Below you will find everything you need to spend the perfect day preparing for a wedding. Whether you’re the bride, groom, mother of the bride or wedding guest, Portman Marylebone is the one-stop destination for your nuptial needs.
There are few places in central London that carry as much charm as the streets of Marylebone. It’s hard to imagine that the hustle and bustle of Oxford Street is only a mere few streets away, as Marylebone’s character couldn’t be further from it.
This is much to the credit of Portman Marylebone, a neighbourhood full of independent and highly specialist shops, boutiques, cafes, and restaurants all of which have an irresistible allure- with so much to offer to weddings I couldn’t help but share my day with you.
Must-see Portman Marylebone brands
I began by dropping my suitcase to Home Grown, a hotel, private members club and as of spring, a licensed wedding venue set in a historic Georgian townhouse. It’s easy to see why it has quickly become a favourite among Londoners, with almost every inch looking like it belongs on a Pinterest board.
John Boyd Hats
My first stop was John Boyd Hats, a British millinery producing handmade and impeccably crafted hats and fascinators. The shops’ interiors glittered with colours, materials, and photographs of royals past and present. Towards the back, a workshop with samples, a sewing machine, and a wall full of scribblings- the aftermath of Ascot I was told, and a true insight into the brilliant mind of the craftsman. Designs are bespoke, made in house and hugely popular with wedding guests, particularly the mother of the bride.
Before entering, hats were unchartered territory for me. But after sampling a few designs I felt as if I wanted one permanently fixed to my head. Just kidding, although I did feel very beautiful and quite stunned as to how an accessory could have such an impact. Prices start from £225 for a headdress, and £700 for a hat off the peg; additional charges will apply for a bespoke order.
Sticking with the wedding guest theme, and conveniently located across the street was my next stop, Suzannah London. A coveted label and popular among celebrities, several Royal family members, and of course, mother of the brides. Suzannah Crabb is a British designer, her work inspired by Parisian and American vintage couture. I was greeted with the warmest of welcomes while I marvelled at the rails of ready-to-wear. Each silhouette timeless, cut to perfection and incredibly apt for wedding guests, particularly those looking for a traditional look.
Just a little down the quaint Quebec Street is sustainable womenswear brand Isabel Manns, a must for those looking for contemporary chic designs. The various prints on the clothing are designed in house, and can be added to the style of dress, top, trousers or skirt that suits you. Beautiful touches include the option to add your favourite print to headbands, scrunchies, scarfs, pocket squares and ties. I found myself hugely in awe of the reversible dresses, which would serve wedding guests who plan on an outfit change for the reception and allow for wearing multiple times.
The next stop took me to the iconic Chiltern Street, renowned for celebrity sightings and home to Grey Flannel, the longest standing boutique on the street famous for its made-to-measure menswear.
Upon entering I was welcomed by Graham and Danny, both of whom carry envious suave. Danny gave me a tour of the store, showcasing the impressive selection of stocked brands. Grey Flannel were one of the first to introduce some of the most iconic and influential menswear brands of the last three decades to London: Stone Island, CP Company, Armani, all of which had a huge influence on British fashion subcultures.
Danny showed me the tailoring lounge, where clients go for their consultation and fittings. The fitting room is everything you would want it to be with cut samples spread across a wall, and a manikin wearing one of Elton John’s bespoke jackets. If you’re looking for an unparalleled tailoring experience, the care and consideration that Grey Flannel put into creating bespoke suits is incomparable to anything I’ve seen before.
T by Tamara
By this time I was craving a coffee and a bite to eat. Portman Marylebone had me spoilt for choice but opted for the highly recommended T by Tamara, and it certainly did not disappoint. I was immediately relaxed, seated inside an aesthetic oasis full of pink hues, glorious mosaic tiles and tapestry cushions. The menu takes you through a culinary journey of the Middle East, with a slight modern twist.
With me being the most indecisive person and much to my relief, Tamara chose the dishes for me. She emerged from the kitchen with a mezzeh platter and a sumaac egg croissant sandwich, both of which I’m still dreaming about. Followed by a generous slice of freshly baked strawberry cake and Turkish cardamon blended coffee imported from Jordan. Spoilt and deliciously satisfied, I took my leftovers and headed to my next appointment.
For me, a fresh manicure is one of life’s simple pleasures, but I have often left a salon feeling underwhelmed and a little disappointed. This hasn’t happened since I started my journey with Townhouse; an elevated nail salon that has set high standards for the high street salon experience. Their salons are a must for those preparing for a wedding. After my lunch I headed to their marble arch location a little around the corner and knew I was in safe hands, quite literally.
Townhouse have a selection of designs which include bridal, and collaborations with brands, the latest being Chanel. I decided on a chrome French tip and left the salon feeling refreshed- immediately snapping up a picture of my neat nail beds.
My next appointment took me back to Quebec Street, to the sanctuary of Mathew Alexander, who leads a team of artists in his eco-conscious, sustainable salon. I was greeted by Mathew, with a warmth that felt as if I was an old friend, and shown around the salon.
I was immediately drawn to the styling chairs, which I was told have been beautifully crafted using recycled plywood shell and upholstery- complimenting the worktops made up of recycled marble. Sustainable efforts can be seen throughout the entire company, with the salon championing brands like OWay, Hairstory and Davines. Towards the back of the ground floor, a room beautifully lit by a skylight, and an antique cabinet full of makeup products; an artist’s toolbox. I came sporting a very grown-out fringe, which was taken care by Mathew in a matter of minutes and had never looked better.
There aren’t many artists in the industry that you can trust with perfecting both hair and makeup, but Mathew Alexander is one of them; a statement backed by an impressive celebrity clientele and confirmed with my first-hand experience visiting his salon.
Cox & Power
Cox & Power create unique, modern designs by sourcing rare gemstones to go with their fairtrade metals, 18ct gold and silver. If you would like a gemstone from a particular part of the world, they will do their best to find it for you and incorporate into a design of your choice, a perfect choice for those wanting an engagement ring unique to them. Their ethos champions elevated simplicity, with their Orbital Eternity Ring, Starlit Rocks Ring and Peony Bud Ring being my top picks.
Kimai are true industry pioneers, who champion transparency with their lab-grown, traceable diamonds. By replicating the mining environment inside a lab, Kimai can grow diamonds that are identical to ones that are mined, without the environmental impact. They offer a bridal collection glittered with eccentric shapes, but also offer a bespoke service for those wanting specific designs. Their wedding bands are undoubtably some of the most beautiful I’ve ever seen, with simplicity and intricacy weaving throughout each piece.
Having spent the day wandering around Portman Marylebone, dipping in and out of some of the wedding industry’s leading brands and brilliant minds, a visit to the neighbourhood while preparing for a wedding is essential. You’ll leave having conjured a feeling of inspiration at the very least, but more likely plenty of boxes ticked from your to-do list.
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