Monday, May 24, 2010

London Bookshops

Tea it is!
Thank you PBers for all your dynamite suggestions of what to do in London. I'll have to go to at least 3 - 5 afternoon teas per day to keep up. I'll be drowning in tea! You reminded me how much I love to paint teacups. And of my former addiction as a serious cup-aholic. I may soon need a cup intervention. Am I headed for the Recovery Project again? Word out is avoid The London Ritz like the plague.
Brit Chris said, "Do not bother with tea at the Ritz, expensive and sandwiches so pre-prepared and cold they make your teeth ache."
Advice taken. I'll stick with The Paris Ritz svp.
What goes better with tea than books? Show me a London bookshop and I'm happy as a clam. Bear is always dragging me off to W.H.Smith in Paris.
I'll be dragging Bear off to Hatchards in Piccadilly. They have the BEST, newest art books in the world. I've blown many $ at Waterstone's - with every how-to watercolor book under the sun...though I probably could write my own by now. Nevermind. Just a hop and a skip from the Chelsea Arts Club too.
La Seine Miniatures reminded me...One of my favourite places is "Books for Cooks" in Notting Hill (books and cookery classes).
4 Blenheim Crescent, Notting Hill, London, W11 1NN
It's been ages since I've visited. The V&A museum bookshop
is not-to-be-missed.
Did I miss any of your favorite London bookshops?
Do tell svp.


  1. Justine7:45 AM

    'so pre-prepared and cold they make your teeth ache'
    That sounds SO BRITISH!
    I miss London!!!

  2. Carol, this post is sooooo cute! I have a weakness for tea cups, tea pots, tea and cakes! I am an addicted, too! Beautiful watercolors as always! Sounds like a lot of fun to go to London this time of the year!
    I am leaving to Italy this Friday, we both will be in Europe at the same time! Have fun!

  3. Anna-Marie7:55 AM

    Mignon! mignon...mignon!!!
    Not the filet kind either
    J'adore PB


  4. Rosemary8:01 AM

    Daunt books are without doubt one of the prettiest bookshops I have visited. Great books and Marylebone High Street is a great Village style atmosphere. Has a great travel section one of the best in London, but does have other good books as well. Including Art. Hope it helps.
    Bye for now.

  5. Hatchards, a favourite place of mine. I keep their phone number in my wallet since I was a teen. I'm a tad envious. have fun for all of us. Rosanna

  6. Ooooh. Hatchards. I used to spend my life in there! There is no better bookshop in the whole wide world. I'd give anything to be able to go there again.

    Waterstone's is good too. Apparently the one just up the road from Hatchards (where Simpsons used to be) is supposed to be good. Don't know if it is still there though.

    I'm green green green with envy!

  7. We used to go to Foyles bookshop, loved it.

  8. Carol, Persephone Books in Lamb's Conduit, Bloomsbury, is a hidden gem. Enjoy London!

  9. Anonymous9:09 AM

    Persephone Books in Lamb's Conduit Street - lovely shop and the books are so beautiful.

  10. Claudia9:29 AM

    good morning,
    I read your blog every day.
    I am from Florence and I used to work and live in NY.
    I am here to disturb you for a a piece of Information.
    I go to Paris every year and I will be there in June.
    I was wondering How are you so update with all the news in Paris? do you read newspaper, are you following any blogs?
    I would like to go this year with news things to do and see.

  11. my favourite post!
    really beautiful!

  12. Dearest Carol,

    Any chance of you sharing your London “Tea” recommendations from other readers?

    BTW, you are the bright spot in my mornings many, many mornings.

    Thanks for giving us all of your gifts,


  13. Hi Carol,

    I will actually be going to London this July to celebrate my graduation/birthday, so I am gobbling up these ideas from you!

    I plan on going to Hampstead Heath to visit John Keats' house. As much as I love Paris (I majored in French) London was my first European love-- and the movie 'Bright Star' about John Keats sealed the deal on my adoration of English poetry. It's a great film-- have a box of tissues at the read-- and I'd highly suggest it. I cannot wait to see where you go! Please let us know where you take tea- hearing about the Ritz was highly disappointing so I need to find some backup places.

    Thank you for keeping up this beautiful blog- your artwork and adoration for abroad are just wonderful.

    Have a lovely time! Be safe!


  14. You must go to Chris Beetles at 8 & 10 Ryder St, St James's - perhaps the best gallery in the world for Illustration and w/c - with an enormous selection of Brit art from Rowlandson thru Rackham and Wain to Batchelor, Thelwell, Searle & Blake (Quentin) - I cannot repeat this enough - an absolute MUST - go every time I'm in town

    And afterwards, a short trip over to cheesemonger Paxton & Whitfield 93 Jermyn Street - I'm sure you know of it; always a delight to try a few that you can't get here (NY) - been sorta forgotten since all the press about Neal's Yard, but stil worth it if in Jermyn Street, either to see Beetles or walk out the back door of Fortnum's

  15. Tea cups! I inherited some lovely ones from my Grandma and have quite the collection of Fire King Jadeite teacups and saucers myself ("enough to serve tea to the entire city of North Manakto" according to my mother...).

  16. William Ternay Jr.11:25 AM

    I too am envious, Carol, of your
    upcoming trip to "Jolly Olde."
    I hope your show is well received by all those English artists, et al.
    Seeing a pic of that vein-glogging English breakfast (I LOVE it!) is sending me out to my local Deli, for something close, right now.

