A weekend in London is always a treat, especially when the sun is shining! We decided to explore a couple of areas that we hadn’t been to before, so we hopped on a bus and made Camden our first stop. What a wonderful, bustling area – we particularly loved the Lock and market areas. We stopped for a coffee at Pret A Manger on arrival and happily it was situated right opposite Waterstones!
The building was originally a furniture store called Bowmans owned by two bothers and built in 1864 – when the building burned down in the 1890s it was rebuilt as a fantastic red-bricked building with mosaics above the windows that still survive.
Decorated Shops – Chalk Farm Road, Camden
Amy Winehouse Statue, Camden Market
We spent a wonderful week in the Channel Islands celebrating our 30th anniversary – three days in Guernsey followed by four in Jersey. St Helier, Jersey’s capital, has a branch of Waterstones – the only one on the islands. Whilst there, I treated myself to a couple of Gerald Durrell books – he founded Jersey zoo in 1959 – My Family and Other Animals (which I have read before) and Birds, Beasts and Relatives.
Some pictures from our holiday…
Statue of Victor Hugo, St Peter Port, Guernsey
On Guernsey, all the post and pillar boxes are this pretty blue colour
Fort Doyle, Guernsey
La Corbière Lighthouse, Jersey
The ‘Lalique’ Church, St Matthew’s, Jersey
I stayed with some friends in Walthamstow for the weekend. Unfortunately we didn’t get much time to explore the area, but we did find time to pop to the Waterstones to check it out! It’s in a modern shopping centre and spread over two floors. There looks to be quite a bit to do in the area. Not only does Walthamstow boast the longest outdoor street market in Europe with more than 350 stalls, but it’s also home to a museum to the textile designer William Morris and the Vestry House Museum, which is somewhere I’d definitely like to visit.
Just some of the lovely people I spent the weekend with – Sal, Gaynor and James
After leaving my friend I had some spare time so I headed for The Economists’ Bookshop, founded in 1946 in a joint partnership between The Economist & the London School of Economics and part of the Waterstones chain. The building set in the heart of the LSE and not far from the building rumoured to have inspired Dickens’ book The Old Curiosity Shop – I liked the inside of the store for its quirky layout. (There is a great second-hand bookshop next door called Alpha Books which is definitely worth a visit at the same time!).
I met up with my friend Debi in London for the day before heading to stay for two nights with a group of friends. She treated me to a lovely lunch in the Gallery Restaurant at the gorgeous Royal Exchange building and then we went to Waterstones at Leadenhall Market. The market is located in the heart of the City of London financial area and has featured in films including the Harry Potter franchise.
The Royal Exchange
20 Fenchurch Street – aka The Walkie Talkie
We had a few hours to kill in the afternoon of our trip to Hampshire so we headed to the little market town of Alton to have a look round also to visit the Waterstones. They have a Jane Austen mural commissioned when the shop was owned by Ottakers by artist Chris Burke. Alton is a pretty little town which has a market, but sadly on a Tuesday, not Saturday, so we didn’t get to sample it!
There is a bronze sculpture – The Bear – by Mark Coreth nearby but I cannot find any information about any significance of a bear has to Alton!
Basingstoke claim the author Jane Austen for their own, as she was born very close by. There is a bronze statue in the centre commemorating the 200th anniversary of her death (it always seems a bit odd to me celebrating the death of someone, but anyway…). The Waterstones here is in the Festival Place shopping centre and set over two stores. As the shopping centre is fairly new it doesn’t have any features to speak of, although it does have a rather nice mural of a Tintin book cover on the stairs.