From a fur jacket to sandwiches to cheap and cheerful Kate and William’s lovely portrait pins, at Portobello market, it’s impossible for one to walk out the market empty handed!
Sorry readers, I have been bit consumed with work for last few weekends in a row, postings have not been so often enough, but I just can’t miss posting the Portobello Market in London! This was my second time and it did not disappoint me as there are mixed thoughts about the market especially ones in fashion world but actually only thought I had was I should have been there earlier like 7:00 am not 11:00 am and I wished I spent the whole day at the market to brows, taste, try on and bargain! It does get really packed before the noon already but the crowd quite behaved I think. No pushing or mean talks to ones ahead of you, but I did hear about pick pocketing, so watch out with your bags if you are there.
Portobello market has quite loaded history as the Market started in 19th century as a fresh food market and even today, the food section of the market is quite dominant and packed with quality street food to fresh produce. Then 1940’s Antique dealers have arrived to the market and it has continued to now drawing tons of people to every Saturday’s Antique market. The entire market runs from the north terminus at Golborne Road to very south end at more up-scaled Westbourne Grove occupying about 0.58 mile long street of swanky Notting Hill area. I highly recommend you to continue on to very north end of the market Golborne Road as there are very much eclectic mix of very good vintage shops, antique & mid century dealers as well as good amount of Moroccan community well established on that strip of road with food markets, street food car and bars in a bit more down to earth residential setting.
Now come stroll with me much famous Portobello market!
The market entrance. Shops to the left and tents with vendors are lined up along the Portobello road.
Anything works here in the market. But the Fur is maybe the one you may consider to buy. So many good options!
There are quite many vintage clothing vendors at south end. Not so hip but good furs again. It”s also pricier than the north end of the market where you get broader selection of vintage for both men and women.
and Ton of vintage bags!
Here’s my tourist moment!
Now the food market starts!
Sea of Keish!
I have to say people eat about the same wherever you go….
OK These chicken bits smelled Soooooo goooood! No I didn’t stop for any food at the market this time… But next time, I will!
All right, one more look from a different angle. And sure it smelled still good!
A little quiet moment off the Portobello road. So pretty and bit Brooklyn here.
The food section ends and there will be a short moment of ” Whatever works” section, a sort of 99 cent store on your block.
OK now, for me the real deal of the market actually starts at the very end of the market. When you pass about half mile long of antique, food and chachkies you will come to a small square under a bridge where there are great small vendors all get together and sell interesting vintages showing off their own individual great styles! They are all friendly and super hip. Take your time and chat with them. They may tell you maybe the best kept secret to go out and eat in London. Don’t forget to keep walking toward the north end toward the Golborne Road!
See that’s the spirit I like! One of cool vendors celebrating his birthday with others at the market!
Another gentleman with a cool vintage Pea number!
After the market ends, you will encounter with many little cute bars, restaurants and vintage shops. And they go on for a while.
Yeap this one is a real good one! Ton of vintage boots, jackets and fur coats.
A great textile shop with their own small line of cashmere, wool, silk blankets. I love this shop!
So now we are at Golborne road. The frist shop we walked in had this amazing original Venini’s glass lamps from 70’s. The owner had about 6-7 of them. All identical. Each costs about $2400.
You can find really handsome furnitures here at Golborne road… Or is it maybe just being in London…
One next to another, there are good numbers of great antique furniture and interior shops on Golborne.
Awesome building and an iconic London vintage shop, Rellik. There are many design vintage pieces from the 80’s.
The lovely shop owner of a progressive clothing shop, Convenience.
Ahhh I so wish I had more time at the market and really dug into it. But a sweet half day of visit surely gave me a good idea of what I need to do better the next time. I really feel people in London are really friendly. More than the New Yorkers I have to say! I have had many small mini chats with many peeps at shops, streets and the market, and they all seem so lovely. So many people admired my tan from vacation in Puglia, Italy. You know how notorious London’s gloomy weather but we only had one short shower the last day at London so we were very lucky as I remember it rained quite a bit the last time. I forgot how incredible London is and it totally reminded me of Alexander McQueen Exhibition at Met in NY. He absolutely loved and was always so proud of where he came from. Great London!
