As you saw in my previous post – I had so many photos from my recent trip to England that I decided to split them up! Earlier this week you saw the sights, now I’m here to share with you some of the amazing paper goodness I came across over there. It seems I somehow lost a bunch of photos from Bristol, which I’m really bummed about because there was sooo much there, but I have a few. England seems to be really into cards – there were little card shops all over the place, which warmed my heart. In this post you’ll see some of the shops I visited in Brighton, Bristol and London and then some of the goodies I took home with me! I yearn to go back, but my wallet is like ‘ok lady, enough!’ So take this British paper tour with me, and know that my final post will include all of the amazingness of seeing The Cursed Child and visiting the WB Studio Tour.
Here we start with Sass & Belle in Brighton, where I knew I was a goner. I hadn’t heard of them before but by walking by in the laines, I basically stopped in my tracks in awe as soon as I saw those tiny suitcases. I’ve been looking for the right set of those for ages, and this store was FULL OF THEM. And other good stuff, too.
This is my dream right here. I walked in and angels sang to me. I was beside myself with glee! I could have spent much longer in there (and much more money) but I contained myself 😉 Everything was just the cutest designs and clever items! Lots of animals, floral print, and tropical patterns. There was plenty for both adults and kids (and those of us who blur that line a bit). Once I realized they sell online I knew that was trouble.
I got these little suitcases plus the two sets of tags at Sass & Belle. I had to carry those cases around for the rest of the trip but it was so worth it. LOOK AT THEM. I haven’t quite figured out what to store in them yet but they sure look good on my shelf. I picked up the cards from a shop I don’t remember the name of because I lost the photo >.<
And Room and To Kill a Mockingbird…
Next up – Bristol! I’m glad that this was one of the photos that survived my Bristol loss, because these two stores were so lovely! I got to meet up with my dear friend Elaine when we arrived, and she took me walking all around the city. She’d been mentally keeping tabs on all the cute stores to show me (much appreciated) for years. I really wish I still had my photos of the insides of the stores because they were gorgeous. They had lots of handmade consignment home decor and art items but also very cute stationery :D
I went to the first Flying Tiger (or just Tiger) of the trip in a mall in Bristol… 😀 (Know that I basically went in different Tigers at least five times within a few days. They have different things in each!!)
These are most the items I left Bristol with! I’m still really sad about those adorable scissors from Tiger, because I was a total dummy and forgot they were in my backpack so they were confiscated at the airport 🙁 I still miss them! I am face palming. Anyhoo, I think that airmail notebook was from Tiger and I’m still trying to figure out what I want to do with it. Maybe it’ll be my next letter ledger! Yes! Ok, now that’s settled, the flamingo bags + window label stickers + cute fake stamps were also from Tiger, while the air balloon notebooks were from Makers (by Freya Cumming) and the bookcase notebook was from Blaze (by Fiona Clabon).
Here are two cards I found at Blaze. I was so drawn to that deer covered in bunting, obviously! That deer represents England 😉 And the reading cat is just so cute. Both of the cards are by Snippet.
One of the most wonderful parts of my trip was getting to meet my pen pal and queen of snail mail, Fab, in London! And we did what us paper lovers do best: we met up to go shopping. 😀 (Sadly we were too excited with meeting and shopping we forgot to take a selfie, which is ridiculous!) We met in Covent Garden, with the first stop being a small Kikki.k store! I was beside myself in excitement I could barely focus on anything. Fab can attest to my agog-ness. To see a store of this brand I’ve been buying from for years was pretty neat. It was bonkers busy in there, too! Which was both like, yay paper lovers, but also, get out of my way! So Fab and I did a few laps of the store looking at things until we finally decided on our purchases :p
All the agendas, notebooks and pens your heart could take.
My purchases! Very happy with them.
Then we visited the gigantic three-story Paperchase! They have a cafe in there! WHAT!! If I lived in London I would hang out there writing letters all the time. And apparently if you have a membership card, you get free coffee. JEALOUS. Since we have a tiny Paperchase in Toronto, I sort of knew what to expect, but I had no clue what could take up three floors. As we walked up to it, Fab warned me I’d become overwhelmed immediately.
She was right. I was like yeah sure this is cool and then OH GOD HOW DO I LOOK AT IT ALL? So poor Fab just followed me, with my eyes glazed over and the weird look on my face (eugh that sounds grosser than it was).
They had a huge card section, which was awesome, but I knew I couldn’t even begin to look at it because I’d get too overwhelmed. So we stayed on the outskirts looking at postcards, and I found some really cute ones I could send to people from London rather than the touristy kinds.
And then I kept these for myself! The super-cool postbox is designed by Paperchase, the books one by The Happy Pencil, and the London traffic one by Peter Donnelly.
So the first floor had the cards, office supplies, notebooks, agendas, backpacks, random bits and bobs, and the second floor had a fancy purse section (?!?!), magazines, books, Christmas decor, and the cafe. (I bought my first Christmas ornaments there – numero uno was a glittery pink unicorn, sorry Jack!) The third floor greeted you with this gorgeous view, where they house all the bigger art and craft supplies, sale items, and a space for workshops. Being in a huge store like this that is dedicated to papery goodness floored me.
This is one of the gorgeous letter sets I found at Paperchase – everyone seems to want a letter on it! I don’t blame them! It’s art!
Another beautiful letter set from Paperchase, it calms me just looking at that paper!
Besides coming home with some of these bits, these trays came from Tiger. Aren’t they gorgeous?
Have you guys read the amazing book of letters ‘84, Charing Cross Road‘? If you haven’t I recommend you do so immediately. It is one of my favourite books. It’s letters between a NY writer and a London bookseller which span over decades of a fast friendship. They even made a movie of it! I was so excited to be able to see where everything took place, but sadly this is all there is left to remember the bookstore, because now it’s a … get this … McDonalds. Yeah.
So all of these stores were in the same area of London, which is also where The Cursed Child is – Oxford Street/Covent Garden/Leicester Square area – which meant I basically went to some of the spots three days in a row. Heehee. However this store – Foyle’s – I only was in briefly during our break at The Cursed Child. I lost Jack to the Shakespeare and poetry, but enjoyed a look-around! It was a very modern and sleek store, and I just loved this sign.
Some (yes some) of the notebooks I came home with — you saw the two on the bottom already, but the others are from Tiger. The blue fake traveller’s notebook cracked Fab and me up at how delightfully cheap it was, and the little basic notebooks have been useful for keeping in my purse and making gifts out of.
On our last day we went in another Paperchase! This one was near the Fortnum and Masons store. Just one floor, geez, but yet I still managed to find new things to buy :D
Now I get to play with all my goodies! I also found this kids book in a used bookstore that I’ve been ripping pages out of for letters, and that bigger bookshelf notebook and pencil case came from the Cath Kidston store in the airport (which I was like REALLY? … oookaaaay I guess I have toooo.) Fun fact: I now have her bookshelf print in that notebook, mug and Kindle case, mostly thanks to Elaine, teehee.
There you have it! I wish I could go back! I was so happy with how much stationery I saw all over England – this means that people really value handwritten correspondence, small considerate gestures, and gift-giving. Now I’m in that second blissful state of playing with my new things, or just looking at them.
Stay tuned for the Harry Potter post, coming up next 🙂