Ever since she was a teenager, Linda Pilkington has been fascinated with the romance of perfume and ornate perfume bottles. Her hobby was fuelled by craft sets and courses, which enabled her to make her own scented candles and perfumes.
Following her first career as a florist, Pilkington decided to up sticks and travel the world, living in places as far-flung as the Far East, South America and Africa. From running a boutique hotel, a soya bean farm and even a small chain of ice cream parlours, suffice to say her CV is far from dull.
Back home in London and working as an independent perfumer, her lucky break came when she was asked to create a scented candle for Chanel. Her own brand ‘Ormonde Jayne’ soon followed and in 2002, her first perfumery opened at 12 The Royal Arcade, 28 Old Bond Street.
Linda describes herself as “ascetically programmed” and can think of nothing nicer than a garden full of rich purple irises, bluebells and pale cream tulips. This could explain why she is often seen peeking out from behind leafy bouquets, as she makes the trip from Peter’s flower stall on Bond Street to her bijoux boutique. As for Linda’s little black book, it is bursting with great places to go, which she shares below:
George Cleverly, 13 Royal Academy of Arts, West Yard Entrance
My neighbour, George Cleverly is THE place for the ultimate handmade gentlemen’s shoes. Good old George and I go back a long way. When I was the new girl on the block, I had no idea that his quirky shop had such an elite clientele. Having just secured the lease on my first boutique with a Bond Street address, I thought it wouldn’t be long before I was knocking through to the shoe shop next door. That was until I saw all walks of life (no pun intended) from pop stars to royalty going in. I purchase shoes for my husband here every Christmas and if any of my male staff are promoted, a trip to George Cleverly is my way of saying well done!
La Petite Maison, 54 Brook’s Mews
The first time I dined at the world’s tastiest fresh French food restaurant, I had no idea what to expect. A good friend invited me to lunch and I was blown away. Several years on, it is still my all time favourite haunt. It is where I go with my family. My children are spoilt rotten and the chef always comes out to say ‘hello’. Extra starters that I didn’t order are sent over to my table by the head chef to widen my culinary repertoire. The room is light and full of happy people because the scrumptious food makes everyone feel great.
Brown’s Hotel, Albemarle Street
I recommend you stick to a salad for lunch and skip dinner if you choose to have the afternoon tea here. The ambiance is old-world elegance and the furniture is both creative and extremely comfortable. Olga Polizzi is the incredible designer behind the interior and her brother Rocco Forte owns this elegant, timeless and great fun hotel. Everyone remembers you and nothing is too much trouble. It is my second office and if I’m not at my store, I can be found at Brown’s. It is like a clubhouse, which doesn’t require membership. In winter, I like to have my morning coffee in high back chairs by the fire in winter. What’s not to like!
Peter’s Flower Stall, Old Bond Street
Peter and his lovely sister run the outdoor flower stand, which sits between Asprey, Patek Philippe and Boucheron. They know exactly what the Bond Street stores want. You can’t walk past without gasping at the eclectic mix of fresh blooms. Tourists are always photographing themselves sitting between the famous statue of Churchill and Roosevelt, which is right next to Peter’s stall. I’ve also seen men purchase whole buckets full of flowers to give to their loved ones. I love walking up Bond Street with a huge bouquet in my arms.
La Perla, 9 Old Bond Street
This lingerie is cut to perfection. It is an annual treat courtesy of my husband but I spend weeks trying to decide what I am going to choose. This year it was a duck egg blue coloured V-necked, full-length silk slip. It came with a matching blue negligee, trimmed in ivory lace. The seamstress makes sure everything fits where it is supposed to and you can’t help feeling good when you slip it on after a long, warm fragranced bath. Old-style glamour, a glass of champagne and the night is all yours!