Ever wondered what goes on at our iconic Cath Kidston stores? Well we caught up with Piccadilly Deputy Store Manager, Karen Wilson, to tell us all about her favourite places in Piccadilly and central London. She has worked at the flagship store for nearly 3 years, so who better to ask!
What do you love about Piccadilly?
“It’s so beautiful. The buildings are amazing and full of history and it hasn’t changed that much in a hundred years. You’ll find the Ritz, Fortnum and Mason, The Royal Academy, Burlington Arcade, Green Park and Piccadilly Circus all within a few hundred yards. My two pieces of advice are: don’t forget to look up as there’s a lot you can miss and visit at Christmas time as the windows and lights are incredible…a total twinkle-fest!”
What’s your favourite time of year in London?
“The first warm sunny day of spring, when it feels like winter is far behind us. London is full-on, but you can feel everyone’s mood lift and the city just relaxes a little when the sun comes out.”
Describe your perfect day off in London?
“There’s so much to do in the city, but I would probably start off in Greenwich Park, with its gorgeous greenery and amazing views of the city. Then I’d catch the river boat down to the London Eye. I’ve lived in London for over 20 years and never bore of seeing the skyline. I’d then wander over one of the many bridges on the Thames to Covent Garden to watch the street performers and then go to a show in the evening. I’ve been dying to see the Lion King for years…maybe this year.”
Recommended first date venue in the area?
“My perfect first date venue would be the Southbank, where my boyfriend and I had our first date almost three years ago. It’s my favourite part of the city. You can spend hours meandering along the riverside taking in the amazing views, stopping for a drink, grabbing a bite to eat, riding a carousel or simply popping in to a gallery. If you’re bored of the Southbank then you’re bored of life!”
Do you have a favourite walk?
“If not the Southbank, then I would say Little Venice. It’s like a little secret part of London with its canal and all of the beautiful barges. It’s so calm and you feel like you’ve stepped back in time. If you walk far enough you can also find yourself in Regents Park…bliss!”
Best restaurant you’ve eaten in, in London?
“Bob Bob Ricard, because its stunning! I was lucky enough to be taken there for my birthday by my best friend. They do the most amazing Lobster mac ’n’ cheese and each table has its own bell that says, “Press for Champagne”…need I say more?”
What was the last cultured thing you did in London?
“I went to Christies Auction House, which is just around the corner from the store when they were having an auction of George Michaels’ art collection. Filled with a ton of modern day artists such as Tracy Emin and Damien Hirst. It was incredible and unexpected.”
Who do you think is the most inspirational Londoner dead or alive?
“The Queen because long before the days of equality or women’s lib Lizzie was the boss. She’s seen it all, good times, bad times, about a gazillion Prime Ministers and never wavered from her duty. She’s still a working woman at 92, is a tea-party animal, she loves a bet on the horses, she has a sense of style and to top it off she parachuted in to the London Olympics (ok that may not have been her, but she gave permission).”
Do you know any interesting facts about the area local to your store?
“The name Piccadilly comes from the 17th century: a Piccadili is a frilly collar and a man called Roger Baker lived in the area and became well known for making them. I’m not going to lie, I had to Google that!”
What are your all time favourite pieces from Cath Kidston?
I have a London Bus oyster card holder that makes me smile whenever I use it, my Provence Rose Foldaway Shopper, which goes everywhere with me (pretty and practical…hello?!), and my Scattered Woodstock suitcase because it is so beautiful and I only ever see it when I’m going on holiday!
What are your five AW19 picks from Cath Kidston?
1. Anything in Chiswick Rose, I love that print!
2. The new stationery collection, particularly the pencils in a box because they’re so cute.
3. The London Bus toy because it makes me feel nostalgic.
4. The Pamper Tin Set in Cottage Patchwork because it smells delicious and the tin looks super useful for afterwards.
5. The Artists View Travel bag because I want it so bad and it’s timeless. The tan leather against the print is beautiful.