London Life Places

lost in london

February 26, 2012

This post is inspired by a lovely magazine i just discovered. I’m a little late to the party since this is their fourth issue. Lost in london is published to coincide with the beginning of each season. It is aimed at country loving city dwellers and anyone yearning for a simpler life. The next issue comes out in march.

When I missed the v&a connects event on the future of magazines a few weeks ago, I contacted the lovely lucy scott and tina smith to find out more about why, as a magazine junkie, i hadn’t heard of them! I got the loveliest of replies, together with a complimentary current issue. It’s charming, inspiring and full of goodness and i immediately felt myself relaxing and slowing down! Pure magic! Thank you girls.

Now i might be an urban chick but i do appreciate all different facets to living in london and often welcome the simpler life so ‘lost in london’ is totally up my ally.

As i was planning my saturday i thought it might be fun to play tour guide and show you snippets of my london through some of the places i visited. Camera in hand, off i went. What wasn’t planned was the gorgeous weather we had in london yesterday. The first real spring-like day. My itinerary took me to various different areas and i really hope you enjoy this little tour.

First stop was the british museum. Grayson perry: the tomb of the unknown craftsman, which opened in october 2011 and finished today.

Here is a section of grayson perry’s ‘map of truths and beliefs’ 2011 wool and cotton tapestry. It shows many possible pilgrimage destinations, both religious and secular. This was taken with my iphone in the exhibition.

I picked up some macaroons for a present from pierre hermes in knightsbridge. Loved their window display.

Next stop was chelsea and kensington. While there, i popped into the conran shop for some inspiration. The conran shop is housed within the michelin building, one of the most beautiful buildings in london. Within, you’ll also find the excellent bibendum restaurant where, in the past, i’ve had many business lunches and dinners.

Here are 2 examples of architecture you will find in kensington and chelsea, today regarded as the most expensive area in london.

The weather was so glorious at the serpentine that i stopped to get a couple of shots for you. The serpentine gallery is charming, unique and well worth a visit.

Next stop was mayfair. I needed to stock up on skin care products at aesop and like to get them from their flagship store because it’s utterly devine and was designed by ilse crawford. Do i need to say any more?

Now while out and about i spotted a few of the fabergé eggs currently dotted around the capital. This subject is covered expertly by annie over at insideology so will leave it well alone. I just had to show you one because it tickled my fancy.

Can you guess what it’s made out of? Well, can you? I first saw it from a distance away and the sun was beaming on it so wasn’t sure. Upon closer inspection it became clear. Yep, one penny pieces. I just love the mosaic effect, don’t you?

Then I hopped over to portobello market to pop into a couple of shops, meet up with friends for tea and generally hang out. Here is a selection of photos i thought you might enjoy.

Then i went to pick something up in primrose hill. A highly sought after and fashionable area in north london, reflected by the prices of properties. It has a charming urban village feel. Gosh, i just sounded like an estate agent!

Finally i rushed off to to meet up with friends to go to the cinema. Extremely loud & incredibly close is about a boy who is finding it hard to come to terms with his father dying in the world trade centre on 9/11. He goes in search of a message that he believes his father left for him somewhere in NYC. Truly moving.

I really hope you enjoyed accompanying me on my saturday adventure. I had a really great day and it was even better knowing i can record some of it for your viewing pleasure. Oh, just in case you are wondering how i managed to get around so many different areas and places, photograph it all and how i fitted in so much stuff into one day? Well, welcome to tina’s world. I couldn’t do it without my partner in crime, yes, my beloved vespa.

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  • Reply annie February 27, 2012 at 8:53 am

    Wow Tina your photos are stunning. I like how you just capture little bits of buildings.
    That’s some distance you covered, even with a scooter. Must have been a tiring day!
    That egg is brilliant and your photos are much better. i’m not normally one for entering into that group viral marketing sort of thing but I’m a bit smitten with this one.
    Ah Primrose Hill, tantalisingly out of reach….so close yet so far!
    Have a great day.

    • Reply tina February 27, 2012 at 9:10 am

      Thanks. Yes it was utterly exhausting as I was zooming around, heavy camera around my neck and frantically stopping to take some shots.

      At one stage I was at the roundabout outside Buckingham Palace just as there was the changing of the guards. I actually stopped the scooter to take some pictures and couldn’t believe the traffic police just smiled at me:)

      Can’t get over the glorious weather.

