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a thank you letter to mike




Hello lovelies. I know I have been teasing you a lot and not revealing much of what I’m up to. The good news is that everything has now been printed and early next week a new venture will have been born into the world. That thought alone is very exciting.

Now, as I get ready to stock shops and work on our online shop I will have to take a little hiatus.

I thought it would be fun to share some pictures of the day we spent at our printers in East London. The sun was shining, expectations were high and the excitement was mounting.

Heidelberg printers are the business. Look at this Original Heidelberg Cylinder. Vintage or what? A beauty!

a love letter to mike - colourliving

So, you already know it’s printed matter but you will have to wait for another couple of weeks until I reveal all.

a love letter to mike - colourliving

I had no idea that after proving colours on press we would open the back door to this….. the sun was beaming and we were by the canal. Result!

a love letter to mike - colourliving

We spent the best part of 6 hours at the printers so I was greatful for the weather and outdoor beauty. In the midst of barges and industrial land, this most beautiful swan just appeared out of nowhere. Alone, he swam towards me in the hope I might have some bread. Unfortunately I had nothing on me.

a love letter to mike - colourliving

We did have a beautiful lunch next door to the printers and being able to eat alfresco at this time of the year is such a treat.

a love letter to mike - colourliving

The mandatory fresh mint tea to keep me balanced and sane during a stressful period.

a love letter to mike - colourliving

And now, I would like to introduce you to Mike, my good friend and business partner. I’ve known Mike for about 7 years and this venture would have never happened without his sheer brilliance and trust. I love working with you. Thank you Mike x

a love letter to mike - colourliving

I hope you’re all well. I do miss not being as interactive as I usually am but starting a new business while running Colourliving, a blog and normal life is very time consuming. There won’t be an edition of Vive la Différence this month.

I’ll be back here on Thursday 23rd October and delighted and excited to unveil everything! I can’t wait……..

22 Comments

rushing around during london design festival




Hello everyone. Just a quickie today. London is buzzing with all that’s happening in the capital. So much rushing around!

I wanted to share with you some of the places I visited in the last couple of days and hope you’ll find some inspiration here.

rushing during london design festival
Holborn Delicatessen

rushing during london design festival
Holborn Dining Room

rushing during london design festival
Hay Mini market pop-up in Selfridges for London Design Festival

rushing during london design festival
Florence Balducci re-created her eclectic studio in Anthropologie’s Regents Street window for London Design Festival

rushing during london design festival
The lovely Smug shop on their late night opening. This year sees the Launch of the ‘Islington Design District’ for the London Design Festival. Go and also visit the exquisite Present & Correct, Aria, Twentytwentyone and many more.

rushing during london design festival
I briefly popped into Design Junction‘s Press Preview on Wednesday. As always there’s a plethora of amazing work on display. I particularly loved Kristjana S Williams’ newly launched range of pouffes, wallpapers and Art Cartography. Just breathtaking stuff. I hope you get to visit Design Junction when it opens 18-21 September. It’s always incredibly inspiring.

Phew, I’m continuing to enjoy the London Design Festival and all that London has on offer. I hope you get to see or enjoy some of it. Monday sees another round of Vive la Différence, after a short month summer break. Have a fab weekend whatever you’re up to.

6 Comments

london design festival at the v&a




Every year in September I look forward to The London Design Festival. Now in its 12th year, it’s bigger than ever.

I spend some of the weekend at the V&A, the hub of the Festival. Last year I was honoured to have my work hang in the museum, as part of a collaborative project with Moleskine.

There’s so much to see that you would need a full week just to explore what’s on offer. Part of the program is a full series of talks.

I was delighted to find out that graphic legend Paula Sher, New York based partner of Pentagram, was going to present some of her work and talk about her successful career. A long-time heroine of mine, it was amazing to be in her presence.

london design festival at the v & a - colourliving
Paula Sher in conversation with Adrian Shaughnessy

Yesterday I returned to the V&A to hear Amsterdam born Irma Boom present her work. Irma specialises in bookmaking and has made more than 250, of which 50 reside in the collection of MoMA in New York.

