For travelers who prefer to tell the tales of their adventures in letters home, Smythson has an unsurpassed supply of writing paper and a sales team with the final word on the etiquette of letter writing, wedding and birth announcements, business and/or calling cards. Over the years the shop has monogrammed its Bond Street blue stationery for the crowned heads of Europe and engraved invitations to many a gala London event.
Stock in writing paper ranges from impeccably tasteful sheets of unadorned Bond Street blue and other solid colors to those with distinguished-looking single or double borders in a wide variety of sizes and weights. There are envelopes to match, and simple or elaborate letterheads may be added to specification.
Writing papers bear the Smythson watermark. Top-of-the-line handmade sheets with matching envelopes cost about $20 for 20, but less expensive papers are abundant. It takes about a week for stationery or cards to be engraved, and the shop will send them directly to your home.
Perfectionists who want to bind their own diaries can get all necessary supplies from Falkiner Fine Papers (117 Long Acre, Covent Garden). This shop, specializing in paper for calligraphy, printmaking and painting (handmade papers cost about $2 per large sheet), sells bookbinding leathers and tools, and books about bookbinding, as well as attractive leather- and fabric-covered notebooks ($5 and up) for sketchers and diarists.
The Italian Paper Shop (11 Brompton Arcade) has diaries and blank-page notebooks covered with beautiful marbled paper with patterns of swirling iridescent blues, pinks, greens, reds, yellows and metallic colors. The paper is hand-decorated in Italy according to a method invented in the 17th Century by Marie Ruette, the royal bookbinder to King Louis XIII of France. \o7 Prices in this article reflect currency exchange rates at the time of writing\f7 .