I just got back from a fabulous trip to my fav city. I’ve been back for a few hours and I’m already going through withdrawals. So, to ease the pain I’m going to tell you about some of the standout places I enjoyed while there. This city is London, by the way. Duh.
Now, every time I come back from London (and it’s been quite a few times) a number of things happen to me.
One: I try to make the current city I live in as fun as London. It’s impossible, but I start to search out the hidden gems this place has to offer. I always fail miserably, and this time is no different. So, instead I will recruit my league of girlfriends to make up for the lacking things to do here. This time around I’ve managed to convince one of them to train for a marathon with me and another to help me hone my tennis skills (which are nil).
Two: I realize how suburban my life is becoming. This is also where I call in my gfs for back -up support. Let’s make the most of this Wal-Mart loving society we currently live in and branch out. Only problem is two of my close friends are leaving (one for London!) and I may need to bring in more recruits.
Anyway, enough whining. Let’s talk London. Here are a few of my favourite finds from my recent visit:
1. The Designers Guild
My bf and I stumbled upon this brilliant shop while meandering around the posh Sloane Square area about a year ago. I was in love then and nothing has changed. We poked around there again this trip, only this time there was a great sale on and the temptation to buy multitudes of pretty chairs, plates, pillows, etc. was almost too much to take. How well does this china hutch fold up? I need to fit it in my suitcase and I’m allowed 20 lbs.
The concept came from the lovely Tricia Guild in 1970 and now she, along with her brother Simon Jefferys, are running a fantastic business that not only sells from their Kings Rd location in London, but across Europe and around the world - including North America, yay! (Stateside rather than Canada though, boo).
Next time you’re in town, do yourself a favour and rent a moving van. The abundance of furniture, upholstery, bed linens and other pretty bits and bobs you’ll want to buy will simply not fit on the chair next to you on the tube.
Think pretty pink posh luxurious fabrics styled in the way a 1940s starlet in Hollywood would relish. It’s as though this store was made to tempt me.
Luckily for me, there is an online shop on their website.
2. Hyde Park Lido
Going to London and not visiting one of their truly spectacular parks is like Christmas without presents. Something fun is missing. It’s hard to decide which park is my favourite as it changes every trip, but this time the winner is definitely Hyde Park.
It was a scorcher in London this trip, so to help cool off we decided to go for not one, but two trips to the Hyde Park Lido. Yes, you can swim in the Thames. Get past the duck poo and floating Babybell wrappers in the water and you’re truly in paradise
We forgot our swimming costumes once, so decided to go in our underthings. Swimming in Hyde Park at sunset while a music festival plays in the background and people picnic around - in your pants, no less - is the definition of fun. Bring some wine to uncork after the swim and your holiday will be complete.
3. Columbia Road Flower Market
If you’re anything like me (and I assume if you’re taking the time to read my blog, you are) then just the sight of colourful flowers makes you full of joy. Take that simple pleasure and times it by 10 and you’ll have the Columbia Flower Market.
Taking place every Sunday morning, the fascinating Columbia Road is transformed into a gardener’s paradise. Vendor upon vendor stack their tables with multitudes of every kind of flower, plant and fruit tree imaginable. Bumping shoulders with trendy shoppers in the sunshine always puts a smile on my face. And listening to the brash East London accents shouting flower prices is music to my ears.
I always discover a new favourite flower (this time it’s Sweet Williams). This market alone is worth the plane ticket to England.
That’s all for now, but I’ll be posting more places to visit shortly. Stay tuned.