Tag Archives: shopping

how did we not know about maida vale?

13 May

Louise is one of the His and Hers’ favourite friends. If we are meeting up and devising a plan of action, my suggestion is usually along the lines of ‘let’s just go and drop some coin in Selfridges’, whereas she will have sniffed out some beautiful corner of London that I’ve never even thought of visiting. Which is how we spent an afternoon of last weekend’s rainy bank holiday wandering around the streets of Maida Vale.

And what a beautiful neighborhood it is.

Formosa Street.

Punch and Judy? Standard.

 I always thought I was pretty loyal to Notting Hill, but I think now that I could be very easily persuaded to venture north of Regent’s canal…

secret streets – golborne road W10

1 May

Portobello Road Market on a Saturday is full of Italian tourists spending that overly inflated Euro or die hard Hugh Grant fans on the lookout for their foppish prince (if you fall into this category, he does not actually live in Notting Hill – we have only ever seen him once, at the Electric Cinema chuckling at Keira Knightley’s acting in A Dangerous Method. True story.)

And if I had a pound for every time someone has asked me for directions to the blue door or the travel bookshop, it would be me on that Sunday Times Rich List, not Roman Abramovich.

Basically, for locals, Portobello Road is an absolute no go zone on Saturdays, which is why we often head north to Golborne Road when we don’t want to stray too far from home.

Golborne Road has traditionally been a somewhat down-at-heel Middle Eastern strip, but is slowly being gentrified. Halal butchers and clothing boutiques now sit side by side. Many cite the arrival of Pizza East as the first nail in its coffin, and local traders believe it won’t be too long before Golborne Road becomes just an extension of Portobello. For now at least, it is still a fun place to spend a Saturday (and you will more than likely see a member of the Tory cabinet!).

We usually start with an espresso and a super cheap pastry at Cafe O’Porto…

his and hers

Check out the ‘too expensive but oh man I really want one’ handbags at Ally Capellino*…

And wander through ‘antique’ shops selling the most bizarre wares imaginable…

So don’t change too much Golborne Road… we like you just the way you are. Oh, that’s Bridget Jones, not Notting Hill. Same thing.

* Ally Capellino is technically one of the ’boutiques’ mentioned above, but anywhere selling handbags gets a free pass from me.

give three piece a chance pt.1

26 Apr

With the other half of the His and Hers working in the vicinity of Saville Row, and this half’s predilection for forgetting house keys/mobiles/wallets, it’s of a fairly high frequency that I find myself wandering along one of the most refined streets in London town to collect my brain possessions.

Seeing the master tailors at work and the sharp, sophisticated suits displayed in the windows of these purveyors of fine fabrics is enough to make me want to purge my wardrobe of any denim and take to tailored trousers forevermore.

Much to the delight of the hoardes of hormonal teenagers visiting from mainland Europe but to the chagrin of everyone else, on the corner of Saville Row and Burlington Gardens is A&F. If you’re not aware (count yourself lucky) they are a retailer of heavily branded garments which are churned out cut in a somewhat more relaxed fit.

If that wasn’t bad enough, it is now planning to expand and encroach on to Saville Row itself, setting up a “baby” version of their store on the old site of Apple Records (a crime akin to treason itself in some circles). Rumours abound that their next expansion plan is to replace the Queen’s Foot Guards with the washboard stomach wankersarriors that flex to attention at the doors of their stores at present.

However, us Brits aren’t going to take this seizure of our streets lying down. No! we’re going to put on our best tweeds, twiddle our ‘taches and take to the streets (with a healthy supply of rough shag for the pipe and whisky in the flask of course).

Photo: Matt Dunham / AP

Brilliantly the chaps at er.. The Chap magazine organised this fantastic protest in an attempt to stem the tide of “sweat” shirts from Saville Row, and preserve its history and expertise in tailoring… By proxy I think they also raised awareness about the dangers of what leaving the confines of the home or gym wearing ill fitting sports wear can do to ones reputation.

