Silver Vaults (sadly not for me) so we actually spent most of our time down there – no hardship because it really is the most amazing place. Literally underground vaults filled with the most amazing collection of silver – each vault is a different shop and you can find anything and everything you can imagine being made from silver.
Highlights included what appeared to be a bath (probably a wine cooler?) made of silver, a large model elephant; actually a zoo worth of animals and generally a sense of having stumbled on a pirate treasure hoard. It’s another world down there and worth a look if you’re ever on chancery lane. Sadly it didn’t leave as much time for book shopping as I would have liked; I managed the big Waterstone’s on Piccadilly, Hatchards, and the Foyle’s in St Pancras without actually buying anything. Yet again I couldn’t seem to give my money away, which given the long list of books I was looking for and that it’s almost My Birthday really annoyed me (why the entire book trade is concentrating on Christmas and not bibliophile Sagittarians is something of a mystery I think).
I wonder how many of the growing number of publishers of ‘neglected classics’ will manage to match Persephone on this? I think not very many, certainly not many are as approachable, or as ready to talk to their customers – the shop/office combo really helps with this – and perhaps it’s one of the reasons that people become so evangelical about Persephone. It feels personal, not in a company policy demands we try and engage you in conversation even though we don’t much care way, more a we know what we’re talking about and can answer your questions because we’re passionate about it way. Genuine passion is infectious; it makes me care in return. I’m glad Persephone are thriving, they provide a quality benchmark of how to do these things right, and I'm very pleased with my present to myself as well - a happy birthday is pretty much in the bag.