Thursday, July 31, 2008

Making time

The countryside? Oh yes, that green thing that Daddy owns. Camilla's Store is off for the weekend! Back Monday party people. x

Virtual wardrobes

Several months ago Camilla's Store signed up to a Top Shop consumer research evening (every girl has her price and mine is my travel expenses and £40 in ToSho vouchers). Reading between the lines, their main point of interest seemed to be whether or not they could make friends with us on Facebook. It seems even Top Shop has insecurities!

Facebook remains strictly for friends, but I have noticed a proliferation of new websites catering to the social networking of retail wishlists. My Fave Shop and Shop Style are two sites entering the public consciousness.

As a seasoned shopper and Amazon wishlist addict, I can see the appeal of these kind of sites but I wonder where the line is between 'check this out' between friends and surreptitious data gathering amongst companies.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Another day, another London toilet! This time Busaba. Fantastic thai food, shame the hyroglyphs on the toilet doors make you think 'forget it, I'll pee in the corner'!

Monday, July 28, 2008

What's in a domain?

Pleased to announce that this blog can now be accessed via the very elegant and super efficient address of

Bookmark it NOW!

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Still trucking...

Several years down the line and the infamous restaurant cum tearoom cum club that is Sketch is still so super cool! The Russell Young pictures of Kate Moss and Pete Doherty as Myra Hindley and Ian Brady are a bit 'obvious', but if you like that kind of thing (and the punters in there paying £4 a biscuit do), then you like that kind of thing. Aside from that, the labyrinth of concept rooms, from the decadent cafe to the wall-to-wall cinema screen in the club, are utterly enchanting and compelling.

The only thing that lets the place down is their dreadful website which was certainly cutting edge 4 years ago, but now looks amateurish. Given where Flash for luxury websites is today (see Coco de Mer), Sketch are lagging conspicuously behind.

Sketch may have the best loos in London, but they need to flush their web designer!

Saturday, July 26, 2008

I'm sorry but....

Oh, and also....

And lest we forget.....

OBAMATRON!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Camilla's Store guest contributor asks....

What’s a Saturday night out without a Boogie?

So finally I’ve made it to the motherland. I swear North London is not just convenient geographically, but mentally and … well just simply more convenient for life. To prove the point – during one of my last expeditions south of the channel I stupidly agreed to cycling to Paris for charity. Now, ultimately I will get into Heaven quicker but its playing havoc with my social life!

After hitting the gym for two hours in the morning, followed by an afternoon session on how to get to Paris (two stops down the Northern Line and then change was what I had previously thought) I waded past the paps outside Wino’s house to visit my brother for some bicycle buying advice.

Now we –trons are not known for our sobriety, and ebay bike hunting quickly turned into a drinking game using his flatmate’s fine chilled Chablis for shots. Soon plans were afoot for a night out – Hackney, Shoreditch, Camden…Highgate?!

Highgate isn’t normally known for wild nights, but that’s because it likes to keep itself secret. We started at Papa Del’s pizza place with its knobbly tables and excellent pizzas (although they rather oddly but the topping underneath the cheese, surely they’re no longer toppings then), but more importantly their desert menu consists of only cookies! You just can’t look hard sipping your double espresso and whisky when you have a white chocolate cookie in the other hand – but it’s just too good!

With that warm whiskey feeling in the pit of our stomachs we rambled our way down to Boogaloo – can a pub go wrong with a name like that?! With a massive outside area, loads of seating inside and the best bar staff ever, the place was jumping! A crowd of hip young north Londoners, bored with the otherwise inevitable and seemingly eternal trek back from east London, gave the place had a relaxed vibe but with a pumping soundtrack. It wasn’t long before the –trons were throwing some wicked shapes on the floor and soon everyone was up and loving the boogie!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

I was lucky enough to enjoy a lunch al fresco in Hanover Square this afternoon, alongside all the anorexics from vogue and long-haired city-boys. For most people on the 9-5, the last thing we want on our lunch break is to be disturbed by a sales pitch, so I was amazed at what Google managed to achieve from where they had set up in the centre of the square.

Beans bags, frisbees, ice lollies and exercise balls littered the grass and jolly Googlers meandered through the picnic-ers introducing them to the google maps application on their mobile phones. The number of people who happily allowed the Googler to join them on the grass and mess about their with their phone is a testament to the brand loyalty and benevolence that Google has accrued.

