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deliciously ella – supper club




As someone very health conscious I’ve been a fan of Deliciously Ella for a while now. It’s always nice to see people, passionate about helping others to make better eating choices. You don’t have to agree with all of them but sure enough you will learn new stuff on the way.

Ella focuses on whole, plant-based foods and she makes it all look very yummy. She graduated from St Andrews with a Masters in Art History in May 2013 and has  a best-selling app, is launching her cookbook early next year and teaches cooking classes. Her blog and IG feed are super popular.

A couple of months ago, Ella announced on IG she was doing some supper clubs with her own food at special locations. I was curious so booked myself a place. Last night saw the first of these events.

Meet Ella.

deliciously ella - colourliving

The evening took place at Paradise – by way of Kensal Green, a rather nice restaurant and drinking bar. For those, not necessarily interested in healthy food, here are shots of the interior which I hope will inspire.

deliciously ella - colourliving
The tables were beautifully set with each one getting a goodie bag.

deliciously ella - colourliving
I loved the rustic look of the place. It felt very inviting and the staff very super nice and helpful.

deliciously ella - colourliving
Got to love that horse!

deliciously ella - colourliving
There were numerous lamp shades that took my fancy.

deliciously ella - colourliving
You were able to order all sorts of drinks and cocktails. For me, this cucumber, mint and raspberry water was just what I needed to keep my hydrated.

Tucked away in one corner was a beautiful free standing screen. I just loved the treatment on it.

deliciously ella - colourliving

deliciously ella - colourliving

The decor in the main restaurant was really beautiful. Lots of amazing lights and I really liked the idea of all these corks in the cage.

deliciously ella - colourliving

deliciously ella - colourliving

There’s also a great outside space, especially wonderful in this weather.

deliciously ella - colourliving

What I really enjoyed was to see a room of about 70 people, some came in pairs or groups, others on their own. I sat at a table of 6 and my fellow female diners were a real eclectic bunch of different personalities and walks of life. It made for a most interesting and entertaining evening.

The Menu:

Rice paper wraps with mango dipping sauce
Cucumber & avocado rolls
Beetroot hummus & carrot sticks
All served family style, for tables to share

Coconut Thai curry with brown rice
Marinated kale salad with sweet potato wedges
Carrot, ginger & coconut soup with sautéed mushrooms

Mango & cashew nut mousse with toasted pecans
Sweet potato brownies with coconut icing

The food, as expected, was delicious but difficult to photograph in only candle lit light and with a bunch of women who could hardly wait to tuck in.

deliciously ella - colourliving
Cucumber & avocado rolls

deliciously ella - colourliving
Beetroot hummus & carrot sticks

deliciously ella - colourliving
Mango & cashew nut mousse with toasted pecans

deliciously ella - colourliving
Sweet potato brownies with coconut icing

I thoroughly enjoyed myself. Ella is as beautiful as she is nice. Completely genuine, talented and very sweet, I wish her the best of luck in her journey which has already taken her to incredible heights. Thank you for a great evening, for delicious food and for stimulating conversations with the lovely bunch of ladies at my table. Oh, fret not, I spotted quite a few gentlemen too.

Have a good weekend everyone x

8 Comments

magnum celebrates 25 years in selfridges




Phew. Is it hot enough for everyone in the UK? Have you survived that incredible thunderstorm on Thursday night? Wow!!! Do you feel a story coming on? Yes, of course you do.

Apologies, I did not have my camera on me that day, but am sure (by the end of this) you will agree it’s better to blog about this having taken iPhone 5 pics than nothing at all!

Well, in between meetings, whilst in the West End, I decided to pass Selfridges and see what’s new in their superb window displays. Got to love their window displays. As I approached I was faced with this huge Magnum ice cream sculpture. Intrigued I wanted to know more….

Magnum celebrates 25 years in Selfridges - colourliving

Why is Selfridges displaying Magnum ice cream? I turned the corner to look at further displays…. ah, it all became clear in a flash!

Magnum celebrates 25 years in Selfridges - colourliving

Magnum celebrates 25 years in Selfridges - colourliving

So, if Magnum is celebrating 25 years at Selfridges, there must be something fun going on. Let me investigate. It was hot, humid, I had some time and I’m always up for a bit of fun and a great idea. Low and behold, they transformed the much loved Wonder Room into an exciting Magnum ice cream parlour (a la Selfridges).

Let the theatre begin. I have to tell you that more likely than not there will be a queue, so be prepared. This is theatre, after all, so every part of it is important. While you queue you can admire the little Magnum sculptures in the vitrines.

Magnum celebrates 25 years in Selfridges - colourliving

Magnum celebrates 25 years in Selfridges - colourliving

Next, you are greeted by a member of the Magnum team, dressed impeccably in a brown and beige uniform. You get told what happens when it’s your turn and the excitement builds. More displays while you move along the queue.

Magnum celebrates 25 years in Selfridges - colourliving
Cocoa beans.

