London Calling… and Balenciaga with Melissa of Fehr Trade!

I have SO much to share with you! London! Saville Row! Balenciaga! Diamonds! Melissa!!

And then there’s Copenhagen… But that’s for another post.

DH got notification about a month ago that he had to go to his company’s user meeting in Copenhagen, so guess who decided to tag along? And since we were able to get flights through Heathrow that let us stay for a few days without having to pay any penalties, we stopped in London as well.

We got a super cute little flat for WAY less than any hotel would cost through VRBO (NAYY, I just loved this place and I would stay there again). It was centrally located, just a few blocks away from Buckingham Palace, across the street from the theater where “Wicked” is playing and (if you are lucky enough to get tickets) a block away from the theater where “Hamilton” will take up residence later this year.

So enough of me yammering, here are pictures. Lots of pictures:

Arrived in London, weren’t tired, so decided to go for a walk and found the palace.

We did all the touristy things

The changing of The Guard
They have an excellent marching band, as you might expect
And when the guards come around to the gates, they say hello πŸ™‚
Beautiful day at the Palace
Big Ben and the Parliament Building

So that was all great, but even better was Savile Row!

Anyone (besides Nancy) know why this building is so iconic? Anyone?

And while I was there, I met Melissa Fehr of Fehr Trade Patterns, and we went to the Balenciaga Exhibit at the V&A, had Cream Tea in the amazing cafeteria, and then had dinner on her boat. What a WONDERFUL day!!!

The Pressinatrix is SO pleased!
Love this lady!

Okay, there were two other things that stood out in London. First one, while we were there, it was World Naked Bike Ride Day. At one point, somewhere in the vicinity of 500 naked or mostly-naked cyclists came riding by our cab. It was awesome! It was a really sunny day, and I think a whole lot of folks were going to be really sunburnt at the end of it. My only quibble with it? A lot (a LOT) of them were on the city rental bikes. Sorry – there’s not enough Purell in the world…


And the absolute BEST part of the entire trip…
There is a longer story, and I won’t relate it here, though if you ever want to hear it, I’ll be happy to tell it to you over a glass of champagne or a cup of coffee. The Reader’s Digest version is that we stopped on New Bond Street so I could take pictures of the Sotheby’s Diamonds‘ window to send to the girls back home.

The guard came out to chat, we had a lovely discussion and laughed a lot, and he invited us in. Who am I to say no? After being admitted through (no kidding) an airlock, DH and I got our chemistry nerd on with the gemologist salesman.

After talking for about 20 minutes about the chemistry, physics and cutting of diamonds, he brought us back around to the canary diamond that was at front and center:

The Enigma Necklace

We talked about colored diamonds and it turns out that Canary stones are the most “common” of colored diamonds. Ask me why and it’ll be obvious once you know ;).
Anyway, after we discussed various elements in colored stones, he pointed to the Enigma and asked me, “Would you like to try it on?”
What am I going to say, no? OF COURSE I want to try it on! But I did say, with what I hoped was an apologetic look, “I’m not going to buy it.” He was so gracious, and said, “That’s fine. We’re trying to establish our brand so if you would be so kind as to put it up on social media and hashtag #sothebysdiamonds I would be very grateful.”


So here you go. Let’s face it – I make this beauty look even better! πŸ˜€

I wore it around the sales floor for about half an hour while we talked about different diamond types and all sorts of nerdy chemistry stuff that I can’t believe I still remember.

That was my Big Adventure in London! No, I didn’t buy it, but if you want it, it’s available for roughly $7.5M at the current exchange rates. Trust me, if I ever hit the lottery, I’m going to SO own Β it!

Tomorrow – Copenhagen and Maria!

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18 thoughts on “London Calling… and Balenciaga with Melissa of Fehr Trade!”

  1. What a fabulous trip! The weather was perfect – both for a quick holiday and a naked bike ride, apparently! Goodness, the English (shakes head, bemused smile).

  2. How lovely that diamond looks on you! Looks like a fabulous trip–so envious of your tour of Savile Row!

  3. What a great trip, thanks for sharing. That diamond is lovely, but I most envy your chance to peek in the windows at Savile Row and watch them in action for a bit.

    Question on the pressing tools photo – what is the round item with the dark rectangle to the left of the scissors and the U shaped item to the right of the scissors?

    1. Gail, I’m afraid I’m as mystified as anyone about those two tools. The tools were all from the tailleur, rather than the flou, so maybe one of my tailor friends can elucidate us?

  4. Next time I’m in Boston, champagne for the story… sounds like a wonderful trip. We went to London when the little guy was 18 months – didn’t get to see much as it turned out (though Cambridge was lovely).

  5. I was in London 2 weeks ago and the exhibit at the V &a A was wonderful, second time I have seen one of his exhibit (both different). They are a must see if one is near one of them. Enjoyed your pictures, I think we were late to the train station because of the bike ride. A lovely city, London is.

  6. What a fabulous tour and that necklace! You can certainly wear that stunning diamond. I hope you got to tour the Tower of London and see the Crown Jewels too.

    Looking at the street sign for Saville Row…my high school marched in the Lord Mayor of Westminster’s New Years Day parade. I remember sleet, being icey and in the drum line sweating all at the same time. Could have marched right past all those lovely shops and had no clue! We did get to see Cats in the theatre there which was a major highlight for that circa 1980s trip.

    1. We did see the Crown Jewels, Ann – they were FABULOUS! They have people-moving belts going past them so no one blocks your view and everyone gets a chance to see them. I went on the belts about 5 times πŸ™‚

  7. WOW ANN!!!! What a fabulous post! I’m so jealous!!!! Couldn’t of happened to a nicer person. Yellow diamond! Fabulous.

  8. My daughter now 14 was into sewing a few years ago. I followed a number of sewing blogs but then she moved along to other things and I unsubscribed to all but two blogs. Yours and Melissa’s. So weird. And then there you were together in London.

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