Sunday, 16 June 2013

Instagram-y June 2013 Part 1

June has been a bit busy so 
I decided to do this month in two parts.

I finally got to see Book of Mormon.  
It was everything everyone said and more.
I rarely LOL as they say but I was slapping my thighs, mouth ajar with no sound coming out type of laughing.  It is a musical and to be fair, the songs aren't memorable but the plot, cast, lines, and overall message is brilliant.  Please go see it!

I understand why they wouldn't want pictures or filming during 
the show but I do wonder why the theatres now are so vigilant 
about taking any sort of pictures at all. 
I got told off for simply taking this picture.

We finally had a few lovely days that I almost was reluctant 
to spend the evening inside.

A very good friend came to visit from out of town so we decided to catch a matinee and got a few last minute tickets.
I went to see the Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time.
It recently won a lot of awards in the Olivier awards so I wanted to see the show with the award winning cast.  
I was walking up the side entrance to my seat and the stairway had some of the original tiles.  Aren't they lovely?

Without recollecting the mathematical ability of the protagonist in the book that the play is based, I just thought this was some of the most erudite graffiti I had ever encountered.
I bought the book but never read it.
It set the scene nicely though.
As they were last minute tickets to a sold out season for months, 
we thought we were lucky. Or so we thought at the time.  
We got seats at the waaaay top.
I was so up top that I was looking down at the chandelier!
At the interval, I told my friend that I was going to go as my back was hurting from craning forward to get a better look.  So my friend who has worked in theatre for many years went up to somebody and asked to change seats.  If you don't like your seats, always remember to ask at interval because you never know.
We were lucky and moved down a whole floor.
The play was really accomplished but about an hour too long.
But it did deserve all its awards.

After the show, I got lucky and stumbled upon Shoryu just around the corner from the theatre.
Turns out that even AA Gill thought it was delish.
The restaurant was what London needs more of.  Simple without being a scene nor some wacky fusion cuisine bar concept.  Just good, standard, and quick fare.  They also had huge bowls of garlic so not a first date sort of place.
They had pork belly pancakes almost good enough to rival David Chang's Momofuku in New York.

Decided to walk home as it was such a lovely afternoon and saw this at Hauser and Wirth.
Every time I think I am an urban cultural sybarite, I walk by one of their galleries in London and I just don't understand half the time.
The pic above is just empty milk can/tiffin boxes...
Then they also had this installation by Subodh Gupta.
It's a boat filled with stuff. Looks like the boat version of my house.
You can read more about it on the link cuz 
I don't have much to add.
I loved walking past outdoor sculpture that I could enjoy.
We walked through the park and we walked by a section that Hyde Park have designated as a meadow regeneration section.
You would never know that you are 3 minutes away from Marble Arch which is such a busy corner of London.

We kept walking and came across a scene that reminded me of the picture below.
A Sunday Afternoon in the Island of La Grande Jatte by Seurat

Almost right?
A Sunny Thursday twilight by the Italianate Gardens in Hyde Park

Below is my back outdoor space of my house.
I will call it a "courtyard" if I want to sell and 
a "lightwell" if I am buying.
That is pretty much it people.
This is London after all!
But look at what I saw.
Seriously guys, get a room...

I love it when swans curl up and nestle up against themselves.
Hyde Park also had lots of ducklings in the Serpentine.

This year was no exception and it was by Sou Fujimoto.
What I love about this structure is that it looks and makes you feel differently from different angles.
I was up early one morning so there was no one around to make the piece come alive and I was too tired to go too close.
But the crowds later on made the building come alive.

It is so peculiar because some of it is walkable and climbable but other parts are just like cubed toothpicks.

I had an appointment with the amazing Caroline Hirons from my favourite beauty blog called Beauty Mouth where she was holding court at Fortnum and Mason.  I decided to go a little early to have lunch with Mr CSW but walked right into a protest.  I had no idea what was happening until I watched the news that night.
At first I was so worried it might have been a huge incident as Piccadilly is rarely shut.
Luckily there was no casualties but it did create havoc.
But normally I would have gone back home to chill.  But due to the riot and the terrible traffic I decided to stay in the area for my appointment later which by the way was incredibly informative and a lot of fun talking to Caroline.
Turns out I was under cleansing and over exfoliating.
If you are into skincare, you just have to go to her blog!
As I had time to kill, I went to the Hauser and Wirth ( they have several London locations ) just next door to Fortnum's and saw an exhibition called Trade Routes.
It was held on all floors of the building including the basement.
It was a bit eerie as it was just me and the museum guard but the movie was shown inside the old safe. ( Can you see the old safe door on the left side of the upper pic?)
The films were really sharp and I would have paid to watch them in a cinema.  So if you are in London, drop in as it is free!
And all this time, I used to just listen to my cassette tapes instead of framing them and hanging them on a wall.
Diane from the style saloniste wrote about Paulette's amazing works that were also a few doors away and 
had a look at those at Chris Beetles Gallery.
I also went and stopped by Hatchard's which is London's oldest bookshop.  The staff there really know their stuff and make me feel like I have so much to learn and read. 
( Not at all patronizing but in a really good way!)
I grabbed a seat and read a coffee table book on scarves 
that had a silky scarf cover.