Magnum celebrates 25 years in Selfridges - colourliving
Gold Feuillantine

And then the big moment arrives! You are next. Here goes: you choose between vanilla and chocolate/caramel naked ice cream. Then you’re asked to choose 3 or 4 toppings. I chose Almond Flakes, Hazelnuts, Honeycomb and Silver Feuillantine.

Magnum celebrates 25 years in Selfridges - colourliving

Then the dipping starts. Choices are white, milk and dark chocolate. I chose dark chocolate. Marcel, an expert kept me in suspense. What next?

Magnum celebrates 25 years in Selfridges - colourliving

The box and the toppings are applied.

Magnum celebrates 25 years in Selfridges - colourliving

Magnum celebrates 25 years in Selfridges - colourliving

Magnum celebrates 25 years in Selfridges - colourliving

Now, the best part. Once again, you can select from white, milk and dark chocolate which Marcel expertly drizzled on top of it all and to finish off, here is the Magnum Signature.

Magnum celebrates 25 years in Selfridges - colourliving

Voilà. That’s it. There are specially designed wooden tables supplied to eat your piece of art!

Magnum celebrates 25 years in Selfridges - colourliving 

Roll the drums…… the moment you all have been waiting for. My very own Magnum ice cream. Too good to eat, right?

Magnum celebrates 25 years in Selfridges - colourliving

There were so many different concoctions that I decided to photograph my neighbours’ one for you before she devoured it. For white chocolate lovers!

Magnum celebrates 25 years in Selfridges - colourliving

Not one with a sweet tooth, this was certainly a sugar fest. But, hey, what a wonderful marketing campaign. Pure theatre, pure joy for young and old and all this for a mere £4.50. So, if you fancy your very own version, go and pay a visit to Selfridges because this is a true ice cream eating experience. Make sure to use the hashtag #magnumxselfridges for all your Social Media.

Happy 25th Birthday Magnum and thank you for the fun!

Magnum at Selfridges
The Concept Store
Oxford Street, London

30 June – 30 August

14 Comments

igloo flowers




Wow. A week of sunshine in London. What better way than grab food, sit in parks, buy flowers and be merry.

Summer is here and flowers are in abundance. One little shop I’m a big fan of is Igloo Flowers on Bermondsey Street.  A little gem of a street with lots of fantastic eateries and shops and the wonderful Fashion and Textile Museum.

What I really like about Igloo Flowers is that they are a florist and delicatessen all in one. Many of you know I’m not a fan of many florists as I prefer wild flowers. But Igloo do it differently. Pre-wrapped, well priced and completely unpretentious, people pick up a bunch while they’re getting coffee or sitting in for a little snack.

Really love their facade. It’s very inviting.

Igloo Flowers - Colourliving

Inside it’s dark and moody, but look at this wonderful painting on the back wall!

Igloo Flowers - Colourliving

Loving the copper pots hanging off the ceiling and those lights, yum! Oh, and the food is delicious too.

Igloo Flowers - Colourliving

But foremost I wanted to leave you with flowers. There’s something really wonderful about getting a bunch of fresh flowers. the colours and smell will brighten up any home and soul.

Igloo Flowers - Colourliving

Igloo Flowers - Colourliving

Igloo Flowers - Colourliving

Igloo Flowers - Colourliving

Igloo Flowers - Colourliving

Igloo Flowers - Colourliving

Igloo Flowers - Colourliving

Igloo Flowers - Colourliving

Have a fantastic weekend and I hope the sun is shining for you wherever you are……. see you Monday x

14 Comments

ham yard hotel




I’ve long been a fan of Firmdale’s Hotels so was excited to check out the newly opened Ham Yard Hotel in Soho.

“Hotels should be living things not stuffy institutions” maintain Tim and Kit Kemp, owners of Firmdale Hotels. They now have eight boutique hotels in London and one in New York. Kit Kemp designs all the interiors of the hotels. Her style is ‘modern English’ and although it’s not completely all to my taste, I think she and her husband do an amazing job in creating wonderful accommodation, great places to eat and relax in.

Ham Yard Hotel by far the most ambitious and probably seen as the flagship of all their hotels. There are 90 odd bedrooms and over 20 apartments, a bar, orangerie, restaurant, a screening room, spa and gym, a theatre, private event rooms, a roof top garden and a 1950′s style underground bowling alley. Phew! There are also some independent shops surrounding the courtyard.

On Friday, I took a dear friend of mine to have afternoon tea in the terrace courtyard area. The food and service was outstanding and the price very reasonable. Of course, I had my camera on me so took a little tour of the public spaces , which you’ll see are inviting, seductive and full of art and luscious interiors. I invite you to join me on my tour, where I’ve picked out the eclectic display of art, fabrics, objects, lights, textiles and furniture. Like all good interiors, a lot of thought was given to how the spaces feel and how guests interact with them.

As you walk in towards the reception, I couldn’t take my eyes of these over-sized beaded vessels turned into lamps. How effective are these?

