Shop Tactics with Whitney Bromberg Hawkings

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Photo – Foxall Studio

 

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.

SHOP TACTICS WITH TOM CHAMBERLIN


Tom Chamberlin killing time while having a suit measured in Kent, Haste & Lachter
– Photography by Foxall Studio & Elodie Nizon

Tom Chamberlin is the editor of men’s style bible, The Rake. Impeccably dressed and perfectly coiffed, Tom started out in television working on The X Factor, where he says: “I basically made tea and was an all-round dogsbody, even though it was a pretty amazing and dysfunctional entry into working life.”

Later, whilst having his hair cut at the barbers, he picked up a copy of Finch’s Quarterly Review and instinctively knew he wanted to work there. “It was witty, intelligent, beautiful and took the kind of irreverent tone that I like,” says Tom who was taken under the wing of its then editor-in-chief, Nick Foulkes. “No one has had a greater impact on how I work, dress and look at life today,” he says of his former editor and mentor.

 

In 2014 Tom joined The Rake. The renowned gentleman’s magazine had just moved from its home in Singapore to offices on London’s Upper Brook Street. As editor, Tom and his team have successfully built the brand, predominantly using front covers and interviews mixed with rich content and a good online strategy to become a leader in the field of men’s luxury publications. As for being slap bang in the middle of town, Tom adds: “Mayfair is at the epicentre of what The Rake is all about. I am very lucky to have my favourite places on my office doorstep.”

Meanwhile, the newlywed is gearing up for his next big challenge, fatherhood. And with a baby boy due any day now, Tom is already planning shopping expeditions to Mayfair, just as his father did with him. “My father taught me everything there is to know about the longevity of classic style from an early age,” he adds before taking us through his favourite addresses below:

 

Kent, Haste & Lachter, 7 Sackville Street

Terry Haste is my tailor, my mentor Nick Foulkes introduced me to him in 2010 and no experience since has been more thrilling or rewarding than having a bespoke suit made with him. He is to my mind the finest tailor in the world. Terry’s style mixes structured and unstructured tailoring which somehow takes into account both my psychological and physical needs. After all, clothes are meant to be an expression of self.  It also helps that he, John Kent and Stephen Lachter are tremendous fun to work with.

 

G.J. Cleverley, 13 Royal Arcade, 28 Old Bond Street

Shoes are a small (large) obsession of mine. I have big feet and that causes problems because you can ruin a look with clumsy, large shoes. When you go somewhere like Cleverley, a company that my father took me to when I was 16 to buy my first pair of proper shoes, you get every tradition of British craftsmanship at its best. I was hooked from then and have since been on a mission to trick people, through footwear, into thinking I am halfway elegant. Cleverley’s ‘Hague II’ loafers are, as far as I am concerned, as good as it gets.

 

Ralph Lauren, 1 New Bond Street

Ralph Lauren is a genius and a master of the Mise-en-scène. Here you will find my two favoured labels of the Ralph Lauren family. The sartorially led Purple Label which has the most wearable ready-to-wear suits for someone my size (and frankly most other sizes too). Then we have RRL, which could hitherto be found on Mount Street but has its own section in the store. I absolutely love the nostalgia for any of the many eras it is inspired by, Twenties Chicago, the Old West, Fifties Americana, the designs are imaginative and evocative and easy to chew up the day looking around.

 

Bellamy’s 18, Bruton Place

This is my favourite restaurant in London, or anywhere else. Gavin Rankin is the patron mange ici proprietor and knows how to run an establishment properly. He cut his teeth as the general manager of Annabel’s when it was actually good and he was also Mark Birley’s right-hand man. My wife has dreams about the smoked eel mousse but I recommend the fish fingers, not joking.

 

Davidoff of London, 35 St. James’s Street

Another vice that Nick Foulkes got me into is cigars. Nowhere is there a better riposte to anti-smoking legislation than Davidoff of London. Father and son team Edward and Eddie Sahakian, are two of the most generous and kind men in any industry I work with. They give very freely of their time and have encouraged a loyalty so engrained in me that even buying a cigar in a foreign country fills me with guilt. I do not drink, so cigars are my one vice, one that has become my most dedicated hobby.

