Matt Farrell of Trophaeum Asset Management tells us about the renaissance of Albemarle Street
Albemarle Street in Mayfair was once considered the centre of London’s fashionable scene. Lord Byron used to take tea at number 50, formerly the home of publisher John Murray’s famous four o’clock literary gatherings, and Alexander Graham Bell made the first phone call from Brown’s Hotel back in 1876.
Of late, Albemarle Street is renewing its fashion credentials. Recent openings include Self-Portrait, Thom Browne and Aquazzura, while the new Givenchy flagship on New Bond Street also has an entrance on the street. Chic dining and drinking can be found at Isabel, Oswald’s and Gazelle.
Matt Farrell, managing director at Trophaeum Asset Management, talks us through the redevelopment he is curating.
What do you like best about the London fashion scene?
The London fashion scene has so much potential to rival Paris and Milan, as we have all the best fashion brands in one place. I just wish the hub of London Fashion Week was closer to Mayfair – this would create more of a buzz and people would know that LFW was under way.
Which are your favourite shops in London? Where would you tell visitors to go?For ladies, Han Chong’s Self-Portrait flagship on Albemarle Street is the first place I would send them. The brand is fast becoming one of the most iconic luxury labels and I put this down to the accessible luxury it offers. It’s also a perfect fit for all ages – for example, I would send a friend there, but have also taken my mum. I love popping into the stunning Alaïa store on Bond Street. The building used to be the HQ for SJ Phillips, the antique jeweller, and the space has been restored to show off some of the original architecture. Thom Browne is also a favourite of mine – the aesthetic of its store is very mid-century and is a perfect example of a brand translating its style into a physical space.
Where do you live in London and what do you like most about your neighbourhood?
Clapham Common. The view of the park is a highlight – it’s special to see that much greenery in the middle of a city.
Describe your favourite Saturday plans in London.
Getting up early, Barry’s Bootcamp and breakfast, a walk and see where it takes me.
What are the must-dos during a weekend in London?
The best way to see London is walking around the different neighbourhoods. Each part of London has such a different offering, so you’ll never get bored. I like to start in Notting Hill, walk through Hyde Park to Mayfair and then head to Soho – browsing the shops and the diverse eateries along the way.
What advice do you give people who are visiting London?
There’s a lot to see and it varies so much, so gather some suggestions from friends you know who live in London, as they will know you best. As mentioned earlier, walking is always best to ensure you don’t miss anywhere and find the hidden gems.
Do you have any restaurant or coffee shop recommendations?
For coffee it has to be Monmouth at Borough Market. Indian food in London has had a revival in the last few years and there’s a great offering of high-end and healthy choices. Indian Accent on Albemarle Street is a must, not only because the critics love it, but also because the food is genuinely fantastic! If you need a break from Mayfair, Fitzrovia’s Bao is a great spot for a quick lunch.
Which is your favourite bar? Where would you recommend for a quiet drink?
I have to admit I’m not one to go for a quiet drink, so I’d always opt for Isabel by Juan Santa Cruz. It has a cool crowd and a nice vibe. If you did want an intimate option, you could head to Oswald’s members’ club, which has a snug terrace that’s perfect for drinks.
Do you have a favourite museum?
Small ones, as I have a short attention span!
Any other recommendations for visitors?
London is so huge it’s easy to underestimate the distance from Kensington to Shoreditch, so plan in advance!