Jermyn Street, London
Written by Craig Butcher
Home to perfumers, barbers, tailors, and a certain Fortnum & Mason department store, this oft-overlooked London street revels in its long history and quirkiness.
Close to the clubs of Pall Mall, within earshot of Horse Guards Parade, and a casual stroll away from Buckingham Palace, Jermyn Street is in the heart of London’s West End. But there’s so much more to this diverse, famous street than its location and its reputation for shirts, says men’s outfitter Philip Turner of Smart Turnout – there are some real hidden treasures.
From shirt-makers Turnbull and Asser at the street’s western end, to Paxton & Whitfield, Britain’s oldest cheese shop (established 1797), a man need never leave the street. There’s classic British luxury from Alfred Dunhill and a huge range of cigars from Davidoff’s premises too.
But first, Philip says, “You need to take a short detour off Jermyn Street and head down Duke of York Street. On the left you will find Ormond Yard and Briggs the barber.” Single-handedly run by 90-year-old Greek, Phillip.
“He has been cutting hair for at least 60 years, and first cut my father’s when he joined the army and still does today. You might not need a haircut, but both Phillip and the shop are an absolute gem.
“You can’t walk down Jermyn Street without seeing the famous Fortnum & Mason, another favourite haunt of my father’s, and I remember being taken there on several occasions for an expensive cup of tea and cakes.”
Next, there’s Geo F. Trumper, better known simply as Trumper’s: “Another old-fashioned barber, quirky and perhaps a little expensive and eccentric, but well worth a visit.” It is visited almost as frequently for its eclectic range of colognes and aftershaves as it is for a trim.
For lunch, there’s Rowley’s – something of a St James’s institution, venerated for its entrecôte steak, chips, and secret butter sauce, housed within the original Wall’s meatmakers. For the afternoon, there is Piccadilly Arcade and Princes Arcade dating from 1830 – “Two wonderful arcades full of a variety of shops, a mixture of both old and new. At the top of Princes Arcade you will find Smart Turnout.” Nearby are shoemaker Oliver Sweeney and confectioner (to the Queen, no less) Prestat.
In the evening, there’s only one place to be – private members’ club and restaurant Tramp. Don’t let the name deceive you, though. Opened in 1969, Tramp has entertained more than its fair share of celebrities, including Frank Sinatra and The Beatles. “Nightclubs come and go, but this one has been around for a while and is well worth a visit.”
Former British military man with the Scots Guards, Philip Turner runs Smart Turnout, a stylish British menswear brand with regalia and alumni detailing.