August 2009

August 30, 2009

Birdy pick of the week

Honk-Honk
Ben Newman's 'Honk Honk' giclee print, £20, from Soma Gallery.
(Soma Gallery is a Wee Birdy sponsor, so please show it some love!)


Did you like this post? Click  
Share this story by clicking one of the links below.
Tweet this   Post to Facebook    Stumble this    Add to del.icio.us    Email this    Pin It!

August 28, 2009

A week of Kent: Broadstairs

DSC01487

After our morning in Whitstable, we headed over to Broadstairs for an afternoon by the seaside. Following the excellent advice of @circeplum, we headed to Oscar Road Café for the freshest and most enormous doorstop crab sandwich I’ve encountered. (It was actually a difficult choice between that and the bucket of prawns and lobster rolls.)

IMG_6579

IMG_6568

Set back on a side street away from the bustle of the seafront, the café itself was completely charming with bunting and vintage-style décor. They also offered a small selection of retro-inspired gifts. We found a perfectly sunny spot under a tree in the back garden, where we quietly sipped ginger beer and experienced a little Enid Blyton moment.

IMG_6564

IMG_6573

IMG_6575

The homemade cakes (especially the moreish Victoria Sponge) looked particularly enticing under their vintage glass cloches, but I was particularly keen to check out the legendary Morelli’s, which @IndiaKnight had tweeted about earlier this year.

DSC01479

The icecream parlour and cappuccino bar opened for business in Broadstairs in 1932 and was the first in the UK to offer over 20 flavours of icecream. It was refurbished in 1959, and it’s still resplendent in all its original formica glory, with Lloyd Loom chairs and a soda fountain now stuffed with kitsch plastic flowers.

DSC01482

Having been advised that no visit to Morelli’s was complete without a Knickerbocker Glory, I duly ordered at the bar and was served what can only be described as a sundae spectacle, topped with whipped cream, cherry, Flake bar, a novel teddy bear wafer and a French flag – all in a wonderful old-fashioned hand-blown glass.

IMG_6581

As if that (and the location) wasn’t enough, the icecream was pretty damn delicious, too. (Londoners can visit the Morelli’s outpost at Harrods, which offers an innovative bespoke icecream service.)

Outside Morelli’s, the vibrant delights of the Broadstairs seaside awaited. All that was missing was a Punch and Judy show and a couple of donkeys. (And I wouldn’t have batted an eyelid if either showed up.)

DSC01475

DSC01488

DSC01489

O
scar Road Café

15 Oscar Road
Broadstairs, Kent CT10 1QJ
Tel. 01843 872442
Opening hours:
Thursday to Friday 10.30am-5pm
Saturday 10.30am-5.30pm
Sunday 11.30am-5.30pm

Morelli’s
14 Victoria Parade
Broadstairs, Kent CT10 1Q


Did you like this post? Click  
Share this story by clicking one of the links below.
Tweet this   Post to Facebook    Stumble this    Add to del.icio.us    Email this    Pin It!

August 27, 2009

Thank you, London Paper

25910373

Kate from Little Doodles just sent me this pic of the story that appeared in yesterday's London Paper on London shopping blogs. Thanks Kate, and welcome London Paper readers!


Did you like this post? Click  
Share this story by clicking one of the links below.
Tweet this   Post to Facebook    Stumble this    Add to del.icio.us    Email this    Pin It!

August 27, 2009

A week of Kent: Sundae Sundae

IMG_6435

IMG_6426

Just a couple of doors down from Frank on Harbour Street is the utterly irresistible Sundae Sundae, a retro seaside shop with a self-styled ‘'ice cream delicatessen’. It’s a delightfully kitsch celebration of nostalgic British summer-time, stocking a fanciful selection of brightly coloured buckets, spades and ‘proper’ seaside toys.

IMG_6429

It’s the range of weird and wonderful icecream flavours that catch my eye, like raspberry cheesecake, crème brulle, lavender sorbet, stem ginger and cracked pepper. For an extra-special treat, your scoops can be served in plastic sailing boats, complete with a little sail.

