Window Shopping, Selfridges, Oxford Street, W1.

I am slowly getting used to the vastness that is Selfridges, to be honest when I first moved to London it was extremely overwhelming, but now I am getting into my groove and don’t mind wandering around.  It helps that I can now easily find my go to cafe The Brass Rail who do a very good cup of tea, at reasonable price and a huge freshly carved salt beef sandwich which is more than enough for two. Selfridges 9

When it is relatively calm and not too busy it is a pleasure to wander as I never know what I am going to find. Selfridges 2

I was tickled pink to find this. I think there were three ranges, red and white wine and spirits.  You had to buy a token having chosen the size of your measure and therefore the cost. Selfridges 1

What a wonderful way of trying an expensive bottle of wine to see if it would match with either your taste buds or the food you might wish to serve with it.  Fine wine glasses were underneath and it was obviously being well used.Selfridges 10

I found it all very amusing, but very sensible. Selfridges 11

Hubby found a bottle of Pusser’s Rum, which he’d enjoyed many years ago whilst sailing on his boat and he gleefully told me that this was the only rum made to the same specifications as the Royal Navy’s rum and how he hadn’t had it for many a long year.   I do believe I’ve never seen that man walk as swiftly to a till to pay as I did watching him carry that bottle of rum.Selfridges 4

There are beautiful items at every turn, this is in the Conran Shop. Selfridges 5

Just so beautiful, but oh so fragile. Selfridges 6

I think these are more me, carnival style glass, just so pretty, hang on a minute  let us just have a better look at the fish at the back.Selfridges 8

Ooooh, Who wouldn’t want a fish (for water?) carafe to go with those pretty glasses, I love it.

I can’t wait to go back, I am so enjoying exploring Selfridges.


Coffee, The Wallace, W1.

Well in this case tea.  After enjoying a lovely couple of hours listening to a talk and walking around The Wallace Collection it was time to stop for tea and being Sunday I thought a cream tea was called for.  The Wallace is a lovely area to relax in, spacious and immaculately kept it is a French brasserie set in a glass roofed courtyard with a sculptured garden surrounding you, utterly enchanting.  Beautifully dressed waiters and waitresses whiz around to serve your every whim and the delicate tinkle of cups being stirred and afternoon teas being enjoyed could be heard coming from all corners.  It is such a lovely place to stop and rest awhile and the cream tea was just perfect. – shame the photography isn’t!

Coffee, The Wallace Collection 1 Coffee, The Wallace Collection 2

The Wallace Collection.

A couple of Sundays ago I decided to wander over to see the Wallace Collection again, it had been many, many years since, there is quite an amusing write up on my old blog if you’d like to read it, Banished. It was with great delight that I could see the frontage in all of its glory this time and this time I was arrived at just the right time for a free tour, which was even better.

The Wallace Collection is an art collection that has been amassed by five generations of the same family, it comprises of arts from the 15th to 19th century and may not be loaned out to any other gallery, if its in the Wallace Collection that is where is where you have to go if you want to see it.  It is however free as the collection was left to the nation by Sir Richard Wallace’s widow.

There are over 5,500 objects and what is even more lovely is there is one highlight tour a day, well worth seeing and a talk/lecture daily to focus on an area of interest, check ‘What’s On’ on the website and again these are all free.

I thoroughly enjoyed my afternoon here, and I have to say, my favourite painting is still The Laughing Cavalier, by Frans Hals, 1624, it was like greeting an old friend, so familiar and comfortable, much like the Wallace Collection is fast becoming to me. Wallace Collection 1 Wallace Collection 2 Wallace Collection 3 Wallace Collection 4 Wallace Collection 5 Wallace Collection 6 Wallace Collection 7 Wallace Collection 8 Wallace Collection 10 Wallace Collection 11

Monopoly at Marylebone Station.

I used to love Monopoly as a child, I mean really love it. I especially liked winning. To the point that my family won’t play me, they believe I am just super lucky, but I know the truth, I am ruthless and take no prisoners.  I am sure my boys are throwing their hands up in horror as they read this and start to chunter about the game that they won, but generally I win the board games, well apart from Chess, they have overtaken me on Chess and Poker, that’s a very tight game these days, I still win but its 50/50 and they all gang up against me if it looks like I’m going to win, which I think is a little unfair!

So you can imagine my delight when I paid my 30p to have a tinkle at Marylebone Station and found this…. marylebone station 10

Monopoly, my very favourite board game.  Even as a very grown up adult, I sort of knew the game was about London but I had no idea how much it was connected. I am still coming across roads or streets that I first learned their names whilst huddled in front of our coal fire, in deep winter, playing Monopoly with my sister, whilst wondering what we were having for tea.

And after I squealed silently with glee I turned towards the doors and found these…marylebone station 11 marylebone station 13 marylebone station 15 marylebone station 16

I think I started to beam a big big smile at this point.  I made a happy comment to a woman who was washing her hands and she just grunted at me.. it was then I remembered I was still in London and had not been transported to Willy Wonka’s factory loo’s.

And then I opened the door to the loo…marylebone station 9 marylebone station 6 marylebone station 5 marylebone station 4 marylebone station 3 marylebone station 2 Marylebone station 1 maryebone station 7

I definitely squealed loudly then, and laughed and giggled and little tears pricked my eyes of pure happiness. It was just such fun, I just loved it so very, very much. To the point that I told the attendant on the way out just how much I loved it.

One little fun fact from Wiki, the history of the game can be traced back to 1903 but in 1941 the British Secret Intelligence Service had John Waddington Ltd, create a special edition for World War II prisoners held by the Nazis.  Hidden inside these games were maps, compasses, real money and other objects useful for escaping.  They were distributed to prisoners by British secret service-created fake charity groups.

So in honour of those POW’s, I think we should all have a game and soon.

Window Shopping – Rainforest Cafe Shop, Shaftesbury Ave, W1.

Hubby and I were wandering down Shaftesbury Avenue when we came across this shop/cafe, we just had to go in, it was wonderful.  There were crocodiles and waterfalls, squawking parrots and other noises from the rainforest, it was good fun and free!  I can’t attest to the affordability or quality of the cafe but I am sure that children would just love it. rainforest cafe 1 rainforest cafe 2 rainforest cafe 3 rainforest cafe 4 rainforest cafe 5 rainforest cafe 6

Coffee – Sky Garden

I at long last got around to taking Hubby to Sky Garden unfortunately it was a very wet day with very poor visibility. However he loved it none the less and we spent a lovely couple of hours, drinking coffee, eating pastries, lounging around with blankets over our laps to keep out the chill and then we went for a good old explore.  It is a lovely space, you do need to book unless coming very early, it opens at 7.00 a.m. or after 6.00 p.m.  Because of the bad weather the viewing platform was closed, so these photo’s are pretty ropey, but you get the idea.Sky garden 1 Sky garden 6 Sky garden 4 Sky garden 2 Sky garden 3 Sky garden 5