Tiddley-Bits tea

Tiddley-Bits tea

Sunday, 31 July 2011

{cheerio London, hello Vermont}

{via pinterest}

{via frankie.com.au}
{via one charming party}
Sadly, my bags are packed & I'm leaving this lovely city.
{from Ruche}

{via pinterest}
However, I'm headed to a new life in Vermont. I hear great things about Burlington--I've been reading d*s's travel tips on Burlington & it sounds like it's got loads of great shopping, restaurants, etc...
{via design*sponge}

I have a three bedroom house included in my contract, so stay tuned for before & after photos...and of course much more to come on Italy & English adventures!
But for now, goodbye London--I love you!
Pinned Image
{just love this design--I bought a lunchbox at the V&A with this on it--from  dotcomgiftshop}
A special thanks to Carla & Bill for asking me to cat-sit for the month in London. It's been a whirlwind 6 weeks in Italy & England, but I've enjoyed every minute of it.  My mantra for the hours of travel ahead?

Saturday, 30 July 2011

{fun shopping in London~Harrods & Liberty}

{Liberty London--all photos mine}

My three favourites shops in London have to be Fortnum & Mason, Harrods & Liberty. I blogged about F&M here...but yesterday I ventured into the V&A (one of my fave museums--more on that later), and then walked around knightsbridge to Harrods & then up to Liberty. The thing I love most about these shops is that they are the only surviving department stores that still have an old-world feel about them, and still are absolutely classy. They still have food markets (save for Liberty) which surpass the poshness of Dean&Deluca, yet they also sell fantastic designer clothes & handbags, & have amazing branded products that are lovely to buy--not tacky at all (well mostly not).
I love the food halls in Harrods--each room themed for what they sell--seafood; fruit & veggies; tea, coffee &  chocolates etc...What I also love is there's bar stools along many of the counters in these halls, offering dining service for shoppers--sushi bars, oyster bars, you name it.
{meat & poultry hall at Harrod's}

{delicacies at Harrods}

{Harrods teas--I love their packaging. their tins are always lovely to keep tea in}

{coffee at Harrods with samovars}

{love this packaging!}

{fruit & veg hall}

{more sweets}

{Laduree chez Harrods--divine!}

Then on to Liberty. While Harrods is a little over the top & one might say a tad gaudy, Liberty is the opposite. Housed in a tudor building, Liberty exemplifies classiness in a paired down elegance. The history of Liberty is pretty interesting. It was started by Arthur Liberty with a 2000 pound loan & three staff. He began  in 1875 selling fabrics & various objets d'art from Japan & the East, and finally in the 1920s the tudor building was constructed from the timbers of two ships, the HMS Impregnable & HMS Hindustan. You can read the fascinating history here.
{lovely liberty of london... & no, I don't think that's Jennifer Anniston in the Chanel top, but it kinda looks like her!}

{wonderful interior decoration displays}

{excellent lighting section}

{the many floors of Liberty--all gorgeous wood}

{funky merchandise for sale}

{sale/clearance area}

{signature floral Liberty prints}

{I love how the place feels like a home--with original fireplaces}

{Liberty floral print origami birds}

{they have an amazing fabric & sewing section with all that is necessary to make wonderful fabric creations--buttons, bunting, & appliques}

{wonderful window displays at Liberty}

{witty signage: more tea vicar?}

{the stationary area is definitely worth checking out}

Friday, 29 July 2011

{Toulouse-Lautrec & Jane Avril at the Courtauld}

Last night I went to a special event at the Courtauld (where I did my Masters). I was joined by my dear friend from High School, Melissa. It was a fantastic evening.
There was a special exhibition of Toulouse-Lautrec and Jane Avril. We first enjoyed a glass of wine in the Gallery's Cafe, outside, surrounded by the amazing architecture of Somerset House. We then went into the galleries. The Courtauld has the biggest & best collection of Impressionist paintings outside France. Actually it houses seriously my favourite impressionist paintings--you wander from room to room amazed at Manets, Monets, Renoirs, Cezannes & Van Goghs.
Since it was one of the Late Night openings, there was special entertainment: can-can dancing, a room where you could sit down and play board games, special cocktails being served in the cafe, & if you came in costume you got free admission.
{a man in flaneur costume, looking at Manet's Bar at the Folies Bergere--YES the original!}

{can-can dancer}

{flaneur enjoying the can-can entertainment}

{can can can you do the can-can? Yes, that is the ORIGINAL Renoir's La Loge behind her--what a setting!}

{to the left, Degas' ballerinas & Renoir's La Loge}
I love the stairs at the Courtauld--fantastic!
more soon!

Thursday, 28 July 2011

{adventures in Merry Ol'}

Excuse my absence from the blogosphere. I've been busy with conferences, family, friends & research. Highlights of the week included...well everything! I had an amazing weekend with my cousins visiting great estates in the countryside; perused first editions of Vasari's 1550 and 1568 Lives in the BL and got my hands on the only surviving statute of the Order of the Ermine, written by Giovanni Pontano & signed by King Ferrante in 1487;...AND visited with friends I haven't seen in ages--some from high school and some from grad school. So where to start? Photos of grand estates.
We visited Strawberry Hill, which I had studied in undergrad but it's only been recently opened to the public. It was built for Horace Walpole--son of a PM & the first author of a gothic novel. The architecture reflects his interest in the gothic--completely made in the neo-gothic style:
{gothic pointed arches at Strawberry Hill}

{entrance hall}

{stained glass}

{fantastic grisaille neo-gothic wall paper}

{the great hall, Strawberry Hill}

{my cousins outside Strawberry Hill}
Also fantastic is Ightham Mote (pronounced "Item Moat")--begun in the 14th century, it's an amazing medieval home completely surrounded by a moat. It has been added to over the years so there's 700 years worth of interior decoration styles...  love love love!
{Ightham Mote}

{bells for the servants}

{the ceiling painting in the chapel dates to the 15th c and is original}

{I fell in love with this 18th century chinese hand-painted wall paper}

Well there's plenty more to report, but will end here for now.