Now, I love music! But I wasn't about to spend the afternoon in St. James Piccadilly when there was a world out there to explore! So, while Rick was listening to a few hours of back-to-back recitals, I decided to check out the Jermyn Street area.
Jermyn Street is right behind St. James, one block south of Piccadilly, and it comes with quite a price tag. If you are looking for the Ritz or Christies, this is the neighborhood.
Trendy pubs mix with high end fashion boutiques and private clubs like Tramp. It was here that Ringo Starr, Liza Minnelli, Joan Collins and Peter Sellers held their wedding receptions and its current guests include Drake, Rihanna, Kate Moss and David Beckham. Princes William and Harry have been known to show up as well. Unfortunately, not on this particular Friday afternoon.
Apparently these shoes must be the fashion. Their price tag was in the 400 pound zone. But it appears you get a free gift. (Or, as Rick might say, "There is nothing more expensive than free.")
Across from Tramp was one of my favorite shops in all of London. Floris is not just London's oldest fragrance boutique, but England's as well. It is currently run by the eighth and ninth generations of the Floris family and has been in the same St. James' Jermyn Street location since founded shortly after Juan Floris' arrival in 1730.
It received its first Royal Warrant in 1820 to King George IV and now has 19 more, including that of Perfumers to HM the Queen Elizabeth II (1971) as well as Manufacturers of Toilet Preparations to HRH The Prince of Wales. (1984) How's that for a title?!
(And lest you should think it's only for royals, the store holds letters from Florence Nightingale, Mary Shelley and Beau Brummell as well.
A few doors away from Floris is the Cavendish Hotel. I'd always wanted to see it, simply because the Cavendish was the original hotel of Rosa Lewis, who was immortalized in one of my all-time favorite PBS series, "The Duchess of Duke Street." It was based on a biography of the chef called "The Duchess of Jermyn Street." I couldn't talk Rick into taking me to afternoon tea here. Pity.
As you approach the corner and take a right, you head back to Piccadilly. A right turn and you are near three of my favorites. I've always liked Cath Kidston's modern vintage look.
And an entire store with her things? Could be trouble.
And it was a little. I did find a few things (OK, one was a gift). Much as I wanted a mug, I passed it up. Too early in the trip to risk something breakable!
Rick joined me after the recital and we continued our shopping-looking walk. A few stores away was London's oldest bookstore, Hatchards, which was established in 1797. I remember coming here with my mother in 1973 and again, I felt her by my side.
In a few years, some of the children's books I found there will find a new home! Hatchard's holds royal warrants from the Queen, Prince Philip and Prince Charles. It might be one of London's best staircases!
And then there was Fortnum and Mason. By this time, Rick and I had regrouped and we hit this spot together. This was another I'd visited with my mom, enjoying a lovely lunch there with one of her friends. It looked a bit busy for dinner or afternoon tea (expensive afternoon tea) so we passed on that.
Instead, we wandered. The food halls are magnificent, beautifully designed. The men and women wore tails, frock coats. All very dressy. Fortnums also holds warrants to the queen and is called "the Queen's Grocer."
She eats better than we do.
And we found a rather handsome vendor offering samplings of four different sherrys. Well, it was five o'clock (not that four thirty would have stopped us!)
And as for staircases?
Yes, they have a good one, too!
Not scoring dinner at Fortnums, we crossed the street and walked through the Burlington Arcade, another spot I visited with mom.
No, we couldn't afford to shop here, either. And really, it wasn't our style.
Although these were very pretty!
Now we were getting a little desperate, dinner and foot-wise. So after admiring a few trendy things on the way back to Piccadilly, we waited for the bus.
And when we got off, ate at one of the first restaurants near our hotel we saw! Prezzo is a chain of Italian restaurants. It was quite lovely (we didn't know it was a chain until we saw them elsewhere)!
And the two block walk back home was easy and our room a welcome sight!
Sharing today with: Let's Add Sprinkles / Pink Saturday
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