Going to England!

In just four weeks I’ll be in England! I’m going on the Duke of Wellington tour with my pals Kristine Hughes and Victoria Hinshaw of Number One London Blog. I’ve also talked my sister into going with me, since the dh will still be recovering from back surgery (he’s doing great, by the way!!!)

We’re flying into London a few days before the tour begins so that I can visit the Mills and Boon offices in Richmond and meet with my editors in person. And so we can tour around London a little and go shopping.

I think we can do some shopping at Regency shops!

800px-Floris_of_London_perfumery_shopWe’ll go to Floris on Jermyn Street in Mayfair.

Floris was founded in 1730 by Juan Famenias Floris, who came to England to seek his fortune and found it by creating the scents of his island home of Menorca. His scent shop is in the original location and its beautiful mahogany counters were purchased from the Great Exhibition. Some Regency customers included Beau Brummell, Mary Shelley, and the Prince Regent who, as George IV, appointed J. Floris Ltd. as Smooth Pointed Comb-Makers to the King in 1820.

220px-Fortnum&Mason_Fruit_and_Flowers2I also want to go to Fortnum & Mason on Piccadilly.

Fortnum & Mason was founded in 1707 by William Fortnum and Hugh Mason. Fortnum was an enterprising footman in the royal household of Queen Anne who sold the half-used candles discarded by the Queen and made a tidy profit. He partnered with Mason and opened a small grocery shop on Market Street. Fortnum & Mason specialized in selling luxury food items like fresh poultry or game served in aspic jelly, but it also supplied dried fruit, spices, and other preserves to British officers during the Napoleonic war.

Hatters-225x300My husband wants an English cap, so I’d love to purchase one at Lock and Co. Hatters on St. James’s Street.

Lock and Co. Hatters had its origins in an original hat shop begun in 1676 by Robert Davis. In 1747 James Lock became apprenticed to Charles Davis, Robert’s son, and Lock inherited the business in 1759 when Charles died. He moved the Hatters shop to No. 6 St. James’s Street where it continues today. Lock and Co. made hats for both the Duke of Wellington and Admiral Lord Nelson. Both are on display in the shop.

Then there is Hatchards Bookshop on Piccadilly. I must stop there and see what delights they have to offer. My characters are always purchasing books there as have Londoners since 1797.

Too bad we cannot have an ice at Gunter’s Tea Shop in Berkeley Square. It moved to Curzon Street and then closed in 1956.

Do you have any shopping suggestions for me? We’re also going to Deal, Brighton, and Windsor!

About diane

Diane Gaston is the RITA award-winning author of Historical Romance for Harlequin Historical and Mills and Boon, with books that feature the darker side of the Regency. Formerly a mental health social worker, she is happiest now when deep in the psyches of soldiers, rakes and women who don’t always act like ladies.
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4 Responses to Going to England!

  1. ki pha says:

    Oh my gosh!!!! I so wish I was arriving a couple of days earlier to do all those shopping! But alas, I’m going to get there on the fifth and only carrying a carry on hopefully it will fit all the souvenirs I’m going to be purchasing. But I will definitely need to go to Hatchards!! That’s a must and since I’m just a beginner, I’ll have a lot to learn and see. :)

  2. I am so very jealous, but also thrilled for you, O Divine One! I know it will be a truly memorable trip! Please take lots and lots of photos to share with those of us stuck at home. I’m so glad hubby is doing well, but you were terribly missed in San Antonio! The Beau Monde mini conference was lovely. The food for both the luncheon and the soiree was some of the best of the entire conference. And I won Victoria’s Annual Registers for 1803 and 1804 at the auction.

    I know you will all have a wonderful trip and I cannot wait to hear about it!

  3. Diane, how exciting for you. When I saw them announce their trip for the first time, I immediately thought of you. It’s great that you’ve taken them up on it. Your London itinerary sounds like fun.

  4. I’m so excited for you! Yes, please do take pictures to share!

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