 

SHOP TACTICS WITH ALICE TEMPERLEY

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Photo: Elodie Nizon / Foxall Studio

British fashion designer Alice Temperley launched her eponymous womenswear brand in 2000, a year after graduating from the prestigious Royal College of Art. She quickly became the darling of London Fashion Week and the go-to designer for show-stopping dresses with a modern, boho twist.

Two years later, Alice launched Temperley Bridal, comprising bespoke and ready-to-wear gowns. “The silhouettes are inspired by a bygone era and offer the ultimate blend of fantasy and romance,” says Alice. Then, as now, she pioneers British artisan techniques and intricate, hand-finished embellishments and embroidery.

In 2012, Alice opened a six-storey boutique on Bruton Street. “Opening the flagship store in Mayfair was a real milestone for the brand,” she says in hindsight. “Setting up a business was not easy but being young, strong and driven worked to my advantage. As a result, the brand has grown almost faster than the collections.”  Today, the designer is back showing in London. Her Temperley London line, offers four collections a year with a comprehensive range of daywear, cocktail and eveningwear.

And when it comes to letting her hair down, nothing hits the spot quite like a negroni in a late-night music venue, or a seafood supper with family and friends at Scotts. Here, she reveals more of her favourite Mayfair addresses:

Black Dice Bar, 25 Heddon Street

This basement bar, tucked away in Mayfair, is the perfect place for dancing and cocktails. The interior is eclectic and the walls are crammed with vintage memorabilia including platinum records, electric guitars and rock star portraits. The best evening is catching the live music with a negroni in hand. Escapism at its finest!

Phillips, 30 Berkeley Square

Phillips gallery sits next to our Mayfair flagship store. It is such an impressive building from the outside and the gallery space is the perfect environment for showcasing the artworks. I love the photography and design-focused auctions  – these are always my favourite events.  I recently saw The Hepworth Wakefield exhibition, exploring the artist’s later years where she experimented with different mediums. So inspiring.

Scott’s, 20 Mount Street

I love Scott’s for its huge selection of fresh fish, seafood and caviar, plus the elegant oyster and champagne bar is always an excuse for me to keep going back. There is always a great atmosphere. Some of my fondest, fun-filled memories have been shared here, in the company of my closest friends and family.

The Royal Academy of Arts, Burlington House, Piccadilly

From the very beginning, my love for design, prints, and textures has been with me. Finding time to do the things I love isn’t always easy. I like to take time out when possible in order to gain inspiration and source ideas for my collections. The Royal Academy of Arts is full of masterpieces. For me, a real treat is going when it is quiet so that I can truly appreciate the art.

The Gallery at Sketch, 9 Conduit Street

Whether it is for afternoon tea or dinner, my senses are always awakened by the interior, which India Mahdavi created for the Gallery at Sketch. Classic, yet contemporary, it is sugar coated in a dusty pink, off set by an electrifying backdrop of David Shrigley’s 239 original drawings. The space is more than a place to eat and proves that art, design and food combined, really do play to the senses.

SHOP TACTICS WITH KELLY HOPPEN

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Johannesburg-born interior and product designer Kelly Hoppen’s ever-evolving design style is underpinned by a fusion of East meets West: clean lines, neutral tones and a rich mix of texture blended with her signature charm, warmth and opulence. Together with her instinctive eye and her ability to mix vibrant colour with striking, simple beauty – she has built a design empire, which now celebrates 40 years.  With her blonde corkscrew locks and sharp business acumen, Kelly has also appeared on our TV screens, as a dragon on the BBC’s Dragon’s Den.

Kelly’s career began when, aged 16, she was commissioned to design the kitchen of a family friend. She has since earned a huge international following, a second-to-none clientele and numerous awards. She has put her stamp on the homes, tower blocks, yachts and jets of private clients as well as hotels, restaurants and commercial spaces all over the world. In 2009, she was made a MBE for her services to interior design.

