In April of 2008 I traveled to London (UK) on business and fortunately had a full day to myself to explore the city. Not nearly enough time to see all the sites of London, but I had my priorities… I was staying in a hotel next to the London Bridge (and Tower of London), and after breakfast I took a cab to St. James street to find the Beretta Gallery. Being an owner of a O/O White Onyx 686 12 gauge, I thought it would be interesting to visit one of their prestigious galleries. Stepping out of the cab I walked for a few blocks before spotting the ornate, three-story exterior of the former bank building, now a showcase for upscale firearms, apparel and accessories.
Stepping through the door makes one feel like they’re walking into a Peter Capstick novel. The first floor was primarily comprised of sport coats, ties, safari attire, luggage, and a healthy assortment of exotic mounts and rugs. I wouldn’t have been surprised to see two chaps sitting in the corner conversing; “Remember that time in Botswana hunting kudu?” As I worked my way up to the second floor via a tight winding staircase, I was pleasantly surprised by the friendly and attentive staff — considering the museum-like display of their goods. There I found the only item I purchased that morning, a copy of “The Game Book: A Shooting Anthology” by Chris Catlin. I’ll post more on this item another day.
The third floor required entrance only after being buzzed-in, and contained a dizzying collection of shotguns. Every price point was on display, from 500₤ up to an ornately detailed side-by-side, complete with unfinished stock for 126,000₤ (about 253,000 US.) The London Gallery location certainly lives up to Beretta’s reputation…and it was a fun way to spend a couple of hours.