We had a lie in with breakfast ordered in our room. We had ticked off from a list what we wanted the night before and hung the list on our outside door handle. What tickled me was it asked how long you wanted your egg boiling for. Four minutes for me. Because we have been fortunate enough to visit Venice a lot in recent times, we don’t have this urgency to get out and see it all.
Breakfast came on a large trolley and the maid put it on the table. It was perfect and we sat and ate it in the cosy white dressing gowns the hotel provided. We were sold on this as a way to start the day, even deciding to get a bistro table set for our bedroom when we get home! It was good waking to this and feeling so well again.
We stepped out and immediately spotted some graffiti on the wall – Peanut’s daughter’s name! Strange as another time we saw “Amelia” written in a prison cell in the Doge’s Palace.
Our plan for the day was to do some shopping. My friend in work Laura had asked me to get her a Venetian mask in shades of black, grey and white and a budget to work to, so as we meandered about we started to check out masks. It was thirsty work in the hot weather, so we paused for a fancy coffee and cake, in a lovely elegant cake shop.
Then I spotted a jumper I liked and as I seem to have better look with Italian made jumpers than I do with those I stumble across in England, which seem to be made for 7 feet tall Giants or super skinny men very in touch with their feminine side, I decided to try it on. Bingo! Job done.
We meandered more through the shopping alleys of Venice, stopping every few minutes as we spot something else to intrigue us. Calligraphy pens, old parchment paper, leather bound note books, a watch box tempted me but I resisted. Murano glass in a million shapes and sizes, classic pieces, contemporary pieces, comic clowns galore, magnificent stallions rearing tall, Murano glass jewellery. For fun we went round all the shops counting, comparing masks to Murano glass. There were 4,223,000 masks in Venice and 9,456,000 different pieces of Murano glass to buy.
After this exercise we carried on in the direction of Luisa Spagnoli. Kate Middleton, as she then was made the name more familiar in the UK by wearing some of their outfits. What draws me to them for Mrs P is that they create style rather than fashion. Their garments have durability beyond just one season. Timeless elegance, that sits well both with younger girls seeking style before fashion and the older girls too such as Mrs P.
We went in having seen an outfit in the window we liked. A jumper and some Capri style trousers in blue caught our eye. Peanut loved it as four assistants ran around collecting things for her to try. The trousers were right but the top wasn’t. We tried another and another and then the jumper worked too. Chunky necklaces were adorned around her neck but every time she moved they framed either her left or her right boob looking a bit silly. It was amusing but I think it was because the were just a tad too long. A beautiful blue coat was draped on her which had been on the mannequin in the window. Gorgeous in the window but it drowned Mrs P and the raglan shoulder did her no favours, as Mrs P does not have strong shoulders. The assistants were on thin ground, if they were going to insist that everything looked wonderful they would lose their credibility. There is a saying, “buy cheap, buy twice”. Well there should be another one for the sales world, “Sell right, sell again”.
The mask hunt we made easier by eliminating all the Chinese or imitation junk. A ten euros mask is pretty enough, but when a friend asks you to choose one, what you pick reflects on you, and as the budget would allow us to get the real deal that sat better in my mind.
We saw a mask shop with a display that pulled us in and on a table at the back we saw the perfect mask for Laura. Below you can see the early beginnings of a similar one. We sent Laura a photo of her mask that evening and then purchased it the next day.
However, it proved expensive for us too as we saw the violin below on the same table as the mask and loved it. It would be perfect for us for our living room. The problem is that our connection to the violin is tenuous at best. 40 years ago Peanut got a Grade 1 at violin playing but hasn’t played since!
Suitably rested we changed for dinner and returned to a restaurant that in February we walked out of without paying for our drinks because they kept us waiting far too long. The service in there was swift but we just got missed after taking our order. It was a good restaurant though so we gave them a second chance. Peanut had a delicious steak with mixed vegetables while I had a carbonara which was lovely and made up for the apology for one I had endured the previous night. With my treatment I’m getting very lightweight on the alcohol front so just a couple of Bellinis for us both to go with the meal. Another drink that goes hand in hand with Venice is Negronis. With my tummy how it is, I have shied from trying one. However, if you come to Venice, steal a march on me and order a Negroni and tell me what it is like.