Shopping in the UK
In the article, I would like to advise you how to buy groceries, cloths, house equipment for the best prices. Also, you should get to know how to shop online and which applications to download to save as much money as possible, among other things.
Supermarkets and shops are generally the same as in the Czech Republic and other EU member states. Among the cheapest, I want to point out:
- ASDA having the best prices for food, gluten-free and lactose-free products. In big supermarkets, you might buy cloth of the brand George very cheaply.
- Morrisons, there it is possible to buy cheap groceries, including the gluten-free products for very good prices and also dishes, or detergents.
- Tesco express – you might find the brand TESCO finest, meaning cheap, but high-quality food from Tesco. Big supermarkets have wide range of products, but also gluten-free goods.
- Lidl – is good for buying cheap and tasty bakery, almost like in the Czech Republic, canned and bottled products in glass as well.
- Iceland, a very convenient shop having a selection of frozen goods, but also ready-to-eat meals.
In the United Kingdom, you might come across other supermarkets as well. These shops have also good quality products, but for higher prices.
- The Co-operative
- MARKS & SPENCER
And how does it work with the gluten-free products?
You can find these products almost in every shop around the UK. From my own experience, I can say that the products are of high quality and in the bigger supermarkets you can find plenty of them. You might be surprised by the freshness of the toast bread, even if it is not vacuum-packed. There is the brand Schär, but Asda, Tesco, or Sainsbury´s sell their own gluten-free goods. The gluten-free products are always marked as in other EU member states or with a sign GLUTEN FREE, alternatively FREE FROM GLUTEN.
Prices of common gluten-free products:
Toast bread from £1,5 to £3 (The cheapest and tasty bread can be found in Asda)
Pasta starting at £1
Spaghetti from £1,2
Lasagne Sheets from £1,5
Flour starting at £1,5
Porridge from £2
Couscous from £2
You can find the price of individual supermarkets here:
Groceries from abroad
There are many foreigners living in London and that is why you can find goods from all over the world here. Very often, you come across small shops with products from Central and Eastern Europe (Poland, Russia, Romania, Hungary, etc.). It is funny that their names might be sometimes confusing like the ‘ORIENT SHOP’. However, you may find Czech biscuits, pâté, Slovak cheese or many other products from Central and Eastern Europe.
How does it work with Czech and Slovak foodstuff?
It is possible to buy Czech and Slovak goods in London.
What about beer and wine from the Czech Republic?
It is possible to buy Czech beer either in supermarkets, or in one of the local pubs. The most common beer is Pilsner Urquell (the price is around £1,80 for bottled beer in shops and £5 for beer on tap in London pubs and bars). However, you might buy Budweiser Budvar (not the US Budweiser!) or Staropramen. A shop called Vinovitaj specialises in import of wines from South Moravian region.
The markets offer bargain prices for fruit, vegetables, meat or fish. In most of the places, a basket of fruit costs £1. You might find special prices of £1 for two kilograms of bananas or tomatoes. Majority of the discounts are just before closing hours. These markets are usually around main streets or roads.
Now, I would like to mention the most famous markets in London. There, you might get home-grown products, flowers, paintings, jewellery, cloths and many other things.
- London Borough Market – is one of the oldest markets in London. You find various delicacies, home-made food, fruit, vegetables or fresh fish.
Interesting things around: the London Bridge – original bridge from 18th century that used to be the only way across the river Thames; Southwark Cathedral, Golden Hinde – replica of the Galeon boat.
Where: near the London Bridge station, when: Saturdays from 8:00 to 17:00
- Portobello Road Market – is a place to buy antiquities, jewellery, fruit and vegetables, but also cloths and others.
Interesting things around: Electric Cinema – the oldest cinema in London
Where: near the Notting Hill Gate station, when: Saturdays from 9:00 to 18:00
- Greenwich Market – focused mainly on arts and crafts.
Interesting things around: Prime Meridian, observatory, maritime museum, Tea Clipper Cutty Sark
Where: Cutty Sark Station, when: Tuesdays to Saturdays from 10:00 to 17:30
- Covent Garden Market – one of the most well-known places in London. There are many restaurants, shops and markets with antiquities, arts, jewellery and many other things. It is the only place, where the street art is without any limitations.
Interesting things around: Royal Opera House, London Transport Museum
Where: Covent Garden station, when: Tuesdays to Saturdays from 10:00 to 17:30
- Camden Lock Market – place with a variety of bars, pubs, clubs, stalls and shops with brand goods, but from Asia as well. It is possible to haggle over price at the marketplace, even if it is not very popular among the traders (sometimes, you can haggle a good price for both you and the traders as well).