  • Reply Erin February 27, 2012 at 2:11 pm

    I am so beyond jealous you get to zip around on a Vespa. That’s my dream mode of transportation, but for now I rely on public transit. Way less flashy and exciting, I’ll tell you that much. You really can cover a lot of ground on that thing, though! I was feeling exhausted for you after reading all the places you stopped. I love Kensington and Mayfair the most, and I’ve always wanted a giant townhouse on Grosvenor Square, just by the American Embassy. Yes, I have a specific street, but no, I will never be able to afford the £15 price tag of a classic 6 story house in that neighborhood. The funny thing is that there are two neighborhoods in Philly called Kensington and Mayfair and they are both such ghettos, it’s ridiculous. You never want to go anywhere near them, especially not at night, unless you’re looking for drugs.

    The weather in London looks divine. The last few times I’ve gone it’s been in early March, and there was never any sunshine haha. That’s London for you, though. Thanks for all the beautiful pictures! xo

    • Reply tina February 27, 2012 at 2:44 pm

      Well, is a Vespa out of your reach? Financially or are you worried to be on the roads?

      A townhouse on Grosvenor Square? You don’t aim high? A Vespa sounds more realistic:) Mind you, Nigella Lawson and Charles Saatchi live there. Bet she didn’t think she end up there when married to her now deceased first husband. You never know in life…. keep your dreams alive!

      Ha. That’s funny that in Philly Mayfair and Kensington are, errr, the opposite of the spectrum. Cool,

      The weather has changed over the past few years. Very unpredictable and definitely not according to season. Go figure! Hope when you next visit it’ll be sunshine all round so i can take you on the back of my Vespa:)

  • Reply Erin February 27, 2012 at 2:11 pm

    Err, make that £15 MILLION, not £15. 🙂

  • Reply Heather @ Canal Notes February 27, 2012 at 9:44 pm

    Tina, this post was pure magic! Just fairy dust all over my London homesickness 🙂 Thanks for sharing – I felt like I was back in the city for a day!

    • Reply tina February 27, 2012 at 9:53 pm

      Oh, thank you Heather, what a sweet comment.

      It was meant to be for all my non-london readers to entice and inspire. The weather was so glorious, you would have loved it.

      While at the Serpentine, I passed Joely Richardson who had just finished her jog. She looked wonderful….

      Hope to see you soon in London:)

  • Reply Holly February 27, 2012 at 10:14 pm

    Tina! What a great post! From the magazine, to the museums, to the little shop stops – I really felt like I was doubling on your sweet vespa with you – zipping through London. Really enjoyed this and great camera skills girl!


    • Reply tina February 27, 2012 at 10:36 pm

      I did imagine you on the back of my Vespa. First we meet up in Berlin, next will have to be in London:)

      The magazine is really lovely. I think you would very much appreciate it. I’m so happy print is still thriving. There is something wonderful about holding a magazine or book in your hand.
      Having said that I was really excited and impressed by Sister Mag. We are so spoilt for choice:)

      It was quite hard to take good pics as the sun was beaming and I was shooting in a rush. A lot of photos didn’t come out well so happy with this lot. Thank you my love xx

  • Reply Lauren February 27, 2012 at 11:39 pm

    Oh I loved this post! I’ve wanted a Vespa since the last time we were in Athens…why does driving a Vespa in Athens seems so much safer than it does here? It was such fun to follow you around on your day, and it makes me long to get to London and show it to my boy.

    I adore the idea of that magazine. It’s like my marriage: Neel wants the country, and I want the city!

    • Reply tina February 27, 2012 at 11:51 pm

      I am surprised to hear that driving a Vespa in Athens is safer? Wow. I can tell you that driving in Rome and Paris is the hardest I’ve ever experienced. London is not too bad because English folk are less hot blooded than folk in the Med countries.

      It would be so nice to welcome you guys to London. I’ll offer being tour guide, together with Annie. What else will you need, right?

      The magazine is great. Such a fantastic idea as there are many people living here who would rather live in the countryside but need to be in London for professional reasons. Good analogy woman!!

