While Soho remains interesting to me for its salacious history, I am also in awe of the range and depth of shopping there is to do there. I met up with Hope to eat and explore the commercial heart of the London neighborhood.
We met up to eat at a place called The Melt Room: a cute little shotgun restaurant where grilled cheeses, in all their glorious forms, dominate the menu.
We then spent the rest of the day wandering around. We hit Kate Spade, which filled my soul with yearning for a polka-dotted, poppy-covered, lace-laden, striped and metallic life.
We hit Anthropologie, which brought out the whimsical, but tailored bohemian in me. The visit reminded me, once again, that I am ready for my home!
I grabbed a copy of this month’s Dazed, with my queen, Nicki Minaj, gracing the cover. We hit H+M, for the deals.
We also ducked into Topshop. But this wasn’t some quick + easy, Forever 21-esque, mall offering. The Topshop in Soho is legendary.
Two of the floors are devoted to Topman and the other two are devoted to Topshop’s ladies section. Within it are also a Bleach London salon, a nail salon, a regular-degular hair salon, a piercing + tattoo place and Benugo café. There’s also a whole section dedicated to independent designer brands and pure, veritable vintage.
Another delightful tidbit: when I first passed the store early on in today’s venture, I got to witness live mannequins in the window.
Next to Topshop, we also hit a store for costumes (or “fancy dress,” as they say).
I was thrust into an autumnal fervor the second I spotted the store. I listed aloud Halloween costumes from years past, trying to find a thread of similarity or difference from which I could dream up the next big thing.
In the midst of trying on wigs for my tentative 2017 Halloween costume (hint: it’s a beautiful bi assassin, which, honestly, is my backup plan in case this whole journalist thing doesn’t work out), we realized the U.K. is no better than the U.S. when it comes to Halloween costumes.
Trump masks and Trump hats abounded! Make of that what you will.
And stunningly, there was plenty of cultural appropriation to be found.
The more I mulled it all over, the more heated I became. England doesn’t even have any Native Americans to disrespect! Having these costumes for sale is just double distasteful. If not, downright disrespectful.
Good ol’ British imperialism. Looks like the British empire is trying to take credit for all the colonization it inspired. But that’s none of my business.
Going to Hamleys (which is like Toys’R’Us, but better; #TooSoon) did put us in a brighter mood, though.
Shortly after the above picture was taken, a store employee whipped out a lightsaber on me in a surprise ambush. I may have screamed and said an unkind word as an involuntary response.
The lightsaber incident really got my blood pumping, to say the least.
The rest of the Hamley’s visit was Hope patiently listening as I tried to rationalize buying certain Star Wars mugs for certain prices, based on design and composition.
Was £9 too much or actually a more reasonable price for the Kylo Ren mug? Because, ooh, how satisfying would it be to end the day will sipping some hot tea out of a steamy Kylo Ren mug? Or maybe even sip some refreshing almond milk out of a cool and crisp Kylo Ren mug? You know, just a little something to quench the t h i r s t?
I didn’t buy the mug, but I’m still thinking about it. It’s only a 15 minute Tube commute away.