Thursday, 31 January 2013


We were given a very good box of vegetables this week. A pumpkin, artichokes, button mushrooms and chicory (plus sweet potatoes, watercress and a yellow pepper).

Tuesday, 29 January 2013

from the vaults: spring, 2011


Duncan at home with milk.


the heath

Hampstead Heath at midday. Muddy boots.


We drank hot chocolate outside Colbert on Sloane Square on Saturday; it was a quick pit-stop, five minutes to bask in the cold January sunshine. I'd never been to Colbert before, but it'd been on my list of must-visit-immediately restaurants for some time. Inspired by the great boulevard caf├ęs of Paris, Colbert's interiors were designed by David Collins Studio. Pay a visit, even if it's just to marvel at the brilliant bathrooms.

'Of course I have played outdoor games. I once played dominoes in an open air cafe in Paris.' Oscar Wilde.

Saturday, 26 January 2013

bee tumblers

We were given a set of these charming tumblers for Christmas - they perk up breakfast time every day. (They also provide the perfect opportunity to celebrate the humble honeybee.)

i am listening to...

Friday, 25 January 2013

signs of islington

I had to hop off my bicycle earlier today and take these two pictures. Such good little signs.

Thursday, 24 January 2013

Wednesday, 23 January 2013

the study

We're still in the process of redecorating the flat; replacing and renewing furniture, painting walls, laying down rugs and putting up pictures. Our study however has remained more or less untouched. It's an extension of our main living area, tucked away in a corner, a quiet space to read and work. This is where our books (and a strange few curios) are stuffed away... A taxidermy bird rests against a pretty rubbish David figurine that I bought in Rome when I was 18 (see post above).

Tuesday, 22 January 2013

i am listening to...

Bastille's debut album Bad Blood, featuring the superb new single Pompeii, will be released on March 4th. I can't wait... Pompeii is totally anthemic.

along the enchanted way

Along the Enchanted Way: A Story of Love and Life in Romania by William Blacker is proving to be a great bedtime read. It might just be the first travel chronicle that I've really been able to sink my teeth into, which is probably a result of the author's brilliant storytelling abilities - it's a book to get completely lost in. When William Blacker first crossed the snowbound passes of northern Romania, he stumbled upon an almost medieval world. There, for many years, side by side with the country people, he lived a life ruled by the slow cycle of the seasons, far from the frantic rush of the modern world. This book documents his adventures, and it's a real jewel. Highly recommended...

Monday, 21 January 2013

lionheart shirt

I created this shirt for Patrick Wolf to wear on tour back in June last year, and in terms of shirts that I've made, it's still one of my favourite pieces. Of course this is entirely due to the fantastic print - it is called Lionheart, and was produced by the artist, designer and illustrator Ed Kluz for St. Jude's Fabrics. I am a huge fan of Ed Kluz's work - it's steeped in English Romanticism, so charming and colourful. As soon as I came across this print (possibly at Ed's excellent Theatre Britannica exhibition, which was presented at my friend Ben Pentreath's shop), I knew that I had to do something with it. So, a month or so later, it became a shirt. (The fabric is actually very heavy linen, but it needed to be worn, I thought!)

Ed explains the inspiration behind this particular design:

'Lionheart depicts the simplified forms of castles, follies, pavilions, cottages, cathedrals, mills, a steam train and a sailing ship with the lion rampant at the core. I wanted to create a pattern which hints at the man made symbols of Britain.'

He most certainly succeeded, wouldn't you agreee? This wonderful fabric is a true testament to a roaringly brilliant Britain!

Sunday, 20 January 2013

the moths are real

'The harp is a lonely instrument', says Serafina Steer (who has been playing the instrument since primary school) in an article in today's Observer. The 30-year-old singer-songwriter has just released her second album, The Moths are Real, and I am enjoying it immensely. It's a slice of sublime chamber pop - rich, pensive, bright and dark. I love the sound of the pulsing church organ on The Removal Man, the electronics on Disco Compilation, and Steer's crystal clear, almost austere-sounding vocals. I am completely hooked. Listen, immediately.

willow crowns

Willow crowns, created by skilled craftspeople in the heart of the Lake District, available to buy from my online shop, here. I commissioned these crowns for my BA graduate menswear show at Central Saint Martins in July 2011.

