Tagged: London

7 Hammersmith Terrace

There’s a new place ripe to visit: No. 7 Hammersmith Terrace, once the home of  printer Emery Walker has just been re-opened to the pubic and proudly boasts the most complete and authentic Arts & Crafts interiors in the UK. Delights include hand blocked Morris & Co Wallpaper, a  veritable smorgasbord of textiles and authentic Philip Webb furniture. Deep sigh..few houses in the world have original Morris & Co wallpaper on every floor in nearly every room…but this one does.

 

Walker was a key member of many of the organisations that embraced the ideals of the Arts and Crafts Movement and as such was a close friend and mentor to William Morris.

His house has just undergone an eighteen month renovation – during the process all sorts of delicious discoveries were made like letters from Rudyard Kipling used as book marks and spectacles belonging to Morris with cuttings of his hair in a desk drawer.  It is a living and breathing time capsule.

Could be my new favourite place in London…

 

Laters, Kate x

Labour And Wait x

God the eighties were fun…the smoking, the staying up partying all night then going into work then fishbowls of Chardonnay at 5. No gym, no clean food, just living life to the full and never worrying about the consequences. People behaved badly but oh how we  laugh, we laughed every single day. Until recently I thought rather than marking an era this was just a rite of youthful passage.  Now I’m not so sure.  There’s a modern contagion that’s spreading through all walks of life to constantly do as much as possible..and do it fast. Life is serious, focused and controlled, it’s either join the ranks or be left behind. Walk into an office and there’s no frantically ringing phones  or waft of cigarette smoke, it’s all green algae juices and mindfulness.  Which is maybe why the pull of any type of nostalgia is still strong for me and why shops such as Labour and Wait will always float my traditional wooden sailing boat.

Labour and Wait sell the sort of things you’ve always needed but didn’t know where to find, unless it was an Enid Blyton book or an Agatha Christie mystery.

I’m slowly replacing all my pound shop plastic for their built-to-last-wholesome-simplicity.

This is sourcing the best in life.  But learning not to take it too seriously.

Laters, Kate x

The Palace x

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Yesterday I went with the lovely Galliana to Buckingham Palace.  As you do.  The only downside was we were there only as ticket wielding plebs.  But we still had the chance to admire the ornate state rooms and look out over the beautiful 39 acre garden in the centre of London.

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But the highlight was the exhibition of the 90 years of style from the Queen’s wardrobe amounting to eighty outfits and 62 iconic hats.

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It was a lesson in the diplomacy of fashion: Made for a reason, for a specific person with a unique job using colours to be seen with subtle emblems and signs to flatter the right people in the right places – like the incorporation of the colours of a national flag for a tour abroad.  There was thought, care and attention to detail and whilst fashion was was there, it wasn’t fashion for fashions sake.

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It really was the best of British.  The collection is on till Oct 2 and is well worth a visit.

 (You can also have tea by the lawn afterwards…)

 

Laters, Kate x

Jason deCaires Taylor..

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A true global and renaissance man, Jason deCaires Taylor was born in 1974 to an English father and Guyanese mother.  He then grew up with one foot in Europe, the other in Asia with regular diving trips in Malaysia.  In 1998 he graduated from the London Institute of Arts with a BA honours in Sculpture….before becoming a fully qualified diving instructor, underwater naturalist (Note to friends: That’s not a naked diver) and award winning photographer.

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Then in 2006, off the West Coast of Grenada, he created his first underwater sculpture park and a life blood of creativity was unleashed.

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His work explores the slipstream where Art and Nature collide, the grey area between man’s exploitation of nature for industrial means and the acknowledgement of the fundamental power of the earth: As time begins to colonize the forms it creates it’s own architecture, dramatic pulse and language.

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This pulls on something deep within – the mystery of Atlantis, Pompeii, fairytales..even gothic Victoriana.  They’re a dark presence, yet awe-inspiring at the same time.

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Under the water is a world Jason knows, and through his art he aims to highlight the living beauty of the under world to encourage environmental awareness and instigate social change.

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For anyone who’s heart sank at the news this week that 90% of sea birds have plastic in their stomachs, he’s a crusader you want to stand up and applaud.

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His work isn’t limited to the turquoise depths of Cancun and the Bahamas..this mystical beauty can be found in Canterbury…

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And now, from Sept 1 – 30, on the Thames foreshore at Vauxhall, London, adjacent to Camelford House and 87-90 Albert Embankment, is a new example of his work: The Rising Tide, commissioned by Totally Thames.

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It highlights the role the river has played in the shaping of London’s history.  And how easy it’s been for us to abuse it.

