LUXURY INSIDER INTERVIEW: VANESSA KINGORI MBE, PUBLISHER GQ
“One of the biggest opportunities for London Luxury Quarter is the level of international desire to have a flagship in London. So many brands really haven’t made it and don’t have a window to the world until they retail in London.” Vanessa Kingori MBEBack to top
SPOTLIGHT GUEST EDITOR: ANTHEA HARRIES, PORTFOLIO MANAGER - ST JAMES'S, THE CROWN ESTATE
As the nights draw in and the year draws to a close, thoughts naturally turn to the comfort of good food and the promise of festivities to keep our spirits up against the cold and dark. And, in the London Luxury Quarter — an area with no shortage of options for dining, shopping and all things that glitter to brighten the mood — we’re lucky, this year, to have a slate of new additions on our eastern border to add to the festive spirit.
In recent weeks, St James’s Market, The Crown Estate’s latest regeneration development in the area, has seen its first restaurants and retailers open. Veneta, Anzu and Aquavit bring new flavours to please the palate. Jigsaw’s St James’s Emporium provides more eclectic fashion to this centre of heritage and style, and Assos, the high-end Swiss cycling brand, is poised to be on all your cycle-obsessed friends’ Christmas wish lists. St James’s Market’s first tenants are bringing a new level of flair and distinction to the West End.
These are just a few names, the vanguard heralding the start of what is already shaping up to be a vibrant and thriving new enclave of London Luxury Quarter. Together, with more new openings set for the coming weeks and months, they will provide a fantastic selection of food and shopping to entice visitors in from the cold and, we hope, are a brilliant indicator of great things to come for all of us across the Quarter in the New Year.Back to top
Safeguarding Savile Row
New planning rules introduced by Westminster City Council will make it far harder for developers and landlords to dilute their distinctive character by allowing “clone” chain stores to force out smaller independent businesses. On Savile Row, new stores will only be allowed to open if they do not replace “bespoke tailoring uses”, “sell bespoke, unique, limited-edition or one-of-a-kind products” and are “complementary to the character and function” of Savile Row.
A Fashionable Address
No. 5 Carlos Place is the ultimate luxury retail space; the iconic Belle Époque red-brick and Portland-stone exterior ‘maisons’ offer 7,408sq ft of elegant, high-ceilinged space, ranged over six generously proportioned floors, which represents the very epitome of the luxury-shopping experience.
Claridge’s Announces Major Extension
Claridge’s announces plans to build a five-storey “super basement”. Large enough to house a swimming pool, spa and its own chocolatier, the “iceberg” extension is reportedly big enough to fit 20 houses. Other planning includes an additional two new storeys on the roof of the Grade II listed building, to provide an additional 40 hotel rooms.
Golden Week for the Quarter
October saw London Luxury Quarter welcome Chinese visitors for Golden Week, an annual national holiday. Chinese visitors are enthusiastic about travel during this time and London remains one of the top international destinations on travellers’ itineraries. An incredible surge in spend of 307%, year on year, by Chinese visitors across the West End was recorded during October as visitors enjoyed the attractions and shopping of our iconic destination.
Luxury Spend in London Post-Brexit
The Brexit-driven drop in the pound means that shoppers are travelling from all across the globe for a luxury deal. The UK is seeing an increase in visitors from the US, Australia, Europe and Asia from luxury shoppers looking to purchase inexpensive luxury items diverting the traffic from the US – once considered the most inexpensive country to purchase luxury goods. Figures from Global Blue for London Luxury Quarter show monthly international shopping spend consistently up since the vote in June; the highest spend increase for the year recorded in October at +103%, compared to October 2015.
Bond Street Retail Rentals Rise
London Luxury Quarter experienced positive growth in retail rental on Bond Street, which increased to an impressive £2,000 per sq ft for locations such as at 14 New Bond Street. This is the first rent review carried out on the street since the record was broken.
