Shopping in South East London

July 30, 2012

5 good things you should see (and buy) in London right now

1. The Animal Olympics
Can you see one of Charlotte Cory’s brilliantly bonkers artworks lining the centuries-old walls of Windsor Castle? Apparently it’s true, and word is that the Queen is a huge fan of the London artist. (I’d believe anything after her starring role in the James Bond skit). You can see what all the fuss is about at Charlotte’s current exhibition, ‘The Sporting Champions’ at her gallery in Greenwich. There are Victorian rabbit wrestlers, parrot cyclists and kangaroo cricketers, as well as hand-crafted Victorian medals. But where are the corgi beach volleyball players? Probably hanging her Her Maj’s bedroom. Until 20 August, 2012.
The Green Parrot Gallery
, Greenwich

73 Lassell Street
London SE10 9PJ
Nearest transport: Greenwich rail/Cutty Sark DLR
Click here for a Wee Birdy map.
Opening hours:
Fridays 11am-6pm

2. The Karl Olympics
Even the likes of iconic Chanel fashion designer, Karl Lagerfeld, couldn’t resist taking on the Olympics with a limited-edition capsule collection for Selfridges. His new pop-up shop on the third floor, named Team Karl, is home to a range of Olympics-inspired fashion and accessories including medal-emblazoned t-shirts and gold-splattered Karl motif tote bags. There are also a few men’s items currently available online.
400 Oxford Street
London W1A 1AB
Nearest tube: Bond Street
Click here for a Wee Birdy map

Opening hours until Monday 13 August:

Monday to Saturday 10am-10pm
Sunday 10am-8pm
[Image via Blog Deluxe Online

3. The PopUp Olympics
Head to this pop-up shop in Greenwich throughout the Olympic period and discover some of London’s best designer-makers from Cockpit Arts and various studios. Take your pick from art prints, textiles, ceramics, jewellery, homewares, beauty products and lighting by the likes of Lorna Syson, MacMaster Design, Naomi Ryder and Siobhan McIntosh. Until Thursday 23 August, 2012.
20 Nelson Street
London, SE10 9JB
Nearest transport: Greenwich rail/Cutty Sark DLR
Opening hours:
Monday to Saturday 12 noon-8pm
Sunday 12 noon-5pm

4. The Goodhood Olympics
Hackney is one of the host boroughs of the London Olympics, and it’s also home to some of London’s coolest and most fashion-forward boutiques, including The Goodhood Store. Based in Hoxton for over five years, the store stocks a line-up of covetable brands including P.A.M, Antipodium, Surface to Air and Peter Jensen. To celebrate the borough’s Olympic status, Goodhood has designed a limited-edition t-shirt, which goes on sale today in store and online for £35.
The Goodhood Store
41 Coronet Store
London N16HD
Nearest tube: Old Street
Click here for a Wee Birdy map.
Opening hours:
Monday to Saturday 11am-6.30pm
Sunday 12 noon-5pm
5. The Retro Olympics
London’s legendary vintage shop, Retro to Go, has gone for retro gold with their collection of original sportswear from the ’70s to ’90s, like this Olympic Karate t-shirt. Check out the range in store (there are three shops in London) or online.
Retro to Go
110-112 Cheshire Street
London E2 6EJ
Tel. 020 7613 3636
Nearest tube: Liverpool Street
Click here for a Wee Birdy map.
Opening hours:
Monday to Saturday 10am-7pm
Thursday 10am to 8pm
Sunday 11.30am-6pm

Click here for the 25 best London Olympic Games souvenirs.
Click here for the best Union Jack souvenirs.

Click here for the best non-tat Jubilee souvenirs.

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July 17, 2012

It’s Wee Birdy’s 5th birthday! Win an Alex Monroe necklace!

To celebrate Wee Birdy’s 5th birthday, I’m giving away FIVE fabulous prizes over the next FIVE days. Each prize is something I truly love and hand-picked especially for you, my dearest and most lovely readers.

Today’s prize is a stunning Alex Monroe ‘All the Best’ necklace from his new ‘Best of British Collection. Featuring a tiny golden crown and silver luggage tag engraved with ‘All the Best’, the necklace is a mix of sterling silver and 22ct gold plate and is valued at £165.

