London’s St. James district is internationally renowned for its menswear, but the highest concentration of gentlemen’s clothiers in the city can be found on the single half-kilometer stretch that is Jermyn Street. In this article, we present the most comprehensive guide to shops on the street, providing information on all of its important addresses to help you plan your own excursion to this style destination.
This article was originally written by Dr. Cindy Lawford who gives tours on Jermyn Street and edited and updated by Dr. Christopher Lee. It is a massive article with 15,000 words, so we created subdivisions so it is easier for you to read.
Get to the store of your choice here
|Store||What It Is||Price Range||Jermyn Street Location|
|Jermyn Street Theatre||Theatre||$||Nos. 16b|
|Grosvenor Shirts||Haberdashery||$-$$$||Nos. 18-19|
|Joseph Cheaney Shoes||Shoe Store||$$-$$$||No. 21|
|La Martina||Haberdashery||$-$$$||No. 23|
|Hawes & Curtis||Haberdashery||$-$$$||Nos. 33-34|
|Bates||Custom Hats||$-$$||Nos. 37|
|Barker||Shoe Store||$$||No. 38|
|Tramp||Members-only Club||$$$||No. 40|
|Fortnum & Mason||Restaurant||$-$$||No. 45|
|Alfred Dunhill||Haberdashery||$-$$$||No. 48|
|New & Lingwood||Haberdashery||$-$$||No. 53|
|John Smedley||Haberdashery||$-$$||No. 55|
|Sladmore||Art Gallery||$$$||No. 57|
|Dickinson||Art Gallery||$$$||No. 58|
|Weiss Gallery||Art Gallery||$$$||No. 59|
|Bespoke Cycling||Bicycle Store||$-$$$||No. 59|
|J.M. Weston||Shoe Store||$-$$$||No. 60|
|St. James’s Street, Davidoff Cigars||Cigar Shop||$$||No. 35|
|Emma Willis||Haberdashery||$$-$$$||No. 66|
|Tricker's||Shoe Store||$-$$$||No. 67|
|Crockett & Jones||Shoe Store||$-$$$||No. 69|
|Turnbull & Asser||Haberdashery||$-$$$||No. 71-72|
|Hilditch & Key||Haberdashery / Tailoring||$-$$$||No. 73|
|Taylor Of Old Bond Street||Luxury Grooming & Accessories||$-$$$||No. 74|
|Edward Green||Shoe Store||$$-$$$||No. 75|
|Hawes & Curtis||Haberdashery||$-$$$||No. 82|
|Foster & Son||Shoe Store||$-$$$||No. 83|
|Thomas Pink||Haberdashery / Tailoring||$-$$||No. 85|
|John Lobb||Shoe Store||$$-$$$||No. 88|
|Floris London||Luxury Fragrance & Toiletries||$$-$$$||No. 89|
|Roderick Charles||Haberdashery||$$-$$$||No. 90|
|Paxton & Whitfield||Artisan Cheese||$-$$$||No. 93|
|Links Of London||Jewelry||$$-$$$||No. 94|
|Russell & Bromley||Shoe Store||$-$$||No. 95|
|Harvie & Hudson||Haberdashery||$-$$$||No. 96/97|
|Charles Tyrwhitt||Haberdashery||$-$$||No. 100|
|T. M. Lewin||Haberdashery||$-$$||Nos. 103-106|
|Church’s||Shoe Store||$$-$$$||No. 110|
|Jones Bootmaker||Shoe Store||$-$$||No. 112|
|Emmett Shirts||Haberdashery||$-$$||No. 112|
Jermyn Street is a one-way street originating at Regent Street, Saint James’s Place, which is also closest to Piccadilly Circus and its Underground station, so we will begin our virtual walk there, heading to the end of the street and looping back.
The first establishment of note is the Italian restaurant Getti on the north side of the street. It offers the best dining on Jermyn Street and is perfect for those who are watching their wallets after spending more than intended on clothes and accessories. Offering excellent, fresh Italian food at moderate prices, Getti is a family-run business with a cool, contemporary setting that feels welcoming for business lunches and family meals alike. The restaurant gets very busy at lunchtime, so it is advisable to book ahead. It has two floors; the upper story overlooking Jermyn Street is usually quieter. Getti is situated next door to the Jermyn Street Theatre and offers discounts for those who attend a show there. The service is quick, especially if you ask the waiters or speed; the wines are very good; the salads creative and the pastas, risottos and pizzas light and tasty. I can recommend most of their pasta and risotto dishes, because I’ve tried them. Two special favorites are the bruschetta with tomatoes and basil (£4.95) followed by the fresh tagliatelle with truffle cream and porcini mushrooms (£16.50). Their lasagne always pleases as well; indeed, I’ve never come to the restaurant with friends or family when any food was left on any plates. Getti also offers entrees of sirloin, steak, liver, veal and grilled chicken, as well as several intriguing seafood dishes.
Since 1994, this 70-seat theatre has been lighting up the evening’s activities on the street after the shops close, providing an often brilliant way to close out the day. The space used to be part of a restaurant and club in the 1930s and then served as a changing room for the staff of the Spaghetti restaurant next door (now Getti). It is London’s smallest West End Theatre by a very long way, and there is not a bad seat in the house. It offers varied one-night-only performances, stand-up comedy, readings, drama, and both new plays by contemporary playwrights and stagings of classics like Chekhov and Tennessee Williams. Plays with two or four actors are often staged, but small-scale musicals make their way here as well. Experiencing the power and drama of great performances in such intimate surroundings is quite wonderful. Matinees are sometimes available, as are Sunday performances, and the ticket prices are very reasonable, usually ranging from £15 to £30 regular price with various discounts for students, under 30s, and seniors.
Though Grosvenor sells a range of classic business shirts (£110), the company stands out among the shop windows of Jermyn Street for its distinct designer shirts (£139): large lined and crisscrossed colorful panels are often countered by opposing colors in the same pattern or opposing patterns in the same color. These shirts get noticed immediately. Even the white ones have colored trim, cuffs and plastic buttons. Designed by Panamanian Juan Credidio, almost all of the fabrics are woven exclusively for Grosvenor, and each stock is limited to just fifteen shirts. Karl Dunkley and John Quigley started the business in 1999 with the determination to make all of their shirts in UK. Buying a factory in Strabane, Northern Ireland has made this dream possible and helped Grosvenor win the prized royal warrant from the Queen. Interestingly, Grosvenor has stores in both Ghana and Nigeria, its colorful shirts having a wide appeal to African customers who often do not wear jackets. The sole UK store opened on Jermyn Street in 2013. Its two gleaming white floors and striped walls stand out as much as its high-quality business shirts. According to Dunkley, their twill weave allows them to remain largely wrinkle-free throughout a working day. Made with an extra piece of fabric to prevent movement, there is a stiffness about the collars that is at times perhaps slightly echoed in the shop’s initial atmosphere, but the commitment to excellent service is evident and absolute. The made-to-measure suite is downstairs, where customers are offered a drink and invited to take their time ordering shirts that start at £150 (minimum order of 2; three weeks delivery) and, while not bespoke, can be made to fit to a fairly exacting standard. Ties, cufflinks, scarves likewise complement a range of fairly-fitted jackets and bright chinos.
Sunspel is mainly about simple T-shirts, boxer shorts and polo shirts made from luxury fabrics. So there is nothing formal in this shop, one of five men’s shops in London, with others in Japan and Berlin. Though several Jermyn Street outfitters stock some of these items, Sunspel’s dedicated focus on the clothing closest to the skin has earned it, I think, a claim on the attention of anyone strolling down the street, if only to stop in and feel the smooth, lightweight cotton: either Egyptian or Sea Island, woven and gassed, or passed over a flame, to help it retain a matte finish rather than become shiny over time. A majority of the products are made at the bursting old Long Eaton factory, with others coming from similarly high-skilled small factories in Turkey and Portugal. A lot of handwork and special skills go into their making. Two salesmen tell me of the abilities of one woman charged with handling the precious and difficult Sea Island cotton. Fitted T-shirts from the stuff sell for no less than £165, in contrast to those made from Egyptian, at £65 to £80. It is all expensive casual wear that is made to last as much as feel fabulous.
Customers can at least know that they are helping a company survive that supports British manufacturing and has deep Victorian roots in Nottinghamshire. Trained to make women’s hosiery, Thomas Hall decided in 1860 to find a way to create luxury men’s undergarments. His was one of the first firms to produce T-shirts. In the 1930s, Sunspel developed a cellulock fabric using the old lace-making machines in Long Eaton, and it is that same light breathable fabric that they are now making for their open-mesh T-shirts. Thanks to U. S. Army influence, Sunspel is also famous for first introducing boxer shorts to the UK in 1947 and for a 1985 advertisement where Nick Kamen took off his Levis to reveal Sunspel boxers, convincing the majority of the nation’s young men that boxer shorts were better than briefs. Sunspel boxers are one inch shorter than the originals. Despite its success with European and rock star royalty and its international market, particularly in Hong Kong and Calcutta, Sunspel was still just a wholesale business when Nicholas Brook and Dominic Hazlehurst bought the company in 2005, having no retail stores and producing no outerwear. It started growing almost immediately and is still a family-run business. The next year brought the James Bond film, Casino Royale, with Daniel Craig wearing Sunspel’s navy blue Riviera polo made of warp-knit cotton (£85). This shirt is based on Sunspel’s 1950s Riviera polo, with a soft-collar and three buttons. It now has only two buttons. Simplicity is in everything Sunspel does. There are no logos, no decorations, no prints even.
