Shopping on Marylebone Lane

January 22, 2010

Sneak Peek: Tracey Neuls + Sanderson shoes


Chintz has never looked so chic since London shoe designer Tracey Neuls got her hands on Sanderson's reissued vintage textiles.

This somewhat surprising collaboration between the British heritage wallpaper company, which celebrates its 150th anniversary this year, and one of London's more avant-garde shoe designers will coincide with London Fashion Week next month.

Neuls' gallery-like Marylebone Lane shop (read my shop tour here) will be transformed into an eccentric English tea party, complete with a large-scale installation by sculptor Nina Saunders. And apparently birds will be involved – I await with baited breath!

Nina Shoebird 15110jpg


Admittedly, I've got a soft spot for Neuls' rubber-soled shoes, as her mid-height heels are about as high as I can go with my rotten old arthritic toes. It hasn't been easy finding anything attractive I can actually wear, with season after season of increasingly vertiginous heels. So I can't wait to see what she's done with Sanderson's prints – her signature sculptural silhouettes combined with her penchant for dramatic contrast piping will give the chintzy florals a quirky edge. 

'Most Curious'
Footwear from Tracey Neuls
Sculptural installation from Nina Saunders
To celebrate Sanderson's 150th Anniversary
From 17 February 2010 to 30 June 2010
Tracey Neuls
29 Marylebone Lane
London W1U 2NQ

Click here for a Wee Birdy map.

Click here for more Wee Birdy shop reviews on Marylebone Lane.

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May 12, 2009

Birdy pick of the week

Owls Parrots

Index.php Doves

Enamel bird pendants, from £75, by New Zealand jewellery designer Kirstin Ash at KJ's Laundry.
Click here for more birdy picks.

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November 28, 2008

Top Bird’s top London picks: Christmas shopping

The Christmas countdown has begun, and this year retailers are pulling out all stops to entice you to spend, spend, spend. But if you, like me, are looking for something a little special and unique, give the high street a miss and head to one of London's independent Christmas shopping nights. Here's my round-up of the very best…


1. The best for … checking off your present list
hristmas on Cheshire Street

Winning my vote for this year’s best Christmas shopping poster, featuring a rather charming Pearly King by East London
illustrator Paul Bommer (above), Cheshire Street is off to a great start. But it’s the line-up of shops that are the
main prize here, with some of London’s very best independent shopping
on offer. Christmas present ideas range from luxe handmade leather bags
(Mimi) to contemporary homewares (Ella Doran) with Wee Birdy favourites
including Labour and Wait, Shelf, Dragana Perisic, and Mar Mar Co. There will be mulled wine, mince pies and special offers
including 15 per cent discount off all purchases at Mimi.

Christmas on Cheshire Street
Thursday 4 and Friday 5 December 2008
6pm – 9pm
Cheshire Street, E2
Nearest tube: Liverpool Street

Columbia Road2. The best for … festive neighbourhood atmosphere
Columbia Road Christmas Wednesdays

By far my favourite Christmas shopping event last year, I revelled in the warm glow of Columbia Road’s shops which illuminated a particularly dark and foggy East London night. And with a glass of mulled wine in one hand and a sprig of fresh mistletoe in the other, I was merrily on my way. The live music and neighbourly atmosphere generated by this small community of independent retailers is a welcome point of difference from the anonymity of the high street, with mince pies and glasses of festive cheer on offer in all the shops. And Christmas present shopping is a cinch with 40 independent shops, including Ryantown, Supernice and Sharon Elphick offering everything from jewellery, hats, vintage clothes, antiques, toys, cakes, fragrance, sweets, chocolates, art and furniture.

Columbia Road Christmas Wednesdays
Columbia Road, E2
Wednesdays 3, 10, and 17 December 2008
5pm – 9pm
Nearest Tube: Liverpool Street

3. The best for … cool design gifts
East London Design Show

With an extensive line-up of products by British and international designers, you’re guaranteed to find some seriously good gift options at The East London Design Show. This annual event on the Shoreditch Town Hall calendar promises brand new talent from Mexico, Moscow, Holland and Italy. Christmas present ideas include jewellery, ceramics, furniture, children’s clothes and toys.

East London Design Show
Thursday 4 December to Sunday 7 December 2008
Shoreditch Town Hall
380 Old Street
London EC1V9LT
Admission: £4 Concessions: £2, children under 15 free.
Nearest tube: Liverpool Street

4. The best for … the coolest craft
Bust Christmas Craftacular

Hooray for BUST magazine’s decision to hold its very first London Christmas Craftacular (just ignore me while I crash to the floor in a dead faint). Craftacular is set to be huge with BUST cherry-picking over 25 British crafters for the event. Expect to find only the coolest local crafty talent around with rich pickings for one-of-a-kind Christmas presents. There will also be fun line-up of classes, live demonstrations, DJs, drinks and dancing.

BUST Christmas Craftacular
Saturday 6 December 2008
12 noon – midnight
St. Aloysius Social Club
Phoenix Road, London NW1
Admission: £2
Nearest tube: Euston

Thanks to Basil Exposition for the tip!

5. The best for… wrapping it all up
The Design Museum Sparkle the Dark Up

With an excellent line-up of design-led products and books catering for all budgets, the Design Museum shop is a Wee Birdy favourite for unique gifts like gorgeous Suki stationery and Ed Carpenter’s pigeon light. Join in a workshop on the night and learn how to make "designer-style" gift wrapping, tags and cards. The museum will provide all the materials you need – fun! There will also be music and free wine for extra Christmas cheer.

