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London Shopping

London Shopping

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London can rightly claim to be one of the planet's most tempting shopping cities. Whether it's for a serious spree or you seek a specific, almost impossible to find souvenir of the British capital, London has an amazing array of options even for the most hard-to-please shopper.

Negotiate London fashion on the heaving commercial sprawl that is Oxford Street . This high street extraordinaire bisects London's center from Marble Arch in the west to Tottenham Court Road in the east. Lesbian and gay travelers will almost inevitably head one block south, to the gay mecca of Soho or the designer shopping districts of Bond Street and South Molton Street . Shifting one block north is also highly recommended for the eclectic streets between Baker Street (home of Sherlock Holmes) and Fitzrovia (home of the queerer-than-queer Bloomsbury set).

Next, head east to Marylebone High Street . Its renaissance from West End backwater to chic promenade has been remarkable, and now designer outlets jostle for space with quality high-street chain stores and the excellent specialist travel bookshop Daunt Books (83 Marylebone High St., W1; +44-20-7224-2295).

Any shopping spree should begin (or end) at world-famous Harrod's (87-135 Brompton Rd., Knightsbridge, SW1; +44-20-7730-1234), where the decadent downstairs food hall with its outlandish displays is worth a visit even if you don't buy anything. Style mavens will prefer the so-gorgeous-it-aches ambiance of Harvey Nichols in Knightsbridge (+44-20-7235-5000).

Many of London's biggest bookstores are in Charing Cross Road, but the biggest of them all is the glamorous new Waterstones (WaterStones.com.) Gay's The Word (66 Marchmont St., WC1; +44-20-7278-7654) near Russell Square is London's only exclusively gay bookstore.

Specifically "gay-themed" shops include Prowler Soho (5-7 Brewer St., Soho, +44-20-7734-4031) that sells all manner of "toys for boys" and is well worth a stop.

If you need a hand getting between shop stops or want a tour of the city, call London's LGBT chauffeur service, Driven Around (DrivenAround.com), a gay-owned company with gay drivers.

Video Report: London

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Advocate Channel - The Pride StoreOut / Advocate Magazine - Jonathan Groff and Wayne Brady

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