IMG_6430

IMG_6432 IMG_6434

The various flavours are all-natural and sourced from small British farms, some as far away as Yorkshire. But the more experimental flavours are made in-house, like the fresh basil icecream, which is apparently very refreshing on a hot summer’s day.

IMG_6431

There’s also a tasty line-up of retro English sweets, including the ever-popular flying saucers, love hearts, Dip Dabs, Whitstable rock, sugar mice and (my favourite) Tunnock’s tea cakes.

IMG_6439

Towards the back of the store you’ll find a charming collection of vintage crockery and ephemera, like old Beano mags, vintage annuals and retro sundae glasses. I couldn’t resist the vintage saucy postcards, the ultimate seaside souvenir.

IMG_6462

IMG_6452

IMG_6441

Out the back garden, there's everything you could possibly need to kit out the beach hut of your dreams, right down to the vintage oars and old fair signs.

IMG_6443

IMG_6444

IMG_6448

It’s a little bit Beach Blanket Bingo, British style.

Sundae Sundae
62 Harbour St
Whitstable, Kent CT5 1AG
Opening hours: Variable, but usually 11am to 6pm (and sometimes ‘til 8pm if it’s a scorcher)


Did you like this post? Click  
Share this story by clicking one of the links below.
Tweet this   Post to Facebook    Stumble this    Add to del.icio.us    Email this    Pin It!

August 26, 2009

A week of Kent: Frank

IMG_6415

I’ve been meaning to post about the weekend I spent in Kent earlier
this summer, when my parents were visiting the UK for a couple of
weeks. It was by far one of the easiest breaks I’ve ever organised,
mostly due to the fact that there was little to no organising on my
part. My parents arrived with a well-researched itinerary, and I was
also inundated with some extremely good tips when I called upon the UK
Twitterati for advice and help (thanks to @circeplum, @cassandracastle, @indiaknight, @maggieA, @I_Like, @LibertyLndnGirl).

IMG_6407

IMG_6421

IMG_6409

On Saturday morning we headed to Whitstable, a seaside village most
famous for oysters. At just 80 minutes by car from London, it’s the
perfect destination for a weekend break or day trip. The New York Times
visited earlier this year, so if you’re thinking of doing the same, you may want to look up their  suggestions on where to eat,
including the “obligatory” Wheelers Oyster Bar, as well as The
Sportsman, which was awarded a Michelin star.

IMG_6545

IMG_6540

But I’m here primarily to check out Frank, a former oysterman’s cottage
on Harbour Street housing all manner of gorgeous British-made crafts,
design and homewares. I’d heard some exceptionally good things about
the shop, which is the brainchild of illustrator Mary Claire Smith and
photographer Rob Weiss.

IMG_6472

It’s the type of place that crafty-peeps only dream about, and people
on a gift-buying mission will not be disappointed. On my visit I was
greeted by a (very appropriate) bird display in the window, featuring Hannah Turner’s retro-style ceramic birds (from £28), Hannah Waldron’s vibrant canary prints and Abigail Brown’s super-sweet Matchbox Tweeters.

IMG_6488

IMG_6476 IMG_6494

IMG_6491

There are goodies crammed into every corner and hanging from every
nook, but it has an overall feeling of space and airiness, befitting
its breezy harbour-side location. It’s hard to pick favourites, but you
might like to keep an eye out for Becky Crow’s
copper fox brooches, Claire Fletcher’s handpainted children’s
tambourines, and Cornelia O’Donovan’s softies made from Whitney vintage blankets.

IMG_6482

IMG_6527

IMG_6532

IMG_6503

If you’re after some locally-made handcrafts, make a beeline
for Kate Erbe’s handknitted angora dogs (£19.50), Keith Brymer-Jones’
milky-toned hand-thrown ceramics (from £7.70 for a jug), and Heidi
Butter’s laser-cut jewellery.

IMG_6481

IMG_6484

IMG_6501

There are more surprises to be found in the garden out the back, where
you’ll find potted succulents in teacups amongst a range of outdoor
decorative items.

