For many of the stores on Bond Street, keeping a good florist on speed dial is essential to their business. Luckily, Dallas-born Whitney Bromberg Hawkings – co-founder and CEO of Flowerbx is one of the select few that brands including Bottega Veneta, Tiffany and Dior turn to whenever there is reason to beautify a store.
Specialising in single-variety arrangements, Whitney also dresses some of Mayfair’s finest dining tables. For instance, her Flowerbx arrangements could be seen at Annabel’s glittering re-launch dinner last month, while over at Isabel, tall gladiolas, carnations and roses are currently arranged in curvaceous glass vases, en masse, to provide maximum impact.
There’s nothing conventional about Whitney’s path to floristry. Prior to co-founding Flowerbx.com, Whitney steered the Tom Ford PR machine for 19 years. Unlike other luxury florists – of which there are plenty – Flowerbx runs on a direct-to-customer approach, whereby single-varietal bunches are bought direct from the growers, thus cutting out the middleman. These are then delivered straight to customers in a small fleet of bespoke Flowerbx refrigerated vans. And with no physical stores to worry about, costs are kept down even more.
So no evening classes in flower arranging then? According to Whitney, having previous experience in branding and high-end luxury was all she needed to start up her new business, plus, it taught her a lot about flowers along the way.
“Having lived in Dallas, New York, and Paris, London seems to me to be the perfect mix of all of the best parts of each of those capital cities, “ says Whitney who has lived here for 15 years. “London is completely metropolitan and international, but somehow one still has the impression of belonging to a neighbourhood. I am comforted by how easy it is to become a part of London while it still remains so grand,” she adds. We caught up with Whitney in the bar at Isabel restaurant and asked her to talk us through some more of her favourite Bond Street haunts:
Cecconi’s, 5A Burlington Gardens
My dream day on or around Bond Street would be breakfast with Harpers Bazaar and Town & Country editor, Justine Picardie, at Cecconi’s, where I would eat an egg white omelette to start the day off right. The chic, intimate interior makes it feel like deals can be made here, and indeed lots of mine have. It is also ideal for people watching and sure to deliver a great dose of glamour.
Tiffany & Co, 25 Old Bond Street
After breakfast at Cecconi’s, I would then wander across the road to Tiffany’s, as there is still nowhere else where window shopping can lift your spirit in quite the same way. After being one of the “First Ladies of the UK” in the recent Tiffany Metro campaign in conjunction with Tatler, I have had my eye on the new Metro collection that recently launched– in particular, the gold and diamond bangles which are at the top of my Christmas wish list.
Charbonnel et Walker, One, The Royal Arcade, 28 Old Bond St
I always go to Charbonnel and Walker at Christmas for the most magical stocking fillers for my kids, even though they always try to steal the champagne truffles that I choose for my husband. I love the old-fashioned deliciousness and total decadence of this quintessentially British chocolate store.
Saint Laurent, 32-33 Old Bond Street
This is a throwback to my days working for Tom Ford. I still love a beautifully-cut suit. Few people (other than Tom who is not on Bond street!) cut a jacket like Saint Laurent. Also, for the party season that is descending rapidly, I need the perfect tuxedo trousers that I recently spotted in the window, or a chic little black mini dress to channel my inner Carine Roitfeld.
Annabel’s, 44 Berkley Square
Lastly, having a second wind, I am ready to hit the dance floor at Annabel’s. I can hardly wait for the opening of the new club in January, but in the meantime, there are few places like Annabel’s for good old-fashioned fun and glamour. We hosted a FLOWERBX dinner recently at Annabel’s, where few of the guests left before 2 am on a school night, and I love that it is one of the few places that still tempts me to do that.