(NB Very sadly I forgot to take my camera for my weekend in London, so this post will only have Internet pics, with references and links provided of course).
(And I will post what I bought in the next article)
Last Friday, Mr Republic and I went to the vibrant English capital for a little weekend – I thought I should go to Angel station and have a look at the Loop Knitting Shop.
And I am glad I did! First because the shop is right in Camden Passage (not related to the overcrowded and not-so alternative Camden Market) which has a very cool antique market on Saturdays (and going there on Saturday is way nicer than going to the overcrowded and not- so-alternative Portobello market which still has some good stuff but where tourist crap definitely took the upper hand.).
But back to the knitting point. Loop is the place to go for any knitter visiting London as it is the candy shop equivalent for yarn! The shop has a huge range of different yarns, with many brands that are not sold in France (even if you still find Malabrigo and other classical yarns). The decor is very sweet, with handmade pillows and cute knitted toys everywhere.
In a word, the place is worth visiting even if you do not want to buy anything! It is just too sweet to miss!
And while I am sharing my Londonian fave places, I’ll just stray from knitting-related topics for a minute:
The Harwood Arms is the first (and only?) pub to have one Michelin star – it is an ideal place to enjoy top quality British pub food. Locally sourced products, a cosy wooden decor – using hunting lodge elements but with some good taste- and a friendly staff have made the Harwood Arms a successful restaurant for a few years now.
The restaurant is a few minutes’ walk from Fulham Broadway.
Ordering from the menu will cost you about £40 per person but we had a weekday lunch and the three-course specials are 25 £ (20£ for two courses). We had a cauliflower soup with some almonds and savoury English muffin, slow-cooked lamb neck with artichokes and rosemary custard and a fresh mint tart with chocolate biscuit. I would not have spontaneously went for such products but it was all beautifully cooked.
Our ho(s)tel was not outstanding but we managed to get a double room with private bathroom for just 100£ a night. It was at the St James Backpackers, by Earls Court station. The price/quality ratio was good with full continental breakfast.
Now I would not call the Tate Britain a hidden gem but it’s still the museum I would advise someone to visit for a weekend, especially in the morning when there is almost nobody. Turner and Blake galleries are a must-see, but paintings by Bacon, Constable, Sickert, and many, many others from early XVIth century to present days will make it a valuable experience too.