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Rollo London is a relatively new player in the high-end notebook scene. Founded in 2016, the brand is an offshoot of Beauchamps of London, a maker of luxury accessories.
I received a sample of their A5 size Hardy notebook, in burgundy. The cover is a faux leather with a pebbled texture. It is a hardcover, but the boards are not as thick as on some other notebooks, and there is a bit of flex to them. The spine is slightly rounded, which makes the notebook feel slimmer.
The pages have gilt edges, and the gold accent is also picked up in the metallic ink used on the bellyband, as well as the little dog charm attached to the front cover. The brand name is subtly stamped on the lower back cover. The overall look is quite elegant.
The notebook has the usual features: an elastic closure in red to coordinate with the cover, a black ribbon marker, and an expanding back pocket. The inside front cover is totally blank so you can decide how and where to write your contact details or other information. The first two pages are titled “Reference” and can be used as an index. The rest of the pages are lined, with a space at the top for the date. All of the pages are perforated for easy removal. The dog emblem appears again at the bottom of each page– always facing inward towards the spine of the notebook, which is a nice little detail.
The cream-colored paper is 70 GSM, with a nice light feel to it. It performs similarly to other papers of this weight– very fine fountain pens may be okay, depending on ink used and writing pressure, but there will be some slight bleed-through where lines cross and with more pressure or wetter pens. Gel ink pens were mostly fine. Show-through is average.
Rollo London also offers this notebook in A4 and A6 sizes, a softcover version, and various colors. They can personalize notebooks with stamped initials and even offer calligraphy services to further customize notebooks. For larger corporate orders, they can even design a custom charm for the front cover.
The design of the Rollo London notebook makes it a nice gift option for anyone with classic upscale tastes, especially if they’re a dog lover. At £22 (about $29.13 USD) for the A5 size, they are a little on the pricier side vs. some of the competition — the exterior details justify some of that price but it’s a shame the paper isn’t a little sturdier for fountain pen users. But just for context, a Smythson notebook with a similar look, more fountain-pen-friendly paper and a real leather cover is going to cost at least 4 or 5 times as much. The A5 size Seven Seas Crossfield notebook with Tomoe River paper costs $24 with a totally plain soft cover. So I think Rollo London has done a pretty good job in offering a luxurious look at a price in line with their competition.
You can buy Rollo London notebooks via their website or at Paperchase flagship stores in Manchester, Glasgow and Tottenham Court Road London.I received this sample at no charge but was not otherwise compensated for this review and all opinions are my own.