Jet lag resulted in sleeping in until noon. For someone that normally gets up somewhere between 5-6am, that’s half the day wasted. But it was still a productive day in the most unproductive sense of the word.
Chocolate croissant and latte at a local cafe, and then back to
spying visiting some classic retailers. On my way to peek in the Brioni window, I stopped into Holland & Holland, the almost 200 year old purveyor of unbelievable hunting rifles, apparel, and accessories. I did not examine every rifle in the Gun Room, but the least expensive one I saw was £20,000 and I saw several marked over £100,000 (that’s like a million U.S. dollars, I think).
On Ablemarle, I could not resist stopping into the David Linley shop. You could throw a dart in that store, wrap up what you hit, and I guarantee I would love it as a gift. Sadly, I need to visit the Belgravia store to see the Tini Time Cocktail Closet in person.
Walking down Savile Row was a semi-religious experience. I had been before, but that was pre-Wingtip. The juxtaposition of the old (Gieves & Hawkes, Hunstman, Henry Poole) and the new (Ozwald Boateng, Alexander McQueen) was great to see. Any man should be able to walk Savile Row and find a suit that fits his style (fitting his budget may be another matter). If a street like Savile Row exists anywhere else in the world, I’ve yet to see it. I could spend an entire day browsing each store and an entire night dreaming of what I’d buy from each store.
Then it was off to the G.J. Cleverly store in the Royal Arcade just off Bond Street. Not needing any shoes at the moment (or any moment for the last 10 years), there was one style of shoe that I don’t yet own and happened to be on sale: Prince Albert Slippers. Black cashmere and red cashmere were available in my size, but I opted for midnight blue with a tassel. Thinking I will smuggle them back into the U.S. in the Zero Halliburton case.
Finally, ended the evening at the Cigar Bar in the Hotel Bulgari. Apparently, in London, you are not allowed to smoke in bars, so instead, you’ll find a couple places where you can “sample” cigars; so I “sampled” a Bolivar Belicoso Fino with a dessert and cappuccino. The cigar menu (photo at left, click to enlarge) is one I can only hope Wingtip someday emulates: two pages of current production Cubans, and then another four pages of rare and limited edition cigars, including several Cuban Davidoff cigars that went as high as £1,000 for a single cigar.
Tomorrow morning is an appointment with Alfred Dunhill (well, not Alfred, but Dunhill) and a proper tour of Bourdon House…
London Dispatch: Day 3
London Dispatch: Day 1