Thursday, May 31, 2018

London ’17, Day 4 – Shopping in Camden and Phantom of the Opera

Hi everyone! Do you still remember me? It’s Rosalynn, the writer of this blog! It’s been so long since I wrote a post… Life got in the way: I am on a path of self-recovery and that takes a lot of time and energy! However, I am not completely gone, so please look outt for upcoming posts as always!
Now, let’s continue with my London trip which took place… nearly a year ago, ahem…
Let’s hope I can still remember everything!

My Lolita events were over, but luckily I had two days left to spend in London with my parents! For Monday we had planned to go to Camden!
We took the bus that stopped right in front of our hotel and rode it all the way to Camden Town, which was really nice and relaxed. We were lucky to be able to sit upstairs at the front of the bus, so I felt like I was getting a bit of a city tour as well! I also spotted two fellow Lolitas, but they were walking around in normal clothes, haha.
After a while, we arrived in Camden and my mom and I followed my dad who had done some research on where to go. We walked for a bit and soon found ourselves in the most awesome of streets, with colourful and decorated shops!

Camden Shops One
A first look into Camden!

Although it was still quite warm, I was really excited to be there and so was my mom! The shops looked very promising, so we just started walking and entered places that looked interesting. Coincidentally, the week before we went to London one of the YouTubers I watched posted a video about Camden, so I recognized some of the places she visited.
We browsed some stalls at a tiny market that mainly seemed to sell cool t-shirts and mobile phone cases.

Wooden Cases
My dad looking at some really nice wooden phone cases.

We crossed the street and walked into a store that sold beautiful Eastern products, like lamps and blankets. My mom really wanted to return later on the day to get a blanket.
We walked past a shop that sold all kinds of lace clothing, called Lily.J. The clothing really reminded me of Larme style and my mom and I browsed the clothing with much glee. We asked whether pictures were allowed and the shop girl said yes, but when my mom took a picture she was reprimanded by another shop lady. It was very confusing! Have a picture anyway, haha.

Despite the confusing staff, we really liked this shop!

We planned to return later and continued our way. We also went into this amazing shop that sold really badass boots and coats. Other shops we didn’t enter, but just admired their facades.

Camden Shops Two
More cool-looking shops!

At the end of the street I spotted a familiar sights that indicated our arrival at Camden Lock. I didn’t know much about Camden when we arrived, but I did recognize the Camden Lock road bridge. There was also a big building with a lock next to it, which was such a pretty sight! We took some pictures there.

Camden Lock
Camden Lock.

Then I spotted a shop I really wanted to visit: Irregular Choice. If you’re unfamiliar with this brand: they sell the most amazing and outrageous shoes! I recommend looking some unboxing videos up on YouTube. I’m sure you’ll get hooked!
This shop was visited in the video I had mentioned earlier and I had noticed in the background stood my absolute dream shoes at the shop, the ones I was sure were out of sale. I was really hoping the shoes would still be there, so I entered the shop with much anticipation.
The shop was as magical as the façade suggested: both the floor and ceiling were covered in crazy prints and all along the walls there were shoes, each more more crazy than the other!

Irregular Shoes
Some of the stunning shoes at Irregular Choice.

And indeed, there in a corner I spotted my dream shoes: the iridescent Lazy River heels! They honestly looked like they had just come out of a fairy-tale and if there is such a thing as falling head-over-heels (pun intended) in love with shoes I definitely experienced it!

Dream Shoes
Me, casually dying over my dream shoes.
Aren’t they amazing!?

I tried on the shoes and they were surprisingly comfortable! I walked around in them feeling like a princess and I couldn’t stop smiling! There was only one problem: I didn’t have enough money to buy them. Right at that moment my dad, who had gone outside for a bit, entered the store and told both my mom and me that he had gotten some money so we could buy ourselves something nice. My dad ended up paying more than half for my shoes! I was so happy and grateful!
My shoes were packed in a lovely box and an even lovelier bo and the shop girls kept calling me cute things like ‘love’ and ‘dear’. It was just such a nice experience! Thank you so much, Irregular Choice Camden! ♥

Irregular Choice Shopping
Happy with my incredible purchase!

We went to have some drinks and food at one of the first cafés we found, which was tiny and barely had any sitting room. The counter was completely covered in writing of previous customers. I even spotted a text saying ‘Lolitas with attitude’!
I don’t remember what we were having sadly. I believe I had a diet coke, but other than that I don’t know.

Waiting to order at the tiny café.

After we finished our drinks and food, we went on and arrived in a lovely stone street filled with cute shops. There were too many to mention, however I will say we went into an amazing shop that sold the most wonderful hats. My mom really loved this one top hat, but did not buy it (which she regrets up until this day), but my dad bought a very nice one!
The next shop we entered was one I really wanted to visit: the Collectif. This shop sells pin-up, vintage and alternative clothing and I freaking love them! The shop was absolutely amazing, including their staff. The ladies looked so beautiful, with the loveliest clothing and hairstyles!
My mom and I had a lot of fun looking around. There were two floors and one of them had a lot of items on sale! We found a lot of clothing we liked. My mom fell head over heels in love with a vintage-looking bag, which my dad held for her until we were done shopping. My mom and I tried some things on while he patiently waited for us.

Dad and Bag
My dad guarding my mom’s new bag while waiting for us, wearing his new hat.

I ended up getting the most beautiful dress and cardigan (which you can see at the end of this post) and my mom aforementioned bag and a cute cardigan as well.
We were both very happy with our new clothing!

