Goodge Street

I’m a massive charity shop addict. So I thought I’d write a post about charity shops in London. Obviously London is so big, I’m not going to talk about every single one I’ve been to. I’ve chosen Goodge Street because I feel like it’s the most accessible to everyone. It is right in the centre of the West End, parallel to Oxford Street, so if you’re there and feel like taking a detour…take a trip down to Goodge Street and see what you can find! There’s an Oxfam and a YMCA, and one or two more other charities along the way (rhyme not intended).

 

 Oxfam, 52 Goodge Street

 

 YMCA, 22 Goodge Street

 

Oxfams in London always have unworn stock from Urban Outfitters. I’m guessing it’s old stock that they have donated, which Oxfam then sell at a knocked down price. I was lucky to find some really nice dresses from Oxfam on Goodge Street, both from Urban Outfitters. There’s a nice bit of floral going on…and some nice neck embellishments. These retro looking dresses look great with a nice pair of brogues/loafers or some ankle boots. I will definitely get my new cream clogs involved. The collar on the black dress does remind me of some old curtains we had in the 90s, but I like that! Reminds me of my childhood :)

 

 Dress, Urban Outfitters via Oxfam | Loafers, Topshop

 

 Dress, Urban Outfitters via Oxfam | Espadrille Wedges, Office

 

Collar made out of 90s curtains | Lipstick, Models Own in Plum; £5

 

And it doesn’t end there…YMCA has also been good to me. I bought this retro berry dress/top for a fiver! I wear it more often in the winter because of the colour – acts as a staple every year. It has to be worn with a waist belt as it is very baggy. So if you are in a charity shop and find something big that you like, never forget the power of a waist belt.

 

 Dress, YMCA | Belt, Charity Shop | Vintage Ankle Boots, Ebay

 

 Close up on dress detailing | Lipstick, Models Own in Red Wine; £5

 

I usually wear it with black leggings (for the slim fit) and black high heel ankle boots to give it more of a contrasting structure – big on the top, the illusion of slim long legs on the bottom. The cardigan…I think some people will either love or hate!

 

It goes really well with the dress: THANKS YMCA! It’s very fun to shop at the Y.M.C.AAA. (Sorry I couldn’t resist: cringey me!) I love how big the sleeves are, and the detailing is very Christmassy (I’m getting excited thinking about Xmas already!) It was £4 and I’m sure if you found this in a vintage shop the price would be quadrupled. It’s always worth checking in charity shops first! And you are also giving to great causes – guilt free shopping! Aha!

 

 Christmas Cardigan!

 

 Close up of fluff

 

If that wasn’t enough to wet your appetite…I’ll tell you what else is good on Goodge Street – cheap pizza. It’s called Italian Coffee Company, also known as ICCos. As a student in this area, of course it was a massive part of my life. The pizzas are freshly made, pretty large in size and have a thin crispy base. Pepperoni is one of my faves – £4.50! “Get in ma beeeelly!!!” (Fat Bastard) With all those calories and pounds spent on shopping, you can afford one of these delicious pizzas. The coffee’s not bad either.

 

 Picture taken from LondonTheInside…EAT

 


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Vapiano

Shopping on Oxford Street can work up quite an appetite. When I think of places to eat in that area I am always stuck because you either have go for something quick and cheap (plus unhealthy) i.e. McDonald’s, or quick and/or healthy and relatively expensive. Cafes like Pret a Manger and Starbucks can be tasty but a sandwich and crisps won’t put me in good stead for an energy draining shopping trip. Wasabi offers some sushi and hot food but again it’s either unhealthy and full of oil and sugar (the hot food), or you end up spending a fortune on sushi, which is a bit of a tease. Sometimes it’s just nice to get a reasonable portion of food and a nice seat in a restaurant. Carnaby Street has some nice pubs and restaurants, but most of them are overpriced. Then you have your usual suspects on the side streets like Pizza Express and ASK but they’re not quick. I love a bit of Nando’s but I have that all the time so it’s nice to go somewhere different when you’re in London (if you don’t live in London).

