James Smith and Sons
When was the last time you were offered an adjustable walking stick and encouraged to swagger up and down the length of an original Victorian shop to ascertain the correct length for your new umbrella? Founded in 1857 James Smith and Sons on New Oxford Street in London have been keeping English men and women dry and giving them something to lean on for generations.
They were one of the first companies to use the Fox frame, that is the wire frame that all umbrellas use, and they offer over seventy different types of wood. All this in a shop that has remained almost unchanged for 140 years.
Jealous of the bamboo handle on your lady friend's Gucci bag? Get a Whangee handled city umbrella and leave her in the shade, or indeed rain. Worried about having to fend off unwanted approaches? Get a solid English Apple wood umbrella that isn't only good for beating your way through bracken. Fancy the odd tipple and don't want to carry a flask? Keep it in your cane.
Whatever you do don't leave home without one, as it will rain, but the sun will come out tomorrow.