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Pound shops. Don’t you just love ’em? Everything on sale for just a pound – ish. They always seem to have just what you’re looking for.

The other evening I was walking along Hoxton Street when I noticed a crowd of people stood outside a shop, knocking back the vino, chatting, laughing, carrying gaudy paper bags. Another art gallery, I thought. I was kind of right. It turns out that it was the opening night of The Poundshop, a pop up store that sells everything for a pound – posters, cards, screen-printed note books and other nice little things done by the creative East London set. Not your typical pound shop, then!

Its a great concept organised by HOUSEHOLD. Just when you thought that you’d pop a vessel if you saw yet another pop up store. I especially loved the “till” – sheets of paper with photographs of the objects that the cashier marked off after each sale. A bit like noughts and crosses. Clever. I walked away with a couple of posters and some cutlery dipped in primary-coloured rubber. Borderline naff but I just thought, Breakfast in a sun-filled kitchen. Ah, domestic bliss! They would have been quite Margiela Homewear if they’d been dipped in white. Mind you, I saw one of the Margiela wine bottle lamps the other day. €450.00! No way! No f*cking way! Well, maybe…

The Pound Shop, Hoxton Street. Open till Monday

visit: www.house-hold.org


The Willow Shoreditch

92 Hoxton Street

London N1 6LP

orders & enquiries: 020 7739 3009 / 020 7613 2587

OK, I might be a little bit biased here but one of my dearest friends has just opened his first shop in Hoxton, London, and what a beauty it is. Blooming marvellous, to use a cliché. Picture this: an urban East End setting, a bit rough round the edges, to say the least, and then amongst all this the most perfect florist and tea shop. The locals are abuzz. They’ve been literally gagging for something like this. Smart move or what? The opening theme of The Willow Shoreditch is “School Lab”, so the well edited selection of flowers are arranged artfully in oversized Pyrex beakers and test tubes. There’s a great selection of homemade cakes, salads and sandwiches. The coffee’s quite good, too. None of that watery Starbucks nonsense. You can also browse a selection of found objects and customised beakers & test tubes that make lovely gifts or that finishing touch to your coffee table if you’re feeling downright selfish. Love it.

Ooh, and there’s a beautiful mural by the talented Mr. Greg Lewis,who’s hard at work on his graduation collection at Central Saint Martins. The boy’s already started taking commissions for Paris-based fashion houses.

Oh, and did I mention furniture and interior designer, Rupert Blanchard of Styling & Salvage? Especially brilliant is his signature higgledy-piggledy display cabinet created out of vintage drawers. Plug, plug! Don’t you just love it when a plan comes together? LFN

Oooh er, what’s this I spy with my not so little eye? There’s a new shop opening in Hoxton Street at the end of the week – The Willow Shoreditch. Promises to be a modern florist cum petit café cum emporium of delectable bits and bobs pour chez vous. Will post pics later. The interior has been designed by the super-hip and very lovely Rupert Blanchard. Clever boy, he is, our Rupe. Looking good from what I’ve spied so far_

visit: www.thewillowshoreditch.com


POSTSCRIPT_

Just reading up on Ophelia and came across this in Wikipedia on Shakespeare’s Hamlet: “In Act 4 Scene 7, Queen Gertrude, in her monologue (There is a willow grows aslant the brook), reports that Ophelia had climbed into a willow tree, and then a branch broke and dropped Ophelia into the brook, where she drowned.” I wonder if I made a subconscious link between this post and the previous – The willow tree and drowning? Not on your nellie, T.D. Will drag you out ma self!

That clever friend of mine’s been at it again. Lovehearts. Valentine’s Day is only round the corner, I guess. What better way than to say it with Louboutins! Any boyfriends stuck for ideas you know exactly where to go and burn some plastic. And buy a bunch of roses for your gal while you’re at it. Red roses. Louuboutin red. Christian Louboutin, Mount Street, London_


I must say,  the Christmas windows have been a tad bit disappointing in the City of Lights. Galleries Lafayette: Le Shocking!! I mean, super tacky. Worth the trawl through the scrum to make it to the food hall, though! Yumm!


Anyway, I just had lunch with a darling friend of mine – my second lunch of the day; all I seem to be doing is eat, eat, eat!

Anyway, she’s done the most beautiful window artwork for Monsieur Red Soles. Simple and playful and yes, very festive. Very talented, this friend of mine. Finally! A window worth looking at. It seems to be doing the trick and pulling the punters in. Very lovely shop and the Louboutin cobblers further down in the arcade is a very sweet touch. Great to see a brand with personality.

Anyway, seems like I’m finally going to be able to leave Paris. Booked on a morning flight. Bloody Eurostar!!! Merde!