Just before I did Angloville, I spent a day in London and a day in Brighton for shopping and museums. In this post I’ll be talking about vegan food, museums, and shopping.
One of my favourite things about London is all the free museums and many of them are in one area, right by South Kensington tube station. That’s where you’ll find the Natural History Museum, Science Museum, and the V&A Museum. All three are great museums and you really can’t see all of it in one trip, so my advice is to pick a section of the museum that interests you and really immerse yourself in it and get a lot out of it. All the museums are free (except if you’re going to certain premium exhibits), so it’s a great way to have a relatively cheap day in London.
I love the V&A for their excellent temporary exhibits. Back in 2017, I went to their You Say You Want A Revolution 1960s exhibit back in January 2017 and it was amazing. So when I was planning my trip to London, I was happy to see that the timing was perfect and I could see the Mary Quant exhibit.
Who is Mary Quant? One of the most influential fashion designers of the 60s. She was born in London to Welsh parents in 1930. She began her fashion design career in 1955, designing high end clothing for a Kings Road boutique she and some business partners started called Bazaar. Not a lot of the same pieces were made, making original stuff from Bazaar expensive and sought after.
What made her designs stand out is that they were designed for youth. However, the clothing from Bazaar was very expensive, hundreds of pounds in today’s money.
The late 50s and rock and roll era was when the whole concept of the teenager began – they’re not little kids, but they’re not adults either. Because of the economic boom, parents were giving their teenage kids allowances and the teens were able to spend money on records, junk food, magazines, books, clothes, etc. Teens had their own style, distinct from their parents, more rebellious.
From there, Mary Quant became very influential because of the shorter and shorter hemlines, bright colours, youthful designs, and that recognisable daisy logo. It caught a lot of attention and Americans were looking to Britain for influence and so the brand grew with the Mary Quant name being licenced out.
Now, her brand has been bought out by a Japanese company and has more of a following there than in Mary’s native UK. The focus isn’t so much on clothes as it is on makeup and accessories. I see some clothes on the Japanese Mary Quant Instagram account, but they don’t have nearly the same magic as the originals. Lipsticks cost about €30 or £26 and blouses cost about €100. A bit out of my price range and for €100 I can get custom made or unique stuff on Etsy.
Authentic Mary Quant pieces from the 60s are coveted and can cost hundreds of dollars/pounds/euro. I am lucky to have a Mary Quant dress in my closet, but I think it’s from the 80s and I paid around €25 for it – not a bad deal.
That’s how expensive Mary Quant is!
If you find 60s Mary Quant dresses in your closet, hold onto them and treasure them, as they’re worth a lot of money! Maybe now is a good time to get into that reproduction business and cash in on the popularity of 60s designs.
The exhibit itself is absolutely worth the visit and I loved seeing all the clothes and seeing the old videos where people would talk about the influence Mary Quant had. I only wish I had that magic copy machine from Fairly Odd Parents so I could have all those clothes in my wardrobe. Here are some pictures I took at the exhibit:
Also at the V&A you can check out a few other classic rock things in their permanent collection. Here are some photos and posters of Jimi Hendrix, The Beatles, The Yardbirds, Lou Reed, David Bowie, and Bob Dylan.
While at the museums, I went to the Natural History Museum and I saw this big sign for Museum of the Moon, a travelling art installation with a spherical helium balloon replica of the moon with photos taken from NASA’s Lunar Reconaissance printed on it inside this dark room. The photos are printed on it so well that it looks textured. The balloon is illuminated. It would be cool to see a whole room of this for the Solar System.
At the Science Museum, I mostly checked out the space section, but another thing that interested me was Boaty McBoatface.
I didn’t really do any vintage shopping in London because it’s very expensive there and it’s overwhelming because there are lots of places to check out in Camden, Brick Lane, places like that. Camden is like a labyrinth and I’ve walked around there enough times over my many trips to London.
Most of the shopping I did was in Brighton, which is a short train journey away from London. This time getting to Brighton was a lot smoother because the train went straight there, no need for those annoying rail replacement buses. The city centre is compact and a lot of the vintage shops are in the North Laine area. So there’s not too much walking involved.
I saw this really cool orange kaftan in the Snooper’s Attic but I didn’t like the price so I didn’t buy it, but I got a nice picture in the change room. Looks great with the dress I was wearing but I don’t have rock star money.
I did buy this blue Asian style dress and a purple top (that I still have yet to wear, but I’ll wear it at some point). You can’t see the whole dress, but here I am wearing it walking around London. I love the colours and the reflective mirror details.
Here are some pictures I took while in Brighton. I love it there!
A small chain of vegetarian/vegan restaurants in London. They have locations in Camden, Soho, Kings Cross, and Dalston. The menu takes inspiration from a variety of cuisines throughout the world. Almost everything on the menu is vegan, except for a couple of dishes that have halloumi or some other kind of cheese.
I ordered the summer rolls and the jerk tofu. Really enjoyed it. I would definitely come back again and try something else.
Purezza – Brighton
They also have a location in Camden, but I decided to try them in Brighton since I was going there anyway. They are a totally vegan pizza restaurant, so vegan that they don’t accept cash (because those polymer notes contain animal by-products). One really cool thing they do is have a special pizza that the proceeds go to charity.
I decided to keep it simple by ordering the mac & cheese and a margherita pizza. Pizza toppings are expensive! And sometimes simple is good. But I definitely want to come back and try one of their pizzas with toppings on it.
Pizzaface – Worthing
I went to visit my friend and he and I had the munchies and the only delivery place that had options was this pizza restaurant called Pizzaface. Pizza again? Can’t complain. You’re on holidays, why not enjoy yourself! The menu has some hilarious names on it. I decided to order the Cuck Pizza, a spicy vegan pizza. It didn’t play around and I really liked it.
Mao Chow – London Fields
A bit out of the way, but a friend named Stephanie highly recommended this restaurant owned by one of her friends. I ordered the Dan Dan Noodles. I enjoyed it. It’s quite out of the way so I don’t know if I would return, but it was definitely worth trying.
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