Travel Notebook

Shop Like the Royals Do

Of course you’ll want to pick up a treasure or two on your world travels … yet how often can one say that the souvenir they’re bringing home has been issued a royal warrant? Original Travel UK has given us some insight into just where to shop in London to purchase items that have obtained the royal warrant, a significance issued to approximately 800 certified supplies to the monarchy.

Start at Savile Row, where we love to stop in to Gieves & Hawkes for its new “Made in England” line and bespoke suits. The store has roots as far back as 1771 when it started to provide uniforms for the royal army and navy. Today, you can pick up everything from delicate pocket squares to leather overnight bags to dashing weekend-wear.

Take home a carpet that will stand the test of time and provide a bit of history for your residence … Brintons has been around for 200 years and has provided carpets for palaces, hotels, restaurants and more. For a glimpse of this amazing carpet maker, a royal warrant holder, head to the Burlington Arcade, which opened in 1819 and is home to approximately 40 boutiques, all connected by 197 yards of Brintons carpet. Look for images of far-flung cities stitched into the carpet.

Picnic hamper from Fortnum & Mason. Photo Credit :

Stop in to the “Queen’s grocer,” Fortnum & Mason, which has supplied every monarch since 1707. At first, the store provided mainly teas, but today you’ll find everything from coffee and cheeses to meat and produce. There are wonderfully unique housewares and jewelry to choose from as well. Stay for tea in the Diamond Jubilee Tea Room.

Another one of our favorite partners, The Goring Hotel, also received its royal warrant recently. I adore this family-owned hotel for its high standards of hospitality, sense of fun and thoughtful indulgences. (A stuffed sheep accompanies you in your guest room and might just have migrated to a new spot throughout your stay – the staff here is so much fun and always full of surprises!) You’re just a royal wave away from Buckingham Palace, yet it’s easy to slip into obscurity and privacy here in the Michelin-starred restaurant or your up-to-the-minute suite.

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Lock & Co. Hatters is a must, as it’s the oldest hat shop in the world. From the distinctive Coke (or bowler) hat first created here in 1848 to today’s couture millinery, the shop’s hats are exquisitely crafted. Ladies, I adore the collection of vibrant headbands, perfectly crafted to complement just about any style of outfit. Gentlemen, procure a rakish look with one of the shop’s exclusive velvet smoking caps.

For the perfect pair of gentlemen’s shoes, stop in to Lobb – after all, the esteemed shop, on St. James’s street, has catered to princes, kings, maharajas, actors, singers, politicians and the like for decades. A meticulous fitting is followed by incredible attention to every detail, from the crafting of the lasts to the creation of a wooden shoe tree that will ensure your shoes retain their shape for years to come. Every true gentleman deserves a pair of superb shoes from Lobb.

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Our friends at Original Travel UK can arrange an in-depth royal warrant shopping itinerary, uncovering the best of the city for your perusing pleasure. Helen Bedford is the team’s “Go-To-Girl,” and has an eye on the latest and greatest London has to offer. It might be smart to pack an extra piece of luggage for all the treasures you’ll carry home – purchased from another Royal Warrant shop, of course!