Showing posts with label Harris Museum. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Harris Museum. Show all posts

Thursday, 22 November 2012

Day at the Museum

I haven't had a week off work in soo long and as I haven't seen my folks in months I thought I'd take an extended mini break to the coast. I met my mum in the North Western city of Preston. I specifically wanted to come here as I wanted see the Harris Museum and check out their clothing exhibition 'Preston in the Guild' which had a specific focus on the Horrockses fashion label that happened to be founded in the area in 1946. Their clothes were designed as an 'upmarket' 'off the peg' exclusive label which tried to emulate the major fashion capitals of London and Paris. For those of you who aren't from the UK the North West of England specifically towns like Preston large cities like Manchester and parts of Yorkshire were the birth place of the industrial revolution where cotton manufacturing became the largest employer during the 19th century. Young rich socialite wives of cotton mill owners needed beautiful clothes to match their new found status...I guess nothing much has changed!

Whilst I haven't been in this part of the world for a while (I only grew up a few miles away) I have now migrated slightly more south 40 miles or so nearer to the larger city of Manchester and I thought it was a opportunity to give you folks who aren't so near a taste of what is in essence a bit of a history stroke fashion stroke town recommendation lesson.

The Harris Museum is a stunningly beautiful building that was first commissioned by local lawyer Edmund Robert Harris in 1877. There are always several exhibitions going on as well as the museum holding an Art Gallery and Public library. I particularly like the fact the museum centres on 'local' history.

Isn't this dress truly exquisite? 

A typical Horrockses designed dress however I think I'd have to loose some weight off the hips first. 

These are truly funky little numbers a typical style of the 60/70's and reminiscent of the designers Biba and Mary Quant. 

After a trip to the 3rd floor which was traumatic enough, my mother is not the greatest fan of heights and especially less so considering the large staircases and marble flooring so we decided on a little retail therapy. Like any large town in the UK the high street shops are always in abundance but I like to find something off the beaten track. Off a side street I wanted to find the little vintage Retro Rehab new sister store to their larger more accomplished store as located in the ever increasingly achingly cool part of Manchester's Northern Quarter. This part of town is quiet and far more boutiquey and has a more calm and relaxed approach than the free for all fighting of the busy pedestrianisation areas (this also makes it far easier to trust your buying instincts as apposed to rushed claustrophobic impulse buys on the high street which you never where or need!). The shop itself is cute, compact and full of vintage goodies that are hand picked and all of them are extremely good quality. I decided to purchase two pleated dresses, a paisley one which I plan to team with a geometric print jacket and a dark floral knee length one which i'll wear with my many pins and badges.   Not bad for under £40. I also noticed after my happy purchases a lovely little cupcake shop across the way which is perfect for the afternoon munchies after a busy day of thrifting.

Well we were now feeling a little peckish and decided to take a walk around the more upmarket part of town around Winckley Square. This part of the city is quite historic full of large Georgian/Victorian buildings that overlook one of the only green parts of town. I had heard during the revolution this was actually an exclusive gated community. It has now however given rise to apartment buildings, office blocks and the like. You can see more about the elegance of the place on the link above and get a feel for the opulence and also tragedy of the workers who could of only dreamed of living like their masters. We also had a little walk through the park the trees and Autumnal colours look so beautiful at this time of year. Nearby I was looking forward to lunch at a deli I had heard some great reviews about. Deli Med is a lovely Mediterranean delicatessen that only serves the best in local produce (as well as some fabulous imported goodies) and there are so many things to try cured meats, cheeses, chutneys, fresh salads etc etc. Me and Mum used to meet up at the now defunked Love Saves The Day deli in Manchester and always shared a platter so to reminisce we thought we'd do the same. It was soo great to catch up on some girly gossip and have a giggle and natter whilst enjoying some delicious treats especially the garlic stuffed olives which were huge! I also liked the fact the condiments at the table actually included olive oil and balsamic vinegar usually you have to ask for extra as there is never enough for dunking that lovely crusty bread. We shared a bottle of fizz, at first we wanted Processco but there didn't appear to be any on the menu which we always look forward too as it isn't too bitter as is a far cheaper yet just as delicious alternative to Champers but we could only find Cava which Mum was a bit skeptical to try. I must admit though it was truly delicious aged for 28 months very fruity and truly yum and went down an absolute treat!

I love days out with my mum...what have been your favourites? 

Till next time