Friday, 23 January 2009

Anyone for Shopping?

Yesterday, just like today, was pretty miserable, weatherwise, here in the big city.  Having been holed up indoors all week and needing to go to the post office to post a bag to one of my lovely customers, I thought I might as well hop on the train (the station is right next to the post office, you see) and take myself off for a bit of retail therapy.  Want to come?

A nice lady in my crochet class had alerted me to a little shop on Carnaby Street (in Kingly Court to be exact) which apparently sells yarn.  What more inducement did I need, especially as Carnaby Street is a stones throw from Liberty?  If you don't know Carnaby Street, it is a very trendy area, for people infinitely younger (and of course, trendier) than me!  Undaunted, I found Kingy Court easily and rather nice it is too, a quiet little sanctuary from the bustling streets outside.  There's even a cafe, yay!

And so to "All the Fun of the Fair", tucked up on the third level...

Ooh, look at that knitted food in the window. Let's hurry inside and see what goodies are on offer. Well, a very nice selection of yarn and some brands which I have not seen before. A bit of variety is always nice. Reasonable prices, too.

More knitted cakes, quite yummy!

Drooling yet?

You may recognise the "More Tea Vicar" tea cosy as it appeared in the Emporium pages of Country Living magazine recently.  I highly recommend you visit this shop, the lady shopkeeper is charming and chatty and you are bound to be tempted by the goodies on offer. I came away with quite a few bits, my fave being this gorgeous angora yarn in the most scrumptious colours. The Munchkin was highly amused by the photo of the angora rabbit on the front of the wrapper!

Perhaps you might like to visit the shop's website?

So, I staggered out with my purchases and my eye was caught by this rather amusingly named shop across the way...

Ok, I think the sign was a bit far away for the iPhone so it is called, "Fur Coat, No Knickers" (cue: much childish giggling.) Look at the fabby window boxes; yes they are indeed miniature roses planted in old handbags...

This shop has been set up by two ladies who source costumes for theatrical shows and it is full of the most stunning vintage ball gowns and accessories...

The dresses are just so beautiful. The lady shop assistant said they get quite a lot of girls in looking for a dress for their wedding as the shop has been featured in some of the bridal mags. I suggest a visit if you are in the area, it's every girl's dream.  Sigh...  Failing a visit in person, you might like to take a look at the shop's website where you can see close-ups of the stunning dresses and there is a link to their blog featuring real life brides in the shop's dresses, too.

Back down to the ground floor, this display caught my eye:

Not much chance of getting into one of those glorious '50's ball gowns once you've tucked into a few of these!

Next door was a vintage shop. I have to confess, this made me feel ancient as most of the stuff had a very '80's feel and to be honest, is stuff I've chucked out!

I made haste to Liberty. I was very restrained in here, just one ball of yarn and two buttons. Liberty is, quite frankly, a bit of a mess at the moment as they are having a refit. The lady on the yarn section told me Liberty is now concentrating on "Fashion" (I think that means clothes, oh boring!) so everything else has been moved around to make way and the wonderful Rowan section has been shunted from its lovely cosy side section right into the central atrium area and it's just nowhere near as nice; and I said so. If you have been to Liberty, you will know what I am rabbiting on about!  

Anyway, I spotted these on my way round, aren't they just too cute!  Knitted cuckoo clocks!

Sorry, separate photo for the pendulum bits...

Fancy one of these lovelies? Well, you can have one; just get your £225 ready please.

I think Folk Art is going to be a big theme for the coming year. Anna Maria Horner's new range of fabric, "Good Things" is, I believe, based on Greek folk designs. I spotted this Liberty fabric, new for this season. Nice isn't it? It comes in several different colours but my eye was naturally drawn towards the pink. How surprising!

Near to the section with the readymade Liberty print shirts, they have installed this rather marvellous old fitting room. Sorry, the bright lights didn't make for the greatest photo but isn't it marvellous? A sort of upmarket, vintage and girly tardis?

Time to trek all the way to Marylebone High Street now, yes, in the rain. Oh the dedication!

First stop, the Emma Bridgewater shop. I am in love with the Union Jack range (which probably will come as no surprise to you) so I was thrilled to see some new items. This tin is one of them:

The catalogue tells me there are plates too but they didn't have any of those yet.  Better get saving...

No photos in Cath K this time as I was too busy ogling things and juggling the things I was buying - and watching the clock because school finishing time was creeping ominously close. Instead, I'll show you what I bought.

