art, history, film, books for the culinary enthusiast

Time Travel Shopping in London

Time Travel Shopping in London

Shopping in 1970s London

Cleaning out some files, my husband found a stash of old receipts from a vacation his parents took to Great Britain in 1978.

I never met my Father-in-Law but these papers left a trail of clues for me to follow…and what a trail! From art galleries, to some of London’s most iconic shops, to lovely hotels…they’re a road map to a fabulous city vacation.

I already knew that he liked to collect art – that was apparent the first time I went to my Mother-in-Law’s house – antiques too. But going through these receipts, I feel as¬† if I were taking a shopping trip with them, walking down some of the most beautiful parts of London and collecting a Burberry scarf here, maybe tea from Fortnum and Mason there, and visiting galleries in between.

And I know from the paperwork they made several trips to Liberty¬† (side note: I’ll write up something about the Liberty documentary series in a day or so, it’s terrific). I also now know where our little leather Omersa elephant came from.

Burberry Scarf,Omersa leather elephant, Fortnum & Mason bag
A London vacation with all the trimmings…Fortnum & Mason, Burberry,Liberty

But something quite interesting…
A receipt from Burberry’s – when Burberry still had the ‘s’ on the end. I believe it first opened as Burberry, but then changed to Burberry’s of London because that was the way many overseas folk referred to it when their trench coats became popular. In the early 1990s, they went back to just ‘Burberry.’

That’s not the interesting thing though…the price of a scarf is what caught my eye.

I know what a Burberry scarf costs these days because I was going to replace my husband’s vintage version when he left it at a restaurant. When I went to the Burberry website it was in the $400.00 plus region.
I didn’t replace it, maybe for his birthday someday – we’ll see.

Anyway, if you look very closely at that Burberry’s receipt in the top photo… you’ll see in 1978, my in-laws bought three scarves, the first one was $18.00 and the other two were $4.25 and $4.00.

I know it’s been almost 40 years, but that’s quite an increase! Of course back then, Burberry wasn’t quite the fashionable brand that it is today – at least that’s my impression. I think they were more traditional than fashion forward -I could be wrong – but the $4.00 price tag tells me I’m not.

My husband and I took a trip to the UK exactly a year ago, and I have to admit it’s one of my favorite countries. And not just because I speak the language…there’s just something about a country that offers Afternoon Tea around every corner and where the word bespoke is uttered with ease that appeals to me – after all, finger sandwiches and Oolong are delightful, and my business is a little bit, well…bespoke.

I’m looking forward to our next visit, and maybe next time we’ll stay at the Dukes Hotel in Mayfair, just because, you know…following in footsteps.