Thursday, 28 November 2013

wish list: muted green

Richard James Quilted Harris Tweed Bomber Jacket.
Marc by Marc Jacobs Full-Grain Leather Wash Bag.
Etro Plaid Cashmere Scarf.
Turnbull & Asser Taz Polka-Dot Silk Bow Tie.
Globe-Trotter Special Edition 21" Carry-On Case.
J.Crew Bird-Print Cotton Pocket Square.

All from MR PORTER.

a saturday in wiltshire

We headed west to Wiltshire on Saturday, where we stopped by the Compton Marbling Fairs - little Christmas craft fairs held in farmyard barns just outside Tisbury. We'd come to see our friend Edward, whose parents live nearby.

We had lunch afterwards at the incredibly special Pythouse Kitchen Garden - the cafe is situated in an old potting shed overlooking a glorious walled garden.

A wonderful starter - heritage carrots with goat's cheese and fig puree.

A brilliantly compact and delicious menu!

Charlotte looking marvellous in the vegetable patch post-lunch. Incredible light.

Just as the sun was setting, we drove through this monumental arch on the Fonthill Estate. The gateway originally lead to Fonthill Abbey, a large Gothic revival country house, of which little remains. We stayed just up the road from here, at the Beckford Arms, back in May. Another great spot for lunch!

Sunday, 24 November 2013


I spoke to Vancouver-based magazine Freckled about my graduate Saint Martins menswear collection and designing outfits for Patrick Wolf, among other things. Find the interview here (pages 111-114).

winter knitwear

Grey lambswool and a chartreuse polo-neck.

Fair Isle in cool winter colours.

Sunday, 17 November 2013


Our first sourdough loaf, made with our very own two-week-old starter. Just the ticket for a crisp, cold November Sunday breakfast - sliced thickly and toasted.

Sunday, 10 November 2013

lewes bonfire

This November 5th we travelled to Lewes in East Sussex for a night of dark autumn mischief. We'd come for the Lewes Bonfire - the UK's largest and most famous Guy Fawkes Night celebration. Setting off from London in the afternoon, we arrived a few hours later in the charming village of Firle, which I'd wanted to visit for some time due to owning a copy of this great book. Virginia Woolf rented a house in Firle and in 1916 her sister, the artist Vanessa Bell, moved to the nearby Charleston Farmhouse, which went on to become a regular haunt of the Bloomsbury Group (also on my list of places to visit). We'd taken a room for the night at The Ram Inn (the Bloomsbury room in fact) - an ancient pub set in the heart of Firle, whose website explains how artists, walkers, writers, farmers, farriers and vicars can all be found drinking at The Ram's bar... How excellent! We had to drop off our things and head straight off to Lewes, which unfortunately meant that there was to be no locally sourced Sussex pub supper in store for us, a shame because The Ram has become known for its good food... But we had fire to be dealing with.

Lewes was incredibly busy (30,000 revellers turned up for the festivities) and there was definitely an air of magic and mischief about the place. The event not only marks the date of the uncovering of the Gunpowder Plot in 1605, but also commemorates the memory of the seventeen Protestant martyrs from the town burnt at the stake for their faith during the Marian Persecutions. Six bonfire societies put on five separate parades and firework displays. We watched on with awe as local residents took to the streets with burning torches, crosses and banners. Huge effigies were drawn through the narrow streets as brass bands played and fireworks burst above the River Ouse. I don't think I've ever seen so much fire and smoke. After several processions, each society marches to its own fire site on the edge of the town, where the effigies are burnt. We followed the raucous crowd and found our way to one of these sites. An enormous bonfire and firework display rounded off proceedings... Things were blazing, exploding, fizzing and whizzing left, right and centre by this point. It was nearing midnight and we were quite cold and tired, but luckily our room at The Ram was waiting for us just down the road. Unfortunately a very early start meant that breakfast (as well as the previous night's dinner) was also off the menu! (Although I must add that we were very kindly equipped with bags of porridge and fruit for our journey home.) All in all, it was worth the trek: a wild night!

Wednesday, 6 November 2013

plain english

When I get to being just a little bit older, what goods will I pine for? A fast car? A swimming pool? A TV that pops out of the end of your bed? No, obviously not. I will pine for a bespoke, handcrafted kitchen from Plain English. Can anything get as calm inducing (and handsome) as a really good kitchen? I don't think so! Above is the Plain English colour collection for 2013 (with a few omissions). The hues all have completely fabulous names, from Boiled Dishcloth and Rice Pudding to Rusty Nail and Army Camp. I'm a particular fan of those two greens and that brilliant rusty red. Alas, for now, I can only dream...

Monday, 4 November 2013

wish list: mountain mohair

Oh Carven, you've done it again, haven't you? When I first saw this jumper in Liberty a couple of weeks ago, I had to have a brief sit down. All other jumpers that I've ever known were instantly erased from my memory. It's Carven. It's mohair. It's a roll neck. It's blue and camel and patterned. It's the only thing I want to be wearing on Christmas Day/every day ever again. It's basically knitwear to end all knitwear. It's also unlikely to be mine unless I want to part with *wipes away tears, consults bank account* nearly 400 euros. The Carven Mountain Knit Pullover. Crumbs, isn't it just the jolliest thing you've ever seen?

we could grow up 2gether

I met the NYC-based photographer Kwannam Chu of we could grow up2gether for coffee in Bloomsbury one bright, early morning in late September. I gave him a quick tour of the area - pointing out my favourite streets and shops and what have you. I've been following Kwannam's brilliant blog for years; his colourful taste in everything often reminds me of my own... Read his blog post here. Good to meet you, Kwannam!