The Breakfast print and blue Stencil Print fabrics are in the sale (£12 instead of £18 per metre). I imagine they are going to be discontinued. (However, I did spot some kitchen teatowels in the stencil print which has been rejigged in an array of pastel colours.)  More excitingly, did you spot my lovely new tins? And the plate? This is part of the new range coming out in this pretty pastel floral print. There is a whole range of china (including a rather nice butter dish). The tins have stickers inside - cute- but they need to say things like "buttons" and "ribbons" for me!

I also picked up this book of notecards. I don't think these are new (except to me) but they are really nice, the vintage inspired ones being my faves.

Righto, that's it for now, everyone. Sorry about the quality of the photos, if you saw the weather here, you'd understand why! Must get on with some crafting now. Have a lovely weekend, fingers crossed for an end to this rain...


  1. What an extremely successful shopping trip you had.
    Off to browse the websites you mentioned.
    Have a great weekend.
    Lisa x

  2. what a cool day you had, I love libertys, wish I could get there with no children in toe! Or a husband to be shocked at the prices! I've never been into Kingly Court, will the next time I'm in the area.

    Can I ask do shops mind you taking photos? Or do you ask? I thought they'd all be funny about that? Or is your iphone discreet so they don't realise!

    Have a cool weekend

  3. My gosh I feel faint with all the lovelyness!! I will def be taking a trip to the big smoke!!

    I am a Bridgewater fan!!


  4. I really enjoyed coming on your shopping trip with you! I'll have to look out for Kingly Count next time I'm in London!

  5. Ok, now i may have to break my no spend rule and buy the tins......they are to die for...i really trully just love them!!!!!!!!

    I'm going to sell my vintage mirror!
    To fund the shopping trip, has done me the power of good, cheers Hen....xxxx

  6. Oh My! (as my son would say)! Thank you for taking us along on your shopping trip. I live less than an hour away from central London and yet have never discovered those lovely shops (apart from Liberty's of course). I really am in need of some retail therapy at the moment and you have given me a taste of what is out there. Enjoy your weekend although I think it's gonna be a wet one!

  7. Oh you got some gorgeous bits - i think the tins (both EB and CK) are my fave. oooh I love tins! Thankyou for takiing us on your trip. Although I am in London I hate the crowds so hardly ever go into the West End! XX

  8. You've worn me out with all that shopping. I'm a bit of a tin freak, so I might have to buy that EB tin. (Maybe the CK ones too).


  9. Wow! you have just bought back memories for me! It was in the seventies I was 21! I worked in Wardour Street. I knew the short cuts to Regents Street and Liberty's and then there was a shop called Needleraft and Needlewoman" (it closed in the early eighties) nearly next door to Hamley's Toys, I wonder what it is now.....? My short cut was through Carnaby Street.

  10. Thanks for such a wonderful post, I love your blog, and the post was perfect to brighten up this rainy day.
    Many greetings from germany

  11. Oh how lovely! I especially love the vintage prom dresses. It's such a shame I've already got my wedding dress. :( My sister lives and works in London - I really must go down and visit her soon!!! ;)

    Gemma x x

  12. I blogged about All the Fun of the Fair a while back - isn't it such a fantastic shop. It was lovely seeing all your pics - they are very friendly in there, aren't they. It sounds like you had a good day shopping! Love the CK goodies you bagged. xxx

  13. Oooh, I feel like I've been on a really enjoyable shopping trip, without having to have gone out in the cold or spent any money. Heaven.

    Loved looking at all your purchases. Thanks for sharing - great find with the shop name as well, that did make me chuckle

    Julie xx

  14. Oooh Hen.. you crafty little devil,taking yourself on such a fab shopping trip like that!!
    You certainly know how to give yourself a grand time ;-)

  15. What a great trip

    Love all your purchases you lucky girl.

    The CK tins are a definate for the birthday list


  16. Loving those tins.
    I have been to that vintage dress shop. I got a wonderful peach tulle dress and I think the women who work in there are just lovely.