OUT AND ABOUT IN LLQ THIS CHRISTMAS
Christmas Lights in London Luxury Quarter
Christmas is well underway with beautiful illuminations lighting up the streets of London Luxury Quarter. Bond Street switched on its much anticipated glittering peacock feathered lights, followed by Mount Street and Jermyn Street’s illuminations. Regent Street and Regent Street St James’s festive installations are a sparkling step back in time as the display mimics the area’s first Christmas lights on show in 1954. Combined, the beautiful displays are a warm reassurance amongst the cooler weather that London is one of the best destinations in the world to celebrate Christmas.
Mount Street Deli Christmas Delights
Mount Street Deli is extending its delectable Christmas offering to reach London homes this Christmas season. For the busy Christmas time this year the Mount Street Deli team has made their delicious produce available to order. Visitors can enjoy the perfect Christmas meals in the comfort of their own home and easily deep-freeze them for those relaxing days between Christmas and New Year.
DINING IN LLQ
Deliciously Ella Launches in London Luxury Quarter
Deliciously Ella’s MaE has opened in Mayfair following the success of the MaE Deli. The new site is located on Weighhouse Street providing delicious, wholesome food to visitors and the local community.
A Taste of Venice in St James’s: Salt Yard Group open Veneta
Salt Yard Group, the restaurant collective behind renowned Spanish and Italian-inspired eateries in London, such as Salt Yard and Dehesa, has opened Veneta in the newly opened St James’s market. The enchanting restaurant is inspired by the timeless magic of Venice, which has a long and rich culinary heritage, and the menu leads by example featuring classic Venetian dishes and cooking techniques showcasing amazing regional produce.
34 Mayfair Introduces New Cocktail Menu Inspired by Mayfair Stalwarts
Rupert Sanderson has created 34 Mayfair’s latest piece of playful glassware, the Champagne slipper. Launched on 9th November, those ordering a bottle of Perrier-Jouet Belle Epoque Rose can have their own Cinderella moment by enjoying their sparkly bubbles in the eponymous champagne flute stiletto. The newly launched cocktail menu at 34 Mayfair will certainly have something to the tastes of all London Luxury Quarter diners.
Morning to midnight dining concept on the table at St James’s Market
New York-inspired Aquavit London has set its tables in the new St James’s Market to welcome London Luxury Quarter foodies looking for a unique, Nordic-style dining experience. The original midtown Manhattan eatery has seen success for more than two decades, acquiring two Michelin stars along the way. Executive Chef, Henrik Ritzen and his team will serve plates inspired by Scandinavian nature; seafood and game meat accompanied by berries, mushrooms and other wild forest foods.
Sexy Fish Launches Cocktail Menu Magazine: “Fish Tales”
Sexy Fish made a large splash on the London restaurant scene last year when it opened – and it’s just emerged again from the deep blue sea with a new cocktail menu. But, as you would imagine with Sexy Fish, this is not just any old cocktail menu. Apart from the in-depth research that has gone into the inspiration and creation of the drinks themselves, the team has come up with a novel way to showcase the list, creating the magazine “Fish Tales”.
J Sheekey Launches Winter Terrace
J Sheekey is creating a winter terrace to combat the shivers. The fine produce sourced directly from Scotland has been the inspiration. Six of the best single malts make up a special whisky menu, representing Speyside, Lowlands, Campbeltown, Islay, Skye and the Highlands. Scottish ingredients pepper the all-day menu of sharing plates and include Isle of Barra cockles; partridge; langoustine; mussels; Loch Ryan native oysters; razor clams; Wester Ross salmon; and Isle of Mull scallops. There will be a crackling log fire, toasty blankets, outdoor heaters and a great deal of festive cheer.
SHOPPING IN LLQ
Maiyet Creates Sustainable Luxury Pop-Up
Maiyet brings sustainable Luxury pop-up to 41 Conduit Street. The ethical luxury fashion brand has just opened its first London store in the form of a three-month pop-up in Mayfair. The concept shop not only carries a full range of Maiyet products, but also flowers, fragrances, books, hats, eyewear, and food, by brands chosen for their ethical or artisanal commitment.
