Thursday, May 25, 2006

Liberty of London

Take a deep breath and release. Slowly. Again. Ok, ready. Just saying it pulls at the heart strings. Liberty of London. Sigh. Another one of my "must do's in London." Oh, and do read the history in the link above. It is fascinating!

I've always thought of Liberty only for their beautiful fabrics and had purchased them either online or at one of the London department stores. My idea of Liberty was mostly small "English" florals and beautiful art nouveau patterns on cotton. The last time we were in London, we went to see Chitty Chitty Bang Bang with the kid; and it just so happened the theater was right around the bend from Liberty. (Carefully planned or coincidence?) I only had about 10 minutes, so I did my best speed shopping ever. I was only able to get my mom a little leather pouch filled with a shopping bag in one of their pretty purple chintz patterns, purple being her favorite color. I swore that next time, I would spend a lot more time in there! Which I did--at the objection of the kid, of course.

First of all, it is housed in a beautiful old Tudor building. We walked by it twice before finally asking. (It had already turned dark my last visit, and I missed the whole Tudor thing somehow.) I just want to giggle and pinch myself every time I go in there. This time, there were antiques--mostly art nouveau and arts and crafts items--cased in various parts of the Gift Room. I could walk around and around in here, but the kid put an end to that after about 30 minutes of doing so.

There is a little nook in the corner where they sell their hand-blocked Italian papers and stationery. Look at the detail of the sheet I brought home. I just may have to frame it--it's that beautiful. It's kind of like the shop itself. You can look and look and see something different every time you blink.

After many "c'mons" from the kid, we decided to take the beautiful elevator (lift) to the next floor. This was an adventure to me as I had never been outside the gift room. Look at how beautiful the detail is on the lift. I wish I had taken a photo of the floors. They look ancient--the original wood flooring in all it's well-used splendor.

We came out near the china section. Oh dear. DANGER, DANGER! I could have purchased a set of everything on display. Instead, I settled for photographing it. Everything was so pretty; and I was in my own little world when I was approached by a salesperson. She enlightened me by telling me there was no photographing allowed of "items for sale." Ooooops. So funny, these stores. I was very careful at Harrods and asked specifically. The guard informed me there that I could photograph anything except the "fine jewelry." Since there was no "fine jewelry" here, I thought I was good-to-go. Nope. Oh well, no harm done, just a little embarrassment, that's all. And I had already photographed a few items to show, shhhhh. Now, take a look at this display. (sniffle sniffle--brings tears to me eyes!) Is this beauty or what?

Here's the kid looking out the beautiful leaded glass window--bored to death. (Note Sinatra playing across the street.) I think he would have been happy to have stayed here while I looked at everything. But he didn't. He stuck with me and let it be known how absolutely miserable he was. (grrrrrrrrrrrr)

This is the ceiling--now that's a skylight! (Note the beautiful colored chandelier blurred in the middle bottom. I was shooting for that one because I WANT IT! I was shaking from the thought of breaking the law--kidding.) We never made it up there. The kid would have nothing to do with yet another floor of girl stuff. Hssssss. (Well, it gives me something to look forward to on my next visit there, ALONE!)

In a last-ditch effort to shop, I made a bee-line over to the notions section ignoring the kid's resistance. I have always wanted to do some needlepoint and this was my chance, buddy. Oh, and there was plenty of needlepoint to be had, I tell you. The beautiful, traditional English needlepoint. I am getting anxious just thinking about the rush job I did in this area! By this time, the kid was ready to kill me--his eyes burning through my flesh. I grabbed two tiny beginner's kits with colors that caught my eye; and we were out of there! I'm sure the sweet older saleslady was remarking something bad under her breath at my urgency to pick a couple of patterns! (I'm getting too old for this speed shopping stuff, I think.)

He made me leave so much sooner that I would have liked to. (Could he have been planted by the hub to keep me from spending? hmmmmmm. Now there's a thought!) I have to admit to being just a tad perturbed with him, to say the least. (Sorry kid.) Liberty was not his idea of a fun time. But, hey, he's just a kid, and a boy at that. What's a girl to do?

On our way out, we exited through the flower entrance. I bought a little bouquet of lilies of the valley for the hotel room. They smelled divine. Why don't we sell these tiny bouquets in the States? Why? I ask you, why?

A few window displays for your viewing pleasure. The chosen colors were magnificent!

I miss the beauty of London, pout.


Linda said...

I'm glad you enjoyed London so much. It is a pleasure to shop in other countries, I think. I try not to shop with men, be they kids or husbands, as I can feel their impatience as I want to look around and savor. They just don't get it.

Reflection Through The Seasons said...

Hi Rosa....
Well, what a great trip to London, so pleased you enjoyed it, and I loved your descriptive writing of Liberty & Harrods and your great pictures. Just makes me want to get myself down to the city and experience it for myself. Its been a while since e I’ve been down there, so I’m thinking its about we did head south for a few days.

Thanks for visiting my blog and leaving your comment. Pleased you liked my painting efforts. I’ve been thinking about doing this for ages, and it took ages to complete, but now its done, I’m thrilled and looking for my next project. Love - Marion

paris parfait said...

Oh, thank you so much for this post! Liberty of London is my favourite store in the world! I am mad, mad, mad about it and am fortunate to own several original Liberty of London Arts & Crafts items. Going into that store always improves my mood. I'm amazed you got away w/ those photos! :) Good for you (and good for us, your faithful and admiring readers).

MJ said...

Hi Rosa:
OMG....what beautiful fabrics from Liberty. You know that I just love floral prints. It always brings out the best in me and makes me happy. Also the beautiful hand blocked Italian papers were heavenly. I wish that I would have been there with we could have done some real shopping :) Thank you so much for making my day and I throughly enjoyed your London posts.
Toodles for now........

Connie and Rob said...

Oh my what a lovely place to shop. Definitely would have had to bribe your son with something so I could have stayed a tad longer. Thankfully my husband likes to shop with me. He loves to go ahead of me and show me the beautiful things first. What a hoot! Looks like you still got some goodies and now you have scoped the place out once again. Next time you will really be

Take care,



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