Last month, saw the launch of Kelly’s latest interiors book – House of Hoppen – which takes a look back over her stellar career and her favourite projects, including previously unseen images of her most recent work as well as her own homes – past and present.

At home in London, Kelly’s penchant for cashmere and designer jewellery brings her to Bond Street and its environs in search of unique pieces.  Her little black book is bursting with glamorous haunts, five of which she reveals here:


Cartier, 175-177 New Bond Street

I have been going to Cartier for as long as I can remember. It is an institution – a huge part of Bond Street’s history. I have such wonderful memories of lunches and dinners there and of course its fabulous selection of unique jewels!

Ralph Lauren, 1 New Bond Street

I simply adore the Ralph Lauren store – it is so incredibly beautiful, almost like walking into a different world. I have been visiting this store for years and have never walked out empty handed! I am especially crazy about the cashmere.

The Royal Arcade, 28 Old Bond Street

What a stunning piece of history right there! The Royal Arcade has all sorts of hidden treasures however I specifically want to point out the extremely brilliant secondhand vintage watch shop, which is where I go for all my mends.

Stephen Webster, 130 Mount Street

Stephen’s atelier space in Mount Street is so chic. It is filled with amazing pieces of jewellery as well as art. You don’t just go there to buy – it is a whole experience within itself.

Gucci, 34 Old Bond Street

How could you talk about the Bond Street area and not mention Gucci? I can’t get enough of it! I don’t even want to admit to the amount of shoes I have bought from this store. Its footwear collection is outstanding.

Amanda Wakeley, 18 Albemarle Street

Such a beautiful space. I always adore going in and seeing Amanda for a chat and a catch up. I always make sure to pop in whenever I am in the area. And of course, I like to check out all the new pieces she has in store, which might look perfect hanging in my wardrobe!

Shop Tactics With Oliver Barker

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Ph. Elodie Nizon /Foxall Studio

Oliver Barker joined the celebrated international auction house in 1994 and moved to the Contemporary Art department in 2001, rising to the current post of Chairman, Sotheby’s Europe, Senior International Specialist. As a key figure on the rostrum, he oversees major auctions in both London and New York – some more memorable than others.

In 2008 for example, on the same day as the Lehman Brothers collapse, he oversaw the market-defining sale of the contents of Damien Hirst’s restaurant Pharmacy. Recalling the auction Oliver said: “As the sale started it was clear we were definitely onto something… The sale had an estimate of around £3 million and it made £11 million with everything sold. Importantly, it established a bond of trust between Sotheby’s and Hirst.” Five years later, he brought works to auction directly from the artist’s studio for another landmark Hirst sale ‘Beautiful Inside My Head Forever’, which achieved £111.5 million and established a world record for a single-artist sale.

Later, in 2015, Oliver set a new auction record for any work on paper by Frank Auerbach with an early portrait of his cousin Gerda, (Head of Gerda Boehm from 1961), which soared to £2.2 million. Most recently, he was responsible for bringing to auction Lucian Freud’s masterpiece Pregnant Girl which sold for £16.1 million against a pre-sale estimate of £7–10 million in February 2016.

Meanwhile, Oliver, together with the ICA’s Gregor Muir, turns quizmaster at the much-loved Dover Street Arts Club annual arts quiz. The non-profit fundraiser is a memorable, often raucous affair, where international gallerists, museum directors, critics, curators and artists battle it out to prove they have the sharpest mind in the London art world.

Next month, Sotheby’s London will stage a sale of David Bowie’s private art collection. The sale takes place in three parts on November 10th and 11th, encompassing some 400 items. At the heart of the sale is a remarkable group of more than 200 works from some of the most important British artists of the 20th Century, including Henry Moore and Graham Sutherland.