I didn't do that much reading in the store but the bits 
I read were very well written.

I realize I don't go into Fortnum and Mason often enough.  It is just the most charming store but I only go for Xmas hampers or for certain specialty teas.  The staff wear coattails and they have they most eclectic selection of merchandise.
Don't you just love the displays?
With this coiff, one would never need a picnic basket.
Excuse me but you have a bit of spinach stuck, um... 
between your bangs.

I need this piece of furniture for so many reasons.
Fortnum's does merchandise eclectic goods and I was just so bedazzled by the perfume stoppers.  
I would get these just for the bottle alone.

Soap necklace anyone? 
You would get away with it until it rained and 
you started lathering.
Remember the days when hats were de riguer and 
every store had a hat corner?  
I don't actually but I love saying things like that.
I loved being able to walk around with so much space rather than being crammed with people and the items being jam packed on the shelves.  Made me realize why I don't shop much anymore.

But this made me want to buy a hat.
Fortnum's is dangerous!
Fortnum's also stock Grossmith which is Britain's oldest perfumery.

Its perfume called Phul-Nana was the exclusive perfume that Queen Victoria wore.  I did wonder if the company were being cheeky. 
 A fool of a grandmother?  
But I can't imagine her liking anything except for Prince Albert, 
she didn't even like her own children much...
So I was very curious to sample some. 
I won't try and describe it but please click on the link to learn more about this British institution which is rather low-key.
The streets around Piccadilly have had these banners everywhere.
It was 60 years since her majesty's coronation.
Lately, it seems I attend more family functions for the Windsors than my own family...
I have never known the Royal family so popular for the whole time I spent here.  Frankly, it is amazing how fickle the public are. 
I remember the mood when Princess Di passed away and you would never have thought the masses would have warmed to 
Queen Elizabeth like they have again.  
Hope you all have a good rest of June! x


  1. We're seeing The Book of Mormon at the end of the month. I can't wait!

    The reason why they don't like you taking pictures inside the theatre is apparently because the set is under copyright and it breaks the terms of the copyright, ie. the set can't be reproduced in anyway without the permission of the set designer! Strange but true!

    1. Thanks for the explanation, that explains it then. But I promise not to recreate the set anywhere! :)

  2. Love your instagram posts. I can't wait till the Book of Mormon comes to Oz... likely in around 10 years time I'd say. I hadn't heard that they'd turned The Curious Incident etc into a play either - and my God you had a nose bleed seat! Love those mannequin things in Fortnum's. Funnily enough I just think of them as food providers, or somewhere to have afternoon tea occasionally - never knew they sold hats! That building is quite incredible, very ethereal in a way. xx

    1. Nose bleed seats! Love it, am going to pinch that term if you don't mind. I hope it comes to Oz very soon - next year perhaps bc I think this is going to be the next Cats that will still be playing in ten years time. Oh yes, next time you are in town, go up to all the floors! xx

  3. I haven't been lucky enough to get tickets to Book of Mormon every time I am in NYC - will have to try again! I read the Curious Incident book, and hope they bring the (shortened) play to NYC.

    Love your pictures and story - so much fun!

    1. Do whatever you can to get those tickets!! The "curious incident" had great effects,cast, and stage set but it was rather long. I was convinced the story had ended when it was interval!

  4. Loved this! My favorite posts are always the ones where you are detailing your days in London. I'm going there in a week's time and can't wait. Fortnum and Mason is on my list. Also seeing Matilda which I heard is a good show. (I have my kids with me.) Hoping I don't get a seat like that. I have no idea what British theatre seat terms are and it's been a confusing with these dress circle spots, etc.
    I have to make it to Liberty and the V&A. Hoping I have enough time to do it all. Only 4 days! I could spend 4 weeks there...Great photos of the park. Going to check that out as well.


    1. Oh I hope you get good weather! Yes Fortnum's is a must. Matilda is also a great show along with Warhorse - so try to get whichever one you can - have you already tried? They are popular with locals as well so do start if you haven't already!! If I am honest, just get what you can as I did with Curious. Hard to be picky unless you are there from first day of ticketing. British Museum also has a great exhibition on at the mo! xx

  5. I loathe musicals but i would make a exception for this one, it does look really funny.

    1. To be honest, I am not normally a fan but Book of Mormon wasn't a classical musical and it was the funniest show!

  6. Shoryu looks and sounds yummy. Ok, I am so suggestible, must head for Chinatown now.

    1. It was delish, the ramen noodles were great as well!

  7. Wow you've been busy girl, and we are only half way through June! I can't share your passion for theatre, but that Pavillion exhibit looks like so much fun, my inner petulance would be all over that!

    I haven't been in Fortnum and Mason for ages, in fact I've only visited a couple of times. I felt a little out of place for some reason in that store compared to Harrods and Selfridges?

    Your Hyde Park pictures remind me of my time in Central Park aaah, just as I was getting used to be being back, you go and stimulate my 'nostalgia'.