I have been dreading to go to Met to see Savage Beauty as whoever went to the exhibit said, “It’s so popular you need to be in the line for so long like hours then it’s too crowded that it’s hard to see all in detail!” But regardless, I knew it was going to be amazing. ” Exhibit will make you cry!” that’s what I heard a lot too. I was lucky enough to get free private access to the Museum this Monday through a friend at the museum as the Museum is closed on Mondays. But due to the high demand of this show, Museum had introduced ” Met Mondays with McQueen” starting from June 6. And it will cost you hefty $50.00 entrance fee but I highly recommend it otherwise not sure how you can say you really saw the exhibition with all that big crowd. And very nice audio tour ( narrated by Andrew Bolton, Sara Jessica Parker, Philip Treacy and more!) is on the house with this special Monday tour I believe.
Last Year, The 40 years of YSL Retrospective at Paris was amazing, beautiful and unbelievable. But still it stayed in fashion. Beautiful clothing with impeccable workmanship in beautiful setting. But Savage Beauty definitely felt closer to an art exhibit. McQueen’s fashion surpasses countless Artists’ art out there today. And I like to pay a huge credit to Mr. Andrew Bolton, the curator of this exhibit and Costume Institute who handled many years’ yearly gala. I had a privilege to work with him personally on a small project related to the last year’s Gala, American women as Gap was major sponsor to the exhibit.
And Mr. Bolton, you’ve had beautifully executed Savage Beauty to translate Alexander McQueen’s dark, strong, complex and bold approach to his artful inner world. The rooms were perfectly McQueen. The lighting, the materials of the wall, the music and utterly dark and chick showcases and the stage. I absolutely loved it. The Colors in the room, runway clips, the most amazing head and shoulder pieces, the materials of the setting… I could go on and on about this. It felt beautifully expensive and perfectly regal but also completely modern and dare futuristic. Just like who Alexander McQueen was.
The entrance! Red tinted microscopic glass pieces and ostrich feather dress on the left and the infamous Razor clam shell dress on the right. It kills me. I highly recommend you to get the Audio tour. You get to hear stories behind from actual people who worked on or worn the actual pieces.
The first room, ”The Romantic Mind”, is dedicated to the tailored and mostly jacket pieces. Lots of these pieces were landed by the actual owners for the exhibit. McQueen’s Savile Row in London’s tailoring experience is showing through these pieces. Only showing a few pieces here.
The washed concrete wall and naive wood flank is familiar contrast we see everyday now but again it works beautifully against McQueen’s impeccable hard tailoring.
The second room, “The Romantic Gothic” filled with aged mirrors.
This guilded golden glass showcase is absolutely to die for and the amazing McQueen’s work…
“The Cabinet of Curiosity”, a room dedicated to many of McQueen’s amazing Accessories and their relationship to related items. This room truly made me fill like I was in a Art exhibition.
My heart deeply aching…. The Spine corset with a tail.
Approaching to the Fan dress. Just like those delicately cut out Japanese wooden fan.
Yes, She’s turning.
There are ton more in this “Closet of Curiosity” room. I kept going back in there. It was hard to end myself and move on.
” The Romantic Nationalism”, McQueen celebrates his root, London. He was very proud of the city where he came from.
“The Romantic Primitivism”
” Romantic Exoticism”
“Romantic Naturalism, the last room”
I only have a few pictures from the Savage Beauty in this post. You need to see All in person. It ends on August 7. So hurry up!
It was truly one of the most amazing exhibitions I have seen. Not just McQueen itself but the whole package, it is a great exhibition. Also excellent website.
And NEVER TO MISS, click on THIS to watch clips of McQueen’s runway shows.
Tan and Dan happily walking down the hilly winding road of Freshford surrounded by loving friends and family after the ceremony, July 2, 2011.
Between Emi’s and my pictures, we may have good 600 photos emotionally following Tan and Dan’s this special day and one picture is more beautiful than another to my eyes as every moment is being celebrated and blessed by loved ones including myself over this new and young family with a just born little baby girl, and Tan’s amazing strength and Dan’s impressive support and diligence to Win it All is something we all took away to learn for our everyday’s life. “Love is bigger than anything.”
Tan and Dan, we are so happy for you two and a little one and truly wish the healthiest and happiest lives ever after for all of you!
Looking up to St. Peter’s Church at Freshford, England. The wedding begins now!
July 2, 2011
Tan, Dan and the Baby girl, the new Family.
