Monday, 30 March 2015

London Calling....

I'm sitting with the warm sunshine on my back feeling somewhat exhausted after a weekend getting my fix of London life.
Rounding off a fortnight of celebrations for my husband's birthday, we took the short (ish) hop on the train down to London. Having moved slightly further north recently, we are actually, in terms of time it takes on the train, nearer to London than we were before! I'd like to say that was I will! It was!
Living in the country means by the end of the weekend, we crave open space again, but whilst we are there we love the buzz of the city, the rich diversity of life and the access to everything that London has to offer.
The only slight disappointment was we left London not having spied a single famous person! Boo.
My husband (not in the slightest bit interested in star spotting of that kind) takes great sport in disbelieving my excited tales of having previously bumped in to Nellie Boswell (Jean Boht) buying smalls in M&S on the King's Road, talking pointed boots with boxer Chris Eubank (very friendly he was too) in Selfridges, standing next to Merlin's Morgana on the tube and spotting one of my fantasy husbands, Louis Theroux, as I waltzed around on a white horse carousel outside the NHM.....not to mention seeing DJ Mike Read as I was about to board the train home. Some years back I stood behind Neil Morrissey (during his Men Behaving Badly years) and his then girlfriend Rachel Weisz, now Mrs Craig, in the queue somewhere. I think Mum had the best haul (in terms of celebrity points) ever when she spotted Elton John (loading box after box) of shoes into the back of his Bentley at Patrick Cox and Prince Charles in one afternoon!
Maybe I take my husband's point. It sounds a little sad when I read it back!
Our stay culminated in a gathering for a birthday meal at The Dairy on Clapham Common. Wow. What a treat that was! The food was exquisite. As we were a largish party, we had the tasting menu and every single dish was small but perfectly formed and served on the most beautiful, but heavy (the waiting staff must have muscles like rocks!) rivened stoneware plates/dishes. The Head Chef and Owner, Robin Gill, has quite a CV and it shows.
We began the evening at W & C (Wine and Charcuterie) on Clapham Common, the converted loos now a funky, busy bar underneath Clapham Common tube station. Very little has been done to the building....I guess apart from removing the urinals and giving it a darn good clean!! Our conversations on arrival centred around the rather unsavoury stories those walls could probably tell....disgraced MP's and the rest!

To list every shop we went in and every item I could have purchased would take another few pages, so I will pick my one favourite visit of the day....and one I've mentioned previously. If you want somewhere that has every little bit of kitchen gadgetry (husband satisfied) and all things decorative and functional for the kitchen/dining table then Divertimenti is definitely the shop to head to.

My exciting purchase of the visit......electric scales in the exact raspberry red of our Alessi Alessandro M corkscrew. I had to stop there. It was all getting too Rock and Roll......!!

Tuesday, 10 March 2015

More tea Vicar?

Trend is a funny word. What does it mean to be 'trendy'? Does it mean you are good at following trends and implementing them or does it mean you are forward thinking and create your own?

I was recently asked by a friend if Orla Kiely (the design, rather than Orla herself...) was ok or....a little too try hard.....a little last year?

I guess my honest answer would be 'yes' to all of those three from a 'trend' perspective....but who gives a fig about that?

I didn't want to reply in the style of a man/husband/partner by saying...'If you like it, I like it.' Or....'If you like it, that's all that matters.' That would be just plain annoying as we all know!

Though, in actual fact, that is all that matters.  If you like it, go with it.

I do appreciate the dilemma though. There are certain designs/designers around at the moment that have dominated the high street for some time meaning that if you have an eye for originality, you should probably steer clear as it is bound to niggle visiting houses and seeing the same quilt cover, cake tin, apron, bag or hand painted animal mug!

On a slightly more mundane topic, I have been tasked with finding some storage containers  on the high street for tea and coffee. Not that easy for someone who doesn't drink either on a regular basis and therefore hides them away in a cupboard.

So these are the ones I came up with and they vary in price to nice but not so reasonable to not so reasonable in my opinion!

I'm a fan of colour, especially if your storage jars are going to be out on display. The ones below are definite display items....not to be hidden away in a cupboard.

 The two below from Habitat are possibly my favourites, with the Balham on the left coming in orange, yellow and grey and the Tira on the right in orange and white with the stripes. Range from £10.00.

The Alessi 'Gianni' jars below left start at around £12.00 and are both a bit of fun and a design classic.
Going back to Orla Kiely, I do happen to like the colours of the raised stem canisters below and this range starts at £10.00.

 For a more classic, country look the jar below is by Denby with a starting price of around £27.50 and in a variety of colours. Morphy Richards range start at approx. £12.00.


Very nice, but a little bit of a budget buster are the ranges above, both from Not on The The first range is by Tom Gloster and are £89.50 for a set of 3 (ouch!) and the white coffee, tea and sugar jars are £26.95 each.

And finally,  on a completely different note, before I run off and do the school run, this is  Lottie's Interiors reader Sue's newly painted front door. Inspired by reading one of my most popular posts yet on front doors! It looks the great, Sue. Very smart! For anyone interested, the colour is Farrow and Ball 'Pitch Blue'.

 Feel free to send me your front door pics. I'm looking for inspiration!