Ham Yard Hotel - Firmdale Hotel - Colourliving

I loved this view into the library. This is a guest-only Library and like any good library, is full of stimulating and hand-selected books. Here the books are not just for show – guests are encouraged to pick them up, browse and read. I have it on good authority there are more than 2000 books on the shelves. At the far end of the library you’ll find an honesty bar that enables you to make your own drinks. Do honesty bars in big hotels really work?

Ham Yard Hotel - Firmdale Hotel - Colourliving

Ham Yard Hotel - Firmdale Hotel - Colourliving
Some details of what you’ll find in the library.

Ham Yard Hotel - Firmdale Hotel - Colourliving
Left: Loved this artefact of the Queen and her guards. By the way, a belated Happy Birthday M’am.
Right: an interesting ladder with a lampshade. Not sure what I thought of this.

Ham Yard Hotel - Firmdale Hotel - Colourliving
Detail of a low coffee table with vase and flowers. The table was stunning.

Ham Yard Hotel - Firmdale Hotel - Colourliving
I liked the light fitting against the framed art and wallpaper lining the staircase to go downstairs.

Ham Yard Hotel - Firmdale Hotel - Colourliving
A quirky art sculpture in the hallway by reception.

Ham Yard Hotel - Firmdale Hotel - Colourliving
This amazing and mesmerising 135-dial digital clock, where the hands were moving in different directions.

Ham Yard Hotel - Firmdale Hotel - Colourliving
Another great piece of art – a 3d piece of figurines in a circle.

Ham Yard Hotel - Firmdale Hotel - Colourliving
How great is this cluster of woven lights?

Ham Yard Hotel - Firmdale Hotel - Colourliving
The restaurant area has a plethora of fabrics, textiles and texture. Even the plinth are dressed in fabric, designed by Kit herself.

Ham Yard Hotel - Firmdale Hotel - Colourliving
Adjacent to the restaurant is another casual seating area, just beside the very white and serene Orangerie.

Ham Yard Hotel - Firmdale Hotel - Colourliving
Loved this small organ in the restaurant area.

Ham Yard Hotel - Firmdale Hotel - Colourliving
The drawing room. Yet another public space to chill in, have tea or while the afternoon away!

Ham Yard Hotel - Firmdale Hotel - Colourliving
Ship ahoy! You must admit this is an amazing light chandelier, as seen in the drawing room.

Ham Yard Hotel - Firmdale Hotel - Colourliving
The hotel is full of flowers, mainly bouquets, so this was refreshingly different.

Ham Yard Hotel - Firmdale Hotel - Colourliving
Left: yet more books in the drawing room. Loved this colouful seat.
Right: I have a soft spot for old writing desks. This one hits the spot.

I hope you’ve enjoyed my mini tour of this wonderful new hotel in the middle of Soho. I certainly will return to explore further, to continue to be intoxicated by art, colour, patterns and texiles. I’m looking forward to eat in the restaurant and relax in the Orangerie. I must admit I felt totally chilled by the time I left Ham Yard. I have no doubt it will become a regular haunt for me.

Have you ever visited or stayed in a Firmdale Hotel?

20 Comments

the new craftsmen




On Friday saw the opening of the much anticipated The New Craftsmen ‘permanent home’ in Mayfair. The shop is housed in a beautiful arts and crafts period building, ‘originally designed and built in the 19th century as a workshop for a firm of leather-breeches-makers’.

The New Craftsmen was founded in 2012 by Mark Henderson, Catherine Lock and Natalie Melton. They tour the British Isles for makers of traditional craft and choose those who are able to translate their skills in a contemporary way. Now, in their new home, they showcase their network of skilled and curated makers in a most beautiful fashion. Additionally they offer customers a range of services that enable them to customise and develop bespoke pieces.

I met Mark and Natalie on Friday and want to thank them for allowing me to come in and take photographs on the day of their opening.

The first thing you notice upon entering is the abundance of space, beautifully and expertly put together, and the sheer quality of products on show. There’s something about wonderful materials combined with method and design that gives it this unmistakably luxury feeling. Throw in provenance and sustainability and you have a magic formula.

I immediately wanted to move in….. big generous tables, an abundance of light, beautiful wares surrounded by green plants, what is there not to like? As my regular readers will know, I champion the ‘shopping experience’ and this is one heck of a shopping experience. I can’t wait for their planned events of crafts workshops amongst other community building soirées.

Let me show you how to fit out a shop.

The new craftsmen - shop opening | colourliving
Harbour Light | Aimee Betts, Michael Ruh | Big generous table to sit, have a cup of coffee and ponder some commissions

The new craftsmen - shop opening | colourliving
A great selection of green plants | I just loved this chest of drawers

The new craftsmen - shop opening | colourliving
The window sill was a perfect place to display these succulents and plants

The new craftsmen - shop opening | colourliving
Look at this inviting display of tomatoes and artichokes. Another great way to make a shop feel ‘homely’.

The new craftsmen - shop opening | colourliving
A selection of display cabinets that break up the big space without interfering with the beauty of the products.

There is truly something for everyone and to fit every budget. See some of the fabulous pieces for sale.

