Sunday, March 10, 2013

london: day 3

I generally like to keep blog posts succinct but this one is a bit long. You might want to grab a cuppa!
I was very excited about my third day in London because plans came together for me to meet stylist Selina Lake. As a long-time admirer of Selina's work and brilliant books I was thrilled when our meeting was suggested by my U.K. publicist (I know! Crazy, right!?). Selina's publisher and mine are under the same umbrella and according to Amazon our books are often purchased together.

Selina suggested that we meet at the Columbia Road Flower Market. So, that Sunday morning Betsy and I took the tube and then realized we'd also need a taxi to meet Selina on time. How fun for us that we ended up in the taxi of Tony Walker of the famed Up series of documentaries. Bursting with life and good cheer, Tony told us how he'd just been in New York City ("I'm famous!") and how by going to the Flower Market, we were seeing the real London. Yeah!

Columbia Road was beautiful! Cool shops, bakeries and restaurants, with the road between packed with crates of sweet-scented flowers and plants. I loved hearing vendors yell, "Tulips!" which to my American ears sounded like "Choo-lips!

As my eyes searched for the shop's address where I was to meet Selina, she and I literally came face-to-face at a glass door. I knew her pretty face in an instant. We hugged and strolled along the busy area with her sweet friend Chloe. Restaurants were so crowded that we simply got teas-to-go and stopped near an antiques shop, using a table displayed outside as our make-shift cafe.

Selina had my book with her and I had the new paperback edition of her first book, Bazaar Style with me. As we stood outside, signing books, sharing stories and drinking tea in London on this spring-like day in February, I actually stopped and said, "I'm having a moment." It felt like a dream. It still does.

J & B The Shop
After Selina and Chloe left, Betsy and I SWOONED and GASPED as we made our way in and out of the many wonderful shops and enjoyed a delicious meal at Campania. {I bought a roll of wallpaper from the shop shown above. Beautiful shop!}

The rest of our final day in London found us giggling in a double-decker bus and then walking along the windy River Thames to look at Tower Bridge before heading back to our friends' cozy flat to pack and set an early alarm for our train ride to Paris.

Vintage Heaven
Selina took this photo of me. Gosh, I really loved London. The people were bright and friendly, the food was delicious, and the city streets were very much like the designs of Cath Kidston to me: steeped in tradition but with cheerful pops of color. I was told by everyone I met that I was living like a local while I was there. This trip wasn't about seeing Kensington Palace or even Big Ben, it was about meeting people, taking the tube and taxis, tasting new foods, and savoring every brilliant moment.



Art and Sand said...

So fun to be doing London with your sister. My one and only time there was as a tag-along on my sister's business trip and we stayed in the company apartment. We did the opposite of you - took the Chunnel from Paris to London. My sister is there now working and I hope to visit her as soon as school is out.

I haven't seen your book yet, but will try to get a copy soon.


Angela Richardson said...

Colombia Road is one of my favourite Sunday markets, I love the 'push and shove' of walking down the middle and the wonderful shops on the side and coffee from the stall at the bottom.
You are lucky to have seen the real London that so many tourists miss with it's street markets and lovely people.
Looking forward to hearing about Paris..

Scrap for Joy said...

So enjoying your view of is my dream to go there. My book arrived on will be my first chance to sit with a cup of coffee and start to devour every page. It was worth the wait! Love it!

Melinda said...

Looks like you had fun trip!

M :)

Anonymous said...

It's a good sign when the locals tell you that you're doing it right!

I'm sure you had many "moments" on that trip! :)

Jen Kershner said...

I swear to God, I'm reading it and thinking it sounds like a movie. That just isn't real life Elyse! Yay you and your amazing life!

Unknown said...

Real inspiring tour from london. I cant wait to go there to visit the street markets there.
daniel from ibiza paradise villas

Lisa said...

So glad you had a great time! I want to go so bad!!
Hugs, Lisa

Kit said...

I am so loving hearing about your trip. So many fun things to do. And getting to meet Selena! Wow! Kit

Unknown said...

Oh you lucky girl...I would love to visit there!! Maybe oneday!!

Katy Noelle said...

Riveting! You ought to know... it's riveting. I'm armchair traveling! ;)

That's too funny that you got in that mans taxi. Had you seen the movie, then? I've never heard of it but am glad I have, now - it looks fascinating!

It's funny how much you meeting Selina Lake seems perfectly natural. I love her books!

and, I love that you just went along and savoured London - soaked it in!

Okay! I had just made a cup of tea, indeed, like you suggested at the beginning of this post and I'm going to go add milk and sugar and read on! =]


SLR said...

sounds like the perfect day and perfect visit to London! Loved that you got to meet Selina Lake, have been a long-time fan!!

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