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The key shopping spots around London’s Olympic Park

We caught up with journalist Xu Yuan, who’s reporting on the 2012 Olympics in London. As a newcomer to the UK from China, she shared with us her London discoveries, from the best shopping stores around the Olympic Park to her favourite British souvenir

Marina Nelson ,

With the London 2012 Olympics getting underway this Friday, Chinese journalist Xu Yuan took us on a trip around Westfield, one of Europe’s largest shopping centres, highlighting the best places for tax-free shopping.  Located close to the Olympic Park, the centre houses some of the world’s best-known luxury labels, which have a huge appeal for the growing number of Chinese travellers.

Westfield is also home to some of the best high-street fashion labels, from Next and River Island to Topshop and Zara, along with high-end brands such as Prada, Basler, TM Lewin and Russell & Bromley. Those seeking exquisite jewellery and timepieces should head to the multi-brand Ernest Jones store, and stock up on pieces from Tag Heuer, Omega and Longines to name just a few. For a break from shopping, chill out in the Apple store, where you can test out the latest gadgets, including the new MacBook Pro.

One of Xu’s favourite British department stores is John Lewis, which caters to the increasing number of Chinese travellers. Tax-free shopping guides are available in Mandarin and consultants are on hand to help make your tax-free shopping experience enjoyable and stress-free.

For the impending Olympics, Xu noticed a growing number of stores getting into the games spirit, with the Omega store installing a wall featuring images of previous Olympic athletes along with a countdown timer to the opening ceremony.

If Xu had to pick one item to sum up London, it would be a Burberry trench coat, as it’s a timeless British classic.

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