Whilst strolling through the streets of Paris I visited what can only be described as a bizarre taxidermy zoo. Deyrolle is a shop cum gallery dedicated to "preserved" animals... which apart from the beautifully coloured beetles and butterflies from around the world, has a collection of animals big and small and has been around since 1831. Not really knowing what to expect but certainly not realising how confronting it would be I wandered in and up the stairs to the first floor. A 7' bear welcomed me into the space and then suddenly i was surrounded by wild cats, birds in flight, majestic deer and even a giraffe and calf. All dead. The shop itself is in a grand turn of the century building with high ceilings and all manner of period details which whisk you back in time and make you feel like royalty (yes i do have a vivid imagination) but the animals... Spectacular! I have to say that I am a fairly passionate animal lover, I don't for the most part condone wearing them. Mink coats and fox furs are not morally compatible with my values, though I do wear leather shoes, so where does that leave a prowling lion frozen forever in motion? Or a display cabinet of glorious butterflies with pins in them? Well, I at the moment my french is not good enough to engage the shop assistants in a discussion of animal rights, so I have decided that to stuff an animal that died naturally is ok. To then put that animal in your lounge room? That's just personal taste.
This little Parisian gem is a curiosity in the very least. . Click here to have a squiz at what i am talking about ... but for the english version you'll have to use the good old google translate tool.
Right now London equals snow, slush, mud and puddles (yes the snow is beautiful). Delicate shoes are not the answer ... not even sensible boots fare well in these conditions. The humble wellington is a must. Enter Hunter boots. This Scottish company has been making their classic boots since 1856 and are suppliers to Queen Elizabeth II and the Royal family. Now the term classic tends to be a little over used in this day and age but in this case it is the only fitting description. Built to last their current design has not changed since 1955 but now we can buy them in a myriad of different colours. I just invested in the forest green but likes of Kate Moss an other celebs have been spotted wearing anything from black to silver, with a bit of red thrown in for good measure. London does not have a monopoly on rain and where there is rain... there should definitely be a pair of Hunters. God, this sounds like an ad, but I truly am a convert!
Well now it is my turn to send you a postcard from london and I couldn't think of anything more fitting than a moment of escapism from grim financial crisis and plummeting temperatures. The escape is a little sweet shop tucked off the main drag of Covent Garden called Hope and Greenwood. Stepping inside this little red shop is like walking into a fantasy world of the 1950's. Packed to the rafters with old fashioned lollies there really is something for everyone here. Pick up a box of rose and violet cream chocolates for tea with your grandma, or maybe oodles of strawberry cream fudge for a girls' night in, then again maybe it should just be a stick of great british rock to nibble on as you float out door past the theatres of Drury lane. I promise you'll feel just like Doris Day. Click here to visit their website.