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William's London: Jermyn Street & St. James's Street


Written by Penhaligon's Times

Back in William’s day, any self-respecting London dandy could be found bouncing around between Jermyn Street and St. James's Street. Here, a gentleman’s every tailoring and grooming need could be tended, to an impeccable standard. Welcome to the epicentre of Victorian sartorial excellence.

Tucked behind the bustling thoroughfare of Piccadilly, around the corner from Fortnum & Mason, these quaint little streets make for a jolly day out in London. While no longer purely devoted to society’s fashionable elite, many elegant stalwarts from yesteryear remain. 

First stop: Paxton & Whitfield, England's oldest cheesemongers. This shop has stood on Jermyn Street since 1797. What could Penhaligon's possibly have in common with a cheese shop, I hear you cry. We shall tell you. Both served the Royal Court of Queen Victoria, and currently hold a Royal Warrant from HRH The Prince of Wales. (Our wares smell much better, of course.)

Indeed, what with the proximity to the Palace, it’s little wonder Royal Warrants are legion around these parts. Jermyn Street shirt-makers Turnbull & Asser, founded in 1898, have been providing Prince Charles with shirts since he was a boy – as well as outfitting a certain Mr Bond. 

Berry Bros. & Rudd is Britain’s oldest wine merchant, having traded from the same shop on St. James’s Street since 1698. With two Royal Warrants under their belt, a visit to these illustrious cellars is a must. 

Fine handmade footwear has also long been a feature of this well-heeled area. (Ahem.) Bespoke bootmaker, John Lobb, set up shop on St. James’s Street in 1866. The mastercraftsman is famed for supplying the Royal Palace – and even Queen Victoria herself – with sensible, well-made shoes. 

A Victorian gent, having been appropriately suited and booted by these fine establishments, would have directed his Brougham carriage to the Turkish baths on Savile Row, where Mr Penhaligon would be waiting to groom and perfume to perfection. William founded his first barbershop here in 1874, and created his very first fragrance – a daring oriental inspired by the heady, sensual surrounds of the hammam. It caused quite a stir among the bright young things of Mayfair.

Sadly, the Turkish baths are no more. The next best thing? Pop across Piccadilly to the warm and welcoming sanctuary that is our Burlington Arcade store. Established in 1819 by Lord George Cavendish, Earl of Burlington, the Arcade epitomises the glamour of Victorian London. So naturally, it’s the perfect location for Penhaligon’s. 

Upstairs, you’ll find one of our most luxurious private fragrance profiling rooms. It’s the perfect hideaway in which to find your fragrant match, or indeed, create your bespoke fragrance with our Made to Measure service. What better way to round off a day out in St. James’s?



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