 What I wore shopping: Stripey jacket, Charity Shop Vest top, Triton | High-waisted chinos, American Apparel Espadrilles, Oxfam

I used to walk down Great Portland Street quite a lot when I was living in halls and used to go past this place called Vapiano. I never really understood what it was. From the name on the outside I assumed it was a jazz bar or piano school. WRONG. How wrong I was. I was shopping the other day with a friend and suggested we come here after I had been told by my sister it was actually a really nice restaurant. How right she was. First of all, it has a completely different set up. You are given a card as you walk in. There are no waiters, so this acts like a tab. You have to go up and order your drinks from the bar and food from the pasta or pizza stands. The bar has a good range of drinks, even 3 types of draught beer (good for the boyfriend or if you like beer!). The pasta menu is organised into 4 price ranges A – D, starting at £6.75 for Group A going up to £9.75 in Group D. You get to choose out of 11 types of pasta, which are all made fresh on site (you can watch it being made while you wait).

 Queuing system 

Once you’ve chosen what pasta and sauce you want, you choose a queue where there are chefs waiting for you (in the above photo). After you order it then gets cooked in front of you and takes around 10 minutes. Quick, cheap and healthy. The same idea goes for the pizza, apart from you don’t get to choose a base or anything like that, and it can be a longer wait. Obviously you just choose your topping out of the 4 price ranges. There is also a menu for antipasti and dessert but I didn’t get any so I can’t really say what it’s like. I can safely say the pasta and pizza are a-ma-zing (my friend got a pizza). So I’m sure it’s the same for everything. I went for the Granchi di Fiume pasta: Crayfish, fresh vegetables and lobster sauce from Group D.  Was quick, delicious and fresh. Need I say more?

Granchi di Fiume pasta washed down with some Magners. Yumitiyum. 

I love the decor. It really does complement the style of the food. It’s like a modern, sophisticated cafeteria. You have your own fresh herb selection if you wish to add a few more flavours to your meal. As it is a quick self-service arrangement, there are no bookings and the seating is mostly communal. I’m going to stop here as I am getting very hungry talking about this place and my stomach is screaming at me to go back. Where do you like to eat if you’re in this neck of the woods?

Let’s talk about Neon

I remember the concept of neon being around since the early days of Skins. This was subsequently followed by a number of neon parties i.e. ‘The Secret Skins Neon Party’ or ‘Vodpop Neon’, where people would be dancing along to Calvin Harris’ ‘Acceptable in the 80s’ with neon face paint.  I am guilty of partaking in this neon fest (cringe)…As cringey as that was, neon is trending this year and I’m into it.

Out for my friend’s birthday, I wore this pink neon cropped vest top from Topshop. I was unsure what to wear it with at first. It needed something high-waisted, so I went with my striped pencil skirt from Primark. The belt is Rockit and turquoise bag Oxfam.  I had a matching pink neon lipstick on from Rimmel (620: Coral Queen). I think I’m about to stick two fingers up at someone. Charming.

Crop top, Topshop | Skirt, Primark | Bag, Oxfam | Belt, Rockit

Remember Beki from the wedding? She shows that you don’t have to buy neon clothes to wear the trend. Her neon accessories really do give the outfit a bit of a lift!

At the start of May, I felt I was in need of a summer bag. I wanted a big bag to fit loads of stuff for work and for overnight stays on the weekend. Whenever buying something new I always check the Sale section first. ASOS was my first and last stop. Having previously seen a neon Zatchel bag and liking the look of it, I wanted to get a neon bag but not spend too much money. This pink neon satchel costs £113…

Pink Fluoro Floral Satchel, Zatchel

When I saw this ‘Canvas Contrast Handle Shopper’ from ASOS I bought it instantly. The neon straps are just enough neon, with the neutral beige fabric. I have worn it a lot as it does go with nearly everything. It injects a bit of colour, and even if it’s raining outside I still feel bright and summery.

 

Sleeveless polo neck, Charity Shop | High-waisted skirt, New Look | Sling-back sandals, Melissa | Bag, ASOS

So if you do like neon, but don’t want too much, or to commit to a piece of clothing, I would go for neon accessories. I’ve seen neon jewellery in a few places, but I liked the look of Zara’s necklaces the most.

 ‘Stone necklace with neon touches’, Zara