On early Wednesday morning, with slightly heavy hearts since we had LOVED Paris, we left on the Eurostar for London. There we got on another train and travelled for another 3 hours north to Newcastle. Gerry of Glamour Bunny Clothing invited us up there so I could do a shoot with them at Frankie and Gerry’s Retro Studio.
I had my hair in sponge rollers from the previous night and attempted to do my makeup on the train so all I had to do when we got to the studio was brush my hair out. It wasn’t easy as the train was pretty bumpy so I had to wait to do all the tricker bits like liquid liner and eyebrows until we were stopped at a station.
Gerry picked us up from the station with Sophie Easten who was the photographer for the shoot. They drove us around some of the older parts of Newcastle and then took us to Glamour Bunny HQ and the studio. I fell in love instantly, the sets were so amazing and I could see that there had been a lot of attention to detail! Even the dressing room was gorgeous!
Once I had done a few final touches on my makeup and brushed out my hair, it was time to shoot! We started out in the gorgeous pink and blue retro kitchen, then the lounge, the bar, the pink bedroom (my favourite) and finally a cute set up with a retro hood dryer. I fell in love with this pink sleep set from the bedroom set and even though it was a sample and one of a kind, Gerry very kindly gave it to me!
Afterwards we looked through the photos and picked out the favourites and then Gerry drove us back to our hotel which was located by the train station. The Royal Station Hotel was gorgeous with big chandeliers and the rooms were so spacious and luxurious compared to what we were staying in- we felt very spoiled (thank you Gerry!) and decided to stay in that night, ordering in dinner and I had a bath. It was just what we needed!
I love how the photos from the shoot turned out and it was such great fun to finally meet Gerry after years of emailing eachother!
The next day, we were booked on a train for 9.30 to take us back to London Kings Cross. We packed everything up and headed to the station nice and early. Unfortunately, it wasn’t until RIGHT when we were boarding the train that I realised I had left my purse in the hotel room and had to sprint back. Of course by the time I got back, the train was gone and I had to re-purchase new tickets… a very expensive mistake!
Thankfully, we didn’t have to wait long for another train and by 1pm, we were in London and headed to where we were staying which was in a area called Bethnal Green.
Once we had settled in, we decided to catch the train to the Vivien of Holloway store which was pretty easy on the underground, only having to change trains once. The store is on Holloway Road and was a short walk from the station.
We were greeted by a number of very friendly staff, including the owner Vivien who happened to be there! It was great to get to try all the different styles, especially the wiggle ones which I wasn’t sure about sizing.
I left with a number of lovely new purchases and better knowledge of the fit and sizing which will make online buying in the future much easier!
From there, we headed back to our room so we could get ready for our night out! We had separate plans- I had a date with the oh-so-fabulous The Tootsie Rollers and Matt was catching up with a English friend of his who he used to flat with in New Zealand.
I met The Tootsies outside a very secretive and cool bar called Evans and Peel Detective Agency which was just a short walk from the Earl’s Court tube station. When you look at the website, hardly anything gives it away as being a bar, it totally looks like a Detectives Agency!
When you walk down the narrow flight of stairs, you end up in a dimly light, fantastic looking vintage office with dim lights and a old pictures on the walls.
Sitting behind the desk is a chap who has fully embraced the persona of being a detective and asks us what bought us there. We ‘presented our case’ which coincidentally was the case of the missing case (Tootsie Flora had left her makeup case on the tube that morning!) and after a little more role-playing, he lead us through the secret doorway behind the bookshelf to the bar- SO FUN!
The Cocktails were amazing and the company even better. I’ve been following the Tootsie Rollers for a few years and met Flora when she visited New Zealand about 2 years ago. I was so excited when they asked if we could all meet up and they were such a blast. I had such a great evening with them hope to see them perform one day!
I really wanted to check out the Collectif Clothing shop at Spitalfields Market since they also had What Katie Did downstairs so on Friday morning we caught the tube to Liverpool Street and walked up the road to the market. It wasn’t hard to find the Collectif Shop and I had a great time looking at everything and trying lots on. Unfortunalty the size range for the What Katie Did pieces were pretty limited so I didn’t get anything from there but I did purchase a few Collectif goodies! The girls in the shop were lovely and totally confused me at first because they were twins are wearing very similar outfits!
We walked around the rest of the markets and bought a few bits and pieces and then we got the tube to Trafalgar Square. We had tickets for a hop-on-hop-off bus tour and jumped on, enjoying the sights and getting off at the Tower of London.
Now, I actually travelled to London when I was 13 with my mum but I was so jet lagged that I hardly remember much about it. The Tower of London we did on our first day after landing at 6am that morning but I can honestly say that going there again this time, it was like I’d never been before!