The new craftsmen - shop opening | colourliving
Left: Humburg Trug, Woodfired Chicken Brick, Woodfired Beakers, Olive Ash Bowls, Olive Ash Food Boards, Silvia K Ceramics Glazed Vessels (coming online soon)
Right: Hamylin Chair | Gareth Neal

The new craftsmen - shop opening | colourliving
Akiko Hirai | Teapot £180 (coming online soon)

The new craftsmen - shop opening | colourliving
Akiko Hirai | Teapot £180 | Tea Cups £60 (coming online soon)

The new craftsmen - shop opening | colourliving
Nicola Tassie |Faceted Porcelain Chocolate Cups £320 for a set of 6 | Faceted Porcelain Jug (not shown)

The new craftsmen - shop opening | colourliving
Silvia K Ceramics Glazed Platters (coming online soon)

The new craftsmen - shop opening | colourliving
Left: Laura Carlin ‘Battle’ Lamp | A one-off design. The ceramic base showcases Laura’s sgraffito technique. It’s teamed with a lampshade in Mohair Loop by Irish hand-weavers Mourne Textiles | £1, 485
Right: Laura Carlin ‘Dot’ Lamp | A one-off design. The ceramic base is hand-built and painted | £1,395

The new craftsmen - shop opening | colourliving
Lighthouse Knitwear | hand-knitted toys and cushions (not shown) individually made by knitters throughout Ireland and the UK. Each bears a tag signed by its maker. 100% Natural fibres | Rabbit £95 | Bear £90

The new craftsmen - shop opening | colourliving
Rabbit Lighthouse Knitwear | Cornelia O’Donovan’s Linen Scatter Cushion 38′ x 38′

The new craftsmen - shop opening | colourliving
Ernst Wright & Son Ltd | Gold-plated Scissors £50 – £85

The new craftsmen - shop opening | colourliving
And here’s the friendly Polly to help you along the way with any queries you might have.

If, like me, you value the importance of provenance, quality, crafts and design you will have found Nirvana. Definitely one of the hottest spots in town. Do pay them a visit, you won’t regret it.

This post will stay up until Monday 16th June.

22 Comments

artist textiles at the fashion and textile museum




A few weeks ago I managed to see the amazing artist textiles exhibition at the Fashion and Textile Museum, which has now sadly finished. I always really enjoy visiting the museum, as without fail I come away feeling I’ve seen a well curated exhibition. This one was another gem. Bravo!

The exhibition showcased some wonderful collaborations between 20th century artists and fabric producers during the 1950s and 1960s. Wanting to make their work less elitist and more relevant to ordinary people, the artists collaborated with textile manufacturers to produce affordable ranges of fashion and furnishing fabrics. Some of the artists work displayed were Picasso, Andy Warhol, Matisse, Miro, Zandra Rhodes and many more.

My highlight was the work by the Romanian-born artist and illustrator Saul Steinberg.     The corner where his work was displayed was rather dark so forgive the quality and colour references of some of the photographs. However, I think it’s more important to show you the exquisite mark-making here, would you agree?

IMG_4368a
Saul Steinberg

In the 1950s a witty, sharp and ironic school of satirical illustration evolved in New York. Steinberg started collaborating with an upmarket textile and wallpaper manufacturer. He translated a number of his designs into a series of coordinated textiles and wallpapers for the quality interior decorator market. Additionally they produced a series of textile designs for the mass-market summer clothing.

Take a look at some of Steinberg’s wonderful work.

IMG_4306a
Saul Steinberg | Paddington Station | Detail 1
Roller-printed cotton border print fashion textile, New York, c. 1952

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Saul Steinberg | Paddington Station | Detail 2

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Saul Steinberg | Tin Horn Holiday | Detail 1
Roller-printed cotton border print fashion textile, New York, c. 1952

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Saul Steinberg | Tin Horn Holiday | Detail 2
Roller-printed cotton border print fashion textile, New York, c. 1952

IMG_4394
Saul Steinberg | Wedding| Detail 1
Screen-printed glazed cotton furnishing textile, c. 1950

IMG_4375
Saul Steinberg | Wedding| Detail 2
Screen-printed glazed cotton furnishing textile, c. 1950

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Saul Steinberg | Wedding| Detail 3
Screen-printed glazed cotton furnishing textile, c. 1950

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Saul Steinberg | Wedding| Detail 4
Screen-printed glazed cotton furnishing textile, c. 1950

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Saul Steinberg | Wedding| Detail 5
Screen-printed glazed cotton furnishing textile, c. 1950

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Saul Steinberg | Wedding| Detail 6
Screen-printed glazed cotton furnishing textile, c. 1950

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Saul Steinberg | Arab Town
Roller-printed cotton border print fashion textile, New York, c. 1952

I don’t know about you, but to me Steinberg’s designs have not dated one bit! Do you like the work?

16 Comments

zingi zongi – playful and recycled handmade jewellery




Happy Monday. Happy new week and a very happy Bank Holiday to everyone in the UK. While in Camden Town I popped into the C/159, a new creative retail space for Camden and part of the Camden Collective. Upon entering I stumbled across the handmade jewellery of Zingi Zongi and stopped right there.

