What better excuse for celebration than Her Majesty the Queen’s 90th birthday!And we found no better place to mark the event than with our friends Bourne & Hollingsworth, who hosted a quintessentially British garden party (and our Shepherd’s Hut!) at Spa Fields Park in London on Saturday.While the heavens may have drenched the summer attire and bunting, the rain didn’t dampen the party spirit as 120 guests enjoyed a traditional British brunch, designed by executive chef, Adam Gray.Guests were also able to make their own artisan Bloody Marys in our Shepherd’s Hut......under the watchful eye and tuition of B&H mixologist, James Anderson.Throughout the afternoon, and under sunnier skies, champagne and cocktails were swilled…Live music played…And lawn games entertained adults and children alike...Leaving all who attended at the end of the day feeling replete, relaxed and certainly rather patriotic!
“The End of the Beginning”: Famous words of Winston Churchill were used to launch the hull of charitable organisation, Sea-Change Sailing Trust’s custom-built Thames sailing barge in sunny Polruan, Cornwall, on Sunday.
Named ‘Blue Mermaid’, after the last boat of its kind, the vessel has been commissioned largely thanks to fundraising efforts over the past 4 years, including receiving quarterly donations from our parent company, Plain English, throughout 2013.
Until now, the charity has been using an existing Thames sailing barge from where they are based in Maldon, Essex, to offer disadvantaged and disabled people the opportunity to live and work aboard an operational cargo vessel as part of a residential ‘life-learning’ programme. The new barge has no engine and will rely entirely upon manpower to sail her, providing the best conditions to encourage and develop important team building skills of those on-board.
Sea-Change hopes to use the programme and new boat to reignite the old tradition of shipping real cargo to real destinations. Katie Fontana, Creative Director of British Standard and Plain English, who attended the event, is now excited at the thought of working together with Sea-Change again in the near future with a similar aim in mind:
“I’ve always loved the idea of delivering a British Standard kitchen to at least one customer using Sea-Change’s barge and crew. The projects would have to be located near a port of course, but I can’t think of a better way to receive an order than by boat, or a more fitting way of continuing to support the charity!”
1 Michelin star head chef
13 Hungry journalists-cum-budding chefs
13 Cooking stations
4 Hot ovens
An abundance of glorious food
Hands busily chopped, eyes positively bulged and mouths definitely salivated on Tuesday evening as we hosted some of London’s most ravenous interiors journalists at Bourne & Hollingsworth’s new cookery school in Clerkenwell.
With cocktail aperitifs for everyone upon their arrival, an evening of cookery tuition by Michelin star chef, Adam Gray, was then in store for the lucky 13.
On the menu
A healthy pasta-free lasagne, using layers of vegetables and sweet potato, all topped with yoghurt
Adam’s top secret fat-busting soup
A gluten and carb-free pizza, made with a cauliflower base
British Standard played host yesterday to iconic English ceramics company, Royal Doulton, and local homewares designer, Charlene Mullen as our Hoxton showroom was magically transformed into a set for a campaign photo shoot, marking the latest collaboration between the two creatives.
With Royal Doulton's heritage deeply rooted in Lambeth, and Charlene's shop only a hop, skip and a jump away from us in Calvert Avenue, the day was set to be a very local affair...
And the best bit of all? We were lucky enough to get the first glimpse of the new designs!
Having already worked together on previous monochromatic collections, most recently the limited edition collection to celebrate Royal Doulton's 200th birthday, 'The Geometric Collection' which launches next February is definitely eye catching; if the bold patterns don't "bowl" you over, the vibrant colours certainly will!
As photographer Brent Derby and the creative team began building each shot, it became the most wonderful kind of chaos, with every surface covered and every cupboard filled to the brim with ceramics...
We even all got to enjoy an afternoon tea break amidst the hustle and bustle, sipping English Breakfast out of our very own geometric mugs!
I’m often quizzed about where I source my reclaimed or antique treasures from, either for my own projects or for clients. Having lived in Suffolk for over 20 years now, I’ve discovered a few special places that I’m usually found lurking around!
Dix Sept Antiques- Framlingham
Sophie and Michel are neighbours of mine in the market town of Framlingham. They both have a well-trained eye for sourcing lovely antiques, especially 20th century furniture, and will often help me find particular pieces I need. www.dixseptantiques.bigcartel.com
In Da Cottage – Framlingham
Interior designer, Rob Wyn Yates and antiques dealer, Richard Atkinson, co-own In Da Cottage, a treasure trove of vintage finds, housed in the former timber-framed Framlingham fire station. I once bought a stool from them that inspired me when designing one for British Standard’s parent company, Plain English.
Mongers – Hingham, Norfolk
I was actually told about Mongers several years ago by a client of mine. Sam Coster sells everything from reclaimed flooring, sanitary ware and ironmongery, to pieces of timber and stone. Over the years, I’ve sourced quite a few sinks and taps from there, either for my personal projects or for showroom schemes.
Tower Reclaim – Stowmarket
James Webster and his wife travel around Suffolk, visiting dismantled buildings and collecting unwanted gems. James is particularly passionate about antique building materials and always has a wonderful collection of things at his reclamation yard, ready and waiting to be snapped up! www.tower-reclaim.co.uk
As the famous saying goes, ‘life imitates art’, so we thought we’d investigate this theory when it comes to some of the world’s most influential artists and their kitchens. What do they reveal about themselves when their work and real life collide?
Andy Warhol (b. 1928 – d. 1987)
Copies of the iconic Campbell’s Soup Cans print, by Pennsylvanian-born Andy Warhol, inhabit many a home worldwide. Originally a successful magazine and ad illustrator, Warhol helped to define Pop Art in the 1960’s through his exploration of artistic expression, celebrity culture and advert-driven creative.
