The Indispensable Gentleman’s Getaway Guide

October 6, 2015


There are few things in life that set our hearts racing quite like the anticipation of pending travels. The excitement is no less for a day trip than a weekend getaway but there are a few things that can help make the journey just that little bit more luxurious.

Over the years we have compiled a list of packing tips to help us avoid those ‘Planes, trains and automobiles’ moments. Here is a Smythson guide to sojourns of the 12, 24 and 48 hour variety.


The 12 Hour Getaway

When dashing off for the day, bring only what you need. A toothbrush may come in handy; the complete works of Chaucer are probably best left at home. We like to keep all of our essentials in one place. When your notebook, passport cover and card case can all be neatly concealed within a cool, unassuming writing folder you know you have mastered the art of organisation.

A word to the wise, investing in good headphones can help you mitigate many of the potential travel disturbances that might otherwise disturb the tranquillity of those precious 12 hours.

Smythson essentials styled by Mr Porter

The 24 Hour Getaway

With a whole glorious day at your disposal, there is a bit more room for creativity, especially considering the speed of travel. These days it seems as if the whole world is within a day’s reach. Whether you are hopping on a train to the continent or staying a bit closer to home, there is very little need to prepare for all weather eventualities.

With that in mind, our 24 hour Burlington bag has just enough space for a cashmere scarf, clean t-shirt, rain jacket (this is London we are talking about), an extra pair of socks and a few other wardrobe fail safes alongside your trusty laptop.

The Smythson 24 Hour Bag

The 48 Hour Getaway

The. Whole. Weekend. It is a miracle what you can accomplish in 48 short hours. This is the most challenging of all spontaneous getaways to prepare for so we will break it down into component parts.

The Wash Bag: Ensure that you pack all of the components of your daily regime (just because you are free from your 9 to 5 does not mean you are free from your 5 O’clock shadow).

The Travel Wallet: This is simply the best way to keep your documents in order. There is nothing worse than mixing up your multiple identities….

The Bag Itself: A 48 hour bag is the perfect receptacle for these aforementioned travel essentials alongside your weekend wardrobe, camera, playing cards, Panama hat and for those of us addicted to gadgetry insert laptop, ipad, kindle…

The Burlington Washbag shot by Harrods Men


128 Extraordinary Years

September 29, 2015

It was an autumn morning 128 years ago today when Frank Smythson first opened the doors to New Bond Street’s latest emporium of curiosities. Smythson started out life as a family business selling little luxuries for the ladies and gentlemen of London, a legacy that continues to this day.

Smythson's First Ever Advertisement

In celebration our 128th Anniversary, we are indulging in a bit of well-deserved nostalgia, sharing a few of our brand milestones and little known facts.

Smythson at 54 New Bond Street

Our current flagship boutique at 40 New Bond Street is actually our 6th New Bond Street address. A bit of a Bond Street institution, we have been here since 1887 catering to discerning customers from not just London but around the world.

Today you may receive your treasured Smythson parcels and seasonal catalogues through the post but in the past, Smythson used post boys (complete with uniform) to deliver catalogues and orders around London. Perhaps it is time to revive this tradition..?

Smythson Post Boys

Frank Smythson’s favourite words of wisdom were from Cato, by Joseph Addison.

“Tis not in mortals to command success; but we’ll do more, Sempronius, we’ll deserve it.”

The Bond Street bag was Frank’s first foray into bags in 1900. This frame bag was designed to be the perfect travel companion, the sort of bag with a seemingly endless capacity. It featured a unique striped lining which we use to this day in our Eliot Collection.

The Original Bond Street Bag

There was a time, whilst holding Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother’s Warrant, that Smythson was 1 of only 8 companies in the world to hold all 4 Royal Warrants simultaneously. Today we still hold three Royal Warrants demonstrating quality and service of the highest calibre.

Smythson Featherweight Diaries were (and are) so essential that during the height of WWII rationing, customers were spotted queuing outside the store to ensure that they received one of the few diaries produced.

A History of Smythson Diaries

The Panama diary even went on a journey to the poles in 1976 carried by Ranulph Fiennes and his team for the Transglobe Expedition. The trip was only completed in 1980 but don’t worry, they had enough diaries to see them through.

The Transglobe Expedition

Cricket Match on the Transglobe Expedition via

Smythson has long been a favourite of explorers, politicians, and connoisseurs from the likes of Sigmund Freud and Sir Winston Churchill to the slightly more glamorous Grace Kelly, Katharine Hepburn and Vivien Leigh. In fact, Katharine Hepburn was such a fan that she ordered two special edition address books with ‘London, California, New York’ engraved on the cover.

Katharine Hepburn's Smythson Address Book

Here we have collected but a few of the magnificent moments experienced in our 128 years of existence. There are many more stories to tell but we plan to be around for a long while yet and we cannot give everything away at once…


Fashion by Roksanda. Invites by Smythson.

September 22, 2015

Bold, colourful, modern, structural: these are just a few of the words often associated with Roksanda Ilincic’s fashion collections. No strangers to these design nuances, it was a natural fit for us to partner with Roksanda to create the invitations for her Spring Summer 2016 London Fashion Week show.Roksanda-SS16-Collections

Inspired by modern ballet, romanticism and rather eclectically the Japanese art of flower arranging (Ikebana), Roksanda’s latest collection features contrasting colour blocked shapes and graceful silhouettes.


Created by Smythson, the show invitation took elements of the Spring Summer 2016 design inspiration and transformed it into something more…paper-based.

Roksanda-Invite-DetailOur artisans crafted Roksanda’s playful asymmetric shapes in her seasonal palette of sky blue, citrus yellow and black. A true blend of heritage techniques and contemporary design, our craftsmen used traditional copperplate engraving as well as inlaying and overlaying each geometric shape by hand.


Reinforcing the colours that permeated Roksanda’s new collection, each tissue-lined envelope was hand bordered with a touch of citrus yellow.


Seeing the new collection on the runway at London Fashion Week completed the circle from idea to invitation to presentation, proving once again that when it comes to bespoke invitations, anything is possible.