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Spending the day as a Chelsea Girl

Who remembers Chelsea Girl? Growing up in Yorkshire in the 80s, it was the place to shop for fashion conscious teenagers. The first UK boutique chain was launched in 1965 by the Lewis brothers, four Eastenders who were building an empire of shops called Lewis Separates, but realised they needed a name with more pizazzContinue reading “Spending the day as a Chelsea Girl”


A shopping trip to post-lockdown London

The husband wants to go shopping in the Big Smoke. Normally I would groan and try to wriggle out of accompanying him. Today, after our recent trip to a very quiet Palermo, I feel that I should go and assess how things are going in London in the wake of coronavirus. The train to PaddingtonContinue reading “A shopping trip to post-lockdown London”

The house that Wolsey built (and Henry took)

Today I’m visiting Hampton Court Palace. I’m in the middle of the final book of Hilary Mantel’s Wolf Hall trilogy, set at the Court of King Henry VIII, so it seems an appropriate time to soak up some period atmosphere at the royal residence that’s best known as his favourite home. There has been aContinue reading “The house that Wolsey built (and Henry took)”

Battersea – giving dogs a home for 160 years

So today I’m back in the Big Smoke for a walk, lured by the promise of an Aperol Spritz with friends at the end of it. Go on, twist my arm then! I’m in Battersea, just 3 miles southwest of the City, on the banks of the Thames. Originally a fishing village, then an agriculturalContinue reading “Battersea – giving dogs a home for 160 years”

Heading towards a fishy treat in Barnes

Where to walk this weekend…? Well, sometimes the choice is made for you. If you’ve read my blog before you will know how food orientated I am. Last week, chef Rick Stein announced that he was opening his restaurants for takeaway. While I’m not prepared to drive to Cornwall for Rick’s fish and chips, hisContinue reading “Heading towards a fishy treat in Barnes”

Hampstead, the ultimate urban village

Only 4 miles from Trafalgar Square, but bordering 790 acres of green space, Hampstead has a totally different vibe to much of inner London. Yes, it has a bustling high street, but venture into the neighbouring laneways or along the many footpaths onto Hampstead Heath and you could be miles from the city. The husbandContinue reading “Hampstead, the ultimate urban village”

It’s a trifecta: London, by train, for some gin tasting

What’s not to like? No matter how many great cities I visit, London remains one of my favourites. The fact that it’s only a quick train ride from where I now live, so I can go as often as I like, doesn’t diminish the attraction. And gin, well who doesn’t love gin? Our trip startedContinue reading “It’s a trifecta: London, by train, for some gin tasting”