Posts Tagged ‘London’

PBS’s “Mr. Selfridge” Stirs Memories of my London Experience

May 13, 2013

As I watch the extraordinary  United Kingdom ITV series “Mr. Selfridge” on PBS, I have to reflect on my department store experiences in London.  I’m not sure whether I went into Selfridge’s, but I went into a department store in the posh Kensington section of London and bought a British-style hat.  I bought the hat so I would blend in with the folks on the sidewalks. It didn’t work. No one else was wearing a hat like that. Everybody was wearing baseball-style caps just like the ones in the good old USA.

I definitely visited Harrod’s and Fortnum Mason.  Both lived up to their reputations. They were shows within themselves. Harrod’s is huge, the largest department store in Europe and has extraordinary merchandize displays.  Selfridge’s is the second largest in the U.K. Fortnum Mason is not all that big, has only a few departments, but is luxurious and patronized by the Royal family. Queen Elizabeth has visited the store herself.  It is also  famous for its many restaurants and its high tea service.

Visiting those stores helped me understand why a department store could be a tourist attraction.  Harry Selfridge, the American who founded Selfridge’s in 1909, said that he wanted his store to be a shopping adventure. That’s what you get in the world-famous department stores in London.

The Latest PIC QUIZ Winner is…

December 24, 2011

Jim Thorsen, who gets the  ATTABOY AWARD for correctly identifying that I was standing in front of Westminster Palace (home of the U.K. Parliament) in London, and that the statue behind me is Oliver Cromwell.  Congrats, Jim!  

When in London

December 24, 2011


You can probably easily guess where I am standing, but can you guess who that is behind me? How do you like my Brit hat? Right after arriving in London, I went to a department store in Kensington and, deciding that I wanted to fit in, not look “different,” and bought what I considered to be an English hat. Once I went out on the street, I noticed no one was wearing a hat like mine, and most people were wearing American style baseball caps, and a lot were wearing jeans.  It appears all I needed to do to fit in was to dress “American,” because that’s the way everyone except the bobbies and guards at the Tower of London, Buckingham Palace and Windsor Castle were dressing.

London was a lot of fun. The folks I met there were quite friendly. Being a really big city, I am sure there are plenty a person wouldn’t want to meet, but fortunately that was not my experience.