Gems of Bloomsbury

My favourite route to home from Hubbie’s office is through Bloomsbury area.
From Tottenham Court Road – one of my least favourite streets in London. Apart from Heal’s and Habitat, there are no places of interest for me –  I turn into Torrington Place.
From there, I carry on walking eastward via my favourite Byng Place & Gordon Square.
Passing a rather dreary looking Tavistock Hotel on the right, I proceeded towards Tavistock place.

On this street, there is a handsome landmark, Mary Ward House

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Playfully arranged windows above the entrance grabs my attention.
Then, my eyes are drawn to the details – the masonry work with organic curves which strongly suggests the influence by the Art & Craft Movement of the 19th Century.
Also the sign above the left entrance, painted in the same black as the double leaf doors below, reminds me of Charles Rennie Mackintosh’s…

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The golden lettering which is bordered with uneven oval dots has the uncanny charm of Art Nouveau.
Apparently, the building is up for hire for cooperate events.
Through their image gallery, the state of the interior becomes apparent.
Alas, most of the rooms are devoid of the original features!
The walls are painted in lighter shades instead of William Morris style wallpaper or dark stained wood panels.
Apart from Dickens Library which preserves beautifully glazed tile fireplaces as well as the dark wood panelling which divides the wall surfaces with the distinctive geometry of the Art & Craft style, the building has been modernised in a rather bland manner.
Oh well, even historical buildings have to earn their own keep somehow nowadays.
I understand…

From Tavistock Place, I turn into lively Marchmont Street.
Then, skirting around Brunswick Centre, I head towards Lambs Conduit Street.

Lambs Conduit Street is crammed with independent shops, mainly men’s / unisex fashion retailers.
Most of the shops were closed when I walked through the street last time.
So I had to be content with peeping through the darkened shop windows.
How do you find this display case?

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Instead of treating the cabinet too preciously, they rejuvenated it with a playful use of magazine clippings.
What a great idea!

On nearby Rugby Street, there are a few places you shouldn’t miss when you are visiting the area.

Ben Pentreath Ltd on 17 Rugby Street…

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Shame that I can’t show you their beautiful shop window.
It is obvious that the items they sell are chosen with love and care.
I find most of them quintessentially modern British. Refined, yet left with a hint of handcrafting. Sophisticated, yet approachable. And not cheap, yet the price worth paying for.

Another shop never to be missed is Maggie Owen

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They specialised in costume jewellery.

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You mustn’t underestimate it only because they are not fine jewellery.
Maggie Owen’s offerings are costume jewellery with gusto.
Until visiting this Aladdin’s Cave, I never knew that costume jewellery could be this opulent and flamboyant.
The intricacy of the work involves does reflect on the price. However, the impact which a lucky wearer gives to her audience is well worth paying for.

I shall revisit the area once I’ve recover from the surgery.
So please watch out this space…

2 thoughts on “Gems of Bloomsbury

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