Mixed-media paper crafter; stamper, freelance craft tutor, designer of PaperArtsy JOFY stamps

14 April 2014

Oooh didn't I have a lovely time....

... the day I went to London...

I worked in London for 10 years & really enjoyed it, but when I worked there I don't think I really appreciated what a great city London. Now when I go into town for pleasure rather than work its really nice... I have time to look around rather than rush from train to work, work to train & home.

I have a routine when I go to hospital appointments in Holborn (an area where I used to work) & do things so that the day isn't just about going to the hospital - it generally goes like this: I go to the hospital, then I pop to Blade Rubber Stamps which is a great rubber stamp shop very close by (the only one of its kind in London)... sometimes I pop into Cornelissens (http://www.cornelissen.com):
(photo: cornelissen)
in Gt Russell St - its an amazing traditional art shop - all wood shelves and bottles - like stepping back in time... its just along from the British Museum where I've been know to go into too - amazing collection of artifacts (lets not think too hard about how we came by them and whether or not they should be returned to their rightful owners...) .... Holborn/Bloomsbury is such an interesting area, lots of places to see and well connected to the rest of London.

During my last visit to London I had to go further West up to Bond St - I like travelling around London on the bus if I have time - more interesting than the tube/underground as there's lots to see and it seems to change such a lot... but this stands firm:

This is Selfridges (located towards the Marble Arch end of Oxford St) (ok, I know its not the best photo but it was drizzling and I had to be quick).  I wanted to take a photograph as I plan to use it on a scrapbook page because I'm currently reading the biography of Harry Gordon Selfridge, the founder of Selfridges... and here he is- the real Mr Selfridge...
The book (Shopping, Seduction, and Mr Selfridge by Lindy Woodhead) is fascinating - not just about the man (who died penniless, which I found quite sad & shocking) but about shopping in general at the time (early 20thC) - so many changes that were his doing (most of which we take for granted now).
Well worth a read.

I wandered down Bond St/Old Bond St - very posh with shops with doormen that 'buzz' you in - to Piccadilly - & look at Fortnum & Mason!! Most shops just put up sheeting when they're having work done - but not Fortnums who covered themselves in this:

 ... how cool is that!! ... got to love Fortnums!

I find being in London really inspiring, my next planned visit is in July - hopefully the weather will be better.

So, that was my little day out - I had thought of going to the theatre but couldn't decide what to see.. (too much amazing choice!)



  1. Wow, well if you are going to have scaffolding up, do it in style!!! Elizabeth x

  2. What a great post Jo..thanks for taking us on your trip in the West End and that covering on Fortnums is amazing!! I often have a wander around there if Rhys is having treatment in the UCH...Think I may have to read that book about Mr Selfidge!! sounds very interesting. Hope you are feeling a bit better now xx

  3. I love walking around London, a lot of my work events are Bloomsbury so try and take different routes, going down side streets, as long as I have my phone and the map app I'm sorted! And yes always a detour to Blade Rubber and so times Paperchase. Walked past the art shop never dared go in.

  4. Oh, oh, oh, I have been into that wonderful art shop. Bought some fab brush cleaner and soap from there, well I had to buy something didn't I! Glad you did something nice, I love visiting that area.

  5. Hi Jo, just happened to stop by your blog. What Fortnums has done makes me want to pop to London for the day just to see if for real. Had toyed with going to Ally Pally, but I've got an expensive time ahead and you can't do everything.

    Small world - I used to live and work in London. I lived in Belsize Park and then moved to Streatham, but worked in Holborn and loved wandering around the Bloomsbury/Holborn area. Friends who had lived and worked in London all their lives didn't know the Brunswick Centre existed And Blade Rubber Stamps is something I discovered after I'd left London, but I've visited it and agree it's one of kind for the ol' Smoke.

    See you at the Craft Barn Extravaganza. Managed to get a place on Lin Brown's Masterclass this year.

    Hugs, Pauline xx .

  6. What a great way to make a hospital trip more exciting - and how fantastic does Fortnum's look - what a wonderful way to wrap up for the repairs!

  7. lived in the bloomsbury area for years when I worked up in London town, never appreciated the lushness of it, more interested in C garden pubs . . hic

  8. Glad you enjoyed your day, photos arw lovely & yes agree, go F&M :-)


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