I mean, I don’t think I AM a googly eyed goon in real-life, but these photos would surely have you believe I was!
Here’s a little taster of what we got up to during our trip to London this time around…
On Tuesday night we cut loose and headed to the Southampton Arms on Highgate Road. I love it there. The staff are super friendly, the bar stocks tipples by exclusively independent brewers and boy do they make a mean sausage roll… Oh! And that have a super-cool fella that plays rock’n'roll classics on the piano. My choice on tap this particular evening was a fancy strawberry beer. Two pints later and I was positively fleein’. Thankfully, no pics of this. I don’t remember going to bed.
On Wednesday, Beardy got to work bright and early. Feeling more than a little fuzzy round the edges, I stumbled out the door and headed to the bus stop. I intended to get to Liverpool St. and have a wee nosey round. In the end my nosey round amounted to a dazed and confused saunter through the station, eating two hamburgers in the street (classy) then getting back on the bus again.
I returned home and holed myself up in the bedroom at the top of the house with my trusty laptop. The Made in the Shade online shop was about to launch so had tonnes of work to get through. Despite the woolly brain, I managed to tick off the chores on my list and in the evening, Beardy and I stepped out to Camden Town in the search of food. We took up our booth in The Diner and stuffed our piggy faces til our tummies popped. Just about popped, I should say. that would be gross.
On Thursday I met our gal in London Town, Leona (of Thriftola fame) and headed on a tour of Spitalfields flea market. Jeewhizz! What a flippin’ hoard of treasure you could gather in your arms there! Amazing. Had I had pocket money and had I lived nearby, I could easily have purchased 2 living room chairs with green velour upholstery, a taxidermy tawny owl, a giant taxidermy stag head, an antique xylophone, 3 tonnes of vintage fabric, some Calamity Jane undies and several printing blocks. As it was though, I bought a fabulous 50s necklace. A pink one. Leona bought a yellow one. Oh! Oh! And I was introduced to the fella from add n to x. That was pretty exciting – though I didn’t know it at the time. Leona filled me in afterwards. Beardy was green with envy.
Thursday evening was the big launch night of the Made in the Shade online shop so some last minute tidying up work had to be done before we could relax. Inbetween G-chatting with Clare Nicolson and ironing out little glitches here and there, we enjoyed an obligatory shout at Question Time on tv. The shop launched (pretty much hitch free) at midnight as planned. We slept soundly. You can see the new online shop here.
On Friday, after a few hours infront of the computer refreshing the online shop orders page over and over and over again like a goon, I ventured out east. Of course, never one to make things easy on myself, I somehow managed to turn a 20 minute train journey into a 1 hour and 10 minutes public transport extravaganza. I had fun nonetheless. I reached Hackney Wick at about 3pm and headed straight to The Hackney Pearl to catch up with Leona and another new thrifty pal, Mira. Can confirm I am a huge fan of The Hackney Pearl. Beautiful surroundings, tasty loose leaf tea in pretty pots, scrumptious carrot cake and lovely smiley faced staff. Perfecto.
After enjoying a little whistlestop tour of Fish Island and having met some lovely locals, Beardy caught up with us and Leona led the way to Dalston – and to dinner. We went to a Turkish restaurant on the main drag. As Leona explained, there is plenty of tasty, affordable Turkish cuisine on offer, but we banked on this joint, The Stone Cave, purely based on the fact it’s decked out LIKE a stone cave. Really. There’s even a grotto. We literally hoovered up our meal (so hungry!) and tried our best not to make eye contact with the rather creepy belly dancing lady that was jiggling her boobs and jingling her bells into our baclava. Baclava, by the way, is my new favourite sweet treat. Anyone in Glasgow know where to get any?
Saturday, our last day in London and our only proper full day off work, turned out to be super busy. I really wanted to get along to Selfridges to check out the Guerilla Gardening window, the Oxfam Curiosity Pop-Up Shop and of course, Supermarket Sarah. However, I also wanted to squish in a trip to The Selvedge Spring Fair and I wanted to get along to the North London Vintage Market. Two out of three ain’t bad – or at least it wouldn’t have been bad had my body not packed in 2/3 of the way through our day out and even the inability to walk properly wouldn’t have been too problematic if I hadn’t had to get dressed up in my best Mad Men outfit and head out partying later that night. Gommy body or no gommy body we managed!
Selfridges, I have to admit, was a little bit disappointing. I was kind of excited to find the Pedlars concession but was otherwise disappointed with the Supermarket Sarah section. I think maybe I’d built it’s fabulousness up too much in my head. The Oxfam Curiosity Shop was quite fun but again, didn’t live up to my own self-imposed hype. I did however have my picture taken beside Colin Firth’s jacket.
By this stage in the game, my hips were about to pop and my feet were none to happy with the pavement stomping. Beardy’s poor knees were pretty gubbed too. Honestly, a day out with us? Like hanging out with a pair of geriatrics. We hopped on the bus and headed to The Selvedge Spring Fair. Aaaaah…. A wee soft seat.
I’ve always wanted to go to the Selvedge Fair. It was just a shame Made in the Shade gals Clare and Suzanne weren’t there with me – they’d have LOVED it. Was thrilled to meet the lovely ladies from Papa Stour and was super excited to see they’d chosen to showcase so many textile products by Scottish makers, fellow Made in the Shaders and crafty pals.
The poor North London Vintage Market got bumped from our list of ‘to dos’ on account of not being able to walk anymore. After a quick nip round a lovely antique store on the main street, we headed home to The Wedge, ordered a mountain of Japanese food and took a nap.
After a much needed snooze and a long body fixin’ soak in the bath, Beardy and I got ready for our Mad Men party. It was a friend of ours’ birthday and we’d been invited along to her retro styled bash. Only thing was, neither of us has ever seen Mad Men and we hadn’t room in our choca-bloca case to pack anything but bare essentials (i.e. no room for fancy shoes and frocks and all the trimmings and trinkets and fella/gal needs to get properly dappered up). We did the best with what we had and set off for Harringay – looking surprisingly hot to trot I might add. We bid the birthday gal many happy returns and enjoyed a tipple or two before heading home to watch Dolly Parton in 9 to 5. Ya. Dancer.
So. That was that. Another little London janut successfully under our belts. Some new friends made, some new things in our brains and many an idea and inspiration to mull over. ‘Til next time…