John Gibson: One tartan store worth checking out

1
Have your say

King and the Castle. You can’t blame David King for being a tad possessive about the Castle.

The rock is all but touchable from his windows and the windows belong to Romanes and Paterson, the Princes Street store renowned at home and abroad for trading in goods in tartanesque.

Different from other city centre dealers in tartan because, for a start, what they’re selling is genuinely Scottish or, at least, made in the UK. There’s a lot of ‘‘genuine” Scottish cashmere made in China.

So Mr King makes no bones about his wares. The real, genuine article at 62 Princes Street. He lives in Glasgow, a genuine Weegie, reluctant to migrate to Edinburgh and trains it daily to the Capital. Still commuting to the Capital and this is his fifth year in charge.

King, 45, says: “In recent weeks we’ve started featuring Harris Tweed products . . . jackets and skirts, iPod and hip flask covers. We are part of the Edinburgh Woollen Mill group, their flagship store and great survivors. We closed after a fire in August 2007 and reopened in April 2009.’’

King’s been big on Princes Street. Prior to running Romanes and Paterson, he managed Evans, the ‘‘outsize’’ specialists.

Afterwords . .

. . nothing like a grand dame named Dolly Parton: “People are always saying to me I’m happy all the time. But nobody is happy all the time. I am a tender-hearted person and I feel everything in the ninth degree. Every once in a while I just feel, you know . . . sad-hearted and melancholy. There are times when you just don’t want to get up.’’