IMG_6510

IMG_6513

And upstairs there’s a very cute holiday flat for
rent – ideal for a sunny weekend or mid-week getaway by the sea. But if
you can’t make it to this lovely wee corner of the world, some of the
loveliness can be found on their online shop.

Frank
65 Harbour Street
Whitstable, Kent CT5 1AG
Tel. +44 (0) 1227 262 500

Opening hours:
Monday-Friday 10.15am-5pm
Saturday 10.15am-5.30pm
Sunday 11am-5pm


Did you like this post? Click  
Share this story by clicking one of the links below.
Tweet this   Post to Facebook    Stumble this    Add to del.icio.us    Email this    Pin It!

August 25, 2009

Shopping in London: V&A shop

IMG_3932

Over the past couple of years I’ve posted quite a lot about my favourite bits and pieces from various London museums and galleries, but I’ve never delved into any great detail about the actual shops themselves. So naturally, that’s about to change…

It’s a given that any gallery-goer’s journey will end in the designated shop space – in fact their presence (and the promise of a toy dinosaur) has been used as the proverbial dangling carrot to get many a child through the tedium of an exhibition itself. But some of the world’s greatest and most-loved museums and galleries (New York’s MoMA, London’s Tate Modern, Design Museum and the V&A) have evolved in such a way that their shops are a retail (and tourist) destination in their own right.

IMG_3888

IMG_3898 IMG_3913

IMG_3878

I must confess that I’ve been guilty, on more than one occasion, of making a specific gift-buying dash to the V&A shop, without so much as a peep in at any of the permanent collection galleries (I know, shameful behaviour!). But that’s because the V&A, in particular, offers up an expertly-edited line-up of gifts, accessories, books and children’s toys – all perfect candidates for being packaged up and sent away to friends and family far away.

IMG_3919

There's also a dedicated bookshop, with subjects spanning the worlds of design, art, fashion, textiles, jewellery, photography and architecture. And they always have an extensive range of the most gorgeous cards:

IMG_3947

The website is also an excellent source for all manner of design-led products and accessories, and autumn/winter’s new collection has just arrived online. I’m loving the cherry brooch by Francoise Montague, squirrel ring box by Jonathan Adler, and chirpy cicada brooch.

101739_detail

There's also a really lovely selection of luxe hairbands and headpieces, like this little pleated beauty

100134a

The shop is also particularly good when it comes to accessing a clever range of kids’ toys, games and activities, starting at pocket-money prices. I’m particularly fond of the vintage-style wind-up tin toys, like this circus elephant, and these Clifford Richards cat and fairy notebooks.

IMG_3964

IMG_3996

The V&A also have a brilliant prints service, where you can order any print from their vast collection in the size, format and paper of your choice.

Also keep an eye out for pieces from the Cherry on a Cake collection, a brilliant line of limited edition designer collaborations, making them perfect (read: non-crap) souvenirs for tourists and London newcomers alike. Inspired by the museum’s extensive collections, you can take your pick from a stunning Grayson Perry doll (at a super-cool £4000, wow) or a Concise Book of Patterns necklace by Comfort Station. Art and history has never been so wearable.

The V&A Shop
Victoria and Albert Museum
Cromwell Road
London SW7 2RL
Tel. 020 7942 2687
Nearest tube: South Kensington
Click here for a Wee Birdy map.

Opening hours:

Monday to Sunday 10am-5.30pm

Late night every Friday until 9.45pm


Did you like this post? Click  
Share this story by clicking one of the links below.
Tweet this   Post to Facebook    Stumble this    Add to del.icio.us    Email this    Pin It!
← Older posts | 

Sponsors



NET-A-PORTER UK





Benefit Cosmetics (UK)

Cath Kidston Ltd.
Cult Beauty Ltd.

Mental Health Week

#DECOREX100

I also write for Kidspot:



Search Wee Birdy

Subscribe to Wee Birdy


Delivered by FeedBurner

I'm a social birdy







Free downloads

Add some Wee Birdy to your life with these freebies.

Birdy's blogroll

Essential reading

Magazines

Aussies

Sydney shops

Londoners

London shops

Fashion

Design

Handmade

Beauty

Street Style

Other good ones

Beauty Directory