June 5, 2013

London, the last word.

Filed under: Knitting, Quilting, Travel — Tags: , , , , , , , , , , — soozeinthecity @ 10:14 pm

When we go abroad we always grocery shop, take a look in the drugstores, visit book and record stores and visit yarn stores. These places give you a quick look at what residents like and use in everyday life.

However, many items from the British drugstore Boots are available at your local Target and iTunes has just about put the record chain HMV out of business. I didn’t get a chance to go to Waterstone but I did buy a book (titled “Wool”) at Healthrow.

Even with those places crossed off our list we still found plenty to do.

Waitrose has a sheep cake:


Casa Brindisa is a lovely spot in South Kensington with delicious tapas. A little 3 years old girl sat at the table next to us – we were amazed at her ability to eat the jumbo sized green olives. She would have eaten then all if mom didn’t tell her to try the green peppers!


I love the entrance for Liberty, I wish you could smell these flowers:


And after you walk into the store you look up and see this:


I always stop by Liberty to look at the Rowan stock, the entire line. Believe or not, Rowan can be hard to find in NYC yarn shops. I picked up the Spirit pattern book by Kim Hargreaves & some Regia sock yarns (Kaffe Fassett and Kristin Nichols):


You can’t shop at Liberty without seeing their gorgeous textiles. I’m learning how to quilt so I was thrilled to see Liberty fabric hexes for English Paper Piecing. I can hand sew these into something unique:


We didn’t have time to visit Nest. My first and only visit several years ago revealed a charming yarn store that carried mainly British & European fiber – many aren’t available to me in the US.

We did have time to visit to Loop. This is my third visit and I found that their stock overlapped with many other US stores I’ve gone to. I was disappointed that the Wollmeise was basically brown skeins and that each skein was £29 (that’s almost $45 US).
They do carry some UK hand-dyers but again none of the colors appealed to me.

I did pick up some crafty magazines, another Kim Hargreaves pattern book, Quirky and Kate Davies’ Colors of Shetland book which contains essays & patterns:


My last shopping stop was the haberdashery department at John Lewis on Oxford Street. I quickly scooped up this striped Debbie Bliss Rialto DK yarn. To my recollection I’ve never seem variegated yarn from Debbie Bliss. I love these colors and have a project in mind.


That’s it! Hope you liked this little taste of London. I’d love to hear about your travel tales.

June 4, 2013

Things I Noticed – London 2013

Filed under: Travel — Tags: , , , , , , , , , , — soozeinthecity @ 4:25 pm

Let’s see, even after 20 or so visits, London still manages to amuse and fascinate me.

The floor leading you to the observation deck at the Shard building is a drawn street map. This caught my eye as we were leaving:


I love the Tube system, they manage to maintain the old & incorporate the new without too much whining:

Old style train destination flip board:


Cheeky ads (not tacky ads):

It’s a Vodaphone ad that features Yoda.

The escalators that take you deep down into the station (no elevators blocking your way):


And mysterious names for rooms – any comments Yankees fans?


But my favorite Tube enhancement is this :


It was £5 for one week of wi-fi (Virgin Media) in the Tube system. This was essential, especially if you run your own business because let’s face it, there is no one else answering questions and finalizing sales. It also meant my teenage pet sitter had a free way of reaching me.

Hmm, lets see.. What else…Food? Well the big British breakfast seems to be disappearing. We did have one at Garfunkel’s. And we had a healthy version ( with freshly squeezed orange juice) at Zack’s Deli near Gloucester Road:


We did our usual grocery run at Waitrose and Sainsbury. My favorite find at Waitrose was apple rhubarb juice:


But at Sainsbury I was perplexed to see hosiery being sold with the wine:


We found a couple of Chinese places near Leicester square that seemed to specialized in hot pot meals. We opted for entrees but we certainly would have hot pot next time.

And I snuck in a scone with cream at the cafe at John Lewis on Oxford Street:


That’s one long post.
All that’s left is to show my souvenir yarn.
In my next post.

May 30, 2013

London 2013 part 1

Filed under: Travel — Tags: , , , , , — soozeinthecity @ 12:48 pm

We recently spent a long weekend in London. Although we have made many, many trips to London in the last two decades we always find new things to do.

On our first day we went to the observation deck of the Shard, a new high-rise building.

20130530-085336.jpg the Tower Bridge

The London Tower (well known to some of the wives of King Henry VIII)

We saw the David Bowie exhibit at the V & A museum. Unfortunately photos were not encouraged.


The show was very good although I kept thinking that this is the type of stuff I would expect to see at the Rock n Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland.

We also managed to see two shows: “The Book of Mormon” and the Beatles based “Let It Be”.

Clapping for the cast at the end.

The curtain for Let It Be.

“Book of Mormon” is one of the funniest shows I seem in a long time but I do not recommend this show if you are easily offended by off color humor. And yes the cast is dressed as the Beatles in “Let It Be”. This show is coming to Broadway & I’m still deciding if I would tell people to go see it. Not that the cast didn’t do a good job, or that it wasn’t fun to sing Beatle song for 2 hours but – is it worth paying money to have that experience?

And the reason we’ve been to London so many times? Eric Clapton at Royal Albert Hall. We went to a couple of shows and I got to sit in the first row at one of them!



All the stood between me and the band was the guard, who we dubbed “Kenny”. He’s in just about every one of my photos from that night. Just before the encore started we jumped to to the stage, resulting in the second photo showing Eric with Gary Clarke Jr.

Hope you liked this part of the recap. My next post will show more of the everyday things we did – food, the Tube and of course yarn shopping.

Create a free website or blog at