Friday, 30 September 2011

Super Fun in London Town

I zipped into London on Tuesday evening and was back home just over 24 hours later. It was a whirlwind trip but I took lots of photos to share. The main reason for the trip was to visit Decorex 2011 and the Decorative Antiques Fair at Battersea but I manged to fit in a few other bits and pieces too...

Arrived in Highbury after smooth drive into town and met the friends I was staying with at a brilliant bar/restaurant on Upper St called Zilouf's. I think my friends must go there a lot as one of them has a cocktail named after him. Anyway, Zilouf's chilled out relaxed ambience was the perfect opening to my time in town. We sat and chatted, drank fabulous cocktails and experienced the chef's genius interpretation of East meets West. I can definitely recommend this place and in particular I enjoyed the Hendricks' Punch (x3 whoops) - the perfect refreshment during this amazing Indian summer we're lucky enough to have been gifted with.

The next morning I had a lovely walk through Highbury Fields on the way to the tube stop helped blow out the cobwebs from the night before. Kind of.

Starbucks, Pimlico Road for breakfast. Had some time to read the paper and Stylist magazine which was lovely and something I very rarely do. And from there I walked down Royal Hospital Road to the Decorex interior design show at Royal Hospital Chelsea. 

 One of my favourite exhibitors at Decorex 2011 was the And So To Bed stand. They set up a stunning Beach House to show off their beautiful new 1930s-inspired Charleston Collection of mirrored beds and furniture, designed by Nina Campbell. 

I love the vintage style ice-cream stand - maybe that's why people stopped to look but I suspect it was because ASTB pulled a really striking visual display out of the bag and popped it right in the middle of the show!

Antiques by Design had a really super stand showcasing the best of their reclaimed furniture and accesories. The mirror on the back wall was incredible and I loved the lighting made from helmets used in the First World War. 

Catchpole & Rye had a wall covered in personalised cisterns - quite extraordinary. They also stock original French antique baths and basins that have been re-enamelled which were beautiful.

Pit-stop at Auntie Mame's Tea Room for some peppermint tea. I also had a slice of cake but I'd eaten it by the time I took the photo.

Andrew Martin's enormous stand showcased his Autumn 2011 collection. His coffee table slab of a book looked incredible too. (Christmas List).

So many of the stands were truly inspirational particularly the soft furnishings which ranged from bold and upfront at Harlequin to the calm, cool and collected Penny Morrison Interiors. 

All is all it was brilliant, my first visit and I loved every minute. The only thing I thought was a bit daft was putting The Games Room Company behind the Seminar Room - Susan Llewellyn's talk was punctuated with the sounds of nearly PinBall enthusiasts.

I left Decorex a little late and stopped for lunch at nearby Como Lario before crossing the river and walking through Battersea Park to the Decorative Antiques Fair. Unlike Decorex which had it's air-con firmly on, the poor dealers and visitors to Battersea were treated to a hot box of sweltering temperatures with little to no air circulation. It was such a shame as I think the fair looked the best I've seen it. This was my fourth visit so I managed to quickly navigate my way round to see familiar faces and catch up with some of the dealers listed in the SourceBook

Lorfords Antiques had a really excellent stand with some fantastic pieces - I love the original vintage New York Walk/Don't Walk signs!

Jenny Hicks had a beautiful array of unusual antique and vintage rugs, carpets, runners and textiles from Russia, Turkey, Persia, China and Tibet. 

Victoria Harvey @ Deuxieme had this Swedish grandfather clock available for sale. Just stunning!

I LOVE these original painted shelves from Puckhaber Decorative Antiques. Actually I love Puckhaber is general because they don't stick to a particular style -they mix it up so it's always fresh and interesting. 

The afternoon ran away with me and I suddenly found I had to hotfoot it back to Sloane Sq to get the tube back up to Highbury. I used the complimentary car shuttle driven by the most hilarious guy who told me and another girl about his experiences working as security for the Qatari and Saudi royal families. A little surreal but really fascinating.

Back in Highbury and driving past the Arsenal stadium I hear an absolutely enormous roar as Arsenal scored against Olympiakos in the Champions League. It was a great London moment.

An hour and a half later I was home. A whirlwind trip but so, so fun. I met lots of new and thoroughly interesting people and have come away with a head full of ideas and plans. Exciting!

Have a good weekend all and enjoy this wonderful Indian summer, long may it continue!

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