London has two notable hat shops, the famous one near Berry Bros. on St James Street, and Bates on Jermyn Street. Bates is the kind of shop that divides people; it’s either everything that was once great about England, or everything that was bad about it, depending on your view.
It’s small, and you’re expected to know how to behave - the look of disgust I once saw Michael Mole, the salesman, shoot a man who spent five minutes standing in the doorway conducting a loud conversation on his mobile could have felled an ox.
However, assuming a man can behave appropriately it’s a great place to buy hats, and for that reason there was a minor furore when Bates’ future was recently in doubt because its lease was terminated. We can happily report that its future is now secure, because it has moved along Jermyn Street into the Hilditch & Key store. The Racing Hat (pictured), £92.50
73 Jermyn Street
020 7734 2722