And when he is not slamming the gavel down on eye-wateringly expensive art, the affable Oliver can be found perusing Bond Street in search of exquisite writing instruments or savouring a fresh lobster sandwich in the Sotheby’s cafe. He reveals more of his favourite haunts below:

Sotheby’s Café, 34-35 New Bond Street

I welcome guests from around the world to explore the art hanging in our galleries and they are always equally enthused to discover another of our hidden gems, the Sotheby’s Café. The café walls are hung with stunning photographs from the Cecil Beaton Studio Archive and we have a superb seasonal menu alongside a wine list curated by the incomparable Serena Sutcliffe, Honorary Chairman of Sotheby’s Wine. An ever present on the lunch menu is the lobster club sandwich – a favourite of our former chairman Alfred Taubman.

 

The Royal Academy of Arts, Burlington House, Piccadilly 

I will never tire of walking through the beautiful spaces of The Royal Academy, just a stone’s throw from our own offices. You always get a sense of its incredible history, but it’s also an institution that continues to define the landscape of contemporary art; from the revolutionary “Sensation” show that introduced the YBAs to the world, to the current Abstract Expressionism show, staged under the visionary artistic direction of Tim Marlow.

 

H. Huntsman & Sons, 11 Savile Row

As an auctioneer, standing on the podium at the front of packed room, a perfectly tailored suit is an essential. Huntsman, on Savile Row, is an historic gentleman’s tailors, famed for crafting suits for the likes of Winston Churchill, Lawrence Olivier and the Royal Family. I love the bespoke experience you get when being fitted for a Huntsman suit and their classic, timeless look.

 

The Wolseley, 160 Piccadilly 

The breakfast here is so special that it even inspired A.A Gill to write a book dedicated to the subject!  The service and surroundings are impeccable – and it’s quite remarkable to think that Jeremy King and Chris Corbin opened the Wolseley as recently as 2003 as it has the feel of one of those great London institutions that has existed for decades.

 

Montblanc, 119 New Bond Street

A Montblanc pen is an icon of European craftsmanship. The fact that the finest, handmade examples now appear in our auctions is testament to the esteem in which the brand is held among the world’s collectors. The style, quality and workmanship of Montblanc stationary is unmatched, so should they ever decide to create an auctioneers gavel it would be top of my list!

 

 

Shop Tactics with Jonny Dodge

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Photography: Foxall Studio / Elodie Nizon

Jonny Dodge is an F1 events entrepreneur, adventurer and founder of the Dodgeball Rally. 

Earlier this month, shoppers charging around Mayfair may well have been stopped in their tracks by a stunning array of sassy supercars cars prowling around Bond Street. They belonged to the Dodgeball Rally, a bi-annual car rally organised by Jonny, which takes place on public roads across Europe.

Jonny kick-started his career in London, organising celebrity parties and events. He then went on to buy the Aura nightclub in Mayfair. As the events grew in scale and number, Jonny formed GP Management, a global events and experience company. Over the years he has organised everything from F1 Festivals to ‘Superyacht’ at the Monaco Formula One. GP Management and its sister company ‘Life Prive’ create some truly unique experiences such as a one-off private shopping day on Bond Street in December together with the Bond Street Association.

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Before Jonny and the other participants taking part in the rally embark on the next leg of this road trip to Monza via the Italian Alps, you might find him making a last minute pit stop in the Polo Bar at The Westbury hotel or shopping for new season knits at Hermès. He reveals more of his favourite Mayfair destinations below:

Mews of Mayfair, 10 Lancaster Court

I could write a book on Mews! It’s an amazing concept, which has grown and grown and taken over most of Lancaster Court. Many an important F1 deal has been made here – a haunt for those in the industry. Back in the day, Jenson Button had a private party here after winning a race and that was pretty incredible. I recommend getting a table outside at the courtyard restaurant and ordering the halloumi and meat platters.

The Westbury, 37 Conduit Street

I’ve been meeting clients and friends for dinner or drinks at the Westbury hotel for the past five years. The Polo bar is the perfect spot for business meetings and entertaining clients. Unlike some places you go to in Mayfair, which tend to be a little loud and crowded, the Westbury is both refined and comfortable.

