I’m back! I came back from England with a cold and have pretty much been useless for a few days. I didn’t even realize I’d missed Thursday! But I’m feeling better today.
At Risky Regencies this week I talked about our visit to Walmer Castle and its connection to the Duke of Wellington (he died there). But here I thought I would tell you about shopping!
Napoleon famously said, “England is a nation of shopkeepers.” I say, yes, indeed, and I’m glad it is so!
One of the first things my sister and I did in London was walk around Sloane Square where our first hotel was located. We found lots of lovely shops in walking distance, lots of charming boutiques. In one the display in the window caught our eye. My sister fell in love with this outfit and, with much urging on my part, we went in.
She didn’t buy that jacket, but one in the same color and boiled wool that was even prettier and fit her perfectly!
Another day we went to Floris, the fragrance shop on Jermyn Street that has been in existence since the 1700s. Floris is one of the most beautiful shops I have ever seen. It’s mahogany counters and display cabinets were from the Prince Albert’s Great Exhibition of 1851. I purchased a gift for my husband here, a lovely wooden dish and shaving soap set. I am so very pleased that he actually likes the fragrance!
No London shopping trip would be complete without a stop in Hatchard’s Book Shop on Piccadilly, the shop where my Regency characters often go.
Next door is Fortnum & Mason, another shop that has been there for 300 years. I fell in love with this china display. I was bound and determined to purchase something at Fortnum and Mason. I settled on a tea diffuser and tea, of which there were countless blends.
We also did some ordinary, non-Regency shopping in London, like visiting Harrod’s. The food court was mind-boggling, but Harrod’s was way beyond my means. I did find a nice gray and black top in Marks and Spencer that was in my price range!
Of course, in every historic site we visited, we stopped in the gift shop, so I have some lovely little souvenirs (including a small bust of Wellington from Apsley House). At Wellington’s country house, Stratfield Saye, we visited its Farm Shop where there was lovely fresh produce, meats, and cheese to ogle. Too bad we were not cooking for ourselves. I would have loved to try some of the food we found there.
In Windsor we visited a lovely antique shop, a Scottish shop, and several tourist shops for those tacky souvenirs that are irresistible.
I do think I need to go back to England, though. There are so many shops I must have missed!! Anyone have any suggestions for a shopping spree on my next (wished for) England trip?