So this weekend was Queen Elizabeth II's 90th birthday. Well it wasn't her real one, that was earlier in the year but this was her official one and so London was full to bursting point with patriotic locals and flag waving tourists.
Of course as two of our intrepid GRRUKers boarded the train to London last weekend we had forgotten all about this event and so wondered why the trains were crammed with people in red, white and blue. In England this dress code would usually mean a football match was taking place but the scarves and t-shirts didn't boast any tribal alliance and so we just rolled with it.
So what would drag us into a busier than usual capital? Well how about an invitation to visit the Bremont boutique in Mayfair followed by a peruse of the first (we think) pop-up shop from the US based Hodinkee watch company?
The invite from Samantha at Bremont offered a viewing of photographs by Stella Scordellis followed by a tutorial on how to take our own photos of vintage cars. If this wasn't reason enough to visit one of our favourite watch boutiques then the invite to listen to Martin Gill of Edgerton Gins with a tasting tipped the scales.
A Ferrari F40 and Ford GT were just 2 of the cars shown in Stella's collection and both were part of a special project she had undertaken for one client who's collection ran to well over 20 cars. A spectacular collection shown to it's full by some innovate and clever photographic angles.
Following a tutorial on how to turn off the automatic setting on your digital camera and actually learn how to use it was a very entertaining talk by Martin about how his pink gin came into existence. Ex-Brooke Bond Tea marketing director, London Gin boss and owner of many companies in between, the stories came thick and fast. Errr as did the gin afterwards.......
Of course in between talks we had plenty of time to try on various Bremont models. Whilst there were a number of new America Cup specials it's always the oldies that we like such as the Wright Flyer in rose gold.
Plus a rather nice GMT.
Next stop was Harrod's Fine Watch Department where we tracked down the famous Hodinkee posse. It took a while to fight through the crowds but we finally managed to grab 5 minutes with the team where we talked watches, accessories and a rumoured up and coming special on British watch makers. A number of the vintage timepieces had already been sold but we did spot a fantastic Ploprof from the 70s. Alas a little too rich for our tastes so we had to make do with a Hodinkee stamped 6 piece watch roll. It's fine Italian leather will definitely protect our valuables and it smells sooooo good!