Category Archives: Shopping

Design spotlight: Eclect Design

Built from their shared love of Art Deco and Mid-Century homewares, Janette Reid and Daniel Snowden have created new online boutique Eclect Design to offer an array of modern retro pieces for the home.


Eclect stocks a variety of brands inspired by the owners’ love of Scandi and industrial influences, from House of Rym and Superliving to Muurla and also, exclusively for Eclect, the American Modern line of pottery by Russel Wright.


This pottery was created by Wright in 1929 however, more recently, Los Angeles based Bauer pottery have bought the trademark to reproduce Wright’s iconic designs which Eclect stock exclusively in the UK.

Joseph Alexander Goode

 They also stock more local designs including Hackney-based artist Joseph Alexander Goode’s eccentric art works that adorn cushions, duvet cover sets and kitchen accessories.


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    To say that the acclaimed children's book illustrator and, more recently, ceramics artist Stella Baggott is an old friend of mine is something of an understatement. We grew up together in the same Shropshire village and lived just metres apart - in fact we were born just days apart. The…
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    Last week I wrote a piece for the Daily Mail about the rise of nu-Victorian... Move over minimalism. Over the past few months interiors have been getting busier, grander and increasingly ornate. You might have noticed yourself buying more plump, colourful cushions, installing a decorative, quirky lamp or even a bell…
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    I love this shot from the latest H & M campaign – it taps into so many key trends right now, from the rough luxe walls to the rustic hewn wooden stool and the industrial style shelves. And if that wasn't enough it's even got the dreamy beach-chic shower curtain (with…
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Ready, steady, sow

At this time of year, I love to spend my evenings poring over seed catalogues, searching for new and heritage varieties of plants and imagining my garden as a mini Great Dixter-meets-Sissinghurst-meets-Barnsley House.

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I love romantic old-fashioned scented sweet peas, delicate lacy wild English flowers such as Orlaya grandiflora, Cosmos bipinnatus, Scabiosa in pure white as well as the deepest, bruisiest plum…

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Tonight I’ve been swooning over the poppies and flowers from the genius cut flower specialist Sarah Raven. Not only does she pioneer old English garden varieties, she also loves bold and blowsy planting schemes that conspire to create a ravishing and heady display, that can be grown for a few pounds, from seed, in just 12 weeks.

So, here’s my latest haul (I hope my husband doesn’t read this post!).

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Ammi majus (Bishop’s flower) – as close to the clouds of frothy cow parsley that line country lanes as you can get in a formal garden.

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Scabiosa atropurpurea (White) – a pin cushion white cenre with a fluttering tutu of white petals that stand on tall slender stems.

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Cosmos bipinnatus ‘Purity’ – Simply the most simple, graceful white cut flower that’s a must in any garden, or vase for that matter. And it’s so easy to grow!

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Cerinthe major ‘Pupurascens’ – the shower of bell-like flowers annual honeywort is the colour of sloe berries is topped with a silvery green hood. I’ve struggled to grow these in the past but they are so gorgeous that I will persevere again this spring.

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Hibiscus trionium – I haven’t grown this before, but the pale ivory-green flowers with a deep crimson-black centre have seduced me into trying it- the paper lantern seed pods will look good into autumn, too.

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Lagurus ovatus (Bunny’s Tail grass) – I always worry that I garden in an “all fur coat and no knickers” kind of way, by which I mean all annual flowers and no foliage of shrubs, not that I’m some kind of exhibitionist gardener. So, I thought I’d try this grass as a counter-point to the flowers, but that will still offer some structure and architecture as well as a natural meadowy look.

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Nigella papillosa ‘African Bride’ – I love the contrast of white and black in the same flower, so this pure white petal with its inky blue centre and fronds of feathery foliage is drama on a stem.

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Papaver somniferum ‘Black Single’ – I hadn’t seen this wild mauve-purple single opium poppy before, but is is so sultry, I can’t wait to see it in my garden.

