23 January 2012

Beyond Words

The UltraLounge in the basement of Selfridges is conveniently located halfway between the Longchamp and Nespresso concessions so it is unsurprising that I walk past it on a regular basis. The area gets a new concept every few months ago; past themes have included an ice cream bar, the Museum of Everything and a posh charity shop. Usually, they combine some aspect of shopping or eating with something more educational, informative or worthy.

Until March 1, the UltraLounge is being occupied by Words Words Words, a sort of high-concept library "that celebrates the power of the written word." I poked my nose in briefly at the weekend and took a few photos (poor quality because I used my iPhone and it was quite dark inside). The walls are filled with bookshelves that are lined with beautifully coloured book organised into sections that include "poetry and drama" and "modern classics." You are encouraged to pick up a book and sit down to read it in one of the many sofas and comfortable arm chairs available. iPads are available for perusing of the interwebs and if you are a Luddite, you can have a go on an old-school typewriter (sadly, they don't have Anthropologie's awesome but mad expensive typewriter docking station) or practise your Latin verb conjugations on the giant blackboard.

They also have a full calendar of reading- and writing-related talks and events, including sessions on handwriting analysis and story telling. Of course, this being Selfridges, there are plenty of language- and word-themed gifts for sale, such as Tatty Devine's Helvetica necklace (which is nice, although I think their personalised name necklaces are more fun), a Latin grammar tea towel and a sans serif initial mug.

So, if you're in central London over the next few weeks, it's definitely worth stopping by. And if you do and you are also an Anthropologie fan, you'll be pleased to note that Anthro now have a homewares concession close to the UltraLounge. There isn't a huge range available (I'm not sure whether they also carry Anthro clothes upstairs now) but it's always nice to peruse pretty pottery without having to trek all the way down to the Anthro store in Regent Street.

The new Anthro concession in Selfridges

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