Shopping London | Alfred Dunhill’s Bourdon House


There aren’t many brands that seem to understand how men want to shop. It doesn’t seem to me to be the most difficult thing to figure out, but it is rare that I find a place that captures the desired environment that, as a guy, just feels right. If I were to do a case study on how to do retail for men I would undoubtedly turn to Dunhill and their tremendous retail “homes” as the shining example of how to get things right.

Last year I stopped in on the Dunhill home in Shanghai, which is about as enchanting as a store can be. Then recently I paid a visit to the brand’s flagship London property, Bourdon House. It’s worth making a detour for even just for a look around and a cup of tea in the courtyard cafe. It’s good to know that someone out there is willing to be logical and do menwear retail right.


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Bourdon House had an interesting array of vintage Dunhill items from the archive, including different types of leather goods from various decades displayed throughout the second floor. I found these old archival items particularly inspiring and could have spent hours looking through everything. In addition to the leather goods, the house also has a custom tailoring shop, and a standard off the rack retail floor with clothing, accessories and other small items on the ground floor.

The upper floors have more handsomely decorated spaces with the aforementioned leather goods, including a custom area where you can have your wallet or briefcase customized and monogrammed. There is also a spa and barber shop tucked away on the second floor. Downstairs is a small bar, cigar shop / pipe room.

Typically I think a barber shop, smoking room and café can run aground, with the referee giving the signal of trying too hard. But I don’t know if it is me getting caught up in the British-ness or the earnestness of the place? But the tone at Bourdon House is perfect and Dunhill hits all the right notes with these retail homes.

All together, Bourdon House is the perfect place for a guy to spend an afternoon away from the madness of the day. Next time you are in London, stop in and see mens retail done right.






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The picture below on the left shows the Dunhill shop which was badly damaged by a German bomb during The Blitz. Undeterred, Alfred Dunhil brought his desk outside into the street and re-opened for business. The photo below right shows Dunhill outside helping customers. That very desk sits near the tailor studio on the second floor of the second floor of Bourdon House.

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Comments on “Shopping London | Alfred Dunhill’s Bourdon House

    BK on January 22, 2013 10:15 AM:

    did you notice if the barbershop is open now? i had heard they had issues with a third party running it for them but, apparently it is a fabulous place for a shave.

    Mark Paigen on January 22, 2013 12:00 PM:

    While I can well understand the attraction of a very traditional place like this, I would be more interested in something with a slightly more contemporary feel. The idea of batching men’s interests in a single, well curated environment is great, but (being a non-smoker) I would be much more interested in a great collection of small tech (cameras, small electronics, smartphone accessories…) or unique travel accessories than smoking stuff. Ever seen a collection like that?

    Simon Tuntelder on January 22, 2013 4:24 PM:

    @Mark Paigen: You do realize that pipes and smoking accessories have been an integral part of Dunhill’s history? So it’s obvious that it should be featured. Smoking paraphernalia is quite cool because it’s surrounded by so many rituals and in Dunhill’s case it’s so well-made, that even non-smokers can appreciate it. Furthermore I think it’s nice to see something that isn’t in the spirit of the time – it’s quite out of fashion.

    Joel on January 22, 2013 6:04 PM:

    Any word on where they make the leather goods?

    Michael C on January 23, 2013 7:28 AM:

    When (then) Continental airlines had direct flights to London from Cleveland, I’d go more often and stay in Mayfair. I’ve always walked by this store and wanted to go in but was intimidated on how amazing it looked and basically knowing I could barely afford anything Dunhill.

    Mason on January 23, 2013 12:52 PM:

    “Churchill had been woken by a phonecall at 4 am to be informed that his cigars, stored in the Dunhill humidor, had survived the destrction of the store.” Awesome, and perhaps one of the most British stories I’ve ever read.

    Eli on January 24, 2013 9:53 PM:

    That picnic set is to die for.

    JJ on January 25, 2013 4:06 AM:

    Love it. I really would love to visit this place someday.

    alex on February 2, 2013 12:48 PM:

    I would really love to visit this store….I really like the whole idea of the barber shop,smoke shop and cafe all in one place like this…….Like one poster said though…I would probaly be a little intimidated to walk into knowing it is probaly out of my current price range…

    D on February 8, 2013 4:59 PM:

    A truly stunning Georgian House, I was wondering if you got a chance to visit the James Purdey & Sons Ltd store in S Audley St and Holland & Holland In Bruton St just of Berkley Square ?

    phillip chouzenoux on February 14, 2013 8:19 PM:

    At a time that I resided in Switzerland I shopped Sweaters at sale, the items I was able to afford and today through the stratosphere. The more educated society has become towards luxury items the more desirable, hence cost although quality to the MAX.

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