Mappin & Webb, 1 Old Bond Street

I recently designed my fiancées’ engagement ring here. I went through the bespoke process of designing the piece, which involved starting at the Mappin & Webb store on Bond Street and then visiting its Hatton Garden design studio. I had an idea in my head as to how the ring should look and saw the design through from scratch with the help of its head jeweller. To create something so unique was an amazing experience. And my fiancée likes it, which is a good!

5 Hertford Street, 2-5 Hertford Street

I think 5 Hertford Street currently holds the top spot among London’s private members clubs. The crowd from Annabel’s has migrated across there and now that it has opened up the roof it is just beautiful. To have a roof terrace in Mayfair is perfect – definitely a plus. The food is great as are the people. You meet so many different characters. It’s where you’ll find me on a midweek night chilling.

Hermès, 155 New Bond Street

I wish I were more of a fashion guru but I’m not. Instead, I go with a standard traditional look, so the Hermès aesthetic works really well for me. I shop here for key wardrobe staples such as belts, wallets and other coveted accessories, which are so beautiful and classic. I’ll go in again soon in search of jumpers – I mean ‘new season’ knits!

 

Shop Tactics with William Asprey

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William Asprey, the seventh generation member of the celebrated Asprey family, founded William & Son in 1999. With his penchant for shooting and love for the finer things in country and sporting life, he is as quintessentially British as the brand he has created.

At the Bruton Street flagship collections of the finest jewellery and timepieces, leather goods and silver and glassware as well as paraphernalia for elegant penmanship and gamesmanship are displayed over two floors. The gleaming store is also the first point of call for any country sports enthusiast in search of kit and tackle. It also stocks bespoke, handcrafted shotguns as well as William & Son’s own line of perfectly cut but suitably sturdy country clothing.

Speaking of which, the autumn/winter 2016/17 collection has a decidedly more contemporary edge than the traditional styles of past. Key pieces include women’s Orkney Tweed waistcoats and Breeks (breeches).  Then there are pea coats, cashmere shawl collar cardigans and Linton tweed field coats for men.  All tweeds are designed by William & Son’s in-house team and manufactured in Scotland, demonstrating further William’s dedication to home-grown craftwork and his mission to keep British manufacturing alive. Take the brand’s first knitwear collection for instance. The collection is produced in Hawick, in a factory William & Son recently purchased.

In London, William’s been known to stay longer than necessary at wine tastings and feels right at home in a hotel with a good signature fragrance. He shares more of his favourite haunts below:

 

Bellamy’s, 18 Bruton Place

Bellamy’s is just a stone’s throw away from our gunroom so it’s perfectly convenient to meet with friends or clients at William & Son and then walk across for lunch. The atmosphere is calm and relaxing whilst the food is outstanding. If you need a table last minute without a booking, they will always do their best to find you one.

Hedonism Wines, 3-7 Davies Street 

Hedonism is like a treasure cave full of unique and exciting wines. I love the interior. It matches the welcoming atmosphere with experts always on hand to offer their endless extent of knowledge. It’s my go to for a great bottle of wine, although the wine tastings always tempt me to stay slightly longer than necessary!

The Connaught, Carlos Place 

The Connaught holds many memories for me, as it is just a few doors away from where we were previously based on Mount Street. The service is second to none and the staff are extremely accommodating. Having held many William & Son events at the Connaught, nothing is ever too much to ask. Even after moving to Bruton Street it is still a place regularly visited. As soon as you enter the lobby and smell their signature scent you instantly feel at home.

Halcyon Gallery, 144-146 New Bond Street

The Halcyon Gallery is an amazing gallery for so many reasons. Firstly for working with so many emerging and established global artists – it represents artists from all parts of the world. It’s so easy to only see the work of artists around you when living in London, however Halcyon Gallery really champions the best from all over the world. By working with such varied artists, it allows guests to access art exhibitions, which they might otherwise miss due to lack of knowledge or interest.

