Monday 28 June 2010

Seaside style: B is for Bert's

My (very) mini (sub) tour to Brighton took me past one of my favourite coastal stores - Bert's a homewares shop that manages to pull off kitsch and homely, while still being super practical.

Bert's is a popular store in sunny Brighton providing quality kitchenware to our South Coast friends. All year round you can rely on Bert's for all your nicest kitchen pieces; everything from cute egg poachers and all the kitchen gizmos you can think essentials like cool-looking pans and handy steamers.

While their seasonal specials are especially good in Brighton's favourite season - summer (can anyone think of an excuse for this Londoner to buy a Crab Bucket??)

I in fact came home and remembered by last Bert's purchase - a vintage green scale for a bargain £15 if my memory serves me correctly. Already a staple in my little kitchen (matching bow added by soppy owner).

Sunday 27 June 2010

Seaside style

A sunshine break to Brighton introduced me to some seaside style that was more than worth leaving sticky sweaty London for...some of my top notch choices to follow...

Monday 21 June 2010

Battersea Car Boot booty, how to serve tea 70s style

This is what I really did buy at the Battersea Car Boot on Sunday. A retro 70s tea tray that the Vivienne Westwood belted seller told me came straight from an old people's home (which may or may not be true).

Sunday 20 June 2010

Battersea Car Boot, the teabag jar saga

This unassuming teabag jar broke my heart a little bit today on my first visit to the Battersea Car Boot

I found out about this South London gem of a car boot sale online earlier this week. The more I heard about it the more I knew it wasn't to be didn't let me down.
This incredibly (and excitingly) busy sale is on every Sunday. About 100 sellers open from 11.30am (£5 entry, dropping to 50p past 1.30pm) with tables packed full of proper car boot goodies.

I was very pleased to see selections of plants, second hand clothes, jewellery and of course homewares (I'll get back to them fear not) rather than the knock off DVDs, designer clothes and dubious smellies that you now expect to find (if you are looking for these can I faithfully recommend Vauxhall car boot?)
Anyway the homeware on show at the Battersea car boot was as varied and eclectic as I'd hoped. The stalls sold everything from glassware of all shapes, sizes and shades to vintage bar furniture complete with all the suitably floppish beverage accessories.

The above and below images show my favourite stall that even carried full length pews and random artificial hands...

The tea bag jar heartbreak came from one of my other top vintage interiors stalls of the day. The geometric patterned Denby jar caught my eye - I think its lower case font sealed the deal plus I *actually* do need one...But it seemed overpriced to my eagle-eyed boy, but had been sold, sold, sold by the time I convinced the boy that I really did need it. Bah. Lesson of the day? Next time I'll come solo

Wednesday 16 June 2010

Anthropologie treat

I'll be honest - I usually save my summer sales enthusiasm for clothes (well clothes, shoes, bags, get my point). But this morning I learnt of a homeware summer sale that was worth getting my rummaging hat out for. One special store - Anthropologie mmm

I work just a short hop away from the Regent Street Antropologie store, so (purely for research purposes) I made a beeline to the sale. The sale in fact also covered the clothing and jewellery sections of the store, but I only had eyes for one section.

As always the interior of Anthropolgie was looking shabby chic cool, with the living wall blooming, animal motifs aplenty on show and New York accents heard throughout the store. The discount section was given the usual 'jumble-sale' feel, but the range of products on sale and the prices still pleased me greatly.
The (up to 50% off) sale offered flock towels, cute fabric covered capital letters, cushions with naive animal prints, bright coloured glassware and even Anth's famous patchwork aprons all at great prices.

This bargain hunter invested in handy Latte Bowls in a low key Sky colour at £1.95 each. I also toyed with the idea of getting my credit card out to buy some of the twee bed linen - check out this Bird Song print! But then came back to earth remembering that despite its half price tag it probably wasn't a good idea to invest...can't quite imagine sneaking floral *and* birdy bedding past the boy see...

Monday 14 June 2010

Daylesford Organic, SW1

After an easy start I think it is time to adventure further I took a trip a little bit West to SW1 to explore one of London's acclaimed antiques districts - the Pimlico Road. Famous for traditional older furniture and art, I wanted to take my own angle on it to see if it could also cater for my younger (ahem - still *officially* in my 20s) tastes.

I'm pleased to say my visit was a success - particularly as I got swayed by the duo of Daylesford Organic stores on the road.

Pimlico Road houses Daylesford's store and café on one side of Orange Square, on the other sits the Garden shop.

The store itself is a stylish destination. Its grand white marble floors feel up-market and super clean, but the warm bevelled edges of the marble on the tabletops and sweeping stairs don't lose the venue any warmth. The shop sells homely, substantial kitchenware that has the side of utilitarian design that I love. Think walnut pestle and mortars, heart shaped marble cutting boards and organic cotton throws. The range also includes fabulous fresh foods (cheeses, meats, veg and cakes - yes amazing organic cakes) that originate from Daylesford's organic farm.
The Garden shop has a great appeal too. With tactile plants and flowers on easy-to-reach display you would be hard pushed to avoid running your hands through their latest crop of lavender or rosemary. On sale are rustic, but sturdy, garden essentials made from solid woods and metals as well as top quality in-season flora.

I think that the addition of these shops was a great move for the area, leading on from the fabulous (yet expensive) shops like Linley on the adding an extra eco youthful helping of organic.

LASSCO - the 'audacious' Vauxhall showroom that charmed me

Sunday 13 June 2010

LASSCO - summer tour starts here

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.

Wednesday 9 June 2010

Summer interiors challenge

Summer has finally made it to London (sorta) and the time has come for me to give myself a little challenge. Ok so it might not be a too challenging challenge cos I think I might like it, a lot.

I'm going to make my own little interiors map of London, I'll be travelling to different parts of my rambling city (from old faves to new pastures) to build up a Daisy Fay guide to the top spots for interiors shopping and admiring.

So watch this space for tales of my travel checking out everywhere from the swish interior designer haven of Chelsea Harbour to hip retro special Brick Lane and even down to the forgotten corners of good old South London.

Fab image of a paper cut London via Famille Summerbelle