Monday, 28 March 2011

Lazing on a sunny afternoon....

As time goes on, I'm realising that perhaps the title of my blog is misleading as I don't think I've mentioned a single frock in weeks!

This weekend the clocks went forward which means lots of shenanigans in the evenings hopefully.  I will report back!

Saturday saw one of my regular trips back to my old homestead, Brighton.  Strangely, I still don't have any pangs or sadness that I've left....but it's still nice to go back every few weeks.  I visited a nice little craft fayre in Fabrica called Brighton Craftaganza.  I was expecting the same old tosh if I'm honest - jars of stuff no-one wants, candles that look like they've seen better days, that sort of thing, but it proved to be a pleasant surprise.  I put it down to the fact that younger people are now knitting, sewing, patchworking etc.  No longer Nannas that knit!  Lots of lovely things I wanted but couldn't afford at this time in the month, so close yet so far from payday.  I really wanted this, but it wasn't for sale.  Such a sad face.

And for Kinks fans, last night saw the launch of Peter Quaife's book, Veritas.  The launch took place in The Clissold Arms in East Finchley & where better place?  It was the first time I'd ever been to the pub, although obviously I knew all about it.  Although now a gastro pub it seems, there's still fantastic Kinks memorabilia everywhere.  I'm sure Peter would have been chuffed that so many of his friends, relatives & fans turned out for the launch.  His brother Dave's speech brought a tear to my eye but the night was definitely one of celebration rather than any sadness.  The best part of the night was the Kinks singalong around a Bontempi organ.  The sound in the pub was amazing and I actually thought the Crouch End Choir had turned up before I saw what was actually going on!  I raise a glass to you Mr Quaife!

Saturday, 12 March 2011

A vintage-free weekend....

I admit I did go into a charity shop this morning and nearly got off the 134 bus so I could check out a shop on the Archway Road but other than that, this weekend is vintage-free.  A girl can only take so many fairs/shops/markets and I need to get my house back in some sort of order.  At the moment it resembles a student hovel so work has to be done.

So today, in view of the fact I'm doing nothing involving shopping or eating, I thought I'd ramble a bit about my new manor, Crouch End.  (See how how North London I am with my street speak!).

It goes without saying that I'm happy to be here.  Crouch End is just about one of the nicest places in London I could dream of living in, on a par with Highgate & Muswell Hill for me.  Yes, the rent is extortionate but with everything a girl could want in the way of grocery shops, cafe's and necessities just 5 mins away, I'm not complaining.  Buses are regular and take me everywhere I need to go and there are trees not housing estates!

I'd read about The Haberdashery ( before I moved here and couldn't wait to check it out.  In Middle Lane, it's a lovely little cafe' open 7 days a week from breakfast til 6pm.  They use vintage crockery to serve huge slabs of homemade cake on and sell handcrafted items among other things.  The nice thing about The Haberdashery is they really seem to be involved in the local community, putting on art exhibitions and once a month, Bar Boot where several shops in Middle Lane join forces and open up in the evening, putting on stalls which sell a variety of things.

One thing I'm certain of, Crouch End has no end of places to eat/drink/watch the telly folk go by.  Having said that, why do I never see OB from Hollyoaks or Tony Hadley or even Simon Pegg!  The best I've managed is Bob Stanley and Paolo Hewitt, and they're not even off the telly!  Anyway, I digress.  Everyone knows I'm a huge, huge fan of eating generally so I've probably moved to one of the best places imaginable!  There are at least 5 bakeries around The Broadway, another one of which opened up this week and another one which I will no doubt be purchasing from very soon.  I've learnt that Dunns Bakery ( is a bit of an institution in this area and the smell of freshly baked scrumminess first thing in the morning must surely drag people in for their lunch before boarding the W7 to Finsbury Park and Victoria Line hell.  You'd think that all this competition with other bakeries would have a detrimental effect on these shops but it seems not - they're all busy all the time it seems.  Greggs seems to have an audience, as does Gails.

Shouts out to Sable D'or Patisserie (cakes in takeaway boxes), Adore Patisserie and now Gails Artisan Bakery.  Only opened this week, I dare you to walk past without drooling in the window at their award-winning cakes & breads.  I will be dropping by, with a large bag in hand, next weekend & I will be reporting back.

Monday, 7 March 2011

Today I am mostly writing about clothes & food!

Another weekend gone in the blink of an eye.  So much going on in this part of the world that I hardly have time to do grown up stuff like cleaning & grocery shopping anymore.  Thank goodness for online supermarkets.  Maybe I should hire a home help to deal with the other issue!

Saturday started off at the little pop up vintage fair in The Railway Tavern in Crouch End...a mere 5 mins from the house so always worth looking at.  It's a tiny room so don't expect hours of rummaging or anything of that sort but there are a few stalls there that caught my eye.  Only the odd 1 or 2 60s items so no purchases for me this time but I did see this lovely jacket:

Back to my new favourite cafe' for lunch.  Scandinavian Kitchen in Great Titchfield Street ( is just lovely!  Expect a smorgasbord which you can choose from and cakes to die for.  For anyone who hasn't tried one before, semlor are a must!  Perhaps I should find a recipe so I can make my own and not have to wait for this time of year before I can get my fix.  Scandinavian Kitchen are now doing Sunday Brunch and it's fab!  I had the veggie option last time as I can't face pickled herrings but maybe one day soon, I'll be big & brave.  Here are some pics of nicely arranged food for you:

Had a little trip to a pub called The French House in Soho after cake consumption and very nice it was too.  Lovely little old fashioned place with walls covered in black & white pics of film stars and actors/actresses.  I liked the weird mix of old folk, tv folk and hipster folk.  I will return!

Was looking forward to great vintage buys at The Bloomsbury Vintage Fair on Sunday but was disappointed this time round.  I did find one lovely dress which you will either like or hate immensely but the majority of stalls there this time were full of what I would call 80s tat.  A real shame as the last one I went to was packed to the gills with interesting pieces.  Perhaps there was something good on telly on Sunday as the fair was a lot quieter than previously too.  I'll go back but perhaps in a couple of months when the 80s clothes have been binned through lack of interest!  My purchase is below:

I finished off my Sunday goings on (after lunch at The Goodfare of course!) with the Wills Moody Jumble Sale.  The jumbly is on the 1st Sunday in every month, in a little social club off Eversholt Street in between Camden & Euston.  I'm a big fan of social clubs.  They're an establishment we desperately need to keep hold of.  I thought you could only find them 'up North these days but oh no!  I love everything about them from the lonely little old men who spend their lives in them to the entertainment.  Think someone wearing a bad fitting wig in their 70s playing a hammond organ, or this:

See you at the Bacon & Cabbage Dinner Dance.  The porky scratchings are on me!