Celebrating an impressive coming of age in 2010, the first UK based Loft on Westbourne Grove is a celebration of the French retail emporium’s 20th year and similarly, a clear example of how to nail the art of true chic boutique. More than a distinguished venue to showcase elegant, understated designer cuts, it has also fostered a reputation for giving a s***. Here, designers dare to do ethical properly, with an emphasis on natural, sustainable fabrics including super soft cashmeres, silks and even bamboo. The aesthetic, like the interior, is therefore both understated and discerningly elegant. And, like most of the ‘lifestyle’ boutiques that punctuate this consciously cool road for west London wannabes, Loft is more than clothes – in fact the clothing frequently becomes a side issue, leaving shoppers with the freedom to gaze longingly over art, in-store architectural flourishes and even the ultimate altruistic coffee table must-have – a collaborative book with Amnesty International titled ‘The Words the Emotions’.
Yes it’s all a little bit idealistic and organic, and yes the assistants are sickeningly attractive, but quibbles aside, Loft offers a delicious slice of retail refinement in Notting Hills most desirable neighbourhood. And if that doesn’t grab you, the specially imported Moroccan vanilla pod oil – a signature scent exported for each of the company’s 11 boutiques – almost certainly will.