Asprey Joins Luxury Lineup at London’s New Peninsula Hotel

LONDON — Asprey has joined the luxury shopping arcade at the new five-star Peninsula Hotel in London opening a flagship awash in shades of purple, pistachio and pink.

The corner store, which spans 2,293 square feet, is the jeweler’s second London location after 36 Bruton Street in Mayfair, which opened quietly during the pandemic in the former William & Son space.

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Designed by Storey Studio with input from Asprey’s longtime chairman John Rigas, the shop is located inside the hotel, and has a separate entrance facing Hyde Park Corner and Wellington Arch.

It is one of nine stores, including jewelers David M. Robinson and Mouawad, that have opened, or are set to open, in the Peninsula arcade.

The store has a playful edge, with a long glass facade overlooking Hyde Park Corner. Customers are invited to step inside the vitrine and immerse themselves in the display.

On the back wall, and visible through the window, there is a large display meant to resemble a cocktail bar, showcasing products such as shakers and glassware.

In the coming months, Asprey is planning to press the “bar” into action with mixology experiences for special occasions and exclusive client evenings. Nearby there’s an Art Deco style cocktail cart that showcases more product, including colored tumblers, silver flasks, and carved crystal ice buckets.

Although the bar and cart are mainly for show, guests walking by at night have been asking the hotel if they can pop in for a drink.

A carved imperial jade bracelet from Asprey.
A carved imperial jade bracelet from Asprey.

Similar to the Asprey on Bruton Street, the shop’s design is meant to resemble a gallery and has been designed around discovery. Customers are urged to wander around the various areas of the store, and explore the different categories on offer.

“Our goal was to create a contemporary new home for Asprey which gave space to celebrate the story of each piece. Our concepts originated from exploring the very British pursuit of rambling, and the cornicing details found inside British estates. These themes influenced the color and orientation of the store, as well as the design details on furniture pieces,” said Robert Storey.

The store stocks jewelry, leather, silver, crystal, china and bespoke items. There are also exclusives from Asprey’s Imperial Jadeite collection, a nod to the Peninsula’s Hong Kong roots and the power of jade in Chinese culture.

Imperial jade is the finest-quality jadeite, and is one of the world’s most expensive gemstones, according to the Gemological Institute of America. Demand for the stone has been building among a younger generation in China, and there are not a lot of jewelers that specialize in it.

It’s a point of pride for Rigas, who is keen to cultivate Asprey’s reputation as an ultra high-end brand.

“We don’t believe in aspirational or mass luxury. For Asprey, this is not a market share game. We have our niche, and our unique pieces,” he said, pointing out the brand’s imperial jade jewelry, including a bracelet showcasing a rainbow of natural color, multicolored marquetry boxes handmade in Brazil, and exotic handbags.

“The Peninsula London team approached us, and we couldn’t have hoped for a better partner for this project,” said Rigas, adding that he was proud to be joining the hotel’s “Best of British” lineup.

Robert Storey at Asprey.
Robert Storey at Asprey.

In addition to the luxury stores, the hotel also tapped red carpet and occasion wear designer Jenny Packham to create the staff uniforms. Her creations allow staff to mix and match colors and accessories and to dress differently for day and evening.

With Europe and the U.K. in the thick of a cost-of-living crisis, and luxury consumption slowing, it may seem unusual for high-end jewelers such as Asprey to branch beyond their usual Bond Street locations and into new retail spaces in London.

But the high-end hospitality market is flourishing here, with luxury hotels popping across town and competing for international millionaires’ and billionaires’ wallets.

At the Peninsula, the rooms — which were designed by Peter Marino — start at 1,300 pounds a night, and the main restaurant, Brooklands, is headed by Michelin-starred chef director Claude Bosi. Now those guests can have a cocktail — and accessorize — at Asprey.

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