Dege & Skinner, 10 Savile Row 

With 150 years of heritage and knowledge, it’s no surprise Dege & Skinner is the family run business I go to for suit tailoring. I enjoy visiting Savile Row and even more so now Dege & Skinner has introduced its first selection of ready-to-wear suits and blazers. As William & Son are for the craftsmanship, Dege & Skinner are passionate when it comes to protecting the traditions that have led to its success.

Shop Tactics with Johnny Messum

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Portrait by Elodie Nizon

As company director of Messum’s London, Johnny Messum, joined the family-run business in 1999 after studying History of Art at Edinburgh University and working at Christie’s. Since his arrival, he has taken the company into new ventures starting new collections and building relationships with overseas galleries and museums on behalf of Messum’s artists and artist estates.

Johnny is also chairman of DegreeArt London, the UK leader in contemporary affordable art online, and is a board member of Browns Hotel London Art Weekend (BLAW). As part of next month’s edition, Johnny will be waxing lyrical about art in the Sixties during his guided tour of four select Mayfair galleries. (See http://www.brownslondonartweekend.com for more details).

Meanwhile, in addition to its recently restored Cork Street gallery and sculpture garden in Marlow, the pioneering gallerist is also behind Messum’s Wiltshire, a space dedicated to contemporary sculpture. Set in a 14th Century Monastic Barn, the largest of its type in the country, Johnny’s longer term vision is that Messum’s Wiltshire will become a leading cultural institution in the South West of England, showcasing modern and contemporary art, design and performance, whilst also providing educational lectures and workshops as part of its exhibitions and events programme throughout the year. To celebrate the opening of this new experience-led retail space, things kick off this August, with a show featuring the work of David Linley.

As well as spotting great art, Johnny also has an eye for fine jewellery and a well-made shirt – not to mention a good seafood risotto. Here, he lists some of his favourite haunts in and around Bond Street below:

Richard Green, 32-33 New Bond Street

When I am walking Bond Street I will always stop in to see what Richard Green is doing, he is my father’s generation, but someone I respect a great deal for the way that he studies and understands quality.

The Royal Academy and Cork Street

For all its incredible array of shops, my Mayfair is about people. I run a generational business and know how much evolution contributes to success. It is the personalities that drive this. The Pollen Estate, for example, are taking on a massive redesign of Cork Street, a true once in a generation moment, and there are people like James Andrews working on that project who have been involved for over 15 years. Likewise, the Royal Academy under Charles Saumarez Smith is taking the bold and longstanding decision to expand and open to the North into Burlington Gardens. I feel very proud that our family business will continue to represent artists on Cork Street for the foreseeable future.

Petrocchi Sede Unica, 36 Albemarle Street

Petrocchi Sede Unica, for breakfast or lunch. This family-run Italian eatery is always busy in that sort of New York way. It gets packed at the entrance but squeeze through, and if you know Francesca, you are in. If you don’t, good luck getting a table. One thing is certain though. You have to have the seafood risotto with a glass of Gavi di Gavi.

Budd Shirtmakers, 3 Piccadilly Arcade 

Ok, so not my everyday shopping experience (which part of Mayfair is?) but a really terrific old school shop with a twist. My experience started with some vouchers given to the family for Christmas. I bought all of my brothers vouchers at a discount rate, converted them into cash, which is what interested them more at the time, and then purchased some fabulous shirts.

Boodles, 178 New Bond Street

Boodles is a flagship British jewellery business, evolving through the generations and full of wonderful details. Here, jewellery is thought and rethought for the current taste. James Amos, now marketing director, is your man. He still has time to talk you through the presentations.

