Two-thousand-year-old London may have a reputation for stodginess, but with the evolving influence of its thriving Caribbean, African and African American populations, the city swings. It’s also the hot spot for some shopping happenings-a great reason to make this locale your next destination.
Virgin Atlantic Vacations (888-YES-VIRGIN) includes shopping at Harrods department store (109-123 Knightsbridge, SW1) as part of its London travel packages. During its legendary sales in January, June and July, the store features buys on Prada and Armani. You’ll also find shops at the markets around Notting Hill and Portobello Road. Jamaican-born designer Derek A. Lilliard sells his contemporary clothing at D.A. Lilliard (44 Monmouth St., Covent Gardens). Plus, you can enjoy the rhythms of British Soul Nation, a compilation on CD of Britain’s hottest soul music at Virgin Megastore (14-16 Oxford St.) or at black-owned cdbar (Unit 4-5 Reliance Arcade, 455 Brixton Rd.). And if you’re in town in August, hop over to the Notting Hill Carnival (nottinghillcarnival.net.uk). This Trinidadian festival attracts more than 2 million visitors and features multicultural crafts, ethnic food, steel bands and concerts. You’re sure to find something you like at Europe’s longest (three miles) street fair.
For more about London’s shops, churches, clubs and other highlights, visit www.ukblacklinks.com.