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Tuesday, 27 March 2012

Seven Dials; Mrs Exeter; The Duke of Hazards

Dahlings, life has speeded up, we are yet again hurtling towards another school holiday. This means I am busy cramming in all the jaunts which the presence of boys would not permit.

Interior of the Miller Harris shop at Seven Dials
I took a little trip up to London and paid a visit to the Miller Harris perfume shop near Covent Garden. It's actually in a part of town called Seven Dials, which makes me think of the Agatha Christie novel of that name; it sounds very 1930s...

The Seven Dials Mystery First Edition Cover 1929.jpg
Cover of first UK edition, picture taken from Wikipedia

Miller Harris is sold in various department stores including Liberty's; but dare I say, I don't find the perfume section of Liberty's very friendly, the assistants seem a bit tecky to me (unlike the lovely girls on the cosmetics counters there); I swear a perfume maven inhaled sharply the other day when I dared to place my mitts on  a candle...and my mitts were clean, honest, I wasn't clutching a Crispy Creme at the time.

Gratuitous pic of spring fashions in Liberty's, just because..
Cire Trudon candles at Liberty - don't touch!
The Miller Harris shop by contrast was heaven, the assistant very friendly and very knowledgeable about the products.  I had the best time spraying and sniffing and babbling away to the lovely girl there - hi Natalia, I have not forgotten how kind and helpful you were!

The wallpaper is Miller Harris designed and can also be purchased
I could not choose there and then - really I felt spoilt for choice, I think the Miller Harris fragrances are ones which you cannot go wrong with, no matter what you choose, but I loved them all and just couldn't decide!  I came away with lots of samples, which I am really enjoying - Terre de Bois; La Pluie; Tangerine Vert; La Fumee.  Currently I am in love with Coeur de Fleur  - a divinely soft, clean smell, very spring like, I keep nuzzling my arm, I find myself so delicious! ( I am trying not to do this too much when other people are around as it must look ever so slightly pervy).  I also like the fact that Miller Harris is still an independent perfumer, unlike the Jo Malones and the L'Artisan Parfumeurs who are now owned by big cosmetic companies..) and the founder Lyn Harris is still very much hands on in the creation of the perfumes. Plus she trained as a perfumer in Grasse, France, and I once spent a summer there working as an au pair so you see Mr B it is really important I have a Miller Harris perfume to remind me of my distant youth (think he was called Pierre or maybe it was Bertrand???).....

Miller Harris perfume samples - divine!
Another big treat recently was to meet up with Mrs Exeter, whom many of you will know from her blog.  Mrs E also lives in Buckinghamshire, not far from me, so we met up for coffee in a very pretty market town. We talked and talked and had a lovely time and then Mrs E had to go riding, as you do - how cool!  In a  clever decluttering move, Mrs E gave me a book on decluttering.  Masterful!

Mrs E also gave me this nail polish.

It is called "Old Blighty".

How fitting!  Thank you so much Mrs E.

We have plans to meet again for a trip to my spiritual home, Bicester Village.

The boys have of course been busy with various boy type activities.  They certainly keep them busy at Daphnes4Boyz:  Maths tests, French tests, cake competitions, Sports Relief charity run, football matches,  Inter-House General Knowledge Quiz (won by Verruca but with Impetigo coming a close second), egg decorating competition, £5 challenge (otherwise known as extorting money out of your peers in return for bags of popcorn)...and then it's time for morning registration...

Mr B and I were very amused by Boy 2's recent trip to somewhere called Hazard Valley, some sort of interactive educational centre designed to teach children how to cope with various dangers.

Look at this picture.  Can you all see what the issues are ? *answers below

Mr B found the numerous leaflets from the Coastguards which Boy 2 came home clutching very funny, considering we are the furthest you can possibly get from the sea anywhere in the UK!  Possible case of print over-run in the Coastguard department? or do they know what bath time is like at Blighty HQ?

When I asked Boy 2 what had happened on the trip, his main feedback was that Justin A. Bucket had been sick on the coach on the way there and Max Chunder had thrown up on the coach on the way back, all over a teacher. 

Conclusion: the main hazard facing a 9 year old is being blurped on during a school trip, so important to
 a) identify; and
b) avoid sitting anywhere near;
 the pukey kids at all times....

These are vital life skills, which will serve Boy 2 very well in later life. 

Never underestimate the importance of school trips.

* the hazards are of course as follows:
  • that girl is wearing dangerously out of fashion 80s style gear, including Reebok type trainers and a scrunchie;
  • the baby's nappy looks worryingly full, real risk of seepage situation and hazardous fumes;
  • baby needs to remove dummy before taking a drag on the ciggy**
  • is that red wine properly aerated - should it not be decanted?