Collectif Shopping
Shopping at Collectif.

The next shop we entered was the Cyber Dog. I didn’t know much of this store, except that it was supposed to be a real interesting place to visit. The storefront was already very promising: the large doors were flanked by two huge silver robots and loud music was already coming our way. My dad decided to stay outside while my mom and I went in and I can tell you: it was surreal. It’s hard to describe this incredible shop, other than it was like stepping into a video game or a science-fiction movie. The walls were lined with robots, aliens and tubed with wires. Girls were dancing at high platforms in revealing outfits. It was incredible! And even better: an escalator went down to the basement of the shop, which was even bigger and insane. Everywhere we looked there were t-shirts and cyber clothing, illuminated by blacklight. A huge wall was covered in screens with a DJ platform in front of it. The most varying things were being sold, from CDs to clothing to make up, all to make your club outing memorable. I was especially intrigued by some amazing silver foam alien girl dresses. Everything was so cool!
My mom and I went upstairs and it was then that I spotted a pair of glasses I had been looking for everywhere: kaleidoscope glasses! I had seen some around in Camden, but not the design I liked. This pair was perfect! Unfortunately, they didn’t have the clear frame I wanted, but the very kind (and awesome-looking) shop girl suggested a pair with a silver frame, which was honestly even cooler. I was so happy to be able to take an item from this amazing store back home with me!

I really recommend visiting the Cyber Dog store if you have the chance!

We made a brief stop at the toilets and then followed my dad to a shop he had spotted earlier, where he bought a cute pug statue.
We then went on to an ice cream shop that I had seen some pictures of on Instagram: Chin Chin Labs. Their ice cream was supposed to be amazing and I was eager to try it out. The shop wasn’t very big and most of it was taken up by a freaking laboratory where the ice cream was being made in front of you. It was incredible! Apparently, the ice-cream is being made by freezing it with liquid nitrogen-generated steam, which caused quite the spectacle!
I don’t remember what my mom ordered, but I think I had a brownie cookie sandwich with salted caramel ice cream (or something). I can tell you: it was de-li-cious!

Chin Chin Labs
Chin Chin Labs: come for the ice cream, stay for the steamy spectacle!

Although my order was incredibly heavy, I could not stop eating. It was just so good!
It was then that my dad suggested to go back to the hotel. My mom could have walked around for hours in Camden, but I agreed with my father to go back, to have some rest. My mom did not know that my dad and I had a little secret…
My mom bought some things at the Lily.J shop and then we returned to the hotel, where we rested a bit. Then, my father suggested we go to Trafalgar Square and eat at this Italian restaurant he had looked up. My mom and I agreed and we went on our way.
After taking the bus and arriving at Trafalgar Square, we decided to take some pictures.

Trafalgar Square
My parents looking sweet at Trafalgar Square.

My dad lead the way to the restaurant, while my mom and I followed him. My mom had no idea what was about to come: my dad had secretly booked us tickets to go see The Phantom of the Opera, which was a dream my mother had for years and years. My dad doesn’t really like musicals, but during a previous stay in London he had surprised her with tickets for The Lion King. However, he had always insisted that Phantom would be too much for him, but together with me he had booked tickets for that evening! Isn’t that so sweet of him!?
The restaurant was almost right next to the theater! When my mom saw that, she said: ‘Oh, it’s the theatre where Phantom plays!’ and stared longingly at it. She had no freaking clue!

A picture my mom took before knowing she was actually going to enter this theatre later!

We entered the restaurant and ordered, after which something terrible happened: a waiter accidentally dropped a whole tray of red wine and cola over my mom and me, completely ruining our clothes. I don’t want to talk about it too much, since it was a really terrible experience and I still have trouble talking about it or even think about it. Let’s just say we made the restaurant get us a cab so we could get changed at the hotel and return in time for the show.
So our surprise was ruined, but still my mom was over the moon when she heard we were going to see Phantom! She was so happy, aaah! We quickly had something to eat one street away and then hurried to the theatre, where we arrived perfectly on time.

Cast List
The Phantom cast for that night.

I bought a programme with my last money and we went upstairs to find our seats on the first balcony. I had no idea what to expect, but our seats were amazing! We could see the stage perfectly and the orchestra pit as well, which I always love!

The Phantom of the Opera
Our view upon the stage.

I quickly went to the toilet and walked into some Lolitas, after which I quickly returned to my seat. Together with my mom I looked at the programme and before I knew the show started! We had some annoying people in front of us who sat forward a couple of times, but my dad asked them not to and they stopped.
Ah, I can’t tell you just how amazing the show was! When the famous Phantom started playing and the chandelier floated in place, I turned cold and I squeezed my mother’s hand while she squeezed back. The show was so amazing, the costumes so gorgeous and the effects out of this world! For the duration of the show, I felt like I was in a (somewhat grim) fairy tale, it was glorious! I cried two times!
And the Phantom… Our Phantom was played by Ben Forster and my God… I am in love with that man! His acting was superb and his singing, oh my God… Every time I look him up on YouTube again I just cry. He is so amazing! Apparently our performance was one of his last, so I am extra grateful I got to see him!
After the show we returned to the main hall, my mom and I somewhat dazed. Even my dad didn’t hate it! My mom ended up buying us both a key chain to commemorate the evening. She was so happy!

With our beloved Phantom.

So in the end we had a wonderful night and went to bed happy! The next day would be our last day in London.

Haul of the Day
Purchases of the day

Thank you for reading! ~☆~