A Not So Grotty Grotto


In true "Bah Humbug" style, I was deploring how Christmas has YET AGAIN come a little too early for my liking.  I wasn't quite feeling 'it', that emotion often triggered by Wham!, roasting chestnuts and Observer Food Monthly recipes (yes even THEY got their Christmas tips in a bit early).  As incredibly trite and cliched as this might sound, and like the sad sucker of a consumer that I am, a stroll through Liberty's festivities made me feel 'it' a little bit (Muji'x Xmas toys also got me excited about stocking fillers…).  For a start Liberty's Tudor-esque store front is already Christmas-friendly but this year, they've got the festivities ramped up by inviting Luella Bartley to create her version of Yuletide in the store…

So we have Liberty's Luella Christmas Grotto…a Yorks/Lancs Father Christmas was on-hand today for people to have their snap taken with.  This marks my first photo with Mr Claus ever… think Liberty are sending it to me asap… should be slightly better than the one where I have a slightly strained smile, posing with Mr Blobby when I was 12. 

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There's a Foxy theme going on in the Grotto which is later repeated in the windows… it's a mix of Luella's past exploration of the pastime of British hunting and Fantastic Mr Fox-mania…


So the grotto does NOT consist of Luella bits and bobs that are probably not going to affordable for most if you want to do some actual stocking filling.  That was initially what I thought it was.  Nope, instead, Luella has shopped Liberty and filled the grotto with her favourite things… everything from candy to Crimbo ornaments to accessories and wallets…

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Naturally there's a bit of a bow theme going on…



I have earmarked gifts for others which I of course wouldn't post here but here are things that are *hint hint* stuff I wouldn't mind… Vivienne Westwood gloves and a Liberty paisley print tote that matches my Clarks Desert Boots exactly…

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For some reason, these Fashionable Rubbish Finger Puppets never made it onto a post here and yes it is severely delayed but definitely something to think about again for Christmas as they're in the grotto and online on Liberty.  Especially if you want Giles Deacon, Anna Piaggi, Alber Elbaz, Viktor & Rolf and Sonia Rykiel on your hand.  There's a slightly questionable Christpher doll from the London set.  Who do they mean – Bailey or Kane because it doesn't resemble either?  The Rubbish mag team were also there tonight carolling away…

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Luella and her design team have also taken over the windows.  I haven't been enthusiastic about windows in general for a while and Christmas ones should be extra special which these are… I definitely need to get onboard that train of peeps who are specifically tasked with sourcing props for these creations.  The first is an ode to all things Royal, the Queen's speech really with all kinds of memorabilia, the kind that I see piled up in retirement homes…


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The next is a suppsoed to be a snapshot of 1970s Christmas though it manages to tap into a few of my English Crimbo memories… Queen's speech on the telly, lurid patterened sofas, half-eaten brussels sprouts on the plate, a plethora of crap unwanted pressies and gross Christmas cake (TOO much dried fruit!)…all kitschly condensed into one window…



And we have the foxes again… or specifically Mr Wilberforce-Huntley and his Mrs, and in a role reversal, they're living in a hunting lodge…


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The funniest one (and possibly the one that a lot of people won't get) is the 'Carolling on the Council Estate' window. John Lennon, Mick Jagger and David Bowie mask these 'carol singers' who are singing Silent Night.

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There's no Scrooge moment yet when I'm suddenly handing out pressies to everyone with a cheesy grin on my face but at the very least, the feeling of 'it' is slowly on the up!

**EDIT** So this post being the latest will seem VERY STRANGE after Luella has officially announced that they have stopped trading due to backer Club21 pulling out… just to add though that Luella herself seemed in great spirits last night at the Liberty XMas Grotto launch… I don't think this is actually the end of Luella officially but things are looking pretty grave… Chrimbo Miracle s'il vous plait?

24 Replies to “A Not So Grotty Grotto”

  1. LOVE LOVE LOVE :)))
    Your Style,Your Blog and this Post above all πŸ™‚
    That’s Really Great.
    It Looks Like a Warmth Moment…Full of Colours and Christmas and Sweetness :)))

  2. For me, Christmas starts when Starbucks changes to their holiday cups. It seems to start earlier and earlier every year. I don’t know if you know what Costco is (it is place where you have to pay to join the club and you get to buy everything in massive bulk quantities in a warehouse setting) but I was there with my mom and I saw Christmas cookies/chocolates, decorations, displays beside Halloween candy…in beginning of October. How’s that for early?

  3. I cant believe the New York finger puppets don’t include Anna Wintour. I want my finger to be adorned with a bob and sunglasses. Preferably decked in mink or chinchilla.

  4. xmas in vancouver is odd. it’s rainy here still & not really cold. i miss snow! i am seeking snow. but i sort of lke dissonant xmas mixes. like california xmas or even when decorations are put up super early. i guess i like a good weird xmas.
    Mr Blobby? funny.

  5. Hi all!
    Rubbish Finger Puppets are available at Selfridges, Liberty, Bonmarche and very shortly from the online shop at http://www.rubbishmag.com – only 100 of each city have been made!
    Thanks for the post Susie – We thought we spied you capturing a sneaky photo of a fox while we were having our team photo with Santa. Once we were done shaking the fake snow off you had disappeared πŸ™
    Rubbish Love,
    PS – It’s Christopher Kane! πŸ˜›

  6. ahh i’ve been dying to see these windows, thanks for this post!! i hope to see them in person some time, and crossing my fingers about luella, refuse to believe it’s the end

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