Discovered Up My Street

“And even this heart of mine has something artificial. The dancers have sewn it into a bag of pink satin, pink satin slightly faded, like their dancing shoes.”
― Edgar Degas

As a child one of my favourite films was “The Tales of Beatrix Potter.” A ballet film based on the works of the famous children’s author and illustrator, it was produced by the Royal Ballet and is an utterly charming piece of work to me even now. It was choreographed by Sir Frederick Ashton and, true to ballet, there is no speaking. It’s just dancing and absolutely charming costumes based carefully on the drawings of the original stories.

It turns out, those costumes are now stored just a few minutes walk from my flat!

Sands Films studios is a famous costume making workshop, a small film studio operating since the 1970s, and also the home of a vast photo library open to the public that contains a vast collection of original images. Unlike a number of archives, it’s available to anyone who wants to use it for research and reference purposes. It is just behind St. Mary’s church and across the street from the notable Mayflower pub.

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The workshop has made costumes for a number of notable films over the decades, including recent ones like Lincoln, The Young Victoria, Marie Antoinette, and Les Miserables. They have also made costumes for TV programs, operas, and stage productions. If you’ve seen these or most major British/British made period films over the last handful of decades, there’s a good chance you’ve admired some of their handiwork.

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Though it’s operational hours clash with my work, if there is every a day that a holiday and an opening meet up, you can bet I’m finding a way to make a visit happen. I have no idea what I’m going to find, but I’m determined to talk my way into as much as possible. The worn out VHS tape in my parent’s basement demands it!

MEATliquor – not MEAT-licker it turns out

“When people pile seven things onto one burger, it drives me nuts!”
– Bobby Flay

Jeff is extraordinarily good at managing our culinary escapades here in London. A fair amount of the restaurants, markets, or goodies featured here at SDS are due to his fairly consistent research into the city’s food scene. I mean, I enjoy a good nosh and do my best to stay abreast of the food news, but for him, it’s more of a calling. So when he read about MEATliquor, conveniently nestled just behind Debenham’s on Bond Street, he immediately put it at the top of our To Try list. Our quest for London’s best burgers is never ending, after all, and it would be a shameful shirking of our duty to let a place as favourably talked about as this go untried.

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True to its name, the menu is divided pretty squarely into burgers and booze. Although, having been raised teetotal, its nomenclature caused a moment of hilarity. Until we set foot in the joint, every time I heard the name, what I heard and saw in my head was “Meat-licker.” When the menu was set down in front of me I had a good laugh at myself. Naivete notwithstanding, there are plenty of nice things to drink for the virtuous and I can particularly recommend the Brown Cow, a root beer float. And let the record show that is high praise coming from me as I traditionally have not been root beer floats’ biggest fan.

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The artwork is decidedly punk and not particularly child friendly, so I’d recommend keeping this a grownups only meet up place. However I can squarely assert that the soundtrack is fantastic, rock and blues without stop. We prefer not to deal with crowds when we don’t have to so we went during the lunch hour, but apparently at dinner the line can stretch down the street. There is a sign of hilarious “waiting line rules” that I failed utterly to snap a photo of but must try to nab on a future look in.

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This was our first visit to MEATliquor but not our last because the burgers really are very nice. And for my money, this place makes the best onion rings I have had in London to date, bar none. Jeff is a fan of the chili cheese fries but always manages to eat a suspicious amount of my rings anyway, the sneak. There are no napkins, just paper towels, the only mustard is French’s, and everything is served on a single tray when it comes to the table. It’s the precisely correct amount of gritty fun you need when you’re looking for a juicy burger on a weekend ramble.

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Sunday Links (Bank Holiday Edition)

“Hands up if you’re ready to do something you’ll regret this weekend. Go forth! You have my blessing.”
― Florence Welch

May is delightful, two four-day weeks in the same month. Of course, with freelance, household chores, and errands, we’re still rather full on, but we did manage to get in our first play of the summer seeing Bradley Cooper in the title role of The Elephant Man. A lovely way to start the summer. It’s not summer yet, C., you say? Balderdash. It’s over 60 degrees and sunny and that’s all that counts as far as I’m concerned!

