Sometimes I think that we feel compelled to carry on living life at a frenetic pace, even when there's a chance to kick back and relax.
With a couple of hours to spare when I arrived in London last week, I had the choice of dashing around the bigger and better versions of the stores that we have here in Birmingham - just to see what else they had in stock - battling with the crowds on Oxford Street to get to Selfridges, or heading to my favourite store - Liberty. Liberty won. I've loved Liberty for more years than I can remember and I used to wear their scrunchies at 6th form college. Apparently scrunchies are making a come back - I know, can you believe that? However I think that mine are long gone.
After a quick look around the Jigsaw on Argyll Street and a mid-morning refuel in a cafe, I went in to Liberty, via the chocolate section of course.
Such a beautiful display and one of only many. I was intrigued by all the different sorts of chocolate on offer, particularly the "pudding" bars but continued on my journey through into cosmetics and stationery, via the hats with this lovely display by Christys and where there's a gorgeous straw trilby with a liberty print band around it which has my name on it.
...and these lovely displays of scarves. The colours were so beautiful and a gentle reminder that spring is somewhere on its way...soon.
I love Liberty for the building (I can almost convince myself that I have indulged in something historical and cultural when I have been in there, which is a bonus) the fact that it stocks brands that I don't get to see at home but also for the fact that it is done in a really un-pretentious way. Simplicity is key.
Chinti & Parker jumpers are great to wear (I am told!) and they are lovely to touch.
The same is true of Equipment shirts, which also feel gorgeous to touch.
On I went, looking at Isabel Marant Etoile, Rag and Bone, Carven and other brands before going to the sale room (how I wish I had left more time to look there. They had some amazing savings) before heading back downstairs for a quick look at the bags, a hunt for something with "Liberty" written on it for our eldest who also loves the store, before leaving via the main entrance with the beautiful flowers.
Wandering around a store is obviously not everyone's idea of switching off, even one as beautiful as Liberty - in fact my own sister would find the idea positively ridiculous! However for me it was lovely to be able to step off the world for a little while and was I glad to have left Oxford Street to the masses? Oh yes indeed. At least I am putting one of my New Year's resolutions into play. The one about remembering to take plastic bags back to the supermarket to re-use? Not so good.