It was our last day in London. We’d checked off every single thing on our itinerary, save one more decadent tea time. Little Chick was starting to languish a bit (ok fine, I was the one getting a little cranky) as my mother led us through the streets of London like the Bataan Death March. We, however, were marching toward Fortnum & Mason to have scones with fresh lemon curd, triple chocolate truffle cake and giant ice cream sundaes with Chantilly whipped cream. So you needn’t feel too sorry for us.
But it started to rain as we wound our way from Trafalgar Square down Pall Mall. The change in weather was starting to cramp our spirits — just as we stumbled upon Farlow’s.
Now as I’ve said before, there was to be no flyfishing on this trip. No fishing related activities. But my mother and I looked at each other, Little Chick glanced at us both, and without further ceremony we all raced inside.
Farlow’s was founded in 1840 by Charles Farlow as an angling shop in the City of London. He manufactured his own products and advertised “Half An Hour With Mr. Farlow” to promote his unique brand of personal sales attention.
I can say without reservation Mr. Farlow’s high standard of customer service is alive and well today. It didn’t take long for the three of us to spread out around the entire store and cause quite a commotion. At any given time there were two or three charming gents on-the-ready with helpful advice, sparkling conversation and a quick jab at each others expense — all for our entertainment.
Proving once and for all that flyshops are all the same no matter where you go.
My mother had an eye on some rods but her practical side took hold and she didn’t want to deal with getting one home. So with the help of our new friends, we each picked out an assortment of flies and filled a box to take to Montana this summer. We’re going to have a friendly family competition to see who catches a Missouri River trout on an English fly we each selected at Farlow’s.
The store is beautiful, the guys are top notch and the merchandise is premium. I had so much fun I almost applied for a job — they do have an opening — but considered the commute and decided against it.
We didn’t buy much, just a hearty selection of flies and a wooden Farlow’s flybox. But true to Mr. Farlow’s slogan, thirty minutes was all it took. Our spirits were lifted. The shelter and the banter were just the shot-in-the-arm we needed to end our time in London on a high note.