As many of my long-time readers know, I’m a huge fan of Alex Monroe and I own a few of his gorgeous pieces. So I’m thrilled to give away this very special piece from the new ‘Best of British collection, which is a celebratory tribute to 2012, and encapsulates the best of British quirkiness and all the things that Alex loves: conkers, blue tits, a teapot and his own sailing boat. Here are my favourite pieces from the collection:

Milk Bottle and Blue Tit Necklace, £165. A picturesque, early morning scene. The thirsty Blue Tit, having a refreshing drink of nice, cool milk.

Spiky Conker Necklace, £150. Spiky shelled conkers littering the ground is a definite sign that Autumn has arrived.

Sailing Boat Necklace, £120. A scale model of Alex’s own little sailing boat.

Baby Shrimp Necklace, £120. The Baby Shrimp is the smaller sibling of the incredible Goring Shrimp Necklace and is available in either rose gold plate or solid sterling silver.

Fox Bracelet, £135. This rose gold-plated fox is running circles around a sterling silver bracelet.

If you’re in London, you must add Alex’s new boutique to the list of shops you have to visit. It’s located in South East London near London Bridge station, and features all of his classic collections, alongside more luxurious 18ct gold, diamond and gemstone ‘Goldcrest’ pieces. Alex also offers an exclusive bespoke service, where you will have a one-on-one consultation to design your very own piece of Alex Monroe jewellery.

Alex also revealed to Wee Birdy his “secret London” – a list of his favourite shops, bars, pubs and hidden treasures. You can read all about it here.


Follow these two steps to win:

1. To qualify to win, you must follow or ‘like’ Wee Birdy on either Facebook, Pinterest or Twitter – or all three if you like! If you’re already following me on one of these platforms, you are automatically qualified to win.

2. Leave a comment in the comments section of this post below and ensure you enter your email address in the space provided (your email address will not be published).

The competition closes on Saturday 21 July, 2012 at 5pm AEST. Winners will be drawn at random on Sunday 22 July. Winners will be announced and contacted by email on Monday 23 July, 2012.
Winners have one week to respond to the initial email from Wee Birdy confirming that they have won. If Wee Birdy doesn’t hear from the winner of each prize within a week, the winner/s will forfeit their prize and Wee Birdy will randomly draw another winner/s.

Monday’s giveaway: Win a classic ‘Tatty Devine’ Name Necklace. Enter now!

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May 23, 2012

Shopping in London: A guide to buying mid-century modern. Part 1

It’s here, it’s finally here! The modernist’s guide to shopping for mid-century furniture and decor in London.

First stop is The Midcentury Show at Lords on Sunday, where 50 vintage dealers from around the UK will be showcasing their wares to modern enthusiasts. Sign up to their mailing list for news about their excellent events, which are held several times a year.

The Midcentury Show
Sunday 27th May 2012
10am – 4pm
North Gate
Wellington Place
Lord’s Cricket Ground
St John’s Wood
London NW8 8QN
Entrance £7 on the day
Early entry for trade 9am (£9)
Children under 14 free (note that baby buggies are not permitted inside)

Now, as many of you are aware, there are a great deal of vintage shops that stock mid 20th-century pieces, but I’ve tried to stick to places that deal almost exclusively with furniture and decor from this period. Here are my top picks, which I’ve also sorted by area.


Førest London
Specialising in Scandinavian mid-century furniture, this relatively new shop also features exhibitions and collaborations with new artists.
115 Clerkenwell Rd
London EC1R 5BY

Chase & Sorensen
This café-shop in East London specialises exclusively in mid-century Danish modern furniture, with new deliveries arriving direct from Denmark every few weeks.
238-B Dalston Lane
London E8 1LQ
Tel. 8533 5523

Osi Modern
With a special focus on reupholstered chairs and lounges, this East London shop offers a variety of mid-century modern furniture, lighting and objects.
32 Seal Street
London E8 2EE
Tel. 7881 953 708

Two Columbia Road
Featuring a well-considered collection of 20th century furniture, lighting, art and objects, Two Columbia Road stocks many original pieces by the likes of Hans Wegner, Finn Juhl, Arne Voder and Charles Eames.
2 Columbia Road
London E2 7NN
Tel. 7729 9933