John Mitchell Fine Paintings, 17 Avery Row

Again, a unique family business in Mayfair – the Mitchell family has been involved with paintings and art for generations. Speak to Paul Mitchell about frames, James and William about British pictures, and immerse yourself in their depth of knowledge and enthusiasm for their subject. Modern retailing it is not, expertise it certainly is.

http://www.messums.com

Shop Tactics with John Williams

Photo: Elodie Nixon With thanks to The Ritz London / 150 Piccadilly / London W1J 9BR / United Kingdom / +44 (0)20 7493 8181 / www.theritzlondon.com

Photo: Elodie Nixon / Foxall Studio
(with thanks to The Ritz London – theritzlondon.com)

 

John Williams is executive chef at The Ritz London. The son of a Tyneside fisherman, he developed his passion for food at an early age. Initially taught by his mother, he then went on to study at South Shields College and then at Westminster College.

John’s culinary career began as a commis chef at the Percy Arms Hotel in Otterburn in 1974. Later he worked at the Royal Garden Hotel and the Restaurant Le Crocodile, both in Kensington. Then, in 1986, he joined the distinguished Savoy Group of Hotels and Restaurants. During John’s impressive 18-year tenure with the Savoy Group, he served as maître chef des cuisines at The Berkeley, before his move to head up Claridge’s kitchens in 1995.

As a tireless supporter of the industry, John is behind numerous charity initiatives and continues to work to promote the education and training of young chefs. He has an MBE and a CMA from the French Government for services to French cuisine, the first British chef to receive such an honour.

Today at The Ritz, he oversees a kitchen brigade of over 60 chefs and is responsible for the mouth-watering menus in The Ritz Restaurant, The Palm Court, and the Rivoli Bar. When he is not whipping up a partridge souvaroff or a caramelised pear Williams gateaux, the amiable chef likes to kick back with a fine Cuban cigar and a pungent slice of Stinking Bishop cheese. He shares more of his favourite Mayfair finds below:

 

Davidoff Cigars, 35 St James’s Street

I love the friendly, knowledgeable team at Davidoff. They provide excellent service. I very much enjoy having a cigar tasting in its fumoir/tasting room and I get very excited about the different cigars available – they are always kept in excellent condition. But mostly, I love the feeling of going to Davidoff because it means I have an appropriate event to go to – one that I will be looking forward to! Davidoff also has some excellent whiskeys.

 

Ralph Lauren, 1 New Bond Street

I’ve worn Ralph Lauren for over thirty years. I am a big fan of the brand because it offers timeless, classic men’s tailoring. Its clothes are made to a great quality and are both elegant and comfortable.

 

Paxton & Whitfield, 93 Jermyn Street

I use Paxton & Whitfield both at The Ritz and at my home – that has to tell you everything! It definitely has my stamp of approval. Paxton’s sells top quality British cheese (as well as continental) and has been doing so for over two hundred years. There is a great history to the brand and it has numerous Royal Warrants. Some of my favourite varieties are Stinking Bishop and Celtic Promise. The team here are always active in promoting different cheeses to me with their tastings, which I like. There is a great education process and it’s great to experience different or new cheeses.

 

Alyn Williams at The Westbury, 37 Conduit Street

I think Alyn Williams in a fantastic, modern, classic British cook. His restaurant offers serious food with a smile.

 

Harvie & Hudson, 96-97 Jermyn Street

Harvie & Hudson can dress you for any occasion – from a day at the races at Royal Ascot to a dinner in town. It is a great British heritage brand. I go in there every season. At the moment I have got my eye on a cream/fawn cotton jacket in their window. I would like to wear it to this summer’s Glorious Goodwood in July, an event I go to every year.

 

Shop Tactics with Nadya Abela

Morton’s, London’s exclusive, yet relaxed private members’ club, has been at the centre of Mayfair’s bustling social scene for 40 years. Once the private home of the Chancellor of the Exchequer, the Grade II listed building, with its basement nightclub and striking first floor restaurant, overlooks the length of Berkeley Square.

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Nada Abela – Photography: Elodie Nizon

Last month, its owners, husband and wife team Marlon and Nadya Abela, acquired The Square restaurant on Bruton Street. It is where we meet one half of this entrepreneurial duo, the effortlessly chic Russian-born Nadya, who couldn’t be happier with the way business is going.