I have to be honest, I love these shoes and this shop with its friendly staff. It opened in September 2014, one of five Cheaney shops in London. The shop has won a fair amount of praise in the press for a design that is focused entirely on the making of the shoes, with wooden lasts hanging on the walls, two displays showing the distinct parts of the shoe, one from the side and one above, and a model of the Northamptonshire factory placed in the center of the shop. A portrait of the business’s 1886 founder, Joseph Cheaney hangs with one of his son in Perspex plastic boxes, and his long white beard marks him out in another photo on the factory floor, where in apron and hat, he is clearly just pausing amid work and piles of leather. The range and quality of the shoes could hardly be more impressive, and, for the quality, Cheaney’s prices are among the lowest on Jermyn Street, which is quickly becoming as known for its shoes as its shirts. Cheaney has long made shoes for other brands, like Gieves & Hawkes of Savile Row. With their beveled fiddleback waists, the hand-painted soles of their Imperial range are almost as beautiful as the distinguished black or brown uppers (£433). Since cousins Jonathan and William Church bought out the brand from Prada in 2009, Cheaney has sought to sell their fine shoes at a lower price than their competitors (about £70 less than Church’s for the same style) while providing a wide variety of shoes, from classic to unfamiliar twists on brogues and loafers. You can find at the Jermyn Street shop everything from James II three-tone wingtip brogues (£292) and Berkeley whole cut oxfords in blue calf leather(£354) to burgundy penny loafers (£292) and burnished olive balmoral boots (£354).
Opened in February 2015 as part of the St. James’s Gateway redevelopment project, La Martina is one of the newest and largest stores on Jermyn Street, with two dark wood-paneled floors devoted to everything polo, including of course, the elegant casual dress of the polo spectators. Unlike the other newer shops on Jermyn Street, La Martina is not British but Argentinian, founded in 1985 by Lando Simonetti in Buenos Aires. But Polo is popular in the UK, especially among the royals and at Oxford and Cambridge, and for some time La Martina has been selling its wares at Harrods and its Pro-Shop at Windsor Park’s Guards Polo Club, the grandest polo club in Europe. With the new store, La Martina now has the space to showcase not only its gorgeous saddles, buffalo boots and other highly technical polo equipment, but also a small womenswear range and, designed by Simon Lloyd Fish, its new St. James’s Collection. This collection of refined casual menswear is being made in London’s East End, which is in keeping with Crown Estate priorities for the redevelopment. La Martina executives repeatedly state in the press that they chose to locate in St. James’s because of its tradition of high-quality tailoring. When I met Simon, who trained on Savile Row, he took pains to show me not only the braces and silk ties of the new collection but also how it incorporates equestrian features, such as the fishtail backs and lycra in its trousers and the shaping in its blazers. Unusual on Jermyn Street, the menswear range and the sporting goods are designed to appeal to sports-minded men in their twenties as well as the street’s more traditional clientele.
Though Waterstones is part of a chain, it would be a mistake to walk by this multi-story bookstore and not give it at least a look. It is the largest bookstore in the UK, the largest Waterstones in Europe and the building is considered one of the finest built in Britain in 1936, when it famously opened as Simpson’s, a department store devoted to menswear. The 1970s British TV series Are You Being Served? is indeed based on this store. Today it houses an excellent range of books on men’s fashion and style, including a fair amount of historical material, as well as enough books on the rules of dress and etiquette to satisfy the most punctilious gentlemen in St. James’s.
For those who don’t want to spend more than £100 for four shirts and especially those who are looking for a little or a lot more color that can be found at T. M. Lewin or Charles Tyrwhitt, Hawes & Curtis would be the desired destination. Recently, some individual shirts were on sale for as little as £17.95, the lowest price I have seen for a shirt on the street for a while. Both Hawes & Curtis and T. M. Lewin shirts come in four fits, with the Hawes & Curtis slim fit being slightly less small in the waist than the T. M. Lewis fully fitted; but the Hawes & Curtis extra slim fit providing a slightly smaller waist than that of the T. M. Lewin super-fitted. So if a certain kind of fit is a priority, then the only answer it to visit all three stores and try on the same size shirt. I have heard that Hawes & Curtis shirts tend not to last quite as long as those of T. M. Lewin, being of a slightly thinner material. Most of the shirts are two-ply cotton 100s, so there may be no truth to the story of their relatively shorter lifespan. Plus, the fantastic variety in fabric styles provides customers with the chance to buy limited edition shirts in floral, paisley, check and spot designs — some with rounded white cutaway collars even — that will definitely make a statement.
Like Charles Tyrwhitt and T. M. Lewin, these shirts are not made in the UK, but that goes without saying because of the low prices. It is a brand with a great history, having been founded by Freddie Hawes and Ralph Curtis in 1913 and providing bespoke shirts for the likes of the Earl of Mountbatten, Fred Astaire, Cary Grant, Noel Coward and the dandyish Duke of Windsor, a lover of colorful shirts if ever there was one. It also introduced the backless evening waistcoat. No longer does the company make bespoke shirts, but it values its history and still seeks to provide a unique and somewhat daring flair. Merino V-neck sweaters in a range of hues including burgundy, sky blue, and green are going for £29 each, and braces (including those with pin dots) sell for £32. You can find navy suits with a large windowpane pattern; a brown and orange Harris tweed; and a dinner jacket with a satin peak lapel (£319). There are herringbone overcoats for as little as £159. Like an increasing number of products on the street, Hawes & Curtis’s shoes are made in Portugal. These sell for around £100.
This is one of my favorite shops on Jermyn Street for three reasons. One, the staff are equally knowledgeable and delightful. Two, in a glass case near the entrance, there is a stuffed cat in a black silk top hat named Binks who used to roam the shop until his death in 1926. Three, I adore hats; this is the only hat shop on Jermyn Street, and, though it is officially a man’s hat, I have been wearing one of their chocolate brown trilbies (called a “Charlie”) for most of the last year, about three times a week. I feel great every time I put it on. Bates only sells men’s hats (with the bows on the left), and it has been selling hats on Jermyn Street since its opening in 1898. The world almost lost Bates in 2009 when it needed to be closed and moved for the block to be redeveloped, and its owners could not afford the move. It was saved by Michael Booth, the owner of the shirtmaker Hilditch & Key, who had been wearing Bates hats for years and preferred to buy the business rather than see it go under.
Bates remains a family business dedicated to providing both the highest quality hats and capturing the latest trends. The felts are all made from animal fur: Spanish rabbit for some trilbies and medium-sized fedoras (£145-£225); extra-wide brimmed Czech antelope fedoras (£225); or the luxurious Canadian beaver trilbies (£450) that keep water out and heat in and can exist 36 hours rolled up in the coat pocket without losing their ability to snap back into perfect shape. Although they do brilliantly sober blacks and greys, Bates has always been known for providing more colorful hats than its closest competitors. You can find amazing fedoras in wine red, forest green or creamy beige, as well as flat caps in flashy stripes. The bulk of their caps are attractive tweeds but they do them as well in leather and cashmere (£120-145), and in every style imaginable, deerstalker, baker boy, Donegal, slouch, Tam O’Shanter. Summer brings flat caps in cotton, silk and linen (£60-£80) and the most exciting range of Panamas conceivable, including the world’s most expensive at a whopping £12,000. It sits in another glass case and is brought out regularly so that all can admire the miraculously fine weave of its toquilla straw. There are Panama trilbies and fedoras of several grades, from the superfino at £3500 to soft bleached fedora that can be rolled up (£245) to narrow-brimmed trilby with a teardrop crown that looks decidedly fashionable (£225). I must not fail to mention the homburgs, bowlers, top hats and velvet smoking caps. No tradition is lost here.
Attractive, well-made, and reasonably priced for Jermyn Street, Barker shoes compete directly with those Goodyear-welted ones of Cheaney and Church’s, and the best way to decide between them is simply to see and try on the shoes. Barker shoes have their own unique flair. The toes seem a little more pointed, a little more continental. The Barker McClean Paisley, a brown brogue with laser-etched paisley designs, caught my eye (£230). Go upstairs in this shop to seek out the most contemporary designs — like the blue suede Detroit, a derby sneaker with cross-hatched stitching, broguing and an electric blue rubber sole (£225). Besides the two in Moscow, Barker has four stores in London, with a larger Regent Street store nearby. The company began in 1880 with one Arthur Barker, a bootmaker in Earls Barton, Northamptonshire, whose peg-sole boots won wide approval for being fairly waterproof, as the pegs would swell when the boots got wet. By World War I, Barker’s factory was furnishing the British army with boots, and today its large factory in Earl Barton draws on highly-skilled local workers to produce over 200,000 shoes a year. Barker is owned by an international group.
With its little brass plates to the side of the blue doors, this highly exclusive, members-only club is easily missed, but it’s worth a mention as the noteworthy haunt of the celebrity A-list from the 1970s. Mick Jagger, Joan Collins, Rod Stewart, Keith Moon and Michael Caine were all regulars at the club, known for its fantastic music and popular owner, Johnny Gold, who kept the place swinging for over thirty years. Opened in 1969, the club’s relaxed dress code and slightly louche air gave it an advantage over perceived stuffier places.
Replacing the old restaurant on this site, 45 Jermyn St. opened in 2015, declaring by its name and its style that Fortnum & Mason sees Jermyn Street as a place where people like to stop for a little while, have light but exquisite and good wine, and then rush back out to the busy world again. Surrounded by large windows, its interior decorated with comfortable orange leather booths and lots of brass and glass, the restaurant possesses a distinct glamour with a soft retro feel. Everything I’ve eaten here is excellent and creative, though so far I have only ordered vegetarian dishes and some rich desserts, like the Valrhona Caraibe chocolate bomb, which I sadly could not finish. I can highly recommend the pumpkin ravioli with pine nuts and sage, as well as the roasted aubergine with wilted Treviso and goats cheese. The prices strike me as a fraction less than the smart restaurants on the west end of the street, but the servings tending here to be smaller as well. It has such pleasant, open setting, and its bar stools invite one to a very classy drink, far from the crowded pubs nearby.
