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This is it! I've given up work -retired from the rat race and am about to start on a 10 year adventure, doing all those things I've been meaning to do but never had the time to do them. I've offloaded my responsibilities and it is now my time. So follow my adventures and see whether I actually manage anything!



Sunday, 13 January 2013

Harrods

Harrods is one of the world's largest and most famous department stores. It has 7 floors and 330 departments and covers more than 1 million sq ft (90,000 sq m). Situated in Knightsbridge, London, it attracts 15 million visitors a year.
It was established in 1849 by Charles Henry Harrod and began as a single room with 2 assistants and a messenger selling mainly tea and other groceries. By 1880 it had expanded and offered everything from medicines to perfume. It burnt down in 1883 but was rebuilt into what you can see today.



By the 1890s it had expanded to include a bank, an estate agency and a department selling exotic pets although that ceased in the 1970s. It still has a pet department selling pet accessories as well as a pet spa.

During the 2WW it transformed from selling luxury goods to making uniforms, parachutes and parts for Lancaster bombers.

In 1985 Mohammed Al Fayed bought it for £615m from the House of Fraser group.


After the death of his son Dodi and Diana, the Princess of Wales, in 1997, he created a memorial to the couple inside the store. Although Fayed sold Harrods to the Qatari Royal family in May 2010 for £1.5bn, one of the conditions of the sale was that the memorial remained in his son's honour.



The store has twice been the subject of bomb attacks by the IRA. In 1983 6 people were killed by a car bomb outside the store leaving another 75 injured. In 1993 four people were injured in another bomb explosion.


Today the store is not only known for its luxury goods but also the food hall where you can buy almost any kind of exotic food.


This is the fish counter. The tank in the background has live fish in it but they are not for sale.


Lots of oysters on sale here.

Looking up there is a beautiful tiled ceiling showing pictures of the various game which is sold on the meat counter.





Anyone for caviar and champagne?




Or some hand made chocolates?





And this is the tea counter where of course it all began for Mr Harrod way back in 1849 not quite as large as it is today though.






31 comments:

  1. It must be quite a store to visit. I wonder if there is much angst about foreign ownership of such an institution?

    £32 per kilo for bass is rather on the high side, but I am sure it would be delicious.

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  2. Nice to see more recent shots. I was there before Easter in 1990. We ate lunch twice in the food hall and bought a ton of chocolate. I think we ate most of it before we even got back to the states.

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  3. It is a fabulous store. The ownership has been interesting. I have only had a quick peek inside unfortunately so thanks for showing me some more. I think you have a typo Diane died in 1997 not 1979.

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  4. Oh! That's interesting! The tea counter was from 1849??? That's old!!!
    Bhusha's INDIA TRAVELOGUE

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  5. I would love to spend time in the food department especially that fabulous chocolate section ....and all those canisters of tea whatever flavour would I choose .... most probably English Breakfast ..... It all looks wonderful.

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  6. Such an iconic store. I can remember the headlines for the 1983 attacks. Such a bad time.

    I keep finding things on my camera that surprise me, but it does not stop me getting new stuff - although my wife stops me getting new stuff!!!

    Cheers - Stewart M - Melbourne

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  7. Fantastic photos and information! What a beautiful building!

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  8. Wow, this store has everything you could want and more. I was there back in 1985 and I am sure it was much different back then. I like the memorial for Diana and Dodi. Thanks for sharing, have a happy week!

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  9. Great tour!! Boom & Gary of the Vermilon River, Canada.

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  10. What a terrific tour! I've known about it, of course, for years, but didn't know all the details! What a great post for the day and I love your photos!! Thanks for sharing! Hope you have a great week!

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  11. I've been in once I think... brief glimpse inside during one of my weekends in London. I remember my friend getting all worked up about the luxurious restrooms! :p

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  12. Great photos of a fascinating place.

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  13. Wow! Wonderful photos of Harrods ~ and great informative post ~

    (A Creative Harbor)

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  14. Great to know about this wonderful store.

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  15. Interesting post and great shots. I enjoyed the tour of Harrods.

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  16. Oh thanks for these information and lovely photos, as I might not be able to see it in this lifetime. I just see it in prints and also got famous here during Princess Diana's death.

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  17. I will probably never go, so thanks for the tour! Great Pics!

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  18. a visit to Harrods was on top of our itinerary when we visited London a couple of years ago. the store is fabulous...unfortunately, we could only afford a cup of coffee.:p but i enjoyed the visit nonetheless.:)

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  19. Now that is one place I would like to spend a 'little' time in now that can actually afford to buy something there.
    The last time we were in London, it would only have been window shopping.

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  20. Ah - you bring back the good memories of wandering around Harrods. Lovely shots!

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  21. What a fantastic store and memory! What I remember of Harrods was the food hall - a really amazing sight. Great shots - especially the chocolates and tea stalls.Thank you for sharing them on Mandarin Orange Monday:)

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  22. Fascinating history of an amazing store!

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  23. The only thing I ever bought there was a metallic cookie box with Harrod's on ! I wanted to go to the golden toilet, but the entrance was 5 £ (in 2000 !) I found this a little too expensive and went to the normal one.

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  24. What a fabulous store! I'll pass on the caviar, but champagne and chocolates would be on my list!

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  25. Fascinating! I hate shopping, but I think I'd enjoy exploring parts of this place...especially the exotic food section and of course the hand made chocolate counter ;o)

    Interesting condition of sale with regards to the memorial.

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  26. Thank you for your pictures and information about Harrods. I visited the store many years ago, and your photos brought back many happy memories.

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  27. what nice pics! so many chocolates and teas :)

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  28. We spent almost a whole day in Harrod's when we visited London in 2007. Bought nothing but food and took lots of pictures. But yours are better . Thanks for the memories. It really is an amazing place.

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  29. This was a great tour for me. Nicely done post with lovely pics! I am a big fan of Princess Di!

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  30. Harrods look gorgeous. Thanks for the informative post.

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  31. It looks like one could easily spend a day here! Oh chocolate...:)

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