Cheshire’s ‘Golden Triangle’ has its fair share of luxury shops and high-end retailers, writes Malcolm Storer. One of the most exclusive and, indeed, fascinating, is De Moura; a unique lifestyle and fine wine store situated in the chocolate-box village of Prestbury. In fact, when I entered De Moura I could have sworn I’d been transported to a designer boutique in Mayfair.
Owned and run by mother and son team Gillian and Richard Herstell, it’s a treasure trove of luxury brands such as Aspinal of London, Assouline and Pinetti. Mixed in amongst the fashionable leather briefcases, chic ladies handbags and smart coffee table books, are exquisite Spanish ceramics, cool Tuscan table lamps, Havana cigars and vintage wines.
But the real feature of this up-market store is the amazing collection of Bellerby globes. These beautiful objects must be seen to be believed. De Moura is one of only a few places where these exceptional globes can be acquired.
Made entirely by hand, in London, and individually painted using Sennelier watercolours from Paris, it takes about six weeks to make the smaller globes and up to a year for some of the larger ones.
Angela Merkel is among the latest of a number of high-profile individuals to acquire a Bellerby globe. Using modern techniques and with the collaboration of Aston Martin heritage technicians and Formula One, a Bellerby globe is made to last a lifetime.
I asked Gillian how she and her son Richard, who is fluent in nine languages, came to put together such an eclectic mix of luxurious objects.
“A few years ago, Richard and I had the idea of sourcing quality products to sell in the UK. We wanted to get back to what the High Street used to be about, and away from the mass market, ‘Made in China’ thing that seems to have taken over.
So, we drove all over Europe in our Mini Cooper adorned with the Union Jack, visiting artisans in their workshops. That meant negotiating medieval hilltop villages and tortuous mountain passes to make truly exceptional finds.
However, it was only on returning to England that the ‘jewel in the crown’ of our collection was discovered. Hidden away in an old mews street in London, in the studio of Bellerby & Co. Globemakers, was a team of highly skilled men and women who were diligently handcrafting omni-directional and traditional globes of the world.
Invited by the owner, Peter Bellerby, to view these craftsmen as they worked, it was a privilege to witness at first hand the meticulous attention to detail required to create these remarkable objects.
Peter started the company after trying to source a globe for his father’s eightieth birthday, only to discover that astonishingly, there was nobody, anywhere in the world, producing high quality globes.
After many years of setbacks, he finally perfected the art of his craft and went on to establish Bellerby & Co. as the world’s finest globe maker. Internationally acclaimed and with unrelenting demand from every corner of the world, the order books are full.”
Prices start from £1399 – £1999 for the smaller globes, to £2500 for the larger ones.
But hurry, there’s a fourteen-month waiting list. “Only yesterday, a gentleman came into the shop to buy a leather wallet. He took one look at the globes and bought one straight off.”
So, to all you ladies and gentlemen of discernment out there looking for that extra special gift, forget the four-hour trek to central London. Simply drive over to Prestbury and pop into De Moura. You won’t be disappointed. www.demoura.co.uk