Thursday, April 08, 2010

The Big Smoke

Well, against my better judgement (and I write this rather sheepishly after airing my views in my previous post!)...We made a visit to London yesterday. Youngest daughter had been nagging (in the nicest possible way of that she'd like to look for a 'prom gown with a difference' for her forthcoming school prom, and London was the only possible place to find such a garment!

It being the Easter school hols this week, Wednesday was the obvious day for us all to make the trip. So, 6am. we were all up ready to make the epic ('epic' for me, seeing as I'm a country girl at heart and would be more than happy to never set foot in the big smoke...) journey to the capital.
Camden was her desired area to start her search, which is where we arrived at around 11am. We trawled the market for a long time, but everything seemed rather 'tacky', if I'm being honest.
So in the end we decided to leave Camden empty handed and to head for Carnaby Street instead.

A few stops on the tube later and we were stood outside the beautiful Liberty of London.

I do have a soft spot for this wonderful department store, as it is where I spent a fabulous two weeks work experience when I was at college, many moons ago...

A very quick flit inside was required...just for old times sake...

Then it was off to Carnaby Street to find that prom gown... times have changed; now I do admit that it has been many years since I was last in London, particularly the Regent Street area, but what has happened to Carnaby Street in that time? I remember it being a quirky, one-off sort of an area - slightly 'scary' in some ways, as everyone was either 'weird' or extremely fashionable and cool! ;-)) (Especially to the 17 year old that I was then.)
So, I was surprised to find it quite ordinary and of not much help in the prom gown department!

So we actually headed back to Camden again, where youngest did buy a jacket, but that was all.
I'm sure if we knew London well that there would have been hundreds of ideal shopping haunts for her to explore, but as it was, it wasn't to be...
So, cutting our losses on an exhausting day, it was back underground and a quick few stops to China Town...

The perfect place to refuel tired shoppers!

We stuck with the savoury dishes though, which the Chinese do so well...

Delicious! (and very filling!)

As the evening drew in we thought we'd walk-off our excesses around Leicester Square...


And Trafalgar Square.

By which time our legs were beginning to give in...

So we said our farewells to the bright lights...

and headed home to our beds.

I have to say that I won't be heading back to London again in a hurry...and will try to persuade our baby that there is just as an exciting choice for the fashion diva here in the West Country! Hmmm, will she believe me? Perhaps a vintage gown will be the answer? Hope so!!!
In contrast, back to slightly sleepier Shepton today(!)...But there was actually a little bit of excitement in our end of town...BBC Somerset Radio were near the Market Place promoting their next visit in around two weeks time, which will involve a live broadcast, no less!
Finally, for today, I would just like to thank Merille who came to visit my shop last week and who took some beautiful photographs - She is a very talented professional portrait photographer, but wanted to extend her skills by snapping some pretty close-up shots of some of my merchandise. The pics can be seen on her blog here.
Enjoy the rest of your week,
Niki x


  1. Claudette9:18 pm

    Oh Niki! I do feel for you. As a Londoner, I have been planning my escape for a long time. I know once gone...wild horses wouldn't drag me back.Still I remember at 18, the lure of the bright lights and where it was all at. How jaded I must be.

  2. So sorry your London trip was unsuccessful - but if your daughter is now considering vintage I might be able to help as I could bring some gowns to Dairy House on Sunday for her to look through. (Looking forward to meeting fellow bloggers as well!)Regards, Cecile

  3. My heart went pitter-pat when I saw your photos of London! And LIBERTY's!!! I went there on my very first trip to London and purchased a blouse in their popular peacock print (I've long since outgrown the blouse... I think I was a twig when I first married). But most of my favorite memories of England were OUTSIDE of London actually - Bath, of course, being one of them. I am off to see the photos of your shop! =)

  4. Living in Montana and having never been to London, thank you for the mini-vacation! I loved seeing all the buildings, people and city streets. Thank you!

  5. Hi Niki, thanks for your kind words and the link.
    I'm envious of your visit to Liberty - such a wonderful place, it's been too long since I was last there.
    cheers, merille

  6. It's so long since I've been to London but I always used to make a pilgrimage to Liberty's. Lucky you!
    Lesley X

  7. Sorry your trip was not as productive as your daughter hoped. I'm sure she will find something. My adopted grand daughter bought me a picture of the gown worn by the girl in How to lose a man in 10 days..or something like that, and I made it. Perhaps mum could rustle something up!! Sorry only kidding. Good luck in your search.

  8. Hi Niki

    Completely with you on this one. I have to say I get a headache at the mere thought of going to the big smoke, and can almost count on my fingers the number of times I've been!! A slight exaggeration maybe, but not a large one!!

    Shall pop over to Merille's blog now.

    Sue x

  9. Hello Niki,
    I'm a country girl at heart too although I live in the heart of a city. I've been to London twice and thoght it amazing and the history is jaw-dropping but did wonder how anybody could live there. It seems so intense. But a very exciting place! I think your daughter should go with vintage. She will find something unique and elegant that way. xx

  10. If you are looking for the most fab and gorgeous princess ball gowns in all colours you can imagine then you need to head to Mouse Trap in Chichester West Sussex .. up my way... They are GORGEOUS ... the puffiest gowns you ever saw ... based on the 50's style but way better .. and geared for all the young prom queens !! If you want a pic i will go do it for you :-)

    best wishes Ginny xx

  11. We were up in London last week, making a half hearted attempt to buy a prom dress too!! We squeezed in a few shops between museums, but like you, came home empty handed... I keep thinking we'll just stumble upon one which fits perfectly and is exactly what she wants (I think it's called having your head in the sand!). Good luck with your hunt

  12. Guenievre1:03 pm

    I really love London as a tourist. I like spending few days to visit this city.
    Many years ago I was an "au pair" in an English family (Purley) I spent all my week-end visiting museums, different areas, shopping, etc ... I LOVE !
    But I think I could'nt live in this big town (too much people, noises, traffic jams, etc ... )

  13. I have dreamt for years of visiting England. thanks for these great pics!


  14. Hi Niki,
    Did you try the shops in Kingly Court (entrance in Carnaby Street) for dresses; they normally have lots of that sort of thing?
    To make you laugh (as Carnaby Street is meant to be 'alternative' and was very hip in the sixties) we took my M+D to London a few years back at Christmastime when they had the lights up. The lights were actually shaped like huge long thin lightbulb - guess what my Dad thought they were!!!!! It still makes me laugh even now! x

  15. My daughter & I went to London a couple of weeks ago to see the quilt exhibition at the V&A. It's nice to go but a lot nicer to come back home - once a year is enough for this country girl too!


  16. Anonymous8:03 am

    This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  17. Anonymous8:03 am

    This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.


Thank you for finding the time to visit me...
Niki xx