I had to go to a work meeting in Covent Garden yesterday. Afterwards, I had a couple of hours to spare before I could travel home on my cheap ticket, so I decided to hang around in the sunshine. First stop was the London Transport Museum shop. I'd spied these retro prints in a magazine a few months ago, and was keen to buy a set. They're a bargain at £4.99 for four.
Next stop was the Cath Kidston shop. It was teeming with people, but I always like to look in. This time, I was clutching a 15 per cent discount voucher from Easy Living magazine, so I treated myself to a new bikini.
Sadly, this is not me, and I won't inflict a photo of myself modelling said item, but although the Daily Mail recently decreed that women over 47 shouldn't wear bikinis, I would like them to know that I will be proudly sporting this vintage-y number on the beach this year, crinkly or not.
Covent Garden has changed a lot since I worked here in the early 1990s. It is so corporate now, with the Apple Store, and most major high street names. But there are still some little corners that are virtually untouched. Neal's Yard (above) is one such enclave. And I am so glad to see that this little shop is still going:
It's a splendid emporium of traditional toys and cardboard theatres which you can make yourself. The manager is a true enthusiast: we had a long chat about the tiny carved wooden jointed dolls that are made in England by one craftsman.
Some of the new shops are very pretty. Here is Laduree, purveyors of pastel coloured macaroons.
They look gorgeous, but I bet they don't taste as fine as my Coffee Kisses.....
I did lots of people-watching, and sipped my coffee in the gardens of the actor's church, surrounded by roses in full bloom. It was almost like being abroad for a few hours. I was rather sorry to board the train back to reality.