Monday, 12 July 2010

Hey MITS! London Calling!

So. We live to tell the tale of yet another Megabus jaunt to London Town. We may have spent a total of 18 hours on a damn coach, but we still managed to cram in a whole load of fun into our whirlwind 3 day trip.

We arrived at Bethnal Green's newest (and undoubtedly swankiest) hotel, Town Hall, on Thursday evening to be wowed by our super-comfy, super-fancy four person apartment. With two enormous ensuite bathrooms, beautiful lounge-sized bedrooms and a shared kitchen and living space complete with designer sofa, we couldn't believe our luck! Landing home to this design hotel made the Megabus journey seem worthwhile!

After playing in the fancy rocking chair and oo-ing and ah-ing at our memory foam matresses for a bit, we set about planning our activities for the next day.

It was Clare's job to dictate the Friday night plans since we'd be celebrating her birthday! We suspected there may be copious amounts of guacamole involved.

After a quick and excitable run round the Museum of Childhood, day two was all about vintage shopping and exploring the indie boutiques of Brick Lane. Oh, how we love Brick Lane. We trawled through rails and rails of the best vintage and reconstructed fashion in the land at Beyond Retro on Friday morning then continued to saunter our way, in and out of tiny gloryholes of indie design, cutsie gallery spaces and high fashion stores.

We enjoyed a lengthy visit and a fun chat with John - owner of the robot shop (Thus) and bumped into Victoria - organiser of the BUST Craftacular. We felt right at home! Imagine meeting someone we knew on the streets of London Town?! After a tasty burger at Swedish cafe, Fika, and an equally tasty Super Bock in the funny little bohemian bat across the road, we shopped a little in Shelf (what a beautiful store) and explored a pop-up vintage sale at the Truman Brewery.

We enjoyed birthday tea with Clare at the legendary Cafe Pacifico in Covent Garden, then with our bellies (far too) full, we headed back east to All Star Lanes for cocktails and chatter with chums - fellow BUST visitors Josie & Freda (Ding Dong Designs) and beauty editor and features writer of Chinese magazine, Little Thing, the lovely Jas Tang.

Some of the sweet treats we enjoyed at All Star Lanes:

1 x watermelon juice
1 x orange ice cream soda
2 x Tiki shake
6 x Pin-Up Girl cocktails
1 x Elderflower Julep

Clare and her beau (John) enjoyed a stroll home in the night time heat, but Beardy and I headed taxi-rank bound since the dreaded London Feet syndrome caused havoc with my mobility yet again! Bedward bound - I love memory foam. And I love sheepskin rugs.

Of course, Saturday was all about one thing and one thing only - the BUST Craftacular at York Hall.

Clare and I were excited and nervous about our "dj" debut as The A-Maisonettes but we needn't have worried. Once we were plugged in and ready to go, we had a rerr ol' time entertaining the visitors and vendors at the Craftacular.

Some of our little mini soundtrack themes included 'Summer' (obviously), 'Naughty' (oo-er!) and 'Money'! I wonder if any of our song choices managed to reach the customers subliminally?!? :)

Extracts from our Naughty/Nice selections:

Strip Polka
Chilli-Dippin' Baby
We Wear Short Shorts
Skinnie Minnie
Mama Goes Where Papa Goes
Fist City

Extracts from our Money/Shopping selections:

I Love You Honey
Cash on the Barrelhead
Money Honey
Pay Me My Money Down

We ended our 2 hour set with the glorious Piney Gir and Big Apple Stomp :)

We may not be technical genuises and we're all too aware that laptop 'djing' is often scoffed at (actually, it was quite openly scoffed at...) - but you know what? We don't care! ;) Clare and I had a whale of a time and there were enough hips swaying and toes tapping in the hall for us to be happy with our choices! Next time - expect co-ordinated outfits, synchronised dance moves and a whole bloomin' stage set! Hahaha! Thanks to Victoria for allowing us to play and thanks too to the nice people who took the time to say nice things to us about The A-Maisonettes afterwards!

Once the musical fun was over, we jumped off the stage and into the indie shopping craziness! Over 60 vendors had gathered at York Hall for this year's Summer Craftacular and the variety and quality of work on offer was fabulous. Just fabulous :) We caught up with some friendly faces too - The Cat in the Shoe, Lost At Sea, Gemma Correll, Louise Graham, The Make Lounge, Leona Baker, Sannapanda, Lush & Lovely, Elaine Eckford - to name just a few. We were also thrilled to bump into the Atherton Lin fellas! Jeremy, Jamie - 'twas great to see you both! We were bouncing off the walls at the thought of Swing Patrol and the Jitterbug/Lindyhop dance class but when it came to the crunch, we just couldn't stir up the energy to join in with the stepping and kicking! Instead we sat on the sidelines and appreciated the efforts of the other novices (and the experts). With limited pennies at our disposal, shopping was limited, but I did invest in a pretty bag of fabric remnants (for book project purposes!) and a fabulous necklace with fancy sewing charms on :) One of the best purchases of the day though - was the super-tasty ham & cheese croissant sarnies on sale in the indie food court! Sadly, we were much too late to sample Leona's iced-tea! 20 litres sold out in the opening hours of the event!!! Yes. It was that hot. Pheweee!

The ultimate highlight of the day? Seeing lots of satisfied early birds enter the Craftacular wearing their Made in the Shade tote bags with pride :) Let's play, 'spot the tote'...


  1. Looks like you two had a ball!

  2. We really did! :) We had such a fun time. Can't wait til our Christmas time jaunt now! The way this year is FLYING by, it won't be long til we're back on that damn bus!

  3. Hey..You should tell me when you're down! I'd make you a Beyond Retro cocktail!! (that would be lethal actually!! probably have a rats tail in it too!) Di XX

  4. I love the dj-ing picture! Looking forward to the t u n e s in edinburgh xxx

  5. Di! We came by Beyond Retro to see you but didn't manage to catch you. Did make pals with Tiny the cat though :) Next time - we're on for cocktails!

    And Jennifer - we cannot WAIT to get going on our Summertime Hop tunes! The playlist is gonna be HOT this season. You betcha! :)