Miss me? I took a little trip to my favorite city of all: London.
Here’s a brief account, for your amusement.
The first challenge when traveling to London – or any other European capital, for that matter – is to find proper sleeping quarters without ruining your wallet nor your experience. This time I did a bit of web digging and I decided on a new experience, that proved to be quite nice: Sidney House Chelsea.
Quite small a hotel. And elevator. But my room met my expectations in size and was so much nicer than average in decor. I prefer a contemporary ambiance, you must know. If you prefer classic, go elsewhere.
Free WiFi, working perfectly. No outside noise. The new Vanity Fair featuring James Bond for a nice bed time reading. Didn’t ask for more.
Actually, this might have been a choice factor when I made the reservation: so much has been said and written about Pain Poilâne and I had never tried it.
For you to understand the full extent of this comment, I am one of those people who can stay at a table full of sweets and not eat the slightest bit. However, give me a little bit of bread and butter (sweet, not salty) and I cannot help myself. It is my Achilles’ heel in what concerns food…
And, what about jewelry?
My favorite subject was not forgotten at all. Actually it was the main reason for my trip. Moreover, I always make a point of going to Harrods – the perfect thermometer for this sector – and check out what and who is new.
Not in mood for Place Vendôme dreams, I stayed in the room that hosts contemporary jewelry designers, most of them based in London. It is quite interesting to observe how a brand grows over time – where it starts on the shop floor, how it grows, how much it motivates the sales assistants…
Ah, you thought I went there to shop?? Not quite.
Well, ok, a bit… 😉 but mainly I went to experience, to analyse and to benchmark.
Two very nice sales assistants that did all the right things: showed me what I wanted to see, added on that by showing me other new products, related to what I was wearing and took my email to let me know when they would get a particular item that was not yet in store.
Benchmark: more like a contest.
Best display: Monica Vinader, no doubts! She is betting heavily on the idea of stacking and their merchandising is very smart. It’s totally on brand and it just sells.
Best sales person: Monica Vinader and Astley Clarke, tied. Both were very familiar with the brands, really built on my comments or requests and provided me with enough arguments for a long wish list for Christmas.
Most impressive jewels: Wendy Yue at Annoushka. See for yourself.
In the end, I still had time to go to Hatchards, the most charming bookstore in the world to fuel up on reading material, which enabled me to stand the 2 hour delay of my flight.
PS – I would have taken real pictures if there were not these big written signs “No photos”. And I just comply, silly me.