Style Tuesday: The Most Stylish Man in London
I spent a long weekend with my mom in London visiting my brother and sis-in-law. They’ve just bought their first home and are expecting a baby in a few weeks so there’s lots of exciting stuff going on their lives and we wanted to share a bit of this time with them.
I won’t bore you with a complete account of travels, but I will give you some bullety highlights.
This totally wowed me. Everything I ate was delicious and appeared fresh, even the fast food. I guess it has to do with quantities served, but I really wish we could have more appetizing “fresh food fast” options.
Some of the slow and fast eateries we enjoyed:
- Thursday dinner at the Princess Victoria, a fantastic gastropub around the corner from the happy couple’s home in Sheperd’s Bush.
- Lunch at Pret-a-Manger
- Dinner at Spice of India (I think that was the name) on South Bank
- Dinner made up of yummy odds and ends purchased at Marks and Spencer
- The Balcony (one of the food courts) at Westfield… This is not your regular mall food court. I chose Tossed, and enjoyed salad of mixed greens, roasted tomatoes, sultanas and pumpkin seeds topped with grilled Halloumi (cheese) and dressed with a citrus vinaigrette.
- Lunch at Heathrow- Chez Gerard, just one of many decent restaurants from which to choose.
Food Lowlight: This ridiculous breakfast served by Air Canada- what you see is all you get (doesn’t quite fit with any food guide or diet).
Mom and I were both starving but neither of us could fathom consuming this.
I really noticed the effect of globalization on shopping on this trip. I remember thinking that London was so far ahead in terms of fashion, even 6 years ago. While there are definitely a whole lot more stylish people walking the streets of London than those of Ottawa, It seemed that the stores were offering many of the same items that are available to us now at home.
While we didn’t spend much dedicated time shopping we were able to make our small contribution to the UK economy.
Friday: Oxford Street and Covent Garden. We didn’t buy anything cause we were walking the whole day and didn’t want to carry parcels. This was hard.
Saturday: Chiswick area – Mom went to the many baby boutiques to window shop with sis-in-law while my bro and I were selfish shoppers. The prices after currency conversion were less expensive or at the very least equivalent. Got some good stuff at Sweaty Betty, the UK’s hipper version of Lululemon, and I enjoyed the prices at Benetton and another cute UK boutique, Oliver Bonas.
Sunday: Westfield, Europe’s largest shopping mall, is a 10 minute walk from Dan’s house. It is designed beautifully, in fact I found many public and private spaces I visited to be modern, functional and clean in comparison to our Canadian equivalents (not that our’s aren’t good; it just feels like design and beauty are given more weight in building and planning than in our nation’s capital.
Anyway, we walked through the high end section- yes, you can go the the mall and get your Chanel, Hermes, and Prada. And by the time we got through that, we needed a snack.
I loved the food court. It took me a very long time to choose my meal. There were so many great options. If you’re interested, here’s the description.
On our way to pick up England soccer kits for my boys, we ran into the UK London premiere of Kung Fu Panda 2.
We got a kick out of seeing the Panda and Jack Black. People were screaming for Jack Black. Would you scream for Jack Black?
Monday: Heathrow airport Terminal 3.
Art/Architecture: Tate Modern. Nice building. Kid-friendly (for future visits). South Bank area of town v. cool.
Performing Arts: Billy Elliot at the Victoria Palace theatre! I’m wondering if they do those northern English accents at the show on Broadway? Anyone know?
Along the way we met this guy, Beau Brummel.
He was considered the most stylish man in London at the turn of the 19th century. The legend has Brummel influencing London fashion on a daily basis; men would wait to see what he was wearing that day when he arrived for lunch at his club, and if their own outfit was not in keeping with the style, they would go home and change before they went for their own lunches.
Times have changed. This is today’s UK men’s fashion icon:
And this guy appeared in every publication I picked up or noticed others reading on the tube:
I’m already thinking about when I can take my (3) boys to see their new little cousin. London has so much to offer for kids and I look forward to exploring through their eyes next time.