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?