London is full of museums. Seriously, some of the best and biggest museums in the world are here – from the great Victoria & Albert, to the Tate Britain and Tate Modern, to the spectacular British Museum – and that is just tapping the surface. I have been to many of those must-see museums, and go back to them on my various trips (heck, the National Gallery in Trafalgar Square is like a second home to me). However, there are many smaller museum gems around the city – like the charming

I just found on this trip.

About London’s Museum of Brands:

“Here is the remarkable story of how our consumer society has evolved since Victorian times. It’s a journey of discovery that puts our favourite brands into their historical context, alongside royal coronations, two world wars, man landing on the moon and right up to the computer and digital age. Laid out chronologically, the Time Tunnel reflects how daily life has been transformed by the invention of the railway, the motor car, and the aeroplane; and how entertainment has been enlivened by the arrival of cinema, radio and television. Memories are triggered by an abundance of toys and games that, since the 1950s, have reflected the most popular television programmes. Magazine covers illustrate the change in style and fashion, while colourful graphic posters connected to the product aspirations of each period.”

Visit London’s Museum of Brands on line here.

One of the great things about the holiday season in Europe – and the UK is no different – are all the great seasonal and Christmas Markets that pop up all over. Most of these markets spring up in late November and early December and run through the first of the year. However, I was happy to find the Winter Market at Southbank Centre is already underway and it is great and festive take on the already vibrant Southbank of the Thames.

About the Winter Market at London’s Southbank Centre:

“See Southbank Centre transformed this winter with magical family shows, markets, twinkling lights, festive fun and other seasonal delights. Eat, drink and be merry beside the River Thames with the return of our enchanting Winter Market and pop-ups, offering the very best in global street food, craft beers, cocktails, artisan gifts and more. Don’t miss our brilliant Christmas shows. Experience the thrills and daredevil entertainment of a turn-of-the-century circus including sensational animal puppetry, with Circus 1903. Or bring the kids to see Rumpelstiltskin, a fantastic fairy tale with theatrical spectacle, rocking music and supreme silliness.”

Learn more about the Winter Market at Southbank Centre here.

Read more about all the other Christmas Markets opening up later in the month in London here.

In the U.S., November 11th is Veterans’ Day – when we celebrate the contribution of those who have served to protect our liberties. A worthy day, which got its start as Armistice Day celebrating the end of The Great Way – World War I, which ended with the Armistice which went into effect at the 11 hour on the 11 day of the 11 month.

In the UK, that day, November 11th is still remembered for ending the war and Brits honor the day each year with Remembrance Sunday on the Sunday closest to the 11th – which this year just happens to be the exact date.

Further, this year marks the centenary of the Armistice – it was 100 years ago today when World War I ended. The day is being marked with events all over the world – but now where else quite like London.

I will be attending a few of the event planned to mark the 100th anniversary of the WWI Armistice in London today and this week and will share what I find here.

Learn more about Remembrance Day observations in London here.

People say to me “why would you go to London in November?” Having been this very week a few times before, I respond with two answers: 1) It is ALWAYS a good time of year to visit London. And, 2) There are some epic events that happen each year in November. I am a little late for Guy Fawkes Night, which takes place on November 5 – where Londoners remember the infamous failed Gunpowder Plot of 1605 with bonfires and fireworks.

But I am just in time to take part in one of the greatest annual displays of British pomp – The Lord Mayor’s Show which takes place on the second Saturday of November every year to celebrate the appointment of the new Lord Mayor.

About The Lord Mayor’s Show:

“For more than 800 years the newly elected Lord Mayor of London has been rowing, riding or marching off to the distant village of Westminster to swear loyalty to the Crown and begin his or her year in office. Over the centuries that journey became known as the Lord Mayor’s Show. It has been a mediaeval carnival, a renaissance spectacle and a military parade, and now it is the longest, oldest and most splendid civic procession in the world.”

Learn more about The Lord Mayor’s Show here.



I have been to London many times over the years and keep going back because I love it. Each time I go, I try to make an effort to check out new things while going back to old favorites. On this trip I wanted to check out more churches (beyond St. Paul’s and Westminster Abbey) and have as many meals as possible at places specializing in charcuterie, as the Brits love cheeses and cured meats. So today and next week I present highlights of my charcuterie tour of London.