Come here first for the luxury leather bags; secondly, for the incredible range of accessories smoking and otherwise; and thirdly, for the clothes, which are of course what you mainly see when you walk by the display windows. The manly fragrances are likewise well worth a sniff (£57 – £90). Made in nearby Walthamstow, some of the world’s finest leather bags are available through the bespoke service offered here. There is likewise a fabulous range of leather bags made in Italy that are available in the store, from large suitcases and alligator holdalls to all sorts of briefcases to small, classy backpacks and toiletry bags. The chassis billfolds and cardcases are a Dunhill feature, recalling the firm’s historical roots in the business of “motorities”, or accessories for motor vehicles. The early twentieth century saw the company expanding into tobacco products and accessories so that the gentleman driver could enjoy a smoke at the wheel, and although the Jermyn Street store no longer sells cigars, it continues to contain a range of noteworthy pipes and lighters. For £2125, you can buy a pipe adorned by the head of a silver tiger with real ruby eyes, and the least expensive pipe sells for £295. All pipes are made in Dunhill’s London factory. Alfred Dunhill supplied the Sean Connery’s James Bond with gunmetal cigarette lighter in 1962, and the Rollagas lighters continue to be some of the most elegant on the market. Regarding their tasteful, subdued line of suiting, Dunhill offers both a bespoke and made-to-measure service, along with a solid number of dark, high-quality, ready-to-wear business suits. Some of their overcoats are to die for. I drooled over a double-breasted camel coat at £1650. Similarly subdued are the shirts and ties, the latter coming mainly in olive, navy, burgundy and brown. There are proper tweed (£1250) and corduroy sports jackets in tan and navy (£1425). Some of their big striped winter sweaters are most appealing, especially a navy and bronze one made of cashmere, mulberry silk and mohair (£590), to be worn with a navy corduroy shirt (£190).
Boggi has one of largest retail spaces for menswear on Jermyn Street, with two floors that carry just about every item of dress needed from smart casual to formal, from leather jackets to dinner jackets, and just about everything else in between, including business suits, belts, shoes, shorts, polo shirts, knitted ties, jeans, sweaters, cologne, and, of course, shirts. You won’t find a vast range of shirts here, but you’ll find affordable ones between £69 (made in China) or £99 (made in Italy). Boggi considers itself a classic brand, not a chaser of fashion, but with enough Italian style always to seem on trend. The lightweight unstructured summer jackets caught my eye, in linen, cotton, or a mixture of the two, one with a patch pocket at £495. In general, Boggi’s clothes are cut for relatively slim men, what the store manager calls “average” size. Also, they are among the most affordable and stylish outfitters anywhere, less expensive than the British brand Hackett, which also has a shop on the street. There is a wide price range, with cashmere fused jackets selling for £495 and fully canvassed ones made of Loro Piana cloth for £795. Boggi does not make its own clothes, and a growing percentage of their things are made in Romania or China, though its renowned suppliers are all Italian, like Lardini, Lubiam, Tagliatore, Caruso, and Flannel Bay. Boggi is relatively new to the U.K, although the company was founded in 1939. Its takeover in 2003 by the Zaccardi brothers signalled a huge international expansion, now counting well over a hundred stores worldwide. One of Boggi’s two stores in London, the Jermyn Street store opened in 2009, when several more stores were predicted. On Jermyn Street, Boggi’s offerings represent a sleek, relaxed alternative to the somewhat more structured and, in some cases, more colourful British styles.
Straddling both sides of the Piccadilly Arcade, New & Lingwood is perhaps most noted for its eye-poppingly decadent dressing gowns, very interesting socks, fabulous striped boating jackets in the spring and summer and, in the autumn and winter, the most distinctive tweed and tartan jackets on the street. There is more color in this small, two-story store than in any other, with Turnbull & Asser running a close second. Some of the corduroy trousers and raincoats seem to leap out in purples, oranges and lime greens. But there are plenty of subtler tones for the less adventurous. New & Lingwood can be very serious and sober, but it is the evident fun in so many of the clothes that makes it stand out. It is said to have the largest collection of different styles of braces in any shop in Europe. My eye was drawn to ones that are navy and lavender striped; burgundy with tan trip and blue and green peacock feathers; boxcloth felt in yellow, pink and red (most selling around £95). Those who are convinced that trousers always hang better with braces rather than a belt can find all the support they need here. Scarves in delicious colors and designs made from Italian or Macclesfield silk (£195-£295) are tied up ladders. On the counter, next to a bowl of bright pocket squares, a small leather case contains every color of cufflink, plus miniature bow ties selling for £15. It’s almost a sweet shop of menswear. The online catalogue doesn’t begin to give a fair representation of what can be found here.
For absolutely stunning dressing gowns decorated with flowers, fruits and geometric patterns, New & Lingwood again carries home the trophy on the street, but be prepared to spend between £995 and £2500 for the privilege of owning one. Jackets tend to be priced between £595 and £795 with trousers at £155-£350, including a range of tartan and check designs. If you’d like a black cape of cashmere and wool with silver clasps in the shape of lion heads, look no further (£995). Moreover, this is the only shop offering a frock coat this season, and its red and burgundy tapestry design is accompanied by matching waistcoat and trousers. The shop’s history goes back more than 150 years to Miss Elizabeth New and Mr. Samuel Lingwood, who opened their first shop in Eton, soon becoming official outfitters to Eton College. Sitting dashingly across from Beau Brummell’s statue at the entrance of the Piccadilly Arcade, New & Lingwood’s Jermyn Street shop is the company’s one other store. It has maintained a presence on the street since 1922, and one can hardly imagine it anywhere else. Don’t forget to climb the stairs past all the old Eton photos and see the classic boots and shoes.
I have only good things to say about this legendary restaurant, whose origin can be traced back to 1742 when George William Wilton was selling oysters, cockles and shrimp in nearby Haymarket. Wilton eventually opened a small shop that catered to such costermongers who in turn fed the poor when shellfish was a staple of their diet. Though it cannot in fairness be called London’s oldest restaurant since Wilton’s Oyster Rooms in St. James’s did not exist until 1840, Wilton’s lays fair claim to serving the finest oysters in London. Whether eaten at the bar with champagne or at table before the main meal, the oysters are guaranteed to be flawlessly served, as renowned oysterman Sammy Tamsanguan, winner of several British oyster-opening competitions, cracks open and checks every single one.
Wilton’s has a reputation for great oystermen, ever since Jimmy Marks was employed by Olaf Hambro during World War II. Owned by the Hambro banking group since 1941, Wilton’s was acquired by Olaf Hambro when a Luftwaffe bomb fell on St. James’s Church while he was sitting at the Wilton’s bar, having his daily serving of oysters. Owner Mrs. Bessie Leal declared the restaurant closed indefinitely, so Hambro asked her to put Wilton’s itself on his tab. Stuffy this restaurant is not, but it can seem old-fashioned in a pleasant, courteous sort of way. During my lunch, I only saw one use of a mobile phone, and that was when a man sitting alone looked at his rather secretly on his lap under the table while waiting for his guest. Wilton’s is expensive and it obviously caters to the financially and politically successful, many of whom are regulars. The service is fabulous because, I think, the staff genuinely enjoy their work and there is a real family feeling to the place, watched over attentively by manager Michael Stokes, who has been at Wilton’s for 19 years. When I emerged from the restaurant after a chat with Michael and after dining on an oyster and three courses (tomato salad; gammon, spinach and mashed potatoes; raspberry and passion fruit sorbet), I was sure it must have been 2 pm, when in fact it was nearly 3. The hostess just smiled and said, “That happens here all the time.”
Sharing a street address with Wilton’s is John Smedley, one of two London locations specializing in knitwear for men and women. The shop, which opened in 2016 and is one of the newest on Jermyn Street, features virtually any knitted garment you can imagine from socks and hats to polos, cardigans and waistcoats, in a variety of materials, including Sea Island cotton, extra fine Merino wool, cashmere and silk. The company’s items are made in Great Britain and have been for 230 years through eight generations of the Smedley family, receiving a Royal Warrant of Appointment from the Queen in 2013. Nearly all items are available in the same wide range of staple colors–charcoal, indigo, midnight, silver and feather gray among others–making Smedley the perfect place to pick up coordinating items to create a variety of layering possibilities. Short sleeve polos run £120 to £155 depending on the material and line, with knit waistcoats also around £155 and long-sleeved cardigans running £160-£175.
The Sladmore Gallery is the first of several art purveyors clustered together on Jermyn Street; it specializes in bronze sculpture, particularly works by 19th- and 20th-century artists like Rodin, Maillol, and Degas. For more than fifty years, Sladmore has been making these works available to collectors, with contemporary artists represented at its other London location on Bruton Place. Exhibitions featuring specific artists take place annually.
Directly next to Sladmore is Simon Dickinson’s London branch (their other is in New York). Dickinson facilitates private sales of fine art from the Renaissance masterpieces to contemporary works and provides advisory services to collectors seeking the right art investment.
Weiss is third in the sequence of art galleries on the street. It specializes in paintings by Northern European Old Masters (16th to 18th century) including those from the Tudor and Stuart periods in Britain. Some of the most widely known are Van Dyck, Watteau, Hals, Gentileschi, and Holbein the Younger. In addition to selling these masterpieces, the gallery prides itself on producing catalogues of its collection that are consulted by scholars and collectors alike.
