I had the great pleasure of being invited to London earlier this month, to meet the singer Lily Allen regarding her collaboration with fashion brand Vero Moda.

As a huge fan of Lily Allen for many years, I was truly excited to meet the singer and to learn more about her work with the Danish brand. The interview went very well and I can’t wait for your to read it in an upcoming issue of Dress To Kill! Being in London for the first time but for a short period, I decided to make the best of it by focusing my energy on two very different neighborhoods: Shoreditch and Mayfair.

Shoreditch

Probably the trendiest brigade with tons of coffee shops and vintage boutiques, this part of London is well known for its amazing street art. At every corner, you can find true works of art painted on the walls of diverse boutiques. The result is stunning and it is very impressive to walk through that open air urban art gallery.

 

 

 

The first stop I did was at a coffee shop –obviously- named Brick Lane Coffee Shop. Located on the main street of the neighborhood, they serve a strong americano and great smoothies that can fill you up until lunch time. The best aspect of this place is definitively the shabby chic decor with Spice Girls and Margaret Thatcher posters on the walls and disparate furniture.

This is the kind of place where you can stay for hours while working on your laptop and listening to music being blasted from the speakers. Not too far from there, you can find Blitz, a great vintage shop which I had the pleasure of visiting. You have to picture rows of racks filled with sequins tops, nineties blazers, denim overalls, and peter pan collar dresses.

There is even a section with rock and roll records, mostly from the seventies, and a table filled with books from the last decade. Minutes away, you can find a smaller shop with the same vibe called Rokit, they offer a large selection of designer names and more accessible brands from the 1940’s to the start of the 2000’s. I had to stop myself from buying all their awesome selection of sunglasses since they couldn’t all fit in my luggage.

In front of the store, there is a little bookshop under the name Brick Lane Bookshop offering a wide range of fiction and biographies along with cards and a small gifts section. I found there an edition of Ariel by Sylvia Plath that I never saw before, and the latest book written by rock singer Patti Smith.

Mayfair
This district of London is one of the most commercial, mainly delimited by two popular streets, Oxford and Piccadilly. You go there to shop your life away while looking at the windows already decorated at the start of November for Christmas time.

 

 

 

Once you are on Piccadilly Street, you can start your exploration at one of the most famous shops in the neighborhood: Fortnum & Mason. A true London shopping destination, it is a tea shop, a food store, and a perfect occasion to find some gifts to bring back home. Once inside, I felt like I was in one of those movies from the sixties where everything is perfect and polished. They have a large selection of teas offered in beautiful metallic boxes, and their chocolate counter makes you wish you could eat only sweet treats for every meal.

You also need to stop by at the Diamond Jubilee Tea Salon to experience a true British tea time moment. Once you are ready to leave, stop by next door to discover one of the oldest libraries in London. Founded in the 18th century, Hatchards is a must stop for every literary lover. Every book topic is covered through their five floors, and they even have a section for signed first edition books. The staff is wonderful and they don’t mind if you go through each aisle for hours without buying anything.

If you still have some energy left, walk to the iconic Liberty London store. House of the famous floral print, this concept store carries so many different items that you could easily stay there for an entire day. From the perfume room and flower shop to the rug and popular scarf department, there is something for everyone to ogle over. Seize the moment and try on an extravagant Benoit Missolin hat that will make you feel like true British royalty.

With my quick excursion coming to an end, I went back to my hotel with the hopes of returning to London as soon as I could!

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