Purchase Power: Shopping Tips from London Fashion Experts
We asked a couple of London tastemakers what they would buy with £20, £50, and £100. Here’s what they said.
Patrick Grant, creative director of historic Savile Row tailors Norton & Sons and men’s ready-to-wear label E. Tautz:
£20: “I’d go to Berry Bros. & Rudd (pictured) and buy a bottle—can I have two?—of Good Ordinary Claret (£9). The shop in St James’s is a veritable Dickensian time capsule complete with ancient bottles of Tokai, a wonky wooden floor, and coffee scales on which customers are weighted (a tradition that dates back to the 18th-century health boom).”
£50: “We Brits love a good cuppa. There’s a Japanese proverb that goes ‘If a man has no tea in him he is incapable of understanding truth and beauty.’ The East India Company’s Li Shan Oolong Loose Tea (£50) is grown on one of the world’s highest tea plantations in Taiwan and is picked just twice a year in very small quantities.”
£100: “Penhaligon’s Sartorial Eau de Toilette (£85) is based on the smell of the tailoring workroom at Norton & Sons (oiled shears, leather, pressed chalk, beeswax), so if you can’t afford a hand-cut suit you can at least take away a little olfactory souvenir of Savile Row.”
Greek-born, London-based women’s fashion designer Mary Katrantzou:
£20: “I’d buy a ticket to the Design Museum (£10.85). I am inspired by all forms of art and design—by those who push the boundaries of their chosen discipline or interpret an idea with real intelligence. With my change, I’d go for a cappuccino at a café on Southbank overlooking the Thames.”
£50: “I love wandering around London’s old department stores, especially Liberty, where I’d treat myself to a Gardenia-scented Diptyque candle (£40). Looking up at the Tudor architecture from outside you feel like you have taken a step back in time, but walk in and you’ll find such an intelligent blend of modern brands and new designers mixed with classic products and the famous Liberty prints. For me, it is the epitome of a retail experience.”
£100: “There is nothing nicer than spending the evening with good food, wine, and company. I would take my partner to dinner at this amazing little Argentinean restaurant called Buen Ayre (50 Broadway Market; dinner for two £60), in Hackney. It has a friendly and relaxed atmosphere.”
For more tips on shopping like a local in London, click here.
Christine Ajudua is Travel + Leisure's London correspondent.