Posts Tagged ‘Oxford st’

Funky shopping @ the Wonder Room

The Wonder room @ Selfridge’s is like a magnet to me. I can never resist having a quick look. This is THE concept store, with ever surprising themes, fun ideas, the latest trends, excellence in the design… One often gasps in wonder, shrieks in excitement, and thoroughly empties their bank account.

Don’t miss the Christmas edition -  makes you forget the rest of the shop, really…

See – where else could you find a Barbie-foot table?

Or adorably cute Lego rings, to be modulated according to the day’s mood? A fab idea from Lisa Taylor (£16-22 for simple ones, £50 for more complex set. At that price, you might want to steal those bricks from your kids’ sets)

Or why not pretend for a minute you are Lady Gaga or Elton John with Peter Pilotto and Jeremy Scott’s creations? £240-£265.

How could you resist those monsters from Felt Mistress?

And don’t forget to step in the Kellydoscope - a giant version of the iconix Hermes bag: you will be projected in the mini-travel of a Kelly in the hands of an elegant woman, movements included…

A place to be followed closely!

Wonder Room
400 Oxford Street
London W1A 1A
Until Christmas 2010

Pssst: go and see the Royal Mail pop-up shop too, on the basement level!

Merry Kissmas @ Covent Garden

Christmas lights have the special power of making you forget everything instantly – whether it is rain, cold, dark way too early… As soon as they are on, we sparklw with happiness and feel like a glass of mulled wine and snowflakes falling from the sky. Yep, they make us love winter.

Even if the 2010 ones are a bit classical, you will feel like a child again while walking through Burlington Arcade: time seems to be suspended with garlands of  green leaves and advent wreaths. Continue on Old Bond Street -  those expensive shops always make an extra effort and add elegant touches that a worth seeing. Impossible to resist the classics either: the giand bows of Bond Street, the blue arches of South Molton Street, the umbrellas on Oxford Street, the giant stars on Regent Street and the kitsch touch of Carnaby Street.

To finish on a romantic note, go and kiss @ Covent Garden. Under the giant Christmas tree hangs a bunch of mistletoe, hiding two metallic leaves. Each lover takes one, then completing an electric circuit (no danger!)  which doubles the number of lights -  imagine, 50 000 white and red LEDs shining at the same time! The kids love that piece of magic and will no doubt ask if they can kiss their parents on the cheek.

Bonus points go to the Body Shop who have a free workshop nearby to make you a mistletoe magnet. Little girls can ask for a little gloss and glitter. Not only do they not try to sell you their products but you will leave with samples too! Sounds like Xmas, doesn’t it?

Covent Garden Piazza
London WC2E 9DD
From noon to 21.00, everyday till Jan 03, 2011 unless it’s drizzling too much!

Post-it for the week-end Nov 26-28, 2010

Night falling from 16.00 onwards… First frosts and there are talks of snow… Say no to the winter blues and put fireworks in your life!

- Did you know it’s Thanksgiving tomorrow? We may not be in the US, any reason is good to party! Have a look here and there for ideas…

- It’s also party time in Seven Dials – get 20% off your shopping!

- Don’t forget the V&A late opening on Friday – free workshops to create your xmas presents and a DJ…

- Wander on a rooftop terrasse with a gorgeous view on St Paul. Free public access!

- The adorable Chelsea Physics Garden opens its doors for a sweet Xmas market -  we found so many ideas last year to fill our Xmas stockings!

- Feel like ice-skating? Try an early session @ the Somerset House: for £18.50, and adult and a child can skate for an hour then have a hot chocolate, a glass of champagne and a cupcake. Or try a historical background such as Hampton Court or the Tower

- Fall for nougat and chesnuts @ the Paddington Xmas Market

- Escape with these beautiful landscapes

- But what can girls pack in their handbags? The answer is at Selfridge’s

- Want a brand new collection of clothes without spending a penny? Learn to swish!

- Be a child again with those illustrations

- Step in artists’ studios

- The road is yours! On Saturday, both Oxford and Regent St will be closed to traffic for a better shopping experience. Plus music and entertainement!

- Looking for an original gift? Why not an artwork in this pop-up shop? They even have a landscape made of neons…

- Rediscover Camden

- Last but not leat… a cocktail served with a chocolate truffle… Cheers!

Royal Mail pops up @ Selfridge’s

Every year, Royal Mail proposes special stamps for Xmas. It was not easy keeping eberyone happy and they finally decided to alternate: one year would be classical/religiously themed, the following would be more creative.

