Mayfair shops and boutiques are all about trying to satiate the desires and whims of a clientele who are always on the lookout for something unique or a break from the norm.
Of course, such products come at a price, but that does not worry those who tread Mayfair’s cobbles and paving, with them ready to dispose of large sums of cash in order to get an item that will make the perfect gift or anniversary present.
Games are certainly no different in this regard, with few people interested in a standard pack of cards or a generic board game. However, all that changes when someone is told by a local business that they can tailor the game to their own specifications.
Here are the Mayfair games makers, manufacturers and artists who, for a price, can create a game for you and yours that will be treasured forever, rather than just collecting dust in a long-forgotten cupboard.
Which of these beautifully handmade games would you like to see on your coffee table of a winter’s afternoon?
Purling are just up the road from Mayfair on Kensal Road and plenty of their bespoke board games, card decks, chess and backgammon sets make their way into the Christmas stockings of Mayfair households each year.
Everything their artists turn their hand to ends up being extra special, with customers able to ask for as much or as little customization as they like on every piece, board or card. Indeed, the only place you are likely to find such a wide selection of card deck designs is on the internet, with online casinos not only offering no deposit bonuses but also giving players the option to choose the design on the backs of their cards.
However, if you are someone who likes to be able to hold their cards as well as dabble with pixelated ones online, then Purling are sure to have just the right design for you, because they work with some of the capital’s most revered artists such as Mr Doodle and Thierry Noir.
Their work is so celebrated that it has even warranted an exhibition at the World Chess Hall of Fame in the US, as well as at Christie’s auction house in London. For all these reasons and more, it is not uncommon to hear a Mayfair party guest ask, “Is that a Purling?” when perusing a chess set or board game that has been put out on display.
Companies like Purling take classic games and give them an artistic touch that makes each and every set they sell unique
While Purling are a games company who collaborate with well-known artists to create their pieces, Alexandra Llewellyn is different in that she as the owner of the company that does it all, from taking orders to crafting beautiful games herself.
Trading since 2010, there seems to be no let-up in Llewellyn’s output and her backgammon and poker sets are particularly sought after.
These are far from the only games she crafts, though, with everything from special gaming tables to board games available.
She now fields bespoke orders for her games from all over the globe, but with the heart of her company very much remaining in London.
This maker of luxury games has been going for 60 years and is more predisposed to making ready-made games, using tried and tested designs for those gamers who do not have the time or inclination to make bespoke requests.
That said, you would be wrong to think that this in any way impacts on the quality of Geoffrey Parker’s products, with his “Ultimate Luxury” range featuring an alligator skin Monopoly set as well as a gold plated and diamond encrusted poker set. The company website states that the original that the poker set was modelled on was a commission piece for a private jet owner, who wanted to game as they glided above the clouds.
Aspinal of London
While all of the outlets mentioned so far are dedicated solely to games, there are others which sell a lifestyle, allowing their customers to indulge in everything from fine garments all the way through to travel accessories and leatherware.
Aspinal of London is one such shopping destination and they also happen to boast a fine range of games.
The focus with these games is very much on them being sleek and able to fit in seamlessly with well-decorated surrounds, rather than them being a room’s centrepiece. Having said that, they are still incredibly well made, and can even be gift wrapped for that special someone in your life.
A trip to Harrods guarantees quality
Department stores are probably not places that most people would think of to go and buy extravagant games, but then Harrods is far from being a run-of-the-mill department store.
Their selection of high-end gaming apparatus and accessories is second to none. Do you want a Vogue branded pack of cards? No problem. Are you on the hunt for a marble chequers set? Look no further.
The other great thing about Harrods is that it also stocks many of the ready-made products from the aforementioned Geoffrey Parker, Alexandra Llewellyn and Purling.
With their virtual online concierge service, you can even peruse everything you could possibly desire online, if getting into the shop over a packed weekend schedule is not an option.
The Premium Collection
Most shopping is done online these days, rather than in the confines of a boutique or local shop. With that in mind, it pays to have some good online options available.
While all of the above have websites and give the option of ordering or paying for things online, there are other websites who specialise in online shopping that may be slightly more efficient, but still deliver that personal touch a Mayfair shopper would expect.
The Premium Collection do just that, providing all the lifestyle options that Aspinal of London do, but housing it all online.
Some of their most desirable gaming items include Linley playing cards, which come packed inside delightful ornate boxes crafted from sycamore and walnut veneer. Make sure you and your friends wash your hands before playing with these cards!