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Papaver somniferum ‘Dark Plum’ – bold, brave, beautiful, I plan to contrast this against the acid green foamy foliage of Euphorbia oblongata. Heavenly.

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The list I didn’t buy but still want is TWICE as long!

Once I’ve got my seedlings growing, I’ll post some pictures of my progress.

Growing your own flowers from seed is so easy, rewarding and affordable, and you can grow them even in a tiny pot. What’s more bees, butterflies and other pollinators LOVE annual flowers so everyone should find a little space in their garden or balcony to grow some.

Images copyright Jonathan Buckley, taken from

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Children’s wallpaper we love

New for SpringSummer 2015 is this gorgeous wallpaper from Great Little Trading Company – a brilliant online interiors store that specialises in innovative, bright and fun children’s rooms and nursery furniture, homeware and interiors.

GLTC bedroom

Their first wallpaper collection of six colourful and bold designs is made right here in Great Britain and the wallpapers are perfect for bedrooms, playrooms or a nursery. Patterns range from sorbet spot, to rainbow alphabet and, my favourite, grey star, and cost £25 a roll.

GLTC stars

Order from

The shape of spring to come: interiors trends 2015

Want to know what all the best-dressed homes will look like this year? Here’s a taste of what’s in store for 2015 – ten easy interiors trends that are on the up

Burnished metals and rose coppers are having a moment, adorning everything from lighting to vases, even cutlery. “What better way to add a touch of luxe and glamour to your room?” says interior design stylist Sarah Slimm, who works with the likes of Hammonds Furniture. “Set to make an impact in the coming seasons these metallic finishes will dominate the lighting and accessories market with surfaces ranging from smooth and shiny to a worn and riveted.”

habitat copper

Go dark and moody, as seen at Habitat ( and Heals (, or pale and feminine, a look espoused by M&S ( for spring 2015.


It’s no coincidence that Dulux’s ( colour of the year for 2015 is Copper Blush. “The powder pink and rosy metal story shows no sign of waning as the interior design world heads into spring,” confirms Alicia Kaper from Joss and Main. “The secret to making this interiors trend look feel sophisticated is to choose rosy homeware that sits of the duskier side of pink, allowing burnished copper to gleam against it.”


Botanic gardens

Take your cue from Kew Gardens this year and let fauna and flora into your living room and home design – and we’re not just talking about living plants. Leaf, floral and insect prints adorn everything from sofas and cushions to rugs and prints this season.


M&S SS15
M&S SS15


Look for papers and fabrics from nature-inspired Scottish designers Timorous Beasties (, bold hothouse palms that unfurl at House of Hackney (, or for moss-green velvet sofas, fern prints, and cushions buzzing with bees and moths – make a beeline for M&S, whose Botanical collection has to be one of their strongest statements for years. “The vibrant greens and beautiful insect prints will rejuvenate your room for the spring – it’s my favourite interiors trend this season,” explains Amy Horlacher, Living Buyer for M&S.

House of Hackney’s Palmeral print

At Liberty (, The Secret Garden collection of fabric and wallpapers launches in early 2015, taking its inspiration from the classic 1911 novel. “The book is filled with wonderful textile, colour and design references and amazing narration of the natural world. A diverse series of flora, foliage and texture will reflect the hues of the changing seasons,” comments Emma Mawston, Head of Design at Liberty Art Fabrics Interiors.

liberty secret garden

For a lighter take on the trend, try Laura Ashley’s ( whimsical Palm House range in apple green and topaz – think palm leaf-print wallpaper, hummingbirds and exotic flowers.


Grey bedrooms
Scandi-inspired, grey furniture adds a softness and calm feel to bedrooms. Yorkshire-based Time4Sleep’s ( new Camden bedroom collection comes in pebble, a muted stone shade; Loaf’s latest Clementine and Lourdes wooden furniture has a distressed, grey wash; and The French Bedroom Company’s ( grey painted rattan bed (£1295).




