Sunday, January 13, 2019

London: Wandering Around Piccadilly/St. James

Now, I love music! But I wasn't about to spend the afternoon in St. James Piccadilly when there was a world out there to explore! So, while Rick was listening to a few hours of back-to-back recitals, I decided to check out the Jermyn Street area.


Jermyn Street is right behind St. James, one block south of Piccadilly, and it comes with quite a price tag. If you are looking for the Ritz or Christies, this is the neighborhood.


Trendy pubs mix with high end fashion boutiques and private clubs like Tramp. It was here that Ringo Starr, Liza Minnelli, Joan Collins and Peter Sellers held their wedding receptions and its current guests include Drake, Rihanna, Kate Moss and David Beckham. Princes William and Harry have been known to show up as well. Unfortunately, not on this particular Friday afternoon.



Apparently these shoes must be the fashion. Their price tag was in the 400 pound zone. But it appears you get a free gift. (Or, as Rick might say, "There is nothing more expensive than free.")


Across from Tramp was one of my favorite shops in all of London. Floris is not just London's oldest fragrance boutique, but England's as well. It is currently run by the eighth and ninth generations of the Floris family and has been in the same St. James' Jermyn Street location since founded shortly after Juan Floris' arrival in 1730.


It received its first Royal Warrant in 1820 to King George IV and now has 19 more, including that of Perfumers to HM the Queen Elizabeth II (1971) as well as Manufacturers of Toilet Preparations to HRH The Prince of Wales. (1984) How's that for a title?!


(And lest you should think it's only for royals, the store holds letters from Florence Nightingale, Mary Shelley and Beau Brummell as well.


A few doors away from Floris is the Cavendish Hotel. I'd always wanted to see it, simply because the Cavendish was the original hotel of Rosa Lewis, who was immortalized in one of my all-time favorite PBS series, "The Duchess of Duke Street." It was based on a biography of the chef called "The Duchess of Jermyn Street." I couldn't talk Rick into taking me to afternoon tea here.  Pity.


As you approach the corner and take a right, you head back to Piccadilly. A right turn and you are near three of my favorites. I've always liked Cath Kidston's modern vintage look.


And an entire store with her things? Could be trouble.


And it was a little. I did find a few things (OK, one was a gift). Much as I wanted a mug, I passed it up. Too early in the trip to risk something breakable!


Rick joined me after the recital and we continued our shopping-looking walk. A few stores away was London's oldest bookstore, Hatchards, which was established in 1797. I remember coming here with my mother in 1973 and again, I felt her by my side.


In a few years, some of the children's books I found there will find a new home! Hatchard's holds royal warrants from the Queen, Prince Philip and Prince Charles.  It might be one of London's best staircases!


And then there was Fortnum and Mason. By this time, Rick and I had regrouped and we hit this spot together. This was another I'd visited with my mom, enjoying a lovely lunch there with one of her friends. It looked a bit busy for dinner or afternoon tea (expensive afternoon tea) so we passed on that.


Instead, we wandered. The food halls are magnificent, beautifully designed. The men and women wore tails, frock coats. All very dressy. Fortnums also holds warrants to the queen and is called "the Queen's Grocer."


She eats better than we do.


And we found a rather handsome vendor offering samplings of four different sherrys. Well, it was five o'clock (not that four thirty would have stopped us!)


And as for staircases?


Yes, they have a good one, too!


Not scoring dinner at Fortnums, we crossed the street and walked through the Burlington Arcade, another spot I visited with mom.


No, we couldn't afford to shop here, either. And really, it wasn't our style.


Although these were very pretty!


Now we were getting a little desperate, dinner and foot-wise. So after admiring a few trendy things on the way back to Piccadilly, we waited for the bus.


And when we got off, ate at one of the first restaurants near our hotel we saw! Prezzo is a chain of Italian restaurants. It was quite lovely (we didn't know it was a chain until we saw them elsewhere)!


And the two block walk back home was easy and our room a welcome sight!

Sharing today with:    Let's Add Sprinkles    /      Pink Saturday  

40 comments:

David Gascoigne said...

As I am quite sure you might surmise, Jeanie, I would have opted to take in the recitals with Rick, given the choice of shopping or music! But in truth, had I been there, I would probably not have done either. A visit to Kew Garden perhaps would have been more to my liking, or a stroll through Green Park, or St. James Park, a boat tour down the Thames........just about anything but shopping! But the last time I was in London I did take in a couple of musical events and thoroughly enjoyed them. As a simple statement of fact,I find little inherently appealing about cities and given my druthers prefer green space, lack of traffic, freedom from the press of humanity and to be surrounded by nature is just about perfection for me.