  • Reply Theresa February 28, 2012 at 4:28 am

    Well, after reading about Annie’s London jaunts and now yours, I want to move to London. I love old – Old buildings, old cars…Anything with a history and patina. Here in Southern California, we just demolish things and build new. Yuck! And, when we build new, everything looks the same, sans any character. Boo!
    Anyway, your photos are really beautiful, Tina. Thanks for zipping us around town. Oh, almost forgot. I rode on a Vespa in High School and College. Or, rather, I should say that I rode on the back of these Vespas (two different boyfriends. 😉 In college, I was part of a Vespa club and we would go on rallies every weekend…100 or so Vespas (and Lambrettas) all riding down the road together. They are a lot of fun! (Be safe!)

    • Reply tina February 28, 2012 at 8:36 am

      Woohoo. Come, pack up your hubby and those gorgeous kids and move here. London will gladly have you:)

      Well, I know, you guys lack a bit of history:( but there is no excuse to build new characterless architecture. That’s not allowed!!!

      Wow, you know I had a little moped when I was 14/15 just before I came to the UK. I loved it and went everywhere. Not sure how I got my parents to allow me to have one. I think it was because we lived just outside the city centre in an area served only by one bus that stopped running early evening.

      But rallys, Vespa clubs, riding on the back of your boyfriends bikes? You rock chick, just visualising a scene from ‘rebel without a cause’ with James Dean. That certainly perked me up this morning:)

      Love old Lambrettas.

  • Reply Toni February 29, 2012 at 8:33 am

    Another brilliant account from you! Love your day out in London. The photos are so brilliant and vibrant – and how cool is your Vespa! Thanks for pointing out “Lost In London” I’ll be getting a copy too!

    • Reply tina February 29, 2012 at 9:30 am

      Thank you darling. Seeing you obviously inspired me:)Wasn’t the weather amazing?

      Oh, yes, get a copy. Am sure you will like it. You can pick one up at Raystitch in Islington. That’s closest to you.

  • Reply Erin February 29, 2012 at 3:16 pm

    No, not financially out of reach, just a bit unrealistic given that there are two of us and we often need to pick up large grocery orders or things (I’m always buying furniture, haha), or take the dog somewhere, and while I’d like to spoil myself with a Vespa, that money could easily go to a real car. Or a big vacation. Or a wedding whenever Boyfriend decides to bite the bullet and propose 😉 For now I’ll just live vicariously through yours!

    • Reply tina March 1, 2012 at 1:20 am

      Are you serious? Are you waiting for him to propose? Yesterday was leap year sweetie… shall I have a word? Only kidding. Whenever it happens, that’s when it’s right. x

  • Reply Beth February 29, 2012 at 9:38 pm

    The photos are gorgeous and what a day! I am so, so, so jealous that you ride a Vespa around London. I have always wanted one – they don’t really make sense in most place in America, but I have been thinking about it more and more since we have been here. We could form a Vespa gang. x, Beth
    ps. thank you for the kind words on my post yesterday and for tweeting it out to everyone. You are the sweetest.

    • Reply tina February 29, 2012 at 9:41 pm

      It’s so funny to hear how many of you like to be on a Vespa. I say, let’s go girls. Let’s form a Vespa girls parade.

      You are welcome. my dear. It was truly touching and you are ONE lucky woman! x

  • Reply Chi @ Carousel March 1, 2012 at 11:20 pm

    Wow, wow, WOW! Be still my beating heart!!! I miss London so,so much but your breathtaking photos and the evocative account of your day made me feel like I was right there with you. On the back of your Vespa, whizzing around without a care in the world – the wind in my ‘fro ……..

    I had such fun with you, Tina! Can we do this every week? Please? Pretty please? 😀

    • Reply tina March 1, 2012 at 11:32 pm

      I am afraid that will not be possible. A weekly tour guide would probably kill me:)

      Glad you liked! I am sure I’ll get inspired again real soon….I must admit there is something wonderful and free about being on a Vespa.

  • Reply ursula (room to bloom) March 8, 2012 at 3:25 pm

    Love the penny Faberge egg Tina – glad you shared that one with us. A super post for people planning to come to London and get some local flavour beforehand. Already looking forward to our trip to Berlin enad what you’ll write about that! x

    • Reply tina March 8, 2012 at 11:01 pm

      I know. I just think it’s the antithesis of what a Faberge egg is like. I just loved the mosaic pattern as I saw it from the distance..

      Can’t wait for Berlin. Woohoo. Berlin, be afraid, be very afraid!!!

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