|I seriously have got to stop wearing this hat so much! Every. Single. Pic. The rest of my outfit is One Teaspoon and Shop for Jayu, with my Fieldguided bag, as usual.|
As you may know, one of my favourite people on earth stopped by London this past week to visit me and see the sights. After spending nearly every day together in the shop for over a YEAR, we were having serious withdrawl issues after 8 weeks apart. I felt like I had lost my right arm. I kept catching myself just talking, ranting, complaining to no-one and then suddenly remember, oh yeah, Voisey's not here! Stupid. Naturally when she showed up on my doorstep I was the happiest girl ever. "Oh my god I have so much to rant and complain to you about!! Also we need to listen to our Cat Power song like 10 times in a row like old times!"
After we did all that, she mainly just wanted to see London. To "see and taste the city" is how she put it, and what will be my urban travel-mantra going forward. Here is a little look at our few days together (mainly what we drank), except for the bars where the lighting was too low to get a decent pic.
The first thing we did was head out east to Hackney Wick to visit a tiki bar-ware supplier.
And I'm SO glad we did, because on the way there we discovered the BEST graffiti I've ever seen. Brilliant splashes of neon layered on top of one another in all my favourite colour combinations, completely covering the exterior of a former pub. The artist's name is Raymond Salvatore Harmon and you can see more of his amazing street-art piece over on our sister blog. It was so good it needed it's own dedicated post. That's what I love about this city, a surprise around every corner.
The day only got better from there, when the lovely ladies at Bespoke Barware / Cheeky Tiki gave us a behind the scenes tour of their workshop, where they hand-craft ceramic barware and create entire tiki bars, from concept design and sourcing of materials, all the way through to the fit-out. Obviously Kristen was in tiki-heaven!
Some tiki-glasses in-progress.
Tiki Berlusconi and Michael Jackson.
Tiki Hemingway!! (he was my fave!)
Tiki blow-up doll punch bowl...
...hours of fun!
An example of one of their fit-out tiki bars, which they use for staff parties. Because, why wouldn't you??! I've been invited to the next one!
Voisey in Tiki-awe.
A Tiki bar master-craftsman, hard at work.
By the end of the tour we could almost taste the sweet sweet rum.
Icing on the cake, they gave Kristen her favourite tiki glass to take home with her, the tiki turkey-leg!
Naturally we were thirsty, so we took said turkey leg across the road to the fantastic Crate Brewery and Pizzeria where we discovered that it holds exactly one entire pint.
We also discovered that if you go on a sleepy Thursday afternoon, you can snag one of their little rowboat tables, and have your delicious pizza and beers right on the canal. I believe Kristen said "if my trip ended right now I'd be happy."
|Boats n' ho's.|
Not a bad way to spend an afternoon.
We then popped over to take a pic of the Olympic Stadium. Impressive. *tick*
Next we headed to the West End to see some real London Tiki Bars. The only one we found that wasn't a schmancy club was underneath the "Two Floors" bar in Soho. Bonus, on the way there we passed JARVIS COCKER on the street!!! Dreamy.
|The neon lights of a soho tiki bar.|
The next night we met up with some friends at the Hawksmoor Bar in Spitafields, a must-do for any foodie or cocktail snob, or just anyone who appreciates good style. My pics suck but check out their website. The stunning aqua-tiled bar is accented with white subway tile, mirrored surfaces and gold pineapples, and was inspired by the submarine from The Life Acquatic. Nuff said.
Also they do the best burgers and cocktails.
After that we headed to the Worship Street Whistling Shop, which according to their website "combines the charm of Victorian squalor with the elegance of grand gin palaces." I ordered a gin I couldn't finish. It was garnished with a radish.
*Not actually the Master-Distiller, but the bar had lots of fantastic little hidden rooms to explore. In the "dram shop" room you sit around an old bathtub.
On Saturday morning I dragged everyone on a canal walk over to Broadway Market. If you come visit me I'll drag you there too!
These guys are waaay too pretty to eat.
Next we hit up the British Museum for a much-needed dose of culture. Those Greeks and Romans sure were decadent.
From there we headed to The Artisan Bar at the Langham Hotel, West London. I'm a little bit out of my element in posh-land, but Kristen needed to get a fair and balanced cocktail tour of the city.
The Langham boasts a cocktail menu which is "playful and interactive". I had the "Super Panda", which involved an aromatic panda head that released a citrus scent when the glass deflated it. Kristen had a tequila-based cocktail in a vessel crafted by our friends at Bespoke Barware! A third cocktail involved a large bag of air which, when crushed, released a eucalyptus scent, along with a small bag of Guatemalan worry dolls. I thought the last part was a joke, but the dolls are tucked away under my pillow as I write this, keeping us safe and worry-free!
The final stop on our London Cocktail Tour was the exquisitely elegant Savoy.
We started in the American Bar where we were serenaded with old Jazz standards by jaunty pianist as we sipped our delicious cocktails.
Some were more expensive than others. LOL.
From there we moved on to the spectacularly stylish art-deco Beaufort Bar. "One drink" turned into many when we could not tear ourselves away from this stunningly beautiful space. I blame the high ceilings, jet black walls, gold accents and plush couches that we sank deeper and deeper into with every sip of some of the best cocktails we've ever had.
The bathroom was too pretty not to document. I wore my favourite vintage dress for the occasion.
Flowers in my cocktail.
The most elegant long-stemmed coupes.
The whole place had a magical "of another time" feeling to it. I kept expecting to see Katherine Hepburn or Carey Grant stroll into the bar.
I can't remember the last time I was so sad to go home.
The next morning we went out for brunch on Columbia Road, because I wanted Kristen to witness the weekly spectacle of the rough east-end flower-vendors trying to out-pretty each other. My favourite example of ironic juxtaposition in all of London.
We brunched at a lovely local cafe and then browsed the flower stalls and vintage glass-wear shops. The perfect end to a perfect weekend.
The visit flew by but I can't be too sad, we're meeting up tomorrow in one of my all time favourite cities! Follow us on Instagram for more pics of the best cocktails across Europe.
|Drunken shenanigans in a near-deserted Trafalgar Square.|