Russell Roberts
A carefully-edited selection of modernist 20th century furniture, art and collectables, with a touch of playfulness thanks to the addition of quirky retro toys and accessories.
8 Cheshire Street
London E2 6EH
Tel. 020 7613 3355


Bent Ply
Specialising in furniture, lighting and décor from the 1930s to the 1960s, this shop is just the tip of the mid-century iceberg. More treasures can be found at Bent Ply’s stand at Alfies Antiques Market, which is just around the corner.
95 Lisson Grove
London NW1 6UP
Mob. 07711 940 931
Tel. 0207 725 9515

Antik Modern at Albam Clothing
An unlikely source for mid-century furniture and décor is men’s fashion boutique Albam Clothing, which stocks select pieces from Antik Modern in their Soho, Spitalfields, Islington and Covent Garden stores.

Alfies Antique Market
Housed in a former Edwardian department store, Alfies is home to roughly 60 dealers with some really incredible stalls representing mid-century modern design. It’s one of my favourite London destinations for vintage, but the sheer size of the place can sometimes be overwhelming. It’s a bit of a bugger to get to in terms of public transport, but it’s worth the hike from Marylebone tube.
13-25 Church Street
London NW8 8DT
Tel. 020 7723 6066

The modern enthusiast should make a beeline for the Quad and Decoratum in the basement:

Bent Ply
The Quad, Basement.
Stocks an impressive range of furniture by the likes of Alvar Aalto, Gerald Summers, Marcel Breuer, Ernest Race and Hans Wegner. There is also a stand-alone shop around the corner on Lisson Grove.

Tel: 7724 6969
Boasting over 5,000 square feet dedicated to vintage mid-century furniture, lighting and accessories, Decoratum is a modernist’s dream. Purchases can be shipped worldwide.

Here are my other picks for MCM at Alfies:

Robinson Antiques
Stand G077-78 and 91-92
Tel. 07955 085 723
20th century glass, pottery, chrome and stainless steel.

Thirteen Interiors
Stand G001-G005 and G050
Tel. 07811 008 144
20th century furniture, lighting and collectables.

Francesca Martire
Stand F131-F137
Mob. 07990 523891
20th century furniture, glass, ceramics lighting and jewellery.

Modo Italia
Stand F040-49
Tel. 07796061901
20th century Italian furniture, ceramics and décor including pieces by Gio Ponti, Paolo Buffa and Osvaldo Borsani.

Stephen Lazarus
Stand F017
Mob. 07981 374 909
Mid-century lighting and furniture mixed with industrial pieces.

Ian Broughton
Stand SO48-49, 59-60
Tel. 020 7723 6066
1930s to 1960s homewares, textiles, barware, furniture, ceramics, glassware, ephemera, collectables, kitsch, bakelite, record players, games and lighting.


Designs of Modernity
Located in the basement of Crystal Palace Antiques and Modern, Designs of Modernity offers a good range of Scandinavian, British and American 20th century furniture, lighting and décor.
Jasper Road
London SE19 1SG
Tel. 07966 285 694


2 Cross Street
London N1 2BL
Tel. 07979 650805
With a line-up of 20th century furniture and décor, Fandango mixes classics by Arne Jacobsen with lesser-known pieces and objects.

Peanut Vendor
133 Newington Green Road
London N1 4RA
Tel. 7226 5727
A warm and eclectic mix of classic ‘big names’ with an assortment of lesser known or anonymous ‘50s and ‘60s coffee tables, chairs and accessories.


Paere Dansk
Specialising exclusively in Danish solid rosewood furniture, Paere Dansk sells both original vintage pieces by the likes of JL Moller alongside new editions of the original designs.
13 Stratford Road
London W8 6RF
Tel. +44 7771 861939

Some of the best mid-century modern dealers in London have warehouses and showrooms which are only open by appointment. I’ll list my top picks in tomorrow’s post, so please do check back in.

Do you love mid-century modern furniture? Do you have a favourite shop in your area? 

It’s (a rather extended) Week of Modern on Wee Birdy! Click here for more mid-century goodness.

Want more Wee Birdy? You can find me most days hanging out on Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter and Facebook – come over and talk to me!

