zaterdag 15 mei 2010

London is the place for me....Day 1 and 2..

Last week I had to go to London for 3 days. The reason I had to go was that I had to visit a 2nd year student who was doing a 20 weeks training at a bespoke tailoring firm named Antonia Pugh- Thomas So I went by plane last Tuesday and returned on Thursday. Very comfortable from Schiphol to City Airport in London. 3 Days only which sound short but when I came home I had the feeling that I had been away for a week. Schiphol for me is still a kind of magical place to go. Buying a single train ticket to the airport always means that I am not going back the same day and that I have a trip ahead. One of the things I like about Schiphol is all the Art you can see. There is even a small Rijksmuseum department over there and I always go and have a look at that small exhibition. My favourite statue is the "Two incredible sitting black Snowmen"by Tom Claassen. The look like soft toys but are made of bronze but still very tactile.
After arriving I first went by tube to the Hotel in Paddington. Not very smart, but pretty simple and basic but what can you expect for 2 nights for only 90 Pounds? I had booked a single room but opening the door I found 3 beds inside. The breakfast was horrible with buns who almost were not baked. So, no breakfast there for me but round the corner was plenty of choice for a nice coffee with a freshly baked croissant. But I don't mind as long as I have a clean bed - I even had a double bed- and a shower I am more than happy. A Paddington station I took this picture which was a nice start for yarn -hunting. I would meet my student for dinner in the evening so took the tube to Islington to go and have a look at the yarnstore Loop. Islington is a really pretty part of London with nice shops and tearooms. And so was Loop: nice and pretty and with the yarn I need for a test-knit for Stephen West. I bought some beautiful coloured Berocco yarn in a mixture from Alpaca and Wool and will cast on the scarf hopefully this weekend.
I than took the bus to Archway to visit the Selvedge store. The drive went through beautiful parts of London, some rich some looking not so rich.I passed stunning houses with green gardens while young boys and girls coming from school (and wearing their school-uniform) went on and off. I find it always nice to go top parts I do not know and to take a bus brings me a lot of pleasure.
I thought the shop was separate from the office but it was not. There were very nice women working and after I introduced myself I got the latest issue for free. I couldn't resist to buy this tape measure from East of India. I like their quotes very much which they put on their articles.
Before meeting up with my student for dinner I went for a quick visit to Covent Garden. Bought some little things at Muji(such a great articles and why isn't there a Muji in Holland??)before going in the shop from Paul Smith in Floral street where in the past I have bought some things but can't afford it any more. The staff there is really nice and the girl talking to me (after she asked me where I had bought that beautiful scarf? Knitted it myself was my answer..) told me that she was not allowed to tell me actually but... there is a Paul Smith sample sale starting tomorrow and it is all very, very more about that later...
I had a really nice dinner with my student Eline in a pub near Kings Cross. She is living for 20 weeks in a hostel in a room with 8 people and she is having a great time and doesn't want to come back. I am really proud of her!!!!
The next morning (after founding that breakfast had to be taken out of the hotel) I went by tube to Holborn station. I was in the tube round 9 and it was horrendous. So many people waiting for the tube, so many people running for the tube and so many people in the tube. Not sure if I could handle that every day but I guess you get used to it..and I will never ever complain any more for the space I have in the train every morning.. I was a bit late for the sale so I had to wait in line for almost 45 minutes. Everybody waiting there was relaxed and friendly. The sun was shining so no problem at all.. While waiting I saw a shirt hanging with a print of roses which I saw the last time when I was in London at the Paul Smith Shop. Far too expensive but now all shirts were 25 Pounds (yes, really, no joking!!)But when I entered it was gone and I saw a young woman holding it in her hand (no problem because it was a Medium size I found out later) The atmosphere was great and every one was trying things on: pants were dropped and shirts were taken off due to no changing rooms and no mirrors at all. I found 3 shirts and a jacket and was waiting in the line to pay them when I saw that a box full of Large- shirts was opened and on top was the Rose- print shirt. Immediately I went out of the row.. and got it!!! Coming out with 4 shirts and a jacket for almost nothing made me smile almost all day.
Than, after coffee a strange thing happened.I went inside Liberty: one of my all time favourite shops and I love the original Liberty patterns so much. I took this picture which suddenly appeared on the floor in the stairway going down. But... coming out of this world of luxury and extremely priced items, it became too much for me. All those big shops, all those running people, all those greedy people wanting more and more luxury... (yes I know I also bought 4 shirts and a coat.. but I am not that big spender on clothes and luxury at all) I went away for a coffee and a sandwich in a quiet place to calm down.
In the afternoon I had an appointment at Antonia Pugh- Thomas. A nice and pretty shop with a workplace behind. It is all very luxury with very high prices and it is at the top end of bespoke tailoring. Antonia did start the stop with 200 pounds after worked for a long time at Catherine Walker who is famous for her wedding dresses. The trainee-ship is going Very Well (Antonia is very pleased with her!!) and there is even names a dress after Eline. She has learned a lot and can handle the situations very well she comes in. After saying goodbye to Antonia and Eline I went back to my hotel.
In the evening I went to the knit night at I Knit London were I met up with Tad and Emily and we had a great time. There was lots of knitting, lots of talking about politics, beautiful yarn and my "Deventer Koek" went down well. I left at 9.30 and made afterwards a stroll among the Thames before heading back to the Hotel. London by night is always special.... Day 1 and 2 were over and the next post will be about the last and special day....

2 opmerkingen:

  1. Nice story Jan, very recognisable! The busy town and clothing part, I mean, not the knitting part... ;-)

  2. Oh, now I wanna go and stroll down the Thames, and have coffee with a sandwich. The luck of a sale!! I love the roses shirt.
    Berrocco Ultra Alpaca is lovely to knit with,I have some in my stash waiting to be knit into a scarf or hat.