  17. Well I've been to Waterstone's, and several other small bookstores in London, they pull me in like a magnet. I too could spend hours / days perusing. Books get a tad heavy to pack ! And I ADORE your teacup paintings, in fact I have missed them ;-)

  18. Lovely!! I adore tea cups and tea. And bookshops! So glad you're enjoying your time in London!

    Happy Monday,

  19. What a festival of tea cup paintings! You have no idea how happy they make feel, me, a serious tea drinker (yes, but at least one cup of coffee a day also!). I am down to the last ounce of Harrods No 42 and it is a pity you go to London before my summer break starts (I have friends there who have a mat to sleep on!).

    Hach, I shall have to continue to dream, easy with your tea cups, thank you!

  20. Someone here said Harrods is now Horrid
    I think I'd prefer to take the No 42 bus...
    There must be one isn't there?

  21. whatever you do -- I know you will delight us with some great stories and beautiful water colors to feast our eyes with dazzling tea cups- books worth reading and little bear stories, too. Have a safe enjoyable journey.


    Love your water color paintings of the tea cups.

  22. Beautiful paintings, Carol. I love the collection of cups, and books!

  23. Yes, you missed Daunt books in Marylebone. It is in the most gorgeous building.

  24. You're sure to have a wonderful time! And I don't think they jail people for photographing other people.

  25. Annie v.10:15 PM

    A few years ago I went to Foyles on Charing Cross road, it is a very old book store with tons of art books.

    Annie v.

  26. Gail in London10:21 PM

    Bookstores: my favorite are the Daunts. In travel, for example, not only do they include the usual tour guides for each country/city, but they include fiction and non-fiction memoirs in the same section. They give a neat canvas tote bag if you buy more than a couple of things.
    The Marylebone branch is very Edwardian and very striking. I could spend hours there.

    Also Persephone is a labour of love and completely charming:

    The two best places for tea in terms of striking venues and "value for money" as the English like to say are:
    1) The Orangery at Kensington Palace:
    2) The Wallace Collection museum's new wing. This is a fabulous gem of a museum too with lots of french touches:

    Hope that helps..we're all looking forward to meeting you on June 8!!

  27. you might like the exhibit at the V&A - quilts from 1700s to 1920 - The V&A and Liberty together reproduced some designs and printed fabric for the show and the exhibit shop - i bought some for my frames and just love it - have fun -

  28. Theodora10:26 PM

    Watercolor opportunity!
    Gorgeous garden dreamed up and designed by the famed photographer and author Roger Phillips, a resident of the square. Surrounding buildings make this a walled garden, gorgeous turf for heritage roses and other plantings to flourish. Surprisingly roomy -- pick your spot to set up the paints. This is a locked facility, so arrange entrance beforehand. A key is kept at the Elizabeth Hotel for guests (horrid place when we stayed there solely for garden access).

    London post on bookstores one of your best.
    Loved reading through and appreciating the delicacy of the watercolor teacups.

  29. I wish you WOULD write a book. I would LOVE to take instruction from you!

  30. I would go for tea every day if I were going to London. We had tea at Leeds Castle, outside with a fabulous view of the Castle. It was a daytrip but worth it.

  31. How about visiting the Bethnal Greene Museum of Childhood whilst you're in London? I really enjoyed it on my last London visit, and Bear will find some relatives living there.

    If I remember right, I think you will even find some very nice tea cups there - child sized, but nice.

  32. Second on Daunts - it's deemed the best.
    Try Koenig bookstore, Foyles - they are on Shafesbury ave. next to Covent Garden- a whole street full of new and old books - not to be missed!
    Also Seprentine gallery as well as Whitechapel carry the best picks from Koenig...
    Yep, so that said, tea really rules here, mostly cause coffee (that goes with macaroons best) is generally not as good as on the mainland.

  33. I miss London too - whenever I go back I always try to pay a visit to the National Theatre on the Southbank. They have a wonderful bookshop if you're interested in theeatre and the arts in general.

  34. I also second the tea suggestion at L'Orangerie.
    It's right there at Kensington Palace so you can go to the Enchanted Palace and tea together.

  35. Misha in Paris5:49 AM

    mini mini mini...
    mini teapots!
    mini cups!
    I think you prepare your travel ! viva London !


  36. Good day Carol ~
    Just want to say hi. That your teacup paintings are VERY nice. Also the mini tasses de thé!!

    Hope ALL is well, that you had a great bday.


  37. I think the east end of london is the place to shop, lots of cool shops eg. Cheshire Street E2

  38. Anonymous9:21 AM

    in London's some place called- Pollocks Toy Museum.
    it's amazing, so i suggest you to visit this place.

  39. I love your blog. Whenever I notice you have a new update, I run and make myself a cup of tea and grab something delicious to eat before I sit down and read.

    I have been grieving my Mum's death and one of the things that makes me feel good is reading your blog. It reminds me to take time to appreciate the beautiful things around me, and most importantly, to treat myself well.

  40. Anonymous10:43 AM

    go to daunts bookshop on marylebone high street and claridge's for tea

  41. Charlotte1:17 PM

    ---definately experience tea and patisseries Yauatcha in Soho.
    Thay have an enviable selection of teas, some are £100 a pot! thay also have adim sum restaurant downstairs. . .
    yum yum


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