5 Minutes With... Theo Fennell

Words by
Andy Morris

16th August 2022

Celebrating 40 years of stylish craftmanship in the capital with a new store in Chelsea Barracks, Theo Fennell talks coloured glassware, visiting Tennessee and meeting Ozzy Osbourne.

Theo Fennell Jeweller at Chelsea Barracks

We love your Cosmopolitan Set - why should everyone bring colour to their barware this autumn?
It’s been a drab year and we need all the colour we can get.

In your 40 year career, what has been your most memorable celebrity encounter?
Watching Ozzy Osbourne sign a cheque with one hand and roll a joint with the other.

What's been the most ambitious bespoke item you have ever created?
Ambitious pieces, especially bespoke work, are our speciality so there have been many. We can use a dozen master craftsmen with totally different skills on one ring. A 30cm high gold and diamond minutely detailed Gazebo with enamelled sofas and chairs, an inlaid floor with books and carved stone fruit laid out to represent the arbour in A Thousand and One Nights takes some beating. It was also lit and played Scheherazade when you turned on the lamp - amongst other things

Which piece in your new collection are you most proud of?
Like an annoying singer-songwriter at a concert, I always love all our latest work.

What's your favourite piece of technology and why?
I don’t much like technology but my Kindle means I can read pretty much anywhere.

Can you recommend a good book?
Apart from my book, I Fear For This Boy, William Boyd’s new book The Romantic is sensational.

What is your top interiors store?
Rose Uniacke, she has a magical eye.

What is your favourite London restaurant and what do you order?
The Quality Chop House in Farringdon Road - the menu varies so whatever is good on that night is always wonderful.

Which artist should we check out and why?
Hugo Wilson, a very bright and recognisable talent and Binny Mathews for the most soul-searching portraits.

What's your favourite hotel?
The Sandy Lane in Barbados

What holiday destination would you recommend and why?
Tennessee, if you don’t want to go to the beach. You can listen to the history of American music from Dollywood in Knoxville, through Nashville and on down to Memphis. It’s a brilliant journey from Bluegrass and Jug Bands through Pop, Country and Rock to the home of the Blues.

What bottle never leaves your cocktail cabinet?
Angostura Bitters.

What is your dream travel destination for next year?
The Carmel Peninsula to play golf on some of the best courses in the world.

What's the best fashion purchase?
A really well-made bespoke suit or shoes as they transcend fashion.

What does luxury mean to you?
Having the time and freedom to do exactly what I feel like but, in the modern sense of the word, something absolutely individual, perfect and personal made by the very best craftsmen with the finest materials that I know will bring me joy forever.