We think they hit the nail on the head. Chiltern Street has been our home for 41 years, and in that time this village in the heart of London has never lost its distinctive neighbourly charm. Apparently it wasn’t always so welcoming however…a Times article we dug up from 1973 describes how in the 1800’s the street was “a rough area where policemen patrolled in pairs and nice people never set foot” (personally we would love to go back and have a drink with these dubious characters…), but nowadays Chiltern Street seems to be filled with ‘nice people’, many of whom, like us, have been based on this street for decades. One of our oldest neighbours is Grey Flannel; a first class clothing store which has outfitted London’s gentlemen from head to toe for over 40 years. Up at the other end of the street is Webster’s hardware shop which has remained unchanged for just as long, and between the two stands Howarth’s Woodwind specialists; internationally renowned for making the world’s finest oboes since 1948! (Inside tip: loiter for a little while and you’ll often hear fantastic musicians testing out their instruments.)
The street has also become one of London’s best kept secrets for outstanding menswear shops. The latest to open its doors are our next door neighbours; Thomas Mahon of English Cut (former Head Cutter at Saville Row’s Anderson and Sheppard) and his brilliantly skilled (and brilliantly funny) group of tailors, who favoured off-the-beaten-track Chiltern Street to Saville Row for their new London storefront. A few doors down from Cromford Leather is the legendary John Simons; bringing Ivy League and Mod-culture dressing to London for over 60 years, and further down the street Trunk Clothiers two stores are a gold mine of high-end, carefully curated menswear labels.
Perhaps Chiltern Street’s most endearing quality is its delightfully eclectic mix of shops. Dotted between clothes boutiques and cafes, you’ll find pleasant surprises such as Cire Trudon where you can find beautiful handmade candles; founded in the 1600’s it is the most prestigious wax manufacturer in the world. Another world famous resident is Cadenhead’s whisky shop and tasting room, which draws loyal customers for miles for their tasting sessions. A few doors up is the gorgeous By Appointment Only; florists and event planners whose window displays are consistently show stopping. Chiltern Street even boasts Jas Musicals; Indian musical instrument specialists who put on regular classes and workshops in store.
Last but not least, Chiltern Street is beautiful to look at. Filled with gothic, Victorian architecture, striking red brick apartments, colourful storefronts and terra-cotta gargoyles watching overhead; the street is worth a trip just to take in its timeless aesthetic charm. At no.1 Chiltern Street stands the jewel in the crown; the stunning former Marylebone Firehouse. This gorgeous building where firemen would once tear out of the huge doors, sirens blaring, now plays host to endless A-listers in Chateau Marmont owner Andre Balazs’ famous boutique hotel; The Chiltern Firehouse. We’re in good company.