Salvage, reclaim and up-cycling
Thanks to the BBC’s Great Interior Design Challenge series people are painting up old cupboards, revamping furniture with new handles and patterns, and finding new uses for old things (suitcases as coffee tables or even shelves; baskets and lobster pots as light shades).

Junk shops and reclaim yards will be happy in 2015, as we breathe new life into pre-loved items to create unique pieces that add character to a home. Get some easy DIY home design ideas from Farrow and Ball’s website, or buy into the look at, whose rustic kitchen range has a very salvage feel about it – chicken wire lampshades and crate-style shelving, reclaimed from old buildings anyone?  loaf crate shelf loaf indiana lamp


Moody blues
Midnight hues, chalky Vermeer shades and bright cobalts – blue is the next “grey” for walls and interiors.

The new Abigail Ahern range for draws on the Victorian era for inspiration
The new Abigail Ahern range for draws on the Victorian era for inspiration

“Autumn’s key colour story evolves as we head into 2015, with inky blues transforming into bold, glossy cobalts and vibrant turquoises as the interiors world hankers for lighter, brighter shades,” notes Alicia Kaper, Joss & Main’s resident style expert. “Rich and uplifting, bright blues layer beautifully together and work best with natural tones. Pair your picks with relaxed fabrics such as muted linens and cottons which allow your bold blues to really pop.”

Artistic Blue -  low res
Think Artistic Blue from Ecos Organic Paints ( as a darker, subtler backdrop, then add a statement piece of furniture, such as Abigail Ahern for’s Abigail sofa in Prussian blue, or Habitat’s new Elder storage unit in a faded aqua blue (£395).

habitat blue shelf


The Grand Canyon
Take inspiration from the arid tones of the desert: yellow ochre, burnt orange, sandy tans and rich earth tones of sepia, sienna and baked clay, to create a natural and strong colour palette in your home, with décor to match. Dulux has an entire colour range – Big Nature, Small Me – designed to capture the sun-scorched feel of the Arizona desert; vast and intimidating yet strikingly beautiful.

dulux big nature dulux bug nature

Both Tesco ( and George Home ( have looked to the Wild West for ideas, too, to create trends that embrace the raw, organic nature. At George, things have gone a bit Navajo, with bold tribal prints, dreamcatchers and cactus plants juxtaposed against copper and faded greys. Tesco has gone a more Western with its New West trend, that features cushions that could be straight out of the Joshua Tree National Park, chunky leather furniture and patchwork prints that wouldn’t look out of place on a poncho in Santa Fe.

tesco ww


Industrial revolution
There’s no need to turn your home into a warehouse or office – but a few pieces of industrial-influenced accessories or furniture will let any guests know that you’re ahead of the curve in the British style stakes. Anything with skinny metal legs, or old museum or library-style filing or display cabinets would bring your home instantly up to date; as would an old-fashioned Edison-style filament light bulb in an industrial exposed wire shade (try BHS’s Billie Bulb light, £25,

BHS Billie light
BHS Billie chandelier

Head to Heals, where a new Industrial Chic collection has just landed; find apothecary-style drawers at Asda; very industrial style tables and metal chairs at Tesco or shop the new Salvage Retro collection from Dunelm (, which features old-fashioned wooden filing cabinets as storage units (£299.99) and wheeled coffee-tables (£149.99).

Heals Industrial Chic range


tesco industrial
Tesco SS15


George at Asda


Paint Effects
You might have thought that the era of “paint effects” – rag rolling, sponging, faux wood effects – had died along with TV’s Changing Rooms, but this year, you might just be reaching for your rollers again.

