The Portman Estate has been the guardian of 110 acres of Marylebone since 1532 and Chiltern Street in Marylebone is one of its success stories. The once tawdry lack lustre enclave of commercial buildings and offices located in ‘ Sherlock Holmes territory ’, a mere three minutes from Baker Street tube has been rejuvenated in recent years.
Today it is a vibrant destination village, bustling with independent retailers, boutiques, artisan cafes and smart trendy restaurants. Londoners and incomers head to Chiltern Street as a ‘go-to’ social hub for shopping, socialising and entertaining.
Celebrities, such as David Beckham, Lily Allen and former Prime Minister David Cameron are all diners at the fashionable Chiltern Firehouse. The former empty fire station was transformed into a luxury hotel boasting 26 boutique suites by American hotelier Andre Balazs.
Eclectic interesting and sophisticated shops pepper the area of Chiltern Street from individual clothing boutique Archer Adams aimed at those who resist trends to Trunk Clothiers aimed at the modern man; for contemporary and precious jewellery head to Cox & Power, for a traditional smart barber shop Mario’s is perfect and Jas music shop is a treasure trove for those looking to add to musical instrument collection.
Simon Barnes of H Barnes & Co says: “ Chiltern Street works because the thinking and planning behind it was so well thought through and orchestrated. It is based on a unique concept, shirking the predictable chain shops and crafting a look and atmosphere that requires each retail unit to bring something individual with the right image and feel to suit the ‘village style’.
The end result is something beautifully laid out, that invites the shopper to go from one point of interest to another. Allowing visitors to really enjoy what’s on offer – from a great cup of coffee, to a haircut, to mooching for a present, or buying a new outfit. People make a beeline to come here as a social experience in its own right and that is a great success story.”
Top Photo Credit: Oxfordian Kissuth (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons