Author Topic: London for a week - shopping?  (Read 3615 times)

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alegria

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London for a week - shopping?
« on: March 21, 2012, 04:24:48 PM »
Hi everyone!

I'm lucky enough to get to tag along with DH next month when he goes to London for a week for business.  So while he's working, I'll be doing the tourist and shopping thing, and I'm very excited.  I do have a few interests that I'd like to shop for souvenirs, and hopefully some locals can help point me in the direction of a shop or two to visit.  We will be staying in Chiswick (which I understand is pronounced "chessik"), with the closest Tube station the Gunnersbury one on the District line (and there's a little shopping center right there too, I believe).  I will be visiting the Tower, the British Museum, Westminster Abbey, and St Paul's Cathedral, so anything around those areas would be easy for me to visit along the way.

My interests/shopping hopes are as follows:
-I'm a quilter, and I am very intrigued by the UK Oakshott cottons I keep seeing on blogs recently
-I've just started knitting and handspinning, so I'm totally in the "oooh shiny" phase with regards to fiber and drop spindles
-I collect dragons very seriously and would love to add another one or two to my cabinets
-I like clothes/shoe shopping, but am pretty practical and generally live in jeans and fleece/sweaters

Any help would be greatly appreciated!  We'll also be taking a day trip to Paris, and I'm taking a day trip to see Stonehenge, the Roman Baths, and Ludlow(?), so if there's something in those areas I'd be happy to hear about it too!  :)  Thanks!

jilly

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Re: London for a week - shopping?
« Reply #1 on: March 21, 2012, 05:00:37 PM »
If you are going to Bath no 1 royal cresant was aa great visit.

veryfluffy

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Re: London for a week - shopping?
« Reply #2 on: March 21, 2012, 05:24:14 PM »
Chiswick is more like "chizzick", accent on the first syllable.

Shopping, in terms of what London has to offer rather than in terms of your specific interests: Harrods/Harvey Nichols/Sloane Street (designer shops), Kings Road in Chelsea, Selfridges and Oxford Street (touristy). Close-ish to Chiswick is the Westfield shopping mall, which is pretty amazing (for the UK at least) -- all the top stores. There isn't really much shopping near your tourist sites.

Priority for travelling in London: an Oyster card.

Ludlow is beautiful, one of the prettiest towns in England. But it's nowhere near Bath, so is this two separate day trips?
   

camlan

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Re: London for a week - shopping?
« Reply #3 on: March 21, 2012, 05:39:55 PM »
Lucky you!

I think you might like Liberty's. Clothing, iconic fabrics, things for the home. Right in London on Regent Street, so it's easy to get to. You might find some good souvenirs there, as well. It's not cheap, but there are reasonably priced accessories and small things.

London is very easy to get around, both walking and on the Underground (subway). Get a good map and an Underground map and you're good to go.
Nothing is impossible, the word itself says, “I’m possible!” –Audrey Hepburn


alegria

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Re: London for a week - shopping?
« Reply #4 on: March 21, 2012, 06:09:43 PM »
Ooops, the village is Lacock, not Ludlow...  :-[

Yep, I'll have an Oyster card and a Tube map, and I've already mapped out the stations and line changes I need to make for each of my trips.

Liberty's sounds pretty cool!  I'll see if Westfield is near enough for us to get to too.  Thanks!  :D

Kiara

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Re: London for a week - shopping?
« Reply #5 on: March 21, 2012, 10:51:22 PM »
I've had the best luck googling "Yarn shop" or "Knitting shop" and the city I'm going to.  Did it for Amsterdam, Copenhagen, and Tallinn.  I did a quick look, and it looks like there's a ton of yarn shops in London.  Make sure you buy local yarn...I always figure it's silly to go all that way and buy something I can get here in the US!   :)  Works for fabric shops too.

Oh, and in Bath....go to Sally Lunn's bake shop and get a lardycake.  It's like a chocolate chip.....thing.  It's hard to describe, but really really good.

Anniissa

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Re: London for a week - shopping?
« Reply #6 on: March 22, 2012, 08:22:45 AM »
If you're interested in textiles and that sort of thing then maybe a trip to the Victoria & Albert museum which focuses on design (from architecture to fashion)? There are rooms showing historic textiles as well as various displays of historic fashion.http://www.vam.ac.uk/. It should be fairly easy to get to from where you're staying as it's by South Kensington tube on the District line.

