Vintage at the Southbank Centre

Saturday, 30 July 2011

The South Bank was alive with Vintage fever this weekend. There was the Vintage 2011 Festival by Wayne and Gerardine Hemmingway, plus, all the wonderful 60th Anniversary of the Festival of Britain attractions including a beach along the embankment and the Museum of 51.

Over three days (29th-31st July) the festival celebrates music, fashion, film, art and design from the 1920s to the 1980s.  The whole area was bedecked with brilliantly dressed people (think guys in braces and trilby’s) and mid century-design eye candy everywhere.
Gorgeous interior items from Brighton's own In My Room,plus goodies from Firefly house, Fragile Design and Elliot & Tate.
 I nearly bought a fabulous print from these guys - it may still happen!
 Tea and Cake anyone?
I succumbed and bought 4 beautifully upholstered chairs in Bute fabric from Anne-Marie of Bruce Upholstery. They are gorgeous and will replace my vintage Robin Day chairs (with vintage chewing gum on!) 

A view from my canoe: Châteaux hopping on the Dordogne

Wednesday, 27 July 2011

On our recent visit to France we were based near the Dordogne a départment in south-west France.   The Dordogne is famous for its many fortified chateaux and bastide towns – reminders of the bloody battles waged here during the Middle Ages and the Hundred Years’ War.  It also offers the perfect image of the French countryside full of hilltop towns, turreted châteaux and lush green fields and woods.  Plus it’s quite renowned for its food and wine.

La Roque-Gageac
One of the best ways to see the outstanding beauty this area has to offer is to take to the water.  So we (hubby and Milo the dachshund were in tow) climbed into a canoe and paddled downstream.  The canoeing isn’t difficult here, thankfully the Dordogne River is wide and slow moving. But with a little more work than I’d anticipated we slowly drifted passed Beynac, La Roque-Gageac and the other villages and towns dotted along the Dordogne river, seeing quiet sections of the river that can not be seen by road.

Château de Beynac
Château de la Malartrie
Canoeing the river is the best way to see this fairy-tale like countryside and we were rewarded with fantastic views of the medieval castle of Castlenaud, the fabulous mountaintop setting of Château de Beynac and Château de Marqueyssac.  Along the route you also pass Château de Fayrac, Château de Milandes, Château de la Malartrie (in La Roque-Gageac available to rent by the week) and countless others.  It was a really great way to see the surrounding area and pinpoint, which areas were worth another look at.
Milo exploring the river
We came back to Castlenaud about a week later for a Grande Brocante (in the lashing rain) and went for a delightful candlelit tour of the 22 hectares of Jardins de Marqueyssac complete with Jazz musicians (Milo enjoyed the concert).
Castlenaud

The Dordogne River

Monday Inspiration

Monday, 25 July 2011


I happened across my Castle Howard photos at the weekend and it got me thinking. What if this was your bathroom ceiling? Ok it’s very grand but can you imagine lying back in the bath and gazing at that beautiful artwork? I think a couple of chandeliers and a plethora of candles - the soft colours and soft lighting, a real treat. I don’t think I’d want to get out of the bath. 

Don’t worry not likely to happen, unless…….

Monday Inspiration - Vintage

Monday, 18 July 2011

So it’s Monday again, I have just got back from France and wish I was still away.  I think I’ve must have lizard in me as I love the feeling of warmth on my bones.

So here’s a piece of France for Monday inspiration, impeccable product design and in my favourite colour too…

Le Quatorze Juillet

Friday, 15 July 2011


A delay in posting as I am in France and having a wonderful time – posts galore to follow. So wishing everyone a Happy Bastille day and hope you are celebrating La Fête Nationale.

Monday Inspiration

Monday, 4 July 2011


The South Downs is on my doorstep and I try to make use of it whenever possible. It’s a source of great inspiration and a marvellous place to just clear my head. The views are vast and on a clear day I can see the Isle of White. 

Do you have a decompression zone or a place where you can go to clear your head? 

 
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