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London Quick Guide

I thought it may be nice to pull together a quick guide to some of the places I visited while in London — if you are a regular decor8 reader and click with my style then these addresses will be ones that hopefully you’ll like as much as I did. I don’t have maps or anything fancy-like, just a few snaps and some addresses and web links. Here is “my” London…

London Trip Impressions

STORES: LARGE

Selfridges – 400 Oxford Street. My favorite. You can find a Cath Kidston on the lower floor near to the cute yellow and black cafe (where they have great snacks by the way). Their is a section for Designers Guild linens upstairs, a Muji section, a Diptyque candle department, and a big Jo Malone counter where you can find the limited edition candles for Farrow & Ball which are delightful. There is even a great book shop on the lower floor, too. Don’t miss their new perfume, exclusively made for Selfridges by Maison Martin Margiela. I am kicking myself for not buying it because my sample ran out and I became quite addicted. If you are bringing your guy with you, show him to the men’s departments — my husband picked up several things from English designer Ted Baker there. Oh and their is The White Company also in this stores upstairs, too.

Another must-see store is Liberty. Don’t miss all of the Amy Butler fabric in the bits + bobbins section, and check out the great lighting, stationery, and their current “Target” shop in the rear entrance to the store which is a real treat to be able to purchase some of the merchandise that sold as part of their collection at Target. Spend time browsing their sunglasses and jewelry, they have some very unique pieces. Their stationery section is nice, too.

Anthropologie – It’s gorgeous, both of them! Don’t miss! I liked the one on Regent Street a lot with the living plant wall and 3 floors of gorgeousness. You can hit Anthropologie, Liberty and Selfridges in the same day since they are all nearby. Tour it on YouTube here and here and here.

Japan Centre – This is such a great store in Piccadilly, especially if you love all things Japanese from ceramics to foods. It’s mainly a really nice grocery store but a really nice one with lots of great things to look through – even books, though not many home books sadly.

Harrods – Well, I only go here for the food halls  (great cupcakes!) but around the corner on the side of Harrods there is a huge Laduree that you must visit! Wow! They have a beautiful tea room and macaroons galore.

HMV – Great for cheap CDs and DVDs. Another great music store is Fopp in Covent Garden at 1 Earlham Street.

Top Shop – Clothes! Yay!

Zara Home – Home goods by Spanish clothing company Zara.

Habitat – Home goods from lamps to furniture and beyond.

London Trip Impressions

London Trip Impressions

Susannah Hunter

STORES: MEDIUM/SMALL + BOUTIQUE

Susannah Hunter – Handbags in leather with floral appliques, gorgeous shop. Also available, custom chairs, trunks, pillows and more in leather. Make sure you visit her store at 19 Connaught Street so you can go to the Cocomaya cafe across the street for pastries or afternoon tea. What a treat!

Cath Kidston – of course. If you don’t have time to hit one of her shops (I visited the one in Notting Hill on Portobello Road and another at 51 Marylebone High Street) then you can see her pop-up shop in Selfridges department store at 400 Oxford street

The White Company – You can visit this shop after hitting Cath Kidston at 12 Marylebone High Street.

Designers Guild – Also stop at this store after Cath Kidston and The White Company since one is located at 76 Marylebone High Street. Don’t miss the downstairs, which is easy to do. Lots of pretty things you’ll want to see. I heard that her flagship store is better, located at 277 Kings Road, but I did not have time to visit.

After Noah – in Islington – Lots of nice little vintage-y things, furniture, books, cards, a “general store” type of place. Very sweet! Located at 121 Upper Street.

Atelieir Abigail Ahearn -  in Islington – This dark, moody shop is small but delightful. The owner/author has a really amazing eye and gorgeous things to see. 137 Upper Street.

Toast – in Islington – For clothing and such. Plain and simple but really nice. Located at 133 Upper Street.

