A stroll around Mayfair & St James

Tuesday, 2 April 2013
Lil L was so thrilled with the Japanese loot that S brought her. These erasers are her favorite. The containers actually open up with erasers resembling ramen noodles.

Thank you all for your insightful comments regarding the It bag phenomenon in the previous post. Some agreed, some disagreed but I've enjoyed reading all your comments immensely which had helped me gained a different perspective on the subject.

I hope you've managed to get a good break over the long Easter weekend. Sorry for being MIA from my regular posts. It's school holidays. These are words that make otherwise sane parents break out in cold sweat. We've had so many kids coming and going that it took me a little while to realize that I actually only have 1 child. Oh and silly me did the unthinkable (I blame exhaustion) and fed the kids sugar crack (as Jody coined the term). The next thing I know, the kids turned into juvenile chimps and started wrestling on the ground while the hubby fled the scene.

I've been so looking forward to catching up with a close friend of mine, S of Latkes and Dim Sum. I often marveled how a few of us somehow connected on an eBay forum by chance more than 12 years ago and remained close friends to this day (Lauraloo, I can't wait for you to get here). Did I mention that none of us live in the same city or country? I was deeply touched when S took the trouble to fly half way round the world with a baby and a busy husband in tow just to come and see us. We shrieked and hugged each other tightly in the elegant lobby of their hotel (who says grown ups have to act like grown ups?).


I know I've spoken rather poetically about Paris but London is equally mesmerizing and fascinating. There are so many facets to the city that one can spend a lifetime exploring every nook and corner of this ancient place. I decided to take them out for lunch at the famed Rose Bakery located upstairs in the Dover Street Market, an edgy and super cool department store (thank you, Fleurette for the suggestion) with a well edited collection from designers such as Celine, Alexander Wang, Mary Katrantzou, Saint Lauren, Comme des Garçons etc. The location is fabulous as it's just minutes from the Green Park tube station and surrounded by elegant and old English heritage stores including Fortnum and Mason.

Thankfully, it was the Easter weekend which meant all the locals had fled for the countryside. We had such a relaxing 2 hours where we ate, talked, laughed and caught up while the men were equally engrossed in their conversation. S has THE world's easiest baby who ate, drank, cooed, laughed and went to sleep. The menu was limited during the Easter weekend but the quiche was melt in your mouth goodness with a delicious crust. The menu is simple but utterly scrumptious and the service is fabulous. I can't wait to make a second trip back to the Rose Bakery.


I love this little corner where quirky and traditional men's products are displayed including luxurious Armor Lux striped breton shirts which are sold for a reasonable £45. They are every bit as good as Petit Bateau or Saint James.


My usual winter uniform - Helmut Lang coat (similar here), Stuart Weitzman boots (similar here), James Jeans Twiggy, Christys hat, Petit Bateau top and Louis Vuitton Bandouliere 35cm.


We stumbled upon Paxton and Whitfield, a cheesemonger right in the heart of St James who can count Winston Churchill as their customer. They've been around since 1797. Yes, 216 years old! I saw a large variety of regional cheese that I have never ever seen in the supermarkets before. More importantly, we met a friendly and knowledgeable staff member behind the counter who took the time to explain to us the background of the local Welsh and Irish cheese which I know next to nothing about.


Ah yes, did you know that Sir Issac Newton used to live on Jermyn St, a one way street which is well known for its connection to traditional English shirtmakers and other gentlemen's apparel? They even planted a statue of Beau Brummel who in his day would've been deemed a dandy but these days, we just call him a metrosexual.


  1. What a fun day out! Thanks for sharing some of the sights with us.

    Rowena @ rolala loves

  2. i've been busy bee at home with my kid than he's at school..
    it's crazy but he just took all my time with his kid's stuff ;)

    hope you had a wonderful easter holy week!!!!
    its always nice seeing old and new friends ;)

    take care. xoxo,Meg
    Sweet Gala's

  3. I love London, it's the best city in the world, I miss it soo much.

  4. Great photos and a lovely summary of an area of London I've yet to visit. It's on the to-do list for the next trip. The food looks delicious..such beautiful photographs as always. Hope the 2nd week of Easter goes quickly for us all, Axx

  5. How can you look so jolly chic? Love the lines of your coat, the silky comfort of the boots and your topper. "It's school holidays. These are words that make otherwise sane parents break out in cold sweat. " Brilliant - with you there Mama. Those are times I miss England I say stuff like that all the time and parents here don't join in, there is a lot of pretending about "enjoyment' here.