At Dulux, they’re trying to encourage us to mix paints and create ombré effect walls, as well as to contrast window recesses in different colours and to paint each wall of a room in complementary-yet-contrasting tonal shades. Repeat after me “this is definitely NOT a feature wall”. Their website, is full of home design tips and style ideas to help you get creative with a paint brush or roller.

dulux ombre wall

dulux ombre paint

dulux paint effectdulux paint effect 2

Farrow and Ball ( has created a guide to painting and adding paint patterns to furniture and walls. And Laura Ashley’s new decorative paint rollers (£30, are a quick and easy way to get creative with your walls or furniture – you simply dip the roller in paint, which in turn covers the print cylinder as you roll it onto a surface.

FB dresser FB bureau


“Simplicity is key for this graphic trend,” says Emma Mann, Head of Home Design at Sainsbury’s, of a look that is grounded with a pared-back palette of black, off-whites and greys. Striking patterns on textiles and ceramics give the trend an eclectic, almost tribal feel for 2015. Sainsbury’s ( Monochrome Ceramic vase £10 and Furniture Village’s ( boho-eclectic Harlequin corner sofa have a relaxed, modern vibe that doesn’t feel as harsh as some monochrome schemes, while M&S has gone Oriental.

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by Sainsburys Monochrome Ceramic Vase, £10


On the tiles
Move over laminate flooring, tiling is taking over. And the bolder and brighter the better. Patterns and geometric tiles are proving equally popular, with the likes of Bert and May, British Ceramic Tiles, Fired Earth and Original Style all paving the way. “Tight, small patterned tiles in monochromatic hues alongside bold large geometric tiles in a kaleidoscopic palette dominated this year’s London Design week,” confirms interior stylist Sarah Slimm. “This is a versatile trend applicable to all areas of the house from bathroom, kitchen and hallway floors and walls to a beautiful piece of showcase art in the living room. It’s a key trend that will definitely be picking up pace over the coming season.”



This article appeared in the Daily Mail on 2 January 2015.


Handmade wreaths




It’s no secret that I’d love to be a gardener, a florist, or better yet, a flower farmer, but it’s easier said than done in when you live in south east London.









But this year I have finally started making my annual Christmas wreaths as a commercial venture, after five years of making them for friends and family.




They are all unique and use local and traditional festive foliage, from ivy and holly to bay and eucalyptus, with pine cones, cinnamon, oranges, thistles and berries, designed to suit an array of different door styles.







I can also make bespoke designs to suits your style and door – call or email me for more info! And I can deliver to The local Blackheath, Hither Green, Greenwich, Lewisham areas.







Local is the new Black

Forget Black Friday and panic internet shopping, instead find an unusual, creative gift from an independent boutique on a traditional high street

Contrary to popular belief, some small towns and local shops are thriving and are a joy to visit – so make a weekend of your festive shopping with a stay at one of these indie towns

Frome, Somerset

This small, Somerset town is home to a creative crowd – as reflected by the incredible collection of independent shops clustered around Catherine Hill and the area known as St Catherine’s, a cobbled hill or narrow lanes and quaint small stone buildings.

Shop at: Home bodies will love Elizabeth Lee Interiors for stylish new and vintage gifts; Owl is an arty mix of soft furnishings, prints, art and ceramics; and Sister’s Guild has gorgeous homeware, toys and clothes for children. Pilgrimage sells worldly lanterns, blankets and upcycled or Fairtrade gifts with an interiors-spin. Crafty types would appreciate anything from Marmalade Yarns or Millie Moon, a haberdashery and sewing school with lovely fabric, ribbons and buttons that’s a real trove to rummage through. You’ll find beauty products, handmade soaps and candles at Herbs on the Hill; while vintage and antiques fans are well served by Donna May, The Dandy Lion and The Life of Riley.

Re-fuel at: Once you’ve made it to the top of St Catherine’s, you’ll be rewarded by Paccamama, a small café with an Italian vibe, and Crockers, a coffee house-meets-art gallery; at the bottom of the hill Garden Café combines a deli (good for foodie gifts), with a café and wine bar. The Archangel pub is a cosy place for a longer lunch.

