My Week in Pictures

Monday 10 June 2013
 Left to right: Antique bridal chest, abacus, red packets, handmade silk shoes for lotus feet and snapshots I took of South West China.

When Lil L's normally temperamental school bursar looked overjoyed to see me as I walked through the main door, I knew I was in deep s**t. Dude, for the millionth time, I'm not from China (this has been going on for 3 years). And yes, there are plenty of oriental faces in New Zealand. Yes, really. Anyway, the sucker that I am, I ended up representing China during the school's Multi Cultural Week. Here's the conversation I had with Lil L's classmates:
Kids: Lil L's mommy (they seriously call me that), why does it say China here? *puzzled look* Aren't you from New Zealand?
Me: Well, there aren't any Chinese in school so let's pretend I'm from China.
Kids: Isn't that like lying?
Me: My granddad's from China. Does that help?
Kids: Ummm....... oooookay. If you say so. *looking at me suspiciously*

The next day, we got up extra early and headed to London. First up on the agenda - Aime's twice yearly sample sale. Unfortunately, there were hardly any Isabel Marant jackets. However, there were plenty of obscenely short skirts which are perfect for tweens and teens but would most likely convey the wrong message if I wore one out. I'd probably send a poor soul straight into a comatose state if I inadvertently flashed someone by the simple act of bending down to pick something up from the floor.

There were plenty of Isabel Marant ankle strap heels and boots as well as shoes from A.P.C and Porselli, all slashed by 50% - 60%. I decided to appease my multiple personalities by choosing a proper shirt dress followed by a psychedelic print t-shirt, both deeply discounted.

After battling hordes of tourists crowding around the Portobello market and the stifling heat at the 20th century theater where the sale was held, we decided to head down Westbourne Grove in search of sustenance. We stopped by Taqueria which was pretty good. The portions were small but I loved the Al pastor tacos (grilled marinated pork, coriander, chopped onion, coriander and pineapple). The service was polite if a little inefficient as we had to ask several times for our drinks and they managed to mix up our order too. Thanks, Ammu for the suggestion. We'll definitely try Wahaca in the future.

We made a mad dash to our friend's little boy's 1 year old party. All the kids were nearly blinded by the incessant flashes going off at the same time from the papa - razzi and mama - razzi. If you're a parent, you'll totally agree with this. It's imperative to record EVERY moment of your child's life. Yes, even if it's not your child's birthday.

Everyone breathed a sigh of relief when the party was over. The kids had the time of their lives running around the soft play area. The husbands were ensconced in the wii media room trying to learn how to street dance. *snicker*

I can't leave London without getting my noodle fix. You know you've come to the right place when the Vietnamese restaurant is packed with mostly Asians. The queue was out the door. The service is quick, the food is faultless and the drinks are divine. What more can I ask for? In case you're interested, this awesome place is called Cafe East.

On Sunday, we went on a brief walk around the city. This awesome place was once a palace built by Christopher Wren for King Charles II.

And came home to see one of Lil L's many love notes she'd left for me.


  1. Your daughter is the sweetest! What a well brought-up child.
    Love your London posts - they scratch my nostalgic itch for the city. Hoping to visit later this year or early next year - and hope to meet you then! Maybe over a meal at Wahaca ;)

    1. Aww....thank you. For sure!! Let me know because I most definitely would love to see you. Yes, let's catch up at Wahaca.

  2. Looks like a great week! It shows you are really enjoying life and your daughter is such a sweetheart. That note is so precious!

  3. Can you do a post about sample sale? How do you get an invite?

    1. A lot of the info is available online. I've actually subscribed to a few so I get emails periodically whenever there's a sample sale. You don't need a personal invitation as anyone can go.

  4. Things have been so hectic lately, that it has completely escaped my mind to check out dates for the upcoming sample sales in London. It was thanks to your Instagram shot that I realized Aime sample sale was on this past weekend. Thank you, Marlene!

    We got there 2 hours before closing time on Sunday (!), so obviously there was not much left :) But I managed to get a couple of colorful APC summer tops, for a fraction of the original price (plus some bits and pieces for husband and daughter). But, overall, I wasn't impressed with the selection they had, which is probably because it was the last day. What did it look like on Saturday, when you were there?

    1. To be perfectly honest, the sale this time around was unimpressive. Re: Isabel Marant: Tons of pants and skirts that no one really looked at. Some tops. Heels and boots but most people seems more interested in the Porselli and Repetto flats. After the initial rush, it was fairly quiet after 11a.m on the Saturday.

  5. That note from Lil L is so incredibly sweet. What a lovely daughter you have Marlene. :) Lovin' that IM top you picked up. Always really liked that piece.


  6. I adore your ss picks and I put that resto on my list! So close I can't stand it!

  7. Oh my goodness - all those people taking photos for a 1 year old birthday party. I have to say that's a little bonkers. Even by my standards!

    And I get so jealous when you come home from all these sample sales and you have yet more choice picks.

    I think Lil L deserves some macarons for that little note. Bless.

  8. That cake! You are having too much fun. Great photos. Thanks for posting the photos and feel free to drop by me too anytime.

  9. I wish I had made it to more sample sales when I lived in London. The only one I attended was an Alice Temperley one and it was ehh. I would love some Isabel Marant goodies though! Drool...
    Thanks for the Vietnamese recommendations! Wahaca is a solid ok - it is tasty, but not super authentic.
    Oh and the papa/mamarazzi scare me. Is that my fate some day?

    Chic 'n Cheap Living

  10. Ahhh I would have picked up some shoes for sure! Loving the look of that APC top though :)

  11. This papa/mama-razzi thing is insane ;-)You'd think it's a huge movie star posing for the group by the look of the picture.

  12. Remember seeing some of these on instagram, especially of that cake one. It is so amazing I'd probably react the same, haha :)

    steph /

  13. What a lovely and sweet daughter you have. Good manners never go out of style.

    It sounds like you had a great week. That cake is too cute.

  14. That APC shirt looks so lovely and it is just the perfect shade of blue for spring. Definitely good score!!



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