    Enjoy the rest of June babes xx

    1. I only love good theatre, I won't go and see just anything! But then again I watch trash tv as well. I go to the park almost every day so I consider it my big back yard :) xx

  8. Wow-gee.
    Half way June and you´ve managed to go to so many places, see so much. In fact - almost more than I in my lifetime!
    Are you sure you get enough sleep; )?
    This post was interesting, informative and saved me lots of time, energy and money.
    Thank you.

    1. Oh, forgot.
      The horse statue looks terrific!

    2. Thanks Mette but remember I live in London so just walking around there is a lot to see! I don't do much really but glad you enjoyed it and still thinking about the replacement for the banned perfume! :)

  9. Wow a jam packed day!! Those store displays are amazing. So creative. If I lived near, I would want to just window shop (wander around) there for entertainment value. LOL...I hate when shows are an hour too long. My legs get jumpy.

    1. Oh, it was the first two weeks of June! Yes I adore the displays as well. My back was starting to get sore from leaning over the high balcony!

  10. My friend who lives in LA says she will never ever do the touristy stuff when she comes to London, so I will definitely recommend that she goes through your posts! And by the way, have you thought about writing a ' Guide to London For People Who Don't Want To See The Tourist Spots'? Just a thought. Maybe you can self-publish?

    There, you have a title :D Please put my name on the credits before it goes to press :D

    I have to watch Book of Mormon! There was a TV series in 2007 called 'Big Love'. About a Mormon family (ies). I loved it.

    Phul-Nana? Not referencing RiRi there huh? I can imagine Queen Victoria dancing in private to Rihanna's song.

    Enjoy the week! xxx

  11. I loved that show too! Funny they didn't get into that aspect but you just have to see it - I am not a huge musical fan so please dont' expect great music but a great show. That is a funny idea, and if it ever happens I shall definitely ask you to edit it :) Oh gosh, you just gave me a visual of Queen Vic dancing around KP to RiRi...xx

  12. Such a fun post!... . I adore the Island of La Grande - love that period... Hyde Park is such a treasure and is so restorative to Londoners - pretty much what Centenial Park is to us .... Fortnum's is of course one of my all time favourite stores in the whole world!!.... I was a little sad when they did the renovations but I think it's still got that character... You must be super fit doing all that walking! xxx

    1. I love that period too. Although I hear the wifi reception was terrible Jenny...The park is what gives me respite and time to think so I never need to go to the countryside. I think Fortnums managed to keep its intergrity and the staff are fab. Funny enough I can walk for miles but can't run an inch! xx

  13. Wow - that's a lot to look at.

    I agree re the photo of everyone in the park. It does look like the picture.

    You've just made me feel like I need to go to London again. Might take the kids one day. Have been enough that I tend to not stay in London too long but just travel through. Need to fix that I think!

    Take care.

    1. Oh thanks for the vote that it looks similar! Yes London like most cities is so layered that you need to keep coming back to get over the initial veneer. Your kids would love it, there are so many iconic images to the city. Thanks for coming by :)

  14. I miss London...and I adore you...I want a day like this in LONDON with YOU!!! Good rest of June? Where are you off to? Did I miss something whilst I was reminiscing about about my days in London town in my head?

    1. I will get an itinerary planned if you visit!! Well I am still around but I thought at this rate it will sooooo long! xx

  15. Glad you enjoyed the book! It's good to LOL sometimes! I hope you had a wonderful weekend!

  16. This is such a complete program! Seems like you're never resting :-)
    Nice pics!

    1. I rest enough but those pics would be soo boring ;) xx

  17. You are a little walking treasure trove of information! If only I still lived in London- but reading about your escapades makes me feel like I'm still there in a small way. Very entertaining!

    1. Treasure trove/loiterer - what's the difference right? :)

  18. Great travel diary! Nice post with great pictures!

  19. hey there, thanks for all the discoveries !I find this "no picture" politic a bit annoying, not that I want to violate any right but you know wometimes just the decoration of the place is worth taking a picture (before the show starts) and they just jump on you as if you were a criminal =P

    1. I am hardly going to create a set but like most rules it is for the one rotten apple in the barrel I suppose. But I promise not to recreate the Book of Mormon set!

  20. See, what you do is different.:) You don't just repost stuff you just posted, I meant those monthly outfit of the day recap posts. I think people post those when they can't come up with anything better but honestly it's just wasting everybody's time...

    And yes, snails are very sexual creatures!!:D

    1. Oh, I haven't come across that yet but now am curious! I never saw that with snails before and I even called all my neighbours to have a look ;p

  21. Check this out:


  22. Okay, the definition of your laugh seriously made me laugh out loud! When I see hilarious movies I always end up pretty much slapping the other people around me in fits of laughter. They must love hanging out with me...

    You, my dear, have been busy!! Take me along next time you get those pork belly pancake things...

    1. hehe, you're like my mum - she does that as well!! Yes I have been rather busy lately - am due for a break! those pork belly things were so good that when you are in town you have to drop by and try them xx

  23. I want my hair styled like the F&M dummies. It is exquisite.

    1. Maybe you could do it for a halloween party and go as Marie Antoinette telling everyone to eat cake!


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