miss b's quote

'I haven't been everywhere yet but it's on my list' Susan Sontag

Wednesday, 12 February 2014

miss b loves ........ exploring London, past and present.



London is one of those cities where there's always something new to discover, no matter how many times you visit.....

A couple of weeks ago on a rainy Thursday, after checking into St Ermin's (a hotel which deserves its own post!) I set off to Spitalfields, in the east end of London. At the heart of the area is the preserved Old Spitalfields Market (London's oldest market dating back to 1638!) five minutes from Liverpool Street station and Thursday is Antiques and Collectibles day......


The market is surrounded by modern restaurants, cafés, bars and independent shops including The Cambridge Satchel Company and The Lollipop Shoppe, a very stylish design store .....  


I was tempted by Lola's cupcakes .......


.... but I resisted as I was on a mission to find Nude Espresso which I'd heard was one of the best coffee shops in London ...... and I wasn't disappointed with my flat white or the Florentine which I'm determined to recreate using this recipe



Brick Lane, the curry capital of London is nearby..... 


Curry is often a good choice in the evening but preferring something lighter for lunch, I opted for Albion in Shoreditch. Co-owned by renowned designer and restaurateur Terence Conran, the vast majority of Albion's food and drink is British and the in-house bakery produces award-winning bread too. 



Day 2 ... St Paul's Cathedral ......



.... morning coffee at Bea's of Bloomsbury, decorated for Valentine's Day.... 



.......and a five minute walk to the Museum of London which documents London's history from prehistoric times to the present through reconstructed street scenes, artefacts and video clips.


A few highlights ......

Young Londoners have helped museum staff to refresh the Roman London gallery exploring the links between Londinium and the city of London today. Modern objects displayed alongside Roman artefacts were chosen by young people to show the links between the past and present. 

Must-have imports then and now.... Samian pottery bowl, a luxury piece of Roman tableware made in France, stands next to....an iphone....


This is a museum which is relevant and interactive. It's no wonder the groups of school children were so interested and enthusiastic!



This Selfridges bronze lift was installed in the store in 1928 and the uniformed young women who operated them were apparently quite a novelty! (I'm sure I spotted a similar lift in Sunday's episode of Mr Selfridge!)



Three distinctive but very different dresses caught my eye ....




1.Dress worn by Helen Clark to celebrate the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II in June 1953. The fabric features iconic London buildings.

2.Beatles dress worn in 1964 by Pauline Richey when selling programmes at the premiere of the Beatles' film 'A Hard Day's Night.' 

3.Volunteer dress worn during the Olympics opening ceremony. Every face on the dress is someone who volunteered his or her help at London 2012.


Surprisingly, many visitors to London don't seem to know about this excellent museum but it's well worth a visit!


Talking about the present....there are so many striking modern buildings in London and although opinion is often divided, many of the imaginative designs appeal to me and I like the contrast between the old and the new ....... 


Bank Junction with 30 St Mary Axe (the Gherkin)
just visible in the background

Next to the Gherkin is the brand new Leadenhall Building nicknamed 'The Cheesegrater' because of its distinctive wedge shape! 

One of the most eye-catching additions to London's skyline is of course The Shard .......


The Shard in the background

I doubt that I shall ever tire of London...in fact my next mini trip is already being planned.... 

......more London posts here and here

51 comments:

  1. ça me donne tellement envie de retourner dans cette ville!

    http://clothespaper.com

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  2. Miss B, you think that the last time I went to Londong was the 1998! Lol, I still was a teeny. I really love to come back there, is so full of stuff to do and see, I think there is always something new to discover there, a city full of surprises. I want to go to the Nude Espresso shop and also eat Lola's cupcakes :) The Museum of London must be so interesting. Kisses dear xo

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  3. thanks for this lovely tour around my home town! I miss it so much :( but so glad you're enjoying!
    Mary x

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  4. hey miss b! what i truly love about london (british culture) is the HISTORY. i think it is sooo awesome and wish everyone did this! history, tells us a story. it explains what happened in a period of time. whether it's a book, document, dress, piece of technology etc. the english have kept it. it's extraordinary! the museums and specialty museums over their are amazing. despite london's advancement, they have kept it all intact. another thing i've noticed (british bloggers) is despite loving tech and new things, there's a simplicity about their life. they pay attention to detail, they read, they write. i love the US, but since my time blogging I SEE a difference in the societies. thank you for sharing this. you don't know how much i appreciate your posts. they're like a window into another place. LOVE.
    http://www.averysweetblog.com/

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  5. London is one of my favourite Cities. It is true that there is always something new to discover in London. I've heard so much about Lola's cupcakes and Bea's of Bloomsbury. I would like to try them next time I visit London.