Nadya’s journey began at the University of Moscow, where after embarking on a course in psychology she moved to London to further her studies. But it wasn’t long before a model agency scout spotted her, and a prestigious fashion career spanning almost two decades quickly ensued.

In 2014, Nadya decided to put her fashion experience to good use, launching the childrenswear brand, Roly Pony, with business partner Aytan Eldarova. Then, there is her admirable philanthropic side. Over the last ten years, Nadya has helped a number of charities across Russia. In 2015 she founded her own charity, Nadezda, which offers both medical help to children with various illnesses and disabilities as well as financial support for further education.

Back to Morton’s Club and its enviable position on Berkeley Square. Nadya says: “We are fortunate to be neighbours with Phillips, so I feel spoilt being so close to all those rare collectors’ items and the excitement that each auction brings.” She recounts more of her favourite addresses below:

 

Safiyaa, 43 Brook Street

I met Daniela Karnuts at a fundraising event for my charity Nadezda last year and we instantly hit it off.  Her brand is only six seasons old but already she is considered by many as the go to brand for formalwear, given her use of stunning couture fabrics.  All her garments, whether elevated daywear items or bespoke gowns, are made with love and care and are hand-sewn from start to finish.  Despite her lack of formal training, Daniela was inspired by her mother and grandmother’s inherent sense of style, which really comes through in her timeless collections.  Her gorgeous boutique on Brook Street is a haven of calm, inspiration and glamour for all those who visit.

 

Bernard Quaritch, 40 South Audley Street

Founded in London in 1847, Bernard Quaritch sells rare books, manuscripts and photographs to private and institutional clients across the globe. Its specialist subjects include photography, science, travel, the fine arts, English and international literature, Islamic and European manuscripts, and early printed books. Current items include a first edition of Marx’s works and Soviet verses for children. I love going in there – it is like travelling back in time. The staff are always so happy to offer advice.  Even if I’m not looking for something specific in mind, often I always leave with something tucked under my arm.

 

Sotheby’s, 34-35 New Bond Street

I always love visiting Sotheby’s on Bond Street (as well as when I’m in NYC), for an insight into the some of the world’s most exciting collectables.  It always has eye-catching window displays, which draw you in as you walk by.  I have often made time to look at a specific sale item ahead of an auction and have ended up spending two hours lost in a world of history and antiquity.  As one of the oldest auction houses, I love how Sotheby’s maintains its heritage yet translates it across digital media. I always check its Instagram feed to see what is going on and love the videos it posts on Facebook, especially featuring the collectors themselves.

 

Chalayan, 2 Bourdon Street

It was my husband who first introduced me to the fashion designer Hussein Chalayan, who has since become a friend.  My husband is passionate about art and we both love Hussein’s approach to art and design. The Chalayan brand is celebrated for innovation and the ability to push boundaries through its seasonal shows and museum exhibitions. The collections offer alternative, yet timeless design, that intrigue and excite without compromising on precision or tailoring. Chalayan’s first London boutique is located on Bourdon Street, right behind Morton’s Club and we have hosted a number of events with Hussein, including a private presentation of the Spring/Summer 2016 collection and an insightful interview hosted by the contemporary art and design specialist, Andrée Cooke.

 

Cartier, 175-177 New Bond Street

Cartier has long been a favourite jewellery brand of mine.  From its pens to the unique and priceless showpieces – each one makes a statement in its own way.  My mother-in-law has long been a collector and together we share an admiration for the craftsmanship that goes into the fine jewellery creations as well as more simple and elegant pieces. I chose Cartier for one of my most precious pieces – my wedding band. I love the Bond Street store, especially its first floor showroom. I once hosted an event there for the launch of its L’Odyssée de Cartier collection, where a dozen ladies enjoyed éclairs from Marc Patisserie in-between trying on the breathtaking colourful creations.