Are these not the coolest bears you have ever seen?!? 😎
Second day in London and two little bears head for the teddy bear mecca, Hamleys!
Hamleys is the oldest and largest toy shop in the world. It is named after William Hamley, who founded a toy shop called “Noah’s Ark” at No. 231 High Holborn in London in 1760. Ownership of the shop passed through the family, and by the time it was operated by Hamley’s grandsons in 1837, the store had become famous, counting royalty and nobility among its customers.
A branch at No. 200 Regent Street was opened in 1881; the High Holborn branch was destroyed by fire in 1901 and was relocated to Nos. 86–87 High Holborn. The Regent Street branch later expanded to Nos. 188-196.
In 1938, Queen Mary, the consort of King George V, gave Hamleys a royal warrant. During the Second World War, the Regent Street store was bombed five times. In 1955, Queen Elizabeth II gave the company a second royal warrant as a “toys and sports merchant”. Royal warrants of appointment have been issued for centuries to tradespeople who supply goods or services to a royal court or certain royal personages. The royal warrant enables the supplier to advertise the fact that they supply to the issuer of the royal warrant, so lending prestige to the supplier. Royal families of the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Belgium, Denmark and Sweden, among others, allow tradesmen to advertise royal patronage.
Food for thought for Puffles and Honey!
The bear boutique…
Where Miss Honey found another pair of hot pink shoes 🙂
And quite a few more things to buy!
On the way out, Mr Paddington Bear introduced himself and made a few recommendations for places to visit in London…
Starting with lunch at Sketch, around the corner from Hamleys at 9 Conduit Street.
Sketch was opened by Mourad Mazouz in 2003 with the famed French chef Pierre Gagnaire. The cuisine is described as ‘New French’, and is a loose adaptation of the cuisine served in Gagnaire’s three Michelin-starred restaurant in Paris and is executed by Hervé Deville and Johannes Nuding. The restaurant covers two floors of a converted 18th century site in Conduit Street, Mayfair. We had lunch in the Parlour. The Lecture Room & Libray part of the restaurant has received two Michelin stars. The Michelin review states: “Mourad Mazouz and Pierre Gagnaire’s 18C funhouse is awash with colour, energy and vim and the luxurious ‘Lecture Room & Library’ provides the ideal setting for the sophisticated French cooking. Relax and enjoy artfully presented, elaborate dishes that provide many varieties of flavours and textures. A particularly interesting wine list.” Be prepared to pay accordingly.
The Sketch Club Sandwich
The Fig – sable pastry with fresh figs and kirsch mousseline – unbelievably fresh and delicate both in texture and taste
Two contented little bears 🙂
Some Zen relaxation before moving on to the next attraction…
The Toy Kingdom…
Harrods occupies a 5 acre (20,000 m2) site and has over 23 acres (92,000 m2) of selling space in over 330 departments making it the biggest department store in Europe. The Harrods motto is Omnia Omnibus Ubique — All Things for All People, Everywhere. Several of its departments, including the seasonal Christmas department and the Food Halls, are world famous.