It's been many years since I had a wander around Liberty. I think the last time I was there was most likely when I could afford very little of what they sell, although thinking about it while I could probably afford more now, there's still quite a lot I can't. So perhaps things haven't changed that much after all!
I did feel a bit of a tourist taking photos of a shop - but hey ho - you can't have a post about Liberty without a shot of err... Liberty!
So let's start at the beginning and here's the iconic outside:
Did you know?
The mock-Tudor building is constructed from the timbers of two ships: HMS Impregnable and HMS Hindustan. The frontage at Great Marlborough Street is the same length as the Hindustan.
No, me neither.
Inside, and even the lifts are grand and have wood panelling. My photos don't do them justice so I'm skipping over those.
The building is designed around three light wells and Arthur Liberty (The Mr Liberty) wanted you to feel as if you were wandering around your own home, so a number of smaller rooms surround these - yeap, just like home!
I decided to start at the top and work my way back down to the ground floor...
An unusual use of a tyre there...
I was quite taken with this stripey crockery.
But who snuck some green ones in this pile?
And no, I didn't sort them into piles of their respective colours. Mainly because I'd be bound to
knock the whole lot over and not because I wasn't tempted!
Maybe it was the bright colours, but I was attracted to this, not sure where we'd put it or the
price (I find it's safest not to look!), but that's not the point...
These remind me of a coat rack my parents used to have
I like this style of finish too, but it's the type of finish that leaves MOH reaching for the sandpaper and saying things like "it needs a good coat of paint!"
One thing I was struck by throughout the shop was how the products were displayed. The "wandering around your own home" element was very much at play and there were a number of floral displays which emphasised this.
A fairground sign - I'd love one if I could find a space!
A handy travel tea set, for those times when you take tea on the move!
Liberty is well known for its prints and there are many throughout the store, here's a couple of my favourites.
Maybe I'll make myself a top in one of these
Bath cap anyone?
These soap dishes were pretty, and reasonably priced at £18 each
I did spot a strange titled book - not sure if this has been prompted by the upcoming vote in Scotland or not, but maybe it'll need re-titling later in the year!
The North part of Great Britain Called Scotland
I saw a quote of a Spanish proverb etched onto a mirror in the lingerie department (who would think to go to Liberty for this?) which tickled me, it was:
How beautiful it is to do nothing, and then to rest afterward.
Before visiting Liberty I'd read somewhere that this year is the year of the espadrilles. While I'm not too enamoured by this (I think I wore them in the Canary Islands once in the 1980s and found them most uncomfortable), it seems Liberty had also read this and they were right up there.
Looking at the photos above MOH asked if they were male or female espadrilles - to be honest I have no idea, but I don't think it really matters either.
As I've already said Liberty is known for its prints; below is a modern way of using print. I like them but I can't ever see where I'd wear them!
You'll see the same print used in many ways, take these shoes (just £600 for those on the left)
The same pattern is repeated here in this leather tunic, a bargain at £1150...
And to finish,another one of those fab floral displays (and more of the blue and cream print)
Having arrived back on the ground floor, I wandered through the only department I truly recognised - the one with notebooks and more with the famous Liberty prints. It was also the department that was full of tourists making purchases of gifts for back home.
There were many items that caught my eye and quite a few I'd buy, some I came close to on the day. But as I was out again that evening I thought I'd sleep on those decisions. Actually my immediate next move was to head to Selfridges on Oxford Street where I found myself in one of their eateries with a large slice of chocolate cake, a pot of tea and some time to people-watch. Pure heaven!