miss b's quote

'I haven't been everywhere yet but it's on my list' Susan Sontag

Thursday, 13 March 2014

miss b loves ........an unexpected stay in London (Part 1)



Last week I had the opportunity to stay in London overnight and it's surprising what you can fit into a day and a half with just a little forward planning (the two hour train journey from home gave me enough time to write my 'to-do list'!) Impromptu getaways are often the best! 

Sometimes I enjoy being just a tourist again in London revisiting those special iconic places which draw the crowds ......

St James's Park is a favourite spot of mine and standing on the Blue Bridge over the lake there are two very special views of London......

Looking east towards the London Eye
 and the Horse Guards building

Grey clouds were beginning to form over the Palace yet it still looked stunning ......


Looking west towards Buckingham Palace

The Queen's Foot Guards in front of the palace were wearing their grey winter coats. They usually change over to the more famous red tunics in May just as we change our outfits according to the season, I suppose! 



I spotted four guards at the front of the palace which I believe means that the Queen was in residence. There are apparently only two if she is away!

A short walk through Green Park took me to Piccadily .....and I came across the new Maille Boutique......the first one outside France. There's one in Dijon and another in Paris. This stylish venue is home to the finest of French mustards .....



....and I had no idea there were so many flavours....including fig and coriander, pistachio and orange, gingerbread and chestnut ......and there's a permanant tasting area on the first floor.


Prune and Armagnac flavour to take home .... in its own posh bag!


The store stands at the entrance to the beautiful Piccadilly Arcade with its interesting mix of independent shops ....


Next stop... Fortnum and Mason. It's a few years since I last had a wander around this iconic store and I'd forgotten just how special it is, just oozing with character.....



These have to be the most colourful tins of biscuits ever with interesting flavours too ....rose, violet, ginger and chilli....



The store is all ready for Easter ........


I couldn't leave without making a small purchase from the tea department.....every type of tea you can imagine, all stored in huge blue tea caddies.



It wasn't easy making a decision but when I mentioned that we liked Assam, the sales assistant recommended Assam Tippy Golden Flowery Orange Pekoe and she explained that it didn't in fact taste of orange! I took her advice and how could I resist a tea with such a pretty name!




I'd read about a tiny coffee bar behind Selfridges. A quick journey on the tube and I was soon enjoying a fresh baguette and cappuccino at the Workshop Coffee Company where the friendly baristas take a pride in their work. Their coffee is roasted at the Clerkenwell branch and it's definitely a cut above a normal cup of coffee!



This area around St Christopher's Place is tucked away just off busy Oxford Street yet it feels quite cosmopolitan and is a great place for casual dining with outdoor seating and there are plenty of interesting little shops too....... 



One of my favourite Italian café restaurants, Carluccio's, has a branch here and they even provide blankets as London is still quite 'fresh' at this time of year! 



Well, that was my first half day in London ..... Please join me for Part 2 ....a walk along the Thames, a new home décor store and probably the best burgers in the city!


44 comments:

  1. I would be curious to go to Workshop Coffee Company, the baguette is appetizing!:) You did a lot of things for just half day Miss B, I didnt know the Maille Boutique, there are so many kinds of mustards, the one u picked inspires me. Kisses dear, have a goodnight! xo

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  2. It looks like you had an amazing time in London. I have always wanted to visit London.

    Tracy @ Sunny Days and Starry Nights

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  3. I enjoyed your short visit in London. It is never boring in London. There is always lots to discover and visit. Lots to shop and eat around. I am taking down notes for my next visit over there. Looking forward to your next stops.

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  4. Wow, what a lovely day you had - can't believe that was just the first half. How lucky that you can pop in for a quick visit to such a wonderful city! XO

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  5. Miss B! Miss B! You lucky lady! You saw a lot in the short amount of time you were there. Exquisite places! I've never seen that view of the Palace! I did not know it was on the other side (park). Interesting! I would be in Fortnum & Mason all day long...on every level. LOL They have so many interesting things there. I bet it's a little different every time you go. That's a lot of variations of mustard!!! WOWWWW! Impressive. I can't wait to read Part 2 doll.
    http://www.averysweetblog.com/

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  6. Ooh - I've not been in F&M for some years now. The last time I went in was in 2005 where I was going round the babies department when I was expecting with my first boy. But it is indeed a lovely store.

    And St Christophers Place - it's one of those little gems that I occasionally stumble upon by accident - I never look for it and I don't know where it is and then I just happen upon it (that's because I have no sense of direction).

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  7. I have never been to London and this post was very interesting to me! I didn't know that there are mustard flavours such as orange, gingerbread and chestnut, etc. too! Cool! I'm a tea lover so I'd love to try the Assam tea. Looks like you had fun that day! Looking forward to part 2!:)

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  8. You seem to have had an amazing time. Love the blankets at Carluccios. Great idea. x

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  9. It's nice to be a tourist. Ahh, the trip wouldn't be the same without F&M visit. I thoroughly enjoy a nice cup of coffee and espresso when it's made like an art. Looks like a wonderful time spent. Enjoy the weekend. xx/Madison

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  10. I need to go back to London asap! St. James park is a favourite of mine too :-)
    Big hugs Miss B!
    Love,
    Coco et La vie en rose
    Coco et La vie en rose on Bloglovin
    Coco et La vie en rose on Facebook

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  11. We where probably in all the same places at the same time!! We ate at 34 Grosvenor Square-- it was fabulous!!

