Cheerio! I just returned from a week in London. The traffic was bonkers, I only saw the sun a couple of times, and I don’t think I was warm the entire time I was there, but what an amazing city!
This trip was my first outside of North America, and it was overwhelming to be in a place with so much history. It was so fascinating to see how streetscapes had evolved over time — historic buildings and modern ones all crammed together in such dense space. Everywhere you look there was a famous monument or building. Some of the older buildings had been updated for the present day with fresh layers of paint, signage, lights and renovations while others were trying their darndest to preserve their original characteristics. The dense streets were balanced out by several huge parks, which provide some calm, open spaces in this hectic city (and are also great for dog watching!).
Despite the miserable weather and gloomy skies (most days it was the same temperature in London as it was at home in Toronto!), I was really inspired by the colours of London — grey skies, brick walls and cobblestones, with little pops of red here and there, from buses, mailboxes and phone booths. I will definitely be using this colour scheme for something in the near future:
For me, the highlights of my trip included visits to the National Gallery and Tate Modern, Camden Market and Spitalfields, the obligatory bus and boat tours, seeing The Pains of Being Pure At Heart play at King’s College, many greasy breakfasts, and daily visits to the pub (…as well as getting engaged!).
I didn’t do a ton of shopping on this trip, but I did have a few great finds. My favourite is this set of antique crocheted coasters I bought at Spitalfields — apparently these doilies were made in the 1890’s. They are stretched around these glass discs and can be removed for cleaning. So pretty!
I also found a couple of purses that I loved… The first (left) is a shoulder bag made of reclaimed leather by Rokit, a vintage clothing chain. The second bag is a book bag made with oil cloth from Cath Kidston, a very popular British shop that features handbags, clothing, housewares as well as fabric and sewing supplies.
My one regret from this trip is that I decided not to buy this cute London fabric when I was at Cath Kidston… I may have to go back :)