Monday, February 11, 2013

My Ideal Shopping Trip in London

The nice people at the Visit Britain Shop have invited me to enter an expat blogging competition in celebration of London's Fashion Week. Simply for blogging about my ideal London shopping trip. I'm eligible to win five hundred pounds cash (over $700) to spend as I wish. Good news gentle readers, this competition is judged on its merit, not by how many (or few) people I can bribe persuade to vote for me. How refreshing!

I have to say I almost politely declined. I mean, London Fashion Week and Expat Mum aren't usually found in the same sentence are they? (I'm sitting here in a five year old baggy sweater that's not baggy in a good way, boyfriend jeans that are also baggy and not in a Katie Holmes style way, and fluffy slippers that are now difficult to walk in because the fluff in the soles has migrated to the edges. )

Not what mine look like.

And who can forget the last time I tried to find something different to wear? No, the folks at the London Fashion Week wouldn't want me sitting in the front row.

But - my ideal London shopping trip?

Well, first off, I would be ON MY OWN. Although we come over to England every year, I haven't done the Central London thing until recently because the thought of carting three kids around the great metropolis just didn't appeal. Bearing in mind that I would have been pushchair/stroller laden for many of those years, and remembering that many London underground stations don't have lifts/elevators, - can you blame me?

Last summer however, I had about 45 minutes to kill in the Regent Street area, and you know what that means? Liberty of London. I used to work within walking distance of this beautiful shop, but in the immortal words of Joni Mitchel -  you don't know what you've got till it's gone do you? I can't believe I didn't spend all day, every day in there. Anyway, I wandered around for a while, then came across the knitting patterns. (Aaaahhhh. Choirs of cherubim and seraphim angels in the background.) Let's just say I spent my entire time allocation perusing the pattern books. I bought one but didn't even have enough time to buy the recommended yarn let alone anything else of gorgeousness.

So - were I to win this fabulous competition prize, I would ditch the kids, (two of them are old enough to look after themselves now, don't worry) and spend it all in the hallowed confines of Liberty. First on my list is this -
I mean how fabulous is this? (It's a pin cushion by the way, because I sew and my pins are always found stuck in the shag pile whenever I get my sewing machine out.)

I would then go on the rampage in the Haberdashery department (don't you love that word) buying this Cool Britannia Bunting Kit and this lovely sewing box.

Given that none of these items are very expensive, I would still have wads of cash leftover for the women's department, where I'd almost certainly find a sales assistant who's over twenty (see link to previous post above) and clothes that I just cannot get in the States. I could even be persuaded to purchase something like this exquisite pencil skirt.  

Oh yes......


  1. *sigh* Not only have you made me VERY homesick for London but - you've made me envious too. HOW DO I GET TO ENTER??? ;)

  2. I used to have a Saturday job in Liberty's (or was it a summer job?), in Menswear lol.

    The shop is now half the size it was in the 80s as they've sold off the back end (is it the Rupert St bit?). Anyway, I presume they've kept their core stock which was always the best bit.

  3. I was really surprised to find out what you'd spend your money on..... because that kind of store would draw me to it as well. Crafts..... knotting...... sewing, beautiful yarns, materials etc would definitely be what I'd go for too.
    You'd definitely need to be a lone and have bags of time and in a peaceful situation. Sounds like bliss.
    Maggie x

    Nuts in May

  4. I used to work in Oxford Street (John Lewis) and loved popping into Liberty although, because I got staff discount at JL, I didn't spend much money there. I think of my London years and also regret not making the most of it. I travelled underground most of the time and had no clue as to what was above me!

  5. Adore Liberty's, oh and Selfridges esp the food dept oh and Fortnums food again horrids yep food, PJs kitchenware! Harvey Nicks food again actually I think I'm hungry I haven't had supper!

  6. Well good luck with that then! Where to vote?

  7. No need to vote Clippy. It's being judged on its merit. Eek.

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