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By Marie Scott

Rolling around on a bed with a stranger in the aristocratic setting of Spencer House is not something that often falls within the job spec of a well brought up journalist. Yet that was the fate of your Savile Row Style representative at the most recent presentation of the Walpole body.

Walpole brings together some of Britain’s most illustrious brands, from Henry Poole and Gieves & Hawkes in the tailoring sector through to the likes of Aston Martin, Fortnum & Mason, Glenfiddich, Royal Doulton and The Savoy.

It is an elite British club, but with international affiliations, Raffles Hotels for example, plus Laurent-Perrier are among its sponsors. And it puts on a variety of events and promotional activities, for the benefit of its members and the British luxury sector in general. It plays a significant role in helping that industry to achieve sales now in excess of £32 billion.


So how did the bed escapade come into this high scheme of things? Well, one of the members is that fine bed brand, Savoir, favoured by both Sir Winston Churchill and Marilyn Monro, as reported in the previous edition of Savile Row Style. In the interests of ascertaining the comfort of a luxury bed topper, the Editor joined a gentleman from Savoir on the topper, which was indeed exceedingly comfortable. A snip at around £1,000.

On to indulge in more sensual pleasure at the stand of Clive Christian, perfumier par excellence. Here are rich, deep, complex and sophisticated fragrances, for men as well as women. One, called the No 1, is the world’s most expensive perfume, extravagantly bottled in crystal with a lattice-work of 24-carat gold filigree in which are embedded some 2,000 white diamonds, with yellow diamonds and a pink diamond featured on the head of a lion motif. It is not to be sniffed at for £143,000, available exclusively at Harrods.

From olfactory pleasure to taste indulgence, on the Fairmont hotel group stand, where it was impossible to resist quite the most delicious eclairs. Fairmont is the group which owns the splendid Raffles Hotel as well as many others throughout the world, including our own Savoy.


Ettinger is a family business that produces immaculate leather goods and which holds a Royal Warrant to the Prince of Wales to prove it. Halcyon Days has the distinction of being one of only fourteen companies to hold all three Royal Warrants, to the Queen, Prince Philip and Prince Charles. To its signature brand of small enamel boxes, made by a traditional process, it has added bangles and now other gift lines.

Johnstons of Elgin is remarkable in being a fully vertical company, meaning that any of its knitwear, cloths, garments and accessories benefits from being produced by them right from the raw material. So one of the lovely cashmere knits on display would have been spun from fleece delivered to their Highlands headquarters, where they have been based since 1797. It too holds a Royal Warrant, to the Prince of Wales for knitwear.

Representing Savile Row was Henry Poole, not only showing fine tailored suits but also a uniform as worn by the Beadle of Burlington Arcade, which shows off the firm’s special skills in creating ceremonial and military dress.

This event is but one of many activities throughout the year that helps promote Walpole members and British luxury goods in general. Its success is evident not only in sales figures but in its ability to remind everyone that British craftsmanship and quality continues and is worthy of its luxury tag.

By Marie Scott Rolling around on a bed

In the beginning there was the sheep. From the sheep came the fleece, from which came the trade upon which England’s wealth is based, and which is why the Speaker in the House of Lords still sits upon a wool-stuffed cushion, the Wool Sack, to this day.

It’s a reminder that this much maligned flock animal played an important role in setting England on the road to prosperity, way back in medieval times. Then, its fleece was prized above all others and export trade brought riches to the country. So important was the trade that landowners came to count their wealth in terms of sheep. Perhaps that‘s how the old saw about counting sheep to get to sleep came to pass – a relaxing reminder of wealth!


Today, English herds may no longer provide the fleece for fine cloths, theirs being supplanted by that from Australian merino sheep. But English wool cloth, as produced particularly in Yorkshire, remains the world finest, and the staple choice of Savile Row’s tailors.

Acknowledging their debt to the sheep, a flock of them were allowed to stop traffic in the Row one fine Autumn day, with tailors showing off the quality and versatility of wool cloths in a variety of styles worn by another flock, of models.


West End crowds were delighted at the sight of both, the sheep as shampoo-ed and immaculately groomed as the models. The event was part of a wider campaign to promote wool, with Prince Charles as its patron, and the support of the Woolmark Company. It embraces not just sheep and tailors but farmers, cloth producers, designers, clothing manufacturers, exporters and retailers – and ultimately the public that wears the stuff.

Cloths from some 28 mills and cloth merchants were used by 25 of Savile Row’s finest, in a splendid cooperation to celebrate the best of both. And to emphasise the buoyancy of Savile Row’s present state of affairs, there were also no less than 61 young apprentices who had helped create these designs, a testament to the renewed interest in tailoring and its attraction as a career.


