It’s our last day in London, and we go home tomorrow, and I am sad and happy. At the end of every trip is the time when it is almost over and you think of all the things you have seen and done, but you also yearn for home. For me, it is right at the two-week mark when I’m just done, time to wrap it up and find a plane to take me back to my kids, my dogs, my cats, my family, my comfy bed.
Apologies in advance for typos and grammar corrections I should make, but we are about to head out for the touristy part of our London visit today, so this has to be done in a hurry since I was so tired last night, I couldn’t type a sentence.
I’m not sure where I left off – I think where I was weary of the group aspect of group travel. On Friday in Grasse, we were invited to Molinard, and it was amazing. They were the most gracious hosts I think I’ve ever experienced. They took us through their operation, let us shop, took us to the special room they set up with 50 essences at each table and let us make perfume. We didn’t get the essences that are necessary for making the perfumes we like, such as civet, castoreum, labdanum — well, you know. So I did the best I could and made a perfume with heliotrope, jasmine, gardenia mostly. After we finished making zee perfume, we saw another room across the way they use for perfume-making courses. That room. Oh, yes, it was full of the stuff I really needed in my perfume, and we couldn’t stay in there, unfortunately, or I would have just moved my suitcase in and camped out on the floor.
After an incredible lunch, we got the factory tour of Fragonard as well. Did I know how good some of these Fragonards were? there’s a Men’s fragrance called F that’s made for men but belongs on women too. More about that next week.
Saturday we arrived in London late, with enough time to run to Liberty and buy scarves and perfumes and other stuff. I don’t know why this happens every time I’m in Liberty, but they have a beautiful scarf department, and there are always about 2-4 scarves that cry for me as I walk by. This year I gave in and gave two of them new homes.. I totally neglected to finalize plans with Lee for Sunday because we just weren’t sure what we were doing exactly and how tired we were, which on a scale of 1-10, my exhaustion is hitting a 9 right now, so I missed seeing him because he just had the one day. Missed Sylvia and Nicola too because we’ve had very spotty internet, and I didn’t get their e-mail until late last night. Okay, my profuse apologies. I will plan better next time. And there will be a next time!
I love London. I hate the crowds at Harrod’s, and it is such a distasteful task to plunge into that mess to try and find the sales, and it just makes me cranky. That’s how we wound up spending all of Sunday, though we finally finished just in time to get to Fortnum & Mason to do tea, which is the one thing we promised to do almost every day – have formal’ish tea. So far, we’ve done it! Couple of things we found that we had no idea were coming out. Jo Malone has four new ones – Iris & White Musk, Amber & Patchouli, Oud & Bergamot and Rose Water & Vanilla. They are Cologne Intense – not sure what that means exactly, I guess a step up from cologne. They are nice, very Jo Malone’ish. More on those next week.
Monday we met up with Diane from London (she comments on here) for tea at the Berkeley. The is the pret-a-porter tea, and it is tied to the latest season in fashion. We ate cookies shaped like Chanel shoes. We ate a Anya Hindmarch handbag. It is really adorable, posh and lovely. If you ever pick one tea to do in London, do this one. It’s pricey, but I think so worth it.
We were supposed to just go to Harvey Nichols and then spend the afternoon after tea at the Victoria & Albert Museum, but instead we elected to go back to Harvey Nichols – a department store you can easily spend a day in, without the frenetic Harrod’s thing. Another scarf had cried for me there as I walked by, a gorgeous Alexander McQueen. Yes, yes, I gave it a home!
And we are at today, the tourist part of our stay. The London Tower this morning, then the rest of the day for the Victoria & Albert Musuem, which has a Grace Kelly special exhibit. And tomorrow it is an early flight home. Thanks for letting me share my trip with you. Oh, yes, as a thank you, I will do a draw for a couple of sample sets of those four new Jo Malones. Just drop a comment to be entered.