Thursday, 20 December 2012

autumn t-shirts

I have just a couple of the first Orlando and the Fountain T-shirts available left to buy. This design, entitled Autumn, is an ode to my most beloved season. Screen printed by hand in Somerset onto ecru organic cotton. Available in sizes S/M/L. £35. Available to buy from my online shop, here. More to come in 2013.

a bedside pineapple

We have new bedside lamps - gold and glass pineapple bedside lamps, in fact. Why not?

magazine reading: kinfolk volume six

Kinfolk is one of my favourite magazines. I mean it has to be in the top three. It's the combination of beautiful lifestyle photography (every single image is perfect), the general aesthetics of the magazine (simple, elegant design and fonts) and a brilliant subject matter (Kinfolk is a guide for small gatherings) that really does it for me. The latest issue, volume six, is a wintery spectacle. Two of my favourite features in this issue have to be the Holiday Health Rules, which includes such delightful suggestions as 'Anything that comes in a can or a box better not be the main dish.' and 'Microwaves are boring. Use them less.', and a work of fiction about a girl who ends up spending Christmas in a snowy English hollow, close to the river Wye. Perfect reading for a cold December Sunday afternoon - pick up a copy (and back issues!) if you haven't already.

gloverall duffle

I bought this excellent Gloverall duffle coat on eBay around this time last year but then misplaced it somehow whilst packing it away for the summer. Fortunately I came across it again a couple of weeks ago, and I'm so very glad that I did. I spent months tracking it down - I really wanted a Gloverall (such an incredible, historical brand), but it had to be a forest green one. I have no idea when my coat was produced - the 80s, perhaps? It has that sort of 80s feel about it. Anyway, I feel just like Jonathan Creek when I'm wearing it.

Sunday, 16 December 2012

bath time

It's been a very busy month so far, as December always is of course. On Friday evening we hosted a festive party at our house, and after quite a few glasses of prosecco and sloe gin (a delightful Sipsmith variety), Saturday turned out to be somewhat of a write-off. To make up for the lost day, I rose bright and early this morning, cycled over to Paddington and hopped on a train bound for the west, to Bath. I wanted to visit two very good friends of mine who grew up in and around the splendid city - friends that I hadn't seen in much too long. We spent the morning browsing nice little shops for good cheese and good books and the precious few afternoon hours at my friend's house, where we ate said cheese and read said books. I caught a late train and cycled home through a very dark Regent's Park. After a quick catch up on Christmas food TV (the best) and a hot bath, slumber calls.

Thursday, 6 December 2012

the duke of cambridge

The Duke of Cambridge in Islington is one of my favourite pubs - the food is absolutely brilliant, it's a short bicycle ride from my house, and it's Britain's first and only certified organic pub. I popped in for supper with a friend on Tuesday and found myself enthralled by the charming message on the chalk board above - a service update detailing how well vegetables are doing around the country. Brussels are big this year, you'll be pleased to know! Leeks on the other hand are disappointing, which is a shame. I do love a leek.

Tuesday, 4 December 2012

deco dreams

Introducing our new Art Deco lantern, hanging proudly in our hallway at home (although you can't really see the hallway - the lamp looks as if it's hovering like a sort of ghostly 1920s spaceship). Anyway, we bought this beautifully crafted specimen from a British family of traders whilst we were at the Brimfield Antique Show in Massachusetts back in September (for our Fox and Flyte windows at Club Monaco). The irony of us wanting to buy an enormous lantern from the only British sellers amongst a never-ending sea of American dealers, when all of us were 3,500 miles from home was quite brilliant. Nevertheless, we got a deal on the lantern there and then, and had it shipped from the US back to the UK. We got around to picking it up from the family's warehouse in Derbyshire a couple of weeks ago, and after a quick rewiring, here it is, in all its Deco glory. We've been on a long and interesting journey with this lamp, but as soon as we saw it, we knew that we had to have it!

i am listening to...

a simple lunch

A boiled egg with houmous on rye bread.

all saints

I bought my Christmas cards yesterday (biblical and very beautiful, if you want to know), from a very special place indeed. Tucked behind the seventh circle of hell that is Oxford Street, lies the rather unremarkable Margaret Street (I suppose you'd call it Fitzrovia), and hidden amongst its grey buildings, the wonderful church of All Saints silently resides. I try and visit often; it's one of my favourite spots in the whole of London.

The grade I listed building is an Anglican church built in the High Victorian Gothic style by the architect William Butterfield and completed in 1859. The British architectural critic Ian Nairn claimed that 'this building can only be understood in terms of compelling, overwhelming passion', and he's absolutely right. I can never quite express to people just how utterly perfect this church is. I'm not religious at all, but I do enjoy visiting religious buildings, and this one has to be my favourite of all. The red brick walls, banded and patterned with black brick, the richly patterned interior with inlays of marble and tile, the heady smell of incense, the absolute peace and quiet that you experience as soon as you cross the threshold... It's an incredible work of art. Just please don't let too many people know about it.