Stay at: The Talbot Inn ( in nearby Mells is a cosy gastropub with rustic-yet-stylish rooms from £95 B&B. What’s more, they’re hosting their own Christmas market on Saturday 13 December.


Helmsley, North Yorkshire

This pretty market town in the heart of the North York Moors and a mecca for foodies and walkers alike, with an abundance of cafes and proper pubs – but the shops are a fantastic draw, too.

Shop at: Get into the country vibe at Carter’s Countrywear, which has everything from Dubarry wellies and Yorkshire tweeds to cheeky country animal cufflinks, leather hip flasks, and homeware too. Find walking and country books and gifts at Claridges. Duncombe Park shop sells pretty gardening accessories and objects alongside home gifts and jewellery.

Castle stores will cater for the knit-wit in your life with wools and needles, patterns and books; magpies will love something sparkly from Libby Butler Jeweller’s or from Nice Things and Sienna, which are both Aladdin’s caves or jewellery, candles, toys and gifts.

Gastronomes can be kept happy with a treat from Helmsley Wines, Hunters of Helmsley where more then 70% of the produce is sourced from Yorkshire, Helmsley Traditional Sweet Shop (fab for stocking fillers), Auntie Anne’s Bakery – famous for its Yorkshire Curd Tart – or the town’s newest shop, Helmsley Brewing Company.

Lastly, creatives will love Look Gallery and Saltbox Gallery, which has gorgeous local prints, ceramics, jewellery and art that support’s the area’s artists.

Refuel at: Scott’s of Helmsley does really good, old-fashioned fish and chips at their stylish restaurant on Bridge Street; run by local farmers George and Ann Hawkins, The Beck Tearoom is a great place to warm up with a toasted tea cake or a steak and ale pie.

Stay at: The Black Swan hotel (doubles from £135 B&B, in the heart of the town, has its own outdoor ice rink for Christmas this year, and roaring fires inside to warm you up.


Lavenham, Suffolk

This stunning medieval village in Suffolk – all half-timbered buildings, crooked cottages and a gaggle of lanes centred around a market square – has an almost Dickensian feel about it, and is the perfect setting for a Christmas shopping trip.

Shop at: As a former wool town, it’s no surprise to discover the Wool Room, which sells knitted clothes and accessories, jewellery and vintage bags, but today you’ll find many more artists that wool merchants here. And it shows – there are a handful of great galleries selling paintings and prints, ceramics, sculpture and jewellery, that would all make unique gifts, from the Lionhouse and Wildlife galleries, to Lavenham Contemporary and Kate Denton Sculpture.

Merchants Row is a home to a collection of independent shops and studios including a gift and toyshop, specialising in Steiff bears, and a few antiques, interiors and furniture shops.

For more interior inspiration, try Flutterby’s, who upcycle and repaint furniture and home accessories, the Cuckoo Flower and Water Street Glass. Lastly the shop inside the Tourist information office stocks an array of locally crafted gifts including lovely prints by local artists and Christmassy hand-crafted cushions.

Refuel at: Combine your shopping, your hobby and your coffee at Café Knit or grab a tea at the National Trust-owned Guild Hall. For something more substantial, Lavenham has a clutch of great pubs including the newly re-opened Angel and the Greyhound, which opened last month. Ten Lavenham is a stylish restaurant and bar for evenings.

Stay at: A night at the romantic and historic Great House (doubles from £99, with its award-winning restaurant and just five boutique rooms.



West Kilbride, Ayrshire

Scotland’s only designated craft town, this handsome village on Scotland’s west coast, overlooking the Isle of Arran, is promoting artists and rural craft, with a series of open studios spread among the independent shops that line the high street.

Shop at: Once, more than half of this small town’s shops were boarded up. Now, thanks to a local creative enterprise, several shops have been converted into studios for artists and crafters, while a church has been turned into the Barony Centre, an exhibition space to showcase the regions skills and where you can try out your own at various workshops. Now every shop in West Kilbride is filled, from independent book shops, sweet shops and haberdasheries, to the arty spaces dotted around Main Street.

