Fashionista goes to London: Carnaby Street and Chinatown

8th September 2015

Mr Jones and I celebrated our two-year wedding anniversary recently by taking a little weekend trip to London. Despite his protestations, I insisted on some shopping, but we mixed that with Chinese food, which works for us both…

The market at Covent Garden

The market at Covent Garden

Monki boutique on Carnaby Street

Monki boutique on Carnaby Street

Carnaby Street was popular in the swinging sixties and today it’s a mix of super brands and the cool, young boutiques it became famous for. Benefit has a beautiful little shop there, and close by there’s Monki, a playful clothing brand that features uber blogger Susie Bubble as its covergirl. Their style is fashionable and functional, with long-line coats and boyfriend jeans among their staples. I liked the designs but couldn’t find much to suit my petite frame and girly predilection, but their store design was just so cute, I had to go inside.

Rainbow stairs at Monki boutique

Rainbow stairs at Monki boutique

Rainbow stairs at Monki boutique

Rainbow stairs at Monki boutique

Their rainbow staircase in particular looks like a dream I once had. I’d love to do this in my house!

Just down the road from Monki, if you’re looking for a London souvenir but want something cooler than a tacky ‘I heart London’ T-shirt, make sure you stop off at We Built This City, a cute little enclave of creative goodies in Carnaby Street.

We Built This City on Carnaby Street

We Built This City on Carnaby Street

Graphic print wrapping paper at We Built This City

Graphic print wrapping paper at We Built This City

80s stairs at We Built This City on Carnaby Street

80s stairs at We Built This City on Carnaby Street

East London graphic artist Camille Walala has given this place an 80s inspired graphic twist, with patterned staircases and tutti fruity displays. Some of the décor actually reminded me of Betties + Baldwin’s in Bristol – it’s got a touch of rockabilly chic about it. Plus, they sell loads of cat related paraphernalia, which of course is my idea of a good time.

Colourful London merch at We Built This City on Carnaby Street

Colourful London merch at We Built This City on Carnaby Street

Colourful London merch at We Built This City on Carnaby Street

Colourful London merch at We Built This City on Carnaby Street

Mr Jones’ idea of a good time is eating, which is why we also went to Chinatown as part of our London trip. Not many people know this, but I am actually a quarter Chinese (my grandpa on my mum’s side was from China), so this might explain why the sight of dim sum makes my heart happy.

Dim sum at Wan Chai Corner

Dim sum at Wan Chai Corner

We went to Wan Chai Corner on Gerrard Street for lunch. This isn’t the most glamorous place in Chinatown, but its simple, greasy spoon café-like décor belies a menu of pure Chinese foodie gold!

Dim sum at Wan Chai Corner

Dim sum at Wan Chai Corner

We had a tough time choosing from the huge dim sum menu, but we decided to go for some fishy options because it’s different to what we would usually have at home and they sounded delicious. My personal favourites are always the steamed buns and prawns, but the octopus curry was pretty special too. The prices are also amazing – we spent about £22 in total for the two of us, which is fantastic value in London.

Dim sum at Wan Chai Corner

Dim sum at Wan Chai Corner

What we ate
(Dish names might vary on the menu, prices between £2 – £4 per dish):

  • Deep fried crispy squid with chilli sauce
  • Grilled turnip cakes
  • Prawns in pastry with sesame seeds
  • Spicy pork dumplings with peanut filling
  • Octopus curry (not pictured)
  • Steamed chilli buns
  • Jasmine tea

If you loved this, check out my previous post from this trip: Fashionista goes to London: Shoes at the V&A museum

4 thoughts on “Fashionista goes to London: Carnaby Street and Chinatown

  1. tararawrs

    I do love Carnaby Street and just wandering around that whole area. I’ve never been able to find anything I liked (enough) in Monki!

    Reply

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