Jigsaw Unveils Emporium Plans in St James’s
Jigsaw has unveiled its second “emporium” concept in London’s St James’s Market development. The 3,000 sq ft store has been designed by London Agency Dalziel & Pow and offered the retailer’s full range of men’s and women’s clothing alongside a shop-in-sh0p for sister business The Shop at Bluebird.
Guiseppe Zanotti Opens Flagship Store
Giuseppe Zanotti has opened a new London flagship on Conduit Street for his luxury footwear brand. Taking over all three floors of a stunning Georgian grade II –listed building, the 2,300 sq ft space will be the new London home of Zanotti’s women’s, men’s and accessories alongside a special bridal collection and the newly launched Giuseppe Junior collection.
EVENTS IN THE QUARTER
London Luxury Quarter Conference
This year’s London Luxury Quarter Conference, hosted at BAFTA 195 Piccadilly, saw the great and good from the world of British luxury come together to discuss and debate the ‘Art of Placemaking’. The event was hosted by London Luxury Quarter Chairman, Mark Henderson with a key note speech by Councillor Robert Davis MBE DL.
Chaired by the Publisher of British GQ, Vanessa Kingori MBE, guests heard from the inspirational British accessories designer, Anya Hindmarch MBE who spoke of the importance of London Luxury Quarter to her flagship store on Bond Street. The audience also drew insights from the expert discussion panel made up of Helen Marriage (Managing Director of Artichoke), Cynthia Grant (Project Director, Bond Street Development), Anthea Harries (Portfolio Manager, St James’s, The Crown Estate), Kate Goodwin (Head of Architecture and Drue Heinz Curator at the Royal Academy of Arts), Alex Phillips (Project Director, Grosvenor) and Thomas Kochs (Managing Director of Hotel Café Royal).
The panel told the stories of development and the positive impact we can expect to see with public realm improvements along Bond Street, the St James’s Market development and the redevelopment of Hanover Square, which will fundamentally transform the daily experience of millions of visitors.Back to top
ART AND CULTURE IN LLQ
Abstract expressionism exhibition at RA
The Royal Academy of Arts is presenting the first major exhibition of Abstract Expressionism to be held in the UK in almost six decades. With more than 150 paintings, sculptures and photographs from public and private collections across the world, this ambitious exhibition encompasses masterpieces by the most acclaimed American artists associated with the movement – among them, Jackson Pollock, Mark Rothko, Aaron Siskind, David Smith, Clyfford Still and many more.
A NOTE FROM THE CHAIRMAN MARK HENDERSON
It has been a couple of extremely busy months in London Luxury Quarter. Our annual conference explored and created dialogue about measuring, evaluating and communicating the impact of using luxury, design and craftsmanship to build and transform the community. It was a pleasure to welcome more than 100 members to the conference at BAFTA 195 Piccadilly joining us as we listened to insiders from retail, design, architecture and leisure. We look forward to the third conference of its kind next year.
The protection offered to historical areas introduced by Westminster City Council in November is a great win for London Luxury Quarter. It safeguards Savile Row along with its heritage trade and skills. The special policy areas include the galleries and antique dealers in Mayfair and the specialist luxury shops in St James’s. We welcome this policy, which will protect London Luxury Quarter’s vibrant hub of art, culture and fashion.
This year, which has been tumultuous, is coming to an end. Brexit and the American election have had the undivided attention of the world and its luxury markets. However, the London economy is resilient and the London Luxury Quarter will persist as the leading destination for luxury. 2017 and onwards will see many developments come to life. From residents to local workers, Londoners to international visitors, London Luxury Quarter’s retail, culture, leisure and entertainment experience will continue to enhance and improve significantly.
I’d like to thank the many brands and businesses that contributed to the newsletter and for taking the time to provide information, and to our esteemed panellist from the London Luxury Conference, who all added great richness and depth to the conversation.
London Luxury Quarter will be sponsoring the Long Service Award at the Mayfair Times Community Awards, hosted at The Dorchester in January. We look forward to sharing the deserving recipient of this accolade with you in the next edition of The Luxury Insider, as well other Mayfair and St James’s members’ success.
I would like to wish all our members a very safe and Merry Christmas, and a prosperous festive trading season.Back to top