Things That Made Me Smile This Week

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DSC09133 DSC09129Hendricks Gin. I love this Hogarthian tipple of mothers ruin but I think I may love their limited edition tea-cups even more. The only drawback is that the thought of gin in tea cups will put Pete Doherty’s Albion straight in my head – ‘Yellowing classics and canons at dawn, coffee wallows and pith helmets and an English sun…’.

Regents-Park-Open-Air-Theatre.-Photo-by-David-JensenRegents Park Open Air Theatre. I was super lucky and taken to a production last Friday by my best friend and her ma, the venue was just enchanting, they have decorated the reception area with thousands of fairy lights so that it is possible to sit under a tree surrounded by twinkles, and the amphitheatre built and surrounded by trees is stunning.

CaptureRockettThis wire work house new in at Rockett St George, as it is so summery of late I am imagining it with citronella candles on the table in my garden of an evening…

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Summertime images on Pinterest, these are my current faves.

My blog has moved and changed name to DESIGN SODA, I’d love it if you followed along with my new content there.

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Curiouser and Curiouser

My blog has moved and changed name to DESIGN SODA, I’d love it if you followed along with my new content there.

Architectural Follies & CuriositiesIMG_8995

On this gloriously sunny day when I have a date with a book in the garden I am writing a very quick post in homage to grand follies, which I like to think of as the Alice in Wonderland’s of building design. Nothing delights me more than Victorian and Georgian architectural follies and I think one of my favourite British organisations is The Landmark Trust. The Landmark Trust takes on dilapidated old buildings of special note and restores them sympathetically to their original condition. It then rents them out as holiday lets which funds the restoration of future buildings, we have stayed in one before and it was an amazing experience. Landmark has taken on a truly formidable array of buildings from castles to cottages, follies to railway stations and much in between including The Pineapple House (above) in Dunmore, Scotland.

Here are some of my favourites from their portfolio:

Swarkstone Pavillion, Derbyshire:Swarkestone FollyCulloden Tower – North YorkShire

culloden-tower-1The Gothic Temple –  Buckinghamshire:Holiday-in-England.-The-Landmark-TrustAppleton Water Tower – Sandringham, Norfolk:?????????????????Clavell Tower – Dorset clavelAlton Railway Station – Churnet Valleya611d142-df86-4b31-b78a-2f337082f071Coop House – Carlisle:exterior coop house Banqueting House – Newcastle Upon Tyne:Nigel Shuttleworth June06 018Banq Hse The Pigsty – North Yorkshire:3251949_nigelshuttleworthjune06hb

And finally from our holiday scrapbook, the lovely Prospect Tower in Faversham, Kent.  As you may imagine, it is quite dear to stay in one of these in season, but if the idea of hauling yourself up for country walks and cosy nights by the fire in winter appeals then it really isn’t too costly, we stayed over my birthday during one snowy January and it was truly magnifcent:DSC02497DSC02458DSC02487

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Things That Made Me Smile This Week

My blog has moved and changed name to DESIGN SODA, I’d love it if you followed along with my new content there.

 

  1. As it is now definitely Summer we have been re-watching The Two Greedy Italians tour around their home country, this is my favourite ever cookery show, both Carluccio & Contaldo are wonderfully idiosyncratic and the locationas are just glorious especially the Amalfi coast episode where Contaldo re-visits his home town, the very beautiful Minori. Watching it I have been reminded of a really simple desert I’ve always meant to make – Contaldo’s Ammeretto Chocolate Pot, am going to make it for desert tonight, lucky us.warm_chocolate_and_60154_16x9
  2. My husband got sent a proof copy of Florian Illes’s 1913: The Year Before The Storm which I have enthusiastically grabbed off him to read first. It’s brilliant (if you are happy to allow for projected history), a kaleidoscopic cultural history of the year before war ravaged Europe. I’ve barely read 10 pages and have already encountered Freud and his cat, Kafka’s love letters about taking to the scaffold with his beloved, 12 year old Louis Armstrong in a prison cell, Thomas Mann enduring poor reviews from a love rival and Stalin arriving in Vienna for the first time. 51TUu3-oTZL._ Here’s what the dust jacket says: The year 1913 heralds a new age of unlimited possibility…Yet everywhere there is the premonition of ruin – the number 13 is omnipresent, and in London, Paris, Vienna, Berlin, Trieste, artists take the omen and act as if there were no tomorrow, their brief coincidences of existence telling of a darker future. In a Munich hotel lobby, Rilke and Freud discuss beauty and transience; Proust sets out in search of lost time; Stravinsky celebrates the Rite of Spring with industrial cacophony; and while Kirchner paints Berlin’s throbbing, hectic metropolis, in Munich an Austrian postcard painter by the name of Adolf Hitler sells his conventional cityscapes.
  3. This week I happened upon these exquisite stairs via Domestic Sluttery‘s feed on Pinterest, wow:f26cb079a4dd441f1d8ecfa466d48d12
  4. Have been re-living one particular area of my childhood over the last month – Madonna, god I loved Madonna when I was young. I have been listening to her 80’s tunes mostly – Dress You Up, Into The Groove & Borderline are still amazing tracks. Have also been re-watching the films that I adored as a kid – Desperately Seeking Susan and In Bed with Madonna for the first time in 20 years. I wonder how many girls of my generation had their early formation of womanhood based on Madonna.madonna-seeking-susan-412

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Beside the Seaside…

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So, I have been in bed with flu the last few days, hooray, and just like the Robert Louis Stevenson children’s poem The Land of Counterpane I have been dreaming of the things I’d like to do when I’m well. One of which, given the  glorious weather, is to go to the seaside. Whitstable, Southwold, Saltdean, Broadstairs, Brighton, so many beautiful places close to the city.Race beach

I love everything about the British seaside from lighthouses to ice cream, collecting shells to building sand castles and of course watching the tide go out. Best of all I love Punch and Judy shows, actually I am crazy for them, I love all puppets and marionettes and may have even dragged a very despondent husband to the Punch & Judy Festival one year! I love this driftwood sculpture by Robert Race above. Robert Race is a sculptor who makes all of his pieces out of driftwood found on Chesil Beach, this Punch & Judy piece is just brilliant.