Located below the Weiss Gallery is Bespoke Cycling, whose name plays on the prevalence of custom tailoring in St. James. It is perhaps the one shop that you’d least expect to find on a street dedicated primarily to menswear. The company builds custom bicycles designed to fit the needs of its customers both in terms of their usage requirements and physical fit. This can involve a fitting session of 1.5 to 3 hours where the customer’s injury history, posture, and optimal riding position are taken into account. Data is collected using 3D mapping to calculate the rider’s optimal position and adjust the bike accordingly. Thus, given its emphasis on concern for fit details and the needs of the customer, its place on Jermyn Street is not so unusual after all.
This light, welcoming shop is J. M. Weston’s only one in the UK, so it’s a real destination place for those seeking out classic styles with an energetic French twist. One example is the company’s new Le Moc Weston range of penny loafers in soft, pliable leather in red, white, blue, sandy brown and light turquoise (£430). Made from a last that took two years to design, these loafers look like they would caress the foot beautifully without socks. Plus, they have a bit of history, as the original 180 Weston loafer developed in 1946 became de rigeur for the Dandies of La Bande du Drugstore, the rebel French mods of the early sixties who first wore them “barefoot”. Artistic director Michel Perry seeks out this energetic creativity through regular collaborations with guest designers. I have to admit I got excited by the results of his past work with Charlie Casely-Hayford, a hip menswear designer working in London’s East End with a real appreciation for Britain’s fashion heritage and an interest in imparting aspects of men’s dress to classically styled shoes: quilted blue or black loafers inspired by padded shooting jackets; and the double sole Derby in black and white Prince of Wales check; or triple sole with metallic calfskin edging — all purely leather, no fabric involved (from £490). In the back of the shop, by way of the glass-cased blue sharkskin loafers, exists an elegant private salon for made-to-order buying, where the customer can pause at length over such matters as perforation patterns and admire the French police boots. J. M. Weston is well suited for Jermyn Street, its heritage going back to 1891 when Edouard Blanchard founded a workshop in Limoges, where the factory is today. J. M. Weston is likewise the only shoemaker who owns two tanneries, one for uppers and one for soles. In 1922, Blanchard’s son Eugène met the flamboyant dandy Jean Viard at a Paris horse race, and this chance encounter led to the founding of the Parisian brand. Hence, Michel Perry’s interest in shaking things up through more quasi-cultural clashes is actually in keeping with a great tradition.
Great décor, excellent service, a hum of energy from the well-dressed clientele and beautiful Italian-accented dishes are what can be expected at Franco’s, which is owned by the Hambro family, like Wilton’s. In case its Englishness were any in doubt, tales of Winnie the Pooh and Christopher Robin were being played over speakers in the downstairs lavatory when I went for lunch, enough to set anyone in good spirits between courses. I went with a very choosy friend, so we took the opportunity to enjoy ourselves and sample quite a few dishes. We began with a beautifully creamy cheese burrata with mixed vegetables, followed by a tasty salmon tartare. The beef carpaccio captivated on a bed of rocket, enhanced by generous slices of parmesan, and the asparagus and truffle risotto was a thing of beauty in its texture and delicately balanced flavours. I can also recommend the grilled halibut, but tender veal medallions were beyond praise. Neither I nor my companion could think of any way on earth they could have been better. We had excellent prosecco and white wine, though Franco’s is famous for its rosés. Franco’s keeps moving all day, efficiently serving morning coffees, lunch, afternoon tea, dinner, and, it is said, the best breakfast on Jermyn Street. A wide range of newspapers are on hand in the morning, and a room with presentational facilities is available for business meetings. Moderately expensive for the St. James’s area, Franco’s is well worth a visit. The outdoor tables are highly prized and speak of a relaxation and pleasure that seems a world away from the hurry of Piccadilly. Story has it that the restaurant began in 1946 as Frank’s café, and then was sold to one of its waiters who happened to be Italian, hence, the name change.
Though technically on St. James’s Street, Davidoff Cigars’ flagship location has been a Jermyn Street institution for 35 years, and as such it remains the last of cigars shops on a street that had four in when it opened in 1980. Davidoff is owned and run by a father-and-son team, Edward and Eddie Sahakian, and it is rare that I stop by without receiving a friendly greeting from one or both of them. They know I am no cigar smoker, much less the kind of aficionado that can tell the difference between a Cohiba and a Montecristo. But this wonderful store caters to everyone, as members of the sales team are happy to enter into detailed conversations about how tobacco is grown or cigars rolled by hand. They will discuss cigar flavors at length, often in the walk-in humidor at the back of the shop, where the price of cigars ranges from about £8 to over £200 with 24 ct. gold leaf that will not melt when smoked. There is even a cigar over 80 years old. The store stocks a great number of Cuban cigars. Its Davidoff cigars are made in the Dominican Republic, however, ever since Zino Davidoff gave up on the Cubans in 1990. Along with the cigars and cigarillos, there is much to admire and even to amuse here. There are stunningly sleek lighters and pipes, plus humidors selling for several thousand pounds each. There are cigar-box guitars with three strings handmade by a musician. There is a wide range of rare single malt whiskeys. And there are canes with uniquely handles; one sports a pheasant’s head and another three frogs carved from a stag’s horn (£560). An Armenian refugee from Iran in 1980, Edward Sahakian playfully told a young lawyer between puffs of a Davidoff cigar that he would like his next career to be selling Davidoff cigars in London, as there was no franchise here at the time. The lawyer contacted the Switzerland headquarters, and the Sahakians have been selling cigars at the corner of Jermyn Street and St. James’s Street ever since. Cigars can be sampled on the premises or across Jermyn Street at one of Franco’s outdoor tables, where Davidoff’s cigars are regularly on display near faces beaming in enviable contentment.
Perhaps the most important things to say about Emma Willis’s shop is that it is her only shop and that, with her ready-to-wear prices starting at £200, she carries some of the most expensive shirts on Jermyn Street. You need to get to the shop to see and feel the quality of these shirts, made of Irish linen or Egyptian or Sea Island cotton (as opposed to “Sea Island Quality” cotton). The cotton is entirely milled in Switzerland by Alumo. Combining cotton with 15% cashmere, Willis’s cashmerello shirts were so appreciated by Colin Firth when he made The Railway Man that he bought two. Lightweight and cool, Willis’s shirts literally hang in the window, their sleeves rolled up, so you can admire the texture before walking in to the entirely female-staffed shop and basking in a heaven of pastel fabrics. The shirts are cut generously for clients who tend not to be looking for slim fits. Made-to-measure shirts start at £240 per shirt, and bespoke at £310, with a minimum order of three necessary and a four-week waiting time. In 2017, Emma Willis began offering a full bespoke tailoring service, with suits taking approximately two months to complete.
Perhaps the least important thing to say is that Emma Willis’s shop is the only shirt shop on Jermyn Street owned and run by a woman. Having trained as a shirt-tailor at Turnbull & Asser and then started her own business in 1987, Willis opened her shop on Jermyn Street in 2000, and she has learned to focus solely on offering the best quality shirts imaginable, and let that quality and the kind attentiveness of her staff sell the shirts. Her base of loyal customers is testimony to the accuracy of her vision. She likewise has gained a lot of worthy press and public praise for her charity, Style for Soldiers, which provides encouragement to injured servicemen and women returning to civilian life by means of bespoke shirts and walking sticks. In 2010, Willis opened her own factory in Gloucester, where her staff of 25 make all the luxury shirts, ties, boxer shorts, pyjamas dressing gowns and shooting socks available in her Jermyn Street store. Sponsored by Condé Nast, she has also started a sewing school because sewing is no longer taught in the fashion colleges, and her factory has so far employed five of its graduates.
This is the shoe store for country brogues, for big, chunky shoes that are sturdy and long-lasting while remaining cheerfully stylish. They have a unique, unmistakable look that is not for those who define elegance as understatement. Tricker’s solid country boots are popular with hunters, hence the fact that they sell leather rifle cases as well. Tricker’s has one store in the world. From 1925 on it was on Jermyn Street; since 1939 it has been where it is today. It has retained its charming original wall of wooden cabinets stretching from floor to ceiling, built in, of course, to hold all the shoes. In the hands of the fifth generation of the founding family, Tricker’s is the oldest independent shoe retailer on the street, started in 1829 by Joseph Barltrop in Northampton and named Tricker’s when his son married a woman with that more salable surname in 1862. The little shop is very proud of its royal warrant from the Prince of Wales, which hangs on the back wall to indicate they have been serving His Royal Highness for over twenty years. Its Northamptom factory with 90 employees produces 1400 shoes a week. Seventy percent of its business is in exporting its shoes around the world. The shoes are all Goodyear-welted, with the added strength that the layers of the dainite sole can be built up to 13 mm thick. These are fairly roomy shoes, with rounded lasts and more depth and width than most shoes, attracting the feet of Arnold Schwarzenegger’s among others. Thanks to its connection with another shoemaker, Tricker’s even can create bespoke shoes for a mere £1200, which is peanuts around here where bespoke shoes start at £3000, but you need to allow six months for them to be ready. Tricker’s does sell some proper city shoes as well, like its black Dunlop oxford, that are perfectly respectable, with a sturdy beauty all their own (£395).
