Shopping in London: a birthday treat

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

As you may already know, my mother-in-law is visiting from South Africa, and it was also her birthday this week. She's under strict instructions that there will be "no touristy activities" (she'll share them with her husband when she returns next year, we hope) and so what's a girl to do when she has a birthday and a whole city to shop explore?

It may have been raining, but we had a fabulous time.

It started in the haberdasheries of Walthamstow Market as we chose ribbons, braids, ric-rac, cotton and zips. We dashed between shops in-between heavy showers of rain, and we all got quite wet. But, oh!, the choice! The ribbons! The trimmings!

Then, we enjoyed the stalls and shops of Covent Garden. We watched a string quartet belt out party tunes, and we hastened from bag shop to bag shop comparing red bags and leather satchels.

We arranged old printing blocks on a tray, and got covered in ink.

Then, onwards to the Charles Dickens Tea House where we escaped the rain once more for tea and shared pecan nut pie with a side of brownies (I know) on Drury Lane.

... and what is a good birthday without an impromptu miniature ice cream? We completely agreed and popped into Fortnum & Mason's on the way past Picadilly Circus.

We may have shared scones there, but I'm not confessing to anything.

At some point, we stopped to admire these beautiful measuring cups at Spitalfields Market. Aren't they amazing? I would put them on my wall to admire them, but I suppose that defeats the purpose of having measuring utensils, doesn't it?

And, believe it or not, the rain did eventually clear and we enjoyed a few moments of summer colour.

All in all, a jolly good time. I'm particularly pleased that we bought ourselves travel cards: we hopped on and off buses all day, we scooted between Covent and Garden and Kensington a few times as we somehow lost our brolly (and found it again!), and we took full advantage of the trains that zipped us around in no time at all.

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