Arthur Lasenby Liberty opened his first shop in 1875 selling ornaments, fabric and objets d'art from Japan and the East believing that he could change the look of home wares and fashion. By the 1890s the shop had grown considerably and built strong relationships with key designers in the Arts and Crafts and Art Nouveau movements.
Although the building looks as though it has been there forever, the Tudor building was built in 1924 at the height of Tudor revival from the timbers of two ships: HMS Impregnable and HMS Hindustan. The shop was designed around three light wells that formed the main focus of the building. (This and more on Liberty's website)
Lili sent me with strict instructions to go to Liberty and I was so glad I listened! I love how european department stores are broken up the way they are. The experience is much more oriented towards wandering and exploring. Different designers have their own rooms or alcoves to tell their unique story. The focus is not about getting in and out as fast as possible like so many stores in the State, there is even a hip barber in the men's department. And of course, the patterns and fabrics that Liberty is known for do not disappoint! I was trying to be good as usual and succeeded in that, getting some new oven mitts and two hankies (pro tip: hankies are about 10% the cost of pocket squares but, from my perspective, are 99% the same square of fabric), all with Liberty floral patterns, of course! I was also tempted by the fox or guinea pig egg cups but realized I didn't really want to deal with breakables this early in the trip. All-in-all, another for the not to miss list!