|by Sean O'Neill||Shopping, United Kingdom, London||17|
Outside the entrance to a new shopping mall that's a Frisbee toss from St. Paul's Cathedral, a small girl recently channeled her inner Eloise, overdramatically saying to her parent, "Can we go in? It looks so shiny!"
The child had a point. With its misted glass exterior and interior open-air walkways, "One New Change" looks more like a cutting edge modern art museum than what it actually is—the grey financial district's first new shopping complex in 130 years. So it's unsurprising to learn that it was built by Pritzker Architecture Prize-winner Jean Nouvel, who has also built the stylish modern art museum in Paris, Fondation Cartier.
What makes this mall unique is that its roof presents the city's best view of St. Paul's Cathedral.
On its eighth-floor roof terrace, you can now take in the full panorama of the city skyline. It's a public perspective that, until now, no visitor to London could easily access for free. In the winter, of course, you may prefer to stay inside in the café, which also overlooks the cathedral.
While shopping, be sure to check out British brands All Saints, Reiss, and Topman (its first stand alone location in the city), which burst with exceptional, gift-worthy items. onenewchange.com, St Paul's tube station, map.
A century ago, all neighborhoods within earshot of these bells were the heart of Cockney-speaking, working class London. In its courtyard, Americans may be surprised to see a statue to John Smith, the founder of Virginia and a national hero.
Insider's tip #2 On the second floor of One New Change, there are free public bathrooms, open seven days a week. (You may laugh now, but wait until you're visiting London and fumbling through your pockets for a 50p coin to activate the door on a public loo.)
MORE FROM BUDGET TRAVEL