Friday, September 4, 2009

Shopping What More To Do!!!!

My thoughts are that shopping should be an experience.  Not just something we have to do to eat, clothe ourselves, feather our nest.  But a treat, an excursion, an event that breathes life into us, not just sucks money from our pockets.  When I go to buy my groceries for the week, I want to be inspired to cook, to try new tastes, to experiment.  I want to travel in my mind to the vineyards the wine comes from.  I want to see the cheese storehouse where the cheese is ripened and oh I want to visit the fields where those tart, delicious, juicy berries are hand picked.  I want to smell the scent of the flowers as they are picked for me.  Yeah ok a bit over the top oh well, my usual shopping experience here in Australia is nothing like that.  Our supermarkets seem to have been designed for convenience and little else.  And many times they have failed in that area as well, the queues, the bad fruit & veg, the queues, the boring bread and cheese all packed in glorious plastic, the queues, oh did I mention the check out guys who load my bag to overflowing so that I need Arnold's bi ceps to get them out of the car.  And the queues.  So I was so excited when we found these stores in Engand this year.  Harrods food court what compares truly, it is just like a wonderland.  The displays are fantastic.  I felt like I was in a food paradise.  The chocolates all shiny and bright and the smell amazing.  Fortnum & Masons oh my goodness the window displays had me from the get go.  I was stunned, it was like looking at the most incredible scrapbook page and I was smitten.
Really how amazing is this window display, it felt like I was peeking into a giant dollshouse.  Beautiful.  Then in Kensington High Street we stumbled across Wholefoods they have an entire Cheese Room, yum. Shopping in Australia is nothing like this.  I miss it...I want to open a store like these ones.  I don't think we have that lifestyle here though, I think I should have been born in Europe, I love shopping this way.
I mean really this is like someones living room, complete with chandelier and fancy decorations.  Gotta love shopping like this. And then there was Portobello Road markets, must admit big mistake going on a Saturday, unfortunately we didn't realise we were in the market streets really early one Friday morning as we went for our early morning walk.  Had we known that we would have come back a few hours later and beat the crowds, and seriously I mean crowds.  All we could do was shuffle along with the slowly moving, crushing throng of bodies and every now and then force ourselves out of the heaving mass and on to a tiny patch of footpath for the quickest picture opportunity
A silver stall on Portobello Road
My husband is in this picture of the crowds, no I am not going to try and point him out but you get the idea hey
And then there is Camden and the Camden Markets. This place is a world unto itself.  Every tribe and every tongue...amazing.  The markets are just incredible.  They fill an old stable and then some and are on the edge of a lock, we actually got lost at one stage, but hey I really didn't care I was in shopping heaven.  This place has shoes to die for honestly, my number one daughter has 67 or is it 76 pairs of shoes, so whenever I go somewhere and see amazing shoes I have to get pics.  I even bought her a really cool wooden soled high heeled lime green pair with a silver stiletto heel from Israel.  So you can see we are hooked on shoes. See what I mean glorious high heeled shoes oh my my mouth waters. As well as shoes, and all things crafty and weird you can go over to the DARKSIDE seriously a shop named that which sells all things goth.  So cool, and go get a piercing or tattoo while you're at it.  Then go have a drink and something to eat at the World's End, never got to do that actually saving it for next time.
So can you see shopping is an advernture, something to be enjoyed, not endured, something to take you out of the everyday and into some fantasy world.  Oh how I love it, well I love it in the UK anyway. Umm until next time...I dream


  1. Kim I love your photos! Take a look at my BANANAS!!!

  2. BTW, I did find Adrian in the photo! :-)

  3. How funny you will be one of the only people who looks for him. We did Where's Wally all over Europe it was funny.

  4. Love those pictures. Thanks for sharing. We have a wonderful local market that knows how to display food beautifully.

    I have to be careful shopping there. Even though there prices are only a little more than the supermarket, I find myself spending way more and buying things that we don't need.

    Thank for introducing yourself. Nice to meet another Kimba.

  5. It was a fun idea! (where's wally). Kim, you should enter the contest at Rick Steves in making an album!!! Maybe you will win a trip, you are clever! I still want to do it myself, but no sure “when” I can get to it. One can only use photos they actually took themselves….I did not keep that in mind when taking photos as I had a small tripod I only used once. Oh well. It will be an album without us in it!

  6. I am completely with you about uninspired supermarket shopping. It's the same in the US, except for Whole Foods, which is marvelous, but not cheap! I feel lucky that where I live we have lots of small farm stands and food coops. We also have many small specialty food stores and farmers markets. I'd lose my mind if I had only those crummy, ginormous US grocery stores with their flavorless, nutritionless veggies.
    I'm also with you about London markets! I adore them, especially Borough Market. I love your photos and descriptions of these magical (if crowded!!) places. xo


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