With a dresser stacked full of tin cans and preserves in his kitchen, and the likes of Keith Richards slaving away at the stove, we can certainly see where Warhol found some of his inspiration.
Georgia O’Keeffe (b. 1887 – d. 1986)
Considered one of the most significant artists of the 20th century and a “pioneer of abstraction”, O’Keeffe created simplistic but bold interpretations of nature and landscapes, as she observed them or imagined them to be.
According to Margaret Wood, caretaker of the artist in her later life, O’Keeffe lived in some ways like she painted, preferring the simple and utilitarian, but always with a focus on quality.
Frida Kahlo (b. 1907 – d. 1954)
Mexican painter, Frida Kahlo, was best known for her self-portraits, their depiction of “pain and passion”, and her use of intense and vibrant colour. Her work is celebrated as an emblem of national and indigenous tradition, and by feminists as a representation of the female experience and form.
Although at first glance we can’t find too many references of the female form in Frida’s kitchen, there’s certainly an abundance of colour and plenty of examples of indigenous design!
Erik Schmidt (b. 1968 - )
Despite the name, Erik Schmidt was born and raised in Herford, but currently lives and works in Berlin. Erik creates his paintings after sourcing photo material online or in magazines. He then sketches out the picture before painting over it with rough but structured brushstrokes. His pieces often feature “colourless” spaces that, earlier in his career, he used to paint white, but today dares to leave as blank canvas…a bit like the unpainted feature wall in his kitchen!
Claude Monet (b. 1840-d. 1926)
A key founder of Impressionism, Monet was renowned for capturing variations in light and colour in the landscape, achieving large expanses of texture through stylised brushstrokes. In his later life, he became increasingly interested in the decorative qualities of both light and colour, which is evident when you look at the interior of his own home.
As water features in many of Monet’s paintings, it’s perhaps not surprising that his kitchen resembles one of his works; the reflective surface of the ceiling; the layered use of blue throughout…and then there’s the beautiful views out onto the landscape beyond!
Don't miss the latest in ‘cabin kitchen chic’ this month! We are taking our shepherds' hut to new interiors event, ‘HOUSE’, from 17th – 20th June at Olympia London.
Our cosy hut kitchen brings a touch of home comforts to the bleakest of winter nights on the moors…and now to stand no. C35!
We have a limited number of free Family, Friends & Shepherds' tickets available (one per person, however unfortunately no accompanying sheep; first come, first served). Contact us on 020 7870 7688 or email us at email@example.com
We can also offer our customers 15% off advance tickets (£13.60, normally £16) should you wish to come and visit the show. To book, call 0844 412 4623* or book online at www.HOUSE.events and quote HS52.
*Calls cost 6p per minute plus network extras. Subject to booking fee per order. Box office closes 16 June 2015.
The clocks have sprung forward and Spring is finally here! With the long Easter weekend around the corner, we thought we’d share some of our favourite rambling routes and inspire you to get your boots on and get wandering…as well as trim up those chocolate-enhanced Easter waistlines!
The Jubilee Greenway, from Little Venice to Camden
The 60km Jubilee Greenway is one of London’s most beautiful walking routes, with every kilometre representing a year of the Queen’s reign. The long stretch from Kensington Palace to the Thames Barrier, although a little too long for one pair of legs to stroll in a day, can be enjoyed at any point along the path; just pick a section and saunter!
One of our personal favourites is the route between Little Venice and Camden, taking in 2 miles of Regent’s Canal. Even in the middle of the city, you could be mistaken for feeling like you’re strolling along a rural tow path, passing those who live on the canal as you go…and then there’s the added benefit of Camden’s sublime street food at the end of it all!
The Thames, Canary Wharf to Monument
Another watery walk, this one will take you from the iconic glass towers of the financial district, through the Dickensian riverscape of Lime Kiln Wharf, past the historic Gun Powder Dock of the East India Company, through King Edward VII Memorial Park, onto St Peter’s London Docks, then along to St Katherine’s Dock and the Tower of London. If you love the modern architecture of London as much as its murky riverside history, this is a fabulous and fascinating walk that takes about two and a half hours.
Westminster Walk, Houses of Parliament to Westminster Abbey
The sightseers “stomping ground”, this two hour walk is the ultimate way to see the most iconic sights of London on foot. From the Houses of Parliament, the route takes you past Big Ben, 10 Downing Street, Trafalgar Square, the National Gallery, Buckingham Palace, St James Park, Westminster Abbey and more. You can either stop and delve into the many attractions along the way, or keep sauntering and take in the sights of the English capital; it’s up to you!
Cultural Walk, Waterloo to London Bridge
A favourite of London’s “culture vultures”, this 3 hour jaunt will take you through some of the city’s finest hotspots for art, theatre, history and food. Beginning at Waterloo station, walkers will take in the London Eye, Tate Modern, Shakespeare’s Globe, the fabulous bustling Borough Market (a firm favourite of ours!), the Old Operating Theatre and much more, ending at London Bridge Station. An ideal way for day-trippers from the South to taste a little bit of London.
City of Gardens, St Paul’s Loop
Get in touch with nature and exercise your green fingers as well as your toes! Starting and ending at St Paul’s underground station, this “blooming marvellous” route includes some the city’s finest gardens and will introduce you to a stunning, greener side of London you never knew existed. Taking in St Mary Aldermanbury’s lawn, the Barbican Estate Lakeside Gardens and David Hicks’s knot garden by Salters’ Hall, this is a magical 2.4km stroll that takes about 2 hours.