For 2010, hourra! Wallace and Gromit are guest of honour:

If your local post-office does not stock them, just buy them on line or… go to Selfridge’s! Royal Mail has set up a pop-up store with collection stamps and some cool merchandising (did you guess I’m christmas shopping already?):

Notebook – £3.99                  Mug – £9.99

Card – £2

Card – £2            Mug – £9.99

And also iconic letterboxes minitaures, games, badges…
If you have a larger budget, why not dare the total look?

You can also create your Smilers -  this sticker on the left side of a usual stamp (this way if you want to do it online with your own pics) – they have a special booth on site:

Hop, stamped and immediately… posted! If you have a letter for Santa, there is a dedicated letterbox a few meters away, in the Xmas shop.

Don’t forget to buy charity cards (many churches sell them and it is a nicer atmosphere than a supermarket). Or buy them mega reduced in January and stock them!

Royal Mail Pop-up
Lower ground floor
400 Oxford Street
London W1A 1A

Shoe party @ Selfridges

There is only one thing that can alter a girl’s quest for chocolate: that would be shopping. Even better: shoe shopping, including trying on a whole collection of them.

Between the title and the previous sentences, I probably have lost my whole male audience. They would have rolled their eyes and ran away. We would have too, had they mentioned engines and mechanics…

Fashionistas dreamt it, Selfridges launched it: a whole gallery of them. Dedicated to ballerinas, boots, high heels, stilletos and crazy creations. Jimmy Choo, Louboution, Channel… They’re all here my dear! 150 designers, with proper – not boutiques, that would sound too cheap – apartments, says the press edit. Add 4000 shoes on show and 15000 in stock. True paradise for any shoe-addict: what are you waiting for?

As you can guess it is shoe-time! The shop windows have invited creators to express themselves… from a shoebox point of view…

On the ground floor, you are guaranteed a sweet time…

Escalators promise real fireworks:

Don’t forget the accessories!

Really, Selfridges thought big this time:

Are your toes hurting? Have a break @ the bistrot Aubaine, you will melt for sure…

Last but not least -  add even more fun with this photomaton. One of those who takes 4 different poses and guess what? It is there for a month and completely free!

The Shoe Gallery
4th floor

400 Oxford Street
London W1A 1A

Pssst: Vivienne Westwood exhibits 200 crazy creations there too – shoe-esque!

Shoe shine with Vivienne Westwood

Vivienne Westwood is one of those fashion dames who compensates the grandeur of her title by a touch of fun and arrogance. Remember, she is the one who is in tha 70ies, introduced punk into the fashion network. tartan, leather boots, pins, hop, with her magic sewing needle, she had transcended the rigidity of the system. Since then, she has been jungling with glamour, Victorian style, rebel looks, rock’n’roll. Tumultuous and fabulous. I remember the polemics when she launched her “faux cul” dresses or her entirely transparent dress!

The general public, us, are so hypnotised by the dress collection that we forget to even look at the accessorizing. Now is the time to look down -  Selridge’s has launched an exhibition reviewing 50 years of… shoe creation. this includes the famous pirate boots – so high Naomi Campbell almost fell on the catwalk. 200 models are presented here, all more improbable than the other, and you have to wonder about some: can anyone even stand in them? Not that it matters, they are amazing. Some are covered in Swarowsky cristals, others are made of recycled Guinness cans, you will see vertiginous high heels, soles cut to follow the precise detail of toes… Don’t miss the glossy plastic ones -  inspired by Alice in Wonderland, so perfect they look unreal.

There is no need to be a fashion fan. Nor to read through her bio beforehand. This is purely visual pleasure… Well, you might want to leave the guys outside!

Are you Vivienne-crazy? Then don’t miss the pantomine she has designed with Jean-Paul Gaultier -  October 12-16, 2010

Vivienne Westwood shoes: an exhibition 1973-2010
400 Oxford Street
London W1A 1A

Until Sept 22, 2010 – free

Cupcake hunting: Lola’s cupcakes

So many times, I had stumbled upon Lola’s cupcakes stand @ Selfridge’s or read in magazines that they were indeed the best cupcakes in London. The crowd had always stopped me. From a distance, I could see colourful cupcakes, but well, you see those everywhere these days. It held no wow factor over me. I felt blasee, and had a few good addresses to satisfy my sugar cravings already.

But pregnancy, you see, has this effect on you: it seems you’re hungry all the time. Like, there, just in front of Lola’s counter and oh joy! no customer for one. I mean, isn’t that a non-disguised call? Have me, eat me, now! Why resist, right?

