Tuesday, 28 April 2015

London, Liberty and The Cotswold.

We travelled from France, Monday morning on the Eurostar, arrived mid morning, checked into our hotel, then used the underground like real pro's to get to Regent street, off Oxford circuit. I was asked by my friend Viv to go and have a good look around Libertys for her, when she was in London a few years ago, she did not get the chance to visit. I promised that when we got to London that is what I will do. On my trips to Japan I had purchased a lot of Liberty fabrics and used the fabric in a quilt that I had paper pieced. So with this in mind I was not going to buy anything unless it really shook my world. And shook my world it did, such array of fabrics and sooooo....expensive. I am having trouble with the British pound being two of our dollars. The liberty fabrics was £32 a metre ($64 ) in our dollar, but can one resist, minimum cut was half metre, Fabrics other than the Libertys were £17.50 ($35), which we can buy at home for $20, so of to the bargain bin for me 1 1/2 metres later, I am happy with my purchase.

First glimpse of Liberty

Window display

Window display, monkeys were very detailed in this design.

Liberty stationery
Liberty fabrics, quilts with Rowan fabrics.
Kaffe Fassat fabrics
Other fabrics than Liberty
Displays and decorations throughout Liberty
Some bird houses as a display.
Vintage Liberty, just loved this jacket, at £875 I made the decision to leave it where it was.
Loved all the levels and enjoyed my Liberty visit.

Walked down Carbaby Rd, to view some Levels neon fashion.

Tuesday we took a tour to The Cotswolds, it was a great day, we visited Bibury, Burford, Bourton on the Water and Stow on Wold. I managed to find a haberdashery in Bourton on the water and bought some fabric. I am at present collecting novelties for a quilt that I have in mind, I feel we are so lucky in Australia with our talented quilters and fabric selection, fabric and quilt shops are difficult to stumble across in the UK.
I will share some photos of the Cotswold with you.

Beautiful church in Burford.

Arlington Row cottages in Bibury
Bibury is the birth place of William Morris, no fabric, but cushion covers, tea towels and curtains available to buy, loved the one below.
The Black Swan where we had lunch.
Bibury is famous for fresh trout and has a trout farm, a very enjoyable meal was had by all.
Stow on the Wold, stumbled on a thrift stall, bought a couple of brass bells.
This concludes our tour of the day. Wednesday we head to Leeds and on the way will visit Coventry and Stratford-upon-Avon.

Monday, 27 April 2015

Paris, second time round.

Saturday we left Nantes to travel by train to Paris for a few days before we go across to London, last time we were in Paris we were on a tour, so it is nice to be independent and do what we wanted to do. As we needed to be close to Gare De Nord station for our trip to London on Monday, tomjoin our tour, we stayed in the Monmartre area, our hotel was just down from Moulin Rouge, quite a popular tourist photo stop.

On our arrival we spent a wonderful afternoon visiting Basilique du Sacre-Coeur riding the funicular to the top of the hill and going into the church.
The funicular.

After our visit we walked the streets to soak up the Parisian atmosphere, so many sights and smells to delight the senses.

To my delight I stumbled across a flea market, bought some little treasures to bring home to Australia.

We fiiished the afternoon and evening with a great French meal.
Next day saw us doing more sightseeing independently. We got the metro from our hotel in Monmatre to the Arc de Triomphe, walked under the  roadway to stand under the arc and admire the statutes and carvings.

Then walked the Champs De Élysées to Palais Royal, over the Invalides bridge to the Eiffel Tower

Palais Royale
Entry to bridge
Invalides bridge
Eiffel Tower, top floor closed, from the tower we got the metro to Notre Dame.
Notre Dame, lined up for 30 mins well worth the wait, only sprinkling.
Inside Notre Dame 

As we got soaked and it was still raining we did not venture far for dinner, we walked across the road from our hotel to have a Lebanese meal, very enjoyable, also met some other Aussies. This ends our day in Paris, we are off to London tomorrow.

Sunday, 26 April 2015

Nantes, Paris and culture.

GOn our day of sightseeing in Nantes we had an enjoyable day visiting Chateau Des Ducs De Bretagne and the Le Musee d' histories de Nantes. The tour through the museum takes a couple of hours and an audio guide in English is available. The castle has been restored to it's true magnificence and the redisgned museum is well worth a visit. During the tour you learn about the history of the city, this Breton fortress with its 15th and 18th century buildings testify the history of the city, built by Francois 11, the last duke of Brittany and continued by his daughter Anne of Brittany, twice queen of France. The castle fortifications enclose a renaissannce  palace with exquisitely carved facades and loggia.

Footbridge entry over moat, to Castle.
Anne of Brittany statue.
Artifacts in the museum

Gorgeous paintings, headpiece depicted from the early 1500's
Gorgeous toile, patterns are done with blocks.
Nantes being a shipping port, naval artefacts are displayed in the museum.

French posters
Intricately caved biscuit box

Inside the courtyard of the castle.

After our visit to the Castle we ventured down the streets of Nantes, visited some second hand shops, vintage fabrics, lace etc.

Cosmopolitan streets in Nantes.
After our stroll through the streets we visited the cathedral.

Inside the cathedral 

Gorgeous dome on top of a restaurant and novelty shops in Nantes.

Next day time to catch our train back to Paris