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  6. This day sounds wonderful! Next time I'm in London, I think I'll follow in your footsteps :)
    xox,
    Cee

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  7. Cool! I like the contrast between the old and the modern. It's great that you can explore more and more every time!

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  8. Great post! I was in London back in 2004, while I was still a student (law), so we went on legal tours, so we visited the Parliament and Royal Court of Justice, we were there on Parliament session and on hearing at the Court, and it was fantastic, cause not so many tourists get to see these things...
    Also, I loved London and would like to go back one day! Ilina

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  9. Always love touring with you Miss B--want to try Lola's cupcakes!

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  10. I am really hoping to visit London in the next few years. I am afraid of how many photos I will take while I am there, but am so looking forward to seeing everything. Lovely post my dear!

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  11. London is truly one of my all time favorite cities--- for so many reasons. One of which is the many fabulous markets!

    ~Alexis Grace of North On Harper

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  12. Always enjoy your around the town posts:) London is gorgeous! The old buildings and that Cathedral .. if only the walls could speak. You certainly pick most amazing spots to dine! EVERYTHING looks wonderful.

    Enjoy your day! xxleslie

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  13. Loving your tour ... so much to see and do ... it has been over 12 years since I visited London ... It's on my list of places to re-visit and your post makes it hard to resist ....xo Thank you for such a fabulous post. hugs, C. (HHL)

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  14. Amazing post. I love the London. I could live there. The hotel looks so pretty. I will check it out!
    x
    Nina
    http://trendsurvivor.com

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  15. I love Spitalfields market and this post reminds me that I haven't visited it for a long time! I haven't noticed the cheese grater yet, I will watch out for it when I am back in London next month. Nice photos and great food!

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  16. I so enjoy theses posts. I am definitely due a trip to London. I just realised it has been 25 years since i was last there . I think it may have changed.

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  17. I will be in London for 3 days 6 through the 9th, then onto Monaco. Do you have any suggestions for restaurants that aren't touristy! Maybe you can meet us for a cocktail!

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    1. I don't actually live in London. We live in the north of England and unfortunately my next trip doesn't include your dates. Thank you so much for suggesting we meet for a cocktail though. I'm sure you will have a wonderful time and I can definitely recommend the The Gilbert Scott restaurant in the St Pancras Hotel. (http://www.thegilbertscott.co.uk )

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  18. Great post and fab photos! I must try and plan a trip over this year:) Have a lovely weekend:)
    ~Anne

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  19. Hi Miss B, If I ever visit London again, you will be the first person I contact because you know all the best treasures and places to visit, the market sounds wonderful and Id love to hang out and dine at the nude expresso!Thanks for stopping by dear...whether you're celebrating or not, from one blog friend to another...Happy Valentines Day.

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  20. I'll have the retro phones, preferably the red one, plus the gramophone, and the first dress on the left :) It's been awhile since I was at the Museum of London. I should really be a tourist again and hop on the bus tour. Looks like you had a lovely trip again this time. I can never resist Lola's, so well done you! :)

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  21. I'm hoping to get to London later this year and this just inspires me even more. So many lovely historic things!

    Krissie x - http://pearlsofstyle.blogspot.com.au

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  22. Your pictures are so pretty. I have always wanted to visit London. I hope to soon.

    Tracy @ Sunny Days and Starry Nights

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  23. Loved this recap of your day. I do miss London. Is 'Flat White' a common term now for a coffee? I'll never forget the first day my now husband and I arrived in London to live for a year, walked into a small cafe and he asked for a flat white to be met by blank stares, and then a "sorry, what?". I then interjected a white coffee, but it was clear it was not a well known term at that time outside the antipodes.
    That Selfridges lift is absolutely amazing. So sad they don't put things like that in now. Shiny mirror is not the same! xx

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    1. I would say that the 'flat white' is gradually becoming more available but there are still many cafés where you may well be met with a confused look if you ask for one!