It’s late afternoon – most of the flavours have gone. One of their strengths is to bakes them in several batches throughout the day (hence always proposing moist cakes) rather than a sole morning delivery (and dry sugar by midday). I hear Cheryl Coles has a weakness for this brand.

Not surprising. *munch-munch*. They’re pretty gorgeous. Nice and melting as a they should. And the cake is flavoured too – I get bored with the endless vanilla – the carrot cupcake is a treat! The icing is butter based and the dose is just right for the mini-ones. I do not think I could manage a full size one without feeling a bit sickened at some point. But all the better: I’m much happier trying a few miniature flavours instead! Do try the banana one, it’s the perfect comfort food for grey, rainy days.

The range also counts some classic flavours and some appetizing one: peanut butter, banana-chocolate, vanilla-coconut… Also this month, a limited edition with Gu - a 70% cacao ganache, brownie effect for the cake. Come early, they sell like mad!

A birthday coming up? Try those giant cupcakes… (£45, though)

The best ones for me still remain Ella’s @ Covent Garden. To better sabotage your (or your worst ennemy’s) diet efforts, try those:
- The Hummingbird Bakery
- The Buttercupcake Shop
- Treacle
- Primrose Bakery

LOLA’s Cupcakes Bar
Selfridges Foodhall
400 Oxford Street
London W1C 2BU

Prices to go: £2.25 foor normal ones, £1.10 for a mini
A few tables on the side – enjoy with an espresso! Prices to eat in: £2.65 for a normal one, £1.30 for a mini.
Two other addresses, one @ Harrods food court, another @ Mayfair. However those sadly do not propose any table.

Post it for the week-end: May 14-16, 2010

This week-end is planned to be rain-free – throw away your umbrellas!

- Museums will be open late this week-end – check the events here!

- Happy Birthday to the Tate, 10 years old! A fab program is planned for the coming days. The occasion to see their community garden too, generally closed to the public (a few pics here)

- Stop at Fortnum and Mason, skip the delicatessen part, head for the first floor and have a look at some calorie-free but appetizing works of art

- Chase a giant banana, it’s for a good cause… Or would you prefer a few steps of tango?

- Surely you will not resist a little shopping? The Spirit of Summer Fair will compensate for the missing sun…

- A little girl’s dream: the dollhouse festival. So cute!

- Why not a pop-quizz @ Selfridges? (And if you are hunting elephants, you’ll find one close to their official elephant shop)

- Finf out more about the Women’s library archives

You’ll find me… savouring tapas @ Casa Brinsida, discovering the newly re-opened Florence Nightingale museum, and -so not laugh!- at the cress festival to enjoy their farmers’ market. Your turn: what are your advice for the week-end?

Post-it for the week-end (March 13-14, 2010)

A few ideas to treat your mum…

- Stop @ Selfridge’s to personnalize a card or a cupcake on Friday…

- Let her choose a gift @ this craft festival

- Wouldn’t a floral exhibition @ Hampton Court be a royal occasion?

- Or a Mrs Dalloway walk?

- Take her to Ham House – mums go free on Sunday!

A few alternative idea…

- Don’t miss St Patrick’s parade!

- Raining? Try a in-house picnic with Courvoisier

- Collect pop-ups. The latest one is a Parisian shop taking a pause @ Liberty

- A touch of Hollywood, maybe?

- More photos @ Somerset House. Free. Including some Irving Penn (when you would have to pay to see some @ The National Portrait gallery)

You’ll find me @ this extraordinary steam fair which promises wonderful rides… Finger-crossing for sunshine! And also strolling at Selfridge’s (craving sushis) through their new Beatrix Potter exhibition.

Wonderland @ Selfridge’s

Selfridge’s surfs on the new Tim Burton’s marketing wave and redesigns its wonder room.. or its wonder boutique, really.

Not very big, but a cute range of Alice themed items (if you cannot go to London, try the online Alice shop) as well as a yummy mad hatter tea party range of jewellry. You’ll find anything there from T shirts to crochetted cakes… Swarovsky also launched a new range of charme like jewels for the release.

My favourite items remain these crazy glass covers – really what I would expect in Wonderland:

Gaze at the extraordinary hats created by Colleen Atwood – you already know her work through Sleepy Hollow, Edward Scissorhands, Chicago…:

Will you resist Tom Binn’s necklaces?

Don’t forget the exterior window shops -  Johnny Depp’s Mad Hatter’s costume and crazy tables…

Another Alice pop-up to try

Alice fan? Why not plan a day @ Antony in Cornwall? The gardens were used for Tim Burton’s movie!

Wonder room – Alice Pop-Up
400 Oxford St
London W1A 1AB

Until March 21, 2010


This Week End in London

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