October 31 2009
I’ve been a fan of the French’s Dairy shops, Maggie Owen’s jewellery boutiques in London’s Bloomsbury and Holborn, since I first spotted the Rugby Street store’s china-blue façade and went in to discover all the very special, haven’t-seen-this-on-every-other-girl treasures held inside. One day, a few weeks ago, Maggie told me she’d just opened a third shop down the road: I paid for my earrings, walked out, and made a beeline down High Holborn to have a look.
French’s Dairy Chancery Lane takes the Rugby Street store’s cosy whitewashed charm and gives it a sleeker, more contemporary permutation (credit for the pitch-perfect hybrid of old and new goes to William Smalley, a local Bloomsbury architect who somehow scored the antique herringbone parquet floors from the V&A jewellery department).
Likewise, the goods extend beyond jewellery designs by French’s Dairy stalwarts such as Extasia and Philippe Ferrandis to include dapper David David umbrellas (£125) and cufflinks, laptop cases in printed calfskin (£495-£850), deliciously obscure home fragrance lines (£25-£80), and one-off graphic print silk scarves (£165). There’s even a deftly edited selection of modern literary classics filed along a back wall – which basically means there’s not a person on your gift list you couldn’t delight with something sourced from this 300sq ft space.