After two long years, visitors from all over the world are returning to London this summer. We discover the latest openings and firm favourites within luxury London…
This year, shops and luxury brands, in particular, will be doing their utmost to attract the big spenders. According to research into the British luxury sector by Walpole, the high-end visitor in the UK is worth 14 times more in terms of daily spend than mass tourists, increasing to 18 times more on culture, entertainment, shopping and dining. London is the UK’s luxury superpower and this summer, the capital will be swinging into action. Here, we offer a curated tour of the best that the West End has in store, including new openings and experiences, luxury brands, and even health treatments and medical care, ensuring you return home feeling your best.
One of the fashion capitals of the world, London is a hotspot for the latest designs. Stay close to Mayfair and St James for quintessentially British tailoring. Emma Willis bespoke shirtmaker is located on Jermyn Street, while New & Lingwood is up the road at number 53. Tucked between the bustle of Regent’s Street and New Bond Street, Richard Anderson, on 13 Savile Row can help find the perfect suit for dining later at The Wolseley. Step across to nearby Albemarle Street for the finest Italian ladies’ footwear at Casadei. For a British classic, Burberry’s newest 1 Sloane Street flagship store, celebrates its SW1 heritage (Thomas Burberry opened his first store in SW1 130 years ago). The palette of beige, black, white and red continues to evolve in its TB Summer Monogram Collection. In Chelsea, the Cadogan Estate has undoubtedly elevated the area’s fashion status with the latest openings including Balenciaga, London favourite Rixo on the King’s Road and the World of Ralph Lauren on Sloane Square.
Lockdown sparked an enduring relationship with our homes and luxury interiors shops have been springing up all over town ever since. Soho Home Studio on Duke of York Square, King’s Road has been drawing attention with its cool coffee bar and furnishings (inspired by Soho House clubs). Its Fig Verde candle, £40, is worth the trip alone. Stroll down the King’s Road to Delcor furniture for beautifully crafted pieces. Order in store and have items shipped directly home. Closer to the West End, Burlington Arcade offers exquisite crystal decanters at Lalique.
No trip to London is complete without popping into Harrods. The newly opened Moet & Chandon Champagne Bar on the ground floor – the largest of its kind in Europe – starts your shopping expedition in sparkling style. Neighbouring Harvey Nichols is hosting cocktail making masterclasses in association with Pernod Ricard, and on Friday and Saturday nights enjoy live DJ sets in the Fifth Floor bar. On warm days, leave Knightsbridge for Belgravia and Anya Hindmarch’s latest concept store at The Village on Pont Street, The Ice Cream Project. Flavours are inspired by iconic store cupboard brands, from Heinz Tomato Ketchup to Kellogg’s Frosties. For a speedy pitstop, pop into the newly opened Ettore’s Espresso Bar at the H.R. Owen Bugatti dealership on Bruton Street, Mayfair (normally invitation only, it is open to the public for the first time). Finish the day with a trip to the theatre. Six The Musical at the Vaudeville gets our vote.
Looking for sunglasses to tie an outfit together? Head for Balmain over on South Audley Street. Founder Pierre Balmain famously compared dressmaking to the ‘architecture of movement’ and the latest collection nods to its rich couture heritage, particularly with the sophisticated ‘Brigitte’ design. For luxury bags, bangles and elegant scarves, step into Aspinal of London on Regent Street, where the latest Resort Collection takes shoppers from sea to city, with natural woven textures in totes and midi bags. While on Regent Street, make an appointment at Launer London– The Queen reportedly owns 200 Launer bags. Fashionable gents should head to Lock & Co on St James’s Street, the oldest hat shop in the world.
With sales of superfoods, wellbeing supplements and ingestibles up 125 per cent at Selfridges on last year and up 700 per cent on pre-pandemic levels, the iconic store has launched The Feel Good Bar, above. This new wellbeing destination offers 250 innovative products, for everything from gut health to sleep disorders. If something more serious is troubling you, The Lanserhof at the Arts Club in Mayfair has cutting edge medical services (membership is not required to access the clinic). Over on Wigmore Street, The Schoen Clinic serves your spinal and orthopaedic needs, and One Welbeck is an exceptional walk-in clinic for all your medical concerns.
A good timepiece can make a wonderful heirloom or addition to a collection. In recent years, there has been a revival in watch-collecting with long waiting lists for new releases and growing interest in vintage designs. The family-run Vintage Watch Company in Burlington Arcade is the one-stop- shop for vintage Rolex watches, including the Oyster and Stella & Stone Rolex models. Watches of Switzerland’s three-storey showroom on Brompton Road, has an extensive brand offering from A to Z, including renowned brands Patek Philippe, Omega and IWC Schaffhausen. Famed for its watchmaking expertise, the Swiss brand Chopard on New Bond Street, is the epitome of exceptional craftsmanship and design.
What to take home as a gift? For a really special bottle, one you won’t find at the airport duty free lounge, head to The Whisky Exchange on Bedford Street, Covent Garden and Great Portland Street, Marylebone. With more than 9,000 rare malts and spirits and knowledgeable service, take your time. New to the UK market is The Dalmore 21-year- old, £575. Presented in a smart navy display case, it has higher strength ABV of 43.8%. London stationery is as smart as it comes. Smythson on Bond Street and Sloane Street is the go-to for beautiful diaries in an array of colours. But check out the Mount Street Printers in Mayfair for personalised notecards and leather notebooks. Finally for a lifetime of friendly competition, head to Regent Street for a 15-inch leather-bound backgammon set from Aspinal of London, £650.
For precious jewels from sapphires to rubies and a girl’s best friend diamonds, both Old and New Bond Street sparkles with choice. The intertwined streets present a mixture of heritage brands including De Beers, Boodles, Cartier, Boucheron, alongside modern favourites Van Cleef & Arpels, Tiffany & Co, with VASHI joining Old Bond Street later this year. For treasures that spark joy, fine jeweller Kiki McDonough on Symons Street near the Saatchi Gallery shines bright for SW3, with her latest collection, The Firefly, inspired by a trip to New Orleans. Finally visit Fabergé’s Grafton Street shop, between Bond Street and Dover Street. Its Colours of Love rose gold eggs, and pendants (above) have been created to celebrate the legendary jeweller’s 180th anniversary.
Remember London through scent. Contemporary British perfume house Ormonde Jayne is nestled within The Royal Arcade, a stone’s throw from the Royal Academy. Newly launched Gatsby 22 (above) is described as confident, edgy and sophisticated, perfect for the return of better times in 2022. Combining art and fragrance, the Avery Perfume Gallery, in Mayfair is a feast for the senses. And no visit to Jermyn Street is complete without dropping in to Floris, whose customers have ranged from Marilyn Monroe to Oscar Wilde.
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