Paperchase – These shops are all over London but I went to one at 21 Parkfield Street in Islington and liked it very much (and stocked up) on gorgeous stationery and things. Definitely a shop worth seeing if you want great paper products.

Caravan – Owned by stylist/author Emily Chalmers, you can’t miss this shop.

Squint – Another great store, I just reviewed it here on decor8 a few days ago but it’s near Caravan and the Albion cafe so do all three in the same afternoon.

London Trip Impressions

London Trip Impressions

Albion

London Trip Impressions

Ottolenghi

BITES

La Fromagerie – Gorgeous cheese shop by author Patricia Michelson that you can visit while at the above addresses since it’s located on Moxton Street just off of Marylebone High Street. Make sure to hang out at the tasting cafe for a quick bite around a large family-size wood table. It’s heaven!

Cocomaya – Fine chocolates and artisian bakery. It’s heavenly. Don’t miss it. Eat outside if the weather permits! I went twice! It is located at 12 Connaught Street. Go to their chocolate shop just behind the bakery/cafe. Heaven.

Albion at the Boundary hotel. This cafe is around the corner from two must-see shops, Caravan and Squint, on Red Church Street. Dine in or outside. They also have a nice little food shop where you can buy jams and such in addition to pastries and breads if you don’t have time to sit down for a meal. If you order a sandwich for lunch, split it with a friend because one sandwich has two sandwiches on the plate – I’m not kidding!

Ottolenghi – Go here and eat and enjoy everything about this lovely cafe! They have a great cookbook too. I went to their Islington cafe at 287 Upper Street – definitely go! They have several London addresses though.

Carluccio’s – Had breakfast here at their Islington location at 305 Upper Street, but they have many addresses in London.

Euphorium Bakery – I had coffee here, also in Islington on Upper Street, and thought it was lovely.

Pandora – A very odd Japanese crepe place in Chinatown on Newport Place that has crepes stuffed with fruit and ice cream. Yum. Next door on the corner there is a hidden gem — a little Chinese restaurant, Jen Cafe Tea Specialist, and though it doesn’t have a fancy interior it has great food and is very affordable (and packed). I had steamed veggie dumplings and a pearl tea there and it was a great energy boost midday.

Pizza Express – A chain restaurant but very good! I ordered a salad and wine and everything was fresh and delish. Try the one located at St Christopher’s Place, that’s where I ate (at night, nice atmosphere), In that area there are many other restaurants situated in a square so if you don’t feel like salads and pizza you can find pretty much everything else!

Laduree – Go to their tea shop at Herrods in Knightsbridge. It’s lovely!

Napket “Snob Food”- I ate at this place and really liked it. You can find several in London.

London Trip Impressions

Caravan

RANDOM

There is this fun shop called Lomography if you are lomo fan don’t miss it. It was a fun place to look around.

Also Carnaby Street is a great place for shopping, it’s near Liberty so you can do both in the same time frame.

And of course there are a billion things I did not mention above, many great shops that I could not fit in since I got sick during the final 3 days of my vacation with food poisoning, but that is a bit of “my” London for you. I hope that if you visit some of these shops above that you enjoy them as much as I did! And a VERY SPECIAL thank you to so many dear readers who gave me some lovely suggestions, I had a great time!

xo, Holly

(images: holly becker for decor8 except for Caravan images, shot by Debi Treloar)

Posted in travel on May 27, 2010

Copenhagen Tips?

I’ll soon be off again only this time I’ll leave for Copenhagen in the coming weekend where I’ll be camping out for a week to direct various shoots. I’m excited because all of the homes that we are shooting are so beautiful and I can’t wait to meet the home owners, see some of their most cherish possessions and to gather their tips to weave into the Decorate book for all of you to see in the near future!

Copenhagen - Got tips?