My friend Tania posted this on Face book and I like to share this with you. Crazy!
The grand view of the park.
It was our last day with Tania at Freshford and we had the last minute plan to visit one of many National trust parks of England that are actually located throughout the country. I forget where this exact one was located but it was about 40 minute car ride from Freshford. I mean this view right here…. Its’ hard to believe that is a real view. Doesn’t this look like one of those 18 century’s oil paintings that you see at the Metropolitan museum or sort of thing? Everything is so perfectly placed and thought through I can’t find one little room to point out such something could have faced to a different direction or different tree or whatever that is. I find it quite amusing and amazing.
So the park also has park offices and quite a few of guest houses (not a little shack like, these are a real deal from those old days) that you can rent out for a few days or even get a lease for years to live in and can certainly enjoy this beautiful park and gigantic lush trees around. The park’s view is perfectly manicured yet has these wild bushes that are filled with humongous beautiful trees you can go hug and look up for hours. You can be a lucky member of this beautiful park by donating 40 pounds of yearly membership fee for unlimited visits and also staying at the guest houses.
Quite amazig, Aren’t they? This could be where the wild things were…. These trees are may be thousand of feet tall reaching out to the highest point of the sky…
Me and Tania resting on one of magnificent tree roots that excavated from the ground. It felt amazing to lie down on it..! It felt so soft and somehow safe like being protected… Again, the Nature is the mother. There are ton of flowering trees that I don’t know all the names of and pines and more kinds of pines that I have never seen, oak and what else… I mean there are trees and more trees…! And here is of my silly flower moment, Haha! ( I know you have this sometimes too!)
This tree right here has layers of thin skin that remind you of sheets of paper.
A super cool pine… I wished all the trees had name tags…!
Way to go Tania on your beautiful home and everything and everyone around you at Feshford! It was really wonderful to see you and your happy life you are making! Mmmmmwwwaaaa! See you very soon and catch us on a exciting journey to Barcelona!!!!
A cute little town built on Steep hills with much characteristic cobble stone streets Frome (read frum) is actually the 4th largest town in Somerset where there are many artists and interesting small boutiques including speak easy style vintage shops attracting many visitors from surrounding like Bath and Bristol. Just the evening before the Frome, we had visited quite famous Roman Bath town, Bath but Frome is the town where my heart really lays. Unpretentious and less touristic vibe really captured my heart.
Little streets along the hills houses small bakeries, vintage shops and diverse local businesses. I liked many places but the favorite would be the “Black Swan Galley” on the bottom of the hills. Below, the gallery from the outside.
Vibrant and funky stair case to the exhibition of Ralph Steadman and Keith Newstead on the second floor of the gallery: a collaboration of an well known cartoonist and illustrator Steadman and a mechanic Newstead. The most of pieces in this exhibition are pretty much Steadman’s fantasy world creatures came to a life turned into machines by Newstead’s fantastic mechanism such as one of music box as well.
The hand and ink drops of Steadman: it reminds me of Jackson Pollock. A lot of drawings also reminded me of the work of Tim Burton. The imagination that goes miles long that you can’t just stop…
The mechanic dragon. It is fantastically made and moves. Each piece has certain humor in it’s movement: naughty, creative, unexpected, attitude… So much more than just a moving machine. It’s certain move evokes the audience to think about the story behind and what could happen next…! I loved it!
Yes here’s another one. You can kind of imagine what’s going on. Right? Below wall shows drawings of Keith Newstead.
She was our favorite!!! Not only because of her beauty ( her hair, mouth, the fingers and the bras…) but also because of her amazing use of her arms when she swims: her moves are slow but has the will and strength in them like she’s after to save someone almost.
Also there is a series of these single simple figures. They move side ways in a naughty attitude. I believe I caught him below during his funny move.
Now checking out the ground floor and below walking through a cute cafe’ at the gallery. Love the checkerboard flooring and the Forna Setti’s wall paper on the back. And of course a little outdoor space. It’s perfect!
Right outside of cafe to the left, 3 artist’s studios and the hallway looking out the Cafe’s garden.
Wire work artist, Mel Day www.melday.co.uk
I find her work quite beautiful. She uses all different sizes and kinds of wire.
A wire woman cutting her hair. Can you see her scissors in her hand…? The artist told us this was commissioned piece based on her one of past work. I thought this could be a nice piece for Emi’s studio, but we ended up passing on it. There were so many great work of Day that we wanted to own, but we are traveling on a small carry on bags… next time…!