I was curious and wanted to know more about who’s behind the jewellery.

zingi zongi - playful and recycled handmade jewellery | colourliving

Meet Nikoletta.

Nikoletta | zingi zongi - playful and recycled handmade jewellery | colourliving

How did you get into making jewellery? I’m from Athens in Greece, and about 4 years ago I decided to make a piece of jewellery for myself. It was just an experiment as I’ve always loved doing things with my hands. Once I made it, I carried on and made 50 pieces.

zingi zongi - playful and recycled handmade jewellery | colourliving

What happened next? I simply told my mum I would go and sell my jewellery on the street. My mum just laughed and didn’t believe me. You see, in Greece you need a special licence to sell anything on the street but there was one particular street where no licence was needed. So I headed over there and was immediately intimidated by seeing everyone had big stalls. All I had was my small bedside table and a wooden stand to display my earrings.

How did it go for you? Well, I made €30 on my first day and sometimes I even earned €200. The only problem was that my friends came to hang out with me and we ended up spending all the money on food and drinks. Oh well, it was fun!

zingi zongi - playful and recycled handmade jewellery | colourliving
Some selection of Nikoletta’s jewellery.

zingi zongi - playful and recycled handmade jewellery | colourliving
These rings are £5 each. I actually liked putting 2 or 3 together on a finger.

So now you were officially a business woman? Haha. Not really. I sold on the street of Athens for 6 weeks. Then I met a woman who had a shop in Athens selling small furnishings and accessories. She liked my jewellery and offered me to take part in her 1-day bazaar over the Christmas period. It was buzzing and I made between €300-€400 that day. I had the opportunity to repeat this in her summer bazaar, which equally went well for me.

You were studying while making your first attempts at Entrepreneurship! Yes, I was studying in Athens and in September 2012 I enrolled in a Masters Degree in digital marketing in Southampton, UK. Then a year later I moved to London to find a job in marketing and luckily after only one month I found a job.

zingi zongi - playful and recycled handmade jewellery | colourliving
Brooch.

zingi zongi - playful and recycled handmade jewellery | colourliving
Necklace.

zingi zongi - playful and recycled handmade jewellery | colourliving
Choker.

With a full-time job in marketing, now what? I was living in Kentish Town and came across Camden Market. I applied for a stall and got my mum to send over my jewellery stuff. It actually weighed nearly 20kg. I did Camden for 1 Saturday only. It was outside, cold and wet. This put me off till the summer when I tried my luck again and decided to do the weekends. The company I worked for closed down. I had already spotted C/159 collective from the bus on my way home. I googled them, applied and got an appointment for them to see my jewellery. I first got a trial, from Friday to Sunday. That went well. They then offered for me to stay for 2 weeks. After that, I got the maximum offer of staying for 6 months until October this year!

zingi zongi - playful and recycled handmade jewellery | colourliving
Necklace.

zingi zongi - playful and recycled handmade jewellery | colourliving
Lego earrings

zingi zongi - playful and recycled handmade jewellery | colourliving
Necklace with stones, all found in Greece.

zingi zongi - playful and recycled handmade jewellery | colourliving
Earrings

Tell us about your jewellery. I’ve collected stuff forever and my mum threatened to get rid of most of it because we were running out of room. I have a particular passion for collecting toys, cords, beads and I’ve always liked the idea of recycling. I have a lot of things like crochet bits  and vintage jewellery from my grandmother and so I incorporate it all into my jewellery. I started being really fascinated by liquid glass techniques and enjoy treating found images.

zingi zongi - playful and recycled handmade jewellery | colourliving
Necklace.

zingi zongi - playful and recycled handmade jewellery | colourliving
Barbie bracelet

Are a lot of your pieces one-off’s? The majority of the pieces are unique and I cannot make an exact copy as many of them have some beads, chains or vintage things that cannot been found again. I had many of the plastic animal toys and made a lot of rings with them. They’ve all gone. In a way that keeps me creative and always striving for more ways of making interesting handmade jewellery. If people are interested in a particular jewellery piece that is out of stock or they wish to customise, I’m always happy for them to email me.

This brings me nicely to my own customised pieces. Nikoletta is in the process of making me a long necklace with a plastic giraffe and some of my own feathers and jewellery bits.

zingi zongi - playful and recycled handmade jewellery | colourliving
Black Queen

zingi zongi - playful and recycled handmade jewellery | colourliving

I’m also going to be the proud owner of the ‘Save the Polar Bear’ necklace here below. I’ve requested a longer, silver chain with a different bead as hat!

zingi zongi - playful and recycled handmade jewellery | colourliving
Save the Polar Bear

Look at the gorgeous treatment of his paws….. that’s why I love Nikoletta’s jewellery. Beautiful, fun, playful, recycled and very affordable! I have a lot of old jewellery I no longer wear or use. I look forward to Nikoletta up-cycling some of it to give it a new lease of life!

zingi zongi - playful and recycled handmade jewellery | colourliving

Now, this beautiful camel brooch was one of my favourite items. Nikoletta has kindly agreed to donate it to my giveaway here.

zingi zongi - playful and recycled handmade jewellery | colourliving
Camel King brooch

The giveaway is open worldwide and will end at 6pm GMT on Monday 2nd June 2014 where one winner will be randomly chosen. Good luck everyone!

