OK, so I'm having a couple of hereditary cysts removed from my head and I wanted a hat. There can be all sorts of reasons for wanting something like this. Only, I look terrible in a woolly beanie, always have.
So I was pleased when I had Laird London recommended to me and particularly pleased by the reception I had in the shop (I went to the Covent Garden branch on New Row). The guy let me look around in my own time then asked whether he could help.
I told him a little about the operation, and about how this would leave me with a few temporary bald patches. I told him that my ears stick out a little so a brim should ideally stick out a little more, but nothing too Indiana Jones or mid-life crisis. He asked a bit about what I wore and my preferred styles.
We ended up with a Trilby, very nice it is too. It's grey so I can wear it with different outfits. I opted for the budget version in wool as I don't anticipate a longer-term need; I might go back and get something in furfelt later on for £165 or so if I really take to wearing the things and, let's be honest, if I feel like splashing out that much cash on something and am in a position to do so.
Two things struck me. First the hats were good quality - these people make their own. Second and more important, the guy listened carefully to what I wanted and why, and came up with pretty much the perfect solution. I came out happy to recommend the shop to anyone; this, my friends, is how you run a business.
(There was also a decanter of whisky and a glass on the counter. I didn't ask.)