Jean R. said...

What a wonderful experience! I loved those multi colored shoes and the staircases were real works of art.

I'm glad your sight-seeing had a welcome ghost tagging along.

coffeeontheporchwithme said...

Oh, that wooden staircase!! What an amazing bookstore! You must have had quite the childhood (or perhaps you were older?) to have explored London with your mother. -Jenn

NanaDiana said...

I love being able to travel along with you. Honestly, as far as shopping, I would have been $$$ challenged at Cath Kidston's store. I LOVE her stuff. Those multi-colored men's shoes are hysterical....can only imagine how long that fad will last and then they will be dying those shoes brown or black. lo

Have a wonderful, blessed Sunday! xo Diana

Linda deV said...

You are simply the best tour guide.

Joanne Huffman said...

As always, great photos.

Sandra Cox said...

What fascinating, fun shops!

Lynne said...

So wonderful . . .
I agree with others, you are an excellent tour guide.
Oh my the book store . . .
and staircases!

Valerie-Jael said...

You visited some very noble places again, glad you had fun. Hugs, Valerie

Olka said...

Oh God! I love these colorful shoes! And belts!!
They're amazing. And probably ridiculously expensive, haha! :D

Bleubeard and Elizabeth said...

You found some wonderful places to visit and "window shop." I loved your photos of places you traveled that day while Rick listened to music. You always impress me with your knowledge of London and the various areas to travel. This was a fascinating day. Those shoes in the next to last photo were obviously over the top!

William Kendall said...

It's those two staircases that really catch my attention.

My name is Erika. said...

My husband isn't a shopper and so usually I don't get to visit stores like this so I enjoyed this post. ANd that's who Cath Kidston is. I've heard the name before but I really didn't know exactly who she was. I like her style. And I like those shoes too, but I don't know anyone who would wear them. Or should I say who would pay for them. I actually think some of the boys at school would love those shoes, but that price is way out of the range of teenagers. Thanks for sharing Jeanie! Hugs-Erika

Pamela said...

Great pictures and wonderful explanations.

Mae Travels said...

I want shoes with flaming wings.

best,
mae at maefood.blogspot.com

DUTA said...

Multi colored shoes - great idea for both men and women! This kind of shoes definitely enlivens the appearance of the wearer.

Kitty said...

Wonderful tour. I am so glad your mom was "with" you. Aren't memories wonderful? When you said some books would have a new home, I'll bet you bought some books for the boys! Sorry Rick didn't go with you but I learned a long time ago that going by myself can be great. Love to you both.

Iris Flavia said...

Now, this is interesting - the Fuller´s lion looks a lot like our city arms!
Pricey shoes! And not even a guarantee that the colors stay like that. My red leather purse has darkened a lot...
Floris looks beautiful! A lion with a crown :-)
Oh, yes, there are dangerous stores around for sure. So nice you had your Mom with you, kinda.
I like the picture of the round staircase, very arty. Burlington Arcade looks very impressive. And those pink shoes!!!
Sounds like you had a great day.

Victoria Zigler said...

I'm tired just reading about all that walking!

A lot of pricetags in London are on the higher end of the scale, even for things like food.

La Table De Nana said...

My kind of sightseeing:) I see so many pretty buildings/stores on IG re London..looks a dream the pretty parts like every cite..:) Cath Kidston..how cute..Les Galeries Lafayette had a section..Fun..I know we will never go so it's great to see real life pics!

La Table De Nana said...

Oops city..I should check before I publish.you know us though..much like DG your first commentor..give us the countryside any day:)

Mary K.- The Boondocks Blog said...

Jeanie bookstores are a magnet for me. And all those stairs certainly would have kept me busy for most of the day. I wouldn't have left that bookstore.

Rita C. said...

Those staircases! Just the back history of all the places is so interesting. You're a great tour guide, Jeanie!

Preppy Empty Nester said...

Jeanie... your photos are positively gorgeous! That salesman could sell me a Sherry any day of the week. Enjoy your week.

Ricki Treleaven said...

You must have great self-control not to have purchased a Cath Kidston mug. I would love to shop there! There used to be an American store in Washington state, but I think it closed. I don't know if her merchandise is available here presently. Floris would be a dream shop for me!!! Thanks for the photo tour.