Thank you Nikoletta. I hope that the idea of getting a job in marketing is becoming less and less appealing! This post will stay live until Monday 2nd June. Happy week everyone x

We have a winner. Congratulations to Alison Sye. The Camel brooch will be sent to you.

You can find Zingi Zongi at:
C/159
159, Camden High Street
NW1 7JY

16 Comments

urban jungle bloggers – ‘other’ café and gallery




Well, since this is my third #urbanjunglebloggers post, it might as well have its own Urban Jungle Bloggers category. What do you say?

Urban Jungle Bloggers is a monthly series, devised by Igor and Judith. The idea is to get some green into our homes, especially for us urban folks! Every month they invite bloggers to share ideas for creating an urban jungle through styling challenges, DIYs, green tips and tricks. Every month there is a different theme on the topic. You can follow and get more Urban Jungle Bloggers inspiration on Pinterest and on Facebook.

May’s theme is: “Greens in Cafés, Shops & Restaurants !

Every so often I come across a café or shop that hugely inspires me. When looking for one that would fit the bill for today’s post, I hit the jackpot but in more than one way. It’s not just about the greens, it’s also about the inspiring interiors and the man who owns this café and gallery.

The outside is already so welcoming. Do you agree? Let me introduce you to the ‘Other’ Café and Gallery.

The 'Other' Café and Gallery - UJB - Colourliving

Meet Giuliano.

The 'Other' Café and Gallery - UJB - Colourliving

Italian with a French accent, Giuliano, who’s had many years experience in catering, dreamt about opening an independent café and an art gallery space. Three years ago, he found the space and it’s only now that he’s starting to be happy with the end result. It’s been a hard graft, a true labour of love with major structural work and refurbishments, all on a very small budget.

After a 10 weeks intensive course at KLC, (think he’s still suffering from shock) he knew he wanted his space to be unique, full of personality and as far removed from what he saw being ‘in’ with the KLC crowd. Coupled with limited funds, everything is recycled, up-cycled, hand/home-made, bought at car boot fairs or donated. Take a peek.

The 'Other' Café and Gallery - UJB - Colourliving
Spot the cactus/ Love the wall made out of found wooden palettes | beautiful pitcher

The 'Other' Café and Gallery - UJB - Colourliving
There’s something charming about the simplicity of displaying this succulent.

The 'Other' Café and Gallery - UJB - Colourliving
Loving the Chelsea hunting wallpaper against the reclaimed wooden palettes | That framed photo works really well here.

The 'Other' Café and Gallery - UJB - Colourliving
Giuliano is passionate about making lamps. Left: a black Ikea planter turned upside down with simple bulb put in.

The 'Other' Café and Gallery - UJB - Colourliving
I’m just so inspired by the sheer ‘homeliness’ of it all.

The 'Other' Café and Gallery - UJB - Colourliving
Simple wooden shelving and decor makes it all so unpretentious and ‘non styling’, which is truly refreshing.

The 'Other' Café and Gallery - UJB - Colourliving
Some wonderful jars and labels. Giuliano has a great eye.

The 'Other' Café and Gallery - UJB - Colourliving
There was a rather large selection of eclectic tea ware. I want the one on the left!

The 'Other' Café and Gallery - UJB - Colourliving
The food is fresh and home-made. Here some afternoon tea. Thank you to the nice ladies who allowed me to take this photograph before tucking in!

 The 'Other' Café and Gallery - UJB - Colourliving
Here’s my late lunch. I was famished and this simple but delicious salmon dish just hit the spot!

Downstairs, you’ll find a little outside space. There’s no seating there but it let’s in light, fresh air and adds to the charm. All of the downstairs used to be storage but was transformed bit by bit with found objects.

The 'Other' Café and Gallery - UJB - Colourliving

I was in love with one of the rooms in the basement. Made to look like a living room it has the most wonderful and crazy decor.

The 'Other' Café and Gallery - UJB - Colourliving
Check out the yellow TV and bird cage | This must be the best display I’ve ever seen for Ed Carpenter’s Pigeon Light

The 'Other' Café and Gallery - UJB - Colourliving
Funky prints, urban jungle theme, on funky wallpaper.

The 'Other' Café and Gallery - UJB - Colourliving
Love this Vignette.

The 'Other' Café and Gallery - UJB - Colourliving
Told ya it’s eclectic and crazy. Just magnificent stuff.

Then there’s actually the gallery space with a large table in the middle. I didn’t take any photographs as there were guests sitting having their afternoon tea. Giuliano’s main aspiration with the gallery is to help emerging artists. His real passion is to be a fine artist and is hoping to launch his own art there in the not too distant future.