Second image: photography by Kim Jakobsen To. Styling by Anthony Stephinson. Taken from the Luke Edward Hall AW 2012/13 Endymion lookbook.

sunday lunch

The snow is still falling thick and fast - it's the perfect weather for battening down the hatches, long baths, books and blankets. Managed a quick expedition to the pub this afternoon however, where we drank cider, gorged on roast beef and apple crumble and read the papers. Our local pub is a real gem. The beautiful emerald ceiling is the best thing about it.

sunday breakfast

Poached eggs, avocado and chilli flakes.

Saturday, 19 January 2013

wondrous bughouse

The one-man pop machine Trevor Powers (aka Youth Lagoon) will release his second album Wondrous Bughouse this March. I for one cannot wait. The Year of Hibernation was one of my favourite records of 2011.

recent reading

The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie - such a curious and funny little tale, and Wolf Hall - I'm about a quarter of the way through.

check tweeds

Behind the scenes at the Luke Edward Hall AW 2012/13 Endymion lookbook shoot.

Friday, 18 January 2013

a reversible scarf

My new favourite thing. Mahogany pheasant and paisley print wool scarf from Polo Ralph Lauren.

Thursday, 17 January 2013

magazine reading: the gourmand issue 02

Visit here.

a pre-supper snack

Ticklemore cheese (made in Devon).

the pig

The entrance and hallway.

Chickens outside our bedroom window.

The library.

Gloriously green cavolo nero growing in the walled kitchen garden.

Duncan with wild ponies.

The Hampshire coast. Freezing sun.

On entering The Pig, we find the hallway cluttered with watering cans and croquet mallets. Fires crackle in every room. The whole place has a delicious, familiar smell about it of wood smoke and muddy boots; the best smell there is in my opinion. We are led off, bags in hand and grinning, deliriously happy to be so far from London, to find our room...

More to come on our trip to The Pig soon...

Monday, 14 January 2013

i am listening to...

recent ramblings

Read my piece for Toast Travels, On Magic, here. Read my piece for Cherchbi, Hardy Amies: the Man, the House and the History, here.

A couple of recent forays into writing for things other than this here very blog - for TOAST (my wonderful employers), and Cherchbi, the British leather goods company. (Cherchbi make highly desirable and exquisite bags, belts and accessories using the best natural raw materials - do take a peek.)

Wednesday, 9 January 2013

quo vadis

Enjoyed a brilliant dinner at Quo Vadis in Soho last Saturday evening. The menus are so beautifully designed, and feature the most amazing illustrations by John Broadley. I love the proud lion at the top of the puddings menu.

Sunday, 6 January 2013

new year's eve in the cotswolds

After spending two consecutive New Year's Eves in dreary old London (so often disappointing), my friends and I decided to celebrate the end of 2012 by escaping the city and heading for the tranquility of the Cotswolds. We spent five days on the edge of a beautiful lake, not too far from the market town of Cirencester. Most of our time was spent eating, drinking and resting horizontally, watching Game of Thrones, and then eating and drinking a little bit more, but we also managed an afternoon trip to Stroud, a Gloucestershire town where Isabella Blow and Jasper Conran set up the local farmer's market. I've visited the Cotswolds three or four times, and every trip has been wonderful - the ancient market towns are so perfectly formed and the countryside is spectacular. (The local food is excellent too!)

Saturday, 5 January 2013

christmas churchgoing

On this past Christmas Eve, I decided to pop along to two village church services, one in the afternoon, at All Saints in Monk Sherborne, and Midnight Mass, at Pamber Priory in Pamber End. (I was at home in Hampshire spending the holidays with my family.) I really do enjoy attending church at Christmas time - it always seems so theatrical - I love the sounds of the organ and the ringing bells, the smell of the old, cold stone walls, and the way in which our little village churches are lit up like beacons at night.