House of Read, No 4 Parliament Street: A Gentleman’s Hideaway,
Stepping in to House of Read at No 4 Parliament Street is to step in to a shop interior that would be recognisable to the customers who made purchase here in the eighteenth century as it is Dublin’s oldest Gentlemen’s Merchant House and Shop.
Originally established as a cutlers in 1670, the Read family at No 4 Parliament Street are world renowned for the manufacture and sale of cutlery, swords, instruments and grooming products for over 340 years for Dublin’s nobility, gentry and grand tourists.
Thought to be the spiritual home of the Guinness family, The building housed an artisan manufacturing shop and was a home to the Read family whilst also being used for Guild meetings and fencing classes
Following an extensive restoration and conservation programme, House of Read has crafted a careful balance between old and new to create a unique gentleman’s emporium.
As the only original merchant house and shop in Dublin, the building stands out amongst its neighbors in Dublin Castle and City Hall and cuts an impressive shape.
Spread over three floors, the shop and house is devoted to gentlemen’s grooming and accessories.
The ground floor boasts an impressive and exclusive barber’s shop, which is like going through a time machine, with green Connemara marble and original barber chairs evoking more than a little nostalgic and a subtle luxurious oasis of male grooming.
Showcasing a range of gentlemen’s grooming products and apparel in original swan neck pediment cabinets, the scrubbed wooden floorboards lend an elegantly old-fashioned edge to all manner of gentlemen’s grooming needs.
Directly above the barber shop off a dizzying staircase, guests find a unique waiting room. The Room is a private waiting room for guests presided over by a fireplace and the carved armorial warrant granted to T. Reads & Co in 1820 by King George IV and surrounded by an extensive range of historical journals for their perusal while they await their treatments.
Back downstairs in the depths of the building’s basement, you’ll find another touch of history in the original workshop. In an ultimate nod to its history; a silversmith provides an instrument repair service including engraving, reflects the heritage of the brand.
But House of Read does not stop at ready – to – go grooming; upstairs there are a number of private rooms available for private hire.
The drawing room is reminiscent of an old ballroom, presided over by a fireplace, historical prints and period furniture below a subtle, but no less fascinating frieze reminiscent of naval battles, a nod to the brand’s rich history. The room is available for hire for presentations, dinners, board meetings and discussions for up to 40 people.
The paneled room is immaculate, but comfortable for small private meetings of 4-6 people; worn-in floorboards and full-length wall paneling give the sense that men have held meetings in this room for centuries, and indeed they have !
Ultimately, House of Read at No 4 Parliament Street is the kind of place where a gentleman can have a traditional haircut and shave one moment, take his seat in the plush armchairs of the waiting room the next, or welcome colleagues for meetings or events the next.
Combining old-fashioned atmosphere with modern amenities, No 4 Parliament Street is a house away from home.