** this blog of course does not advocate smoking for the under two's, though an occasional pipe can help them unwind


  1. Dear Blighty - I LOVED meeting you - it was so much fun. I can't wait to go to Bicester!!! Gentle readers, Blighty is even more lovely and funny in the flesh than she is here and my face ached the next day from grinning so much!

    Those scents sound v. nice - I'd not heard of them before. Seven Dials is a bit off my usual track, but I should deffo remedy that.

    Hazard Valley - I think I looked at a house there at the weekend... (le sigh!) xxx

  2. thank you mrs exeter, for confirming my suspicions of old blighty. and how wonderful to find that nail polish! blighty you continue to add so much to my days! xo janet

  3. Blighty, Love the field trip ! So very on the mark!

    I didn't know Miller-Harris was an English company. I got a bunch of their products when traveling in Arizona at the Fairmont. They were all lovely and I hoarded a ton! Still using the lotions!

    I'll have to look for your signature polish now!


  4. As we say over here in the Antipodes, I'd have loved to have been a fly on the wall during this historic meeting of minds over coffee! Sounds like a delightful time ladies, and brilliant find re the signature nail polish. I'll be watching out for it too.
    Laughted Out Loud at your take on the hazards - he he

  5. Oh do stop Blights! Beautiful perfume and meeting Mrs E...Jealous as all get out here.
    I bet you girls enjoyed yourselves immensely and I'm waiting with baited breath for the Bicester Village instalment.
    My kid's school had a policy of taking a plastic bucket on the bus and placing the chucky kids in the front seats. This practice is now probably deemed Discrimination. I think it was incredibly sensible.

  6. Dear Mrs Blighty, I love a gorgeous perfumery! I know what you mean about sniffing one's arm - on my single trip to Expensive Street (Mr LiC has me on a short lease) I tried some of the super special Hermes perfumes and looked as if I had a tic all afternoon. Mrs Exeter writes a lovely blog - I can imagine she would be a wonderful person to spend an afternoon with. Seven Dials is also the name of another detective novel by Anne Perry which I confess to have put down and not picked up again. One has to get up some momentum when reading and some times I get quite cross when I pick up a book to read the same paragraph yet again only to fall asleep before I make any further progress. Thank you for giving me yet another reason to be glad I am no longer at school - children and long coach rides belong in a particular part of hell. I hope the teachers are paid danger money to go along. love Lindaxxx

  7. aha - so Miller Harris DO do samples! I was entranced by the lovely bottles at Frasers in Glasgow and asked for some samples because one CANNOT rush buying perfume....and the Maven looked down her nose at me and said 'We don't do SAMPLES'. Repeating the word 'samples' as if I had asked her for some free cocaine or heroin.

    I am reminded of Edina in Ab Fab when she is greeted at a posh art gallery by a snooty assistant: 'You can drop the attitude dear, you work in a shop.'

    No offence to shop workers anywhere, but sales people don't understand that they are there to get you to buy something and handing out samples is part of that job.

    My answer to the Dangerous Things leaflet was that the mother was totally going to EXPLODE if she was left to clean all that up on her own.

    Glad you had a good time with Mrs E!

    Ali x

  8. Those Mannequins look like they've been in a pie throwing contest, or are they pretending to be satellite dishes.
    I'm still recovering from being a chaperone on my son's school trip. They didn't notice me pushing one of the darling little Asbos out the back door of the bus. One down, 23 to go.

  9. I am 9 million/10 Jealous! The closest I get to Mrs E is via Twitter! Not fair!

    Don't forget to catch up with Mum when she visits London town.

    Jealous of that Butter polish too. It costs about $37 here. I know. 'Spensive.

    Wish you lived locally x

  10. Hi Blighty, just stopping by to say how delightful your blog is. Thanks so much for sharing. I have recently found your blog and am now following you, and will visit often. Please stop by my blog and perhaps you would like to follow me also. Have a wonderful day. Hugs, Chris

    1. Thank you for your kind word, I have followed your blogBxx

  11. Love your blog, check mine and we can follow each other if you like :)

    1. I have followed your blog, love fashion blogs!

  12. Love this post Blighty! This is my first comment, but since I've been reading for ages I thought it was only fair that finally I told you how much I've been enjoying your blog (I found you through the divine MaiTai). I've never been to Miller Harris but clearly I need to add that to my list. I too love Bicester and can't wait to read your post about your future trip. So glad that school trips are but a dim and distant memory for me now (and I loved the names that you came up with for their unfortunate friends on the coach!).

  13. I think I have the honour of being your first follower! loved your post - love Enchanted April, makes me want to read it again, thank you for you kind words about my blog Bxx

  14. "Never underestimate the importance of school trips." I agree with what you have said, travel for students makes them grow and mature and prepare them in the future.

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