The red shoes

Tea in town. Where does one go for a quiet cup of tea in town, free from prams (sorry mums) and tourists? Well I found the perfect place yesterday when I went to get a look at the Wizard of Oz exhibition in Great Marlborough Street. On display on the first floor of the Swarovski Crystallized shop (opposite Liberty) is a dozen or so pairs of ruby slippers reimagined by the likes of Giuseppe Zanotti, Betsey Johnson and Jimmy Choo. My favourites were the Giuseppe Zanotti flats (not what I’d expect from the king of statement heels) and Alberta Ferretti’s crystal-covered platforms (very Dorothy does disco). But I was most taken with the Crystallized Lounge, a quiet haven of tables where you can watch the giddy goings-on in Argyll Street below while sipping a nice cup of English Breakfast or a glass of something chilled and alcoholic if you prefer. Post-refreshment, don’t forget to have a browse downstairs. Like a posh version of The Bead Shop, Swarovski Crystallized sells all manner of beads, charms and stick-on crystals for you to make your own trinkets. I couldn’t help going into stationery-shop mode, wanting to snatch up every little clasp, pendant and waxed-cotton cord on sale for the make-my-own-necklace project that I know will never come to fruition. Ahhhh, one day…

A. Testoni

Alberta Ferretti

Betsey Johnson

Giuseppe Zanotti