Divided into three categories, Bespoke, Traveller and Iceland, the clothes provided a full gamut of wool’s versatility, using finest merino suitings, colourful tweeds and relaxed checks through to cloths benefitting from the latest technical developments to provide warmth and comfort in the harshest of climates.



Support also came from some of Savile Row’s neighbours in Jermyn Street, showing that merino wool is also a desirable shirting, with examples from Budd, Emma Willis and Turnbull & Asser. And from hats to shoes, the best of British menswear was on display.


Altogether, this jolly day illustrated that wool is indeed a fibre for all seasons and occasions. And the very well behaved, serenely unfazed flock at the heart of the action surely persuaded a few urban dwellers that there is more to sheep than mutton chops.



In the beginning there was the sheep.

Long a precious centre of Mayfair life, Berkeley Square excelled itself in riches this autumn, sheltering an abundance of treasures that attracted a well-heeled crowd of admirers. The annual art and antiques fest that is the LAPADA event was taking place, attracting art and antique lovers from around the world – and especially from its home patch of Mayfair.

The opening night party is something of a village fete – the village being London’s most exclusive enclave, and a wealthy set of villagers mingling with visitors in a grand, champagne-fuelled do. Surrounded by incredible works of art, precious jewels and rare antiques, it was good to see many guests doing justice to the occasion by dressing to the nines.


This first night is the prelude to a week-long fair that features top dealers and galleries. Every item put on show has been vetted by a 70-strong team of experts, to ensure provenance and quality. And some experts deliver talks and tips on collecting in relation to works on display.

On collecting vintage wristwatches, authority Costa Kleanthous of Kleanthous Antiques pointed to the special appeal of Officer’s or Trench watches of WWll. These were individually commissioned, giving a variety of styles. James Raymond of Pash & Son singled out the intriguing historical insights to be revealed in collecting silver ware with crests and inscriptions. Art Deco furniture from the 1930s provides top collecting examples, advised Jeroen Markies, particularly in walnut, satinwood and bird’s eye maple.

From Tobias Birch came a reminder that English clockmakers led the world in the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries, with the late 17th and early 18th ‘golden age’ providing clocks that are at the top end of the market. And in reference to the inclusion of important contemporary artworks in the fair, Rebecca Hossack pointed to non-Western artists and her own speciality, Aboriginal paintings, which show a strong attachment to the natural world.

With over a hundred exhibitors and such an eclectic mix of exhibits, the on-going success of this event is one of the important factors that ensures London’s pre-eminence in the international art and antiques scene. It is a joy to attend, a reminder of the skills and talents that have created these treasures and which go into making civilisation civilised. At a time when elsewhere in the world, ancient artefacts are being destroyed or simply neglected, LAPADA’s members and their collecting clients are invaluable in helping to preserve our heritage.


Long a precious centre of Mayfair life,

That fine Australian wine house Penfolds teamed up with the Royal Opera House to put on an evening of quite sensual pleasure at Somerset House, that grand old building beside the Thames.

Penfolds must be credited as one of the great wine makers that ensured respect for New World wines and helped open up the world wine market to a wider public.

Hard now to believe that just a short while ago in the scheme of wine, France so dominated the market that, with the rare exception of a few Italian and the odd German white, restaurant wine lists were composed entirely of French varieties.

New World wines changed all that. Admittedly, there was also a resurgence of wine production in other old wine regions. But it was the get-up-and-go, determination and willingness to adopt modern developments on the part of New World producers that helped promote and encourage wine drinking on a much wider scale.


And right at the forefront of that movement was the Australian house of Penfolds. Given that it was established in 1844, just eight years after South Australia was founded, it can hardly be lumped in with many other New World wines. Yet such has been its influence and its success in developing fine wines, and promoting them world wide, that it undoubtedly ensured New World wines arrived at the top table.

It provided its own top table at this splendid dinner at Somerset House, where a privileged gathering of some 80 guests enjoyed a tasting of a galaxy of Penfolds wines. Having savoured more than was perhaps wise of these fine whites and delicious reds, we then adjoined to an upper room, where a long table gleaming with silver and fine glassware gave promise of good fare.

We were not disappointed. With introductions from Samuel Stephens, brand ambassador of Penfolds, and John Fulljames, associate director of the Royal Opera House, a dish of burrata, beetroot quenelle and truffle dressing was served with a 2012 Yattarna, a 1998 Bin 389 Cabernet-Shiraz, and a 1996 Kalimna Bin 28 Shiraz.

Next came foie gras teamed with the 1980 Grange. The main dish of rare beef fillet came with a 2001 St Henri Shiraz and 1999 RWT Barossa Valley Shiraz. And finally, a dark chocolate concoction emerged, smoking, from under a glass cloche, to go with the Great Grandfather Rare Tawny NV.