What made the stunt successful where the brand ambassadors. It is well known that Google treat their staff to daily array of workplace perks from games rooms to free drinks and chocolates and it seems to have paid off. The girl who came up to me had the confidence and dedication not found in hired event staff. Like Google itself, she was informative, laid back and to the point. And thanks to her, I can now locate the nearest Topshop at a moment's notice on my phone. A lunch-hour well spent.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Generally no more General Trading

Today it was revealed that the General Trading Company has gone into administration. This does not mean the shop that invented both the Sloane Ranger and the wedding list will be closing its doors, but it is a sign that the dreaded Credit Crunch is starting to take its toll.

I visited the shop recently and noticed a distinctive air of failure, similar to the one also currently hanging over Heals. Both shops have developed that lack-luster feeling that turn customers away quicker than you can say Closing Down Sale.

Friday, July 18, 2008

OBAMATRON ..........

You just can’t say no to some Tiki Tiki

It would appear that I have complete disregard for my golden rules, for yet again I’ve ended up south of the river. I keep south of the river friends, not because they're sligthly dim and good drinkers, but rather because I feel its like doing a good deed everyday, and one day the government will introduce some form of tax credit for us for putting up with them. This weekend, however, I have good reason – a good friend’s birthday.

We started at what must be one of the quaintest pubs in London, the Prince of Wales on Clever Square – a quiet conservation area seemingly detached from the modern world right by the permanently grid-locked Kennington Road. What makes this place different, it that in place of those stuffy private gardens you find in Kensington squares, here you find a gravel patch more akin to the those in dusty old French villages. But, again, instead of old men with guts the size of small planets, here you find a young crowd of city professionals playing petanque with their pint or G&T in their hand.

Like the gin and tonic, legendary nights are made in great pairings. We started with the calm Prince but upon last orders then moved onto the buzzing South London Pacific Bar – or to you and me – Tiki Tiki. Decked from head to toe in bamboo and Easter Island statues this place is so naff, it’s off the hook! Dancing, and crooning along, to Michael Jackson and the like, some very beautiful boys and girls drink down some of the best cocktails this side of the Channel – including the lethal lager-rita, a margherita in a tall glass topped off with a bottle of Sol. I’m a robust drinker, but even those floor me within minutes!

However, the best measure for determining a great bar – their policy on when to chuck people out. In this place, if you’re caught even blinking slowly you’re out, falling asleep practically leads to an outright ban! One bouncer was once overheard saying 'you're not coming in - you look too tired to party hard'. Now, I had been pre-warned of this ruthless policy, so knowing my susceptibility to the sleeps after one to many lager-ritas, I quietly toddled off home to the North whilst the sun crawled over the horizon.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Now all the upheaval of the move is over, I'm starting to get serious about the decorative, homely side of things. A friend gave me a couple of tomato plants and I'm nearly done putting up my wall decal. Just really want this now...

To go with my Banksy print (yes, I really am too cool for school!)

In striking comparison to Slough (see yesterday's post), photographer in the field and founder of the London Street Photography blog kindly stormed the Liberty Own Label store on Sloane Street on our behalf.

Given that - in my opinion - one of Liberty's weakest points is their own label, I'm not quite sure about this new venture. I do, however, 'get' that they evidently had the opportunity to have a presence on one of London's most des-res streets for luxury retailers, right next to one of their main competitors, Harvey Nichols, and they jumped at it. Makes excellent business sense.

It IS gorgeous and they've managed to maintain that art deco/ arts and crafts style of the flagship. Beautiful.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Come friendly bombs and fall on Slough...

Making Reading look quaint, Slough is the most depressing image of Britain I've yet encountered.

This (see above) is the view that greets you as you exit Slough train station. They may as well re-name the town Tesco and be done with it!

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Update! So, the wall decal I really wanted (see earlier post) was not in the colour I wanted, so I went for this...

Just got the get thing on the wall now!

Saturday, July 12, 2008


The Door to Narnia is at London Bridge

Now, I must admit, I am not the biggest fan of London south of the river – call me a snob, but along with ‘don’t dabble in heroin’ and ‘its always quicker to use the Victoria Line’, it is one of my golden rules. The other day, however, after a few too many caipirinhnas at La Perla, I ventured behind a simple black door beneath London Bridge station and found the entrance to a new subterranean world - Shunt.

Essentially an art-cum-night club run by an artist co-op to inspire those who want something a bit different for their Saturday night out. Most importantly though, its always evolving as each week will be curated by a different Shunt artist. Some will fill the space with nonstop entertainment, some will do next to nothing, fortunately the bar staff are more reliable.

