Are you sensitive to traditions, elegance and British know-how? Here is a selection of the finest London boutiques chosen for the beauty of their storefront and the excellence of their products.
The majority provide the royal family and have the royal mandate -or royal warrant- recognized throughout the world as a sign of quality and "britannitude".
Even if you don't want to shop, do not hesitate to open the doors of these old shops where you will discover unusual objects steeped in history.
Penhaligon's the perfumer of Queen Victoria
Penhaligon's is a British perfume house established in London in 1870 by barber William Henry Penhaligon. Made from rigorously selected ingredients, these perfumes are made using certain artisanal techniques.
Even today these perfumes are favored by Elizabeth II and her family.
The 5 boutiques located in the chic districts of London are to be discovered for their chic and refined decoration.
Covent Garden Piazza : 13 The Piazza – Market Building
Covent Garden : 41 Wellington Street
Burlington Arcade : 16-17 Burlington Arcade
Mayfair : 20A Brook Street
Floris the oldest perfumer in London
Founded in 1730 in the London Borough of Saint-James, Floris creates timeless refined fragrances, still made in England. More than 280 years later, Maison Floris, run by the same family, is the perfumer of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. A bespoke perfume and fragrance personalization service is also offered.
Address : 89 Jermyn Street, St. James’s, London SW1Y 6JH
DR Harris & Co Pharmacist-perfumer to the royal family since 1938
DR Harris & Co is London's oldest pharmacy that has been on St James's Street for over 200 years. The brand is recognized for the quality of its products for men and women and offers soaps, colognes, bath and pre-shave treatments, skin products and aromatic oils. Even today, many products are made in the traditional way, by hand, and packaged on site in London.
Address : 52 Piccadilly, Mayfair, London W1J 0DX
Daunt Books a superb travel bookstore
With its solid wood storefront, symmetrical balconies and huge stained glass window, Daunt Books is a little gem located in Marylebone since 1910! The selection of books on the theme of travel is classified by country, regardless of their genre! Take advantage of the armchairs scattered around the store to discover a work and get away from it all!
The bookstore organizes literary events, conferences, debates or meetings with authors.
Address : 84 Marylebone High St, Marylebone, London W1U 4QW
Hatchards Bookshop London's oldest bookshop
Founded in 1797 by John Hatchard, Hatchards is London's oldest bookstore. Located not far from Fortnum and Mason, the bookstore offers more than 100 books spread over the store's 000 floors. Specializing in recent history, novels and art, this bookshop also has original editions but also signed copies left by the authors during meetings organized almost daily.
The store rightly claims that Benjamin Disraeli, Lord Byron and Oscar Wilde were loyal customers in their time.
Address : 187 Piccadilly, St. Jame’s, London W1J 9LE
Umbrellas by James Smith & Sons
Since 1830 this store, located a stone's throw from the British Museum, has been selling elegant and mostly handmade umbrellas. The store offers a wide selection of models with a very British elegance with handles in apple, maple, ash, cherry, rose or rush wood. The shop caters to all budgets with umbrellas from £ 60
Do not hesitate to take a look at its magnificent Victorian facade unchanged for 140 years.
Address: 53 New Oxford St, London WC1A 1BL
Le chapelier Lock & Co Hatters
Founded in 1676, Lock is the oldest hat store in the world and one of the oldest family owned businesses in the country.
The house has styled big names such as Admiral Nelson who wore a trademark cocked hat during the Battle of Trafalgar, Winston Churchill, Oscar Wilde or Charlie Chaplin.
Do not hesitate to enter this beautiful shop to discover in the back room on the ground floor a small museum presenting the history of the house. On display are the sketches of Charlie Chaplin's hat, a reproduction of Lord Nelson's cocked hat and the first bowler hat invented here in 1850 by Lock.
Address : 6 St James’s Street, London SW1A 1EF
John Lobb tailor-made shoes of excellence
Housed in the former bachelor apartment of British poet Lord Byron, the John Lobb boutique is one of the most beautiful in the world. Since 1849 John Lobb shoes and boots have been custom made by hand. Even today the shop located in the prestigious district of St James is a family business where the descendants still practice.
The models are mainly for men, but a few pairs are also offered for women.
And even if you can't afford a pair of John Lobbs for £ 3000, still open the doors of the store to discover the magnificent collection of shoe trees on display in the basement of the store that were used to make shoes for celebrities such as Princess Diana, Ferdinand Marcos, Frank Sinatra to name a few.
Address : 9 St James’s Street, London SW1A 1EF
James J. Fox & Robert Lewis London's oldest cigar shop
Founded in 1787, this store is a gem for cigar aficionados. The ground floor is devoted to the sale of cigars, cigarettes, pipes, pipe tobacco, and accessories for smokers. There is also a small museum with old cigars from the Great Exhibition of 1851 and memorabilia from illustrious clients such as Sir Winston Churchill and Oscar Wilde.
Rarely, the smoking ban does not apply in the store, so customers can "try" cigars on the 1st floor before deciding whether to purchase any.
Address :19 St James’s Street, London SW1A 1ES
Le fromager Paxton and Whitfield
Established in St James since 1797, Paxton and Whitfield selects French and English grand cru cheeses such as Stilton, particularly appreciated by Queen Elizabeth.
Among the curiosities of the store are creations with unusual names such as the Celtic Promise and the Stinking Bishop… Good tasting !!
Address : 93 Jermyn Street, St. James’s, London SW1Y 6JE
Berry Bros & Rudd the UK's oldest liquor and wine merchant
Founded in 1698, Berry Bros & Rudd offers a wide selection of wines and spirits (whiskeys, armagnacs, cognacs, rums, etc.)
between £ 5 and £ 5. A magnificent vaulted cellar in the basement of the store houses nearly 000 bottles of wines with the greatest vintages of Alsace, Bordeaux and Burgundy. There is also an impressive collection of old ports and old sherry.
Address : 63 Pall Mall, St. James’s, London SW1Y 5
Anderson & Sheppard the most elegant of British tailors
Since 1906, in the heart of Savile Row, the house of Anderson & Sheppard has been making bespoke suits (the great measure) and offering more than 4000 fabric designs.
The workshop has made costumes for Clark Gable and Humphrey Bogart and more recently for Mick Jagger, David Cameron and Prince Charles.
Count from 3.800 euros for a two-room apartment.
Address : 32 Old Burlington Street, London W1S 3AT