I was invited down to London to attend Pure – a fashion event where hundreds of brands such as Forever Unique and Party 21 showcase their new SS14 collections. Yes it is in fact every girls dream. While I’m down here I thought I’d touch base with the lovely people at River Island, Illamasqua and Warehouse – the most boring business meetings ever right?
Anyway, I digress, I knew I’d be down here for a few days and didn’t have time before I left to get a blow dry so I thought I’d do a bit of curly blow tourism and see what London had to offer. I had tons of recommendations of places to try from people on Twitter but the one that jumped out at me was Harrods. Maj! A curly blow at a shopping mecca such as that? I couldn’t pass up the chance. I put the phone down after booking my appointment and thought, “Who the fuck do I think I am like??” I checked the prices on the website and balked a little; prices started at £40 up to £80 for a blow dry and could be doubled for really long hair….really long hair like my 24” Russians yeh? Potentially I was looking at £160 for a blow dry but I thought YOLO, it’s one for the bucket list init plus the teachings of The Secret say if you believe you can’t afford something then you can’t. I sat rocking in the corner telling myself I could deffo afford this.
I arrived at 9.50 but Harrods doesn’t open until 10. Fuck it, if I was Harrods I wouldn’t bother getting out of bed until 10 either, I’m fucking Harrods, people wait for me. I got a coffee and pain au chocolate from the shop opposite and stood gazing at some Dior jewellery in the window. When I caught my reflection I realized, yes, I am a fatter, less glamourous version of Audrey Hepburn. My anxiety had been heightened by the fact I’d forgotten to pack my make up so I was wearing some mismatched Maybelline foundation effort from the Tesco next to the apartments.
As I self-consciously wiped the pain au chocolate crumbs from my mouth (which as soon as I walked through the plush doors of Harrods, felt like Greggs pasty crumbs) I made my way up to the Urban Retreat beauty spa on the 5th floor, trying to look like I belonged. Come on now, Liverpool v London in a curly blow fight, who’s gonna win? I think we know the answer here.
The whole experience was very relaxing. They blasted off my hair to the point where it was pretty much dry, then blew it curly, then pinned it until the curls cooled…it was a little unorthodox. Within an hour of leaving the curls had completely dropped. Soz London, you lose. Luckily it was only £55 (ONLY!).
I went for a wander round the rest of the store and found the gorgeous Harrods Terrace and the Disney café for the little prinnies.
I got told off for taking pictures in the handbag hall but let me tell you it’s just amazing. Then I came across the Chanel counter…
Those who know me personally will know what a big deal this is to me. One of my ambitions in life (for at least the last 10 years at least, as I can remember) is to buy a Chanel bag (a real one). As I went all dewy-eyed looking at the quilted wonders, I could see the sales assistants giving me snide looks. Yeh so what, I’m wearing H&M and River Island but RI are in this month’s Vogue so suck it. A gamine beauty sauntered over and asked, “May I help madam?” I felt like Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman being looked down upon except being a feminist and all. I don’t need Richard Gere to come and fight my battles. I was going to do it. I was going all in. I took a deep breath and said, “I want to buy a bag.” All of a sudden I felt really emotional and I had actual tears in my eyes as she went to grab a few different ‘classiques’ to show me. It’s a moment I will never forget and while the price was indeed eye watering, the emotion I felt handing over the money was pure joy. It was such an overwhelming moment for me. As I left the shop, bag in beautiful box, in Chanel carrier bag, in hand, I didn’t know what to do with myself. I was walking on air. I rang my friends and family as if I’d just got engaged. It was everything I had ever dreamed it would be. I just need to find something else to put on my “Secret” vision board now and dream even bigger.
I then went to Piccadilly Circus to find a café with Wi-Fi and a plug socket (not that easy to find in Knightsbridge for some reason) because I just HAD to blog and I came out of the tube station and came face to face with the first hotel I ever stayed in when I first came to London a full 12 years ago. It was a 2 star job in Soho called the Regents Palace and you know what? It was a boss little place for what you paid for it (about £50 per room, per night…so between 3 girls it was an absolute bargain) but it’s now been turned into an Ugg shop. They say you should only look back to see how far you’ve come, so to end up stood there was quite poignant.
It was mad because while I was there taking pictures of Piccadilly Circus some American girl came up to me and asked if I’d mind if she could take pictures of me for her street fashion blog (clearly bowing down to the Chanel shopping bag). Then in the coffee shop a lad asked if I worked in fashion and what were my thoughts on feminism and women in magazines….er is this the truman show? I directed him to my previous blog (ha!!!). Chanel gets you respect.
This time in London I booked with Citybase apartments again after receiving excellent customer service from them in November. Basically they deal in serviced apartments rather than hotel rooms so your whole experience feels a bit more authentic when you’ve got your own living room and kitchen. If you tell them what you’re doing in London (and I assume the UK as they have properties everywhere) they’ll be able to tell you what properties they have in the local area which means both times I’ve been walking distance from where I needed to be. It saves a fortune in taxis and tube fares and the whole stay was only £324. They’ve kindly offered a 5% dicount to any of my followers who’d ever like to book with them by using code SCOUSE5.
By the way if you’re going to London definitely get an Oyster card rather than buying tickets as you go as the fares are less than half what you pay for a standard ticket and it has a daily cap on the spend too. If you’re hopping on and off the tube all day it means you know it won’t cost you more than a certain amount. At the time of posting, to travel in Zones 1 & 2 where all the main tourist stuff is costs £2.20 a trip with an Oyster and there’s a daily cap of £7.00, which is boss. The tube is sound, trains like every 2 minutes, it burns me head out trying to figure out how they organise it all.
And yeh, in case you didn’t realise from the number of pictures on this blog, I’ve got a new camera and it’s fuckin boss. New toy! There’s a whole other blog behind that story though. Until then here’s some fit pictures of London (can’t wait to take some of Liverpool now).