You’ll find contemporary silverware from award-winning Marion Kane, whose customers include Ewan McGregor, hand-dyed yarns at Old Aunt Maiden, bespoke knits from McHattie and painted glass by designer Debbie Halliday, who also works for major British brands

Pick up decorative accessories, gifts and cards from Chookiebirdie and bespoke cards and stationery from Michele Crouch of Tallulahbelle Cards. Further down Main Street, Berry Boxter has lots of homely gifts, too.

Refuel at: The Barony Bites café makes a cosy pitstop for a cake and coffee, while The Waterside, just outside of town and on the beach, is the hot destination for lunch. Nearby Braidwoods is worth a visit for a Michelin-starred supper.

Stay at: Seamill Hydro (doubles from £120 B&B, has beach views, a spa, and the restaurant is a local favourite.

xmas shops


This feature appeared in Metro newspaper on 8 December, to see the print version click here:

Go now: Sebastian Cox

For one weekend only (this weekend, 6-7 Dec!), designer Sebastian Cox, who works with British coppiced hazel to create unique furniture and home accessories for the likes of Heals, will be opening a shop, close to his workshop in Deptford, south-east London.


He’ll be at Gallop on Deptford High Street with Nottingham-based textile designer Tori Murphy, and both will be showcasing their British wares as well as a collection of Christmas gifts and decorations.

If you’re heading to Cockpit Arts Open Studios this weekend it’s worth a detour to seek them out – and you can stop for pizza and a pint at the Big Red Pizza Bus (an indoor/outdoor pizza place built around an old Routemaster bus) on Deptford Church Street.


Open 11am-6pm Saturday and Sunday, with an open evening from 6pm-9pm on Saturday with mulled wine and cobnuts.


Merry Craftmas


Lush Design Studios at Cockpit Arts in Deptford
Lush Design Studios at Cockpit Arts in Deptford

Leave Black Friday weekend for the masses and make your way way to one of the vibrant and creative craft and artists independent fairs this advent – it’s a much more imaginative and enjoyable way to shop.
And you get something unique and handmade.
And… You’ll feel better for helping a local artist instead if a tax-dodging international corporate entity too!

Made in Clerkenwell
Made in Clerkenwell

Try these:

Crafty Fox, this weekend in Dalston; next weekend in Brixton; Peckham the weekend after.


Tea for One table from Made in Clerkenwell at Craft Central
Tea for One table from Made in Clerkenwell at Craft Central

Made in Clerkenwell at Craft Central –  today and tomorrow (to 30 Nov). At John’s Square.


Thornback and Peel at Cockpit Arts in Deptford

Cockpit Arts open studios in Holborn this weekend and Deptford next weekend.


We’re going on a (Paddington) bear hunt…

That quintessentially British bear (despite hailing from Darkest Peru!) Paddington, hits the cinema screen today in a star-studded film following the polite, bumbling bear’s adventures.

And to celebrate, Britain has gone  all gone soft – and cuddly – for a certain small bear from Darkest Peru, with a penchant for marmalade sandwiches. The Paddington Bear film, starring Hugh Bonneville, Julie Walters, Jim Broadbent and Ben Wishaw, only opens today, but he’s already making an impression elsewhere around the UK.

In London you can search for 50 different Paddington statues on the Paddington Bear trail or visit the exhibition at the Museum of London. Get into the look with wellingtons from hip boot brand Hunter or a blue duffle coat; or simply tuck in to Elevenses – with marmalade sandwiches, of course.

A Bear Called Paddington, Museum of London
This small, free exhibition feature original memorabilia, including author Michael Bond’s typewriter and Paddington’s actual costume from the film. Visit on 29-30 November and take part in Paddington’s Picnic Weekend when there will be storytelling, craft activities and even a chance to meet Paddington himself.


