I was not actually late for the 06:42 train early on Saturday morning, although I confess I did have to run to the station and consequently arrived all hot and out of breath and with just five minutes to spare. No surprises there then.
I was excited, oh I was soooo excited to be going on this trip. It's a very long time since I had company on a trip such as this one, as usually I am very happy to go shopping alone. I had wondered how it would be to have company on the journey and also once there. I could not imagine it, yet I was surprisingly thrilled to have it. There's something about a shared trip that magnifies the whole experience, and my friend Lovely C turned out to be the perfect travel and shopping companion. For a start off, she was very organised, and packed her bag with chocolate and energy bars and bananas. She also made sure to remind me to bring crochet. And a map.
So our train journey down from North to South was a delightful few hours of crochet, nattering, coffee drinking and route-planning. It was kind of like our weekly Knit and Natter but on-the-move. So yes, we had it all worked out :: I had been given a marvelous ready-made plan by the lovely Hen, who coincidentally had made a very similar trip to That London recently. Her kind of shops are my kind of shops and if you hop across to her blog, you can read a remarkably similar London Tale over there.
First stop for us was Liberty's :: straight up to the third floor for the yarn and haberdashery. I realised immediately from this very first shop that we would be Shopping with Intent. That the pace for the day would be Fast and Furious. Lovely C is a seriously pacey shopper :: she gathered reels of ribbon to purchase while I was still catching my breath from the three flights of stairs. But that was fine by me, I can Speed-Shop, oh yes indeedy.
Next stop, as recommended by Hen, was a shop inside a beautiful trendy arcade to the side of Carnaby Street. All The Fun of the Fair is a quirky little shop packed with yarn and vintage trims and all manner of hand made goodies. The knitted cakes and cacti were especially charming I thought.
As we were on our way out, we had to go past this cake shop :: the cupcakes in the window are what you would most certainly call Eye candy, and I couldn't resist taking a photograph to share with you....
After the delights of the arcade, we walked (very fast) back up Oxford Street :: desitnation Marylebone High Street. More specifically, VV rouleaux (ribbon heaven), Divertimenti (fantastic kitcheny shop with an amazing cafe at the back where we stopped to have a delicious lunch), Brora (cashmere), Emma Bridegwater (pottery and kichenalia) and finally the one and only Cath Kidston. Oh, it was such fun! So many beautiful things to stroke and ooh and ahh at! Shop after shop of inspirational and desirable gorgeousness! In and out we went, the pace was indeed well, yes Pacey!
At the top end of Marylebone High Street is a small tree lined square which often has an outdoor market taking place within. Last time I was there, it was a farmers market with produce jauntily set out under breezy striped awnings. This time it was a vintage inspired market with a banner telling us it was called the "Cabbages and Frocks" market. Lots of vintagey clothes and jewellery, and then joy of joys a stall selling these....
...aren't these simply THE most beautiful cupcakes you have ever ever seen? Oh, I was absolutely in love with these edible creations, which are the work of the marvelous Peggy.
They so reminded me of this...
It was late afternoon by now, but we reckoned we still had time to whizz across town to Islington to make a much dreamed-of visit to Loop.
This was my first visit to this well known yarn shop and it was pure joy. In every possible way. It's hard to describe, but this small shop, down a quiet side street, had such an amazing vibe, and was quite incredibly visually and creatively uplifting and inspiring. There was lots of yarn (naturally enough for a yarn shop), but amongst all the wooly goodness there were also lots of quirky and beautiful little displays of creative, hand made items. These included a number of exquisite creations made by Julie Arkell, who conducts workshops at the Loop shop. It was just wonderful :: from floor to ceiling, from front to back, wonderful. The owner of Loop is Susan Cropper, who's beautiful crochet book I have, and if you'd like to know more about this lovely lady, there's a very good interview with her here.
And so our lovely day was drawing to a close and it was time to head back to Kings Cross to await our train homewards.
Sat on the train, journeying North, and I buy a cup of tea from the refreshment trolley as it comes through our carriage. Tea to drink with this.....
.......my very own delicious, beautiful, charming Peggy cupcake. It was sweet torture eating those gorgeous sugar flowers. the cupcake was as delicious as it was pretty. Mmmmmmmmmmmmm and oh-so-good. Just like the day itself.
Lovely C and I chat about the day, about our various purchases, about what we had loved, about what had inspired us. We sit and quietly crochet, and we both find ourselves beginning to yawn. Sooo tired. But wasn't it such a good day? Yes, such a good day. I am longing for bed....
....and when I finally get there, with my head in the roses and my feet under the ripples, I am blissfully happy and so glad to be home. Such a good day, but so good to be home and into my bed.
So......wanna see my goodies?
I didn't buy a lot.
I was very restrained.
But what I did buy is scrumptious.
Yeah, really yummy.
You know, the usual Attic24 delights .
The things that make my own little world go round....
:: balls of yarn ::
:: woven trim ::
:: a turquoise kitchen spoon ::
:: and multi coloured teaspoons ::
:: cotton tea towels and the lastest CK catalogue ::
:: a candle holder and a pretty pouch ::
:: buttons (well ok, it's actually a sheet of buttony wrapping paper) ::
:: the time to sit and make 24 circle flowers ::
Oh yes, it was such a good day, and I thank you so much for sharing it with me.