Monday, 26 August 2013

London Calling...

London, London, London...where do I begin?  I talk about fashion love stories a lot in my blog, but I'd be fibbing if I didn't consider London as one of my greatest loves of all.  Bear with me, this is quite a long post, but I wanted to share my journey and then hopefully help you with yours!

I have always felt a longing pull towards the bright lights of the big smoke.  There is something so dreamlike and alluring about a place that offers so much fashion over such a wide spectrum, from the very vintage and the cheap and cheerful, to the divinely designer.  London truly has something to offer everyone, and for me and my VBF (very best friend), a day of shopping until dropping was at the top of our London hit-list. Welcome to our little London story...

A sunny day in June...

June 22nd to be exact.  Two young ladies stood on the platform at Durham rail station, handbags at the ready (me with my Yasmin of course!) hopeful of a day of girlie gossip, beauty binging and savvy spending. Our excitement was electric!!  The London journey from Durham is pleasant; most trains take around 3 hours to get there, which passes quite quickly when you have great company and a slice of Mama L's homemade corned-beef pie (I know pie is irrelevant to the story, but my Mam's pie is so good that it felt worthy of a mention!).  The train chugged into King's Cross around 10am, and finally we were there...

It's the end of the world as we know it...

Planning is essential when visiting London for the day, so we planned a shopping checklist that meant we could get around with ease.  Our first visit took us into Chelsea and along the King's Road to visit the temple of worship for all lovers of Dame Viv. Yes, we headed to where it all started, the original Vivienne Westwood store "World's End".  Now, for anyone wanting to visit "World's End", we had a bit of a job finding it after getting off the tube at Fulham Broadway (the recommended stop for the store on some online info sites), but thanks to a little bus journey and the help of a lovely London cabbie, before we knew it we were pulling up right outside...

My VBF outside of the iconic "World's End"
My own "World's End" photo memory
Visiting the store is an experience within itself.  The design is based on the layout of a pirate galleon, so the floor is uneven which makes walking feel really strange!  I plan to talk in more detail about "World's End" in a separate post, but there are a few things worth mentioning here for anyone planning to go. First of all, Lisa the store manager is amazing.  She is unbelievably helpful, and tells the most interesting stories about the people she knows and her experiences working in the store (she told us about a guy who regularly visited the store with his pet parrot...quite fitting for a pirate ship don't you think?).  Secondly, the range of clothing and accessories are really unique, a must for real fans of Vivienne's work.  I particularly loved the jewellery counter, and got myself a gorgeous "Let it Rock" pin, a "World's End" exclusive and a snip at £28.

My "Let It Rock" pin


The wheels on the bus...

After a stroll along the King's Road, we hopped onto a bus and headed to Oxford street, with Selfridges and Victoria's Secret in mind.  We stopped off at Sloane Square along the way, which is a haven of designer delicacies, but sadly most of the stores were too far out of my price range to even warrant a look.  However,  I loved the "Great Gatsby" collection display in Tiffany's window and thankfully it costs nothing to gawk and drool!!

Tiffany's window-Sloane Square

Why thank you Mr Selfridge...

Hitting Oxford Street, Selfridges was our first port of call.  If you haven't visited Selfridges in London, make sure you do; it's heaven in a department store.  Beauty, bags, clothes, shoes, sweets, toys...you name it, they have it.  Even the building itself is beautiful.  My VBF is a beauty connoisseur, so she got her kicks at Mac, Armani and Laura Mercier to name a few.  I have to confess I'm a beauty bimbo...but the beauty hall at Selfridges is very impressive, I was even tempted with a Mac eyeshadow but sadly it was sold out!  Must visits at Selfridges are the Louboutin department on the top floor, which has the most amazing shoe art, the handbag floor (if only to add to your wish list) and the spectacular confectionery section (a great place to grab a gift for my sweet-toothed Mr).  When visiting London, Selfridges often has some really great events on in store, so check online for what's going on to see what you can catch.  Unfortunately, we were a day early for Charlotte Tilbury's "Rock 'n' Kohl" event, but we did reserve one of her gorgeous limited edition make-up bags each online via click and collect (a great service which is really easy to use, and saves you paying a delivery charge).  Thank you Mr Selfridge...you made our visit wonderful.


The Louboutin section

"World's End" clock in Selfridges window

Nearing the end of our trip, after my VBF made a delectable Michael Kors handbag purchase and we grabbed a bite in a nearby cafe, we went on the hunt for Victoria's Secret.  I've never been to America, and I hadn't visited the London store (it's on New Bond Street) so I was a VS virgin...however I was so impressed with the underwear.  The staff at the store were so welcoming, and for all it was heaving with people, there was still plenty of room to browse the various collections.  VS offer everything from cute little shorts and leisure wear to gorgeous lace beauties, in all shapes and sizes.  After recently losing quite a bit of weight, and changing dramatically in bra size, I had a rough idea of what size bra I would need, so I took the plunge and bought without trying on (risky I know).  However, when I got the underwear home I was so impressed with how well it fit, how pretty it looked and how well made it was, certainly worth the splurge!

Alas, our trip was nearing it's end, and with tired feet and empty purses, we hopped on the tube at Oxford Circus and headed back towards King's Cross; time certainly does fly when you're having fun! Here are a few more photo highlights from our day:

Stumbling across a fashion institution
Lovely Liberty's, Regent Street




With the Liberty's beefeater


Carnaby Street


My tips for visiting London...

If you are planning a day trip by rail, and want to try and save as much time and money as you can, here are a few tips that might help you with your journey:

Cheap rail tickets do exist...
I booked our rail fare online at The Trainline , 8 weeks in advance which is usually when the cheaper tickets are released.  It cost me £56 return from Durham to London King's Cross.  I recently booked tickets for London Fashion Weekend (post will follow!!) at the rail station by using advanced booking and got them cheaper again, so its worth asking at your local rail station to see what they have to offer.

Buy your Tube zone tickets on the train to avoid the queues...
Our tube tickets for a 2 Zone Day Pass cost around £9 and covered us on any tube or bus within those zones for the whole day.  Plan where you want to visit and this will help you when buying your tube ticket. By buying on the train you'll beat the queues once you arrive in LDN.  You're welcome :)

Have an itinerary and stick to it...
London is huuuuuge! Plan where you want to go and leave time for travel in between.  You couldn't cover all of London in one day so pinpoint what it is you really want to visit when you get there.

Watch your belongings in the busier places...
It seems such a simple thing to say but you may be really overwhelmed by how much hustle and bustle there is in the big city.  You can be pick pocketed in any city, so don't be naive and keep your belongings safe.

Have fun my little London lovers!!!

K x


What's your favourite thing about London?
Can you recommend anywhere for me to visit during my next trip?




2 comments:

  1. Great post! I love London too!


    Check out my blog and follow if you like. :)

    www.alittlejournalcalledstyle.blogspot.com

    Deepti. x

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    Replies
    1. Thank you Deepti :)

      I checked out your blog and followed you on bloglovin' loved your jewellery post!

      Thanks for your kind comments!

      K x

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