Good day, kind sirs and gentle ladies! I was across the pond last week helping Will & Kate move into their new Kensington Palace apartment (pictured above, top left). I am such a selfless person. Turns out they had plenty of professional help though (and armed guards) so my services were not needed after all.
What a shame. I hear baby George threw a terrible fit in question of my whereabouts. I was at Topshop, Georgie! Just a short 5 minute walk from your very humble palace. It’s my happy place.
Since this was a return visit to Londontown, I whisked by many of the city’s iconic sites, and instead, pointed my laser beams on its beautiful outdoor markets. Antiques, apparel and food was the name of the game. Indeed it was a successful trip for an eager consumer of all things British. So much so, I will be eating Ramen noodles until Christmas to make up for the damage I’ve done to my bank account.
Portobello Road in Notting Hill
Portobello Road in London’s Notting Hill is famous for two reasons: (1) it’s an antique lover’s paradise, and (2) the charming Notting Hill section of London was the backdrop for one of my favorite romantic comedy’s of all time; of the same name. Remember THE LINE OF ALL LINES that Julia Roberts uttered to Hugh Grant? It went a little something like, I’m just a girl standing in front of a boy, asking him to love her. There is no other line in cinematic history that beats this EXCEPT when Mark Darcy stops Bridget Jones on the staircase and declares, I like you. Just as you are.
You can’t see me, but I just fainted from the romantic-ness of it all.
I begged my husband to be Julia and recite the line to me as we strolled by many of the vendors last Saturday morning, but he politely refused. I think too much of his manhood was already being held captive by spending his weekend looking at old teapots and vintage brooches.
Old Spitalfields Market in London’s East End
Old Spitalfields Market is a labyrinth of stalls fitted to the brim with goods ready to be plucked and taken to a good home. Leather jackets, scarves, costume jewelry, you name it, Spitals has it. Yes, we are on such good terms I gave the market its very own pet name. I really loved spending a couple hours here before catching the Tube to Heathrow for my flight home.
The apparel was modern, trendy and very well kept. A bit on par price-wise with some retail stores so it wasn’t a total bargain place, but the items did seem to be unique and many even handmade.
Petticoat Lane Market
Also in London’s East End, I happened to walk through Petticoat Lane Market by accident en route to Old Spitalfields. It was an accident because we got lost.
Petticoat is a different world. It’s where old Topshop and Asos clothes go to die. So basically I was in heaven.
Unlike Old Spitalfields, the apparel in this market is more akin to a bargain basement store. If that’s your jam, you’ll like it here. There were bins and racks of wrinkled and worn-looking clothes selling for 5 pounds each. I recognized some of the Topshop items from a 1-2 years ago (including a peplum dress I spent $90 on and took 4 weeks to deliver), which are old by retail standards, but still in style. I cried a little on the inside.
I’m still not sure if those were happy tears or tears of regret.
In fashion, you win some and you lose some.