Friday, August 29, 2014

Postcard from London - part one: Belgravia

It's been quite a while since I lived in London for a few years, and whenever I go back, it's great fun to see the changes in this vibrant place, but I also love to visit old favourite spots. Back then (DS was still a toddler), I used to make frequent trips to the Poilâne bakery in Elizabeth Street to get some of their wonderful bread (they've opened a second store in Cadogan Gardens, Chelsea since then).

I never rushed straight back home, as Elizabeth Street is a such a lovely place to be. Lined with cafés, shops and restaurants, it feels more like a little village than a street in a big city.

Some shops have changed since I was last there, but many others are still the same. You find a hat maker, picture framers, perfumers, stationers, wine merchants and wine bars, clothing shops, a cigar cave, cake makers and many more.


Peggy Porschen is one of the newer additions, in 2010 she opened her beautiful little cake shop on the corner of Ebury Street. Her cakes and cookies are the prettiest you'll ever see, and on a sunny day you can enjoy her beautiful creations on pastel coloured tables and chairs on the pavement, with a cup of coffee or tea, or a glass of pink champagne.







With so many inviting places, Elizabeth Street is also a perfect place to visit around lunchtime



The Ebury Street Restaurant and Wine Bar, on the corner of Ebury Street


At No 42, you find Jo Malone's new 'Jo Loves' shop, which carries a beautiful array of scented candles, bath colognes and perfumes. The store opened in 2013, seven years after Jo Malone sold her last remaining shares of her previous company, which was bought in 1999 by Estée Lauder and then turned into an international brand.



A Philip Treacy hat creation at No 69, and correspondence cards by the Grosvenor Stationary Company at No 47.


Almost across from Peggy Porschen on Ebury street, you'll find Floris, the oldest independent family perfume maker in the world (established in 1730) and the only appointed perfumer to the Queen. In beautiful traditional packaging, Floris offers more than 40 fragrances, a bespoke service and a line of scented  body and bath products.


If you follow Ebury Street further down, you'll get within a few minutes to Pimlico Road.


The square where both streets meet is called Orange Square (or 'Mozart square' because of the statue of the Austrian composer at it's centre), and on Saturday mornings this is where a most charming farmer's market takes place. It used to be our favourite, and always a lovely way to start the weekend.


The square is lined with beautiful furniture, decorating and interior design shops, a cute children's toy shop (Semmalina), Nikki Tibbles' 'Wild at Heart' flower shop, the Orange Pub and the french 'Poule au Pot' restaurant, which is always wonderful and fun


'La Poule au Pot'


The quaint and picturesque Fox and Hounds Pub, located in a little side street (Passmore Street) off the Pimlico Road


Just before you get to Passmoore Street, you come past David Linley's Shop, where you can buy exquisitely made wooden furniture or order outstanding bespoke pieces. The small items on offer make wonderful gifts or accessories for the home, and the cheese knife I've had for more than fifteen years is still my absolute favourite.




• Peggy Porschen: Elizabeth Street, London SW1W 9RB, Tel: +44 (0)20 7730 1316, www.peggyporschen.com
• Ebury Street Restaurant and Wine Bar, 139 Ebury Street, London SW1W 9QU, Tel: +44 (0)20 7730 5447, www.eburyrestaurant.co.uk
• Jo Loves, 42 Elizabeth St, London SW1W 9NZ, Tel: +44 (0)20 7730 8611, www.joloves.com
• Philip Treacy, 69 Elizabeth Street, Tel: + 44 (0)20 7730 3992, www.philiptreacy.co.uk
• Grosvenor Stationary Company, 47 Elizabeth Street, Tel: + 44 (0)20 77304515
• Poilâne, 46 Elizabeth St, London SW1W 9PA, +44 (0)20 7808 4910, www.poilane.com
• Floris: 147 Ebury St, London SW1W 9QN, United Kingdom, Tel: +44 (0)20 7730 0304, www.florislondon.com
• More info on Elizabeth Street's website: www.elizabethstreetlondon.com

• Pimlico Road Farmer's Market: http://www.lfm.org.uk/markets/pimlico-road/
• Semmalina: 225 Ebury Street, London SW1W 8U, Tel: +44 (0)20 7730 9333
• Wild at Heart, 30a Pimlico Road, SW1W 8LJ, Tel: +44 (0)20 7229 1174, www.wildatheart.com
• La Poule au Pot: 231 Ebury St, London SW1W 8UT, Tel: +44 (0)20 7730 7763, www.pouleaupot.co.uk
• Fox and Hounds, 29 Passmore Street, London SW1W 8HR, Tel: +44 (0)20 7730 6367
• David Linley, 60 Pimlico Road, London SW1W 8LP, Tel: +44 (0)20 7730 7300, www.davidlinley.com
• More info on Pimlico Road's website: www.thepimlicoroad.com

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27 comments:

  1. What great suggestions and such lovely photos.I can see a trip to Peggy Porschen on my next trip into London :) Do you mind if I add one that your readers may be interested in!? There is a lovely shop called the Biggest Blanket Company in Pimlico. They sell lovely Toile de Jouy ladies pyjamas that I always take on holiday as they are a perfect compliment to my Maitai scarf pochettes!!

