What have supermodel Naomi Campbell, rapper Will.i.am, gritty gangster drama Peaky Blinders and high fashion glossies Tatler and Vogue have in common? It transpires they are all dedicated followers of Laird Hatters, an independent, British hat specialist which handmakes a wonderful selection of hats and caps for both men and women. The brand was founded in London and then expanded into Cambridge.
Located on one of our prettiest thoroughfare's, Green street, amid a host of independents, Laird is a hat lover's paradise, with a collection ranging from sophisticated Sinatra trilbies and casual Brooklyn tweed caps to dainty woollen cloches and cool Panamas.
With a friendly team led by the enthusiastic Faye Gilbert-Brown, it'd be almost impossible not to find a statement piece to suit. All hats are handmade in Britain using traditional methods, and created predominantly in fur, wool and tweed, sourced in the UK, Ireland and Ecuador. Shapes are traditional but with a modern twist and a rich colour palette, aimed at a unisex market.
Among the bestsellers are the Hunter woollen fedora, the plush fur-felt Alfred trilby, the all-American Brooklyn flat cap and the Crushable range (quite literally headwear which will crush, then spring back to perfection).
Come the summer Panamas - handwoven in Ecuador from the finest toquilla palm and finished by Laird on British soil - prove a popular choice.
Hat accessories, (brushes, hat jacks, beautiful feather pins), hat boxes and gift vouchers, as well as handmade Facemasks are available instore also.
With customers ranging from tourists and fashionistas to groomsmen, the store is always busy. And true old-fashioned customer service remains key. There's even a crystal decanter of whisky by the till, so once you've selected your dashing deer stalker or suave Sicilian cap, you can celebrate with a wee dram. Now that's customer service - and some!
4, Green Street
Tel: 01223 356820
Always best to check holiday opening times.