Sunday, February 5, 2012

princess for a day

Strolling the streets of Mayfair truly makes you feel like royalty.  Despite the bitter cold, I ventured out on a Saturday to this district to do some "shopping".  As I emerged from the underground at Piccadilly Circus, my first stop was the large flagship location of Waterstone's bookstore.  After perusing the five floors of books, I visited the fifth floor where I witnessed a rooftop view of my city.  As I made my way to the exit, I swore that I brushed shoulders with Christian Bale...

As I dashed up Piccadilly, the sharp wind nipped relentlessly at my uncovered cheeks.  Desperately, I ducked into my next destination:  Hauser & Wirth.  
I had read much about this contemporary art gallery in my guidebooks, but I had come here specifically to see the Joan Mitchell abstract expressionist exhibition.  While it certainly did not disappoint, the experience here was much different than my other art gallery visits in London - you probably could have heard a pin drop on the building's antique wooden floors.  

After exiting Hauser & Wirth, I headed up the block to Fortnum & Mason.  Now that I had been to Harrod's, Harvey Nick's, Liberty, and Selfridge's, this department store seemed like the natural next step.  

Later, when I attempted to recount the experience of browsing through this store, I found that I was at a loss for words.  It possesses a certain sense of glamour, intimacy, and history that Harrod's simply lacks.  I did not purchase anything, but the gorgeous tea sets and divine soaps were definitely very tempting.  

As I entered back into the cold, I made my way across the street to the Royal Academy of Arts where I wanted to visit the David Hockney exhibit.  
To my disappointment, I saw that the line stretched far out of the building's entrance.  Unwilling to wait in the cold for this long, I decided to end my afternoon with some more shopping (or just browsing).  I breezed down Burlington Arcade, stopping to admire the window displays at the Lulu Guinness boutique, before I emerged at the main shopping thoroughfare of Bond Street.  This place is truly the playground of royalty.  Within a few blocks, I passed Dior, Chanel, numerous other art galleries, Harry Winston, and Chanel.  Of course, I could not resist popping into Louis Vuitton to admire what I refer to as "my bag".  

As the clock struck 5, I decided that it was time to return home for the evening.  I felt like Cinderella at midnight.  Rather than heading for my glass-covered coach, I dashed for the shelter of the underground.  My fairytale may have come to an end, but my dreams of becoming a princess will never truly die.