London’s Premier Shopping Destination
Boasting impressive Beaux Arts architecture, well-curated stores from covetable brands and a buzz unrivalled by any other shopping district in the British capital, London’s Regent Street is the very definition of a shopping destination.
Home to flagships from some of the biggest names in both British and international fashion, the Regent St. area has long been a must-visit for London-bound tourists eager to bag themselves something exceptional.
In the run up to last week’s London Collections: Men Autumn/Winter 2015 event, we hit the streets to see the style that Regent Street and its shoppers had to offer.
Key Regent Street Stores
Despite its official status as a high street, Regent Street doesn’t skimp when it comes to selection. Unlike other London high streets, this area features fashion’s heavyweights nestled comfortably alongside serious luxury players.
For those who like their branding bold, there’s Armani Exchange, Calvin Klein Jeans and BOSS, while those who prefer pared-back and minimal will appreciate the offering available at the likes of Banana Republic, Reiss and COS – ideal for building a timeless and versatile capsule wardrobe.
Also resident are storied British labels Burberry and Hunter. The former’s tech-heavy Regent Street flagship opened to much fanfare in September 2012 and continues to provide its signature immersive retail experience (something every lover of fashion should experience, even if you don’t buy anything), while Hunter’s new 5300 sq ft store was opened in November of last year and is spearheading an all-new rejuvenated aesthetic under the creative directorship of noted branding expert Alasdhair Willis:
Burberry Regent Street Flagship, Store Front
Burberry Regent Street Flagship, Internal
Hunter Regent Street Store
Home Grown Brands
The Regent Street area is also home to several smaller homespun brands, consolidating the UK’s rightful place on the global style map.
Located just a stone’s throw away from Regent St., Oliver Sweeney (5 Conduit St.) offers a considered edit of classic footwear, from brogues to boots, while at hatter’s emporium Laird London (18 Sherwood St.), you’ll find a comprehensive collection of expertly crafted hats and caps, from baker boys and trilbies to pork pies and panamas:
Oliver Sweeney Store, Conduit Street
Laird London, Sherwood Street
Rapha Cycle Club
Avid cyclists won’t want to miss London-based specialist brand Rapha’s Cycle Club on nearby Brewer St – part store, part cafe, this hybrid retail space is the go-to for advice on everything from London’s top cycling routes to the latest in biking style:
Rapha Cycle Club, Brewer Street
Key International Brands
Alongside Rapha sit two international brands that brilliantly blend form and function.
Hailing from the US, Jack Spade is a must-visit for authentic rugged workwear, while Italian label Stone Island’s atmospheric concept store is stark, industrial and full of the highly engineered pieces the label is famous for:
Jack Spade Store, Brewer Street
Stone Island Store, Brewer Street
As advisable as it is, shopping on Regent Street is high-paced and a day’s worth of retail therapy will require at least a couple of pit stops for refuelling.
You needn’t trek far in search of something restorative though, since Regent Street and its designated Food Quarter (located on Heddon Street) offer up a wealth of options, from unassuming cafes to some of central London’s finest gastronomic establishments.
If you’re in the market for a pick me up, Tonic Coffee Bar (15 Sherwood St.) is a petite hole in the wall cafe with extremely friendly and knowledgeable staff that serve up an ever-changing and diverse range of (delicious) coffees from several of the world’s key coffee growing regions.
On a day trip and fancy something a little more special? Afternoon tea at the Hotel Café Royal is great for taking a break if you’re out with your significant other:
Tonic Coffee Bar, 15 Sherwood Street
Hotel Cafe Royal, Regent Street
Recommended Dining: Hawksmoor Air Street
If you have a hankering for quality grub, head south to Air Street, where lauded steak restaurant Hawksmoor serves up an array of delectable cuts, cooked to perfection, as well as some of the best cocktails in the area:
Hawksmoor Air Street
BAr Staff Making Cocktails at Hawksmoor Air Street
A Key Street Style Location
Regent Street is a microcosm of London’s extremely varied take on style. Often considered a hotbed for burgeoning womenswear trends, the area has followed London menswear’s trajectory over the past year, establishing itself as a go-to for (stylish) people watching.
In the few hours we spent traipsing the thoroughfare, there was sharp, classic tailoring worn by gents strolling towards nearby Savile Row, an array of smart separates, a generous dose of denim (a key trend for SS15) and Dougie Poynter showing us how to pull off a contemporary rock ‘n’ roll-inspired aesthetic (very Saint Laurent).
At the other end of the spectrum we also saw a few grunge-inspired silhouettes and some first in class examples of how to pull off sports luxe:
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Travelling to Regent Street is extremely easy, whichever route you choose to take. Located in the heart of the capital, Regent Street is accessible via three major tube lines: Central, Piccadilly and Bakerloo.
It’s also the centre point for a large network of bus routes, including: C2, 3, 6, 12, 13, 15, 23, 88, 94, 139, 159, 453.
It’s clear that London’s established set of menswear destinations – from Savile Row to Lamb’s Conduit Street – has a newcomer; Regent Street offers everything from excellent food to an exceptionally wide range of fashion, as well as plenty of street style inspiration to guide you towards your next key purchase.
Whether you’re a Londoner or regular visitor to the capital, let us know your recommended places to shop (mainstream and independent retailers), eat, drink and stay in the Regent Street area, and reasons why – we will then look to keep this guide continuously up to date going forward, as a reference point for all our readers.
What other destinations or shopping districts would you like to see covered going forward, whether in London or throughout the UK?