04 November 2010

Home of the London umbrella.

james smith & sons umbrellas.Align Center
When it's raining cats and dogs like today, I think of James Smith & Sons Umbrellas, a beautiful Victorian shop in New Oxford Street. They've been a family business for more than 175 years. The First James Smith started their tradition of umbrella making in 1830 when he opened a small shop in Fouberts Place, off Regent Street. He made the umbrellas at the back of the shop and customers were served at the front.

That tradition is still maintained in the New Oxford Street premises. Their workshops have been situated in the basement and it is there that they still make umbrellas and walking sticks. The shop itself is a perfect example of Victorian shop front design and has remained virtually unaltered for 140 years. Inside it is a unique experience - most of the fittings were designed and made by a fitter employed by Mr Smith.

I was a bit too shy to get photos of the dreamy interior, but you can see a few photos on their website. Check out the seatsticks, walking sticks and canes while you're there!


Emily, Ruby Slipper Traveller said...

Oh thank you for this! I'm going to have to go and check them out!

Fashion Forestry said...

So amazing!!! Wouldnt expect anything less from you though!! So are you still in London?

Jessica said...

Emily - I hope you'll do a post when you go!

Nicole - Thank you, I am actually back in North Carolina for the moment, but very homesick for London (hence the London posts!). I'm hoping to get back there when I get some cash together, but for now I'm looking for a new job. I've got a very dear friend in S.F. so will be sure to let you know when I make a visit! x

Two For Tea said...

What a beautiful and lovely and delightful little shop front! I want to visit!!! Thanks for sharing...someday I'm going to visit :)

<3 Cambria

Darling L said...

Amazing!! Can't wait to move to London next year and can't wait for you to give me lots of advices :) Are you planning to go back there any soon?

Jessica said...

Hi Cambria, thanks so much for commenting, I'll be over to your blog very soon.

And Darling L, I've got lots of tips for you for sure! Do you know yet when you'll be going? I am hoping to get back to London soon, but right now I'm not sure just when. Once I land a new job I can start saving up. But I will be sure to let you know. x

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