I do not, as a rule, like shopping unless it involves a stationery department or soil conditioners. Today, however, my 10-year-old begged to visit Harrods. She wanted to sketch out her future living spaces for when she realises her ambition to be a primary school teacher/hair-dresser/Burberry model. The 7-year-old was also eager. He hoped for fragrant lotions in the in-store lavs.
And so we trudged among Egyptian pillars and, when we reached the fashion-wear, I began to be interested. For amid the designer plaid, taffeta and leopard-print loucheness I could have bought a £95 pilot's uniform with a cap, a French maid's outfit for when the Bishop comes calling or, in readiness for Halloween, a fetching green witch's disguise.
In furnishings, furred sofas are so much more 'Now' than leather and everyone's accessorising their bespoke four-posters:
The patisserie, for a three figure fee, will cater for parties and there are delicacies in the wicker hampers that would definitely defeat Delia.
I'd hoped for more leopard-print on the push chairs and travel cots, but found it among the cuddlies in the toy room:
But it wasn't until we passed the spa that I began to covet wealth. My blocked pores ached for a blueberry and vanilla facial and a thalassotherapy mud bath. In the gym you can watch Hollywood films on a plasma screen while pounding to nowhere on the treadmill. A young woman, watching me peer at the price list, said she brings her companion here twice a week. 'Why not walk in Hyde Park?' I marvelled. ''You wouldn't get the films,' she replied patiently. '101 Dalmations is his favourite.'
After a glance at the glass jewellery cases and the matching designer luggage we were weary. Back down among the Egyptian pillars we hurried agog for our MacDonald's Happy Meal. Seems a shame, thinking back, that we never saw the splendours beyond Pet Kingdom!
PS Yes, all of the above are aimed at our nation's pooches. It's a comfort to know, in these times of austerity, that the beribboned pets of Knightsbridge are doing their bit to boost the economy.
PPS Yes, they do sell four-packs of Converse-style lace-ups and designer sunglasses for poodles.
PPPS I have it on good authority from the church stonemason that his taxi-driver brother conveyed a dog solo from from Mayfair to Belgravia for a canine fancy dress party. And back again.
Warning: the cakes and pastries in the 'pawtisserie' may contain liver.