London is a global cultural capital with just under 9 million residents spread across 48 distinct neighborhoods. So how did I end up spending the majority of my recent visit on a single street?
It just so happens that Chiltern Street, tucked away in the Georgian splendor of London’s Marylebone neighborhood, is more highly saturated with interesting retail than most cities contain in their entirety. From the UK outposts of global brands like Monocle to home-grown indies like John Simons, a stroll along Chiltern Street will richly reward anyone with a soft spot for good ol’ fashioned brick-and-mortar shopping.
It’s a picture that will soon grow rosier, as the U.S.-based running brand Tracksmith works to open a U.K. iteration of its “Trackhouse” concept on the street, and the Ivy-obsessed local shirtmaker Jake’s London relocates its workshop to the block.
For now, here’s how you can make the most of what Chiltern Street has to offer, whether you have a single morning or an entire week to spare.
Housed within a palatial former fire station built in 1899, Chiltern Firehouse is now a five-star hotel owned by André Balazs, who may be best known for holding the keys to LA’s Chateau Marmont. While my writer’s income could not secure a room at this red-brick jewel, I did meet a friend at its downstairs restaurant for a wonderful breakfast of scrambled eggs with wild mushrooms and parmesan.
1 Chiltern St, London W1U 7PA
Shreeji News and Magazines
Magazine stores are a dying breed, but Shreeji News—which has stood on Chiltern Street since 1982—defies the trend. Though no bigger than half a shoe box, its slim interior packs an impressive volume of print onto its wooden shelves, with a particular emphasis on obscure menswear publications. Better yet, a flat white can be had while your browse.
6 Chiltern St, London W1U 7PT
Trunk Clothiers, which launched in London in 2010 and now has a second location in Zurich, is multi-brand retail at its finest. Within the span of five minutes I fell in love a Japanese-made jungle jacket, discovered the scents of an entrancing Viennese perfumer, and picked up a tastefully designed collapsible umbrella for the day’s soggier-than-expected rainfall.
8 Chiltern St, London W1U 7PU
The Monocle Café
Is it a bit twee to start the day with an Americano and a cup of muesli at an outdoor table belonging to the Monocle Café? Sure. But the painstakingly designed café, along with the Monocle Shop located just a few doors down, is nothing if not delightful.
18 Chiltern St, London W1U 7QA
The brainchild of British scent maker Lyn Harris, Perfumer H showcases her olfactory treasures in a minimally designed space that stocks simply named fragrances—think “Smoke,” “Fig” or “Rain Cloud”—that contain multitudes alongside similarly aromatic teas and spices.
19 Chiltern St, London W1U 7PQ,
John Simons is the man who brought American Ivy Style to England, and the shop that bears his name continues to reflect that most American of styles through an Anglo lens. There you’ll find boxy madras shirts, handsewn Rancourt moccasins and Baracuta jackets aplenty, along with the shop’s house-label sport coats and outerwear made in London.
46 Chiltern St, London W1U 7QR
Bryceland’s caters to the vintage connoisseur with modern interpretations of menswear past’s treasures. Whether that’s a pair of U.S. Army chinos based on the 1945 original, a sawtooth chambray Western shirt or a ‘60s-inspired cotton/nylon anorak, you may come out looking like you’ve just scored the vintage grail of a lifetime —except that it’s new with tags.
48 Chiltern St, London W1U 7QS
Hamilton & Hare
Based in Marylebone, Hamilton + Hare is an independent British menswear brand making premium everyday essentials from luxury natural fabrics. They focus on a select wardrobe staples from underwear, sleepwear, lounge sets, pajamas, and robes. Founded in 2014 by Olivia Francis, Hamilton & Hare’s staple pieces are made in Guimarães, Portugal.
39 Chiltern St, London W1U 7PP