple home sections, which carry makeup bags, tea towels, and hot mitts in fun fabrics. On the first floor, there is an entire room devoted to candles–I’m guessing this is where Kate discovered Neom. In fact, I’m guessing Peter Jones is where Kate discovered almost all of her go-to, ready-to-wear brands. For a Kate fan, this store a must-see—if you only have time for one stop on this tour, make it this one!
There is still more Kate shopping in the immediate area. Just outside Peter Jones’s candle shop, you can stop into Kiki McDonough (also check out Brora for Scottish cashmere, and The White Company). Walking the perimeter of Peter Jones, you’ll find Links of London, Rigby and Peller (from whom the queen buys her underwear, and whose director helped Kate with maternity bras), Trotters Kids (where Carole Middleton was pictured shopping for George and Charlotte), and, around the corner on Sloane Street, Smythson of Bond Street, one of Kate’s favorite bag brands.