London Stationery Tour: Part 1

Today marks the start of National Stationery Week and we’ll be posting all week on this subject. To kick off the week my sister Natalie is guest posting today with the start of a mini series all about the London Stationery Tour.

Stationery

I was shown a list of shops in London which could be visited as a ‘stationery tour’. Being a huge stationery fan thought this would be great opportunity to visit some new shops and see what I could find. After completing the tour I’ve decided to amend the list of shops a little bit. Some of the shops on the tour are closed now, and some of them weren’t worth visiting. For example, on the original list there were two Paperchase stores; if you visit the shop on Tottenham Court Road then you really don’t need to visit another. I’ve also added a couple of stores which I think that it would be a shame to miss.

Paperchase

213-215 Tottenham Court Road

This store is Paperchases flagship store, I’d never been to this store before I moved to London and now it’s my main destination for stationery supplies. There’s 3 floors selling a huge supply of stationery and arts and crafts supplies, and there’s even a cafe where you can get a free drink once a week if you hold a Paperchase card. If you only have chance to go to one stationery store in London this would be my recommendation. There is so much on sale here, you might not find anything truly spectacular but you’ll be able to buy all of your essentials.

The ground floor sells all of Paperchase’s main collections. Since this is the flagship store the full range of each collection is on sale whereas in smaller stores you might only get a small selection from a few of these. I really like the range of collections which Paperchase has, some are clearly aimed at children but there are plenty that are a bit more sophisticated and aimed towards older shoppers. Each collection tends to sell a few ‘staples’, such as sticky notes, stickers, notepads and paper tapes but there is also a good variety of other products, each collection tends to have its own range of novelty items. Also on the ground floor are diaries and notepads, both Paperchase products and brands such as Moleskine. Paperchase offers a service where you can get your notebooks personalised which costs £5.00 per product, or £3.00 for card holders. There is a very good selection of writing paper, letter sets and note cards, including thank you notes and things like wedding invitations. There is also a huge greetings card section, postcards and wrapping papers. Along with Paperchase’s own branded stickers they have recently added a small collection of Korean sticker brands which I really love, they’re slightly more expensive but nothing that would break the bank.

The first floor has all the party supply ranges along with some slightly more expensive stationery ranges. I’ve not bought a lot from this floor, I’m not one to throw a party but it does look like they have some good themes, they are suitable for both children’s parties and more grown up parties along with hen parties. The stationery on this floor looks pretty classy although some of it is very expensive. There’s also a good selection of stationery aimed at men here which I think can be difficult to find. The cafe is on this floor too, I go and collect my free drink every time I’m in the area since I have a Paperchase card. They’re free to have and it’s worth it for the free drink! You also get £5.00 free to spend in store for every £50.00 you spend.

The second floor sells all of the arts and craft supplies, and it’s also where the craft classes run. There is a selection of really lovely handmade papers, including those from Cavalini papers which are so nice. There are plenty of different kinds of paints, brushes, drawing and painting papers, etc. You can also pick up supplies for tons of crafts here, such as lino printing, decoupage and paper crafts. You can buy a small selection of MT washi tapes, although I think that they’re quite expensive here.

Just a small note on Project Craft – craft courses offered by Paperchase and held here. There’s a really good range of craft classes and they’re fairly inexpensive. You can send the kids to mask making classes, learn how to make paper flower garlands and learn paper crafts such as scrap-booking. I have only done the lino printing course but it was so much fun! Of course you can buy the supplies from the classes here but i think they’re a little over priced, it’s much more worth waiting until you get home and then buying them from Amazon.

Tiger

Tottenham Court Road

Just a few minutes walk from Paperchase is a good sized Tiger store. Tiger sell a variety of cheap Scandinavian products and not just stationery, so you can visit for affordable home wares, toys and food too. They’re good for cheap note books, tapes, stickers and art supplies. They tend to sell seasonal items too, so if you want some Halloween stationery you’ll find plenty of tapes and stickers for themed for the holiday. Along with art supplies like paper, pens and paints, they also sell affordable canvas and easels, and even wooden figure drawing models.

Muji

Tottenham Court Road

There are plenty of Muji stores across London and it’s easy to nip into this one between shops. The stationery section is on the first floor and sells pretty much what other Muji stores sell. It’s good quality and fairly affordable. I like Muji’s plain products, they’re so practical and easy to use. I feel like I’ve gotten to a point where I cannot survive without Muji’s black 0.5 nib pens, if I ever move out of London I’m going to have to seriously stock up because I could not face running out of them. They’re £5.00 for a pack of 6 black pens and they write really neatly for me. My boyfriend is a big fan of the ‘To-do’ lists too which he uses for work. Also on the first floor are various storage items, so not only can you buy stationery, you can also buy something in which to store it away nicely on your desk.

 

Foyles

Charing Cross Road
The stationery section in Foyles isn’t huge, but it’s worth visiting. Also, it’s an amazing bookshop so it’s worth visiting in its own right. The stationery section is on the ground floor opposite the cash registers. Foyles have just released their own range of notebooks which are a bit pricey at £10.00 each, but the book themed covers are great. There’s a good range of MT washi tapes sold here but as with everywhere that sells them in London, they aren’t cheap. There are two main reasons for visiting Foyles stationery department, the first is Harry Potter stationery. Short of visiting Platform 9 ¾ (which you should do!) they sell a really good selection. There’s also a great selection of the books including colouring books and Funkos.

