Mayfair and Royal Warrants
About our guest blogger: Joanna
Joanna Moncrieff is a City of Westminster Walking Tour Guide leading mainly food and drink themed walks around Mayfair, Belgravia, Marylebone, Soho, St James's etc. Most of her walks include a historic pub or two and she's also obsessed with afternoon tea! you ca visit her blog here: westminsterwalking.blogspot.co.uk
Since qualifying as a Westminster Guide I've noticed just how many shops there are in Mayfair with Royal Warrants. These are awarded to shops or businesses that have served either The Queen, The Duke of Edinburgh or the Prince of Wales for a minimum of 5 years but they can also be withdrawn at any time.
There are only a handful of shops in the world that hold all three Royal Warrants but a large proportion of these can be found in Mayfair. Smythsons in Bond Street is one of them. Smythsons claim to have invented the first truly portable diary and today apart from diaries you can also buy personalised stationery, travel accessories and luxury handbags. Samantha Cameron their former Creative Director is credited with bringing the shop into the 21st Century.
Purdeys in South Audley Street is another Mayfair shop with three Royal Warrants. They have been making bespoke guns for nearly 200 years and their name is synonymous with the best shotguns and rifles in the world. Order one new and you will have to wait two years for your gun to be finished. The company was granted its first Royal Warrant in 1868 and it has held Royal Warrants ever since.
Further down South Audley Street, past the Grosvenor Chapel can be found Thomas Goode & Co said by many to be the best shop in the world for fine bone china, crystal and silverware. The shop contains 13 showrooms filled with different table settings and is worth visiting to see the shop's décor alone. Goodes supply china and glass to both the Queen and the Prince of Wales. Look out for the two giant ceramic elephants either side of the main doors which incidentally are the oldest mechanical doors still in use today. The elephants each stand over 7 feet high and were produced by Minton Pottery in Stoke on Trent for the Paris Exhibition in 1889. They are not for sale.