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My London: By Floris fragrance chief Edward Bodenham

Words by Rob Chilton

Established in 1730, Floris is an historic fragrance brand that is synonymous with London and the British Royal Family

We asked its director Edward Bodenham for his London picks...


"I think the Houses of Parliament is a pretty iconic London building. All the politics inside might cloud it, but it is beautiful."


"Definitely St James’s Park. It has ponds and lakes and is lovely to walk around at lunchtime – it’s instantly relaxing for me."


"I'd say Hix Soho. The food is always amazing and very inventive, but not stupidly so. The atmosphere is not stuffy, it’s cosy and quirky, with strange things hanging from the ceiling. The service is really good, too. They always seem genuinely pleased to see you, which is not always the case in London restaurants!"

Hix Soho


"The National Portrait Gallery and The National Gallery are filled with beautiful paintings."


"I love Jermyn Street, which is where Floris is based. It has a lovely community spirit due to the many family businesses and people who have worked there for a long time. You get to know everyone. It’s the sort of place where people wave to each other as they come to work. It’s like a village in the centre of London."


"Fortnum & Mason is a really nice store to wander around. I buy gifts there at Christmas. Also, I like Waterstone’s book shop on Piccadilly, which is inside a gorgeous Art Deco building."

Fortnum & Mason

Advice for tourists

"Walk everywhere, don’t catch the Tube. And always look up to see the buildings above. Take a tour – Fox & Squirrel is a good company that does small, interesting group tours about food, art, and shops that hold Royal Warrants, like Floris."

Music venue

"I like the Brixton Academy and the Shepherd’s Bush Empire. The last concert I saw was Sharon van Etten at the Roundhouse in Camden – she was amazing."

The American Bar in The Stafford London Hotel


"Oh, so many to choose from! The Red Lion is a fantastic Victorian pub in Mayfair. It’s one of the oldest pubs in London, about 200 years old I believe."


"The Stafford London in St James’s is a really lovely hotel. It’s gone through a few changes and been taken over by several corporations but then they brought back the original general manager who was there when it was a family business and he’s restored the heart and soul of it. It’s stunning inside."


"I love walking across the River Thames on the Hungerford Bridge, coming from Waterloo train station on the south side of the river. The south bank, in general, is such a lovely place to walk around."

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