London is the shopping capital of the world. Every year millions of overseas visitors shop here. But what makes shopping here so great? There’s only one way to find out. I’m off to do some shopping – follow me!
Knightsbridge is famous for upmarket shopping. This is where the rich and famous come to buy… their socks. And this is the one and only Harrods… the ultimate in luxury. Even royalty shop here. If I’m lucky, I might see someone famous.
If only they had it in my size. Lovely! Thank you!
Done quite well there – what’s next? Taxi! Harvey Nichols, please.
At Harvey Nichols
Harvey Nichols – or ‘Harvey Nicks’ for short – is a great place for designer fashion.
Well, I had to buy couple of things… What?
The biggest toy shop in the world – now you’re talking!
So cute… err… it’s not for me.
London’s Oxford Street is retail heaven. It’s got over 2 kilometres of shops to choose from… and, of course, Selfridges for shopping with style. Taxi!
Could you drop all this off home for me, please? I’m off to explore a different sort of shopping in Britain.
If you like shopping all under one roof, then there are big shopping centres all over Britain. The Olympic-sized shopping centre at Westfield, Stratford, is huge. With over 300 shops, it’s one of the largest shopping centres in Europe.
Great shopping isn’t just about big shops. Smaller shops can offer something special too. Tucked away in the heart of Piccadilly is a great shopping gem. Lock’s sell that must-have in gentlemen’s fashion: the hat! Lock’s opened in London in 1679. Their hats can be seen across the world. They pride themselves on their personal service.
Richard: Sue Simpson is a hat specialist. Hi Sue.
Sue: Oh, hi Richard.
Richard: Wow, a bowler hat, you don’t see many of those these days, do you?
Sue: Well, we don’t call it a ‘bowler’ here at Lock’s, we call it a ‘coke hat’ because it was invented in 1850 for Thomas Coke…
Richard: …by this very shop.
Sue: …by this very shop and we still call it a ‘coke’ to this day.
Richard: Ah, the classic top hat. When would I wear that?
Sue: That’s a beautiful silk top hat. You would wear that for a society wedding, or the time you see most of them is at Ascot, which is the famous race meeting in June.
Richard: So what’s your best-seller here at Lock’s?
Sue: Our best-seller would be a classic tweed cap or this trilby here, which is called a ‘Voyager’, and the novelty of this one…
Richard: …is it folds up so you can pop it into your luggage.
Sue: …pop it into your luggage.
Richard: Excellent. Is that a deerstalker?
Sue: Similar to a deerstalker, but this is a country cap with a fastening that goes over the top. And this was invented originally for wearing in open-top cars, but now it’s more commonly worn on the hills out shooting and this keeps the ears warm and stops it blowing away.
Richard: I like it; I’ll take this one.
In what order did Richard look at the following products?
What's special about each shop or area?
Match the beginnings and ends of these phrases.
Richard said "If only they had it in my size". Type the correct form of the verb in the gap. Make it negative if necessary.
We have a page on LearnEnglish about the use of 'if only'.
People generally say 'now you're talking' to show they are excited about something, in this case, going into the shop. It means something like 'this is going to be great' here.
Sure, in that sentence 'Lock's' is the subject (it is the name of the shop) and 'sell' is the verb. It is plural because it is a group of people who work in the shop; in British English, it is common to use a plural verb to refer to a group of people (e.g. the sales team in a shop, a football team, the government, etc.). The object is 'must-have', which is a product that is so popular that people feel they must have it. In this case, 'that' is a determiner modifying 'must-have' and is used to refer to something that is already known about. Actually, Richard hasn't spoken about hats before this point, but by using 'that', he's showing that there is a common attitude that men must have a hat if they are fashionable. That's not actually true, but he is playing the role of someone who is fashionable, and so he speaks this way.
You're right, this is actually a very complex sentence to understand! I hope this helps.
All the best,
The LearnEnglish Team