Best Of London Part IV – The Burlington Arcade
This Post has No Comments
Tags: Burlington Arcade Laduree London
This glass-enclosed arcade is a lovely place to wander and window-dream, especially on a rainy day. Built in 1819, this bright and airy “strolling mall” was imagined by Lord George Cavendish after he purchased the esteemed “Burlington House” off London’s Piccadilly.
It is said that Lord Cavendish envisioned a grand mall for the sale of “jewelry & other fancy articles”, but rumors circulated that he really built the mall to provide privacy for his estate from the curious eyes of those strolling past. He would no doubt be very pleased that almost two hundred years later, his vision is still a part of London’s reality.
At two hundred yards long Burlington Arcade is one of the longest covered shopping arcades Britain. There are 72 luxury accessory retail units whose shop windows catch the eye with glittering contents that inspire expensive daydreams and lighten heavy wallets. On a somewhat humorous note, this mall has it’s own private police force called “Beadles” who dress still in traditional Edwardian costume. Their mission from the beginning – to protect the wealthy patrons of the mall from “the lower classes” by “ejecting those who sing, hum, run, hurry, wear hoodies or carry large parcels”.
Penhaligons Chemist & Toiletries sits alongside Crockett & Jones Shoe Shops, expensive antiques from around the world gleam within the cool confines of Daniel Bexford Antiques, and Susannah Lovis showcases priceless gems behind crystal-clear windows.
Holding a place of honor on a bright corner, the very famous “Laduree” Macaron shop holds court, its glittering gold-bedecked windows piled with artfully arranged pastel discs of delicious melt-in-your mouth delight.
Caution! To linger & look inside the gilded display window is to be tempted into a sinfully & seductively sweet interior from which you may never want to emerge. Consider your waistline and your pocketbook fairly warned!