Wednesday, February 5, 2014

London's Oldest Store!

After writing about specialty stores and their delightful gift boxes, I was prompted to look into a related subject. And that is, what is the oldest shop in London? There are many claims, but the most well documented certainly have the advantage.

For instance, an article in the Jewish Chronicle of 31st August 1928 joined a controversy to name London's oldest shop.  A shop called Ellis the booksellers of Bond Street, established in 1728, had laid claim to this worthy title.  Not so, said the Jewish Chronicle, because Levy Bros, Matzo bakers of 31 Widegate Street, on the corner of White Rose Court, could beat this by 18 years, having been established in 1710.

And so, I stick with stores or shops that have stood the test of time, receiving the royal warrants, offering the best of what money can buy! Like D.R. Harris & Co., the official chemist to the Prince of Wales! A place to pick up special perfumes, sartorial items like shaving brushes, etc. Though a small place, it even supplies small first class passenger items to British Airways.
Established in 1790, at No. 11 St. James Street, it was a family business, earning its reputation selling lavender water, and colognes made of English flowers. Its proprietors were Henry Harris, a surgeon, and Daniel Rotely, a pharmaceutical chemist.
Though no longer at No. 11, having outgrown the location, it is still in the St. James area, as well as another shop in Piccadilly. Their website is It's a treat to look in. You'll be tempted to shop, I'm sure!

It's nice to know some things remain the same, and funny that now days we think we are all posh and sophisticated when we buy grooming products that are made from plants, herbs, spices and flowers. D. R. Harris has been doing this for over 224 years!

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