Sadly the seaside visit is all in my head but I have contented myself by looking at vintage seaside travel posters, most of which can be purchased here. They are a bit of a middle-class cliche, skirting slightly too near shabby-chic for my liking but I do admit we have the first two framed in our hallway. Here are my favourites:

'Saltburn-by-the-Sea', LNER poster, 1923-1947.   $(KGrHqR,!jIFEEqlt-,iBRNez2l!4!~~60_12

Summer-Time in The French Riviera

London Midland & Scottish Railway travel poster. Fleetwood    bexhill-on-sea-susex-vintage-railway-travel-poster-print-by-southern-railway-550-pNational-Railway-Museum-St-Ives---Carbis-Bay-and-Lelant-415949

de-la-warr-pavilion saltdean-lido solent-days

Penzance, The Ideal Holiday Centre, Cornwall. GWR Vintage Travel      withernsea-easy-riding-railway-travel-poster-print-by-lner-540-p

Now the lurgy has almost left my system, I feel I have a date with the seaside beckoning me next weekend, day-tripper bucket and spade at the ready…

 

Quick edit: And one more in homage to the town Dan’s dad has just moved to:Scarborough, Swimming Pool, Yorkshire. LNER Vintage Travel Poste

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Things That Made Me Smile This Week

My blog has moved and changed name to DESIGN SODA, I’d love it if you followed along with my new content there.

  1. Being reminded of why I love Tennessee Williams so much when I took the husband to the latest production of Sweet Bird of Youth at The Old Vic for his birthday last week. No-one does fragility & drama on hot and sultry summers day like Tennessee, he’s one of my favourite human beings ever.9780141191089H
  2. Indie actress Chloe Sevigny’s East Village apartment, I haven’t just been stalking her bathroom, I have major home envy, this space is unbelievable: chloe1EastVillage6 chloe-sevigny-apartment-toilet_largechloe-sevigny-apartment-desk chloe-at-home_largechloe sevigny 11 2d7u0cx1chloe sevigny east village apartment 2 - Copy 65afdda3b8fb9d8dd14f27056c9f5cd0
  3. Booked tickets this week to see lovely Regina Spektor at De La Warr Pavilion at the end of the month. One of my favourite singers in a building I have always wanted to visit, exciting! We saw Spektor last year at the Royal Albert Hall and it was spectacular but I think this may top that, having seen the pavilion in so many period drama’s it will be strange to see it in real life, I’ll probably be expecting to find Poirot enjoying a glass of brandy with Hastings there:          de-la-warr-pavilion-in-bexhill-07 de-la-warr-pavilion-in-bexhill-01 De La Warr Pavilion Bexhill 1937
  4. These lovely Spring storage boxes by House Doctor DK, available at Design Vintage:storage_boxes

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Bathroom Ideas – Magpies and Suds

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bathroom ideasSo, I’m doing a lazy post today as we have too much kitchen going on to breathe, but in the midst of kitchen chaos I have been thinking about what to do with our tiny bathroom. There’s nothing really wrong with our bathroom, compared to the horrendously dated earthy colors and horrid textures in the rest of the flat, the bathroom is relatively modern and clinical. However, I am really bored with it being such a blank canvas, not bored enough to spend a fortune but am thinking of updating it by painting the walls, re-tiling the floor, replacing the sink and making a feature splashback for it.

Above is my current mood board, for the basics I’m thinking the walls should be painted in Blue’s Blue by The Paint and Paper Library, I love this colour, could simply drown in it. Blues-BlueThe floor is going to be flanked in white hexagonal tiles with black grout as shown in this picture from an old issue of Elle deco: bathroom idea 001But I also really like this Merola tile: tilesI prefer the rustic to modern in bathrooms and my dream bathroom would either be Art Deco or Moroccan in style. As I am a style magpie, I have decided to combine the two. I am totally in love with these Targa tiles from Fired Earth: mtarga_1 newmarrakechroom_1_2

They are eye wateringly expensive, so I have decided to have four rows, two rows in pattern, one in yellow and one in turquoise, as a splash back behind this charming Ikea Hemnes sink. I think you can channel the Marrakech look in a bathroom without going wall to wall and in the spirit of the bazaar I also really love these metallic mirrors from John lewis, the smallest one is definitely destined for the bathroom. 13c_02_hi_240_01In the arc of Art Deco and to marry in with the floor tiles we have a scissor armed pull-out shaving mirror and I think one of these Dualit retro scales would be perfect. Another bathroom I tore from a design mag in the last year and adore is this art deco style one, I Love, Love, Love yellow and white as colour combination, so classically Italian and fresh.bathroom deco 001Finally here are three of my favourite bathrooms found on Pinterest, the first is Chloe Sevigny’s, I have the biggest crush on her home:

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