Friday, December 19, 2008

London Picks

I kissed a boy and I liked it. London is my temporary second home. And browsing through vintage record shops is my new addiction. London shopping is nice in general, even though I rarely buy anything. For me, it's more a sport than a way of spending money. Anyway, there's a million nice ways to invest your last penny. Just follow these spots.

Best Records
Music & Video Exchange
208 Camden High Street

They have the biggest bargain department and a great selection of 1 pound Whitney Houston singles. Here I found Tina, Grace, Phil, Prince - all of them. Cheap cheap cheap. The only handicap: Their price tags glue like hell. I cried some tears over ripped record sleeves, so always use alcohol!

Best Department Store
197 Sloane Street

A nice Jil Sander handbag for my sister, Diptyque perfume and fig candles for my Schnucki, Raf Simons trainers, vintage designer furniture, Wallpaper city guides in every colour. It's always nice to go to Liberty and ponder on presents you will never buy, haha.

Best Shop
127 Brick Lane
127 Brick Lane

Here I finally found it: my beloved Margiela wallet. The shop is all white, small and offers a nice selection of avantgarde brands, mostly womenswear. Located at Brick Lane the luxury purchases can easily be compensated with vintage shopping and haggled Indian food.

Best Concept Store
Dover Street Market
17-18 Dover Street

Best in DSM is definitely the stuffed animal department. Little cute snakes, birds and rats for your living room. Nowhere else you will find this high concentration of designer brands like Azzedine Alaia, Lanvin, Pierre Hardy etc. And one more tipp: Try the Comme des Garcons perfume that smells like plastic.

Best Mainstrean Shopping
499-517 Oxford Street

This is the place where I get my beloved longjohns. I just can't get enough. Once you decided to wear them, you don't want to wear anything else. Primark is also paradise when you want to watch ordinary people buying political incorrect cheap clothes.

Best Interior Design
Maison Martin Margiela
1-9 Bruton Place

I love white, industrial chic and Margiela. So the Margiela shop is the best place to go if you crave for shabby minimalism and inspiration. I love the staffs white pinafores, the white painted beer crates and the somehow absent shop owner. And be careful not to fall down the stairs.

Best Bookshop
65a Rivington Street

If you love magazines, this place will soon become your second home. They carry Purple, Fantastic Man, Another, Numéro, Self Service, i-D, Dazed&Confused, Men about town and all that stuff. Plus nice books from Elizabeth Peyton, Jürgen Teller and likes.

Best Market
Sunday Flower Market
Columbia Road

A Sunday tradition. Always crowded, but the fresh smell of eucalyptus is worth it. You can buy orchids, palm trees, violets, everything. The only flower you don't get is insect-eating plants. What a pity!

Best Fleamarket
Battersea Car Boot Sale
Sunday, Battersea Park Road

Nowhere else you will find so many good bargains. Like this adorable black sequin jacket for 6 pounds. Or vintage Polo Ralph Lauren and YSL shirts for 1 pound. Or a hot & cold mug showing a naked guy for irresistible 1,50. And if you go after 01:30pm, entrance is only 50p.

Best Architecture
Battersea Powerstation
Battersea Park Road

I love love love this building. I wish I could buy it and live in it. 1000 meters high brick walls, industrial floors, big windows, and just one or two pieces of furniture. This is my dream.

Best Restaurant
2-4 Rufus Street

I will always remember the absolutely tasteful birthday dinner I had at CRU. Starting with a watercress salad with pomegranate, followed by linguini vongole, zuichini frites, risotto cakes and marinated artichokes. Topped by baked chocolate cheese cake with vanilla ice cream. Mmmh.

Best Pub
Crown and Goose
100 Arlington Road

A super nice interior with green walls and an amazing beef roast. Accompanied by many nice little sides that make you 'eat in circles'. Another plus: The best second hand record shop is just a short hop from here.

Best Sushi
11 Wardour Street

You have to wait in line for hours, but it's worth it. Well if you have good company that makes waiting fun. They serve nice sushi and I was also very pleased with my teriyaki salmon. Big portions, small prices.

Best Swedish Food
161a Brick Lane

Let's be honest: London is conquered by Swedes. Like Berlin. They are everywhere, selling their formerly trendy Scandinavian fashion at Bricklane and strolling around Shoreditch. For those of you longing for a Swedish feel-home-atmosphere, there is Fika - nice Swedish food and a very nice staff.

Best Chicken Grill
58-60 Notting Hill Gate

The best grilled chicken I've ever tasted. The interior is very nice and the food delicious. Very meaty, very fat, very Horst. And the sauces are not only yummy they are a fun toy - you will blot everyone's clothes while finding out how the bottles work.

Best Bar
George & Dragon
2-4 Hackney Road

Always packed, always people to watch or to spill a drink on. And staring at the kitschy interior decoration keeps you busy for ages. Or let's say as long as the George is open. Then you have to say goodbye to deer antlers, porcelain figures and glitter swags to move on to The Joiners.

Best English Breakfast
The Premises
201-209 Hackney Road

Both recording studio and café, The Premises serves nice traditional breakfast with sausages, mash, beans, mushroom and grilled tomatoes. Best with a fresh orange juice and black tea. The perfect start for a Sunday before hitting the flower market.

Best Haircut
Mr Topper's
10 Moor Street

6 pounds. What else do I have to say? Here I get the same haircut I had to discuss and fight for years with my hairdresser for: short -on-the-sides military style. So if you're going for that look, this is the right address.

Best Snack
Prèt A Manger

At some days, all I need to survive is a jalapeno chicken wrap and a carrot cake. Nothing more, nothing less. Well maybe a hot chocolate or a pomegranate juice. My most favorite spot is one in Soho where industrial tubes are dancing on the ceiling, to quote Lionel.

See you in London.

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