Just got back a couple days ago.
First of all, let me just say: I loved London. It was really a fantastic trip and I wish we had more time there. Now, onto stuff you might actually care about.
On Savile Row, I dropped by three shops: Huntsman, Richard Anderson, and Maurice Sedwell. Huntsman was our first stop. I wish I could give you a meaningful report, but we were coldly ignored by the staff there. Nobody greeted us upon entrance, though there were two or three staff standing around and no other customers or clients present. It was very awkward and uncomfortable. When I asked for a cream silk pocket square (long story), I was simply directed to look through the squares on the table sitting in front of me ("Whatever we have is in the pile in front of you."). We were stared at the entire time and didn't stay long. I will never, under any circumstance, revisit this shop.
Richard Anderson was an entirely different story. As soon as we walked in, Richard himself came up front from the work area to greet us. He immediately struck up a conversation, asking what we were looking for, etc. I was very upfront that I was not looking to order anything, but he remained interested in chatting. We talking tailoring and style. He explained a lot about his own approach. They use independent tailors to work on garments and freely admit the advantages and disadvantages. Richard says that every stitch is done by hand, except the long seams. I saw some jackets in the works and observed that both lapels and collars are hand-padded. They will do a somewhat softer jacket if a client pushes for it, but stress that it's not what they are good at and have directed clients interested in such to Anderson & Sheppard. I felt very comfortable in the shop and felt confident that I'd be decently taken care of as a client.
I spent very little time in Maurice Sedwell. The staff was welcoming, but Andy Ramroop wasn't there, so there wasn't much point in us sticking around.
Tailoring prospects aside, I found myself generally unimpressed by the accessories and general aesthetics on display throughout the Row. A lot of boring, so-so quality stuff. Granted, I did not go to Drakes. But I did drop by the above shops, Budd, Harvie and Hudson, etc. Honestly, I couldn't tell much of a difference between the goods at one shop and another. Italy is much more fun if you're looking for pocket squares, ties, belts, etc. Hell, so is New York.
We also visited W. Bill. It is no longer on Savile Row and is located in the basement of a contemporary office building nearby. Very odd. I wasn't expecting much service, but I hoped there would be some interesting old cloth to look at. It turns out, there is virtually nothing there that isn't new production. You're better off visiting J. Press on Madison Avenue and looking through the swatch books. A huge disappointment--but my expectations were unrealistically high, I'm sure.
The only thing I picked up in London was an umbrella from James Smith (bark ash with silver collar and black canopy). They cut to size while you wait--but keep in mind, this is not ideal. Ideally, they would proportion the whole umbrella to fit (not just cut off from the tip), but that takes several weeks of waiting and they seemed very, very reluctant to take custom orders. They push very hard to sell what they've got ready-made. Consequently, my umbrella tip is a bit stumpy. Oh well. The sticks are clearly from Talarico, though they will not admit it. I asked for a ten-rib frame and was told no. The parts are no longer available, apparently. I asked for a different color canopy, and was also told no. Soon after I started using my umbrella, the bark started chipping off from the end of the handle. I brought it back for them to look at before leaving London and was told it was normal. They stained the un-barked wood to make the flaw less obvious, but I worry the bark will continue coming off. One of the younger, friendlier staff slipped me his card as we were leaving and quietly assured he'd take care of the problem if it got worse back in the U.S.
We'll certainly be back to London, as there is just so much to see and it's such an amazing place to spend time. But I can't say I'll be returning for the shopping.