Wednesday, 11 April 2012

Cheap day out in London. (picture heavy)

Hubby was mooching around the train prices to London and found an excellent deal for us to whiz into London and come back out again for the princely sum of £6.60 each.  That's right £6.60 for a return, that is less than a cup of coffee and a sandwich in some establishments.  The only downfall was getting up at the crack of dawn and then leaving London by 4.30 p.m.,  but it did give us a last chance to see David Hockneys work again and play at being tourists with a packed lunch in tow.  

So, there we were at the train station before 7.00 a.m. bleary eyed and yawning listening to the cacophony of the birds morning chorus getting louder and louder as the day became brighter and brighter.  Soon the train arrived and it was really nice waking up to the wonderful views of the fields, hedges and trees just springing into life with their new growth of acid green as the sun slowly warmed the earth.  Having seen David Hockneys work quite recently (and eager to see it again) it has given me a new insight into his use of colour when visually describing the colour of hedges and trees.  He uses a lot of purple and to start with I thought I hadn't seen those colours in hedges but sometimes when the light is just right or we happen to come across the same species of hedge I see exactly the same colour that David Hockney chose to use.  Its very interesting.  Although I am not convinced of the colour he chose to use when painting May in full bloom, I see it as a much brighter white than the creamy colour he has chosen.  However, I am waiting to see if it changes to that creamy colour just before it goes over and is lost again for another year.  And then when I see it, I will doff my cap to the master and apologise for doubting him.

We arrived just before 8.30 a.m. and decided to see what Borough Market had to offer on a busy Saturday morning.  I hoped we would be rewarded with a show of great magnitude and rewarded we were. Oh to come shopping on a Saturday morning and return home with sumptuous goodies that would be perfectly unspoiled after carting them around London for the day.  One can dream, but until that day, we have photographs to tempt us.
I love shellfish, 
especially scallops 

and squid.  This fish stall took my breath away.  I have seen it before in the week, never on a Saturday morning. Those Londoners don't realise how lucky they are to to be met with such an abundant stall supplying the freshest of fish. I wish our fish markets were as lively as this one. 

Tomatoes, I have an excellent recipe for squid, tomatoes and red wine slowly braised in the oven for an hour or two, which is served with pasta and more red wine, its lovely and is a wonderful pick me up when the weather is miserable and the nights are long. 

It uses garlic, we bought some garlic, I thought that would stand the rucksack test. It did. 
Mushrooms and herbs were abundant, garlic mushrooms on toast anyone?  It made you hungry to walk around these stalls.  

Richard Haywards Oysters, these are lovely we have had them before at The Royal Show, but this was not a day for Oysters for breakfast, we were looking for a coffee. 

Oh the bread, how lovely it smelt as we walked past. 

I spied a Turkish coffee bar, now if there is one thing that can tempt me away from my decaffeinated regime of drinks it is Turkish coffee.  It is very rarely seen in our parts unless you happen upon a Turkish restaurant.  I had a Greek boyfriend who introduced Turkish coffee to me many years ago and as you know the Greeks/Turkish relationship is a bit tricky but all is forgiven by the Greeks when faced with a Turkish coffee.  It is so delicious, and as I was wittering away to hubby saying 'Ooh look Turkish Coffee" hubby admitted he had never had one.  I looked at him aghast,  he the drinker of all strong coffees who slips in an espresso when he thinks no one is watching.  So we sat down and ordered two coffee's which came with a piece of home made Turkish delight and a drink of water, how very civilised. 

Which is where I met A, who was serving us. I recognised a comrade in the alopecian stakes immediately and whipped my hat off as a way to say hello.  We had a really good chat about all things alopecian.  I was quite surprised to hear that even though A works in a very busy place in London, he had never had the opportunity to talk to another alopecian.  We are a very rare bunch.  I've only met a couple of others myself. It was great to talk to him and to share our stories of how others treat you, it made us feel normal!  He was a lovely lad, I hope he does well in life. 

And then it was time to rush off to see the David Hockney exhibition, which was wonderful.  After that we crossed the road to Fortnum and Mason to see what they had to offer in the way of tantalising treats and an Easter gift for my goddaughter Kitty. 

The eggs are pretty, 
but not at that price!  
But there were some pretty things that were much more sensibly priced. 
And I really did like this bull, if only I had the space. 
And then there were cakes 
and so it goes on. I will let you drool over the pictures.




I loved the icing on these biscuits. 



And then it was time to dart over to Loop in Islington.  And look what they had in the window. 
Loft by Brooklyn Tweed and I knew they would have some Shelter inside.  We have been waiting for Brooklyn Tweed to come into Loop for what seems like months, Loop are the first to stock it in the UK.  So we are very lucky indeed. 
I know you have the glare of the flash, (sorry about that) 
but you can still see the delicacy of the colours. 
And look what else there was.  That might give you a clue as to what was going to happen next. 
After much deliberation I settled on the mustardy rather than the green to test drive the Shelter as a winter hat and found a comfy chair, to wait my turn, 
to say hello to Kaffe Fassett and Brandon Mably.  Who btw really liked my collar on my cardigan. 

So whilst I was chatting to them I explained to them about our knitting group and was wondering whether they would like to come and give us a workshop?  
And they said.... Yes, they would love to. (which nearly knocked me sideways!)  I will have to find out more details but watch this space for an event next year.  (I can't wait!) 
And a shot for the album.  Really nice guys, it was a pleasure to chat to them. 
And just for those that would like a close up. 

So then, we had just over an hour before our train was due to take us home.  Not enough time to see an exhibition but just enough time to visit another shop.  We ummed and arred as we walked to the tube and then I remembered the silk shop that Carie had talked about on her blog and desperately tried to find it on her blog.  Eventually I found it and off we trotted to Broadwick Silks. 
Oh Wow. 
Just Gorgeous. 
Deep Sigh. 
A perfect end to a perfect day. 

Two things, can't wait to see Carie's finished quilt (although I did get a sneaky peek of the quilt in progress the other day) and must start to think about a quilt for myself.  (maybe next year) 

5 comments:

Twinkle Toes said...

oh.... Looks a lovely day!

I did a workshop with Brandon a few years ago at the NEC it was FAB!!!

Hpe you manage to set a date - I'd certainly try and get to it!

Carie said...

Kitty loves her egg bunny and we all had delicious scrambled eggs for breakfast this morning. Thank you again for the eggs! It looks like a fabulous day - let me know how the shelter knits up as h likes one of the patterns.

Diane said...

You Kaffe Fasset stalker you! Great post, youve got me checking the cheap train prices! Would have got no further than Borough Market! xxxx

amelia said...

That bread just takes my breath away, I can smell it from here!!

What a lovely day out for you!

Marin V. said...

nice post