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(All pictures from here and Jason deCaires Taylor’s Facebook page)

These could be horses, but they’re oil pumps..animals of industry, draining the land.

A theme as strong and compelling as any story ever told.

Laters, Kate x

The secret is out..

Now for something totally different: This was something that we did with my sister-in-law and brother-in-law and few months ago..except I couldn’t write about it then as we were all sworn to secrecy but now this particular experience has finished the secrecy is no longer needed and to be honest, somehow it feels appropriate to think back on something we brits are good at: obscure, ironic brilliance.  This was a whacky, immersive dining experience set up by a Company called the Gingerliners in a warehouse in the Hoxton area of London where every course was in a different room, with a contrasting theme/story/setting..each more crazy than the last. (See the video above for the best interactive experience..or just enjoy the pictures)
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It was a bit like being in a Harry Potter movie..you entered the first room on a sledge with four other people through a low tunnel to find your self in a rainforest complete with bird-girl on a swing and our starters in the trees…

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The next room was run by a robot and her baby and our soup came from a suspended engine..

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The main course was held in a haunted banqueting hall complete with dracular-like waiters.images-2

Have you ever been in one of these as an adult, drunk and drinking from a urine pouch??

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Dessert was sorted by a dolly with a trolly on a plane, with accompanying dance and song.  We left via a giant slide..convinced the whole thing had been some fantastical dream.  It’s opening again in September (go to Gingerliners to get on their mailing list) with whole new rooms of experience – tickets are hard to get – they sell out FAST.  But if you like your reality hot-wired, this is the place for you.

 

Laters, Kate x

Happy birthday..

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It’s Finery’s first birthday – it seems hardly believable they’ve been around for such a short time.

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It’s such a great label that fills a gap in the market you never thought was there. Until they started.

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On the one side it’s reflective, mild mannered and be-spectacled.

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On the other, clever, en pointe, different.

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This is a label that joins all the dots.

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And does the best trousers. Stalk them.

Laters, Kate x

Hats Off!

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Hats are having a moment..the humble bobble is back big time..so maybe there’s hope for the rest hitting the mainstream again.

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It would be fun.  Hats may not speak, but they say volumes about an outfit.

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All of these tempting delights are by the talented Karen Henriksen, a milliner working in London who’s perfected the tightrope between modern and timeless.

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(All pictures Karen Henriksen and Pinterest)

Oh to have a few precious hours trying them all on and pouting in a fetchingly foxed antique mirror.  Such stuff dreams are made of.

 

Laters, Kate x

Jason deCaires Taylor..

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A true global and renaissance man, Jason deCaires Taylor was born in 1974 to an English father and Guyanese mother.  He then grew up with one foot in Europe, the other in Asia with regular diving trips in Malaysia.  In 1998 he graduated from the London Institute of Arts with a BA honours in Sculpture….before becoming a fully qualified diving instructor, underwater naturalist (Note to friends: That’s not a naked diver) and award winning photographer.

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Then in 2006, off the West Coast of Grenada, he created his first underwater sculpture park and a life blood of creativity was unleashed.

ffb7cd20523edf0393ca0d35ce4ef9d2

His work explores the slipstream where Art and Nature collide, the grey area between man’s exploitation of nature for industrial means and the acknowledgement of the fundamental power of the earth: As time begins to colonize the forms it creates it’s own architecture, dramatic pulse and language.

9d9ee7b60466db6b9b716e02963c95cb aa9804a378910cec2f5ff992a2d65beb

This pulls on something deep within – the mystery of Atlantis, Pompeii, fairytales..even gothic Victoriana.  They’re a dark presence, yet awe-inspiring at the same time.

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Under the water is a world Jason knows, and through his art he aims to highlight the living beauty of the under world to encourage environmental awareness and instigate social change.

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For anyone who’s heart sank at the news this week that 90% of sea birds have plastic in their stomachs, he’s a crusader you want to stand up and applaud.

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His work isn’t limited to the turquoise depths of Cancun and the Bahamas..this mystical beauty can be found in Canterbury…

11988491_649333901769747_2799381493575552963_n

And now, from Sept 1 – 30, on the Thames foreshore at Vauxhall, London, adjacent to Camelford House and 87-90 Albert Embankment, is a new example of his work: The Rising Tide, commissioned by Totally Thames.

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It highlights the role the river has played in the shaping of London’s history.  And how easy it’s been for us to abuse it.

11144422_649333848436419_6455122005294458346_n

(All pictures from here and Jason deCaires Taylor’s Facebook page)

These could be horses, but they’re oil pumps..animals of industry, draining the land.

A theme as strong and compelling as any story ever told.

Laters, Kate x