    1. Oh don't you worry. Do they really pretend to enjoy school holidays??!! My friends here are always shocked at what comes out of my mouth. I tell them that I'm a Kiwi so you know.... direct (but not tactless) is my middle name :P

  6. You look great, what a perfectly elegant and casual outfit!
    I love the HL coat so much, I drooled on it every time I saw it at the Printemps corner. Thankfully for me and the item, it sold out fast and saved me more embarrassment!

    1. Aissa, the HL coat has been a godsend. I only wore a thin t-shirt and a vest. It was nearly 2˚C but I was cozy and warm.

  7. Fun post. You guys look so pretty in the arcade entrance!

  8. Hi Lovely pics, and very nice coat too!! xx

  9. I think you have made a mathematical error for Paxton and Whitfield: instead of 206 years, wouldn't be 216 years?

    1. haha...you're right. Just goes to show that it's time I start using the calculator again!

  10. Lovely pics and Dover Street Market looks exactly the kind of place where I could happily lose myself for a few hours and come back with yet another stripy top. I hear you on the school hols bit - I'm busy too and blogging less. And I had a major shock when my sister told me that Easter hols means 2 weeks with the small people and not the one week I had in mind. Stunned.

    Lovely that you were able to meet up with a friend that you have known for so long but only just managed to meet for the first time. And I want Lil L's boots!

    1. Sue, we've actually met on a number of occasions in various countries and continents. But then it got a bit harder when the little ones came along.

  11. What a delightful little cheese shop, I love places with history and a story. I imagine when you stumbled across it, it must have been like you walked into a gold mine. Can you tell I love cheese? haha. Btw, your fedora does wonders for you! It's so difficult to find hats that compliment and yours suits you perfectly.

    xx Jenee C.
    {camo meets couture}

  12. How fun that S came to visit you! The amazing women that I've met has been one of the greatest things I've gotten out of blogging. I never would have expected it. It looks like you had a great visit.

    I love when you capture my old neighborhood:)

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  14. Hi there! Sounds like you had a really lovely day out and meet up and such fabulous pictures too! I have a couple of Armor Lux tees that I thrifted and they are firm summer staples xxx (sorry for above deletion, my spelling was not right!!)

  15. i NEED some of that quiche! i think those japanese erasers are so cute kekeke! xO!


  16. Oh wow! That bench of cheese has me drooling.

  17. Such beautiful photo's Marlene. I always get lost in a little day dream looking at your blog. It's like it transports me to where you've been. How cute are those little erasers! I had an addiction for collecting them when I was little. Brings back memories. I hope you all had a lovely Easter.

    xx Mandi

  18. Blessed Easter Marlene! You look very good and hope you had time to catch up with your loved ones. Love your winter uniform:)

  19. Your right that quiche looks amazing, I want to go there for lunch oh and to look at the Celine!

  20. Looks like a lovely shopping trip - that arcade is beautiful! The erasers are so cute too :)

    Away From Blue

  21. Love how you did a post regarding history and great places and the cheese store is one example of that.

    You and your little is absolutely stunning in your winter outfit too. I also appreciate how your skin looks like dear, rosy and flawless look.


  22. What a fun post to read! Love all the photos with you and and how cool that S came to visit you, she seems like such a kind and wonderful woman :) Those erasers are adorable, I would have loved them as a little girl too!

  23. Thank YOU for such a wonderful day - it was such a delight and the highlight of our long trip. We wish we had more time with you guys. Hope to see you soon! Hugs from HK - S

    1. Such a pleasure to have you 3. We definitely have to do this again.



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