Friday, 26 October 2012

It's a Dog's Life

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.  


26 comments:

  1. You gotta love Harrods. I usually buy a pencil to get the bag. About 40 years ago my dad wanted to buy Christmas hampers for his two employees. After looking at the prices my mum went to M&S, bought various interesting and luxurious-looking food items, a basket and some coloured tof the cost. We should have gone into business.

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    1. Harrods makes me feel a bit queasy. 'If you've got it flaunt it!' said the man in the bathroom section, explaining the gold loo brush holders.

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  2. ...some coloured tissue paper at a fraction of the cost. (I don't know where that line went - sorry).

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  3. Oh my, some people are completely bonkers! Mich x

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  4. I've only been to Harrods once, and I had been drinking for a large part of the day, but your post kicked off a few memories. It's an odd place.

    What the chuffing twatting hell are those Egyptian pillars in aid of?

    I found the presence of a smarly dressed, blazered old man in the toilets a bit odd. I was actually disappointed that they had normal urinals - they should upgrade them to something like what farmers use to milk cows.

    Now THAT would be worth paying £50 to walk your dog.

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    1. The architecture and the posh lavs are the chief pleasure in the trip.

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  5. My god! Some people really do have more money than sense.

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    1. Hyde Park is a few hundred yards away. I bet that young woman's hound would sooner walk in the air, sniffing other dog's bottoms than panting on a treadmill.

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  6. Please transport me there for some jeans shopping. I love jeans shopping. Oh, wait, that's not me, that's my dog. Sorry, more lies.

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    1. They do a caterpillar costume for people who wish their dogs looked more like caterpillars.

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  7. 101 Dalmations is his favourite !!!!???? Some people really do have far, far too much money - did you have a headache after all that? I would! X.

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    1. The place does stir my sympathies with the Communist movement. By the way, her dog liked Beethoven too!

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  8. I might get my collie a treadmill, save me trudging out on horrid winter (spring, summer, autumn) days. Love the canine Disney fan!

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    1. You'd need to fit a plasma screen at the end of it!

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  9. Now I guess I need to afford canine pyschotherapy to help my border collie adjust to the fact that he is living with relative 'paw'pers. sorry, can't be serious here. Great post!

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    1. I dunno, a vanilla facial might do the trick more cheaply!

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  10. Goodness, I want to come back as a rich dog in the next life. I had no idea - how the other half live!

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  11. My 10 year old also expressed a sudden urgent interest in Harrods (is it now part of the year 5 curriculum, I wonder?!), so we went yesterday. How the other half live! Yummy mummies treating their designer-clad darlings to £17-a-go ice cream sundaes (we had a Pizza hut buffet and ice cream factory instead!)Certainly an odd place!

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    1. It's quite fun for a free day out - so long as you bring your own sarnies. The sight that made me queasiest was a cicle of little girls on a round sofa in the Disney Kingdom castle being fitted by kneeling assistants for dressing up shoes.

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  12. What depresses me about this is that the costumes are so unaspirational. When rich humans dress up, a la Elton John and Conrad Black, it's as Marie Antoinette, Cardinal Richelieu and Louis XIV. Yet their dogs only get French maids and bikers. Just shows it's one rule for the rich and another for pooches. Bring on the revolution!

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  13. Dogs are taking over the world. It's true.

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    1. They certainly are in my part of it. Can't put a foot down without slithering.

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