From the city’s best barbers to its finest clothiers, visit these venues to become a quintessential London gentleman
First and foremost, a London gentleman needs to look the part…and that means being immaculately groomed. Get some length off the sides, a close shave, or even just a bread trim (if that’s the sort of gentlemanly look you’re going for) with a Gentleman’s Topiary spa experience at ESPA Life at Corinthia. A true gentleman knows when he’s ready for his close up.
Peckish after your grooming session? It’s but a quick jaunt to Fortnum & Mason, that bastion of classic Britishness. Meander through the prestigious department store’s famed Food Hall, where you can find treats as varied as potted Stilton, Cornish clotted cream biscuits, and whisky-dosed marmalade. And don’t forget to visit the exemplary tea department.
An early snack is a good choice – there’s no sense in getting crumbs on your finest outfit. Best to do a bit of shopping post-repast, then. Turnbull & Asser on Jermyn Street is a bespoke shirtmaker and clothier, which ensures that whatever you purchase will fit you to a tee. Alternatively, a custom tie is sure to mark out a true gentleman.
And what would a London gentleman be without his cigar? (A good bit less relaxed, we’d wager). If you’re in the market for a few exceptional smokes, make your way to Fox of St James, the world’s oldest cigar merchants. A walk-in humidor makes for remarkably pleasant sampling – and, given that Churchill was a customer, you can assume that this will be highly enjoyable sampling.
What better way to follow up a lovely Cuban than with a tipple of something highly quaffable? Make your way to Berry Bros & Rudd, long the purview of gentlemen with discerning palates. The wine merchant was established all the way back in 1698 (for context, that’s when Peter the Great was in charge of Russia), and today, the shop’s eight elite Masters of Wine have pruned a selection of more than 5,000 stunning vintages.
Looking for something a little more potent? Sounds like a drop of whisky is in order. Milroy’s of Soho has pedigree – the specialist retailer has been selling the water of life since 1965 – though it’s also been the subject of a brand new renovation, revealing a secretive little tasting bar in the basement.
Nothing’s quite so satisfying for a gentleman than a post-tippling meander round a bookstore. The obvious choice for bibliophiles is Heywood Hill, which specialises not only in newer books, but in antiquarian finds as well. In fact, its reputation has preceded it all the way to Buckingham Palace: the Queen herself is an avowed patron.
Now it’s time to prepare for a gentlemanly evening out – i.e., it’s time to accessorise. At Dunhill, gents on the go can pick up a butter-soft leather wallet or some eye catching cufflinks…or, for the dandies, a handkerchief decorated in a wild flower print.
A London gentleman might as well be nude if he strolls out in public without his hat. Amend the indignity with a quick trip to Bates, a fine hatter that’s been found on Jermyn Street since 1898. Here, gentleman can don (and then doff) fedoras, trilbies, and panamas to their head’s content.
Cap off your gentlemanly excursions with panache at Bassoon and put your best newly-shod foot forward with an English Tea Punch, a truly British infusion of Bombay Sapphire Gin and jasmine tea. Then, let the sounds of live music wash over you as the ivories are well and truly tickled in this den of sophistication.