It’s quite amazing walking through something so so historic and old when you come from New Zealand and the historic buildings are only 200 years old! We went in and saw the crown jewels which I told Matt that Mum and I hadn’t done last time (she subsequently told me that yes, we had…. I have no recollection of it!) which were amazing! So much sparkle all in one place and pretty amazing workmanship for the ones from 500 years ago when I’m sure the tools were not nearly as advanced as what they are now.
We also walked through the White Tower which Matt loved because it focussed on the armour and weapons.
From the Tower of London, we got back on the bus and rode it around to Westminster. There we got off to get to see it a little closer and then started to walk in the direction of Her Majesty’s Theatre which we had tickets for The Phantom of the Opera that night. We took the scenic route through St James’s Park where I got to see lots of squirrels and beautiful blossom trees.
We picked up our tickets for the theatre and went next door to get dinner before the show started. The Phantom of the Opera lived up to all expectations and more. We are both HUGE musical fans (PotO is one of my favourites) and Matt especially can be very hard to please since he is a musician… but this is the first show we have ever been to where he had NOTHING critical to say.
I had tears in the opening scene when the music started and the chandelier illuminated and rose the ceiling. It was truly a magnificent production, the set, props and costumes were wonderful and the singers wonderful.. Needless to say, we were both humming and singing the songs for weeks after!
Matt and I both had separate plans with friends that day. He was catching up with his friends in Wimbeldon and I was meeting up with my bestie Elissa who has been travelling through Europe and now settled on living in Edinburgh. I wasn’t meeting up with her until midday so that morning I caught the tube across the city to Portobello Road to hunt down the What Katie Did store since I didn’t have much luck the day before at Collectif.
I got there not long after they opened at 10am and spent a good hour in the store trying things on. I haven’t bought that much of their lingerie before and the sizing is all over the place. Each bra style has a different size range so not all of them will go up to bigger cup sizes and it took quite a while to get the correct sizing. The staff were super helpful though despite the fact that I tried half the shop on! I ended up buying two sets and another longline bra. From there I caught the train to Camden markets to meet with Elissa!
First stop was lunch and with all the hustle and bustle of the food stalls, we settled on the less frantic mexican restaurant off to the side so we could properly chat and catch up.
Then we spent a few hours wandering around the markets with a cake and tea stop in between. I checked out the Collectif store there too and they had a few items from the new season that the Spitalfields store didn’t have. Plus they had a separate sale shop!
After Camden Markets we went to Covent Gardens to look around and had a drink at pub down the road. By early evening, we were both a bit knackered and so I went back to our room… and totally crashed! Matt came back an hour or so after I arrived and I had fallen asleep on the bed. I was just so tired! So much of me wanted to get up and moving since it was Saturday night but one thing travelling has taught me is that you need to rest when your body wants you to… otherwise you’ll just burn out.
Our last day in London! We met back up with Elissa and went to the London Dungeon. Now once again, Mum and I went to this when I was 13 but I completely freaked out 5 mins into it and had to leave!
Since then, it’s had a total over-haul and it’s nothing like I remember it. It was a lot of fun and I’d highly recommend it! It’s a 90 minute ‘tour’ through all these different live shows with actors, all set in old London. There are definitely some very spooky bits but not I managed to not freak out this time!
On the other side of the Thames, the Marathon was going on so we decided it was easiest to stay on our side of the river. We walked towards the Globe Theatre as that was one of the highlights last time I was in London, stopping and getting Lunch at a nice Italian place on the way.
We decided that we wanted to go to Choccywoccydoodah which is this famous chocolate/cake shop near Covent Gardens. It had it’s own TV show and we all like cake so figured it was a no brainer.
Unfortunately the cafe was closed that day for a private event which was SUPER disappointing, especially since we had our hearts set on cake! So, thanks to the handy Yelp app, I find another cake shop 5 minutes walk away and funnily enough we all settled for the same thing- PB & J Chocolate Brownie! Washed down with a hot coffee, it really hit the spot!
From there, we said our goodbyes to Elissa and caught the train back to Liverpool Street and walked to meet up with the Tara Starlet girls! Tara had messaged me on Instagram asking if her and Pip (who works for her) could take us out! We are always up for meeting new people so of course said yes! We met at a private members club called Storeditch and had a couple of bottles of bubbles before heading to a nearby bar where Pip works part time.
They had amazing mid-century furniture and the craziest cocktail menu! We all ordered a round of one of the weird ones and they did not disappoint- they were like something out of Heston’s TV show!
We had a great time with Tara and Pip, before we knew it it was 10pm and we still had to pack our bags and be up at 4am for our flight to Dublin! But it was so lovely to meet them and spend time with them.
Next week will be the final instalment of the travel series- Ireland & Tokyo! If you would like to catch up on the previous posts, click the links below-
Tahiti & Los Angeles
Viva Las Vegas
San Francisco & New York
Iceland & Paris
x Miss Victory Violet
Categories: Miss VV Around The World