Monday 20 December 2010

Christmas shopping sparkles, N1, E1

So here starts the Christmas shopping adventure (terribly late I know - let's keep this from my family, eh?) with the extra obstacle of heaps of snow it was pretty quiet...but looked pretty too...which made it all worthwhile.

But sadly no one knows when I will *actually* buy my Christmas presents and stop looking at this bunch of lovely interiors shops...

Smug is already one of favourite reasons to visit Angel, N1. You'll find the best collection of cute quirky homewares, furniture and accessories including Donna Wilson cosies (this scarf is wild) and perfectly chosen vintage accessories. As Smug are extra nice they have even spoiled us with a whole extra floor for Christmas.
Aria is always worth a stop to get a modern furniture fix and the coolest gadgets you'll ever need for the kitchen.
Loving this vintage look in Oliver Bonas...
Spitalfield's look very well suited to the snow...the market was packed I'm pleased to say. I also managed to sneak a look at the new branch of The Lollipop Shoppe, one of my Brighton faves that has now made it to London too.
A special extended Sunday Up Market on Brick Lane offered a cool collection of vintage clothes, one-off accessories and perhaps the biggest Christmas decoration I have even laid my eyes on.

But this bathroom shop in Crystal Palace won the festive decoration competition by a country mile...tinsel sink anyone??

Thursday 9 December 2010

Alfie's Antique Market, NW8

Alfie's Antique Market has made my day. I battled through central London shoppers and braved unknown West London (South, East and North, I'm fine, but West...? I'm lost) today to check out Alfie's fabulous Christmas Shopping Evening.
It was my first trip to Alfie's and I can't believe I've never visited before. The market sells antiques, vintage collectable and 20th century design pieces over multiple storeys and from many lovely dealers; everything from jewellery and furniture to antique books and retro haircuts. All very much up my street...and I wasn't disappointed.
There were some great original colourful glass pieces for us magpies.
I really enjoyed admiring the beautiful collection of 20th century furniture (the above chair was a fave of one half of The Shabby & The Chic - who needs a special mention for putting up with my disastrous iPhone directions - sorryy!)
Some of my faves...
I loved the variety of what was available, my heart was tempted by this full length vintage gown, but my head even more by the sweet, colourful silk scarves I spied for as little as a fiver.
Lovely luggage.

More lamps than you could shake a stick at from 70s style modern sculptural glass...
To many an anglepoise.
So many great gifts...I fell for fab old tins, cigarette card collectors books and stage jewellery...unless you are buying big and then the 'proper' jewellery is well worth a look. Beautiful.
And what good Christmas shopping evening wouldn't end with a squeeze box?!

Ace entertainment, wonderful stalls and welcoming atmosphere. The Christmas Shopping late was definitely a good excuse for a festive knees-up and a very good way of getting me hooked on Alfie's, at least.

Monday 6 December 2010

Toast, Honition

Ok, so I went all the way to antiques haven Honiton (Kirstie Allsopp has been spotted there I hear) and it was a coffee shop that caught my eye. Well a girl's gotta warm up somehow!

Toast is a fresh new addition to this Devon town, that has just been opened by the team behind the local Otter Brewery. I love it already, after my first visit this weekend. It hits the nail on the head as the perfect stylish teatime spot for this town famous for its (totally potterable) antiques shops.
Toast offers a rather lovely ever-changing choice of cake...I had the most amazing jaffa-cake muffin which I can safely say was even better than an actual jaffa cake, controversial I know.

But it was the decor that really impressed me. Toast's spot-on interior doesn't stray too far from Honiton's antique-y style with original distressed wood pieces and tastefully cool xmas decs. A perfect spot-off for casual antique browsers, it's a lovely addition the the town...and my list of cake recommendations.