Duchamp’s shop on Jermyn Street is tiny and perhaps too easily overlooked. It’s often open when its other competitors at the high end of the street (near St. James’s Street and St. James’s Palace) are not, such as when I took shelter there from the rain to admire its blazingly beautiful ties and shirts printed with little race cars, flowers, butterflies or paisley motifs. That’s what Duchamp is known for, uniquely vibrant ties and shirts and, of course, cufflinks, which are still made today by the same Birmingham craftsman. Mitchell Jacobs was inspired to found the business back in 1987, when he came across 10,000 vintage cufflinks in a Paris flea market. He was studying Dadaism at the same time, so he opted to name his very British company after the French surrealist artist Marcel Duchamp. He has been quoted saying in an Oscar Wildean way: “Duchamp turned everyday objects into art and I turned everyday icons of men’s fashion into wearable art.” People still make the mistake of thinking Duchamp is a French brand; it is now run by a Scottish couple, Marc and Alison Psarolis, and has an Italo-Edinburghian as its designer, Gianni Colarossi. At their Jermyn Street boutique (opened in 2008), Duchamp manages fit in a few suits, trousers, and some very fashionable jackets, along with the socks, pocket squares, shirts, ties and cufflinks. The bold silk ties (£80 to £110) are woven by an 18th century Suffolk-based company, one of the oldest silk-weaving businesses in the UK. The shirts are largely made in Portugal from cotton woven in Italy (ready-to-wear prices range from £85 for a pale poplins to £150 for floral jacquard prints. Some have high, contrast collars, and the solids often have fabulous prints on the contrasting inside collars and cuffs, with contrasting blue buttons or bright yellow stitching on a single cuff buttonhole. In the little details Duchamp has so much of its fun, like the silk rims on the inner shirt collar.
One of two Crockett & Jones shoe shops on Jermyn Street, this is the company’s very first retail shop, opened in 1997. It is much smaller than the flagship store in the centre of the street. See no. 92, Crockett & Jones, for more information.
T&A, as it is affectionately known, has a long and storied history that goes back to 1885 when it was founded by Reginald Turnbull and Ernest Asser as a hosiery shop. It moved to its current location on Jermyn Street in 1903, eventually focusing on shirts before expanding to offer a full range of menswear. Though uncredited, Turnbull & Asser was catapulted into the public eye by word of mouth after outfitting Sean Connery in all his James Bond films, particularly in spread collar shirts made of Sea Island cotton with turn-back “cocktail” cuffs. Prince Charles also obtains his shirts there and issued his very first royal warrant to the company in 1980. These days, T&A are still primarily known as shirtmakers, with their Sea Island versions running £255 and both classic and slim fit cotton sold at £195.
Because it possesses an outstanding shirt tailor, David Gale, Hilditch & Key may arguably be the best place in London to have a bespoke shirt made. When Gale arrived from next door Turnbull & Asser several months ago, Hilditch & Key decided to make him visible from the shop window as he measured and cut shirts on a large glass table, his working figure framed by displays of a wide variety of named collar styles and cuff styles. It is impressive, as is the price for bespoke shirts: £225 with a minimum order of four. Their competitors in this rarefied market – Turnbull & Asser, Harvie & Hudson, New & Lingwood, Emma Willis, Budd in Piccadilly Arcade — all charge more. For those concerned that Mr. Gale will retire in the not too distant future, the good news is that Hilditch & Key has hired a young apprentice, Wil Whiting, who is currently dedicating himself to learning all he can from the grandmaster.
Hilditch & Key began as a shirt company back in 1899, when Charles Hilditch and Graham Key opened their own shop on Tottenham Court Road and soon made a name for themselves by travelling to the universities to meet and measure undergraduates keen on maintaining a smart appearance. They soon moved to the St. James’s area and in 1907 felt prosperous enough to expand to Paris, where the one other Hilditch & Key store remains. Discretion and understatement are trademarks with Hilditch & Key. The staff refrain from mentioning celebrity shirt-buyers past and present – though it is hard online to avoid images of Karl Lagerfeld in H&K high collars – and, with the exception of Lagerfeld’s, the shirts on the whole refrain from calling attention to themselves. The website proclaims that “a shirt shouldn’t shout . . . it should whisper,” a strong suggestion to men seeking bold bright stripes and patterns to look elsewhere. With tiny stitches and triangular gussets, the quality of the shirts is strong for ready-to-wear and the prices reflect that (£135 for classic up to £195 for Sea Island quality). Beautiful understated accessories abound as well, including ties, belts, cufflinks, undershorts, umbrellas and, for the man who enjoys keeping some of his elegance to himself, collar stays in mother-of-pearl or real silver.
Proof that Jermyn Street really does cater to almost every male need lies here, at one of London’s oldest shaving establishments, where a man can buy the finest imaginable products for shaving, brushing and nail clipping, plus get a haircut (£40) and hot-towel wet shave (£40) in the back of shop from one of a team of friendly, long-serving barbers. The shop is truly crowded with shaving accouterments, and there are always three or four members of the sales staff on hand to discuss all types of badger hairbrushes and shaving cream. They know the products pretty much sell themselves. I am told that most people go straight for the traditional sandalwood shaving cream (£10.95), whose scent is said to perfume any bathroom. Great things are likewise said about both Taylor’s avocado and lavender creams, and it has recently introduced a fragrance-free organic shaving cream (£13.95) that can claim to be 95% made of raw materials. There are over thirty different shaving brushes available, all but a single synthetic one made of badger hair and ranging in price from £21.95 (for a comparatively coarse brush made from the back or leg hair) to £145 (for the extra-large handmade super badger brush made from silver-tipped neck hair). Along with aftershaves and colognes, a wide variety of Fusion and Mach 3 razors is available, some with real ivory and nickel handles, for which elegant little stands are provided to hold razor and brush. There are likewise honeycomb sponges, deodorants, soaps, fine manicure sets, leather toiletry bags, mirrors, clothes and shoe brushes and long shoe horns made from actual horn. Like so many of the wonderful businesses on the street, Taylor has been in existence since the mid-nineteenth century and is still in the same family’s hands. The current chairman is the great grandson of founder Jeremiah Taylor, whose son Sidney first opened the Jermyn Street store. This store is the company’s sole retail outlet.
There are only three Edward Green shops in the world, one in Tokyo, one in Paris and this one on Jermyn Street; yet, if you didn’t know the reputation of the shoes for beauty and high craftsmanship, this little shop could so easily be passed by as one that does not look particularly inviting and may seem even a little stuffy. Yet I was delighted to meet one salesman who could not only explain when to wear patent evening pumps (£400) but then enlarge upon how Beau Brummell — whose statue is in sight of the shop window — set this intriguingly persistent fashion. What must be said right away is that Edward Green shoes are the most expensive ready-to-wear shoes on the street, so I asked how the price was justified. There is a lot of time involved in making a shoe, I was told, with the Northampton factory only producing about 300 pairs a week, compared with somewhere like Crockett & Jones, which could make a few thousand. Goodyear welting was mentioned, but then Cheaney, Crockett & Jones, and J. W. Weston do that. The soft leather lining and backing around the heel cup is admirable, as is the hand-stitching on the Norwegian uppers.
The range of shoes in the shop is very good, including rugged country boots and velvet slippers as well as those patent evening pumps, one pair even with red trim and red bows. Belts, wallets and wispy soft grey cashmere scarves also caught my attention. Then we talked lasts, the chiseled toe, how the shoes are stretched over the last and kept there for some time to retain their discreetly elegant shape. Edward Green customers often report that no other shoes provide a better fit around the heel or more support for the arches, and that their Edward Green shoes have endured as long as 25 or 30 years. Established in 1890, Edward Green can claim to have served the feet of Cole Porter, Ernest Hemingway and the Duke of Windsor. When Czech émigré shoemaker John Hlustik bought the company for £1 in 1982, he improved the quality and began to burnish and antique some of the shoes, techniques you can now find evidence of in the less expensive Cheaney shoes at the other end of Jermyn Street. Hlustik is also reputed to have made brown shoes acceptable to British gentlemen. Nowadays they might prefer the bluette suede on offer.
There are just two Longmire shops and they are around the corner from one another, one at 12 Bury Street and the other here, on Jermyn Street and almost wholly devoted to gold, silver and steel cufflinks, many of them beautifully enameled. Reputedly one of world’s top designers of cufflinks, Longmire’s merchandise is priced from £90 for contemporary steel designs, to just over £200 for silver hand-enameled pairs, like the solid red, green or blue Grid, to as much as £23,400 for the Diamond Square, a one-off item comprised of 21 diamonds that sits in the back of the shop alongside other fantastic gem sets. The ruby snake cufflink with emerald eyes or the jade snake with diamond eyes (£7,700) might catch your eyes first, though. Longmire makes 4 or 5 cuff links of some designs, such as their quirky animals ones, which include Cool Pig, a hand-carved pink opal pig head wearing onyx sunglasses (£3,900); and Fox, a hand-carved yellow opal head with an onyx nose, both mounted with 18k yellow gold (£4,470). One of the most popular is the stunning orange-and-white Clownfish, in cornelian and cachalong (£4,470). The ladybird/bug cufflinks are equally striking for the color and curve of the enamel: a Longmire signature piece hand-painted in red and black enamel on hand-engraved white gold (£4,240). An even more prominent signature set is the stirrups, based on a 1930s design that’s updated and available in silver and rubber (£550), rose gold or yellow gold (£2,940), a giant-sized rose gold (£6,700), to stirrups inlaid with rubies and sapphires for as much as (£20,000).
Longmire’s top seller at the Jermyn Street shop is its blue-and-gold basket cuff links, a rich hand-enameled royal blue oval spotted and framed in 18k gold (£2,500). A similar design in silver is available for just over £200. For gifts, the steel snooker set does well, providing 20 different spheres in 10 colors, so that the wearer can change wear a different color every day (£350). Independently owned, Longmire began in 1980, when Paul Longmire decided to buy out another jewelry business on Bury Street that had been supplying the Royal Family for many decades. Cufflink sellers abound in the nearby arcades, but for those looking for the highest possible quality in a cuff link, Longmire reigns supreme.
This is the place to go if you’re interested in buying a historic tapestry or rug, for this is one of the world’s foremost dealers in textiles, and their collection is vast and glorious, spanning centuries . No one should miss the chance at least to pause and look at the window displays, which are always stunning and replete with historical description. Eighteenth century Chinese tapestries may be hanging one month, only to be replaced with 1930s modernist rugs the next.
