Arguably the centre of elegance when it comes to clothes-shopping in the UK capital, Chelsea – it may come as little surprise to you – is pretty much tops in London as well for beautifully crafted, entirely bespoke shoemaking and shoe-buying. So, where ought you to head for a once-in-a-lifetime pair of hand-crafted wedding heels or sensational suede boots…?
(74 Fulham Road SW3 6HH/ open: 10am-6pm Monday-Saturday; closed Sunday)
Located in the heart of the London luxury retail quarter for wedding goods, this boutique that specifically focuses itself on providing exquisite, made-to-order footwear for brides, bridesmaids and wedding guests, may not have been around for much more than a year, but it’s already making waves, to be sure. Indeed, one online reviewer highlights the breadth and outstanding quality of its range of styles, colours and kid leathers, in addition to the beauty of its footwear’s stylings and, maybe best of all, its decidedly personal customer service (not surprising given the person who runs the store is a descendant of the chap who founded maybe the world’s most famous department store just down the road – yes, that would be Harrods). And what did that reviewer actually want? A pair of comfortable, special-occasion shoes with a clutch bag to match them ‘in an amazing shade for a special wedding’. And, yes, that’s exactly that reviewer got.
Crockett & Jones
(155 Brompton Road SW3 1QP/ open: 9.30am-6.30pm Monday-Saturday; 11am-5pm Sunday)
Literally just up the road from Emmy’s and further towards Knightsbridge (so perfectly reachable from a Chelsea hotel London UK) is something of its male equivalent. Specialising in the highest-possible-quality men’s leather shoes, this outlet is the London centrepiece of an enterprise that’s being around for almost 140 years, having begun from a factory in the UK’s shoemaking capital, Northampton, and grown into the bespoke shoe-makers and shoe-sellers around the world it is today. Still run by the same family that kicked-off the business all those decades ago, Crockett & Jones unsurprisingly can claim many a satisfied customer it seems. Online, reviewers commend the Knightsbridge store for all its shoes and boots of excellent quality, as well as its staff; responsible, as they are, for ensuring a visit isn’t just worthwhile and satisfactory, but also efficient and pleasurable – thanks to their professionalism, helpfulness and attentiveness.
Anello & Davide
(15 St. Albans Grove W8 5BP)
Founded way back in 1922 as a theatrical and dance footwear manufacturer and supplier, this outlet remains true to its origins in terms of what it specialises in, but over the years has expanded its focus and output to also specialise – and, by all accounts, impressively so – in the bridal footwear market. Today, this company that once supplied stilettos for Marilyn Monroe, spats for Peter Ustinov, suede brogues for David Niven and, most prestigious of all, those unforgettable, unmistakeable cool, sleek, pointed boots for The Beatles, operates foremost as an online entity; yet its commitment to high-quality, elegance and superior comfort is truly second to none. Indeed, they don’t just hand out to Royal Warrants (for the Queen Mother in 1997 and Her Majesty the Queen in 2001) to anyone.
And yet, it’s no surprise Anello & Davide have achieved such high distinction when they pour into each of their footwear creations the classical techniques of their expert craftsmen, while enhanced by the advances of 21st Century shoemaking technology, whatever the style or bespoke demand of a customer. So why not book an appointment with them during your trip to the area? Perfect, surely, if you’re planning on staying nearby at the San Domenico House hotel London United Kingdom…