London Calling! My husband and I are lucky enough to have family all over the world: Venezuela, Israel, England, France, Spain, Morocco, Canada, and more. We’re a veritable Model UN of relatives. Our goddaughter happens to live in London, and we delight in getting to visit her yearly. Because of timing, and an overbooked year, it turned out that we only had time for a weekend jaunt to the sweet Thames.

A Weekend London Visit(top left) What would a trip to the UK be without some Fish & Chips, malt vinegar, and mushy peas? (bottom left) While passing Buckingham Palace, the queen was in residence and all the pomp and circumstance was on full display.

We “fooled time” and were able to see The Tate Modern, The National Gallery, The Globe, Borough Market, The Golden Hinde (Sir Francis Drake’s pirate galleon), have dinner at sketch Sketch (délicieux!) and even spent a ton of quality time with our family. Even stranger? This was my first time in London without rain! The skies were as blue as can be, the weather was almost tropical, and it felt like a tropical island.

A Weekend London Visit(top left) The George Inn has been around since 1677 and is said to have hosted both Dickens and Shakespeare for meals, (top right) At the Royal Academy someone placed a beautiful, fresh wreath around the stature in the middle of the square, (bottom left) Oh the classic, red Telephone Booth! Many have now become libraries and wifi stations, how cool. (bottom right) The famous Shard, also referred to as the Shard of Glass,  is an 87-story skyscraper in the London Bridge Quarter.
A Weekend London Visit (top left) St. James’s Square is the only square in the exclusive St James’s district of the City of Westminster. It has predominantly Georgian and neo-Georgian architecture and a private garden in the center. In the garden we found amazing burnt wood and bronze sculpture by Aron Demetz. (top right) No summer trip to London is complete without a Pimm’s and Lemonade. The historical drink has become synonymous with British festivals, weddings, and sporting events – especially the tennis at Wimbledon. So refreshing.

 A colleague’s boyfriend who has been living abroad in the UK for a few years also sent me these wonderful suggestions. Yay for expats. 
  • For brunch or a pub dinnerThe Grazing Goat in Marylebone near Marble Arch.  I used to live nearby and went very often.  It’s especially good with nice weather because you can sit outside on a quiet street.
  • If you’re touristing around in central London, I can say that most pubs that you pop into for lunch would be pretty good and will serve things appealing to kids – fish and chips, pies, burgers.  Also, I think a lot of people go to some of the nicer chains like Cafe Rouge (French), Leon (Fresh Fast Food), Byron (Burgers) and Carluccio’s (Italian) – it’s all very consistent food, not horribly expensive.
  • Tayyabs – very authentic Punjabi cuisine with an accessible atmosphere.  Service is curt but they can help suggest orders.  If you want beer to cool down the Indian food, pick it up at a convenience store on the high street before you get to the restaurant.  They don’t serve alcohol and the street the restaurant is on doesn’t have anywhere to buy.

G-d Save the Queen!

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Wassupbrothers Giveaway

Introducing Olga Zamyatina, from Moscow, Russia of the clever Etsy shop, Wassupbrothers. Olga adores making decor with fabric but she is particularly fond of creating creatures. These stuffed animals may look like toys, but it’s best to think of each piece as a soft sculpture. The items are not meant to be played with but rather, used as art and knickknacks around the home. Cotton, felt, velvet and lace with stuffing are not just for kids anymore! Olga and her husband Igor have two funny and wonderful dogs. Igor works as a photographer and supports Olga by taking beautiful photos of the creations in her shop.

Wassupbrothers Giveaway

Some of Wassupbrother’s creatures can look alike but no two are ever  the same. Olga attempts to repurpose, recycle, and reuse different materials as often as is possible. It’s magic to see, how small pieces of fabric, vintage buttons, sweaters or old dresses turn into a soulful creations. Since Olga is vegan, she even douses her fabrics in natural, organic dyes like tea, coffee, cinnamon and more.

The owner explains, “I found the art of soft toys and have been stuck on them ever since. They give me the opportunity to use all the skills and creativity I’ve accumulated over the years, and bring me so much joy and pleasure. When I made my first owl I did not think of it as a serious endeavor, but now I can’t imagine a time when I did not create my soft little friends.”

Olga was nice enough to offer one lucky reader of The Walkup not one, but two little friends:

Wassupbrother Giveaway

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Ella owl is a lacy, peaceful, greenminded and friendly owl.  She have movable wings, fixed with the buttons. Her chest is decorated with beautiful cotton vintage lace. On the bottom, Grumpy Cat is a hand-sewn and hand embroidered brooch. Made with vintage, thick felt, it is a great quality material from Russian Soviet Marine’s overcoats. Does everyone see the resemblance to Grumpy Cat, real name Tardar Sauce, the Internet “catlebrity” known for her disgruntled facial expression?

Wassupbrothers GiveawayMeet Crupitsik owl, as small as a tomato, Prince Gustav little owl, the photographer, and their little bunny companipons!
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Not just for nurseries, Olga’s products fit perfectly in a kitchen or on cabinets in your living room and office. The animals are truly little sculptures! Olga is an artist whose medium is fabric.

Wassupbrothers GiveawayCarrot soft sculptures in a bunch. Carrots tops are made from tea-dyed vintage cotton lace and synthetic lace. Mr. Bat Henry Forrester,  is made of faux fur in natural and warm earthy tones. His wings and ears are layered with the teadyed lace.

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