Bookshop Hopping & Wedding Planning Day In London

18 Oct 2023

Daunt Books, London

THIS WAS A GOOD DAY. A combination of stopping breastfeeding, Alfie’s sleep improving and him finally allowing his dad to do bedtime means your girl suddenly has more energy and a fraction more freedom to go and do adult things. Tumble Tots is great and all but good lord, so is a day without pushing a buggy and not spending two hours teaching a toddler to say tractor (yeah okay, him saying ‘tacta’ is officially the cutest thing in the world but that’s not the point right now). 

I boarded a train into London with just my book for company, and there was something so freeing about knowing I wasn’t on any kind of deadline. It was one of those journeys where everything worked in my favour; arriving-on-the-tube-platform-and-an-open-train-door-right-in-front-of-me kind of vibe.
 

This was a day of quality time with my favourite sister. Okay, she’s my only sister but she is my favourite. I was well overdue seeing the flat she moved into over a year ago so that was my first port of call. I sort of already felt like I knew it because I’d seen a lot of pictures, but I will never not enjoy nosing at all the little nooks and crannies of someone’s home. Cue lots of discussions about the contents of her bookshelf. 

She showed me round her local area, and we stopped for lunch at a cafĂ© that had an excellent array of sandwiches and smoothies. And then it was officially wedding-venue-viewing time, and I was very excited to see them in person. We started at the pub where she is having her reception (which I loved), had a leisurely drink in the garden and discussed bands, speeches, cakes etc before making our way to the ceremony venue. We couldn’t go in, but it was great to see it in person and visualise the day, even more so when a just-married couple walked out – the bridesmaid dresses were the exact same shade we will be wearing, and they had a red London bus to transport the guests which is a theme on my sister’s day. We made lots of undignified squealing noises (at a safe distance from the newlyweds who did not need two weird women ruining their moment). 

We then wandered over to Marylebone high street and into Daunt Books where there were more squealing noises because we are book nerds and not afraid to show it. I have wanted to go to Daunt Books for a long time and it lived up to all expectations. The travel theme, the mezzanines, the arched window; what a gorgeous little spot for a book lover. Whilst we were discussing the merits of a good bookshop, my sister realised I had never been to Foyles and decided this had to be rectified immediately. 

Bookshop hopping, London

Bookshop hopping, London

Bookshop hopping, London

Bookshop hopping, London

Bookshop hopping, London

Just before though, we took a little break to sit outside a Pret and drink chai lattes and then detoured to Astrid & Miyu to shop for wedding jewellery. I have become a little obsessed with Astrid & Miyu in recent years. Whilst I only own one pair of earrings from there, I regularly browse their website and fantasise about all the other items I would like to own (spoiler: everything). So, we had a lot of fun browsing their store in-person and picking out potential items for my sister to wear on her wedding day. 

And then we momentarily lost our minds and walked down Oxford Street at 5pm on a Friday. I do not recommend doing this unless you have an epic bookshop waiting for you at the end of it. Only an obscene amount of books can make up for the obscene amount of people we had to wade through.


Bookshop hopping, London

Bookshop hopping, London

Foyles was worth it though. Welcome book lover, you are among friends reads the greeting as you gaze, open-mouthed, at the five levels of books towering before you. I think this is the biggest bookshop I have been to date, and I was very happy about the situation. Ironically, I couldn’t actually find a copy of the book I was hoping to buy, until my sister suddenly spotted a single signed copy at the bottom of a book trolley. What a win. 

I’m not sure how long we browsed for, but at some point, we realised we needed to go find food if I was going to get a reasonable timed train home. We had Wagamama in mind and, thankfully, they are a bit like rats in London: never more than a few feet away. We soon found one and settled down to natter about books over katsu curry, udon noodles and gyoza. It was a joy, heightened by the fact that I ended up on a train two hours later than planned and, for the first time since Alfie was born, this was no big deal. 

I love my gorgeous boy, but it feels truly excellent to be able to have days like these again and it was so lovely to have some one-on-one time with my sister. 

Comments

  1. Thanks for sharing, glad to hear that you had a great day with books and a good coffee :)

    Nic | Nic's Adventures

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