Egg - one of London's most unique boutiques.
36 Kinnerton Street SW1
020 7235 9315; www.eggtrading.com
A cobblestone's throw from one of my favourite hotels, the Berkeley, is Egg, London's most unique boutique, though the shopkeeper, Maureen Doherty, probably wouldn't like it to be called that. It's just a little whitewashed place-a nineteenth-century building, originally a dairy-that sells a cherry-picked collection of items that Maureen (who, before Egg, worked mainly with Issey Miyake) has found on her travels and fallen in love with. I worked here years ago, when I fancied the idea of becoming a fashion stylist; somehow, miraculously, in a world of online everything, it has managed to stay just as under the radar now as then.
The shop-which feels more like it should be in an unexplored corner of Scandinavia than in bankers' Belgravia-sells diaphanous cotton, linen, and silk separates made in Tibet; lightly quilted blanketcum--shawls made from unusual, almost Anglo, vintage sari fabric; poetic straw hats made by the German label SCHA; delicate, hand-blown Japanese glassware; and a very small stock of kitten-soft cashmere knitwear that the designer, Sine, can never make enough of.
Egg's customers-perhaps "followers" is more like it-are a mix of dames, divas, gallerists, artists, and style-makers; the late Hardy Amies used to come and perch on a stool, stick in hand, for a gander and a natter, and Donna Karan and Ralph Lauren still make regular pilgrimages.
Maureen has just started stocking some of her wares at the Comme des Garçons Trading Museum, in Tokyo, but, luckily for us, for the time being, she remains, with her of London that time and fashion have yet to erase.
London-born Summer Litchfield, formerly arts editor of UK Esquire, is a freelance journalist writing for the Telegraph, the Sunday Times, and other publications. She writes extensively about restaurant culture and is working on her first novel.