A true maverick, her constant pushing boundaries and staying true to herself makes her the most interesting designer in her field. It was fascinating to hear that for every project Boom makes a miniature model first.

I loved meeting her.

london design festival at the v & a - colourliving
Irma Boom presenting some of her work.

Another highlight (in the true sense) at the museum is the Candela installation by a multi-disciplinary team comprising of product designer Felix de Pass, graphic designer Michael Montgomery and ceramicist Ian McIntyre.

A large rotary machine sits centrally, hovering just off the gallery floor. As the face of the machine revolves, it passes through a light source charging its surface, which emits this energy as afterglow. The continual revolution of the machine creates a perpetual ebb and flow of light patterns travelling across the structures.

Photographs don’t do it justice. If you can get to the V&A, make sure you put that on your list.

london design festival at the v & a - colourliving
Candela installation

While at the museum, pop out to The John Madejski garden. There you’ll see Zaha Hadid‘s Crest. It’s designed as a demountable sculpture to be installed as a permanent feature within the ME Hotel in Dubai which opens in 2016.

london design festival at the v & a - colourliving

Also in the garden you’ll find The Wish List, a collaborative fusion of design experience. Ten famous names in design and architecture each nominated an emerging talent to collaborate on a very open brief:
“What have you always wanted in your home but never been able to find?”

Paul Smith asked Nathalie de Leval for his ideal shed. It’s 3m x 3m just like his first ever shop in Nottingham.

london design festival at the v & a - colourliving
The shed from the outside. It’s made from thermo-treated ash.

london design festival at the v & a - colourliving
Loving the Anglepoise + Paul Smith lamp.

london design festival at the v & a - colourliving
Those chairs are to die for.

london design festival at the v & a - colourliving
Interior by Paul Smith and Nicholas Chandor

Other works from ‘The Wish List’, are located close to the entrance of the museum.

I’ll leave you with this incredibly ambitious project. Double space for BMW – precision & poetry in motion. Designers Edward Barber and Jay Osgerby have collaborated with BMW to create a remarkable and memorable experience in the V&A’s Raphael Gallery. The first thing you notice is the sheer size of the space. Truly imposing.

london design festival at the v & a - colourliving

I’m really enjoying the Festival. I shall be back on Thursday with more Design inspirations. Have a good start to the week everyone.

10 Comments

cliveden house




Hello. Happy bank holiday to my UK readers. It’s good to be back.

Thank you for all the heartfelt Birthday messages. I had a magical day. Part of the celebrations took us to the stunning Cliveden House in in the heart of the Berkshire countryside. Surrounded by 376 acres of incredible National Trust managed Grade I listed formal gardens and parkland, it was the perfect spot for Afternoon Tea and a long walk.

We were truly lucky with the weather on the day. Mostly sunny with not even a drop of rain, it made everything look and feel even more beautiful. Of course, I was off duty. Nonetheless, I snapped a few pics to share with you a little of my special day. I hope you enjoy it!

Upon arriving at the gates, you follow the gravel drive all the way to the House. This is what greets you. The most magnificent Fountain of Love.

Clivden House - colourliving

You continue round the corner following the signs for House Guests.

Clivden House - colourliving

Clivden House - colourliving

We just arrived in time for our Afternoon Tea booking. Set in the beautiful Great Hall, it was truly scrumptious. A true treat.

Clivden House - colourliving

Clivden House - colourliving

At the back and surrounding the House there are some wonderful terraces. Great for functions, like this one here.

Clivden House - colourliving

I loved this isolated tree.

Clivden House - colourliving

This is the panoramic view from the back of the house. You can see for miles. Imagine the care that goes into up keeping the gardens. Apparently there are 15 full-time gardeners and a whooping 200 volunteers who keep all the gardens and woodlands in tact and looking like this. Fascinating.

Clivden House - colourliving

Clivden House - colourliving

There are so many different routes to take that you’d need a full day or two to explore everything. With more time we could have got lost in the Maze, which opened in 2011.

Cliveden House - colourliving

A little gate led to this….

Clivden House - colourliving

Nearing sunset, the sun was beaming down on one side and made everything look golden.