Sunday, 2 December 2012

orlando gough, recipe journal

Orlando Gough, Recipe Journal is Toast's first formally published book. It is a journal of recipes by composer and extraordinary home cook, Orlando Gough. Inspired by his own aged and heavily annotated notebook of recipes, the book charts Orlando’s life through food. A book for those who believe food to be as vital to our home, family and culture as it is to our stomachs. I helped out with the production of this wonderful little recipe book, and can thoroughly recommend it to all. Discover more information on Orlando, read the book's introduction, and buy a copy here.

Saturday, 1 December 2012

a printed trouser

Lovely new pillar box red heart print Carey trousers from Acne. Perfect for the festive season, no?

Thursday, 29 November 2012


I had my first official taste of the festive season last night when a group of us took to the ice at Somerset House. Admittedly we were a little stiff at first, but after twenty minutes or so we were all whizzing round the rink at lightning speed (only minor injuries were sustained). After an hour or so skating beneath the freezing night sky, it was time for a well-earned hot chocolate and an early night.

Saturday, 24 November 2012

magazine reading: the world of interiors december 2012

The December issue of The World of Interiors is a fashion special. It's a brilliant issue, and included at the back of the magazine is an article on a glorious Welsh cottage belonging to Jamie and Jessica Seaton - founders of the British fashion and home wares brand Toast. Incidentally, I will begin working as the new Editorial Assistant for Toast and Toast Travels on Monday. Hurrah!

Thursday, 22 November 2012

usa take two

The view of the Meatpacking District from our hotel room.

Duncan installing the Fox and Flyte window displays at Club Monaco.

Haeni by Central Park.

The Rugby store on Bleecker Street.

A perfect little house in Greenwich Village.

Squashes outside a deli.

Jazz, gin and tapdancing at the Top of the Standard.

I got back from a wonderful winter whirlwind trip to New York City yesterday. I was there, along with Duncan, Haeni and Elliot, to work on Fox and Flyte's Christmas 2012 windows and pop-up shop for Club Monaco's flagship store on Fifth Avenue. If you're in NYC, do pay a visit! The antiques and objects on display in the windows will be available to buy from December 1st. When we weren't up to our elbows in gilt mirrors and croquet mallets, we had time to explore and enjoy the city in all its glory. We spent a morning at the Met, we wandered along the High Line, we bought shirts from Ralph Lauren, we ate Mexican food in Brooklyn and we listened to a brilliant jazz band, The Hot Sardines, at the Top of the Standard. We can't wait to go back.

Wednesday, 14 November 2012

an afternoon in paris

I had to hop over to Paris on Monday afternoon for a last minute meeting; Paris is one of my favourite cities and it's always a joy to visit, especially at this time of year. My meeting took place just around the corner from Place Vendôme, so I had time to pay a quick visit to Goyard on the Rue Saint-Honoré. (All I want for Christmas is personalised luggage, you see...) Afterwards I had a few hours to kill before catching my train home, so I decided to have a wander around the Marais and St. Germain, sparing half an hour to feast on steak tartare and hot chocolate in a sweet little bistro. I had just enough time to take a trip to the Louvre before boarding the Eurostar - I've been so many times before, but it's such a magical place, it always feels like it did when I was thirteen or fourteen and visiting for the first time. It's quite a romantic thing really, passing the Inverted Pyramid in the Caroussel du Louvre, climbing the great stone steps up and out into the nighttime air of the Napoleon Courtyard... The striking modernity of the great glass sparkling pyramid against the piercing black sky... Oh, Paris... Until next time!

Tuesday, 13 November 2012


I stopped by The Jerusalem Tavern in Clerkenwell a couple of Tuesdays ago. It is such a charming little pub. So charming in fact, I was quite surprised I'd never paid a visit before. One of my favourite things in the building (which dates from 1720), are the marvellous blue and white tile designs - one for each of the seasons.

Tuesday, 6 November 2012

to autumn

Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness,
Close bosom-friend of the maturing sun;
Conspiring with him how to load and bless
With fruit the vines that round the thatch-eves run;
To bend with apples the moss'd cottage-trees,
And fill all fruit with ripeness to the core;
To swell the gourd, and plump the hazel shells
With a sweet kernel; to set budding more,
And still more, later flowers for the bees,
Until they think warm days will never cease,
For summer has o'er-brimm'd their clammy cells.