The artist said she was inspired by corals. Beautiful ha? And it’s quite flexible and soft rather than rigid without any motions.
Now moving on to the next studio Ceramic and glass artists, Adam Harvey & Emma Wells. Brilliant artists they are! Their work is familiar yet definitely unique. Those tiny leg like things remind me of suctions of octopus and beautifully broken and disappearing ends of ceramic in unconventional angles and proportion are quite amazing. They looked and felt so fragile so I was super careful to handle them…
Visit their website www.harveywells.co.uk
Tania Emi and Me strolling Catherine hill where small vintage, antique and also modern interior shops are lined up… cute little area.
If you are ever on this side of England, you should check out Frome for Black Swan Gallery, cute hills with small boutiques and the Weekend open market…! I really liked the genuine local feel of this town!!
After the tour of Tania’s home, visit her chicks and walk the garden, Now we are heading out to do some good walking and chatting along the fresh river, farm meadow and secret little spots that Tania will lead us. Here we start from a little yet long river near her home.
The scenery along the river looks somehow like posed props arranged by a painter. Everything seems at it’s perfect own spot. Beautiful….!
The one and only pub in Freshford town. Serves Beers and other drinks. Of course sunday roast and Fish and chips as well. The pub is located above the river that runs through the whole town. Outdoor tables and wooden deck is peaceful and lovely. Duckies…
Freshford is a village and civil parish in the Avon valley 6 miles south east of Bath, in the county of Somerset, England. It’s pretty much located about 2 hour train ride from south west of London. Freshford is in the Cotswolds Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB): an area of countryside considered to have significant landscape value in England, Wales or Northern Ireland that has been specially designated by Countryside Agency on behalf or the United Kingdom government. Freshford is a wealthy yet low key community who cares about their home and land with great pride to keep up the town to be one of the most beautiful countryside in England and you can definitely feel that spirit just by taking a walk around this beautiful town.
Actually the town greatly reminds me of the hills of Tuscany. Never ending smooth blanket like meadow gently covers the mother land just like the curve of a beautiful woman and the rustic yet warm yellow tone of limestone houses are truly the beauty that you can’t easily find. Some houses even sports the signature tree of Italy, Cyprus and the whole scene of Freshford somewhat doesn’t come as a stranger to me.
Every turn is a beauty and the peace! Just 3 of us walking through along the little roads, trees, stones and cows and all….
Picking off plums falling from the tree. Emi gave a good shake to the tree and we are running after them! So sweet and juicy. We picked enough to make a jam out of them.
3 hours of trail mixing in Freshford with Tania. It was a relaxing and beautiful one!
Walking into Tania’s, Freshford, England.
Yeah!! We are here visiting our dearest friend, Tania at Freshford in England! We are finally paying a long time overdue visit to Tania’s new nest. It was almost turning into guilty feeling for me that we haven’t done this for a long time, so the second I hit her land, it almost feels like a rain in the desert that quests the thirst that I was dragging around for all these time. It is such a satisfying feeling to visit Tania in Freshford!
We have been already woo and ahhhing about the beautiful scenery of Freshford from the Bristol Airport in the car, and the arrival at Tania’s home does not disappoint us either! She owns one unit with a beautiful garden out of this 6 family traditional Freshford limestone house complex. It’s a cozy home in a magical setting.
A view from the one of the guest rooms, which is our room! Me trying out the bed below…
Sitting on her amazing deck looking into the living room…
The view of Tania’s garden and her chicks! They make fresh & pretty eggs every morning!
More of her garden. It’s so good to see Tania doing well and living in her beautiful home and being happy. Tania, we love you….!
And… Earlier we had stopped at this cute pub on a way to Tania’s for a lunch. The general architects here consists of warm yellow lime stones. And the neutral tone of it really works well back to natural surrounding. It’s very lovely.
The lavender is almost surreal. It smells amazing.
A starter to share, warm baked cheese with garlic and honey and rustic bread, just waiting for a crisp bottle of white.
Ahhhh, Life is such a simple thing at the end. Simple things make you feel happy. Visiting a good friend. Have good food together and chatting and share laughs and share pains… 3 days at Tania’s home in Freshford and Bath, More to come!!!