Saturday, 23 February 2013

Fabric Heaven - A Day in London

I had a delightful day out in London this week. By London, I mean the West End, home of Liberty and other wonderful places. I was amused  by these two phone boxes flanked by a dustcart and some rubbish bags.  They look a little drunken, but that is just the angle of my camera. Not many of these still exist, having been replaced by newer, less aesthetic versions in grey steel and glass.

These newer ones are not very soundproof and trying to make a call in them is like trying to make a call in the centre of a busy station.  Most, of course, have been superseded by mobile phones.

It's only when I have forgotten my mobile and have to make an urgent call, that I have to use a public phone.  It's is not a pleasant experience, but I love the look of the old booths.

My first stop was Liberty, of course.  This is a view of the store from Argyl Street, about level with the Paladium. My photo is probably blurred because I was hurrying to take a picture before someone else stepped in front of me.  Nevertheless, even blurry, it is a beautiful building.

What was required next, was a cup of coffee in the cafe.  Liberty used to have a tea shop, a cafe and a restaurant. Suddenly they modernised and downsized to one cafe. The coffee was good and the pastries looked excellent, but the ambience is not the same. No longer any table cloths, and there is a lingering smell of  chip oil in the air - not very Liberty.

After my coffee, I set off for the fabric department. Here is a view of the skylights from the third floor.

One wall of crafting fabrics.  Kaffe Fassett, Rowan and Amy Butler included.

My downfall - quilting jelly rolls. Must not buy any more until I finish the one I have.

A selection of Liberty print bias binding.  Expensive, but beautiful for finishing off a project.

I adore paisley fabric.  Here is a selection in Tana Lawn. Irresistible.

Shown below, some of their newest Tana Lawn prints.

Mmm... More Tana Lawn.

The flower emporium, just outside the front door.

This lion is only trying to look ferocious.  He is one of a pair.

Some pretty greens. I like the Eucalyptus.

Another view of the lovely woodwork on the front of the store.

Even what would look like clutter in my garden is artfully arranged.

Some laurel branches piled into a tin tub.

After leaving Liberty, I walked through Carnaby Street and down Brewer Street to Berwick Street in Soho.  One end of this street is rather seedy, but after that, there is the market and several fabric shops.  It's hard to choose a favourite, but I think The Cloth House wins.  There are actually two sites for this shop, but the one nearest Oxford Street at 98 Berwick Street has cottons and I love it.

Just a selection of what is inside.

I found these Japanese cottons in a corner.  They would make a wonderful kimono.  
Will think about that for the future.

Pretty baskets filled with rugs and old shoe lasts.

 Finally, hungry after my little walk, I stopped to have a kale Caesar salad.  
Unusual, but healthy and delicious. Isn't it pretty. Real food after food for the soul.


  1. I love Liberty's it fabulous but not the shop it used to be. I'm sad not many stores stock fabric anymore. However, as more people get into homemade and such like it might improve. I am always entranced by the rows of fabric wool's threads etc.
    Trouble is I buy with such good intentions but frequently never get the time to make things. Or I simply cant decided what to make because the fabric is so nice. Its the same with my paper craft I love all the bits especially the beautiful papers I am frequently loathed to use them as I might spoil them. I know daft isn't it

  2. Oh, I really loved these pics! I hope to visit London one day. When ever, i go, I promis not to do my British accent, my hubby says it's very poor, lol. The fabric shops also look lovely. I too love fabric shopping. Thanks for sharing!

  3. You are so lucky to have such great fabric shops in your city! I'm in New Zealand and there really isn't too much to choose from here and shipping is so expensive for all the online shops.