Clivden House - colourliving

Clivden House - colourliving

The shadows of the trees were making the most stunning reflections.

Clivden House - colourliving

Clivden House - colourliving

Not everything is beautifully manicured. Personally I love the woodlands best. There’s something unruly about it that appeals to my nature. When I return I’d like to explore more of the woodlands, the wilder Cliveden, with its wealth of walks throughout the estate including a Fitness Trail.

Clivden House - colourliving

I haven’t been to Cliveden House for many many years so it was brilliant to be back. Last time was in my 20’s. It’s being revamped. The international staff were most friendly and helpful and we spent some wonderful few hours there.

Every year I know that just after my Birthday we’re going into Autumn. Sometimes it comes quicker, sometimes we still get a couple of weeks that feel like summer. I think my actual Birthday was the last day of summer and there definitely was a chill in the air on the very next day.

I hope you’ve all had a good summer break and maybe a holiday or two. September is one of my favourite months. It’s going to be a very busy one for me. See you Thursday.

12 Comments

the cornershop




I love a good story. You’re in for a treat as this is a great story!

Artist Lucy Sparrow uses felt and wool to make art. But it’s not just some ‘lovely, gorgeous, fun and pretty’ sewing stuff, no it’s rather a clever and playful way to ‘tackle (often collaboratively) some of realities of contemporary living, dealing with issues concerning the politics of consumerism, social exclusion and mental wellbeing’.

After an extremely successful Kickstarter campaign, Lucy has just unveiled a 7-months long project to create an entire cornershop out of felt for the whole of August. It will then move to Brighton in October 2014.

Lucy questions the British consumption landscape, and the demise of our cornershops as spaces not only for consumption but also for community building. The strategic use of this cornershop, in an area increasingly genrtrified, also aids to try and rebuild some of the community relations.

The cornershop officially opened on Friday 1st August at 6pm. I got there just after lunch on Friday and want to thank Lucy (charming, bubbly and very astute) and everyone helping out that day for allowing me to come in to take photographs, despite frantically putting finishing touches to everything before 500 guests descended on the shop that evening. EVERYTHING in the shop has been hand-stitched. All 4000+ products. WOW!

When you visit you can take a clip board with an order form and note down the items you would like to order. For those who can’t visit the shop, hop over to the online shop where you can buy most things. If you don’t see the item you want online, drop Lucy a line. From what I understand, Lucy has already been inundated with orders, so patience is in order! (note to myself)

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Meet Lucy.

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Lucy outside her cornershop. Everything is stitched, even the sign outside.

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Look at the till, which looks even better from the front. And that charity collection tin.

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I wanted to show you how much detail goes onto a piece.

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There were too many people for me to take shots of the entire shop. Here’s some shelving.

Sweets anyone?

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Kit Kat.

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Flake.

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Bounty.

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Digestive biscuits.

I endorse this sort of ‘save’ drinking!

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Beck’s canned beer.

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Teachers whisky | Gordon’s gin.

The mandatory Heinz condiments.

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Heinz tomato ketchup.

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Heinz salad cream.

Some soft drinks.

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Diet coke.

And as expected, cigarettes and tobacco behind the till.

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Cigarettes and Tobacco.

Now, you will agree that every respected household will need some K-Y Jelly and some Durex.

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K-Y Jelly.

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Durex flavoured condoms | Durex extra safe condoms

To fight any flu or cold.

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Lemsip max.

The newspapers and magazines were one of my favourite products. Lucy does sell these, although they are currently not listed in the online shop. Please inquire for prices.

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There was a chiller cabinet full of frozen foods, refrigerated foods and of course a chiller cabinet full of ice creams.

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Mr. Freeze ice poles.

I just LOVED my visit to the cornershop. I hope the opening night was a blast. If you’re in London, try and pay a visit to the shop. For all others, do peruse the online shop.

I can’t wait to return, get involved in some community spirit and decide what product I want first. I might just have to order a special commission.

The Cornershop
1st – 31st August
19 Wellington Row, Bethnal Green
London, E2 7BB

Open everyday 10am – 7pm

10 Comments

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

11 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

16 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.

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