London’s evening charm
Here we are with our half Polish half British family! They took care of us for a week here in London.
In this last post, we are going to see London in the evening. We start on Piccadilly Street:
Wellington Arch, designed by Decimus Burton, finished in 1830 and surmounted in 1912 by a huge bronze quadriga with a figure of Peace.
On our way to Harrods, a luxury department store on Brompton Road.
The food section in Harrods is the best:
For me, the most interesting part is the Egyptian staircase in Harrods:
The first store was established by Charles Henry Harrod in 1824. The escalator was opened in 1898 and it was England’s first “moving staircase.”
Here are parts of an article published by BBC News from May 8, 2010:
The Knightsbridge store was established in 1849 by Charles Henry Harrod. Beginning in a single room and employing two assistants and a messenger boy, it mainly sold tea and groceries.
Harrods steadily expanded, and by 1880 was a thriving department store, offering everything from medicines and perfumes to clothing and food and attracted wealthy customers.
Its expansion suffered a knock in 1883 when a fire destroyed the store. This did not halt the owners, however, who duly rebuilt the store, with the help of architect Charles William Stephens, into what it is today.
In 1985 the store returned to private ownership when Egypt-born Mr Al Fayed and his brother Ali bought House of Fraser for £615m, snatching it from mining conglomerate Lonrho.
Mr Al Fayed also added his own personal touches to the store, such as the Egyptian Room, which is adorned with several busts of himself.
Following the death of his son, Dodi, and Diana, Princess of Wales, in a car crash in August 1997, Mr Al Fayed created a memorial to the couple in the store.
Photos and flowers honor the late Princess and her lover. Inside a small, clear pyramid, you can see a wine glass still dirty from their last dinner and the engagement ring that Dodi purchased the day before they died.
A huge bronze statue shows Diana and Dodi releasing a symbolic albatross.
In 2010, London department store Harrods has been sold by its owner Mohammed Al Fayed to the Qatari royal family for £1.5bn.
It is time to leave the store. We will walk along Sloane Street (very elegant with expensive stores) down to Sloane Square:
Thank you for visiting London with us! London and Edinburgh are definitely worth visiting!
Rick Steves’ Great Britain. 2013 Guide