I've touched on the joy of shopping at Liberty before, but this past week has really seen a zenith in my appreciation of the store. The Christmas cardholders event was an absolute pleasure, free glasses of wine, beautiful objects wherever you cast your eye, gorgeous guests and staff, and some of the most civilised shopping surroundings possibly anywhere. Particular highlights were seeing my dream sofa - previously discussed with a friend a couple of days ago - and more or less faling in love with it; a button-backed Chesterfield chaise longue in thick cerise velvet. Unfortunately at £2650, it costs almost 6 months worth of rent. One can dream. However, the Christmas shop yielded some gorgeous decorations and gifty items; as did the stationery department. As did the cosmetics and beauty hall. As did, almost, the menswear hall. And the shoe department. It's not just exceptional well bought-in and selected pieces that make Liberty great, but the entire experience of civility and hallowed surroundings or a gorgeous Arts and Crafts building. Liberty has a presence that Selfridges and Harvey Nichols with their steel and glass and marble and thick swathes of people and music just cannot match. The one thing that could make it better would be a well-stocked magazine department, and possibly a better area for men's grooming. But, this would merely be fiddling with perfection. Liberty is, quite simply, diving and I urge you to visit it at some stage over Chrtistmas to escape the histle and pick up some truly fabulous gifts. Other Staples:
Liberty department store
HOPS! pub in Covent Garden
Rediscovering the first Bloc Party album, 'Silent Alarm'
A green, double-breasted winter coat
Julien Maclaren-Ross' 'Bitten By The Tarantula'
The George on Great Portland St.
Seeing old Bond films on ITV - Christmas is here!