Monday, 3 November 2008

Kevin in UK...Part Five

Arrived at Tunbridge Wells!

Below: Charming streets and shops

Below: A pub converted from an old theatre, with stage and box seats on upper levels...interesting:-)

These carpets are pricey!

I love the elegant and pretty!

Below: Train station

Below: My 'Fenwick' purchase for charity... 'Paul Smith' mug!

Below: Many big names contribute to the designs...which one do you like?

Royal Tunbridge Wells

Continuing my documentation of my UK trip before I start losing interest in posting...:-)

The next destination that I went after Rye and Winchelsea was Tunbridge Wells. It's one of the bigger towns that I have seen since my last few town visits. I feel I am in a condensed London when I am in Tunbridge Wells. Except, the streets are less crowded, the buildings are of much more charm and character:-) Here you find malls and even shops like H&M, B&O, Fenwick, Gap etc. There are quite a few departmental stores around and some stock small selections of luxury brands like D&G and Mulberry bags, Paul Smith and Boss. However, what attracts me most are the quaint little shops that sells antiques, rugs and homewares. Even when you are buying nothing, it is absolutely a pleasure to walk about the streets.

We arrived in bad weather since the cloudy skies were grey and drizzling. We started by heading to a mall that housed Fenwick, a departmental store. My friend wanted to find a replacement wine glass which broke a while ago. We did not have any luck locating the wine glass. But I did managed to end up with a very cute mug designed by Paul Smith for (Matching plates are available as well!) This mug which costs a mere UK 11 pounds has gotten lots of famous names to design their mugs as a charity drive. Gwen Stefani, Heidi Klum, Donna Karen, Giorgio Armani, George Clooney, Ozzy Osbourne etc are part of the huge group of famous people who contributed their artworks to be featured on the mugs. I picked Paul Smith as I like the cute rabbit on the mug. This would make an exceptionally good x'mas gift. Sadly, I can only bring one back as I do not want to be burden my luggage with too much weight.

After Fenwick, we drop by Thorsten for my chocolate shopping. Gifts for friends and family. The chocolates are super yummy... I bought quite a few boxes and it was still not enough to distribute. Yikes! So you can imagine how much weight I added to my luggage when I left UK!

Beyond all the shopping, we walked leisurely, enjoying the town and also dropping by some oriental carpet shops and other home furnishings store. My friend was checking out oriental rugs and oh my...those were very costly with one of the designs costing a hefty UK 1390 pounds! My bags pales in comparision at the carpet's prices! Hehe. Shopaholic consolation! My friend James can no longer complain I always spend money on expensive frivolous things. His indulgence is even more costly! :-) Haha.

Carpet shopping takes its toll on us and we had a nice coffee break at a cute little cafe. They serve really good coffee and most of all, cakes! My coffee cake was super delicious. I am still thinking about it till this day.

We check out the area more before it's time for us to head home and have dinner! One last stop was to the departmental store next to the train station to look at some furniture. Although most were over the top, opulent ornate looking styles, I still enjoy all these 'small town' shopping:-).

Tunbridge Wells is such a charming and beautiful town. It got the approval and patronage of royalty over the past decades, that it was granted the official 'Royal' title since 1909. I was pretty impressed at this nice little fact about the area. No wonder I love Tunbridge Wells:-) If Royalty approves of does Kevin:-) Hehe.

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