Friday, November 06, 2009

London fun

I went to London with my friend Heather on Wednesday and had such a great time. When you're not from the UK you see it much more as a tourist and it's such a beautiful city. Arriving at Liverpool St Station always gives me a buzz for a start as it's so huge and airy.
Heather says people are much nicer in London these days too. A few people stopped and asked if we needed help while we were spinning the map hopelessly around. The tube was really clean with new moving image advertising (that you can't actually see moving here but I'm sure you get the general idea) that reminded me of Blade runner as the ones on the actual stations are HUGE.
It's always amazing popping out at Piccadilly Circus and seeing Eros. Small but perfectly formed.
Our main reason for going was to see an exhibition at the Royal Academy. Sculptures by three English Artists who were around just before the 1st world war. It was called 'Wild thing' from a quote by Ezra Pound who, upon meeting one of the sculptors, Henri Gaudier-Brzeska for the first time called him "a well-made young wolf or some soft-moving, bright-eyed wild thing". The exhibition was good but lacking somehow. I thought there would be more drawings of the reliefs Epstein did for the controversial British medical association . Much was made of his work called 'The rock drill'. A huge macabre figure which must have inspired Ridley Scott for his Alien with it's foetus inside the monster's chest.
Most of his work was rounded and sensual and I really wanted to touch it. It's given me a taste for Epstein's work and I want to see more.
Another reason for going to London was to do some 'Market Research' on the elusive,fashionable and fragile Macaron. There is a rash of them in London. Here they are mounted up like a marvelous summer umbrella in Laduree in the Burlington arcade. The gold stalactite drip castle effect on the walls of the shop left something to be desired though. I was too self conscious to go in though and kicked myself for the rest of the afternoon.
Here are some more in a very groovy Japanese patisserie just down from Laduree in Piccadilly.
I did however summon up the courage to go into Fortnum and Mason across the road. It really is spectacular in there.
This gorgeous purple was every where inside.
Purple and turquoise with swans and feathers. Wow, check out the feather chandelier.
and this towering display of boxes of truffles.
There were more macarons but I didn't take any photos (this one is from a blog called 'The girl who ate everything')
This is is the stunning sculpture outside the Royal Academy my Anish Kapoor. If you click on it and blow it up really big you might see Heather and I waving at you.
This is a detail of the gates at the R A.
After the exhibition we wandered down Carnaby St where they had these funky blow up Christmas decorations, I need to get some.
Another reason we went to London was to look at the fabric shops in Berwick Street in Soho and I was not disappointed. Every colour of Thai silk you can imagine.
Some incredible fabrics including this one with strange beaded blisters. There was one with peacock feathers sewn all over it, reminding me of a dress I made at Art school that was covered with overlapping peacock feathers (a complete nightmare when you wanted to sit down).
Look at this for fabric heaven.....
The best of the lot was the Cloth house at number 98. I managed to find the exact shade of Heather coloured purple silk satin that Fortnum and Mason had used in their window display as well as some purple ribbed silk and a beautiful citrus yellow flower trim , all of which I've already made into a couple of cushions. Will take some photokoes tomorrow.
We had to have a lie down and a cup of tea after all that so we headed off to Liberty for some Earl Grey (well we managed the cuppa) and yep you guessed it a trio of Macarons!! Then an inspiring wander around the shop. We still had some time up our sleeves so we headed over to Harrods to check out the Laduree shop there and this time at great expense to the management, I pushed the boat out and bought 6 macarons for Ricardo the Magnificent. The best I've ever tasted, especially the Bergamot flavour...how DO they do it.
Phew that's it for now. Enjoy the visuals and go forth & make yourself some of those most fashionable of treats this weekend....

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

What a day!!
My Great uncle Fred was for many years in charge of the Tea department at Fortnum's, so it was nice to hear you enjoyed it!!

Cheers,
The Rector.

JoeyJoJo said...

Oh my goodness. I bet it was bloody marvelous going round to his place for afternoon tea!
They still wear tail coats in there too. Right up your alley Dave.

GinaTricoteur said...

Oh! Jo... You are making me want to hotfoot down to Fortnums :) I live so near to all this and do I go...no :)
Looks like you had a fabulous time and Berwick St. reminds me of my Art School days doing Fashion...I lived in those cloth shops :) You've reminded me how cool London is at times :)

JoeyJoJo said...

Heat up those little tootsies Gina. It's one of the best cities in the world, right on your doorstep.