Wednesday, 17 September 2014

Trip to Glasgow and all things Mackintosh

A working trip to Glasgow last Thursday was a good excuse for a couple of days exploring. Now I've been past Glasgow many times heading north but I've never been in the city centre which quite surprises me even as I'm a big fan of Charles Rennie Mackintosh.

Here's the first thing I didn't know about Glasgow, it has an underground subway train system. I don't like the tubes in London, infact I don't have much desire to ever go down there again as big cities have started to freak me out so it was quite something for me to 'brave' Glasgow. 
My first look at the subway and how cool is this Mackintosh-esque illustration.

I found the trains ok, it's not complicated as it's just an inner or outer circle around the city so you can't get lost and it wasn't that busy during the day so I quite liked it. It allowed much toing and froing from one part to another in the quest for artisan coffee shops.

However, first Mackintosh pilgrimage of the day was breakfast at the Willow Tea Rooms on Sauchiehall Street.

French toast with maple syrup and earl grey to wash it down.

Possibly not as large as I was expecting and not many waitresses in lacy aprons but it's something ticked off my bucket list.

Onwards to see the Glasgow School of Art following the fire in summer.

And some souvenirs from the school art shop.

There are some interesting steep streets in Glasgow.

The one below is quite untypical, doesn't it look like a Manhattan back alley in the 1970's.

The art tour was interspersed with a list of coffee shops to seek out, think we ticked 3 off the list, all different, all interesting. In no partic order Laboratorio Espresso, Artisan Roast, Avenue G.

Back to art and the Gallery of Modern Art (GoMA). A fabulous exhibition with cardboard buildings and churches as far as the eye could see.

Interesting art on the corridor walls too, most poignant the top one with the referendum tomorrow.

Hardly went in any shops as there was so much else to see but this one intrigued me with the window display. It was very hard to photograph but on every glass window it was floor to ceiling with vintage sewing machines. Looked a very expensive shop.

Some street art near to a bridge in the city centre and it was weird and like being in the countryside, a bubbling river running through, lots of trees, a park too.

A fabric shop on my to do list, Mandors, oh my it was packed with fabric, haberdashery, wool etc. I had to control myself and was very restrained with this one metre of atlas fabric.

That was Glasgow in a nutshell, I liked it, there was a good vibe and it felt very Scottish if you get my drift.

There was time for a quick visit to a coffee friends cafe in Dundee on the way back, Espress Oh! which was a very lovely place.

And we tried to visit The Kelpies but that was chaos on the parking side, or very little of it. The pictures were from the car, we couldn't get parked and had to queue in an unorganised state (even though there were car park workers who were next to useless) just to get out without even stopping.

If you go, plan to go early as it's next to a childrens theme playground with little parking.

Sunday, 14 September 2014

Northumbria - vintage shops, galleries, cafes and some purchases

I will finish off Northumbria with these snippets.

1. Boe Rigg, Bellingham. A groovy, retro place which is a camp site, self catering hay loft and a cafe. A very nice peaceful place to stop for a snack and they have some interesting local crafts for sale.

2. Linda Lovatt Gallery, Jedburgh as previous post, this is a beautiful hare necklace I bought which Linda had made. I just love the packaging too, excellent presentation.

3. Barter Bookshop, Alnwick. A cross stitch book I bought, sometimes it's nice to do a non demanding craft like cross stitch.

4. Lindisfarne, produce. Walking from the car park to the village there were 2 local produce stalls, I bought these spuds which were delish, some honey also delish and the jam is unstarted.

5. Hawick, Lovat Mill, towards the end of the weeks trip I discovered a leaflet for the Textile Trail, if only I'd had it sooner to visit more wool and fabric places. Oh well, I made it to Lovat Mill, no website for them but you can go to the mill and a lovely lady dragged lots of small bits of tweed for me to look at and did me a good price by weighing them to price up. The tweed is all spun there and of course they do have full metreage to buy and blankets, scarves and clothing too.

6. Corbridge, lovely place for small indie shops. cafes, arty crafty stuff etc. Found this little Vintage shop with a beautifully presented selection of things, even some Hornsea pottery too. It's a small co-operative run by 3 ladies. I bought these vintage buttons, could've gone mad as they had a great stash of Liberty fabrics too.

And then this shop which I did go a bit mad with the photos as it had such a weird and wonderful collection of vintage, new, reclaimed etc. It's called RE and we have a web link for this one so if you want to go and buy a skeleton plate or a mug with the Yorkshire Wolds on this is the place for you!

I had to control my purse in here so these are the few things I bought.

Now feast your eyes on some of the other displays, there's lots of haberdashery things, kitchen and garden. A very inspiring place for a mooch. 

Wednesday, 10 September 2014

Sightseeing in Northumbria

This could be a bit boring, an indulgent string of holiday snaps to remind me of what I got up to!

1. The holiday cottage, it's along the side of Derwent Reservoir in a barn conversion but no view of the water.

I liked the look of this place because it was contemporary, uncluttered and clean looking, everything my day to day living environment isn't! I always take pics inside holiday cottages I like for ideas for when I have my own holiday cottage.

2. Alnwick, I've been to the castle before so this time visited Barter Books in the old station which I hadn't experienced before. A mega place if you like second hand bookshops.

3. Holy Island, Lindisfarne. My third visit and it never fails to spook me as you drive over the causeway soon after the tide has parted.

There was even a bagpiper togged out the same as Bob!

 Couldn't resist this cottage!

 The drive back with the rescue hut if you get cut off!

4. Bamburgh Castle

5. Blanchland Village, a wonderful, quaint, estate village, most estate houses had red doors.

The tearoom was in an old chapel.

5. Kielder Water

6. Warkworth Castle

7. Coast near Amble

8. Corbridge, a lovely Roman town with independent shops, gallery, vintage shops :)

 This is inside the Balman Gallery, a fab place for a snack and I had the most delicious milkshake ever, peanut butter, banana and local vanilla ice cream float, heaven :)

Also spotted a lovely bakery in Corbridge with these amazing, colourful, huge meringues. Don't worry I didn't have one after that milkshake!

9. A quick nip into the Scottish Borders.
Jedburgh has an abbey, the gaol below with pink clock tower and independent shops

10. Kelso, has the largest cobbled market square in Scotland and some lovely independent shops and stylish gallery type shops, very nice place

Phew that's it, didn't manage a close up or any snaps of Hadrians Wall on this trip.