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  • Shelley Dark

#7 Chelsea or bust

I almost burst but not quite - 22,000 steps and 16 kilometres. I know because I looked at my watch. It's not easy being a tourist. I might run a marathon tomorrow.

Not quite sure when I'll fit it in - I have to leave the apartment at 6am, only for a day trip, so I'd better make this quick.

This is my friend Martins (very new friend and probably wouldn't pick me out of a lineup) who's the doorman at the Kensington Hotel. And a very charming doorman too.

I was checking out the dining room for Saturday night... I'm having dinner with an Instabuddy and her husband!

I'm becoming a little blasé about all the pretty townhouses in the suburb - this was en route to the Chelsea High Street.

There are lots of interior shops including Designers Guild, Colefax and Fowler, Manuel Canovas etc. I liked these textural rugs in Anthropologie.

I ADORED this shop - American Vintage. The fabrics are absolutely superb, fine cottons, softest cashmere - everything so inviting to touch. And of course it's not American at all. The company is in Marseilles, and the designer is Persian.

You don't see much gravel in parks in London do you? I think of it as more French. This one is called Royal Avenue.

Admission to the Saatchi Gallery is free.

They sure do have some wacky artwork on the walls. With titles like (excuse me) 'Horse S...s on your Roses'. I wasn't sure which one that was. They all looked a bit like that. I know, I lack sophistication. By the way if you're interested in knowing any of the artists, I did write them down.

This was a shopping bag. I loved it. No I didn't buy one.

These little darlings were learning to throw balls in the park.

This is Duke of York Square, a smart redevelopment.

If you ever have a chance, you must visit John Sandoe. It's bookie heaven - a tiny shop, two squishy floors of wall to wall, floor to ceiling books.

Popped into this antique arcade near the Chelsea Markets. Some nice stuff, but soooooo expensive!

By the look of the queue and the wonderful smell, a great place to eat is Phât Phúc (Happy Buddha) Noodle Bar in the Chelsea courtyard near the Chelsea markets.

I'd made a booking at the Ivy Restaurant.

I think they must have read some of the recent slightly negative press because I couldn't fault the entire experience. I had a table for one in the orangerie. Quick efficient friendly service and they seated me on time.

The garden was full. This party arrived soon after I took the photo.

There's lots of pretty greenery. London sure does do hydrangeas well.

I was very boring and had duck liver parfait with caramelised hazelnuts, truffle, tamarind glaze with pear and ginger compote, and toasted brioche. I think I'm addicted! Great value too at £7.95.

The beautiful blonde girl at the table next to me is having her first baby tomorrow. A boy. By caesarean section. She's so excited. And scared.

When I went to the loo another beautiful girl was washing her hands. Perfect white skin, shiny long black hair, bright red lipstick. I said 'I love your lipstick!' She said in that gorgeous Oirish accent, 'Well, airm so pairl en lairfless lurking. Airm needing something tuh brahten me oop.' She told me the brand and number of the lipstick - I said as if I'll remember - she laughed and so did the the other girls at the basins - and of course now I forget. I wish I could do an Irish accent, and wear bright red lipstick!

This is Cardogan Square Garden. I saw lots of high end shops on Sloane Street: Dior, Chanel, Cartier, Escada, LV, Bulgari, Chloe, Zegna, Prada, Red Valentino, Tods etc etc. I was happy just to admire the window displays.

I wandered around Harrods too - it's as amazing as ever. Didn't bring any shopping home though.

Here are your heritage roses for the day.

I'll be home late tomorrow so I probably won't do a post. But I'll fill you in as soon as I can. Ciao for now!

shelley dark, writer 

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