If you are a fan of Harry Potter and would like an opportunity to buy more related stationery then The House of Minalima is just around the back of Foyles and they currently have an amazing display of Harry Potter products and there is a shop on the ground floor. They are the company that designed all of the graphics for the Harry Potter films and fantastic beasts, you can buy limited edition posters there, a huge selection of postcards, badges, notebook and some very cool writing paper. This shop sells a lot of products you can’t buy online and isn’t sold as official merchandise, so if you’re a Harry Potter fan it really is a must visit.

My main reason for loving Foyles is that they stock Traveler’s Notebook products. It’s the largest range of these that I’ve seen in London, they sell the leather notebook covers, inserts and limited editions tins. I don’t think they’re relatively expensive either especially as they’re imports.

Are any of these your favourites in London? Foyles is a personal favourite of mine and not enough people know it exists!

Come back for Part 2 in a couple of weeks!

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London Duck Tours

I have been to London many times before but something I have never done is to go on a bus tour. During my recent London Getaway I decided to change this. Me, my sister and her boyfriend were really excited to be heading off on a London Duck Tour.

London Duck Tours

When we arrived at the Duck Tour bus stop near the Southbank Center I was really excited. The ‘Duck’ was sat there waiting for us. I knew that it was a bit of a mix between a  bus and a boat seeing as it went in the water on the tour.

On the day of our booked tour there was a memorial service happening so we had to change from the Classic Sightseeing Tour to the City of London Tour. We were given the opportunity to come back later in the day instead but we were all happy to go along with whatever.

Some Places we visited on the tour

St. Paul’s Cathedral

Monument to the Fire of London

Bank of England

Tower Bridge

MI6

London Eye

Houses of Parliament

Our tour guide was absolutely lovely and was happy an cheery the whole way through the tour. Although the tour had been changed quite last minute, he was very knowledgeable about the other route. What was really nice was that he spoke when there was something to see but he didn’t fill quiet gaps just for the sake of it. He did manage to squeeze in some Harry Potter trivia though which my sister was pretty happy about, especially as it was something she didn’t know.

The whole tour lasts around 75 minutes with the first 45 minutes or so being on land. Once you reach MI6 though it’s time to splash down and go into the Thames. This was my favourite part I think as you get fantastic views of London and I found it to be quite peaceful on the water. Something I will say though is take a coat or jacket with you. We went on a warm day but I was pretty cold once we hit the water!

We all had a fantastic time on our Duck Tour and I’ve since been looking at maybe doing the Christmas tour later in the year! Although the tickets could work out quite expensive for a large family, I wouldn’t hesitate to pay to go on another tour. Between the knowledgeable tour guide, spacious and comfortable Duck and the views, I couldn’t have asked for more!

Disclaimer: We received complimentary tickets for the purpose of this review. All opinions are our own.

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My London Getaway!

Last week I did something I didn’t think I’d do for a really long time. I went away for a couple of days without Erin or John. Part of realising that I have PND also meant that I realised that I need some me time now and again. So, I headed off to London for a night to see my sister and her fiance (Nat & Chris). It was also a kind of late birthday present too.

London

I arrived late morning on the Thursday and we started off with a Wetherspoons breakfast before heading off to Jurassic Kingdom (Review coming soon). Even though Erin wasn’t with me, I still wanted to do a couple of things that maybe I wouldn’t have normally done before. We all had loads of fun, especially taking selfies with the dinosaurs. It was a beautiful day as well so it was nice to get out of the city and in a big, open space.

After Jurassic Kingdom I headed to my hotel, the Holiday Inn Express (Review coming soon) in North Acton, to check in and lighten my bags a bit. The hotel was a 2 minute walk from the tube station so that was great. It is about 20 minutes away from central London on the tube but I didn’t mind that at all.

On Thursday evening we had tickets to see Dreamgirls (Review coming soon), which was my birthday present from Nat and Chris. Before the theatre we went to Bills for dinner. Bills is one of my favourite restaurants so I knew the food would be amazing!

I was so incredibly excited about seeing Dreamgirls. Not living in London means never really being too bothered about seeing any shows. However, Dreamgirls is a favourite of mine and I was desperate to see it. Unfortunately though, Amber Riley wasn’t in it on the night we went but that wasn’t a problem. Come back to read the review in a few days!

On Friday we also had quite a few plans. I got up quite early and headed out for a roam about on my own before meeting Nat and Chris again. We were meeting near the Southbank Center so I went to look at the London Eye and to chill by the river. I think I got there at about 9am and it was so quiet and peaceful. It was a lovely place to be before everything opened.

At 11:30 we had tickets for the London Duck Tours. (Review coming soon) I’ve never done a tour of London before and I was so excited about this. This really didn’t disappoint and it’s one of the most fun things I’ve done in London.

Lunch on Friday was my favourite restaurant of all time, Vapiano. There are branches all over the world and they have the best pasta ever.

Vapiano

Of course, we had to do a bit of shopping so we went to Liberty’s and Carnaby Street where I finally got to go to Choccywoccydoodah. I was in chocolate heaven and could have bought everything. I didn’t though. Instead, we went to Bubblewrap Waffle in Chinatown. I had to wait an hour for a waffle but my god was it worth it!?

By this time we were all exhaused but we headed to Westfield Stratford as it’s not far from where Chris lives. He had to pick up some bits as he and Nat were coming back with me for the weekend. Nat and I did some wedding dress viewing and a bit more shopping but that didn’t last long. My poor feet were killing me.

My London getaway was bloody knackering but it was so needed. I got to do loads of my favourite things and also do something new and exciting. I can’t say I felt refreshed but I can quite happily go for quite some time now before needing some time to myself like that again.

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