I ended up spending quite a few hours at ‘Others’. Another wonderful aspect of this café and gallery is the diverse and interesting people it attracts. There was a real feeling of community spirit and I was fortunate to meet and chat to everyone. I can’t wait to return and only being 10 minutes from my home, I think Giuliano might get to see a whole lot more of me. Oh, pssst, don’t tell him but I’m planning to sneak in some more plants every time I visit!

‘Other’
48 Balls Pond Road,
London, N1 4AP

UJB-sidebar-lime-TB

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dulwich festival and artists’ open house 2014




The Dulwich Festival and The Artist’s Open House celebrate everything that’s great about Dulwich. Recently voted as one of the Sunday Times’ best places to live in Britain, it’s known for its vibrant arts scene. You might have missed it this year, but make sure to mark it in your calendar for 2015.

Last Sunday I managed to go and support some friends who were part of the festival but who exhibit and sell throughout the year!

My first stop was at the stunning Belair House, where talented Cavaliero Finn were exhibiting their affordable contemporary art and design as one of two shows this year. They regularly hold an Open House at the home-cum-gallery in Herne Hill, SE London. See my post here.

I’m always amazed at their expert curator’s eyes and how affordable a lot of such exquisite art is. Browse their online gallery, you won’t be disappointed! I picked some of my favourites.

Belair House - Cavaliero Finn - Janet Stahelin Edmonson Jugs/ Vases - Colourliving
Janet Stahelin Edmonson | Jugs/Vases priced between £100 and £200

Belair House - Cavaliero Finn - Pia Wustenberg | India Stacking Vessels - colourliving
Pia Wustenberg | India Stacking Vessels | small £350, large £920

Belair House - Cavaliero Finn - Kate Wickham | Ceramic Vessels - colourliving
Kate Wickham | Ceramic Vessels left: £295, right: £380

Next on the agenda was visiting the Sarah Hamilton Open House with Mini Moderns and Paul Craig. Sarah’s house has recently been featured in 25 Beautiful Homes and is an unusual Mid-Century design set in Dulwich Woods with stunning views over London. Ahem, I can tell you it’s bright and gorgeous just like the woman herself! Shot by the talented James Balston, take a look here. If you want the full renovation story with before and after pics, read Sarah’s post here.

Below you’ll see snippets of some of the collections of the clever, talented and super nice Mini Moderns. Launched in 2006 by London based designers, Keith Stephenson and Mark Hampshire, Mini Moderns is an interiors brand specialising in applied pattern across a range of products including wallpapers, fabrics, cushions, rugs and ceramics. You can now buy a selection of their products in John Lewis.

Mini Moderns - Festival Wallpaper - Sarah Hamiltons Prints Open House - colourliving
I’m in love with this Festival Wallpaper that is now permanently staying in Sarah’s living room.

Mini Moderns - swatch book - Sarah Hamiltons Prints Open House - colourliving
Mini Moderns swatch book. A phlethora of inspiration!

Paul Craig is an interiors photographer. Multi-talented, here he’s showing us how creative he really is! I’m in love with these two images below and although there were some beautiful black and white photography, I had to go for the colours!

Paul Craig © | Moroccan Lanterns - colourliving
Photo courtesy of Paul Craig © | Moroccan Lanterns

Paul Craig © | Grand Canyon - colourliving
Photo courtesy of Paul Craig © Grand Canyon

Sarah Hamilton Prints is sold through many galleries or retailers, in the UK and abroad. Sarah is a passionate artist and makes all her beautiful art in her very sunny South London studio. I was rather excited to be able to take a peek at her studio.

Sarah Hamilton Prints - Sarah's studio - colourliving
Sarah makes prints, cards and woodblock, as well as mirrors and furniture. Her style is contemporary, with a Mid-Century Scandinavian feel. You can tell that everything is made with love and passion!

Sarah Hamilton Prints - Sarah's studio - colourliving
I’ve seen some of the sketchbooks where the designs originate after which everything is hand or digitally printed!

Sarah Hamilton Prints - Sarah's studio - colourliving
I couldn’t resist taking a photograph of these rather colourful and fun sculptures. Sarah, if they ever need a new home, I’m your girl!

Isn’t unique art just the best? I felt thoroughly inspired! Thank you all….

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blogtacular 2014




Ok, so I will come clean! I had little expectations of Blogtacular 2014 and only signed up to support some of the speakers who were booked for the event. Having been to a couple of other blogging conferences and experienced disappointment, I no longer fancied another charade and was all too happy to give it a miss.

There are many reasons why people attend these events. For some it’s to be around like-minded people who simply ‘get it’. Others like the networking aspect. Many want to be inspired, learn about the latest blogging trends and apply that new found information to their blogs and social media.

For me, all of it had lost it’s appeal and that’s a shame. Here’s the thing. As a professional I have high standards. I work hard and give value to my clients. When I attend and pay for an event I expect it to be run professionally and get some value out of it!

This brings me to last weekend and Blogtacular. You’ll find many blog posts on all the loveliness, inspirational quotes, what people learned, what speakers shared and much more. Just pop over to the Blogtacular Pinboard to see all the collated posts!