Carol @Comfort Spring Station said...

A great little tour and I immediately was drawn to the perfume shop. I have seen photos of the shop before and love the vining flowers. It's January - are those flowers real? Unbelievably pretty. I also like Cath Kidston. I use her Chrome design and love it.

Red Rose Alley said...

Oh Jeanie, what a delightful post. I got to see some of the popular shops along the way. I LOVE the Floris shop and the displayed words on the window. And the Cath Kidston's shop is so charming. I would love to browse through there, and want one of those cups! haha The oldest bookstore is awesome, and what a cool staircase! Would love to check out the children's books, as they are such treasures to have. I hope you bought something for yourself to remember this trip by. What a great adventure you had, Jeanie. Your photos made it seem like I was right there with you. : )

~Sheri

Jeanne Washburn said...

A lovely walkabout shopping tour...I chuckled along every step of the way with you. Such fun...thanks!

Pam Richardson said...

Jeanie, what a lovely shopping trip that I enjoyed so much. There are many beautiful and quaint shops to enjoy. I can only imagine the memories when you go back to where you and your mother had been!

Judy at GoldCountryCottage said...

Pretty fancy shopping, Jeanie. I thought I couldn't wait to see Rick in a pair of those wingtips until I saw those pink numbers (for you)..Another great part of the trip..xxoJudy

Hena Tayeb said...

wow so much to love. those shoes.. the men's and women's. The cute shops.. the marzipan.. though not a fan but it does look so pretty. Looks like a fabulous trip.

http://www.henatayeb.blogspot.com

Jennifer Richardson said...

I can smell this place as you describe so artfully
and can feel the kinship with your mother as you walk these
lovingly worn paths. What a gift. Thank you for sharing.
And my mouth is watering - what glorious foods:)
-Jennifer

Tracy said...

You crammed a lot in one day, Jeanie! Music or window-shopping, tough call! :/ Oooo... Jermyn Street...fancy! ;) Floris... how lovely! I can almost smell it! Cath Kidston--one my faves too--I love that vintage-y style! Hatchards--love those stairs-so glad REAL bookshops still exist. Fortnum & Mason--my fave of the London BIG department stores. I've always wanted to go to tea there, but it's so expensive... *sigh*... One has to decide tea, or proper eveing meal, and proper evening meal usually wins. But I buy a tin of Fortnum's tea and biscuits in the food hall--gotta have! Those pink shoes with the flames are crazy-fun... I couldn't dare to wear, but fun...haha! Thanks for taking us along... ((HUGS))

Liz@ HomeandGardeningWithLiz said...

I enjoyed this tour with you! I’m realizing there is so much to see there it must be overwhelming. The staircases are wonderful- loved looking down and seeing the the stairs in layers. It’s so sweet that you could re-trace some of the steps you took with your mother. Looks like an expensive place to visit overall so I guess one needs very deep pockets to shop! I did enjoy the Cathy Kidston things you showed. I think I would have grabbed an apron or an umbrella to take along! I had to laugh at Rick’s comment that there is nothing more expensive than “free” items. There’s a lot of truth to that!

Ms. K @ Write On Thyme said...

Oh my, those colorful shoes... and gorgeous window boxes! Thanks for taking us on your walk! Xoxo, K.

Marilyn Miller said...

I am loving your tour of London. It makes me want to go back. We did go to Cath's store and I even tried a dress or two on, but to no available. They weren't designed for women without waists. Ha! Loved Fortnum and Mason too. I would have loved tea there, but we already had reservations down the road a bit. What a lovely stroll and even if you can't afford to buy, it is so fun to look.

Lisa from Lisa's Yarns said...

I am not familiar with any of these places as I don't know much about London and was so young when I was there (19!). But this looks like an area that I would enjoy walking around! Those staircases are so beautiful! You definitely earned a pasta dinner with all the walking you did!

400 pounds for a pair of shoes - YIKES!!!

Sarah said...

Thanks for the fun post. It has been decades since I was in London to walk and shop. Makes me want to plan a trip. Happy January!

Beatrice P. Boyd said...

What wonderful spiral staircases and such great photo opps for sure! I too would have stopped at Fortnum and Mason just to ogle the things inside.

Beverly said...

Happy Pink Saturday, dear Jeanie. I do believe I am going to take up residence in your suitcase in order to see the world.

This post is being featured on my Pink Saturday post this week as "the one that caught my eye".♥♥♥

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