We’ll also be in Sweden for the day in a tiny town along the coast, and hopping around Denmark a bit, but our base is in Copenhagen and though I doubt I’ll have time to do much of anything outside of work I’d love to know if you have any absolute “must-see” spots there that I should visit. Restaurants and cafes would be nice, but also shops for design. We are staying near Tivoli Gardens so near to there would be my preference. If you’d like to drop some tips here I’d really appreciate it and I know others who are Copenhagen bound this year would also appreciate reading your ideas, too! Thank you so much! :)

(image: library of congress)

Posted in travel on May 24, 2010

Kitka: Blog of the Week

Do you have a crush on clean, modern Japanese and Scandinavian design? Yeah, I know… who doesn’t? It’s quite hard to resist especially since their less-is-more approach is so alluring… the attention to detail, practicality, focus on using natural materials. Thanks to the lovely Irene Hoofs at Bloesem, I have discovered the new decor8 blog of the week: Kitka. Irene talked about this lovely couple, Juli and John, who are shop owners — they own Mjölk which has a retail location in Toronto and a website for the rest of us — who love and specialize in Japanese and Scandinavian design. They show lots of beautiful products on their gorgeous blog, here’s a glimpse of the interesting things that you can see and learn about on Kitka.

Kitka: Blog of the Week

Kitka: Blog of the Week

I’m in love with their black and white Corona globe designed by Nendoglobe in Japan – it’s gorgeous. Juli and John recently visited Tokyo and shared their journey on their blog which I spent the entire morning reading about — drooling at times — over their finds and experiences there — like those delicious donuts in glassine paper. You can read all about their Tokyo adventures here. Fun!

(images: kitka)

Posted in blogs, travel on May 06, 2010

Findelhof Flea Market

Good morning to you dear friends –  I’m so happy to be back because Friday I went missing but I must say that having Friday to work offline was very satisfying for me and now I feel like I’m ahead of my workload instead of buried beneath it. On Saturday I found myself with friends in a nearby village called Celle at a lovely flea market held on the grounds of an old farm built in 1478 called Findelhof and we were able to meet the current owner who has quite an amazing property that I imagine is a bit of a dream come true for him to own it. He’ll have more flea markets on his farm this year if you are local you simply must go (6/13, 7/18, 8/8, 9/12 and 10/10)!

Findelhof Flea Market

Imagine this — maybe 200 flea market tables and some food stands surrounding a farmhouse and carriage houses filled with beautiful, affordable vintage finds and some antiques which reminded me a lot of the big Brimfield show that I usually attended each May back in Massachusetts… only a bit better because this flea market was smaller and more affordable, less crowded,  and the grounds were much prettier and you could enjoy beer, wine, and other refreshments and in part of the house there was a beautiful setting to behold… a bakery with homemade vanilla and berry plunder (light and airy pastry dough filled with berries and topped with vanilla pudding) and sandwiches, tea and coffee, and attached to this rustic area where you order your afternoon bites there was a room that felt like something from a movie set with grey/green walls, a corner ceramic stove, high ceilings, antique wooden floors, rustic wood tables, and gorgeous afternoon light streaming in that made the space feel welcoming and cozy. I also enjoyed the outside space where you could lounge around at cafe tables (where we sat) to enjoy the fresh country air and sunshine. Around the farmhouse you could wander the grounds from table to table and shop for buttons, ribbons, oil paintings, vintage postcards and papers, teacups and other porcelain wares, linen in every weight and color from pure white to oatmeal, furniture, books – and much more. They even had a candy cart for the kids with freshly spun cotton candy. I will definitely return to this flea market in the summer!

In this photo collage you can see a glimpse of my day — though I was with friends and really did not want to be a journalist as sometimes you simply must live life without thinking of what would make for a great blog post, right? But yes, you can still see a glimpse of what it looked like there at the Findelhof and you can also see some of my loot. I came home with 5 vintage medicine bottles and 3 white enamelware measuring cups/pitchers all for about $24 USD. Not bad!

(photos taken by me and my husband thorsten)

Posted in travel on May 03, 2010

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