At first it seems like entering into a lawyer’s office with its dark wood panelling and thick velvet drapes. As you walk on though, the luxurious fabrics slip down revealing bare brick, the light diminishes as the ceiling rises, and the air becomes heavy with damp. Before you know it, you’ve entered a warren of massive caverns, each one filled with something different – a bar, a theatre, an art installation, or a live band on stage. I half expected to stumble across some form of ultimate fighting match between Alexa Chung and Daisy Lowe, but instead we found vintage pacman - not the same but just as addictive

After freeing a decent bottle of Nicolas Feuillatte from behind the gigantic bar, we wandered from cave to cave following the eclectic crowd of Missoni maxis, Henry Holland Tee’s and Daks suits. Small groups sat round talking on the sofas, whilst others start to hit the dancefloor, all lit by hundreds and thousands of candles.

Now, it was at the point of discovering a dinner party parked on the back of a milkcart that things start to get a little hazy, and golden rule number four stepped in – black cab, always!

Friday, July 11, 2008

Word from across the pond says this is gonna be gooood...

Given that it's been perpetually chucking it down for the past week, something deep inside me wants these.... badly!

Aw, Fopp was so great!

How many times have I heard that now? And it's always followed by some know-all who says 'oh no, there's still one in Covent Garden', to which everyone breathes a communal sigh of relief.

So, what's wrong with HMV? Zavvi? Amazon? iTunes? Any of the thousands of other independent record stores? What made Fopp so freakin' special?

Well, for starters, it's cool. From the hard-wood floors, to the little staff recommendations, to focus on up-and-coming young bands, they're the retail equivalent of that funky, in-the-know-friend who was always a little out of your league. Contrasting heavily with Zavvi who utterly bombard you with choice, deals, loud music, big tv screens and absolutely no bias whatsoever. I mean, there's something wrong with a place who WON'T judge you for buying a McFly cd!

People everywhere are missing Fopp's laid back attitude to peddling music - the one high street chain that gave you time to browse, get into your groove and discover what rocked your boat. Here's hoping HMV, having brought back to life 8 Fopp stores, continue to return them to our streets.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

This journal from Present and Correct is making me reconsider my Moleskine addiction...

Speaking of which, this laser engraving from Engrave is pretty incredible. Check out for more wondrous laser techniques.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Exciting news Camilla's Store devotees (of which, I'm certain, there are literally thousands!)... I am pleased to announce that we are to have a guest contributor!

Obamatron will be sending word from the darker echelons of London life. As a champagne socialist, Obamatron will be going to great lengths to bring news and reviews from the London club and bar circuit, giving you all something to do once the shops have shut and the bad boys come out to play.

Check back soon for the first installment!

Sunday, July 06, 2008

No fair!

Socially acceptable body hair, the better end of the pay gap and now this... wonderful e-tailing! Discovered two, predominantly male-orientated, websites this week both of which are beautifully curated and unique. Ok, so women are more demanding (we want wish lists, tell a friend opportunities and the chance to mainline one-click shopping straight into our veins), but must we forego aesthetics? is STUNNING. I especially like their store locater function, which takes an old concept and makes it theirs. meanwhile understands how important tactility is in selling clothes. You can't actually touch the stuff, but there's so many photos you feel like you have.

Shop til you drop (literally)!

Spotted this article in Retail Week, '100 Shops to visit before you die', which makes me feel like there are, surely, more important things to worry about as we strut and fret our hour upon the stage....

Love, love, loving these beautiful wall decals from

The world's your catwalk.

I call it ‘The Sartorialist’ effect – your average London street is regularly trumping the stores as the go-to place for up-to-the-minute fashion as more and more people step out in style. Thanks to street photography blogs such as The Sartorialist, it is now necessary to be ‘camera ready’ even when you pop out for milk. Walking the streets in one of Europe’s most fashion-forward Capitals, I have really begun to notice trends on the street weeks or even months before they hit the magazines. For the absolute best in cutting edge fashion, I’m fortunately just young enough and girly enough to get away with goggling at the Camden Girls School girls who regularly achieve unbelievable heights of fashion before 8.45am. Incredible. For my work wardrobe, I ride the Piccadilly line between 9 and 10 am to get the best mix of executive and luxury sales assistant garb. For Men’s fashion, nothing beats Soho Square at lunch time, when all the drama development execs emerge in classic geek-chic attire. So, instead of keeping your head stuck in a book over lunch in the park, try a bit of people watching – it’s a cheaper fashion hit than that £4.75 copy of Vogue, trust me!

The world’s your catwalk.