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
Sunday 17 May 1998
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.
Life & Style blogs
Millions of Britons struggling to feed themselves and facing malnourishment
British actor Idris Elba cannot star as James Bond because he is black, says shock jock Rush Limbaugh
Germany anti-Islam protests: 17,000 march on Dresden against 'Islamification of the West'
Ukip member gets into Christmas spirit with Union Flag plea to Santa 'for our country back'
Nigel Farage: Ukip leader named 'Briton of the year' by The Times
Immigrants make UK racist, says Ukip councillor Trevor Shonk
- 1 President of Argentina adopts Jewish godson to 'stop him turning into a werewolf'
- 2 The 'Black Museum': After 150 years, public set to see exhibits from police’s grisly crime museum
- 3 Stoke-on-Trent becomes first British city to be classified as 'disaster resilient' by the United Nations
- 4 Sir Winston Churchill’s family begged him not to convert to Islam, letter reveals
- 5 UK weather: 'Coldest night of the year' tonight as freezing temperatures plummet to -10C
£32000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Business Manager is required ...
£45000 - £55000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...
£20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Panel Wireman required for small electro...
£25000 - £27000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An SME based in East Cheshire, ...