Harvey Nichols

 
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Where Edina and Patsy shop
Big but not oversized, semi-snooty but quite accessible, buzzy but not urgently so, Harvey Nichols appears to be going through a quiet phase at the moment, but nevertheless it remains for many the definition of combined fashion, trendiness and style. This is, after all, the preferred arena for fictional (?) shopping addicts Edina 'Eddy' Monsoon and Patsy Stone (of Jennifer Saunders's iconic, über-gay-friendly BBC sitcom ABSOLUTELY FABULOUS). Names names names! The expansive men's department (on the lower floors) remains a major draw. Food and drink are to be had on the fifth floor, including a designer food market, café and outdoor terrace (with pop-up commercial installations), full-blown restaurant and swanky bar with roomy cream-coloured banquettes. The store was a favourite of Diana, Princess of Wales and is located just a four-minute walk east of Harrods. Benjamin Nichols started the business in 1831 and left it to his daughter, who then partnered with Colonel Nichols and expanded the company's remit, opening the current store in 1880, with much more retail floor space to follow in 1932. Very much a London institution, though in 1996 the northern city of Leeds entered the fold, followed by Edinburgh, Birmingham, Manchester and Bristol. Tends to open until 9pm in summer. Tube station: Knightsbridge.

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