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My yearly London shopping experience


Senior Member
Mar 10, 2006
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I'm just back from my annual week-end in London for shopping purposes, here are a couple of quick thoughts regarding this visit

Jermyn Street
- I've been amazed by J-street's further evolution to a "constant sales" place.
- I really have the impression that the place is divided in two: on the one side, traditional, reputable ones like H&K, H&H, T&A, N&L, to which I would add shops selling decent merchandise even if not of the same quality, such as Hackett, CT, TM Lewin. On the other side (that's figurative, not geographic), shops like "John Bray", "Hawes & Curtis",
etc. I don't think they do any good to the street's reputation. Still a very nice and surprisingly quiet place to do shopping, though.
- H&K was now on sales as well (imitating TM Lewin and CT ?) and had shirts at 45 GBP. In other words, I couldn't help but buy one ...

- I've been surprised by the new boutique of EG's lack of lustre. I was expecting something more traditional, and definitely preferred the Burlington Arcade shop. Didn't enter the shop as I wasn't sure I could resist another pair of EGs -- that would have been affecting my budget very negatively.
- Pink's still Pink, not my favourite shirts, but their choices of ties is really nice.
- Can't help it, I like Hackett. I'm not discussing quality here, but design and overall appearance. I don't like the way they separate button cuffs on their suits in two pairs -- (xx xx) vs. (xxxx).

New Bond Street
- Asprey keeps impressing me. I particularly liked the £1,000 crackers with nice sterling silver presents. Vintage Asprey watches : "one day they will be mine" ...

- Smythson's shops assistants are too present for my taste.
- Succession of *very* nice cars made the experience even more enjoyable.

Savile Row
- The departure of A&S hasn't made a lot for Savile Row's overall credit, me thinks. Was surprised to see that on a Sat. afternoon a lot of reputable firms' shops were closed: H. Poole, Huntsman, etc. Where's Chester Barrie ?

- Cording's has very strange opening hours, compared to the others. Closed on 6pm on Saturday, closed on Sunday. Pity since I wanted to try on a covert coat.
- There's this shop selling Barbours called The Highlands I think. Could it be anymore cramped ?

Regent Street
- Oh. My. God. So Much People.
- Hamley's: Regent Street exp. 10. If there was fire in there, that would be a major disaster. Loads of shopping assistants screaming instructions about how to use the rolling stairs (!). They should install something as "staged admissions".

Sloane Street
- This is a very pleasant place to shop. Pink is moving to the other side of the street, H&K's premises are really not on par with other comparable shops (in terms of design) and lacks the history that makes the J-street shops charming.
- Longmire's cufflinks are really excellent. Anybody knows the price of those round cufflinks with translucent colored glass ?

- Harrod's was nice. I was surprised because it wasn't as horribly busy and full of people as I thought it would be. Anybody knows who would manufacture Harrod's ties ? I bought one (very classical pattern, printed silk, £30) and would like to know.

- London remains London. In other words, my favourite place for clothes shopping. Had to refrain from buying compulsively, spending £10,000 wouldn't have been difficult... but (there has to be a but, right?) the Xmas illuminations weren't as magnificent as I would have expected.

Comments welcome !

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