• My favourite place in London is… too hard to choose! I tend to prefer walks or streets to determined places - the highwalks between the Barbican and London Bridge, where you overlook the city as if you were in the Jetsons' but are still overlooked by skyscrapers and the beautiful antique bookshops' street, Cecil Court, come to mind here. However, if I really had to choose one place it would be a "junk shop" on White Conduit Street, off Chapel Market. It does not even have a name, because it needs to be found, not to be looked for...
• It's special because… "Its finest treasures are never discoverable at first glimpse; they have to be sorted out from among a medley of bamboo cake-stands, Britannia-ware dish-covers, turnip watches, dog-eared books (!), ostrich eggs, typewriters of extinct makes, spectacles without lenses, decanters without stoppers, stuffed birds, wire fire guards, bunches of keys, boxes of nuts and bolts, conch shells from the Indian Ocean, boot trees, Chinese ginger jars and pictures of Highland cattle", as George Orwell wrote in 1946. Fact is, the description still fits! Unlike so-called vintage shops, you feel almost attacked by piles of plates, taxidermy, books, clothes flying from the roof: it is really exciting to wait for the special object to find you rather than the contrary, all the while holding your breath in fear of breaking something and having a conversation with the owner or her clients.
• The best time to come is… don't come too late. There are no fixed opening times, which makes the shop even more special though. Come before a masquerade night to find the perfect prop. Come on Wednesday so you can then stroll on Camden Passage and look at the antiques. Come in the winter so you can find a perfect fur (yes, you still find astrakan and not those terrible 'vintage' fake furs). Or come any given time to feel like it's not really 2012.
• Don't miss to… eat at the newly opened Bill's near Angel station; Camden Passage has some cute restaurants and coffee-shops as well (like Kipferl, the Austrian bakery) but they tend to get overcrowded, especially during the weekend. See something at Sadler's Wells. Have brunch on Exmouth Market. Have a pub crawl in the area, because trust me, there are plenty not to be missed, especially going back towards Clerkenwell!
• I love to travel to... Turin. People tend to forget about Turin and go to Milan instead, which means it is luckily not so touristy. It is a magical city, a mix of Paris, Vienna and Italy without any of their negative sides. It is said to be the centre of both the Black and the White Magic triangles... Dario Argento filmed his horrors in Turin, Nietzsche went mad there, it was the city of the kings but it is also the city of Fiat. It has the best - and often unexpected - museums, like the Lombroso, dedicated to the inventor of criminology or the Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo, one of the finest contemporary art museums in Europe. All in all, it is a fantastic destination where both people and architecture are elegant and distinguished. Baroque churches, Art Nouveau mansions, Rationalist squares... Also, it is the city of chocolate and the food is absolutely unbelievable!
• I love to shop at… Illamasqua.
• The best thing I bought lately was... a 90s Blumarine long, black velvet dress with black swan feathers around the neck.
• My current favourite read is… anything by Antonin Artaud. Theatre, poetry, musings - I will never grow tired of it.
websites & locations:
160grams • Bill’s Café • Kipferl • Sadler’s Wells • Exmouth Market • Museo Lombroso • Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo • Illamasqua
sunglasses: alexander mcqueen, coat: cos.
*We did go to the vintage shop in White Conduit Street, and it is an incredible shop, exactly as Isa describes it – perfect for treasure hunting, but very dark and difficult to photograph without flash.
More Favourite Places:
Fiona | Brick Lane | London
Daniela | The Albion | London
Sherin | Alexandra Palace | London
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