I’ve had a few lovely adventures recently, a lot of them involving food and place I love to visit. Here is just a small selection of the things I’ve been doing, as told through my Instagram account. I’m @aneiradavies if you’d like to follow and, if you want to be extra nice, go and follow @primamakes too as I run that!
I first heard about Yumchaa on Berwick Street in Soho about two years ago, on a work lunch. I instantly fell in love with the place and have been back numerous times since. Plus, it’s two doors down from Cloth House, so I’m always passing it.
The food is affordable, the chocolate velvet cake is divine and the tea – well there’s so many different blends to choose from that you’d have to be a frequent visitor of Yumchaa to get through them all. My favourites are the red chai rooibos or the lapsang souchong. Yumchaa specialises in tea and the different kinds are all on the counter, in little jugs, so that visitors can have a browse (and a sniff) before they buy. And the staff are so lovely and chatty and extremely helpful if you’re not sure which blend to go for too!
Cloth House in central London has been on my radar for a while. I can’t even remember the first time I heard about it. Somehow I just knew it was there, amongst a load of other fabric shops. The best thing about now working in Soho is that I’m only a few streets away from these many fabric shops on Berwick Street and can visit them as much as I like during lunch or after work.
Cloth House is every bit as wonderful as you’d imagine. There are two shops on the same street; the first Cloth House sells a range of more unusual fabrics and a great selection of knits, while the second has a colourful selection of cotton prints and an impressive collection of notions.
The second Cloth House, at no 47, is by far my favourite shop out of the two. I just love the floral and Liberty style fabric and there’s even a remnants bin where I got some lovely calico (more on that soon!). Every time I go into the shop, I leave with something in my hands which isn’t the best for my bank account but, come on, the fabric is just too beautiful not to buy. I found some lovely plain fabrics in there the last time I went in, which I know will make great Marthe tops. I’ve managed to resist buying them so far, but I will go back for a few metres at some point. If you’re ever in central London, I suggest a trip to Berwick Street (it’s walkable from Oxford Circus, Tottenham Court Road and even Piccadilly Circus tubes). You won’t regret it.
On a side note, did any of you watch the final of the Sewing Bee? My housemate and I literally whooped when Matt (and his eyebrows) won! Were you happy with the decision or did you want someone else to win?
I cannot resist a good sample sale. Since I was in London anyway, last weekend I went along to the People Tree sample sale, just off Brick Lane. It was full of lots of beautiful, ethical clothes and there was even some of their designer collection on sale. I’ve featured People Tree before here and here and I really love their clothes. Plus, I have a hard time saying no to cat print dresses like those featured above.
There were some lovely designer pieces on sale, including a range of Orla Kiely collaborations
The thing I was very surprised about was that there was hardly anyone at the sale. I’m used to sample sales where everyone is scrambling around, almost pushing everyone else out of the way to get that knocked-down dress (a bit like this scene from Friends), but happily, there was none of that and everyone was so kind and polite.
I was torn between these two skirts, but in the end I went for the one on the left
I walked away with a really nice, past season, polka dot skirt and a hat for the colder weather. I already own a pair of People Tree gloves and I bought some hand-knitted woollen socks some years ago, so I know that their wool lasts.
I kind of wish I could have bought more but with an already too-full suitcase to take back to Wales with me, plus a trip to Renegade craft fair immediately after the sale, I knew I couldn’t.
If you missed the People Tree sample sale, there is another one coming soon. More details can be found here.
Have you ever been to a sample sale? What has your experience been? I’m genuinely curious.