No. 82, Hawes & Curtis
Everything at this store is also sold at the larger flagship store, no. 33-34, including the range of suits and formal wear.
Go here just to think about buying bespoke shoes. Take long perusals over the archival shoes in the glass display cases, some of them over 100 years old. Note the tiny number of stitches per inch. You won’t see handsomer historic models anywhere, the faded leather toes being a special Foster & Son trademark. Mounted by the front door, the lasts belonging to Paul Newman, Clark Gable, Fred Astaire and Charlie Chaplin declare the name this firm had for itself by the mid-20th century among the Hollywood elites. Royal warrants on the walls confirm the firm’s prestige, its back room filled with ledgers listing such clients as J. J. Astor, Edward VII, the Royal Hussars, and Viceroy of India’s bodyguard. Foster & Son claims to be one of the oldest bespoke shoemakers in London, its history going back to 1750, when Henry Maxwell began as a spurrier before becoming a bootmaker. Its own name dating from 1840, Foster & Son bought out the bootmaker Henry Maxwell in 1999, and ever since its fine collection of antique spurs have likewise claimed attention.
Foster & Son is the only bespoke shoemaker on Jermyn Street, and those shoes are still largely made on the premises, in the little workshop above the store, reached by stairs crowded with hanging lasts and rolls of strong smelling leather. Having personally trained under the legendary Terry Moore, Foster’s Jon Spencer is one of the few lastmakers in the world still using the traditional large blade to begin carving the last for clients. The following steps — making the paper patterns, sewing the uppers on an ancient sewing machine, punching out the holes by hand for brogues, carefully stitching together the oak-tanned leather soles to the Goodyear welt, polishing the finished product – are just some of those that happen on site. Bespoke shoes cost £3000 and upwards and take at least eight months to make, thanks to the backlog of work. Shoes from the ready-to-wear are all Goodyear-welted, made in Northamptonshire factories and sell around £410. The “semi-bespoke” shoes are made with a higher grade of leather on specially designed Foster lasts with the famously elegant chiseled toes and fiddle waists in the soles (£725). You can even order some of these shoes like the Fawley specially faded for an extra £125, thus imitating Foster’s 1960s bespoke Classic, “The Chaves.”
Among the ankle boots, spare a thought both for the Lambourne, a Jodhpur riding boot with a strap and buckle around the ankle, and for the Montrose Edwardian (£495), with suede around the ankle and laces and leather toes, inspired by an old Foster button boot. There are also beautiful leather belts (£85 to £135) plus stunning leather briefcases, portfolios, soft leather bags (£475) and a range of suitcases (£2150) which can be repaired at the shop. Handsome wallets (£165) and card cases (£85) likewise proclaim outstanding quality. Made slim for the dinner jacket with three slots for credit cards and a small notepad, the evening wallet came from an idea of the chairman and owner Richard Edgecliffe-Johnson and is exclusive to Foster & Son (£220). Edgecliffe-Johnson is determined to keep the Foster & Son brand unique: “The only place you can buy our products is in our shop and at our trunk shows.”
On Jermyn Street, Thomas Pink is in the middle in every sense, in price, quality and location. Its lowest price shirt is of the non-iron variety at £70, with the rest its shirts starting at £90 up to £225. Thomas Pink’s closest competitors in terms of price are New & Lingwood, Duchamp, and Grosvenor, with Harvie & Hudson coming in a little less and Emmett a little more. Of course Thomas Pink is better known internationally than these competitors, so a trip to Jermyn Street provides an easy opportunity to compare and discover if any one shop seems to be providing a better fit or better value for money. The bulk of Thomas Pink’s criticism online surrounds this one question, whether their shirts are actually worth their price, but again, on Jermyn Street, their price does not look the least excessive. The store itself is impressive, large and open, with light wooden floors and dark wooden cabinets, the shirts displayed without sizes so that speaking to a member of the staff for help is an immediate necessity. That’s the way Thomas Pink likes it, encouraging customer engagement with the attentive sales team. Thomas Pink provides four different fits for its shirts, classic, slim, super slim and athletic. Made with 3% elastane, the athletic shirt is made with a larger chest than the super slim and can stretch itself to suit bulging bicep if necessary. With longer tails and French or button cuffs, the Imperial Shirts are their most expensive, priced between £175 and £225, and, unlike all other shirts Thomas Pink sells, these two-fold 200s are made in the U.K., by Smyth & Gibson in Londonderry. If you need a white shirt but have few priorities beyond that one fact, the White Shirt Bar at Thomas Pink is a great place to start, with 18 different styles of white shirts. The casual shirts are also worth looking at, with a range to suit both the conservative and those who like a bolder, brighter check (£89-£99). There is also a made-to-order service.
Ever since its founding in 1983, Hackett has been closely associated with its namesake, Jeremy Hackett, who together with Ashley Lloyd-Jennings began selling second-hand clothes found in markets when the trends of the 1960s and 1970s had made traditional styles outmoded and traditional workmanship underrated. Today there are four Hackett stores in London, worldwide there are over 70, and Hackett is partly owned by a LVMH subsidiary. The clothes now are not made in the UK, and, partly as a result, the prices tend to be in the middle range for Jermyn Street, with business suits costing around £550 and up, sweaters just over £100, and not very vibrant ties between £65 and £100. True to their old slogan coined by Hackett himself declaring that “Essential British Kit” is on offer, traditional-looking clothes with a slightly Edwardian flare are always available, including tweed jackets and full morning dress, as well as a nice sampling of hats and pocket squares. There is usually a nice £500-plus Loro Piana jacket or two on offer as well.
John Lobb began his business in the mid-19th century making and selling boots to Australian gold miners (hence the company’s original name “John Lobb Bootmaker.” Bolstered by his success, Lobb opened a London shop in 1866, and the company expanding to Paris in 1902. All John Lobb stores were bought out by the Hermès Group in the 1970s with the exception of bespoke location at 9 St. James’s Street, which is still run by the Lobb family. The Jermyn Street shop only offers ready-to-wear shoes. Traditional styles are available with loafers £640 and up (£7,335 for a crocodile loafer) and monk straps at £895, but some designs tend toward the contemporary and edgy: double monks sporting thick lug soles (the William II, £495), a minimalist whole cut single monk strap (the Swyre, £1,355) and the Levah fashion sneaker with gum rubber sole (£465). Customers can also avail themselves of a unique “By Request” service where they can have shoes made from an archive of 100 archival Lobb styles. For those not seeking shoes, Lobb also sells belts and small leather goods.
Enough good things cannot be said about Floris, the oldest shop on Jermyn Street and the oldest independent perfume house in the world. Floris, moreover, actually introduced the perfume business to England. In 1730, Juan Famenias Floris realised a dream he had had ever since coming to England from Minorca and working as a barber on Jermyn Street. With the dowry from his marriage, he and wife Elizabeth opened the shop across from St. James’s Church and there it has remained ever since, undergoing a refurbishment in 2017. Spanish mahogany cabinets from the 1851 Great Exhibition fill both sides of shop space across a sloping red-carpeted floor. Time would almost seem to have stopped, but wave upon wave of recently sprayed fragrance fills the air, and giant fresh bouquets declare that attention is being paid to details. Floris’s first major success came from a unisex scent called Limes, introduced in 1760 and still sold today. Indeed, three-fourths of Floris’s fragrances are regularly bought by male customers, one-fourth being devoted entirely to men. The company’s bestselling fragrance is No. 89 (the shop’s address), created in 1951 to the delight of its most famous buyer, Ian Fleming. Thus, it only takes a spray of the sampler and the scent of an eternal James Bond can be appreciated. Two other must-tries are Elite and JF, which contain, like No. 89, woody or musky base notes. People are often surprised the fragrances are not more expensive. A large bottle of eau de toilette sells for £80, and a smaller one for £60. Aftershave and aftershave balms are also available in the scents particularly for men. A unisex favorite is No. 127, created by the Russian Duke of Orloff in the 1890s and beloved by both Winston Churchill and Eva Peron. Oscar Wilde’s Malmaison has had to be changed to Malmaison Encore because of ingredient regulations, but the White Rose that Lord Nelson bought for Lady Hamilton is still much loved. Its façade topped by the country’s most ornate outdoor royal warrant complete with lion and unicorn, Floris has won an astounding 17 royal warrants and had created special fragrances for a number of royal jubilees and weddings.
On any given day, you might just run into the 9th generation of the Floris family, Edward Bodenham, who can remember watching his grandfather make perfumes in the old cellar, or ‘mine’, beneath the shop, which has a bricked-off passageway rumored to lead to St. James’s Palace. Bespoke fragrances take about six months to make and cost £4,500, but if you have a spare two hours and £450, you can meet with one of Floris’s perfumers to customize a fragrance to take away with you.
One of six outlets in London, this small store is perhaps best visited for its tweed, its shooting coats, paddock jackets, and long overcoats made in traditional, hard-wearing cloths. Colorful corduroy trousers can delightfully complete the outfit. Sales are frequent, so it is worth waiting for them. There is an extensive range of dark wool business suits, full priced close to £500, but on sale for £379. The suits are said to be better for men with heavier builds as they are cut with more volume. There is a decent selection of ties with animal prints, cufflinks and braces as well. On my few visits to the store, I have not found the staff very willing to discuss their products. The store claims to offer a bespoke service at a price that is quite inexpensive (a suit for £899), but when questioned on this fact, the Roderick Charles salesman gave answers which seemed to suggest that the service was actually closer to made-to-measure. Indeed, the website indicates their “bespoke service” “combines the quality and cut of our ready to wear suits with the flexibility that only bespoke can offer.”