Who hath not seen thee oft amid thy store?
Sometimes whoever seeks abroad may find
Thee sitting careless on a granary floor,
Thy hair soft-lifted by the winnowing wind;
Or on a half-reap'd furrow sound asleep,
Drows'd with the fume of poppies, while thy hook
Spares the next swath and all its twined flowers:
And sometimes like a gleaner thou dost keep
Steady thy laden head across a brook;
Or by a cyder-press, with patient look,
Thou watchest the last oozings hours by hours.

Where are the songs of spring? Ay, Where are they?
Think not of them, thou hast thy music too,—
While barred clouds bloom the soft-dying day,
And touch the stubble-plains with rosy hue;
Then in a wailful choir the small gnats mourn
Among the river sallows, borne aloft
Or sinking as the light wind lives or dies;
And full-grown lambs loud bleat from hilly bourn;
Hedge-crickets sing; and now with treble soft
The red-breast whistles from a garden-croft;
And gathering swallows twitter in the skies.

John Keats.

Monday, 5 November 2012

two nice new things for winter

Scarf from Margaret Howell.

Coat by A.P.C. - I bought this off of a friend from Saint Martins. Going back a year or two, I used to borrow this coat from the friend in question, admire it in detail, and try it on almost every day. Needless to say I was thrilled when she no longer wanted it.

remember, remember the 5th of november

A bonfire in Yorkshire on Saturday evening.

From Patrick Wolf's The Bluebell:

Down in the park
In the last of the light
Among the stray dogs and families
I smell the bonfires and watch
The bombs
Above the trees
Into pillows
White cloud
Another year has gone
Now it is the fifth of November
I lock the doors
Swallow the key
Draw the curtains
Closed forever

Thursday, 1 November 2012

a whole new house

I think we may have caught some sort of decorating/completely-mad-overhauling-everything-in-sight-bug. After the bathroom, we are now painting the rest of our flat - the living room in Little Greene's Rolling Fog, the bedroom in Farrow & Ball's Oval Room Blue, and the hallway in F&B's Folly Green, which is, let's just say, a rather surprising and electric shade of green. For the time being our furniture is covered in plastic, and we are camping out with candles and books in a corner of the living room, trying to avoid asphyxiating on paint fumes. It will be worth it however - I cannot wait to live with all this colour.

Friday, 26 October 2012

autumn: the first orlando and the fountain t-shirt

I'm very pleased to announce that the first Orlando and the Fountain T-shirt is available to buy. This design, entitled Autumn, is an ode to my most beloved season. Screen printed by hand in Somerset onto ecru organic cotton. Available in sizes S/M/L. £35. Available to buy here, or by contacting

the new bathroom: part four

I first posted about the redecoration of our bathroom back in July, and at that time we were already several months into the project. Three months later and well, we're finally there! The beautiful wallpaper is from Trustworth Studios - the design is called Apothecary's Garden, and is a reproduction of a pattern by C.F.A Voysey. There are just three things left on the shopping list: a showstopper of a mirror, a Persian rug, and ferns. Lots of ferns.

Wednesday, 24 October 2012

the kitchen diaries ii

Nigel Slater is my favourite food writer. I could barely wait for his latest book, The Kitchen Diaries II, to be released, and when I finally got around to picking up a copy this week, I couldn't have been more pleased. His beautiful volumes are inviting and a delight to behold; his way of writing gentle, warm and poetic. The design of his latest book is just jaw-dropping. From the yellow gold of the bookmark and the marbled end pages to the richly coloured photographs and elegant type; Slater has most certainly done it again. I absolutely love this Guardian review by William Leith, which seems to sum up the book quite perfectly:

'Sometimes with Slater, you'll be reading about some amazing dish he's making, and you'll imagine the kitchen, and the people sitting in the garden, through the French windows, and you'll feel like you're almost tasting the food. And then you realise it's something simple, like bacon and avocado salad. Slater's trick here is to "scrape up the pan-stickings with a wooden spatula and tip it over the avocados". In other words, it's not rocket science. Slater loves cooking because it's about people. And that might be the best thing about this book. It tells you that good cooking is about enjoyment. "I cannot pretend I don't enjoy putting something I have made for someone on the table," says Slater. "To this day, it still sends tingles down my spine."'

Saturday, 20 October 2012

the patrick melrose novels

For more than twenty years, acclaimed author Edward St. Aubyn has chronicled the life of Patrick Melrose, painting an extraordinary portrait of the beleaguered and self-loathing world of privilege. I bought the complete set of novels after an enthusiastic recommendation from a trusted friend, and have just started on the first of the five books, Never Mind. Charming, hilarious, yet impossibly cruel; I am already fixated. I'm also quite obsessed with the elegant design of the books - each slim volume is a delicate shade of coral, mint, duck egg blue...