Toast & marmalade truffles, from £2
Using 70 per cent Pacari Piura Quemazon chocolate from darkest Peru, brown bread toast, butter and marmalade, star chocolatier Paul A Young has reimagined Paddington’s favourite foodstuff in confectionery-form.


The Paddington Curiosity Shop at Selfridges
The Paddington story began at Selfridge’s department store, when in 1956, author Michael Bond bought the last teddy on Christmas Eve – which then inspired the adventures of the bear from Darkest Peru. So it’s fitting that the a golden Paddington statue (one to tick off on the trail) takes over one of the windows, while Selfridge’s Wonder Room concept store has been taken over by all things Paddington. From one-of-a-kind archive pieces to props from the film it’s a trove of delights. Expect exclusive gifts and fashion items inspired by the much-loved bear, including a blue duffle coat from Gloverall (kids £109, adults £295) and Globetrotter suitcases (from £285).


Hunter boots, £95
The original gloss wellington boots, as favoured by the festival set, in military red – team them with a duffle coat for maximum Paddington effect.

Paddington Bear with wellies soft toy, £19.99
With his cardboard label saying “Please look after this bear”, shiny willies and blue felt duffle coat, this gorgeous bear is just like the original.

A bear called Paddington, Michael Bond, £10.99
The hardback edition of the very first book, originally published in 1958, has beautiful illustrations by Peggy Fortnum and tells the story of a bear, found at Paddington station, having travelled all the way from Darkest Peru with only a jar of marmalade, a suitcase and his hat.


Robertson’s limited edition Golden Shred, £2.29
Grab one of the limited gold label jars of the UK’s favourite marmalade featuring the new-look Paddington Bear from the film and the story about his inception on the jar. Exclusive to Selfridges,

 aqua tea portrait

Elevenses and afternoon teas
Known for his love of a snack – elevenses was his favourite – there are Paddington-themed afternoon teas popping up all over the place. At Aqua Shard the afternoon tea of orange marmalade macaroons, praline cream buns, chilli-chocolate taxis and orange blossom scones, is served 31 floors high in a battered suitcase (£34.50, At the Athenaeum you’ll find marmalade-glazed ham sandwiches, marmalade tarts and chocolate tea cups filled with orange and white chocolate mousse (£39.50, And at the Lowndes hotel you can try Elevenses – a morning ritual that Paddington Bear famously enjoyed with Mr Gruber – and a Pastuso cocktail (that’s Paddington’s original Peruvian name) as part of the Paddington Bear experience, which also includes a night at the hotel and a toy Paddington Bear (£252,

paddington cocktail

Paddington Pisco Marmalade Fizz, £7.95
The Fable in London’s Farringdon has created a cocktail that may leave you feeling like a bear with a sore head – Peruvian Pisco, lemon, sugar, Prosecco and two healthy dollops of marmalade. It even comes served with a mini marmalade sandwich.

Paddington wallpaper and fabric
Jane Churchill’s London Sights Paddington range of wallpaper and fabric have a vintage feel that will give any child’s room a timeless feel.

Paddington case

Paddington Bear suitcase gift, £20
This gorgeously-presented bath set contains shower gel, bubble bat, bath fizzers and a marmalade-shaped sponge – too cute by far to give to your little ones.

This feature appeared in Metro on 27 November 2014. To view the newspaper version visit

Woody open studios

I’m  a huge fan of artist Zara Wood, aka Woody, and follow her to art and craft fairs all over the place (one of her little Pirates prints hangs in my daughter’s bedroom).

So the prospect of a pop-up shop in her Brighton Studio is too good to miss, and a brilliant Christmas present pit-stop, too.

I love the naive, almost-Victorian style characters that she creates – the Little Treasures collection of miniature works of art housed inside vintage jewellery has been top of my Christmas wish-list for about the last five years!

The workshop is open for the next three weekends (28-29 Nov, 6-7 Dec, 13-14 Dec) as part of the Brighton Christmas Art Trail, when artists open their homes and studios to the public.