Friday, 6 August 2010

Exploring London

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.

The dolls houses were fascinating but quite hard to photograph because of the detail.

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 !


Country Cottage Chic said...

What a super little trip for you both.
I went to the museum of childhood many years ago & keep intending to go again...I really must do it!


ted and bunny said...

back in the 70s when I sold in Camden Passage, we used to go partying Saturday night and then straight on to Brick Lane antique market in the VERY early hours of Sunday morning and stock-up for the week. It was the most amazing market I've ever been to anywhere!
By 9 am we were starving so we had hot salt-beef sandwiches and latkes for breakfast, then went home and crawled into bed.
Hate to sound like an REAL oldie and say "those were the days" but when I think about the stock I could buy...and how huge the sarnies were...!!

Have a lovely weekend

Andi's English Attic said...

A handful of ancestors were born and raised in Hoxton but I've never thought of going. Maybe I will. You've stirred up the excitment of the place.
I like your charity shop finds. The glasses especially. xx

sylviesgarden said...

Thanks for sharing your trip to London, I haven't been for about 20 years!
I love the Beryl Woods teapot and the little glasses are adorable!

bellaboo said...

Havn't been up to London for years,so nice to share your trip with you.Love those place mats,what a great find...and the pretty glasses too!

Bellaboo :o) said...

I love London! That Harrods yummy looks good. I love the glasses too. Susie xxx

VintageWantsNotNeeds said...

Del's family on his father's side all came from Chiswick and it is a lovely town so near to Kew Gardens which I love. The last time I went to the Betnall Green Museum of childhood I was 19.... about time I went again I think.
Really love the Lenci doll at the top she is really pretty.

vintage mum said...

My daughter and I love the vintage shops and the buzz you get whilst there.
I went to the museum years ago they have such lovely things, looks like you had a great time thanks for sharing
Cate x

LissyLou said...

me and my boys love visiting the toy museum, last time we went we met quentin Blake, he signed my old Roald Dahl books and my sons new ones.

Loving that teapot!

Aunty Bee said...

What a wonderful time you had, I lived in Wapping in the late 1970's with my sister so I get very nostalgic when I see anything to do with London. We have promised ourselves a trip back there one day, until then we will have to make do with Google Earth and great photos such as yours.

melanie said...

What a lovely trip you had. Brick Lane looks fasinating, I hope they never pull those tall houses down, they are a piece of history :) xx

Hesta Nesta said...

I love London. I come from near London originally and used to spend lots of time there, lots of happy memories of Carnaby Street (I was a Mod in the early 80's). Looks like you had a lovely day out, the museum looks wonderful. I really ought to try and get there more often.
Jo xx


Hi , really enjoyed seeing and hearing about your London trip , use to live in London but have not been back for years, would love to go to Spittlefields to visit 18 Folgate street , Dennis Seavers house, if you hav,nt heard of it goggle it, you would LOVE it! I can feel a trip to the capital comming on on the back of your post!!! Bestest wishes as allways ,Linda.

Elizabeths Attic said...

Thank you for taking us with you on your trip. My daughter took her senior class to the H.O.P. last year and loved it more than her students. I love the little doll in the lilac floral dress and hat - I have bought a hat like it (but bigger) for my forthcoming holiday.
Beverley x

Amy said...

Looks like you had a lovely time. The architecture's beautiful. My Mum and I popped into a few of the vintage shops around Brick Lane a few months and some of the vintage fabrics they had were to die for. I'm still dreaming of a floral 50s dress I saw in one of the shops...if only I could have immediatley shrunk to a size 10 and squeezed myself into it x

Tabbyroo said...

A really interesting blog, London is such a brilliant city. Great finds as well Linda x