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    1. Thanks so much for the wonderful tip, dear Tara! The pyjamas look so lovely, I just ordered one. Pyjama party next!! Have a lovely and happy Sunday <3

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  2. Dear Mai Tai,
    Thank you for this trip, I've never been in England... I love "Poilane store " your know, because I told you when you went to Rue du Cherche Midi in Paris. Their bread is so delicious!!
    I hope I could go to London with my children,
    Amitiés,
    Anne Marie

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    1. So glad you enjoyed the post, hope you will cross with your children ‘la Manche’ one day soon! It’s so funny, back then in London I lived closer to a Poilâne bakery than now, so I appreciate the Cherche Midi very much when we’re in Paris! Amities

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  3. Oooh lovely post MaiTai - it sone of my favourite spots too - I love William Curley's gorgeous cakes which are a special treat if I get a chance to stop there! The market you mention is delightful especially under the gaze of Mozart. Thanks for sharing your lovely photos SAx

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    1. Thanks so much for sharing your tip, dear SA. Will try William Curley's cakes when in London next!

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  4. what a delightful stroll down a pretty street!

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  5. Oh, this is lovely. Thank you!
    I've read your blog for several years and have often wondered if you were originally from England?

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    1. So nice to meet you, dear Judith! My background is finnish/german, but my husband is english :-)

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  6. What a scrumptious post!!! LOVE it...every picture a feast. Thank you!

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    1. Thanks so much for the sweet comment!

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  7. I dont know uf you will receive wifi is very bad on this island in Greece but if yes I want to say that we definitely have the same taste and addresses in London dear Mai Tai!
    You teach me something with Jo Malone that I first bought in NY 10 years before knowing that it was one in London and I really was not aware that EL had bought it now! But I was so proud in Geneva that nobody smells it, until they sell it in a big shop!
    Thank you for this nice promenade reminding me how much I like London.
    Amities
    Monica

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    1. Hope you are having a wonderful time in Greece! So nice to know we share the same London favourites. Jo Malone’s ‘Jo Loves’ products are shipped worldwide… you can take Geneva by surprise again! Amities

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  8. Very interesting! I've never heard of Floris and read the Wikipedia entry...apparently even James Bond wore Floris No. 89. Independent family company since 1730 and QE2's scent of preference? I'm impressed !!!

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    1. On the product pages of their site (www.floris.com) you can find links to ‘Floris Family Anecdotes’, which tell you about the history of the scents and their famous wearers. ‘Special No.127’ was created for Russia’s Grand Duke Orloff in 1890, and has become a favourite of Winston Churchill and Eva Peron. Quelle histoire!

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  9. Thank you, Mai Tai, for an insider's look at this charming and intimate part of London! I must confess - I have only ever been to London once and, surprisingly, found it not to my liking. I adore New York and Paris and knew that London could be as wonderful and interesting as they are - but I couldn't see it. I chalked it up to traveling with the wrong people and only seeing "tourist" areas. (Akin to going to NYC and only seeing midtown and Times Square.) So this wonderful little postcard series of yours is bookmarked on my Pinterest travel board! Hopefully there will be more and, I'll be wanting to book that plane ticket to London soon. :)

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    1. Hope you’ll enjoy strolling with me through the next two parts, and that you might want to re-discover London one day soon! It is such a vibrant mix of current and traditional. Just wish I had the time to cover more favourite spots and areas :-)

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  10. Dearest Mai Tai,

    Thank you so much for sharing these great addresses and very useful information with us. I couldn't help thinking of you when I yesterday watched Woody Allen's latest film 'Magic in the Moonlight' partly filmed in Belgravia, London.
    Look very much forward to your next post. Have a wonderful week ahead!
    Happy hugs, Manuela*

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    1. So happy you enjoyed the stroll, my dearest Manuela <3 Hope you'll like the next postcards, and have a wonderful remaining week too! Hugs xx

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  11. Dear Mai Tai, I have read your blog for years and love seeing the creative way you style your scarves and bags -- what a pleasant surprise to see this write-up on a part of London I just visited in April! My husband and I stayed at the Lime Tree Hotel on Ebury Street. I have not yet been to France so I took the opportunity to pick up croissants at the nearby Poilâne. I also heard (but could not absolutely verify) that the cafe across from Peggy Porschen, Tomtom Coffee, sources their bread from Poilâne. Their toast was the best I had during my entire visit, though! I wish I could have got more shopping in but we visited over the Easter holiday and they rightly took time off and closed the shop. (As an American, this is a custom I wish my homeland would adopt!)

    Thank you for all the time and cheerful spirit you put into this blog. Yours remains my favourite little corner of the internet. :)

    --Erica

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    1. Dear Erica,

      Would you recommend The Lime Tree Hotel? Kind regards, Manuela

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    2. So nice to know the post brought back happy memories, dear Erica! I wouldn't be surprised if Tomtom Coffee gets their bread from Poilâne. A lot of cafés in Paris do too! Poilâne is one of the few breads which taste better still when toasted, I am feeling quite faint just thinking about it.. ;-) Shop opening hours in France are stricter still in France...no shopping on Sundays, and most Hermes stores (outside Paris) close at lunchtime!

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  12. This took me back as I have fond memories of working in Belgravia. A trip to Peggy Porschen is definitely on the cards! Thank you for the trip down memory lane.

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    1. Peggy Porschen is definitely a wonderful addition to this lovely street. Hope you'll be visiting one day soon!

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  13. Where did you stay when you were in London? Any hotel recommendations?

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