From September 20 to October 4, I visited England for the first time in my life. I have so much to report!
I arrived at the Heathrow Airport on Sept. 20 in the early afternoon, joined my sister, and had a layover at the Imperial College's Permbroke Gardens Residence. It's a Saturday, so after a brief recess I walked to the nearby Portobello Road Market. I expected vintage fabrics, but to no avail. On the next day, my sister and I, together with three luggages, took the train to Cambridge. My sister is doing a masters degree at the Judge Business School and living at the Darwin College, so as a guest I could stay in the Darwin College Guest House at a very reasonable price. On Monday and Tuesday, I enjoyed two days of lonely but truly wonderful, unforgettable visiting to the majestic London. Besides the must-see destinations, I also visited several fabric stores, and brought back maybe 12 yards of Liberty Tana Lawn, together with other fabrics.
The first fabric store I ventured in is called Shaukat, located in the very posh South Kensington area, very closed to the Victoria and Albert Museum. Wow! They have countless bolts of Liberty! I have a photo to prove:
If you love Liberty, this is a must-go! My only problem was I dropped by too late, about half an hour before they close. I had to decide quickly about which prints to get and how many yards to be cut.
Of course, I didn't miss the actual Liberty store. It's a gorgeous building in the Tudor Revival style. It's a wonderful shopping experience. They also have in-house tax refund service (Global Blue), so it's very convenient and £ saving if you buy lots of stuffs at one time. Shaukat sells Tana Lawn at £17 per meter, versus £21 at Liberty. After the tax refund, the price is about the same (though still slightly cheaper at Shaukat).
In the end, I got mostly the classic prints. This is the first time I brought home the Liberty Tana Lawn, and it's love at first touch! It's lightweight, tightly-woven and silky. The Art Nouveau inspired prints are so lovely! I think they are perfect for blouses and shirt-dresses, and the leftovers are perfect for quilts.
Since Liberty is in the Soho area, I also visited the Berwick St. It's the fabric lover's heaven. Fabric stores like Cloth House and Misan feature the finest textiles I've seen in the market. I love their tiny but really clean and well organized spaces. I would definitely revisit London again later in my life. There are so many places worth visiting again and again.