Blogtacular 2014 - Goodie Bag - colourliving
Goodie bag: Bag designed & printed exclusively for Blogtacular by Zeena Shah | Washi Tape: Mailchimp | Wooden bird necklace: Ladybird Likes | Papercut kit from Robyn Wilson-Owen | Weekly planner by Lollipop Designs | Honeycomb ball from The Hambledon | Hand cream from Betty & Walter (not shown) | Ribbon roll from Jane Means (not shown) | Wooden ‘Hello’ Badge from Tigerlilly Quinn

Here’s my own take on Blogtacular and why it was a success:

1. Right from the very start Kat Molesworth and Kat Goldin saw Blogtacular as a real business. The branding spoke for itself and was strong in its aesthetics, communication and message. Creative, resourceful and united they plotted, planned and thought it all through down to the finest detail.
2. To get people inspired, involved and excited they started weekly Blogtacular Twitter chats. I immediately got the feeling this venture is very much geared towards blogger’s needs and not the other way round!
3. The venue was superb! A really good choice! This is a rather important part of a conference and not to be underestimated. Everything seemed to flow seamlessly. The acoustic was flawless, the seating in the auditorium comfortable. The adjacent rooms worked well for the workshops. We ate amongst books. The staff were professional and it was great to have so much room to breathe. There was also something wonderful about being in a place with heritage, ‘encouraging people to think further about the wonders and applications of science’ and us learning and talking about being creative through blogging!
4. I often wished for blogging conferences to aim at different levels of bloggers as to insure inspiration for everyone. At Blogtacular there was something for every level. In fact, the standard of speakers and workshops was high. I dare for anyone to say they didn’t come away somewhat inspired.
5. Another really important factor was to pay their speakers. In their own words: “We know that any event is only as good as its speakers and at Blogtacular you’ll find pioneers and inspirational thinkers. We hear that all too often bloggers are expected to give away their talent for free and we want to change that expectation.” Bravo!
6. Like-minded brands were chosen as sponsors. They were friendly, unobtrusive and blended in well. We, the attendees, did not have to sit through talks or workshops by a sponsor.
7. Pre-planning allowed for a virtual conference where people, who couldn’t attend can buy their virtual ticket and listen to some of the talks. It’s open to all. Great thinking! This in turn will allow for some funding to start the ball rolling for Blogtacular 2015.
8. The atmosphere was buzzing and infectious and it was nice to see how much genuine support there was for both Kat’s.
9. No rest for the wicked, Kat and Kat are already planning and working on the event for 2015, probably to be even bigger and better. What will we see next. Blogtacular online courses? Let’s watch this space!

If I may, here’s my personal (shortish) wishlist for Blogtacular 2015:

1. Food – as a foodie and someone who doesn’t (usually) eat sandwiches and biscuits, I would welcome a more wholesome and nutritious choice. I’m sure it’s to do with budget but maybe that can be overcome by attracting a food sponsor. A simple fruit would have been nice.
2. This brings me nicely to the subject of food and nutrition, a subject close to my heart! As creative people, entrepreneurs, mothers et cetera, fuel and energy for the body is everything and I’m always surprised how much sugary and unhealthy stuff is consumed, with macaroons, muffins and cakes being favourites. I’m aware that food blogging is a separate conference but what I’m suggesting here is different. I wonder whether it would be an idea to include one of the great well-being bloggers out there to learn a bit about that aspect of lifestyle.
3. Blogging conferences are great to meet Twitter followers off-line, network and see old and new faces. Due to the usually packed schedule, there’s never enough time to go around meeting like-minded bloggers. Of course, there are the dinners et cetera. My suggestion would be to maybe incorporate a slot for people looking for collaborations, making magazines, starting projects to find and meet each other. This goes beyond the social.
Amendment (thank you Katy)
4. Forgot this point, although I mentioned it to Kat M just after the conference finished. It would be helpful to have name labels which would have our Twitter handle and real names so that we can identify each other.

List of speakers and workshops held:

Keynote Address: Joy Cho
Video Interview: Will Taylor
On Value: Anne Ditmeyer
Secrets of the Editors Panel: Kate Carter (Editor of Life and Style at the Guardian), Caroline Rowland (founder of 91 magazine), Lara Watson (editor of Mollie Makes), Heather Young
From Blog to Book: Tilly Walnes, Vicky Orchard (Editor at Kyle Books)
Design: Isa Seminega
Yvestown – Yvonne Eijkenduijn
Photowalk: Xanthe Berkely
Hands on Styling: Ellie Tennant
Blog Business Panel: Courtney Adamo, Annabel Beeforth, Joy Cho, Allison Sadler
Storytelling with Video: Xanthe Berkely
Branding: Keith Stephenson & Mark Hampshire (Mini Moderns)
Social Media with Intention: Cathy James

As someone who had no intention of attending another bloggers conference, I’m happy I attended Blogtacular. I’m proud that the UK has such an inspirational event for this creative community and that it’s in my favourite and (home) city, London! Congratulations to the whole Blogtacular team on putting on a great event. I look forward to next year!

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