Posts by charls:

Articles By: charlotte vallance

I'm an illustrator and printmaker, sometimes at the same time, sometimes separately! I love travelling, bunting and elevenses. I spend one weekend a month in Amsterdam and am always interested to try new things and meet new people. I find buildings fascinating.

In this illustrated guide to San Francisco’s coffee shops and cafes, Untapped Cities illustrator Charlotte Vallance shares some of her favorite spots.

Spin City Launderette 


Hammersmith is just down the road from Fulham and Shepherds Bush, in the West of London. There are a lot of pubs there, a lot. But they aren’t your run of the mill, standard pubs. Each one is eye catching, full of character, ready to lure you in for a cool drink and maybe a bit of food too. Here, we’re providing a pub crawl of sorts via the architecture and fun colors of the bars in this neighborhood.



Leaf, on Liverpool’s Bold Street is a great cafe/venue in the city.  Having been around since 2007, it’s well established and loved by many!

Formerly a tea room in the 1920s, it’s gone full circle, from being a cinema in the late 20th century and a Microzine clothes shop, back to where it is today as a tea shop!  Not limiting themselves to just tea, in which they excel, they also host vintage markets, music and club nights.

Leaf boasts a great open space with high ceilings and comfy chairs as well as tables and benches.  A large space upstairs for events and functions, and a great overall atmosphere.  The staff on duty were great, taking our orders at the counter and then bringing them over to the table when ready.  A rather extensive choice of food is also available – including options for various food preferences or allergies.  They only stock loose leaf tea, and have a wide variety of flavours for you to choose from.

Get in touch with the author @charlsvallance and check out her blog.  Check back every other Wednesday for the next installation of (Art)chitecture by Charlotte Vallance.

The Arnolfini, Bristol.

Bristol is an amazing city in itself, but once every two years the Arnolfini is home to BABE – the Bristol Artist Book Event – over two days in April.  It’s in a gorgeous location, right on the waterfront, surrounded by Bristol’s iconic cranes and colourful buildings.  A short walk from the town center, with nearby shops, restaurants, bars and cafes it’s a great place to plan a trip to.

The Arnolfini itself is a gallery/space for contemporary art and always has interesting exhibitions on as well as talks and workshops. It was founded in 1961 and moved to its current location in 1975. At the time, the building was a near-derelict warehouse on Bristol’s floating harbor, which sparked an urban renewal project that brought life back to the harbor. The rooms are lovely and spacious with high ceilings and wide corridors.  They also have an excellent book shop, for a browse and perhaps a cheeky purchase after your look around.  You can then relax in their cafe, which serves drinks and food until late.

Get in touch with the author @charlsvallance and check out her blog.  Check back every other Wednesday for the next installation of (Art)chitecture by Charlotte Vallance.

Edinburgh is full of beautiful buildings.  You can’t not see a nice one which ever direction you look, unless you’re looking out over the stunning countryside!  I was on the lookout for the shop on the left in my illustration, but only managed to not miss it because of the lovely window display!  I love how Hannah Zakari has no overbearing shop sign, and just quietly sits in this majestic building next to a lovely artsy book shop.  After experiencing this ‘no sign’ first hand with this lovely shop, I noticed that this was the same on a few buildings around Edinburgh. Perhaps something to do with the buildings they are in?

Take a walk around the back streets of Edinburgh’s Old Town and you’ll find delights like this, along with cafes, businesses and many other darling little shops.  You can then easily loop back round on to Princes Street for a spot of shopping and sightseeing.

I’m planning another trip to Edinburgh so if you have any suggestions of shops, cafes or things to do then please mention it in the comments!

Get in touch with the author @charlsvallance and check out her blog.  Check back every other Wednesday for the next installation of (Art)chitecture by Charlotte Vallance.

Following on from my Urban Renewal post, this illustration is fully dedicated to The British Museum.  It’s such an amazing building, and looking back through photos I have from various trips to the Museum, I can safely say, it appears to change colour depending on the weather!  I’ve illustrated it here as quite a sandy brick but in some lights it’s a pale grey.

The collections that you’ll find inside are mostly quite educational and classic. Not only are you welcomed by this amazing building, surrounded by massive pillars with plenty of space to walk around and enjoy it from all angles, but once you walk through the doors and the initial foyer, the whole building opens up.  In the middle is a courtyard area with a central building within this space.  The ceiling that joins this middle building to the outer is glass and has a great, almost spiraling effect in it.  I’ve had the pleasure of only going when it’s sunny, which really brightens up the space but I can imagine that if it’s stormy outside it can get quite dramatic in there!

In this amazing courtyard space you’ll find a canteen-style cafe, perfect for people watching and taking in the building with a cup of tea or coffee.

Get in touch with the author @charlsvallance and check out her blog.  Check back every other Wednesday for the next installation of (Art)chitecture by Charlotte Vallance.