FATHER’S DAY TOUR WITH HEART OF LONDON BUSINESS ALLIANCE
Every Dad deserves a treat on Father’s Day and sometimes it can be tricky to find that perfect present; one which isn’t the usual pair of socks or box of his favourite chocolates. As local Londoners, MenswearStyle is almost spoilt for choice when it comes to purchasing gifts, however it can be rather overwhelming! One area of the city which stands out as an iconic shopping district for the sartorial gentleman, or simply for any man that enjoys style and culture, is Piccadilly and St James’s. St James’s and Piccadilly have a huge mix of heritage and contemporary brands, such as Sunspel, Lock & Co. Hatters and New & Lingwood, as well as some of the best restaurants and bars in the capital. Recently, MenswearStyle were taken on a tour of the area, thanks to the Heart of London Business Alliance, to explore the streets and pick up some Father’s Day gift inspiration. There is still time to find that unique gift and some of the stores in St James’s and Piccadilly have some special offers available especially for this celebrated day.
Fortnum & Mason
Our first stop of the tour was at one of London’s most infamous department stores, Fortnum & Mason. Established in 1707, it was originally known as a destination for high quality daily groceries. Today it is still recognised for it’s fantastic food hall and afternoon tea, but also has a fantastic men’s department. On the third floor there is a vast offering from some of the best grooming brands, as well as essential accessories and the stylish Barber salon. Why not book you and your Dad in for a bit of pampering? Whether it be a shape and finish, hot towel massage, beard trim or mini facial, this is the perfect place to sit back and enjoy a bit of relaxation. The Barber’s salon has recently launched a new British grooming brand from Saunders and Long which smells fantastic and is great on the skin. Plus, whilst enjoying your treatment you can both sip on a complimentary drink from the Barber’s cabinet.
Aspinal Of London
Our next stop was Aspinal of London’s luxurious flagship store, just down from Piccadilly Circus. The store is split into a series of ‘rooms’ with the gentlemen’s area designed to create the feeling of a relaxing lounge; panelled walls, vintage-style leather chairs and working fireplace successfully set the scene. This store is worth visiting just to enjoy its decoration alone! Aspinal of London is probably most well-known for its high quality leather goods, and you can’t go wrong with a classic wallet, suitcase or pair of silver cufflinks for Father’s Day. As part of the celebrations, Aspinal are offering complimentary personalisation on all men’s gifts and to take the day to another level, if you are feeling especially generous and spend over £150, you will receive a free 200ml bottle of Bruichladdich whiskey. No Dad is going to complain about that! For a token gift, we highly recommend one of their classic card wallets which come in a variety of colours and leathers. If you feel your Dad needs a bit of sprucing up in the style department, then you could always treat him to a pair of their new sunglasses.
Osprey London’s flagship store has been on the corner of St James’s and Regent Street for around five years. This is an impressive store with much more to it than their classic leather goods. If you didn’t know, there is a relaxing little cafe tucked away downstairs, surrounded by unique homewares and artwork. There is no doubt you will find something for Father’s Day here and you can always stop for a delicious piece of cake if you need some energy after shopping. Upstairs, browse through their quality leather bags and accessories, and if you are quick, they are currently running a competition (from 3rd to 13th June) where entrants have a chance to win one of their Clayton messenger bags worth £145. You just need to follow Osprey on Instagram, tag at least two friends in the comments with the hashtag #ospreylondonstjames and #ospreylondonfathersday. For anyone who enters the competition, you will be offered 15% off any full priced own-brand item in their flagship store until 16th June.
Harvie & Hudson
Our penultimate stop on the tour, and our final shopping destination, was down Jermyn Street at British tailors Harvey & Hudson. MenswearStyle was treated to a demonstration of how one of their classic shirts is cut by hand. Back when Harvie & Hudson first opened their store in 1949, they were instantly known for their high quality and detailed craftsmanship. Today it is still known for their level of tailoring expertise and during the demonstration Director Andrew Hudson explained how, still to this day, one seamstress will create an entire bespoke shirt for a customer. Nowadays, the separate parts of a shirt are given to different seamstresses. At Harvie & Hudson the customer will also receive a note with the name of the seamstress. Having a bespoke shirt made is no doubt pure luxury, but it is something that any man who enjoys fashion and style, will fully appreciate. This brand continues to create their own cloth patterns and are the sole remaining family-owned shirtmakers on Jermyn Street. Pop in store to see their new collections and buy something truly special for a father.
The Father’s Day tour ended with a trip to five-star hotel, The Stafford. This hidden gem is tucked away behind the bustling streets of Piccadilly, on St James’s Place. It was a second visit to this hotel for MenswearStyle, but it was a first time to experience their breathtaking wine cellars. Underneath this traditional hotel, lies numerous cellars which were built in the 17th century by Lord Francis Godolphin, with the purpose of an air raid shelter during WWII. Currently, around 8,000 bottles of some of the finest wines and ports are stored away for the hotel’s use. One of the cellars can be hired as a private dining area, as well as a place for wine tastings and dinner pairings. The cellars at The Stafford are a must visit! And if you want to treat your father to a truly unique cocktail, take him upstairs to the famous American Bar. The ceilings and walls are adorned with an incredible amount of donated war, sporting and royal memorabilia, and the cocktails are no doubt some of the best in London. Sitting at their bar is an experience on its own and it would be the perfect ending to a Father’s Day celebration.
*This post is an advertised collaboration with Heart of London Business Alliance but all thoughts are my own