Last weekend I had a great couple of days away with my lovely girl in London. It's not far for us to go and my daughter loves it, especially planning to explore new areas. We managed to find a cheap rate at The Hoxton where we have stayed before. It is a great hotel with delicious food at The Hoxton Grill. Also it was bang in the middle of the area we wanted to start exploring. First off we headed to Spitalfields and explored the wonderful covered market. There are some great little shops and cafes in the surrounding streets and a lovely buzzing atmosphere. We stood and watched a tea dance taking place in the middle of the market square.
We then headed off towards Brick lane and stopped to look at the wonderful houses with their original painted shutters. This area was once home to Huguenot refugees who were weavers and needed the tall houses and high windows.
Brick Lane was bustling and had such contrasts of styles and cultures.There were lots of wonderful smells in the air but it was too early for curry so we headed in to a traditional style American diner and had a milkshake.
There were lots of vintage clothes shops in surrounding streets. This one was crammed with shelves of scarves, pretty aprons and pinnies, hats, eiderdowns and linens. We walked a bit further to Columbia Road where the famous flower market takes place on a Sunday. Most of the shops were closed because it wasn't market day, including a shop full of vintage lovelies. I will definitely be heading back one Sunday.
Next stop was the V&A Museum of Childhood in Bethnal Green. I could have spent a lot longer in here but we were pretty tired and hungry by this stage but still had a good look round. One of my favourite things was the doll dressed in green at the top but Snow White and the Seven Dwarves were lovely too.
I love this picture of the two boys with their sailing boat. It would be great to track down a copy.
The next day we were up bright and early to go on a tour of the Houses of Parliament. Very touristy I know but something my daughter really wanted to do. I can honestly say I really enjoyed it and found it fascinating. The place is enormous and full of amazing Victorian interiors and paintings.
We then headed off to Chiswick and explored the shops including of course Cath Kidston and The Old Cinema. After a delicious lunch I checked out the charity shops, and made a few purchases.
Final treat of the day was a trip to Harrods and sharing this very naughty Harrods Special ice cream sundae.
My charity shop purchases were this Beryl, Woods Ware tea pot which matches my cups and saucers.
Also this wonderful set of vintage place mats decorated with scenes of Cornwall by George Hann. These will probably go in to my Etsy shop although Mr C seems to have taken a liking to them.
I also bought this pretty set of glasses which match a jug I have. The prices were much higher than I would pay in a charity shop at home but still worth it for such lovely things. The Cath Kidston makeup bag is in one of her new designs 'button rose'.
We headed home tired but pleased we had seen some new places and planning our next trip to Columbia Road !