Monday, 31 March 2014

petworth house

A couple of Saturdays ago we drove down to Hampshire to see my parents. We stopped off in Winchester for lunch and a quick wander around the meadows, markets and cathedral (we just managed to catch a choir rehearsing).

On the Sunday we woke early and headed off to Petworth in West Sussex, after dropping by the completely charming Horse Guards Inn in Tillington for lunch - potted crab, polenta and a ginger pudding. A good, lengthy lunch invariably has to come before any house visits, garden strolls or shopping in our household, and quite rightly so. We'd come to visit Petworth House, a 17th-century mansion which stands in a landscaped park designed by Capability Brown.

The building houses an important collection of paintings and sculptures, including nineteen oil paintings by J. M. W. Turner (some owned by the family, some by Tate Britain), who was a regular visitor to Petworth, and paintings by Van Dyck.

Spring sunshine was streaming in through countless windows; it was a glorious day.

The Deer in Petworth Park by J. M. W. Turner.

orange delight

This was taken at work last week, after I'd been painting a sample board using Afghan Tan from Papers and Paints. It's a possible colour choice for the kitchen walls in a country house that we've been working on. A delightful shade, wouldn't you agree?

For the last twenty five years, Patrick Baty has tried to build on the reputation and skills of his father, Robert, who founded Papers and Paints in 1960. The shop, a whirlwind of colour located just off the Fulham Road, is an absolute joy to spend time in. Whilst retaining the original concept of the shop, Patrick has developed the process of colour matching, and has computerised the archive of specially matched colours that he inherited from his father. The majority of Patrick’s time however is now spent as a historic paint consultant, sampling paint layers on buildings, bridges and architectural details. A life spent in fantastic colour.

You know what? I'm rather feeling orange at the moment. What about this pair of orange Wedgwood Pottery plates from 1stdibs?

Or, perhaps more realistically, this Beams Plus Cable-Knit Linen and Cotton-Blend Sweater from MR PORTER? Distilled happiness in clothing form.

These Clementine Dinner Candles from Pentreath & Hall might just do the trick.

Sunday, 23 March 2014

weekend reading

a good outfit for spring, from carven

I came across this spring/summer 2014 suit in the Carven shop on Pelham Street last week and became well and truly smitten. It's just the right side of boxy and the mint green colour is a dream; it screams spring. Not so keen on the sandals but I rather like the nude leather briefcase and socks too.

Thursday, 20 March 2014

art on a thursday

Abstract Painting by Vanessa Bell.

Vanessa Bell (1879–1961) was an English painter and interior designer, a member of the Bloomsbury Group and the sister of Virginia Woolf. Vanessa and Duncan Grant moved to the Sussex countryside shortly before the outbreak of the First World War, settling at Charleston Farmhouse. I'm going to be visiting the farmhouse next weekend after months of waiting for it to reopen for the season; I absolutely cannot wait.

Wednesday, 19 March 2014

observer's books

I've wanted a collection of Observer's Books for some time. I can't remember when I first came across them, but I love their beautifully simple, colourful cloth covers with their perfectly subtle typography. The small, pocket-sized books were published between 1937 and 2003 and there are over 800 variations. These ones, the first in my collection, were published in the 60s and were picked up recently from one of my favourite bookshops, Slightly Foxed on Gloucester Road.

Sunday, 16 March 2014

a new shade of green

We've just had the walls in our sitting room at home painted a deep forest green - a vivid, deep shade somewhere between moss and emerald. We're having a new grey wooden floor installed next week too. The room is still a bit of a work in progress (piles of books all over the place, ladders propped against walls), but it's good to see our ideas coming together. We've been on the hunt for new artwork too - I bought these New Yorker covers from the 1980s illustrated by Pierre Le-Tan as Christmas presents for D. - we got them back from the framers last week. They're destined for the hallway I think, which we painted a bright pea green last year. We're big fans of green in all its various shades in this household. (Except perhaps lime...)

Wednesday, 12 March 2014

wish list: a good cardigan for spring

Maison Kitsuné Knitted Merino Wool Cardigan from MR PORTER. Deep petrol blue. An embroidered fox emblem. A contrast grosgrain placket. What's not to like?

anne et valentin

Introducing my new pair of glasses: the handmade Factory One in tortoiseshell from French label Anne et Valentin (take a look at their website - it's a good one and very fun). I bought my original pair of Factory Ones (in a striking shade of emerald green) a few years ago and I haven't looked back since. Well, admittedly I bought another pair of frames from Paul Smith a year or so ago which I'm quite fond of, and I occasionally wear my nice old pair from Cutler and Gross, but more often than not I stick to my favourite French glasses in all their green gloriousness. Just before Christmas however I popped in to see my jolly optician on Fleet Street and discovered this smart tortoiseshell version. I couldn't resist. The shape is so delightful, not too round, just perfect, and I love the blue enamel detail on the end of each arm. But what next? I wish I had pairs in pale pink, brilliant blue, burnt orange!

An old picture: wearing my green pair, on the north coast of Devon.

From the 2014 Anne et Valentin lookbook.

Do make sure to read the story behind the brand, it's lovely, inspiring stuff.

Sunday, 9 March 2014

the grand budapest hotel

I posted about Wes Anderson's new film when the first trailer was released back in October, and tomorrow evening, finally, we're all off to see it. Too, too exciting.

Sunday, 2 March 2014

weekend reading

I picked up Corduroy from The Idler Academy a few Sundays ago (we were there learning how to do calligraphy). The blurb had me enthralled in a hearbeat:

'Adrian Bell was a rather frail young man of 20 when, in 1920, he left the bohemian life of Battersea to work on a Suffolk farm. Out of that experience he wrote Corduroy, one of the classic accounts of life in the English countryside.'

The mustard wool blanket is a new addition from The French House.