October 30, 2008

Days 6 and 7

I had the most incredible time in Wales with my ex-housemate and his two darling boys. They are so sweet and funny! I was really touched that the older one, who's now nine, remembered a lot of details about me living there, and this morning when he got dressed, he wore a t-shirt that my sister had sent him when my nephew came to stay with us. It was an Old Navy surfer shirt with an American flag motif. It was a lovely attention to detail.

His little brother presented me with an incredible drawing when I arrived and I can already see that he'll be a real talent - both parents are artists. This little guy is seven and is just a wee thing with a head of blond curls.

Looking out from the Norwegian Church, where Roald Dahl and his family were members.
The Penarth Cliffs and the barrage.
Waterfront fortifications, now a restaurant.
We had dinner with one of the neighbours (who looked like Hugh Grant!) and his young son and just had a rollicking good time over a brilliant curry made by the nine-year old!One of Andy's mosaics, installed in the new bath at "our" house.
It was very chilly and windy and we spent the morning at the Museum of Welsh Life, which I'd not seen before. They've got a "small" castle on the site and we spent time there in their formal gardens.
Part of St. Fagan's Castle dates from the 1500's, while the remainder is Victorian. Gate from the castle keep to the garden.
View of the Castle's main drive.
Gate into one of the formal gardens. There was a heavy frost, and you can see traces of it on this plant. Signpost for London. These are still quite common on village roads. Old Welsh village scene with red call box.Lower section of the castle garden, diving the old village from the castle.I leave for home tomorrow, and I can easily say that this trip has been a huge success. I look forward to getting back to Connor.

October 28, 2008

Day 5

I had some family business to attend to this morning, so it was a quiet day. I was in Chelsea and stopped by some great places including Tricia Guild's two shops and William Yeoward's incredible store. I had a chance to meet and chat with Mr. Yeoward. It turns out we know someone in common, and that he's been to Baltimore several times. He was gracious, charming and funny. What a treat to meet someone so talented. I had received some of his crystal as a gift, but chipped one of the goblets when it tipped over in the sink, so stopped in to see who in the US could repair it.

This cheeky monkey is part of the Christmas decorations. Detail of a red wine glass.I love this chair with its hot pink back.
This orange was even more beautiful in person, and look at the purple and pink in the background!
I was just stunned by how beautiful this china is!
In the afternoon, I headed to one of my favourite places - Paperchase on Tottenham Court Road. It's their headquarters store and is filled with the most amazing papers. I adore their Morrocan crocodile textured papers, which I bought in browns, greys and an incredible red. I can't find anything nearly as nice in the US, and these are pretty inexpensive. I can't wait to do some creative things with them.

I headed up the street to Heal's and saw one of my favourite things on the trip. It's a crystal installation in the shape of a globe, with smaller crystals at the top, graduating to larger ones at the bottom.
Detail of the globe.
Alessi dental floss dispenser. He's only about two inches tall. Display wall.More heads.

Tomorrow, I head down to Wales for two days to see my ex-housemate and his two children. I am really excited about this! We have some fun things planned, so I know I will enjoy the time with them.

Talk soon!

October 27, 2008

Day 4

Still no computer access at the hotel, which is preventing me from uploading pictures. Today, I met up with Just a Plane Ride Away, who's just terrific. We spent the morning wandering up and down the King's Road and Sloane Street. Great shops and loads of temptations!

School children from Hills House where Prince Charles attended school.

Messenger bag made from an old map.
Decorations at Peter Jones in Sloane Square.
I {heart} the UK.
Fun Morrocan tea pot.
Mounted heads turned out to be a bit of a theme during this trip.

Lovely jackets from General Trading Company.

Glasses from Conran's Habitat.

After Just left, I went over to Liberty on Regent Street and spent part of the afternoon there. Wow, I still love this place as much as the first time I went there years ago.

Elephant fabric for Style Court.I love all of these long chandelier lights. I saw them all over the place. The third floor railing had these carved animals all around it.

This lamp was made from old books... an idea for all of those Book Thing finds.

Another of the heads, with Liberty's signature purple.More tomorrow!

October 26, 2008

Days 2 and 3

I am using an internet cafe to write this, since I am having trouble at the hotel with the wifi. I spent most of Saturday with the House of Beauty & Culture who's ever bit as entertaining in person as he is in blogland. Fabulous brekkie at Tom's in Notting Hill and then a wander through Portobello Road... too much fun!

A little bird told me that HOB&C would be lots of fun!
An incredible lobster knife and fork set. A seaturtle shell fireplace screen. Classic silverware from another dealer. Mixed message lampshades.
I had a spectacular dinner at The Modern Pantry in Clarkenwell with the delightful Sir Fopling Flutter and his terrific finacee. This charming man of mode had stayed with me in Baltimore in July and it was wonderful to catch up and tell great stories!

Today was the adventure to meet old family friends in Richmond and then a trip to the incredible
Petersham Nurseries. I took loads of pictures which I will share soon. Suffice to say that between the lunch (courgette soup), the company and the location, it was another amazing day.
Detail from a cabinet.
This is where we ate lunch. The waitstaff all wore wellies along with their aprons.
Great pieces, shown in a casually chic way.
Lots of French country-style antiques.
Detail of some berries.
Tomorrow is the meet up with Just a Plane Ride away and a day of touring the shops on the King's Road and Sloane Square.