Grange is the wine that if not exactly responsible for making Australia famous certainly established it as a country making fine wine. Its inception is the stuff of legend in the wine trade. In the 1950s, Penfolds chief winemaker, Max Schubert, presented a newly created wine to his top management and a circle of leading wine buffs. It was rejected, even scorned. Yet despite this set-back, Schubert persisted, continuing to experiment on the wine in secret, in cellars well away from management.

Finally, revealing his results at another tasting by the board, his efforts were recognised and the go-ahead for production was given. That was in 1960. The Grange went on to success with Aussie drinkers and to international acclaim. It continues to win international awards and has been acknowledged as one of the great reds of the 20th century. And we were privileged to have a taste of it at Somerset House.

As if this abundance of fine food and good wines was not enough sensual pleasure for one evening, singers from the Royal Opera House gave performances. Dr Johnson is credited with saying that music was the only sensual pleasure without vice, and given his own bibulous predilection, the good doctor would surely have approved of this combination of wine and song.

In recent years, the opera house has stepped up its promotional activities, cooperating with many in the arts world and working in partnership with others. Earlier this year, it launched a collaboration with the Royal College of Art. All these activities and others around the world have upped its profile and established its brand over a wide range of products.


Its presence at Somerset House did not mark a move into wine producing, however, but provided sublime singing and music during the course of a very grand dinner. Given the general bonhomie and hubbub engendered by wine, food and good company, it says much for the excellence of the musicians that they still commanded our attention.

Replete with wine, food and song at the end of this evening, we stepped out onto the elegant terrace of Somerset House, overlooking the Thames, with all the lights of London twinkling about us, and felt filled with seasonal goodwill towards all men and women – and especially to Penfolds.

That fine Australian wine house Penfolds teamed

Orient Express saving

The Orient Express continues to have pulling power, its iconic status undoubtedly boosted by Agatha Christie. Now known now as the Venice-Simplon Orient Express, it poses an expensive train ride to Venice, given that only one night is spent aboard. But for those keen to sample its luxury, the Italian travel firm of Citalia is offering a four night luxury break to Venice that includes a night on the train and three at the Londra Hotel in la Serenissima, with a saving of £1,435 on its usual price.

Travellers will fly BA to Venice, stay B & B at the Londra, then board the train to enjoy a new champagne bar, and dinner in the gilded 1920s restaurant car, before retiring to their deluxe cabin at bedtime. Prices from £2,249, restricted to August 2016.

Golfing by the sea

Golfers may be swayed by a recommendation from Paul McGinley – he who led Europe to win the Ryder Cup last year – that rates the Quinta do Lago golf courses, and other facilities there, as “the best in Europe”. He may, perhaps, be prejudiced given that there is a Paul McGinley Academy on site, but others have also rated it highly, particularly the new North Course.

This Portuguese resort in the Algarve has no less than three 18-hole courses. There are plenty of other attractions for non-golfers that make it family-friendly, with all kinds of sporting activities, a variety of restaurants, beachside location, plus shops.

Peru for 2016

Peruvian food is the latest foodie fad, boosted by a spate of restaurants in London and elsewhere serving up what is claimed to be authentic Peruvian dishes. To check out that they are, it will soon be possible to take a direct flight from Gatwick to Lima, when British Airways launches a new service next May. In the summer months, it will fly three times a week, in winter twice a week, prices from £765 up to £2,549 for Club World fully-flat seats.

It is a timely introduction, given increasing interest in Peru, and its efforts to attract more tourists. A major site of pre-Inca ruins at Kuelap is set to be opened up with a new cable car, and a new route for tourists at the El Brujo archaeological complex in northern Peru will give easier access. There are new and revamped museums, and next year the World Forum on Food Tourism should further promote Peruvian gastronomy. Peru is likely to be the top spot for 2016.


Tahiti bargains

Following the feature on Tahiti in the preceding issue of Savile Row Style, there are some attractive package deals on offer. Turquoise Holidays is a leading specialist for the region, and has a 10 night two island holiday, taking in Moorea and Bora Bora, including flights, from £3,245 per person – a saving of over £1,000 per couple ( A family trip for a couple and one child, seven nights to the same islands, also bed and breakfast, is from £6,299, giving a 35% saving on the usual price. It is, we think, a very long flight for a child!

Luxury ski chalet

Anyone still looking to book a ski holiday and seeking a luxury chalet may be tempted by the Chalet Jejalp in Morzine, recently added to Consensio’s portfolio.

A short drive from Geneva, this has been nominated as the ‘World’s Best New Ski Chalet’ at the World Ski Awards. It will take up to 10 adults and four children, and is booked on an inclusive basis, which means all meals, facilities and an in-resort chauffeur. From £19,170.

Orient Express saving The Orient Express continues to