  17. Wow, that is what you call a shopping trip!
    I got so excited reading and looking at your lovely post, I wish I could have gone!
    I am going to London soon so I might pay a visit too some of those shops, thanks for sharing your shopping trip!
    Have a lovely weekend…love Lou xxx

  18. I really enjoyed that post. Can I come shopping with you again? Pleeeease?
    You did just the right amount of shops and just the right kind. Your only omission was a tea and cream cake break, but thats better with two really isn't it?
    Looking forward to our next trip. Love Fi x

  19. Thanks for taking us shopping with you.

  20. Really enjoyed reading your post Hen. What a great shopping trip. Living here in the french countryside, as lovely as it is, I feel quite envious, all those lovely shops.
    Looks like you found some great buys too you lucky thing.
    Enjoy your weekend.

  21. LOVE those cuckoo clocks! and what a bargain only £2.25! HAHAH! I wish! t.x

  22. what a day!! You could easily fill a blog with all the fab, unique and wonderful shops there must be in London. I'm stuck in lovely Devon so love to see life in London. Thanks Hen. Have a great weekend, Lucyxx

  23. Ooohhh how fantastic Hen!! I want to go to London NOW.... maybe I'll call in sick tomorrow & just hop on a train!!! Ok.... I would like the union jack tin & the note cards, oh & one of those lovely dresses & & & !!!!! The list goes on. I'm going to have a lay down now, it's all too much!!!! x

  24. What a fabulous day of shopping! I love all those little goodies at that yarn shop. And that folk art print is so pretty. So many fun things to "window shop."

  25. Oh Hen..take me to that coffee shop, fill me with cake and a double expresso and share your pearls of wisdom regarding crochet...there are disasters being posted on my blog...what a wonderful shopping trip you had...I am green, green, green.....I need Haworth and the bleak moors to wash away my Mr B is reving up the little green can a ball of wool and a crochet hook make you feel so useless..

  26. Thanks for sharing your trip with us, such loveliness!!! x

  27. Hello Hen
    How I love 'licking windows' as my dear Mum used to say.. and all the better for not having to leave the comfort of my home...
    What a lovely lot of eye candy .. especially love those quirky flower pots.. now I know what to do with my old handbags!!
    Thanks for your lovely comment Hen.. so nice to be back in blogland..
    Michele xx
    P.s I just love your latest creations.. The best of British!!!

  28. Hello Hen.
    Than you for taking me on the lovely shopping trip.Love the little wool shop.I'm with 'cocoa and blankets',take me to the coffee shop and teach me to crochet! My idea of a perfect day!
    Loved the Union Jack cushions on the last post,always producing such gorgeousness!
    Rachel x

  29. What a grand way to spend a grey day. Spend in all its senses!

    You captured your enthusiasm very well in words and photos.

    Sorry to hear of the re-arranging going on at Liberty's. I definitely know what you mean. When I first used to travel to London from NY frequently (1980's) Liberty's glorious fabric and haberdashery area was big, very big. It has continued to shrink over the years.

    I think that perhaps more folks need to go there for some retail therapy, so the department doesn't disappear altogether!

    Have great fun with your crafting. All your cushions, bags, brooches, afghans, etc. are delightful.


  30. I was a bit naughty in CK at the weekend. I popped into the Brighton store on the way back from my acting course and I 'accidentally' came home with some of that lovely green gingham floral oilcloth, a draught excluder and a new purse because mine has given up the ghost! I didn't hang around for too long (very dangerous) so I didn't spot the new china set.

  31. What a perfect day! All my favourite places!

  32. Well this post is like a catalogue of things for me to shop for and places to visit!

    I mentioned on my other comment I'm paying a visit to Liberty's on Thursday so i think I need to add Carnaby Street to my list too.

    Love your CK purchases... esp those tins... I can see them being added into my bottom draw.

    Victoria xx

  33. My longing to visit my friend in London has now resurfaced... How I would love to be able to spend time wandering the streets of that marvelous city. I could happily move across the pond in an instant!
    Thank you so very much for sharing your day with those of us who aren't able to visit nearly as often as we would like!

  34. I did enjoy your shopping day & it didn't cost me a penny! (But I must admit that I bought the same Emma Bridgewater tin this week - you know I have a weakness for a nice tin!)

  35. Hey Chic you cld enjoy shopping at a good discounted rate using coupons available on, they having coupon for every products and restaurants. I think u shld give a try and enjoy :)

  36. I want a set of those Cath K tins so badly, but I haven't found them online... *sigh* I love the wedding pics from that shop. Makes me want to get married all over again. I had a vintage-y looking dress, not as fancy as those though as our wedding was outdoors by a cliff. :D lol I wish they'd sell patterns for those cuckoo clocks! That would be much better...


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