uk

a day of bookshops in london

Untitled


Hello from the UK!

I had two quick days in London before heading north, and as I only had one real day of daylight, I mapped out a little tour of bookshops. As always, this is by no means comprehensive nor a claim to be "the best" of anything. They're literally shops I saw photos for on the interwebz and thought they'd be cute IRL (spoiler: they are!)

Untitled
Untitled
Untitled
Untitled
Untitled
Untitled
Untitled
Untitled
Untitled
Untitled
Untitled
Untitled
Untitled
Untitled
Untitled
IMG_2611
Untitled
Untitled
Untitled
Untitled
Untitled


I started the day later because I woke up having no plan then mapped this out after consulting friends' resources (thanks, Carlie! thanks Alana! thanks Jane!) The pace is slow and wandery with lots of stops for snacks:

Start with a coffee and second breakfast at Knockbox Coffee (I'm assuming you'll have slept in and eaten first breakfast already). On the same road you'll find Persephone Books, which publishes "twentieth century women writers." The shop is tiny, cute, and doubles as the publishers' offices. I was excited to see a shop centered around women (lots of women writers, suffrage posters, etc), but upon asking if they had any recommended reading by women of color, the staff person replied, "no, not really. We've tried but there just aren't really that many so everyone else always snatches them up." Alrighty then, white feminism.

(At this point I stopped at Fabrique to pick up a cardamom bun for later).

From here you can head to Quinto. You might want to pop over to Dishoom first and see if they have a line. If they don't, get your ass in there. If they do, browse through Quinto while you wait. This shop has two floors of secondhand books. If you love the old book smell, this place will be your jam. Regardless of whether you go to Dishoom before or after, make sure you know their chai is bottomless (a sad realization I only came to much later in my meal).

By this point you'll need to digest, so the long walk to Daunt could be nice, but I won't judge you if you take the tube. Daunt is beautiful and mostly travel books (though a nice selection of other things like fiction, cookbooks, etc). From here you can walk and dawdle along Marylebone or if you're me, haul ass to Heywood Hill to catch it before the sky turns too dark (this is what happens when you go to London in January). Heywood Hill is another tiny, cute, mixed-office space bookshop which offers home library design services. I didn't know this was a thing and now I'm ready to change careers.

At this point, I'd planned to go to John Sandoe but ran out of time/steam, so I took the tube home, ate my cardamom bun, and called it. Seeing how there are so many bookshops in London, I'm excited to repeat* with new shops during my next visit. Any and all recommendations welcome!

*preferably sans white feminism

colin & the clyde

Untitled
Untitled
Untitled
Untitled
Untitled
Untitled
Untitled
Untitled
Untitled
Untitled
Untitled
Untitled
Untitled
Untitled
Untitled
Untitled
Untitled
Untitled
Untitled
Untitled
Untitled
Untitled
Untitled
Untitled
Untitled


There was a weekend at the bookshop where I had lofty plans to drive to Aviemore for a photo shoot then spend the night in Glasgow for Halloween, and it all fell apart. That night, I went to the pub for drinks with Margi before she headed back to Philadelphia, and while waiting, met Colin.

"Oh there's nothing in Aviemore. Why don't you come sailing on the Clyde?"

And before I knew it, I was waiting for Colin outside of the shop at 7am. A few minutes into driving, he turned to me and said, "forgive me, what is your name?"

And so, by completely happenstance, I went sailing for the first time on a surprisingly temperate first of November. We ate porridge every morning for breakfast and had steak pie and potatoes for lunch out on the tiny deck. I got to steer the boat and tried not to panic when we were almost completely sideways. (They said it's impossible to capsize but..) We saw seals and I read in the sunshine when the wind was calm. I wore as many layers as I could manage and bopped around like a marshmallow. I kept asking myself, "how did I end up here?"

It felt completely random and wonderful, but the more I think about Scotland, the more it makes sense. 

clivedon

Earlier this evening I decided to finally make a travel index to group each city I've visited by country. Although this was an embarrassingly long process, it's done and I'm quite proud. However, this index now highlights my laziness because it now shows everywhere I've visited abroad- including places I kinda sorta forgot to blog about. So to begin the catch-up series, this is Clivedon, England:

clivedon
tulip heaven
wisteria!
this used to be the stanford study abroad house....
i liked this wall
the view from the house

In May, our program took a trip to Clivedon because its grounds used to host the Stanford in Britain program prior to 1982. Seriously? The gardens are massive- The building in the fourth picture is where the students slept and had their classes... and now it's a 5 star hotel. As much as I loved Oxford, it would have been so cool to have lived in this mansion/manner/monstrosity of a residence for a few months! It would have been like living in Pemberley.

english polaroids

oxford
london

even though i brought a polaroid camera with me during my travels, i hardly took any photos. to me, polaroids are like gold, so it sort of distresses me if i take a lot of them. hence, i only really have two of oxford and two of london. when i decide that i take a polaroid of something, it takes me a good 5 minutes to compose the picture in my head and when and only when i think the picture will come out perfectly, i snap the photo. one thing i really need to accept is that the beauty of polaroids is the fact that you can't change them. without editing and multiple takes, you really only have once chance. they come out the way they do, and with all the "imperfections" they have, they're actually quite perfect.

clockwise from top left: oxford punts, the oxford university corpus christi college library, david with the thames and the london eye, and big ben.

strawberries and pimm's

a few weeks ago i posted about going punting, where my friends and i drank pimm's-- a traditional british summer drink. it's a sort of liqueur (?) that's fairly sweet, but then you mix it with "lemonade" (their lemonade being... basically sprite or 7 up). anyway, it's not very alcoholic when you dilute it properly and it's a really nice drink in the hot weather. you can also throw in fruit to add flavor, and once you finish your drink, the fruit is saturated in the pimm's yumminess.

a few days before i left oxford, the program sponsored a strawberries and pimm's garden party, which was simple but fun. there was a mountain of strawberries that i couldn't get enough of, and the pimm's with fruit was perfect for the weather.