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  12. Anytime one can visit London would be a treat! Looks like you had an amazing time. How gorgeous are those tea tins at Fortnum & Mason! The tea you picked up looks lovely.

    Rowena @ rolala loves

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  13. oooh where do I start! I love that same view. I used to study around that park in the summer, I do miss London. I was in F&M at Christmas just browsing, not Christmas shopping, well that was the plan until I stumbled upon a Sophie Hulme bag eeek! I'm not a mustard girl at all but I still wouldn't have guessed there were so many varieties of mustard if I was.

    Have a good weekend

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  14. I never knew there were so many flavours of mustard available!! Lovely photos ...hope you have a great weekend!
    ~Anne

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  15. You're so lucky to be just two hours away and also able to take the train, wish we had such transport services here. The Maille store looks so interesting and love the idea of having blankets at the cafe, so cozy. Wishing you a wonderful weekend hun!

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  16. A magnificent tour of the City!
    Miss b THANKS for sharing your tour through photos, the first reaction I had was to see him, I'm walking back to those places!
    MANY KISSES!

    Luisa
    http://personallyselected.blogspot.com

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  17. beautiful images !!
    http://www.raccontidiviaggioenonsolo.com/

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  18. What a fun couple of days and you packed lots of activities in! You always find the best coffee/tea houses) Beautiful weather you had! Enjoy your weekend! xxleslie

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  19. love London! great photos
    greetings http://www.we-heart-fashion.com

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  20. You packed some delicious beauty and fun into this quick trip Miss B. I'm loving your images and the signs of spring in London. Fun post!
    xx

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  21. I go in London everyday and I don't see any of this - I miss it sometimes, I should really make the most of my lunch break! Thanks for reminding me that this is a great City!

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  22. I loved walking thru London with you and all the lovely places you mentioned. You remind me that life is an adventure and that there are places out there waiting to be discovered.


    Lisa @ The Girl at the Beach. x

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  23. What a truly wonderful trip! Loved your pictures. What a beautiful city, I must visit one day.

    Maria
    http://www.onestyleatatime.com/

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  24. This post has completely reawakened my urge to travel to London. Wonderful images, that picture of The London Eye is gorgeous. I completely agree that impromptu trips are often the best.

    LittlePinkRainBoots.blogspot.com

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  25. What a lovely trip! Cant wait to read part two. And I had honestly no idea about the gray guard uniforms or that there were more variants of mustard besides dijon and honey. Very informative!~!
    xx
    www.junewantsitall.com

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  26. I just LOVE London!
    Such an adorable post, I like it!:)

    xx
    Kelly

    thekelluuu.blogspot.com

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  27. Lovely view from St. James Park! I would love to visit London!!

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  28. I was lying on the grass in James's Park yesterday afternoon. The weather was so gorgeous! Seeing your pics, now I regret not stopping by at Fortnum's but I had very little time. Definitely need to go back there next time.

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  29. I miss London, such a chic city. Thanks for sharing!
    xo
    Sharon

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  30. I absolutely LOVE London, there is so much to do!

    The Piccadilly Arcade is so charming – I must visit next time again and check out some fancy mustards! :-)

    Thanks for the lovely photos too – I love St James Park too! Ah, this is really making me miss London! I wish I lived there.

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  31. Great to see how much you got in in such a short time. Looks like a lovely trip!

    Krissie x - http:/pearlsofstyle.blogspot.com.au

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  32. Never been to London, but one day it will be ticked off the list!

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  33. How lucky aren't you to live just two hours from the greatest city on earth?! Looked fab! xo Caroline

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  34. A great tour fortnum and mason a favourite so unique and a shop devoted to mustard how amazing.

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  35. Visiting London is definitely on my bucket list....and when I do...I will definitely come to you for recommendations on where to go and what to do! What an awesome experience! I'm living through you girl!

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  36. You visited so much of London in just 1 day! I saw the guards in grey too! I guess coz I was there during the winter season. That St James Park you visited... I'm not sure if it's the same park I walked too. After seeing the change of guards, we strolled and reached a park that looked quite like that in your photo.

    I would love to visit Fortnum and Mason coz I would love to sink my teeth into those tin biscuits of assorted flavours and I love tea too. Even tea with fancy names would entice me to buy them without knowing how they taste.

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  37. FUN! How cool it is to be so close to such an amazing city :)

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  38. Oh how I miss London when I read your posts. I love the tea pots:) Always impromptu trips work better than fully planned out ones.
    www.thoughtsofpaps.com

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  39. Thank you for these comments which make me realise just how fortunate I am to live two hours away from London. I hope you will join me for Part 2.

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  40. Welcome back Miss B! Hope you had a great time during your vacation! Hope the weather improves also here, is pretty dull and rainy! Kisses xo

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  41. I will definitely go crazy inside the Maille Boutique. Different kinds of mustard, wow!

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  42. I love your shots! So colorful. I got a kick out of the beefeaters fact too because I had no idea haha.

    www.americainegirl.blogspot.com

    -Danielle

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  43. i think i read your trip in reverse! ;) love london and i long to visit again

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Thank you for taking the time to write a comment on my blog. I really do appreciate it. miss b

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