It’s been nearly two months since we left London and of course, for a snail mailer and stationery addict like me, I have been on the hunt for great stationery shops and post office fun in every place we’ve stopped along our trip around the world.
So I will dive right in to what goodies I found…
Slovenia, bless it, isn’t really there yet with cute letter writing sets and stationery design. I didn’t manage to find any pattered envelopes or great quality paper, so for letter writing I stuck to the Paperchase writing sets I brought with me from the UK.
I was getting stationery shopping withdrawals over the six weeks we were in Ljubljana and really needed a fix, so with much adamance, I did manage to find a cute shop called Babushka right in the centre of town. Although Babushka sold shopping list pads and ‘to do’ list pads, they didn’t have any writing sets or stationery per se. But what I did find, was a roll of awesome grid-patterned washi tape and a matching pencil case:
It is all about geometric shapes for me at the moment; both Norman and I have a thing for prisms so we treated ourselves to a pair of gorgeous prism air-plant holders for when we settle into a home.
I’m pretty chuffed with these small purchases, I’ve been using the grid washi tape loads since I bought it and the pencil case surprisingly fits ALL the pens I brought with me on the trip (which is a lot) plus my Tools to Live By scissors and my Koh-I-Noor eraser and a ruler. Even my Blackwing pencils get in (after a couple of sharpen downs), which is an absolute win.
Budapest unfortunately, was an absolute bust stationery and post office wise. I had a couple of places listed for Budapest after I googled ‘stationery shops Budapest’ and got excited to visit them, only to find that they didn’t stock anything of interest (think generic office cupboard at work type stuff). At the post office, which wasn’t very clear to navigate, I did manage to buy a beautiful Budapest Zoo commemorative stamp (photo isn’t featured – sorry!) but was rather disheartened when the clerk slapped plain white machined post labels onto my postcards.
But then I went to Prague and my spending suddenly spiked, and it was glorious. My first purchase was a new Kaweco fountain pen as my old one has a fault with its nib, so this was mainly a replacement purchase. I got this at Pen Co. an unassuming stationery shop tucked into a shopping court in District 1. Pen Co. has a huge selection of notebooks, pens, sketchpads and inks – featuring brands such as Lamy, Faber Castell, Diamine, Moleskine, Leuchtturm and of course, Kaweco. It’s a small shop and the owner is lovely, she was totally happy for me to try out any ink and any nib while I was there.
As Koh-I-Noor is a Czech Republic brand, it would have been rude not to stop off at the store in Prague. It’s a tiny store but has floor to ceiling artist pencils, and I am now kicking myself for not buying a beautiful selection of muted-colour pencils that comes in a wooden presentation box. It’s probably best I didn’t, for the sake of carrying luggage, but I haven’t been able to find them on their website – I will have to investigate further. But I did buy a beautiful and very cleverly designed mechanical pencil with a chunky tip that sketches like a dream. One great feature about this pencil is its built in sharpener in the clicker! It took me ages to decide on which colour to get. Koh-I-Noor does a gorgeous metallic rose finish, as well as brass, slate grey and brushed aluminium as well as the blue I bought (I may have to collect them all at some point). Apologies for the poor photo, I’m not getting great lighting or surfaces in my accommodations.
I then treated myself to a few bits and pieces from Papelote which is the place to go for modern stationery design in Prague. A very pretty shop selling minimalist-style wrapping paper, notebooks and pencils and even stocks a decent selection of MT washi tape. Again, because I haven’t been able to take a great photo, I cannot show the notebook and pencil snug I bought, but will do in another post in the future.
Next, I bought something very special indeed. It isn’t stationery or philately, but a treat nonetheless. In an awesome analogue camera shop simply called, Analogue, I got myself the Diana Mini camera! I am just getting into Lomography, although it’s funny to say that because I grew up with analogue cameras when no one had any clue how a photo would turn out when taking it. But it’s the first time I’m learning the fun I can have with an analogue – a camera not just for function, but for play. I love it, and I can’t wait to see what my first set of pictures come out like!
And speaking of Philately, Czech Republic has an insane commemorative stamp archive. I thought British stamps and USA stamps were beautiful, but Czech Republic take their stamp collecting seriously and do not fall short on delivering great postal service. The main branch of the post office in District 1 is huge – there are even painted murals all over the ceiling of this gigantic, pretty building. The service was swift and friendly and I got some pretty stamps placed carefully onto my handful of postcards this time. But then I spotted the Philately store and my world went all blurry because there were hundreds of special issues to buy. What was handy about the stamp display cabinets, was the catalogue number under each stamp or set. So naturally, I whipped out a pad and pen and went to work! I had to curb the budget so I spent the equivalent of about £12 but I could have gone nuts. Again, the pictures are poor, but here are some of the ones I bought:
And naturally, there were some stamps I wished I had bought but I was trying to be ‘sensible’ and then I kept thinking about them after. So I looked them up online and low and behold, Czech Republic’s postal website has an online shop and a stamp archive! Stamp dreams realised. Enjoy shopping for them here.
The final little haul I have to show, consists of a few debossed notecards by Bohemia Art, a fine quality paper and card shop right in the Old Town Square. I picked up these pretties:
Shopping in Prague has been the most fun by far, but of course, I’m going to have to watch the pennies. But in my next post, I will show what I’ve picked up here in Vienna (including a beautiful set of Van Gogh stamps) and anything else I may find in the next few places.