Design Museum Design Overtime
Friday 5 December 2008
Until 10pm (last admission 9.15pm)
Shad Thames, London SE1
Nearest tube: London Bridge

 6. The best for … late night shopping in central London:
Marylebone Lane

As many of you will know, Wee Birdy has a particular soft spot for Marylebone Lane and its line-up of fashion, shoes, interiors, beauty and accessories. Escape the crazy crowds on Oxford Street and take advantage of great discounts (including a 15 per cent discount at Content Beauty/Wellbeing and 30 per cent off all purchases at KJ's Laundry), festive food, drink and a brass brand. I’ll be checking out VV Rouleaux for some pretty ribbons to decorate my brown-paper Christmas parcels.

Marylebone Lane Christmas shoppping night
Thursday December 4 2008
4pm – 8pm
Marylebone Lane, W1
Nearest tube: Bond Street

7. The best for … last minute shopping
The Super Christmas Market at Somerset House

If you’ve left your Christmas shopping 'til the last minute, resist the urge to high-tail it to the high street and head to Somerset House on the Strand instead. Here you’ll find 20 of Britain’s hottest young designers, including Martino Gamper, Tatty Devine, Lady Luck Rules OK and Gitta Gschwendter offering a host of ultra-affordable gifts, starting at just £5. Learn to make some stocking fillers with Kandy Diamond, or try your luck in the snowball-throwing competition and win some limited edition Lady Lucky Rules OK jewellery (see above).

The Super Christmas Market
Friday 19 December 2008, 6 – 9 pm
Saturday 20 and Sunday 21 December 2008, 10am – 6pm
Somerset House, Strand
London, WC2R 1LA.
Admission £2, which includes entrance to the ‘Wouldn’t it be nice…’ exhibition.
Nearest tube: Holborn, Embankment, Temple

8. The best for … local and handmade
We Make Christmas

With all things crafty and handmade big news for Christmas, head to this Christmas market for unique and one-off items by local London designer-makers. Bringing the world of Etsy to life, you’ll find a range of gift including jewellery, fashion, art, toys and children’s clothing. There will also be food stalls, carol singing, craft competitions and demonstations. Look out for Miss Bunny's hand-painted shoes (see left), Bombus homewares and Littlechook’s vintage fabric cushions.

We Make Christmas
Saturday 6 December 2008
11am – 5pm
The American Church
79a Tottenham Court Road
London W1
Nearest tube: Goodge Street

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November 20, 2008

Christmas lights up London


I went for a stroll around central London and Marylebone last night, and found that it's beginning to look a lot like Christmas. My vote for the most charming Christmas window? The vintage decoration display in the window at Content Beauty/Wellbeing (above). I don't know how store owner, Imelda Burke, managed to colour-co-ordinate so many beautiful vintage glass decorations, but she did a mighy fine job. So pretty.


I also really liked the sculptural magazine "tree" in the window at KJ's Laundry


In terms of sheer scale and magnificence, Selfridges have surpassed themselves with a rather anti-credit crunch theme of "the more the merrier", featuring Santa in 19 different window installations.


Santa at the cinema…


Santa gets a beard trim…

Santa takes the Tube…

Santa does his laundry…


Santa goes to the disco…


Santa has a bubblebath…


Santa takes tea…


Santa goes shopping…


Santa eats sushi…

while Oxford Street goes twinkle, twinkle…

and St Christopher's Place goes sparkle, sparkle…

I LOVE this time of the year.

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November 12, 2008

Top London tea spots: Paul Rothe & Son


This traditional café-deli is one of my favourite places to relax with a good cuppa and a sandwich after hitting the shops on Marylebone Lane. The shop itself dates back to 1900, and it still retains that old-fashioned charm of the village grocer.


I really dig the old-school caff set-up inside, complete with ‘60s laminate tables and folding leatherette chairs. The place gets packed during lunch hours with local workers flocking for the daily fresh soup and line-up of delicious sandwiches (my pick is egg on rye, but the Austrian liptauer and kummelkase are legendary).


A good cuppa, egg sandwich and Time Out … happy, happy.

The walls are stacked with jams, chutneys and relishes, but I’m here precisely because it’s the antithesis of your Prets, Starbucks, Café Neros, et al. You’ll always find Paul Rothe and son donning their traditional white deli coats behind the counter, and the tea is a straight-forward, no-frills, honest-to-goodness brew. I will never grow tired of this place, it’s an absolute London gem.


Paul Rothe & Son
35 Marylebone Lane
London, W1U 2NN
Tel. 020 7935 6783
Nearest tube: Bond Street
Click here for a Wee Birdy map.

Opening Hours:
Monday to Friday 8am – 6pm
Saturday 11:30am – 5:30pm Sat
Closed Sunday

Click here for more shops in Marylebone

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October 20, 2008

“My Secret London” with Jane Ellis from KJ’s Laundry

New Jane Ellis Poly
In the latest instalment of “My Secret London”, Jane Ellis from Marylebone’s award-winning independent fashion boutique, KJ’s Laundry, spills the secret London addresses from her little black book.

Best for a bargain? Brick Lane, East London.

Best for vintage? Hammersmith Vintage Fair.

Best for fashion? Shop at Bluebird.

Best for jewellery? Kabiri.

Best for interiors and gifts? Mint.

Best for beauty and skincare? Liberty beauty hall.

Best for kids? Blossom.


Best for stationery? Smythson.

Any other favourites? Chapel Market.

Your number one London shopping secret? La Fromagerie in Marylebone.


Best London souvenir? A retro poster from the Transport Museum.

Favourite place to eat? Yauatcha.

Click here for a Wee Birdy map of Jane’s secret London addresses.
Check out the latest collections online at KJ’s Laundry.

Huge thanks and wee birdy kisses to Jane for her generous tips and advice.

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