My tour starts...with a crush.
Lassco is a South London surprise under my very nose. I've often passed the showroom just a stone's through from Vauxhall station, but had yet to venture inside.
I had already admired the seeming audacity of the placement of the Georgian mansion in the shade of the ultra-modern St George's Wharf. The Lassco building would have originally dominated the road but is now dwarfed in comparison, but I love how it seems to stick its fingers up to modernity, refusing to be moved and showing the cool compromise between the old and the new in 21st century London.
Lassco specialises in architectural salvage, and do it very well indeed. The Vauxhall mansion is stuffed full of period pieces rescued for today's Londoners to enjoy. I love the look achieved by mixing quality old fashioned furniture and accessories with new high street homewares - so Lassco had me at 'hello'.
The shop sources larger, serious architectural pieces like chimneypieces, baths, stoneware and woodwork - spanning the centuries and each with a personality. Looking around these left me longing to the day I'll be able to shop for them myself (I'm an optimist see!)
But it also offers a fabulous collection of smaller, more accessible accessories that even I currently have room to house: apothecary jars to die for, beautiful antique globes (that you can date by looking at the amount of pink on the maps), amazing ranges of lighting and even twentieth century furniture (my real weakness) - including Alvar Aalto stools in my price range.
Lassco also seems to have added another string to its bow by opening a Coffee Shop in-store at Brunswick House. It isn't just a great draw to give nosy folk an excuse to browse the stock (moi?) but it is also a well needed addition to the neighbourhood - a calm and quiet spot on a busy road in an even busier part of town.
The restaurant area opens up on to the walled garden showcasing the garden stonework, while inside the decoration and essential furniture as been obviously carefully (and stylishly) chosen from the collection. Great tea and great cake, they even had my favourite paper on hand to read. Even more wonderful, I'm sold.