Monday, 28 March 2016

Salt House Mercantile, Bainbridge Island

This Easter weekend I've been spending time with my family at home in Leicestershire which has been so peaceful and I feel so well rested. As the Easter weekend comes to an end, I'm also super excited because I just booked a ticket for later this Spring to my other home from home - Seattle. I can't wait to go back and see our family and friends who live in Seattle and on Bainbridge Island - it's such a special place. Personally I love the US - it's such a positive place and I love the 'I can, I will' attitude.

When we were talking last night about the stores we love on Bainbridge, I remembered I still had a memory card full of photos of my last trip. In March. Last year.

I must admit, since working at Humphrey Munson I have been so hit and miss with this blog. I love this west egg blog, and I love writing, but it's hard to fit it all in and I never want to feel like I have to write it because I think that takes all the fun out of it. So today, I find myself with a spare hour before we brave the storm to walk the dogs and I've got some tea, and I'm going to take you on a mini tour of one of my favourite stores on Bainbridge Island - the Salt House Mercantile.

Located at 119 Winslow Way East on Bainbridge Island, when you walk in the door at the Salt House Mercantile it has the perfect summer vibe - clad in extra wide painted shiplap panels that suit the space perfectly, the interior design is simple, rustic and welcoming.

The window has an ever changing display of beautiful furniture and home accessories - this is the place to come to source gifts for any occasion.

I love this vintage sign which the owner sourced on a road trip - sadly it's not for sale.

I bought 6 of these soaps home to England on my last visit and when I opened up the bag the aroma was just incredible.

Fabric from Komedal Cloth (previously Bainbridge Blues) a natural fibre textile line designed on Bainbridge Island and woven in Italy.

As well as homewares and accessories, the Salt House Mercantile also stocks an amazing range of weird and wonderful ingredients and condiments - I so wish I could have brought more home with me. 

Curating homewares and accessories for a store is actually a lot harder than I think people realise, it takes such a lot of vision and perseverance to get out there and source really beautiful and fantastic products and then combine them in a way that reflects the store's brand.

Stores like the Salt House Mercantile have such a distinctive knack of combining really lovely products - I am such a sucker for packaging, I love typography and design and I would definitely buy a hand soap just because I love the label. I'm okay if that means I'm shallow.

As I'm sure everyone does, I love to have beautiful things in my home and I can't wait to go back to Bainbridge Island and stock up. I just spotted on instagram they are now stocking my favourite Bellocq tea so I will definitely be bringing some of that home.

Visit the Salt House Mercantile at 119 Winslow Way E, Bainbridge Island, Washington, follow then on instagram here or visit their facebook page for opening times, additional info. 

Sunday, 6 March 2016

Hotel Paradis, Paris

It's been over 6 weeks since I went to Paris for Maison et Objet and I honestly cannot believe where the time has gone, it really doesn't feel 5 minutes ago but there you go. I wrote about the amazing lighting companies I saw at Maison on the Humphrey Munson blog, take a look here if you want to see my favourites. There were so many inspiring interiors companies there, I can't wait to share them all here although admittedly at this rate it's going to take me all year to get round to it.

So anyway, first what I want to tell you about is a little gem I found tucked away in a typical Parisian street located half way between the Gare du Nord railway station and the prestigious Opéra Garnier in Paris. 

I discovered Hôtel Paradis thanks to instagram, I can't remember how I came across it - I guess down the usual rabbit hole of looking at hashtags and locations but as soon as I saw their photos and the location I knew it would be perfect. Maison et Objet is held at the Parc des Expositions which is north of Paris and the Eurostar goes into Gare du Nord so the location was spot on.

I got the first Eurostar from St. Pancras to Paris on the Sunday morning and arrived a few hours later. Hôtel Paradis kindly arranged an early check in so I could drop my bags off before heading out to lunch.

The interior design of the hotel is so cool, I loved all the different wallpapers they used and the mix of mid-century modern furniture with contemporary pieces.

This is the lovely reading area on the ground floor just beside the reception. I didn't really have much time to linger but there were some great design books and magazines, and you can order afternoon tea to while away an hour or so.

I think all the rooms have these distinctive headboards - once I'd got past the fact they reminded me of savoiardi sponge fingers - I thought they were actually quite cool. Each room is individually designed, and while compact, for me it was perfect as I wasn't spending much time in the hotel and I was on my own.

Do you see what I mean though about the sponge fingers?! ;)

LOVED the toiletries from Malin + Goetz - a New York based apothecary and lab. I loved the Peppermint shampoo but I'm planning to order the Neroli shampoo - I'm a bit late to the Nerouli party obviously - but the smell is out of this world.

The other thing I loved about Hôtel Paradis was the fabulous breakfast - the perfect way to start the day and the coffee is great.

All in all it's a pretty perfect spot for a day or two in Paris, and I will definitely be back. Oh, and one last tip - if you do stay at Hôtel Paradis, you must must must go for dinner at Le Richer - it's just around the corner and it is just amazing.

Hôtel Paradis, 41, rue des Petites-Écuries - 75010 Paris - France, Tel: +33 1 45 23 08 22

Images used with kind permission of Hôtel Paradis.