Spacious and beautiful, this is Crockett & Jones flagship store. It was chosen by Esquire as one of the top 50 shops for men, and one only needs to stroll in to be dazzled by the rich leather of the shoes on offer. Be prepared to spend upwards of £400 for most of the shoes. Their most popular shoe in the main collection is the standard, safe black Oxford Hallam (£395), made with both leather and rubber soles. All Goodyear welted, derbies, loafers, single and double monks — many with varying degrees of brogueing — likewise abound in this collection. If softer leather and gorgeous shades of brown are of interest, take a look at the Hand Grade collection, made from calfskin as young as three months and soles of oak-barked tanned leather. These leathers are heavily antiqued and burnished to achieve a gorgeous finish. Taking two weeks more to make in the Northampton factory, these shoes are on average about £100 more than those of the main collection. The Hand Grade black Oxford Audley, for example, sells for £520. Next to check out are the Shell Cordovan shoes, particularly the dark brown loafers. Rich in oils, these marvelous shoes made from horse leather from Chicago’s Horween tannery will never crack, never need to be polished and should last twenty years.
On the whole, Crockett & Jones styles are very traditional, never seeking to be a fashion brand, so you won’t find a wide range of bright colors or fabrics here – unless you go in search of a pair of velvet Albert Slippers with quilted linings. Made by Bowhill and Elliott for Crockett & Jones, these slippers can come with an unadorned vamp (£200) or regal motifs in wire thread (£250). The shop also sells belts in calf and crocodile leather, along with every possible tool to care for shoes, including brushes, suede brushes, narrow and regular shoe trees, and a variety of shoe kits, including a luxury one in a large wooden box. It remains worth saying that this is one of precious family-run businesses on Jermyn Street, founded in 1879 and today under the watchful care of the fourth and fifth generations. The company can boast that in 1914 its shoes were used for the second time in the Shackleton Polar Expedition, that it made over a million pairs for the armed forces in World War II, and that both members of the Royal Family and a number of James Bonds have worn their shoes. Interestingly, in the early 20th century, the company was predominantly devoted to making women’s shoes and boots. Display cases in the back of the shop show off some of these past beauties, and a small but expanding range of flat women’s shoes deserve notice, their styles all modeled on those of traditional men’s shoes.
Winston Churchill did truly say, “A gentleman only buys his cheese at Paxton & Whitfield.” Mr. Churchill was clearly seeking to lead by example, and since we know that he bought his bow ties from Turnbull & Asser and his perfume from Floris, it seems only natural that he would frequent the nearby cheese shop as part of his customary round of shopping. To this day, people wonder why there is a cheese shop on a world-renowned menswear street, and the simple answer is that men looking for clothes have, for nearly two hundred years, continued to stop by and keep the shop in good business. The oldest cheesemonger in the UK beginning with Stephen Cullum selling cheeses in Aldwych Market in 1742, Paxton & Whitfield received its first royal warrant from Queen Victoria in 1850, holds royal warrants from the Queen and Prince of Wales currently, and, as a result, delivers cheeses in a sack on foot to Buckingham Palace every morning. Over 60% of their cheeses are from the UK, as the company has worked dedicatedly to promote artisanal cheeses from farms at all ends of the British Isles. There are likewise an enormous range of cheeses from the continent, particularly France, Switzerland and Spain – like Langres, a French soft cheese with a depression to be filled with champagne; or Dorstone, a delicious Swiss goat cheese rolled in ash. There is a wide range of hard (£5.25 to £11.75 per 250g), soft (£3.25 to £15 per cheese, with the exception of Brie de Melun, at £86), and blue cheeses (£5.75 to £19.50 per 250g). Paxton & Whitfield actually helped introduce Stilton to the English consumer, and at Christmas the hordes descend on the little shop, demanding Stilton above all others. The shop has a good number of washed rind cheeses as well, known for their strong aromas and excellent melting capabilities. American customers particularly like the shop as they can enjoy the unpasteurised cheeses that cannot be bought in the States, but of course they can’t take them home. To accompany all this cheese, the company likewise makes its own chutneys, fruit confits, biscuits and crackers. Free samples are usually on offer, and the knowledgeable staff is happy to explain the history of any cheese in the shop. Every imaginable cheese accessory lies on shelves in the back of the shop, from boards and knives to cheese curlers and camembert bakers. Also, fresh sandwiches and scotch eggs are available daily. Paxton & Whitfield is currently owned by Andrew Brownsword.
There are Links jewelry stores all over London, and 80% of this particular shop’s customers are men. Most come to Links on Jermyn Street for gifts for their wives, teenage daughters and girlfriends. Having said that, there is a nice supply of men’s watches (£350-£800), cufflinks, fountain pens, money clips, travel clocks and passport wallets, many of which are bought as corporate gifts. Especially popular is the silver-plated nodding bulldog with an 18 ct. gold crown (£130) and the salmon cufflinks (£150 in sterling silver), which are in the same design as the original pairs that founded the jewellery store chain in 1990. Their sweetie charm bracelets started a minor craze not long ago, and, for travelers, they sells charms with little London icons. They also have an appealing Wimbledon collection, in traditional greens and purples. You can also buy sapphire bubbledrop earrings (£130) or Hope white topaz earrings (£295) similar to those worn by the Duchess of Cambridge at the time of her engagement. While much admiring the bracelets for men, especially the leather ones, I did not manage to escape without a friendship bracelet, handmade in Greece in sterling silver, with a 20% discount (£76). There is a reliably attractive range of modern, elegant items here at all times. I just better not visit too often.
Out of more than 40 stores in the UK, this shop is Russell & Bromley’s only one devoted solely to men’s shoes. They do sell English shoes, made by Barker, but since Barker has its own shop on Jermyn Street, the Russell & Bromley one will probably most please those looking for something more continental and less expensive than much that is on offer on the street, avoiding what one salesman claims is the £100 that is added to shoes made in the UK. Italian shoes are a real strength with Russell & Bromley, namely shoes by Moreschi and Sebago, but there are also some Portuguese casual shoes. Russell & Bromley are Moreschi’s only retailer in the UK. In general, Russell & Bromley’s business shoes are a little longer and sleeker than can be found in most shops on the street, a little more fashionable and less classic, and largely selling for between £185 and £375. Some have such narrow waists, so the soles can hardly be seen, adding to the sleekness of the effect. Check out the Birch double monks (£235), the two-tone toe-cap oxford (£375) in collaboration with Moreschi and the antiqued brogue (£235). For casual wear, they have some nice woven slip-on shoes (£135-£185), long and sleek Italian Chelsea boots (£185), plus drivers with a rubber stretch up the back that look much like moccasins (£165-£265). Similar to most shops on Jermyn Street, the service is very good, the small sales team experienced and friendly. There is a great family history behind Russell & Bromley, which is based in Bromley and goes back more than 135 years, when George Bromley took over the management of the Eastbourne shop owned by his father-in-law, Albion Russell. Because of George’s poor health, his son Frederick assumed the reins of the business in 1898 and radically changed the business’s direction, away from making and toward the retailing of shoes. The family still owns much of the business and are deeply involved in its operation. They clearly are making sure that Russell & Bromley’s reputation for quality shoes is maintained.
In 1949, Thomas Harvie and George Hudson opened the first Harvie & Hudson store specializing in fine shirts, and today, three generations later, Richard Harvie and Andrew Hudson can be found daily in their store on Jermyn Street, providing that extra personal touch that makes this firm one that retains many of its customers over their lifetimes. They are a small team, with only 18 employees, and most have been employed with the firm for a decade or more. So there is a lot of experience in this firm and a lot of good feeling. With their only shop on Jermyn Street, Harvie & Hudson have remodeled their flagship in recent years, giving it shiny wood floors and a lot more space, so that the jackets, ties and shirts clothes can finally be seen better and appreciated. Stop by no. 96 just to admire the store’s exterior tiles, some of the finest from 1900s London, and the window displays, which are always colorful and full of panache. The story goes that in the 1960s, Thomas Harvie once used pajama materials to make some made-to-measure shirts for the window displays and they caused a sensation on Jermyn Street, so that strong colours and stripes became a Harvie & Hudson trademark. With this color, they offer a very English, sharp cut style in their business suits (£325), and they are much sought after by American customers for their bold house exclusives, like their tweed jackets in winter (£395) or, in summer, their linen waistcoats (£135). The jackets regularly feature Colombian stitching, piano facing and melton undercollars. You can also find a wide range of pajamas (£85-£100), boxer shorts (£30), braces (£55-95), silk pocket squares (£30) and bright ties (£50). Plus, Harvie & Hudson puts on numerous sales, competing as they are with the likes of nearby Charles Tyrwhitt. The quality of the both the fabrics and the manufacturing (largely in Malta or Portugal) is very high, and most seem to agree that the merchandise is fairly priced.
Harvie & Hudson is particularly well known for its shirts, its 2-fold, 100 poplin being the most popular. There are two fits available, classic and slim, with the latter a nod toward their increasingly young clientele. The shirts all have mother-of-pearl buttons, wide plackets, and semi-cutaway collars (ready-to-wear £75-£115). They pay special attention to their collars, producing ones that sit up well and will not fly about. To discover the range of shirt materials on offer and what Harvie & Hudson can do with cuffs and collars, one must of course get the shirts made-to-order (£195) or bespoke (£245 each, minimum order of 4). Having been with the firm over 35 years, shirt tailor Kerry Ford is a legend on Jermyn Street and in the film and theater world for the shirts he has created for the likes of Bill Murray and Tom Cruise. But Kerry would give all the credit to the women at the Walthamstow factory who make the bespoke shirts, one woman making one shirt from start to finish.
