Thursday, 31 March 2011

Coralie Bickford Smith

My lovely Danish friend Susanna came round for tea last week and bought with her a copy of Hans Christian Anderson's 'Fairy Tales', for the Cub. A gorgeous present at the best of times but even more gorgeous is the fact that it has such a beautiful, cloth bound cover. It's one of Coralie Bickford Smith's designs for Penguin. Coralie has been the senior cover designer at Penguin for over eight years. Together they have re-created some of the Penguin Classics by giving them brand new, vibrantly coloured, cloth bound covers. They look so gorgeous all stacked up together, I'm tempted to get just because they're so beautiful.

She has more designs coming out this April. A series of paper back books, that according to Penguin, brings together "the sharpest, funniest, most delicious writing about food from the past 400 years".
The 'Great Food' series all have covers that have a decorative, ceramic style relevant to the period of the writing. Seriously beautiful and they will liven up any kitchen in a flash. I cant wait to get my hands on them. In fact, I'm feeling maybe a genius Mother's day idea...

The Great Food series coming out this April

Coralie with her Penguin Classic cloth bound covers

Wednesday, 30 March 2011

Mary Mulchay

If there was a magic genie who wanted to give me a wish, it could be to have an umlimited budget at Les Indiennes. I've always loved a block print and to say that I have a slight obsession with Mary Mulcahy's work is a bit of an understatement. Her fabrics are completely divine. Block printed paisley everywhere in the most heavenly colours. To torment me even more, she has just bought out a new range of twelve wallpapers. I cant think of anything better than having a full on Les Indiennes themed house. Walls, curtains, cushions, sofas, beds. In fact, Mary, if you're ever need a new show home, i'm always here for you.

Above are her latest wallpapers

An indigo vision

Tuesday, 29 March 2011

Few and Far

Yesterday's outing without the cub was to the wonderful Few and Far. There's something about it that makes you feel slightly virtuous when you leave, like you've done something worthwhile with your time. I dont get that guilty feeling I sometimes get when I've frittered yet another hour of my very precious time off in Topshop. I think it's because, despite being a shop, it feels like a very cool museum. The owner, Priscilla Carluccio, ex-wife of Antonio-king-of-pasta-Carluccio and sister of Terrance Conran, completely re-does the shop every three months. Four times a year she creates a totally new theme and fills it with gorgeous trinkets and clothes from India, France, Morocco, Italy and the UK. Priscilla wanted to create a shop that inspired her customers. She likes her customers to come in, have a potter, have a coffee and chat to her staff. For some reason the word 'eclectic' seems to annoy me but in this case I make an exception and think it's the perfect adjective to describe Few and Far. Prices range from £1 to £10,000 and there really is something for everyone. Even the Cub could find something he'd like. There's toy section for him, crafts, beautiful antique jewels and floaty clothes for me and a hardware store for Chaz. Perfect for a family outing. The next re-vamp is in the beginning of May, so if you want to find me, you'll know where I'll be.

242 Brompton Road
London SW3

Monday, 28 March 2011

Saturday Farmers Market

My sister-in-law Ruth has been talking about the little saturday farmer's market on her doorstep for months and months and this weekend we finally made it down there. I am so excited about it and cannot believe it's taken this long to get there. It almost felt like being back in France. There are about twenty stalls selling mostly foodie bits. All home grown, organic, lovingly grown, fresh things.

If you like cakes and puddingy things, it'll be right up your street. There are enough cupcakes, meringues and perfectly formed macaroons to sink a small ship. It all looks so beautiful that you want to buy everything just to have it in your home.

everyone loves a shroom

The cheese stall alone is reason enough to go down there. My family have been obsessed with truffle brie for about four years now and thought that it only came out at Christmas time....until now that is. Can you imagine my excitement at the discovery that it's there every week? Not so exciting for my bank balance as it's about a million pounds/bite...
The magical million pound truffle brie

If you're in London on a saturday morning and fancy an outing, definitely go down for a potter.

Duke of York's Square
Kings Road
London, SW3

Every saturday from 10am - 4pm

Sunday, 27 March 2011

Dream Breakfast

Breakfast has always been my favourite meal of the day. Cosy time comes a very close second. One of my best breakfasts was the morning after Chaz proposed to me in New York. We woke at about 5am thanks to a magic mix of jet lag and excitement and I was starving. Obviously being in NYC the breakfast room service was unreal. Much to Chaz's delight - this meant he could go back to sleep for another hour - I had crucial decisions to make. What would it be; pancakes, granola, full on fry up, bagels? Obviously it took Chaz two seconds to decide, two poached eggs, bacon and white toast. Orange juice and a coffee. Done.
I ended up having to have poached eggs and bacon too - I'd have been jealous otherwise and eaten half of his -and also pancakes and a bagel.

Needless to say, it was all properly delicious.

Since the Cub's been eating a proper breakfast mine seems to have been slightly forgotten about. It now consists of inhaling a bowl of Bran flakes as quickly as possible while simultaneously cramming rice crispies into his little mouth. I then have a slice of toast with white fig jam - imported from France- while I make his lunch at 11.30am.
I've decided that it's not good enough and time to change. From now on I'm going to make a concerted effort to have a proper, big,delicious breakfast.

Today's creation

Today's has kind of gone to plan. Not NYC perfect, but getting there. It was from a new company called Moma and called the 'best breakfast' so i'm definitely on the right track. It's a mix of oats, juice, probiotic yoghurt and fruit. It arrives in a bit of a bright, garish pot but I decanted it into a pretty bowl and it looked like something Delia might have made. Part deux, granary toast with Marmite and sliced tomatoes is going to have to wait another hour or two when I'm less full up. I do love a mid morning snack.

Friday, 25 March 2011

Sibella Court

On monday my friend Sophia told me about Sibella Court and her book etcetera etc. By monday evening Mr Amazon was packing up my order. On tuesday it arrived and by tuesday evening I was officially obsessed. Since it arrived I honestly haven't put it down. It's next to me when I eat, when I write, when I sleep.
The book's subtitle, 'creating beautiful interiors with the things you love' sums the whole book up in one. It's feels like a scrap book. Though obviously a very swanky one. It is all of Sibella's work, inspirations, projects and finds very beautifully bound together to create the most beauteous, inspiring book on the planet.

Loving her Indigo themes

As well as being an interior designer, paint designer, writer and stylist, Sibella also has a shop called Society Inc. Heartbreakingly it's on the other side of the world in Sydney, Australia.

The front door of Society Inc

I adore how she fills every little bit of space in her shop and home with trinkets and treasures that she finds on her travels. From shells, feathers and pebbles to barbed wired and bottle tops, she has a magic knack of making everything look like art.