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  24. That museum is so cool. I liked seeing the pottery next to the Iphone, it's very neat to see how far we've come. London always seems so interesting. Thanks for sharing these photos, your posts are like mini vacations for me :)

    LittlePinkRainBoots.blogspot.com

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  25. Miss b, Just so fun to read your London posts! I have not yet gotten to any of these area, the Spitalfields Market or the London Museum. The market sounds so fun and looks like some cute shops near too. I love how you include the coffee shops. I love those little stops and all your suggestions I am saving! The London museum is really cool too!
    Hope you have a great Valentines! xx Kim

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  26. I adore London! If I could I'd move there in a second! Thanks for sharing great photos! And you should def visit Stockholm, I am sure it will be great for you! It's such a beautiful and trendy city. xo Caroline

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  27. i've been to a bunch of cities in europe, but never london! i would love to go someday! i love taking these mini trips with you :)

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  28. Lola's cupcakes look amazing - I want one! St. Paul's Cathedral is beautiful. When Nel and Jess travel, they often like to visit the old cathedrals - they have so much history to them. Brick Lane is so charming. I would love to see London someday.

    Happy Valentine's Day, my friend. I hope your day is filled with so much happiness and love.

    ~Sheri

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  29. It's true, London always has spots to go to, I miss it so much. Shoreditch is one of my favourite areas, other than my fav charity shops, when I went to vist last year. Wonderful post dear. Wishing you the most lovely Valentine's weekend. Thanks for your comment miss b. xx/Madison

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  30. I love your blog
    followed
    http://minimaysi.blogspot.co.uk/

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  31. Je mets de côté ce post plein de bons conseils. Je vais retourner à Londres l'été prochain donc je relirai tes posts avant de partir :)
    Bon weekend à toi !

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  32. I am definitely bookmarking this must see places in London. The gramophone and old telephones immediately caught my attention. The Nude Espresso is a great destination for coffee addicts. Have a lovely weekend!

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  33. Hi Miss B. I often see your name on the lovely Kim and Lilli's blog that I thought I had to check out your blog. OMG! I love London too. I've only been there once and I know I've missed too many things that I've to go back there again and again. You're right when you say that you will never tire of London. I have my friends who love London too and would often revisit that city whenever they go to Europe. I'm currently updating on my London trip and I already miss it.

    Just followed you as I would love to keep up with your updates. =) Have a lovely Sunday.

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    1. Thanks Jo for your comment and I'm so pleased you have decided to follow along.

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  34. just love london! esp your new-to-me places that you've shared today. adding to my list.

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  35. Miss B.! Good evening! My husband and I are fans of all things British. We are currently watching the Beatles Anthology for the 20th time, and still love them so. We hope to go back to Europe sometime within the next few years and go especially to London. Thank you for visiting today! Have a lovely week, Anita

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  36. That museum looks so interesting!

    escapingthewindow.blogspot.com

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  37. Great photos! Thank you for sharing.

    escapingthewindow.blogspot.com

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  38. Thanks for your visit... Have a great and productive week ahead!

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  39. I absolutely love London. Not been there for a while but as u say u can always find something new there.
    Www.thoughtsofpaps.com

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  40. Yep Lola's cupcakes did me in.Loved the London pictures. So refreshing.

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  41. amazing photos! thanks for sharing with us!

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  42. those landmarks (and dresses!!) are amazing!
    london is definitely on my list (up there with paris)!
    and my GOSH that lift!!
    xx Corinne
    http://cateyesandthighhighs.com

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  43. Thanks a lot for this wonderful post - it remembered me really on my visit to London in 1998! But it looks like as if something as changed and that it is necessary to update :)

    xx from Bavaria/Germany, Rena

    www.dressedwithsoul.blogspot.de

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  44. Looks fun! I'd love to visit London someday!

    http://initialed.blogspot.com

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  45. Gosh I wish I could go back to Spitalfields and Farringdon I worked there decades ago where it was a meat work and I walked to work with blood (literally) in the streets and people boozing it up in the pubs - they'd just come off work

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  46. I really appreciate everyone's comments and I'm pleased that you enjoyed my tour of this interesting part of London.
    Thank you!

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  47. great post! I love London,! there's been a while since my last visit! you made wanna go!
    http://mygenerouslife.blogspot.it/

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Thank you for taking the time to write a comment on my blog. I really do appreciate it. miss b

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