Also situated on Saville Row a His and Hers hidden gem.. but more on that tomorrow, as I’ve now got to rush off and starch my collars.

a wednesday riddle

25 Apr

So. What happens if you cycle past this particular purveyor of fine goods twice a day, five days a week?

I think you might just accidentally find yourself purchasing this little number…


I think I need to change my cycling route. Maybe.

Miu Miu: 150 New Bond Street. London W1S 2TU

heading south to northside

23 Apr

I am in Melbourne for a couple of weeks and there are a few little haunts that I just can’t miss when I’m in town. One of them is Gertrude Street, Fitzroy, which is home to a clutch of great little shops, restaurants and Northside Records – the “best record store in the world” (The Next Men’s words, not mine).

Ollie’s post on Friday about Record Store Day spurred me on to see how the celebrations went down at Northside. Run by one of Melbourne’s favourite DJs, DJ Chris Gill, Northside is celebrating its tenth anniversary this year.

To celebrate Record Store Day, Northside had amazing instore appearances from Kurtis Blow, Maseo from De La Soul, The Putbacks and The Psyde Projects. DJs were also playing all day. Chris was having so much fun he was late for a family wedding – so late that he had to divebomb into a pew just as the bride started walking up the aisle. You can imagine how that went down.

Judging by the tunes blaring out of Northside today, it seems Chris doesn’t really need Record Store Day as an excuse to have a good time, but to celebrate a decade of supporting soul – new, old and reinvented – Chris assures me there will be non stop parties all year long.

With previous instores by The Bamboos, The Congos, Eddie Palmieri and loads of Melburnian up-and-comers, I think record lovers can be confident he will be true to his word.

Northside Records – 236 Gertrude Street  Fitzroy, +61 3 9417 7557

your record store needs you!

20 Apr

Having spent the majority of my youth (and, let’s be frank, a lot of my adult life)  in record shops, and working in radio, I am unashamedly biased in my support for the annual Record Store Day which, if you’re not aware, is tomorrow.

Now you don’t have to be massive vinyl nerd queuing up at ungodly hours on a Saturday morning to buy ltd 7″ pressings to enjoy the event. With in-store performances by loads of amazing acts at the majority of the 230+ stores participating, it’s worth using this great little search function on the Record Store Day site to see what’s going on in a record store near you.

We’re going to be heading down to our friends at Phonica in Soho to see a bevy of brilliant acts (including Mo Kolours & Ashley Beedle) and to possibly buy a few shed load of records too.

If you can’t get down to any events, we thoroughly recommend you try and watch “Sound It Out”, a documentary (yes another!?) about the last remaining record store in Teeside. What’s great about the film is that regardless of the genres the geeks customers in the shop like, the passion they have for their music is endearing and something any music fan can relate to.

And finally, without record shops and their staff, the track below wouldn’t have landed in my life. This brilliant tune (for a Friday) from the late 70s was recommended to me yesterday by a friendly record store clerk (they do exist!), which makes me a happy nerd.

why i love my kindle

18 Apr

I was anti e-readers for a very long time. I love the smell of books…I like seeing them lined up on my bookshelf…I like lending them to friends. Actually, I don’t like lending. Because who has ever seen a lent out book again?

When the Kindles were finally released at the tight arse friendly price of 89 pounds last year, I succumbed, justifying the purchase as ultimately a money saving exercise – a Kindle would be a very cost effective way to roar through the classics, as they’re out of copyright and therefore free.

What I didn’t realise was that the Kindle would become my best friend. Any Londoner knows that you spend a lot of time waiting around…and having a tiny library in your bag at all times is a godsend. I’ve read more books in the last few months than I’ve read in years because I can pull out the Kindle whenever I’m killing time.

I’ve also saved a fortune on trash mags. Who’s got time to read about Pippa Middleton’s weekend when I need to find out if Jane Eyre and Mr Rochester are going to hook up?

And my favourite thing about the Kindle? Nobody can see that I’m actually reading Confessions of a Shopaholic.

My Kindle is protected by a Gelaskins cover.