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South of the river forever.

Palettes of famous artists.

h/t Katarina

Fan of bees in general so found this interesting.

I can’t buy this, kittens, but someone needs to.

Oh no, somebody is wrong!

About time.

The Smithsonian answers questions.

Frida Kahlo’s wardrobe. ‘Nuff said.

AirBnB (which we are using for the first time next week, and will report back on) sent a floating house down the Thames.


Sunday Links

“Though we travel the world over to find the beautiful, we must carry it with us, or we find it not.”
― Ralph Waldo Emerson

Another long week, another needed weekend. I promise to write blog posts again in the near future, but I still have to clean the house, especially since we spent the afternoon at the market and then carting home my birthday present.

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Meet our new coffee table, once we varnish it and get some plexiglass to protect the top. Jeff tried to tell me I was a hipster, I told him if I were, I’d try to use it for actual traveling rather than nice interior design taste and practical storage. Here are your links, tell me what you’ve gotten up to this weekend!

Medieval graves are a thing we tend to track around here.

Also shipwrecks!

So if we could stop talking about the supposed crumbling of the family, that would be great. Unless you want to talk about the growing gap between education/opportunity vs. lack thereof, plus outmoded gender roles instead of egalitarian partnerships (also usually based on a degree of education or work privilege). Because I’d be all over that.

Fell into a Wiki rabbit hole a while back, and apparently this is a thing.

Tumblr find of the week.

Twitter find of the week–it’s alarming how much this feed speaks to me.

What the royals eat.

I have precisely zero desire to see this film, but apparently it’s raising all kinds of hell with people (mostly male) who seem to object to women. In general. Totally serious.

Saturday Links

“There is nothing the busy man is less busied with than living: there is nothing that is harder to learn.”
― Seneca

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Down with tyranny!

I think we need to bring back crazy lids. But that might just be Ascot season talking.

A Pinterest board for your delectation.

Fascinating research and projections from the Pew Forum.

I think we can collectively agree with Tom and Lorenzo that Fan Bingbing won the Met Gala. Also, that cape. I want it. Hard.

You run into interesting designers and makers in the development world, all of the interesting. This short piece on a traditional mattress maker caught my eye.

Well this is…horrible

Wonderful piece.

More brie, thanks.

The whole channel is great, but this video in particular is amazing and hysterically accurate.

Yes, please. All of them.

Saturday Links

Only Robinson Crusoe had everything done by Friday. 
~Author Unknown

Let’s face it, this regular feature might move permanently to Saturday if recent trends are anything to go. Anyway, excuse the delay. Another long week at work has resulted in a tiny bit of brain fry and a weekend is required to clear out some of the cobwebs. Here are your links, add your own internet finds for the week in the comments, and let me know what you’re getting up to!

Writing tips from one who knows.

I snort laughed.

Keep and eye on what’s green.

I knew multiple people who ran the London Marathon this year, alas none that dressed up.

Arguments began for the Supreme Court regarding the legality of same sex marriage this week and I’m going to be following the story closely. Living in a country where gay marriage is very much legal (with nary a hint of the apocalypse, I note), it’s interesting to watch this debate playing out from somewhat afar, as strongly as I feel on the subject.

Postmodern Jukebox has done it again.

Not okay, guys! A bridge way too far!

Woof, there’s a lot to unpack here.

Another place to visit!

A helpful guide for the confused.

The general election is next week here in Britain (America, let’s get on this, k? Two year campaigns are ridiculous) and we are preparing with the proper seriousness of thought.

Terribly amused by this site, currently taking over my Facebook feed. I might not always cooperate in photos, but it’s only a year off!

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