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November 26, 2009

Christmas shopping nights in London – part 2

As promised, here's part two of my Christmas shopping round-up, which actually includes quite a few fairs and fetes, so it's not strictly nights. Part three coming tomorrow…

1 December: Supermarket Sarah
Get stuck into the spoils of Portobello market courtesy of Supermarket Sarah, when she’ll be setting up shop in the Poke foyer of the Biscuit building on Redchurch Street. You’ll be able to shop online as well. Email to get on the guest list. Click here for more details.


2, 9, 16, 23 December: Columbia Road Christmas Wednesdays
With the promise of mulled wine, mistletoe and mince pies, Columbia Road’s Christmas Wednesdays is one of the more romantic ways to shop for Christmas. Check out my write-up on last year’s event. Don’t miss some of my favourite independent boutiques, like Cerise, Ryantown and Lapin & Me. From 5-9pm.


3 December: Content Beauty Shoppping Night
Head over to London’s gorgeous organic beauty boutique for free makeovers, drinks and a hefty 20 per cent discount. RSVP to as space is limited. Click here for more details.

Back corner

3-6 December: East London Design Show
Boasting an impressive line-up of UK and International designer-makers, the ELDS is one of the biggest independent shopping events in London. I went along last year and picked up quite a few good Christmas presents – and took full advantage of many of the special deals and discounts on offer. Adm £4. Click here for more information.

Picture 10

3 and 11 December: Cheshire Street Late Night Shopping
As many of you will know, I have quite a soft spot for Cheshire Street and its lovely line-up of independent boutiques, including The Shop, Shelf and Labour and Wait. Head over to the East End and enjoy drink or two whilst you shop, and don’t miss Mimi and Dragana Perisic for special discounts on all purchases. From 6-10pm.


4-6 December: V&A Christmas shopping weekend
Stock up on arty Christmas gifts and enjoy 15 per cent off all purchases at the V&A shop this weekend. If you can’t make it over to the South Kensington museum in person, you can redeem the discount online by entering in ‘VAXMAS091’ into the offer code section when you come to the payment details screen.

5 December: We Make London Christmas Fair
Lots of local crafty goodness on offer here, from the likes of Fabric Nation, Beeb Design and London Clay Birds (love!). Pop along to Chelsea Town Hall for all the fun. Click here for more details.


5 December: Tea and Make (a great British Christmas fete)
Well worth the trip to Forest Hill in South-East London for this lovely little fete, offering an excellent variety of wares by the likes of Selvedge Magazine, Hannah Waldron and Polly George. There are also free craft workshops and fun stuff for kids. Click here for more details.


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April 19, 2009

Birdy pick of the week


Hans Bølling's wooden duck (£64) and duckling (£34), from the Design Museum shop. The story behind the inspiration for the pair is pretty cute, too:

"In Springtime Copenhagen, 1959, a policeman stopped the traffic in order to let a young family of ducks cross the street. The moment was captured by a photographer and created such an impression that all the newspapers published a now famous photograph of the ducks, which encapsulates the Danish attention to nature, detail and the ability to appreciate small everyday miracles."

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March 18, 2009

London must-eats: Raclette at Borough Market


There’s much to love about living so close to London’s Borough Market. It’s become our little Saturday morning ritual, where we take it easy and wander around the stalls, check out the new produce, and make a beeline for Konditor & Cook for a “real” coffee (because Monmouth's always too busy). But sometimes? I’m not quite sure how living in such close proximity to cheesy heaven, aka Kappacasein’s raclette stand, is advantageous for my arteries.


The premise for a Swiss raclette is ridiculously simple: a white carb celebration of melted Ogleshield cheese, new potatoes, baby gherkins and pickled onions. But it’s also ridiculously delicious – and the long queues are a testament to this fact. The plus side of the waiting time is that you get to watch the whole mesmerising raclette-making process, which involves scraping hot, bubbling cheese onto your pile of potatoes and gherkins. Oh lordy!


I especially love the acidic, crunchy baby gherkins, which contrast beautifully with the creamy, cheesy potatoes.


They also make the most unbelievably good toasted cheese sandwiches with Montgomery cheddar, onions, leeks and garlic on Poilâne sourdough.

Kappacasein is at Borough Market on Fridays 10am-6pm and Saturdays 9am-4pm, and can be found just opposite Southwark Cathedral.

Borough Market
8 Southwark Street
London SE4
Nearest tube: London Bridge
Click here for a Wee Birdy map.

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