One fun shop for ribbons, buttons, trimmings (if that's something that might be interesting to you) is VV Rouleaux http://www.vvrouleaux.com/productcart/pc/web_index.asp. There are two shops (one in Sloane Square and one in Marylebone Road which is a fairly short walk from Oxford Street).

alegria

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Re: London for a week - shopping?
« Reply #7 on: March 22, 2012, 10:39:48 AM »
I've had the best luck googling "Yarn shop" or "Knitting shop" and the city I'm going to.  Did it for Amsterdam, Copenhagen, and Tallinn.  I did a quick look, and it looks like there's a ton of yarn shops in London.  Make sure you buy local yarn...I always figure it's silly to go all that way and buy something I can get here in the US!   :)  Works for fabric shops too.

Oh, and in Bath....go to Sally Lunn's bake shop and get a lardycake.  It's like a chocolate chip.....thing.  It's hard to describe, but really really good.

Yeah, I will probably do this, but I figured there are plenty of crafters and UK people on this board, maybe someone had one they personally loved.  :)  Lardycake?  Hmmm...I am intrigued, but cautious... :D

Anniissa, I actually found that museum the other day when poking around the 'net.  I'll have the info in case I finish up a day early or change my mind, but I have a lot of things I really want to see so I don't know if I"ll get to it.  Maybe next time!  The trimmings shop sounds fun though!  :D

Kiara

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Re: London for a week - shopping?
« Reply #8 on: March 22, 2012, 12:44:08 PM »
Yeah, I will probably do this, but I figured there are plenty of crafters and UK people on this board, maybe someone had one they personally loved.  :)  Lardycake?  Hmmm...I am intrigued, but cautious... :D

I have a GREAT one if you zip over to Denmark, but none for London - neither my mom or I were into knitting when we went!   ;D

I was cautious on the lardycake too.  My mom insisted I had to try one.  (She had tried it on their last trip.)  I was quickly won over.   ;D ;D ;D  Oh, and we also bought a loaf of the Sally Lunn bread to take home and make sandwiches with.  Sooooo good.

Oh!  And splurge for tea in the Pump Room in Bath.  Well worth it.

P-p-p-penguin

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Re: London for a week - shopping?
« Reply #9 on: March 22, 2012, 03:12:41 PM »
Check out www.timeout.com/london both before you go and whilst you're there for ideas of places to visit.  It's good for finding out about places and events that you wouldn't ordinarily know about.  There are always markets and things on that might be good if you're into arts and crafts.  If you've got a smartphone they have an app that you can use whilst out and about.

Seconding the advice to get an Oyster card for your trip.  You buy one for £5 and when you're done with it just return the card and they give you back the £5.  It works out cheaper to use an Oyster card than buying regular travelcards.

saki

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Re: London for a week - shopping?
« Reply #10 on: March 22, 2012, 05:53:59 PM »
Things in the vicinity of Stonehenge/Bath that might be worth a look (if you're driving, if you're doing it by train, these won't be as feasible:

Wells - small Cathedral city, the cathedral is very pretty and it's just a nice little city in general, not far from from Bath

Avebury - similar stuff to Stonehenge but you can actually walk around it

Cheddar Gorge - amazing caves and the home of the cheese

London things -

If you have time, the Horniman Museum is really fun, though a little out of the way.  The National Portrait Gallery, National Gallery, Tate Britain, Tate Modern are all worth a look if you like museums.   Also worth doing is walking along the South Bank - between Tower Bridge and Westminster if the weather is nice, as the views are lovely. 

Other unsolicited advice - Americans, in particular, seem to have a real thing for Stonehenge and Bath but, personally, I'd recommend a day trip to Oxford or Cambridge as more interesting/fun, not a day trip but Edinburgh is also very much worth spending time in and, if you're interested in castles, the Welsh border castles are gorgeous.




alegria

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Re: London for a week - shopping?
« Reply #11 on: March 23, 2012, 10:56:53 AM »
Other unsolicited advice - Americans, in particular, seem to have a real thing for Stonehenge and Bath but, personally, I'd recommend a day trip to Oxford or Cambridge as more interesting/fun, not a day trip but Edinburgh is also very much worth spending time in and, if you're interested in castles, the Welsh border castles are gorgeous.

Thanks!  We are only there for a week and will not be driving ourselves around, and most of the time I will be on my own as DH will be busy with his work meetings, so I'm staying put in London.  I've arranged tickets for one of the sunset private bus tours of Stonehenge where you do get to walk up to the stones, and while I'd like to see Avebury as well there wasn't a tour available that met my needs.  I would really like to travel through Wales and Scotland as well, and hopefully we can do that at some point in the future when DH can participate more fully in the vacation.  Right now his only participation is picking out where to go for an early anniversary dinner on our last night in London, when we will also take a ride/trip on the Eye.  :)

Venus193

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Re: London for a week - shopping?
« Reply #12 on: March 25, 2012, 08:25:35 PM »
If you're looking for unusual buttons or jewelry or related things, you need to visit the flea markets.  There is a schedule for them and they're all located near underground stations.