A new addition to The Grocer's World's Greatest Food Retailers, Harrods, based in Knightsbridge, London, started life in 1849 when Charles Henry Harrod opened a small grocery shop and placed the emphasis on high-quality customer service.

Flash forward more than 150 years and The Food Hall is an opulent maze of a proposition consisting of 18 departments. It's a treat to visit but easy to get lost. The bakery department alone has 130 different types of bread and scones, while the confectionery department sells in excess of 100 tonnes of chocolate per year.

The store also stocks a dazzling array of exclusive speciality goods from fine wines to world cheese and caviare as well as a selection of sandwiches and snack foods to satisfy its on-the-go customers.

There is also a wide selection of loose leaf tea, some from Harrods' own tea gardens, and sensational seafood and meat counters. No wonder it ranks so highly among our judges, who reckon that it has taken food retail to another level.

Harrods itself clearly agrees. That's why it opened its new convenience format Harrods102 opposite the main department store this February for customers who don't have the luxury of time when they're shopping for luxury food. As well as the gourmet delights that you'd expect, it also boasts an oxygen spa bar, Chinese herbalist and masseur. The days of Harrods being just about souvenir teas are well and truly over, it seems.

Location: London

Established: 1849

No. of stores: 1

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