Furthermore, you can experience the taste of food from different corners of the world for very good prices. Do you fancy Italian, Spanish, African, Mexican, Peruvian, Philippines’, Indian, Thai or Malaysian cuisine? Definitely visit the Camden Market.
Interesting things around: Regent’s Park – very beautiful place for summer walks, which is divided by the Regent’s Canal, it is the place where the London ZOO is located, as the first scientific ZOO in the world.
Where: Camden Town station, when: every day from 10:00 to late at night
Pubs and restaurants
There is number of restaurants, pubs and bars in London, the same as cuisines that you might taste. I would like to mention as least those, where you can eat for reasonable prices.
- Wetherspoon – is a chain of pubs, which you can find all around the UK and Ireland. The place is well-known for its tasty meals and cheap alcohol. The company also owns hotels.
- Harvester – is a family business of pubs in the UK, where you can find meals for good prices.
- PizzaExpress – is a chain of restaurants in the UK.
In the following London quarters, there are many outspoken restaurants and pubs.
- Covent Garden
- Soho – China Town
- Piccadilly Circus
- Trafalgar square
- Camden Town
- Liverpool Street
’All You Can Eat’ offers might be found from £8 to £20. The Asian restaurants in China Town are the most common to have such offers.
Cafés and fast foods
There are the same cafés and fast foods as all around the EU.
Many people come to London to do shopping. London attracts people by its large shopping malls, a variety of shops with branded goods and low prices, high bargains and sell-offs.
And when to go for shopping?
The discount seasons are more, or less the same as in the Czech Republic. There is the winter and summer sell-offs, stocks clearances and last pieces sales.
The most interesting is the ‘Black Friday’ following the Thanks Giving Day in the USA (fourth Thursday in November). Very often, the discounts are not only on Thursday, but they go on until the end of the week.
- Primark – very popular shop, where you can buy cloths, bed linen or other equipment for house that you get for the best prices in the city. The store sells its own collections.
- TK Maxx – with branded cloths for reasonable price.
- New Look
- Top Shop
- Westfield Stratford – is the biggest shopping mall in Europe. You can find more than 300 shops, around 70 restaurants, multi-cinema, casino and many others.
It is located close to the Stratford station.
- Selfridges – offers especially more conservative goods of expensive world brands.
It is located close to the Bond Street, Oxford Street.
- Harrods – one of the most famous shopping houses around the world, selling luxurious goods.
It is located close to the Knightsbridge Station, Brompton Rd.
- One New Change is located close to the St. Paul´s Station.
- Boxpark is located close to the Liverpool Street
- Westfield London is located close to the Shepherd´s Bush station.
Where to go for shopping?
The most famous street in London to do your shopping is the Oxford Street. It is several kilometres long and lined with shops of different brands and various shopping malls. You can find Primark, Top Shop, H&M, Debenhams, Forever 21, Bershka, Zara, New Look, Next, Marks & Spencer, John Levis, Pandora, Swarovski, Tesla and many, many others. At the same time, you can find fast foods, restaurants, bars and etc. there.
Regent Street is typical for is luxurious brands and also the biggest toy-shop Hamleys.
Camden Town, Covent Garden, Liverpool Street, Angel count among other quarters of the city, where you can enjoy the spending spree.
Chemists and others
Here are a few examples, where to look for cheap detergents and other stuff for hygiene.
- Boots – a place with cheapest hygienic and sanitary good, there is usually a chemist’s as well.
- Poundland – there, you can buy (almost) everything for £1.
- Savers – simply a chemist’s.
- Wilko – there, you can find everything and anything you need for your house. There are hygienic and sanitary goods and detergents, equipment for kitchen (from dishes to sophisticated gadgets), bathrooms. For good prices, you can buy also bed linen, pillows and blankets, or clotheshorse, ironing board and irons.
Nowadays, it is common to do shopping online. It is possible to buy groceries, cloths, electronics, furniture or many other things. These are the shops, where you can shop for good prices, including the house equipment.
- Argos – multifunctional sale with branches, where you can choose goods from the catalogues and order it online.
- Littlewoods – electronics, accessories and others, possible to buy online
- British Home Stores – electronics, accessories and others, possible to buy online
- Amazon UK – popular e-shop in the UK.
- eBay UK – popular e-shop in the UK.
- John Lewis – electronics, accessories, furniture and others, possible to buy online.
- Kelko – activities and sport, possible to buy online.
- AbeBooks – online shop with second-hand books.