FF: WC in Clapham

Housed underground in former public restrooms in London’s Clapham borough is WC – which they say stands for Wine and Charcuterie but of course is a pretty clever pun. WC offers a great atmosphere to get away from the bustle of the city and relax with your friends and partake in some great charcuterie selections.

About London’s WC – Wine and Charcuterie:

“If wine’s more your thing, spend a penny at South London’s WC (get your mind out the gutter, it stands for Wine and Charcuterie), housed in the 100-year-old loos beneath Clapham Common tube station. Pair a large glass of red with its signature Ham Hock Terrine or the “Old man’s” pork scratchings. But, rest-assured, the vibe is more after work drinks than pensioners at tea time.”

WC is located at Clapham Common South Side, London, SW4 7AA.

FF: Brindisa Shop at Borough Market

Meanwhile, the fine people at Brindisa, a UK-based Spanish market, has a great shop in Borough Market where you can sample a great line of charcuterie fare and purchase some to bring home with you.

About Brindisa Shop at Borough Market:

“Located in the heart of Borough Market, our bustling shop offers an unrivalled range of delicious Spanish food with something to satisfy all lovers of Spanish gastronomy. Our friendly team is always on hand to guide you through our range of products or to offer advice on how to create moreish tapas at home. Open Monday to Saturday every week, our shop sells the highest quality hand-carved Ibèrico and Serrano hams at the ham counter, alongside fresh and cured meats. We also offer a beautiful selection of Spanish cheeses and accompaniments, award-winning tinned fish, nuts, olives, pulses and some exceptional olive oils and vinegars.”

The Brindisa Shop is located in The Floral Hall, Stoney Street, Borough Market, London, SE1 9AF.

Lucky for us – Brindisa has an online shop you can visit here.

I am off on a trip to Europe where I will be spending time in London (my favorite place on earth) and taking a side trip to Lille, France a charming city north of Paris. Of course, I will be taking notes and presenting all the great things I see and find here. So stay tuned!


I am a HUGE fan of Annie Leibovitz and have admired her as long as I can remember. One of my most prized possession is an autographed copy of one her books. I am also a huge fan of the creative process and love reading about great artists and how they work. Somehow I missed Ms. Leibovitz’s book At Work when it was first released a decade ago. However, all good things come to those who wait – a newly updated edition of Annie Leibovitz At Work has just been released and it is as fabulous as I hoped it would be.

About Annie Leibovitz At Work:

“Annie Leibovitz, our most celebrated living photographer, explains how her pictures are made. Leibovitz addresses young photographers and readers interested in what photographers do, but any reader interested in contemporary history will be fascinated by her account of one of the richest bodies of work in the photographic canon. The subjects include photojournalism, studio work, photographing dancers and athletes, working with writers, and making the transition from shooting with film to working with digital cameras. Originally published in 2008, this revised and updated edition brings Leibovitz’s bestselling book back into print.”

I could never be what Ms Leibovitz is, but still, I love that she shared her process with us and let us glimpse at what’s behind her greatness.

Annie Leibovitz At Work is available from Amazon and other fine booksellers.


As I prepare for my trip later this week my eyes have been attracted to new luggage solutions. One of the coolest pieces I have seen in a long time is the Gorma Duffel Haze I found from the fine folks at Graf Lantz.

About the Gorma Duffel Haze from Graf Lantz:

“Lightweight weekender features leather detailing, three sided zipper and adjustable magnetic snap closure. Fully lined with interior zippered pocket.”

Find the Gorma Duffel Hazefrom Graf Lantz here.

See all the great products from Graf Lantz here.

Tonight in London there are celebrations with bonfires and fireworks all over. I’d like to think they are celebrating the prospect of my arrival in London later this week, but alas they are celebrating the anniversary of the foiling of the Gunpowder Plot of 1605 – known as Guy Fawkes Night.


The fine folks at Chicago’s Wixter Market specialize in fine fish and shipping it all over the place. Lucky for me, since I don’t like fish, Wixter Market also offers other quality items, like the awesome José Gourmet Pumpkin with Nuts Jam – perfect for late autumn entertaining.

About the José Gourmet Pumpkin with Nuts Jam available from Wixter Market:

“A jam of pumpkin and thin slices of walnut. Wonderful autumn flavors for any time of the year. Pairs very well with soft cheeses.”

Find the the José Gourmet Pumpkin with Nuts Jam from Wixter Market here.

Visit Wixter Market online here.

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