Liberty is by far and away my favourite department store. Aeons ago when I lived in London, Liberty was a short bus ride from home and I took it so much for granted that I could pop in to browse when the mood took me. It was great deal larger back in the day when I lived close by but fortunately the essence of the store hasn’t suffered from its shrinking.
Arthur Lasenby Liberty founded the store in 1875. It feels so much less abrasive and less shout-y than other department stores; I like it for so many reasons: the solid feel of the mock Tudor building, the gentle ambiance, the comforting look of the interior wood paneling, the interesting mix of departments, the carefully curated eclectic stock, and its nurturing of new design talent.
I could happily while away many hours looking around the ground floor; there is so much to see there including: bags, jewellery, a divine stationery department, a Wild at Heart flower shop, a lovely make up hall, a bookshop (the Assouline literary lounge), a wonderful array of scarves and a tempting assortment of chocolates.
Three are two floors of fashion, a vintage shop and the requisite shoe department. However the parts of Liberty that have always appealed to me most are the whimsical furniture department, the fabric sections (dress and home furnishing) and the haberdashery department which is stuffed with all sort of difficult-to-find-elsewhere goodies. There is also a café and should you be in search of a rug Liberty has a tantalizing choice to pick from.
Now that I live a plane journey away from London, I don’t get to visit Liberty often enough. I often wonder when I visit a capital that I haven’t been to before if I will discover a store that in my eyes outshines Liberty. So far I haven’t found one but the searching is fun.
Enjoy your weekend.