Jermyn Street, London

Jermyn Street, London


Posted 2011-10-18 by Sandra Lawsonfollow
Four years after the restoration of the monarchy in 1660, King Charles II granted Crown Land to Henry Jermyn, Earl of St Albans, to develop a neighbourhood in the area around St James's Square. Initially residential in character, the locality gradually changed as houses were converted to shops, especially in Jermyn Street itself. The contemporary thoroughfare is now synonymous with elegant bespoke and ready-to-wear clothes, art galleries, provisions' merchants and restaurants. It is also no longer restricted to the sartorial tastes of gentlemen, as many of the shops also cater for the females of the species. There are too many shops to mention here, but several are worth a closer look.

Hawes and Curtis have been in Jermyn Street for nearly 100 years. During the last century they supplied clothing to the Duke of Windsor and the Earl of Mountbatten, but now supply shirts and accessories to men and women, both from this branch, and from the other thirty shops in the chain. They have two branches in Jermyn Street at No 33 and No 82.

New and Lingwood have been the official outfitters for Eton College since 1865, and many of its old boys have patronised the business's London outlet in Jermyn Street since it opened in 1922. Despite bomb damage during WW2, the shop later reopened at No 53 (on the corner of the Piccadilly Arcade). New and Lingwood are a very traditional men's outfitters, whose bespoke and ready-made ranges have increased with the addition of Poulsen Skone's boots and shoes, and Bowring Arundel's bespoke shirts.

Charles Hilditch and Graham Key opened the first Hilditch and Key shop in Tottenham Court Road in 1899, moving into their current premises in Jermyn Street early in the Twentieth Century. They now occupy two shops in the street, at Nos 37 and 73, and also make ladies' shirts and nightwear. Last year, Bates Hats, who had been trading in Jermyn Street for more than a hundred years, joined the shop at No 73 Jermyn Street.

Turnbull and Asser was initially established in 1885 and has been trading from 71 and 72 Jermyn Street since 1903. Thecompany holds a royal warrant granted for shirt making by the Prince of Wales, but also supply men's accessories, underwear, pyjamas, knitwear and formal wear. You can purchase any of these items in store, or online, or you can treat yourself to a bespoke shirt, handmade in England.

There are many more shops in Jermyn Street that will sell you clothing, but now it's time to say a little bit about footwear. England has always boasted a proud tradition of hand lasted shoes made in Northampton, and a few of these traditional shoe shops still adorn the feet of Jermyn Street gentlemen (and women).

Church's is a family firm, founded in 1873. In 1884 the company won a Gold Award at the Crystal Palace Exhibition for producing shoes in pairs of left and right. (Previously most shoes were identical with no distinction for either foot.) Nowadays they continue to sell the classic Oxfords and Brogues, for which they have built a reputation, but they also sell casual driving shoes and slippers. In addition they make a small range of shoes for ladies. You will find them at 108-110 Jermyn Street, on the corner of Babmaes Street.

Barker is another quintessential family shoemaking company based in Northampton. Arthur Barker introduced a waterproof peg-sole boot and supplied the British Army with boots during WW1. Like Church's, they also produce hand-welted footwear, for both men and women. They will also refurbish shoes that are returned to them, and make them as good as new. Their shoes can be found all around the world, as well as at No 38 Jermyn Street.

Tricker's shoes was founded by Joseph Tricker in 1829 and is still run by the Barltrop family. (The two families were related by marriage.) Their first Jermyn Street shop was opened in 1927 at No 87, relocating to No 67 in 1939. Their current collections include both bespoke and ready-to-wear shoes, and they are also holders of a royal warrant, granted by Prince Charles.

Foster and Son was founded in 1840 by Charles Chester. During WW2 the current owner's wife was killed by a bomb; a Mrs Foster was also widowed at the same time and she went into business with Charles Chester. In 1966 the shop relocated to 83 Jermyn Street, where it is still run as a private company. They continue to manufacture bespoke and readymade shoes, boots, slippers and leather goods.

As a small diversion from clothes shopping, you could buy some cheese from Paxton and Whitfield at 93 Jermyn Street. Although the company is no longer run by the gentlemen whose name it bears, it is able to trace its history back to a market stall in the Aldwych in 1742. The business moved to 18 Jermyn Street in 1835, and then to No 93 in 1896. Their first royal warrant was granted by Queen Victoria in 1850, since when they have received a further seven royal warrants, including ones granted by Queen Elizabeth II and the Prince of Wales.

If the pong of cheese is too much for you, you could clear your nasal passages with a visit to Floris , a perfume shop established in 1730 by Juan Famenias Floris and his wife, Elizabeth. Their first royal warrant (for comb making) was granted by George IV in 1820. Their fragrances, including bath and body products, grooming products for men, and scented candles are still made in Devon.

Finally, to return to Jermyn's Street's masculine roots, don't miss a visit to Dunhill's London store on the corner of Duke Street. In addition to the famous Dunhill lighters, you will also find men's clothes, golf wear, leather goods, eyewear, watches and fragrances.

If you are still a smoker, and buy a lighter from Dunhill, you should also then cross over to Davidoff to buy yourself a cigar.

While you are in Jermyn Street you can also visit several art galleries, the Jermyn Street Theatre and Tramp private members' club. If all the shopping has made you feel a little faint, several restaurants are dotted up and down the street, or you could drop into Fortnum and Mason via the back door.

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60553 - 2023-01-20 01:10:55


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