Charles Tyrwhitt (pronounced “Turret”) is the busiest store on Jermyn Street, any hour, any day of the week, and it may also be the most widely known from its ubiquitous mail order catalogues. This is its flagship store, which expanded in 2016 into the adjacent space formerly held by DAKS. It’s the one with the widest selection of shirt and ties, a growing range in Northampton-made shoes, and the only Charles Tyrwhitt store to offer personal shopping, where the customer can sip a refreshing drink while selected clothes are brought to him. The service is excellent; there is a real energy about the place, surely propelled by the needs of busy businessmen who pop in to buy four shirts for £100, and just might, on impulse, buy a tie or sweater that is on special offer. Indeed, special offers are largely what Charles Tyrwhitt is all about, and it is the sense that you are getting great value for money that draws to the shop its enormous number of customers. The non-iron shirts are especially popular, and I’ve heard many men swear by them. Here you can buy not only slim fit, but extra slim fit shirts; slim suits as well as classic fitting, for as low as £150 at sale price. And there always seems to be some kind of sale on. You will not get the range of colours and patterns available elsewhere on the street, even from Charles Tyrwhitt’s closest competitors, T. M. Lewin and Hawes & Curtis. There is a definite conservatism about the brand, a sense that the customer will emerge well-dressed but not the least flashy. Having said that, I heard that this particular store was the only Charles Tyrwhitt store – there are eight in London, plus stores in New York, Washington DC, Chicago and Paris — to offer green overcoats last year and they sold very well. The Jermyn Street customer is expected to be looking for that little extra bit of style that he cannot find anywhere else, and Chairman Nick (Charles Tyrwhitt) Wheeler, who founded the company in 1986, is said to have a deep appreciation for the street’s heritage. It is therefore only fitting that belts, braces, cufflinks, pocket squares and even hats are also on offer at most reasonable prices.
For someone on a limited budget who wants to buy shirts for work on Jermyn Street, the burning question is whether to shop at T. M. Lewin, Hawes & Curtis or Charles Tyrwhitt. They all offer good value for money. T. M. Lewin is currently selling four shirts for £100. Like Charles Tyrwhitt, T. M. Lewin’s fabric patterns tend to be more conservative, or absolutely safe for work. But here you have a greater choice in collar styles, with curved collars, pin collars, and contrasting white collars available in a wide variety of colors. They even sell tunic shirts with detachable collars. T. M. Lewin’s collars are not fused like Tyrwhitt’s, so they do not stand up as much and look more relaxed when worn without a tie. Also, T. M. Lewin offers four fits of shirt (regular, slim, fitted and superfitted) compared to three at Charles Tyrwhitt. T. M. Lewin’s non-iron shirts are a little more expensive (£120 for four) because, so I’m told, they are double baked and can therefore dry flat after washing, retaining the crease along the sleeve. Their turn-back cuffs can be worn buttoned of with cufflinks. There are some nice silk ties (£30-40 with three for two offers) as well. You can also find white formal shirts with pleats or a boxweave, including wingtip collars, and the bow ties can be matched with a silk scarf whose other side is plain velvet. The casual range of shirts, trousers, sweaters and jackets is more trendy and colorful. All that you’d want from an outfitter is likewise supplied, including leather and tweed gloves (£49.50) and long black umbrellas (£49.50). Next door is a separate shop devoted to suits, and again the price is extremely reasonable, the suits mostly charcoal grey and navy, single or double button (starting at £229 but on sale for £199), available in regular or skinny fit, with the latter’s jackets having slimmer lapels and being slightly shorter. Sales are so frequent here that buying shirts or suits at full price would seem rather unnecessary. There are over sixty T. M. Lewin stores in London now, and most of their clothing is not made in the U.K., so the consumer at least benefits from economies of scale. Yet the store on Jermyn Street still attracts back the old-timers who return for school, club and regimental ties. Begun in 1898, T.M. Lewin has maintained a constant presence on Jermyn Street for over a hundred years and can boast that it made popular the “coat shirt” in around 1905, the shirt that buttoned all the way down the front, allowing men for the first time to put on a shirt without messing up their hair.
For great trench coats from a British heritage brand, Aquascutum (“water shield”) cannot be beat. The company formerly occupied a smaller space at 78-79 down the street but relocated its flagship menswear-only shop here in 2016. Burberry may sell a lot more because their buttons are bigger and famous models have worn them, but the black and tan trench coats here are discreetly impressive. Single-breasted, double-breasted or overtly smooth with no visible buttons (like the one Cary Grant wore), the trench coats are lined inside and under the collars with the house check. The quality of the suits, jackets, sweaters and checked bags is also evident to the eye and hand.
There are eleven Church’s stores in London and similar stores throughout the world. Plus Church’s shoes are sold at many department stores, so the Jermyn Street store cannot claim any kind of uniqueness. Owned largely by Prada since 1999, Church’s is rapidly expanding its factory-size, number of employees (around 650 now), output (5000 a week at present) and number of stores — without, it seems, any sacrifice in quality, despite unsubstantiated rumors to the contrary. These are attractive, well-made shoes. Like Cheaney’s, each pair is Goodyear welted which lengthens the life of the shoes by allowing for refurbishment. Each pair takes about 8 weeks to make. There is great range of sizes, going up to 13, and styles, including some styles in line with the company’s Prada connection: fringe monk straps in calf and linen (€850) or sneakers with red rubber soles (€450). Church’s is one of few places that sell selections like these on Jermyn Street – a sign of the street’s growing power to attract a younger clientele. Excluding boots, there is probably a wider range of styles at Church’s compared to Cheaney’s. Along with the latest forays into fashion, Church’s carries a strong collection of derbies and oxfords that seems to include all possible variations on the solid black shoe (£310-£525). Both rubber and leather soles are available. The shop likewise carries umbrellas, macs and leather wallets. Church’s can trace its origin back to 1873 in Northampton when Thomas Church and his wife and two sons set up a factory. His son William is said to have introduced the idea of right and left shoes and was the first to offer half sizes and a variety of widths. James Bond haunts so many Jermyn Street shops, so it’s no surprise to learn than Pierce Brosnan wore Church’s when he played Bond.
Jones represents the bargain basement of Jermyn Street shoe shops, a place that lacks all the style and comfort of the pricier places, but can possess the odd Barker, Loake or Ted Baker shoe selling for much less than could be found anywhere else on the street. Perhaps as important is the fact that Jones sells a good number of reasonably priced shoe care products, from shoe trees to brushes, polishes and even soft cloths. It also must be said, however, that many of their shoes are glued and hence not made to last.
Perhaps Emmett is the Ozwald Boateng of Jermyn Street, even though Emmett is far from Boateng’s intensely bright colors. The shop is dark like Boateng’s on Savile Row and unlike anyone else’s on the street. Plus, the solids and prints stand out almost like Boateng’s silky gems, but they require a bit more effort at discovery, so that when you encounter the blue ski print cord shirt or white tonal stripe with butterflies printed on the inside (both £121) you feel a sense of frisson that anyone could make a print so beautiful and somehow pleased that it wasn’t in the shop window. But then this is Jermyn Street and classic whites and blues always sell best to the working man looking for a working shirt. The quality of the material of Emmett shirts is most comparable on the street, I think, to those of Emma Willis, and starting at £79, they are certainly more affordable than hers.
Robert Emmett began the business in 1992 with a shop on the King’s Road, opening his Jermyn Street shop in 2006. Creative director James Harvey Kelly believes that it remains a “fun, modern, small family business”, retaining, for instance, the different material under the shirt cuffs that has been a signature feature since the beginning while also exploring other less traveled avenues. Harvey Kelly’s passion and intelligence regarding shirtmaking certainly came through in our interview, as he took pains to explain that Emmett combines Italian “soft tailoring” with “the gravitas of [an English] formal wardrobe; in other words, shirts that are less “austere” and “static”, “more rich and showy.” Here you can find a softer collar than anywhere else on the street, plus pleated backs and shoulders that more conservative men might find somewhat feminine. Emmett shirts are made in Italy, Poland and Morocco in limited editions of 25, so with four shops in London, you are only likely to find four shirts of one pattern at a time in the shop. Harvey Kelly is also proud of the buttons, Australian mother-of-pearl, cut from the thickest part of the shell. Most of the ready-to-wear collars are semi-cut away but a few other styles are on offer, like the high two-button Amalfi collar. With the made-to-measure service, more than 100 collar styles and a 1000 fabrics are available to choose from, with shirt prices starting at £195. Made-to-measure suits (£1100), jackets (£750) and trousers (£250) are also available.
For an excellent steak served with Roquefort butter and chips, Rowley’s cannot be beat, though it must be said that it is expensive. My lunch for two, with one order of steak, one of salmon, two sides each, plus one glass of wine, one of prosecco, bottled water and service charge, came to just over £95. Having said that, everything about the meal was excellent, including the service. It clearly attracts a strong business following during the week. What I love most about the place is the décor. It once was a grand butcher shop, probably the finest in London when built in 1834 by Richard Wall, and those beautiful 1834 tiles are still in place, as well as the grand old clock that hung in the back of the butcher shop. With wooden floors and lots of mirrors reflecting the tiles, Rowley’s has a bright ambiance. Wall began his working career apprenticed to a pork butcher in nearby St. James’s Market in 1786, and, after he won the royal warrant in 1812, his ambition was to build this butcher shop. The business continued to grow under his descendants, and Wall’s remains a well-known supplier of pork sausages to this day. Rowley’s restaurant has been on site since 1976.
And thus we have completed a loop of Jermyn Street from one end to the other. Whether you are local to London or visiting from overseas, you can easily spend a day exploring the shops on the most famous menswear street in the world.
What are your favorite places on Jermyn Street? Let us know in the comments below.