Is it worth it?: Packing your bags: a case history

It's Italian, it's leather, it's got a faux English heritage label, but opinion is divided on whether it's beautiful enough to merit the pounds 725 price tag

IF YOU ARE planning a holiday this summer, it's likely that you've budgeted for insurance, spending money and perhaps some holiday clothes as well. New luggage on top of all that might be deemed a bit too much, especially if it cost the same as the holiday itself. This Italian leather suitcase from The Bridge checks in at pounds 725, easily the price of two very sunny weeks far away from home. Can such a price tag be justified? Of course not, but for the sake of fair journalism, let's argue the toss.

This suitcase is not the choice for the backpacker, nor for those with a serious appetite for travel, unless that appetite encompasses private jets and white gloved luggage porters. The case isn't exactly light and with only one main compartment and two fabric pockets in the yellow-checked lining of the flap, there's no room for sectioning your dirty knickers. Without a hard shell exterior neither are delicates well shielded from the physical strains of travel. But, for the holiday maker in search of those two jewels - style and quality - The Bridge stuff, (from key fobs right through to trunks) may well be on the shopping list. The company were remarkably unwilling to discuss the finer points of their product or even, initially at least, to allow us to photograph it, but they did eventually declare themselves to be a "classic brand... masters at creating luggage of timeless beauty, practicality and style".

Sophia Jolly, buyer of travel goods at Harrods, supports the brand's claim to quality. "The Bridge is a very durable brand with reliable suitcases. They use a sturdy, vegetable- dyed, full-grain leather." Basically, vegetable tanning (when the hide is treated to preserve it) is the oldest and most lengthy method, and is also "ecologically sound". Quality leather cases are, sadly, still subject to the same travel risks as the most proletarian of suitcases (like being sent astray and bullied in the hold). But Jolly believes that a few scratches can add to the charm of a durable leather suitcase. "Leather pieces are often returned by customers because they're scratched, but they're meant to look weathered."

Although the zip around the flap can be locked, if I'd spent pounds 700 plus on a suitcase I'd be very concerned about theft. Real Life's Annalisa Barbieri didn't think this would be a problem with the Bridge case. "It would never be nicked, it's far too ugly! It looks circa 1976 with those horrendous straps with `The Bridge' written on and the leather looks cheap. It's naff, unstylish and unwieldy". A damning comment. What would Miss Barbieri prefer? "A Bill Amberg Clarke suitcase made of bridle leather with a suede lining. It's not as big - long weekend size - but it's very stylish and comes with its own nylon slip cover, which protects the leather and wouldn't attract thieves. Or, for the pounds 700 the Bridge monstrosity costs, I'd buy Amberg's fabulous Cabin holdall which is the sort of bag you dream of owning." For an extra pounds 25, it seems, The Bridge certainly offers the quality, but with rather less of the style.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
Life and Style
ebooksA superb mix of recipes serving up the freshest of local produce in a delicious range of styles
Arts and Entertainment
Stik on the crane as he completed the mural
art
News
Happy in his hat: Pharrell Williams
people
News
i100(More than you think)
News
Phyllis Dorothy James on stage during a reading of her book 'Death Comes to Pemberley' last year
peopleJohn Walsh pays tribute to PD James, who died today
News
peopleExclusive: Maryum and Hana Ali share their stories of the family man behind the boxing gloves
Arts and Entertainment
John Hurt will voice Prince Bolkonsky in Radio 4's War and Peace
radioRadio 4 to broadcast 10-hour adaptation of War and Peace on first day of 2015
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs General

    Austen Lloyd: Commercial / Residential Property - Surrey

    Excellent Salary: Austen Lloyd: SURREY MARKET TOWN - SENIOR PROPERTY SOLICITOR...

    Recruitment Genius: Graduate Programme - Online Location Services Business

    Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: What do you want to do with your career? Do yo...

    Recruitment Genius: Senior QC Scientist

    Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This company is a leading expert in immunoassa...

    Recruitment Genius: Development Scientist

    Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A Development Scientist is required to join a ...

    Day In a Page

    Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: ‘We give them hope. They come to us when no one else can help’

    Christmas Appeal

    Meet the charity giving homeless veterans hope – and who they turn to when no one else can help
    Should doctors and patients learn to plan humane, happier endings rather than trying to prolong life?

    Is it always right to try to prolong life?

    Most of us would prefer to die in our own beds, with our families beside us. But, as a GP, Margaret McCartney sees too many end their days in a medicalised battle
    Thomas Cook's outgoing boss Harriet Green got by on four hours sleep a night - is that what it takes for women to get to the top?

    What does it take for women to get to the top?

    Thomas Cook's outgoing boss Harriet Green got by on four hours sleep a night and told women they had to do more if they wanted to get on
    Radio 4 to broadcast 10-hour War and Peace on New Year's Day as Controller warns of cuts

    Just what you need on a New Year hangover...

    Radio 4 to broadcast 10-hour adaptation of War and Peace on first day of 2015
    Christmas 2014: 10 best educational toys

    Learn and play: 10 best educational toys

    Of course you want them to have fun, but even better if they can learn at the same time
    Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

    Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

    It's in all our interests to look after servicemen and women who fall on hard times, say party leaders
    Millionaire Sol Campbell wades into wealthy backlash against Labour's mansion tax

    Sol Campbell cries foul at Labour's mansion tax

    The former England defender joins Myleene Klass, Griff Rhys Jones and Melvyn Bragg in criticising proposals
    Nicolas Sarkozy returns: The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?

    Sarkozy returns

    The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?
    Is the criticism of Ed Miliband a coded form of anti-Semitism?

    Is the criticism of Miliband anti-Semitic?

    Attacks on the Labour leader have coalesced around a sense that he is different, weird, a man apart. But is the criticism more sinister?
    Ouija boards are the must-have gift this Christmas, fuelled by a schlock horror film

    Ouija boards are the must-have festive gift

    Simon Usborne explores the appeal - and mysteries - of a century-old parlour game
    There's a Good Girl exhibition: How female creatives are changing the way women are portrayed in advertising

    In pictures: There's a Good Girl exhibition

    The new exhibition reveals how female creatives are changing the way women are portrayed in advertising
    UK firm Biscuiteers is giving cookies a makeover - from advent calendars to doll's houses

    UK firm Biscuiteers is giving cookies a makeover

    It worked with cupcakes, doughnuts and macarons so no wonder someone decided to revamp the humble biscuit
    Can SkySaga capture the Minecraft magic?

    Can SkySaga capture the Minecraft magic?

    It's no surprise that the building game born in Sweden in 2009 and now played by millions, has imitators keen to construct their own mega money-spinner
    The King's School is way ahead of the pack when it comes to using the latest classroom technology

    Staying connected: The King's School

    The school in Cambridgeshire is ahead of the pack when it comes to using the latest classroom technology. Richard Garner discovers how teachers and pupils stay connected
    Christmas 2014: 23 best women's perfumes

    Festively fragrant: the best women's perfumes

    Give a loved one a luxe fragrance this year or treat yourself to a sensual pick-me-up