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Reviewed 28 July 2021 via mobile

Back when I was aged 6-12, almost every year I would travel to London during the autumn half term with my family and the highlight was always the Harrod’s Toy Kingdom! A whole enormous area to wander around and explore, where you lose time looking at the soft toys and a display of moving animals, watch the miniature trains going round a track, where demonstrators would drive past in miniature cars, where you could also play with some of the toys. A whole enchanted land of toys to explore.

So you can imagine my excitement at taking my own 5 year old son yesterday.. but… where did the open plan layout go?! Instead we are encouraged to walk from neon coloured oblong room to neon coloured oblong room, where you end up at a dead end and have to turn around and retrace your steps past all the toys you’ve just seen. There is no option to choose your route and just wander.

Each room is not large enough for the demonstrators to adequately show off their toys around the large bulky display furniture with only 3/4 large items on each. I was so disappointed I could have wept. You only have to look at Google images to see what it used to be. I understand the current configuration was done in 2018… I guess I was 3 years too late to relive my magical childhood experience.

Date of experience: July 2021
1  Thank ZoeRyall
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed 27 July 2021 via mobile

Harrods has always been busy, but this trip on a Thursday afternoon was a leisurely one, no major queues, no crowds in the food hall, the best service from the tea emporium, the best service from the bakery who sliced our Harrods Signature Sourdough and our Montgomery Cheddar and Cumin loaves, we also had the most beautiful Nocerella olive breadsticks from the bakery (they stayed fresh long enough to enjoy the following day in Kew Botanical Gardens).

The cashiers were polite and friendly, the various employees dotted around the building tried to help us find our way.

The Harrods cafe was quiet and comfortable, there was no rush, no hurry, no eat drink and get out. We enjoyed the Harrods Chocolate Truffle and a Braffle with salted butter and England's finest Tiptree jam. When some chocolate was accidentally spilled onto a white linen blouse a customer service assistant very kindly fetched wet wipes to get it out so it wouldnt stain.

Sadly since visiting some 15 years ago as a teenager, the toy department has changed drastically, it's now more like Smyths toys, brightly coloured pods with a different collection in each, pink for barbie, yellow for Lego etc, gone were the sweeping walls filled with plush toys, gone were the swathes of teddies and Steif bears that adorned a large open plan room. Display boards with completed jigsaws missing from view. Hidden from sight. Lost in the toy box.

Another staple we failed to find was the Ice Cream Parlour, we have such fond memories of ordering the most expensive ice cream on the menu, alas a repeat was not to be. Nor was finding the Harrods branded teddies, tote bags, aprons, fridge magnets and other novelties of giftware.

Michael, a kind older Gentleman from Camberwell, spoiled us, at the end of our shopping he kindly opened door 3 and reminisced with us on the grander times when the pet shop was the pride of Mr Al-Fayed, when you could spot him among the finery, when Madame Tussauds had a display on the top floor near the terrace, and he kindly took control of mums wheelchair, offered to call a cab, and then walked us back to our car which was parked outside on the corner of Basil street. Michael was dressed in the full Harrods Doorman uniform on the hottest day of the year, his attention to presentation and his seeing a Lady with disabilities as a person, not merely the mobility aid she uses did not go unnoticed. Michaels kindness - whether part of his job description or not - was gratefully received.

We will definitely return, and look out for Michael and the bakery team.

Date of experience: July 2021
Thank MyasotisMemories
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed 22 July 2021

AVOID THE HAIR SALON Here is what happened to me:
I inquired on the phone if they stock a certain brand of permanent hair dye and if they had a colourist specialised for that brand. They confirmed that they had.
I booked a consultation with the said colour specialist. We discussed and agreed on the shade and I made an appointment for the following week and paid to secure the booking.
I arrived for my appointment and a colourist (other than the one I was booked with) showed up saying she was going to dye my hair. I reminded her that I was booked with another colourist but I was told my colourist was busy and I would have to wait for min 45 minutes and they didn't have the shade I chose anyway! I requested to talk to the manager at that stage.
Manager apologised but she couldn't give me a satisfactory answer as to what had happened. She just said she didn't know what happened!
I asked for a solution as I was under time pressure and told them I could perhaps choose a different shade if they showed me the chart.
Few minutes later, the manager and the colourist (not the one I was booked with) came with the chart in hand. However, this was the chart for semi-permanent shades and it turned out that they didn't stock the permanent shades anyway!!!
Both the colourist and the manager were quite dismissive and nonchalant. The colourist was even attempting me to coerce me to accept/choose from the semi-permanent range!!!
I told them I knew what I wanted and was very specific about it and I explained it clearly right from the beginning.
I found the way they tried to coerce me to accept whatever was available, rather than offering me what I wanted very insulting. Their dismissive, 'we understand your frustration' type of cliche approach rather than offering a real solution was very infuriating. The last drop was the manager telling me they would refund the booking payment as if she was offering a gratuity!!!
The result is a complete waste of time without any compensation.

Date of experience: July 2021
3  Thank daA9688CE
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed 18 July 2021

We first started shopping at Harrods 20 years ago. It was always a real treat for us to go to Harrods. It had English upper class atmosphere, the uniformed doormen were like proper English butlers. Their staff were all professionals, knew all about their products, well groomed and their service was impeccable. Harrods itself was divided into departments whose vast halls were either richly opulent, classic English, ancient Egyptian or tastefully modern elegance but all simply oozing with old world wealth. The best part of Harrods for us were the food halls, with its smells of freshly cooked, roasted or baked goods, making each hall a sensory delight. Each large station had seating for dining, corner stations of sushi, dim sum, arabic grills, fresh seafood, English roasts. Each had something unique that could not be bought anywhere else. Then the halls of cheese, coffee, chocolate, sweets, biscuits, desserts and bakery (near one of their exits). No one could resist the smells of freshly baked goods dominating that hall. All their desserts and petit fours were topped with Harrods stamped in mini oblong chocolate pieces. They had huge wonderful display centrepieces of fresh fruit, seafood or other food at the entrances of each hall, real artistry. Since ownership changed in2010, there is now none of that. None. Harrods is now just a facade of its old self. Inside it is all like a generic American supermarket which sells overpriced goods. There is no character inside, their products do not reflect any pride or desire to be a cut above other offerings in London. The staff are still wonderful but the soul of Harrods is gone. There is no Harrods feel in each of their halls or in every single Harrods product. Even their food stations are tiny, cramped with only a fraction of their previously luxurious and varied offerings. Selfridges has more classiness and culture than Harrods now. Very disappointed. Would not recommend a visit there. It is no longer a must see experience of London.

Date of experience: July 2021
3  Thank Damian M
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed 15 July 2021 via mobile

We visitors Tom Kerridge fish Restaurant in Harrods dining hall 3 haddock & chips 2 cokes and a Harrods larger £144 ! Average at best and vastly overpriced

Date of experience: June 2021
1  Thank stuartm169
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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