Always seeking specialty outfitters, milliners, gourmet kitchen accessories, fishing gear, antiques etc.…on my recent Journey I was ecstatic to find two specialty hat emporiums. A friend owned Fino Fino hat shop here and I was a frequent ‘unpaid’ model for fashion events and prints ads. Unpaid, is really not quite accurate, I was paid in deeply discounted hat prices, thus why I have a room devoted to brimming hat boxes…friends have donated their mom’s vintage hats and boxes to my ‘collection’. ‘Blondie economics’ have usually proven to be successful for me!
You can find the oldest London hatter on its most historic streets – St James Street – Lock and Company dates back to the early 1700’s and the creaky narrow wood stairs leading up to the women’s hat gallery is a testament to the age. Don’t miss the Heritage Room at the back of the shop, a curated collection of archival content such as Sir Winston Churchill and Admiral Lord Nelson’s ledgers, the first-ever bowler hat, celebrity head-shapes and much more.
The Couture Millinery may remind you of perky royal fascinators; I didn’t see the Queen or a Princess lurking, however, I am certain this must be their go to shop for their whimsical and inspiring cocktail hats. For men’s formal wear, a large selection of Top Hats and an excellent selection of travel Panama Hats – with their own roller tube.
Fashion make you a bit peckish? Then mosey to 3 St James Street to the oldest spirit shop for a tipple…pouring for over 300 years, we love Berry Bros. & Rudd. http://www.bbr.com/
In Paris, an elegant and stunning collection, this is THE shop for to die for millinery. Laurence Bossion just a few blocks from Le Meurice on rue, Saint Roch. If your social season demands the ultimate chapeaux, do saunter into this petite and charming atelier. Not far from the Louvre, the young women speak some English, have textiles on hand and many interesting and flamboyant styles. Their website offers many more options, however, each hat can be custom designed and sewn for Madame’s needs. http://www.laurencebossion.com/index.php
Oversize hat boxes don’t seem to cause a commotion at first class check in. And yes, I speak from experience; schlepping a hat box on the train and two hatboxes onto the plane…Perhaps there is an implied message delivered by dragging on a bag of hat boxes, who would question someone crazy enough to carry-on fragile hat boxes? Both firms also ship.
Peckish in Paris – nearby is the elegant Le Meurice Bar 228 or a few blocks away is the classic Hemingway’s Bar at The Ritz…A definite distinction, but we crave choices, don’t you?