In These Shoes?

We had noticed during our sunny explore of Northampton that there was a Vivienne Westwood exhibition on in the art gallery. Neither of us are dedicated followers of fashion so knew next to nothing about her but in our general spirit of taking advantage of what’s on wherever we happen to be, we thought we would check that out. Sunday was ideal as the weather was dull and windy, so much more suited to being inside. Our first foray in the door had us turning on our heels and straight out again, as the hope of beginning our gallery visits with lunch, was dashed by the news that they didn’t do lunch on Sundays. We were back to pounding the streets. Unsurprisingly the bistro in the church wasn’t open on a Sunday either but my eye was caught by an unusual window display offering tiddly teas and we do like to sample the individual or a small local enterprise, rather than the chain establishments, if we can. So we entered The Eccentric Englishman!

It looked busy but the lady in traditional black dress and white pinny said there was room upstairs. We hoofed it up there to find old style dining tables, curios all over the place and 1940s music playing. Whether I was attracted by tiddly teas, eccentricity or a vague Alice in Wonderland theme, I was enjoying the ambience and felt moved to try a tiddly tea since it was there speciality. I chose a Mad Hatter, though was tempted by the curious Cobbler, and teamed it with a traditional fish finger sandwich. Shane had a cappuccino and went for theme for the weekend of a full English breakfast in something else this time it’s a wrap! When they arrived mine actually looked bigger. Just as well since I had all those spirits to soak up.

Back at the gallery we found there was the Vivienne Westwood personal collection exhibition and next to it their permanent exhibition, a shoe collection. The Vivienne Westwood exhibition had a whole lot of shoes too, but none I would feel able to walk in.

There was a fair amount off tartan and exhibits labelled ghillies. Shane does own ghillie brogues but they don’t look like this. One exhibit was not a clothing design but a collaboration with a ceramics company, but with a tartan Westwood vibe.

Coalport tartan teaset

We wandered into the other shoe collection which delved much further back in history, with shoes from thousands of years ago and throughout the centuries, some more practical than others.There were elephant shoes, another Westwood pair and a video of how shoes are made, some being individually fashioned for a specific client. Shane instantly recognised the boots made for the pinball wizard, worn by Elton John.

The cafe was open (just not for lunch) so we refreshed ourselves, before walking back through. I fancy some time when I am not still lightheaded from a mad hatter, trying the establishment that suits Shane’s character rather well. Shane always looks for different routes so we walked through the park and over the river by a different bridge and the park yielded another footwear exhibit.

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