This says it all! Why is it that whenever we decide to take a trip to a certain department store, it pours down? We were very undecided all week but then agreed that if the snow kept away, we would visit Selfridges for a surprise belated Birthday lunch for Miss Teen's friend, then go onto the National Gallery and finish up at South Bank. A lot to pack in but with planning it was doable. So, for the first time this year may I take you on a little trip out and about in London? Get your cup of tea and have a little snack while I take you for Part 1 - Selfridges!!
Why Selfridges? Well, with the new series of Mr Selfridge, I felt the need to walk through those revolving doors again and enter the shopping wonderland within. The entrance is incredibly ornate, and it would have been very satisfying to take lots of photos of the intricate details but it was Saturday (am I mad?!) so the entrance was incredibly busy with no one caring a jot that you were taking photos! Across the road was the best place to see it but of course the rain wanted to make an appearance on the lens too!
Above the entrance the beautiful Queen of Time, still ticking away and singing out with each hour.
As we dodged the perfume counters with their perfectly presented assistants and perfectly aimed spray of all the perfumes imaginable, we headed towards another scent that we craved... chocolate! Yes, Selfridges have a chocolate library surrounded by other counters of more chocolate, macaroons, different sweets and nougat. Heaven. One counter had these delicious strawberries in cones, coated with chocolate and chopped nuts. I made the assistant laugh when I said that she had the best job in the world (I hasten to add that she was about the only assistant who did crack a smile on this visit - I am sorry but some assistants were just so rude).
After much thought and feeling overwhelmed by the amount and types of chocolate, we settled on a select few for small gifts, including some Selfridges chocolate coins with the store embossed on the foil. What I completely forgot was some for me - another trip during a week day will have to be booked (the week day assistants seem to be happier in their work and I'd feel happier giving them my time and money).
As we were packing a lot into the day there wasn't a lot of time for browsing, so we gradually made our way up the escalators through the different floors.
Past the Selfridges cinema - yes, cinema!
And a lovely lunch at the Selfridges Kitchen. This place has all sorts of different foods to tempt you with, Indian, Lebanese, the Grill, Sushi, Delicatessen etc etc, so something for everyone. With a brief sit down and thinking through what was next, we then set off to go and look at the other attraction that Selfridges do so well - windows! The weather was still very wet but I had to capture some of the windows whose theme was 'Bright Old Things' (an interesting link is here). Selfridges windows were beautifully polished so the reflections of the buildings across the road were lovely to see mixed in with the contents of the windows. This manikin had cameras and flash guns and bulbs for a head...
Look at the cameras! I even spotted one that was my first SLR all those years ago - a Praktica! So many shapes and sizes, instant, SLR, box. I bet these were so much fun to collect.
This window was totally retro with an old tape recorder/radio as a head...
The window was full of things that I could remember from my youth (even the UB40 vinyl)!!
Then there was this window, full of golden items...
Each little nugget was something recognizable...
Aerosols, paint cans, brushes, tin cans, jars, shampoo bottles, so many items all collected and producing such a beautiful eye catching display.
With bellies full, hats on and umbrellas up, we made our way back to the tube to go to part 2 of our trip... The National Gallery. In front of its entrance Trafalgar Square's sculptures in the fountains were reflecting everyone's faces with dripping noses!
To be continued...
I hope you have had a great week and weekend. I am now going to put my feet up and catch up with some blog reading (and of course have some chocolate if my kids allow me).
This week I am sharing with: