5am. That’s what time Darren and I get up most Saturday mornings to rummage around a car park in the pitch black. Rest assured we’re not involved in dodgy dealings, we’re Car Booters.
It would be easy to turn off the alarm and roll back over but the very thought of a mid-century piece of furniture stood amongst a load of toot is too hard to resist. The combination of a frugal Northern lass and bloke of Irish tinker decent means we love buying things second hand, be it furniture from the 50s and 60s to vintage toothpaste packaging with cool graphics.
So one Saturday a few weeks ago we dragged ourselves out of bed in search of a bargain or two. Within minutes we hit the jackpot, or should I say we nearly did. A rather smug fella beat us to a lovely Ercol vintage nest of tables by seconds. With gritted teeth we marched off cursing our luck, kicking ourselves for not putting our socks on quicker a short while ago.
But our spirits were soon raised when we stumbled across a lovely 1960s day bed, a thing of beauty that you’d imagine to find in Don Draper’s office rather than on the tarmac next to a burger van. We swiftly purchased it, mainly in order to wipe the smug look off Mr Ercol’s face who was hovering around in the background. Just one slight problem, how was the day bed going to fit into our hatchback? One of the perks of getting up at stupid o’clock on a Saturday is that you get to meet other obsessed people, nice people with huge vans big enough for day beds. So the day bed has now taken pride of place in our smallest bedroom/study.
The original fabric had seen better days so last Sunday we recovered it with some lovely grey fabric, gave the woodwork a dose of Danish oil and hey presto it looked as good as new. Whilst recovering it we found the makers label, Greaves & Thomas. After a quick bit of research online we discovered Greaves & Thomas furniture was sold in Heals during the swinging 60s and the very same one was listed on eBay for a fair bit more than we paid for ours. Bingo.
What’s the moral of the story? I’m not sure, maybe that it’s worth getting out of bed for a day bed.
Posted on 14th May 2013 by Rachel Mayes.
Tags: Car boot, Ercol
SELF, an exhibition exploring self-representation in painting and drawing, is now on at the Mall Galleries.
We’re particularly excited to see the self portrait by Amy Rogers. We have it on good authority she’s the next big thing in portraiture so go and have a look for yourself!
The exhibition runs until Friday 24th May with the Galleries open daily from 10am until 5pm.
Posted on 10th May 2013 by Henrietta Dauncey.
Tags: Mall Galleries, Self portraiture, Amy Rogers
Last night, I went to what continues to be my favourite restaurant in London, Ceviche. Situated in the heart of Soho on Frith Street, this Peruvian cuisine Bar & Restaurant has something for everyone.
With the growing emergence of Peruvian cooking as the new “in” food in London, Ceviche tops the charts with the likes of other restaurants such as Sushi Samba situated at the top of the Heron Tower and Lima, also in Soho.
The menu is a tapas style array of traditional Peruvian dishes to allow plenty of different flavours, from their “Don Ceviche” of fresh seabass in amarillo chilli tiger’s milk and lime chilli to something a little different such as “Corazon” which is beef heart (which is actually just a really nice steak!).
Their cocktails are also great if you just want to sit at the bar and have a drink. All traditional drinks from Peru as well as Peru’s famous beer, Cuzquena.
The interior is typical of a latin bistro and boasts atmosphere from the music to the art on the walls.
I would certainly recommend going to Ceviche for a night but try and book a table in advance as it’s very busy!
Posted on 3rd May 2013 by Andrew Quinn.
Tags: Ceviche, Peruvian
Six months ago I signed up to do the 2013 Paris and London Marathons, a task which was a bit easier said than done! I decided that I wanted to do them for a charity called Mind. Mind is a charity which helps people suffering from mental health. A team was set up by the charity and I learned a lot about what other people had gone through with their families and was inspired to hear some of the journeys some of the people made.
My first race was in Paris, Sunday 7th April. Over 50,000 people ran which made it quite congested along the way. The weather was perfect and I felt that the training was finally going to pay off. I ran it in 3 hours 23 minutes and was very happy with my time having beaten my Amsterdam time by 24 minutes. The route was amazing and started on the Champs Elysees and took you through the heart of Paris to a park in the East where it finally returned following Le Seine all the way past the Eiffel tower and finishing at the Arc de Triomphe. The entire experience was great and one to remember. All I had left was a 9 hour coach journey back and the London Marathon two weeks later…
Two weeks went past much faster than expected and the day had arrived. I woke up at 5:00am to eat a bowl of porridge and a plate of plain pasta, not the best breakfast I’ve ever had! I made my way to Greenwich where the atmosphere immediately hit you, everyone on the train seemed like they were running! I had decided that I wasn’t worried about my time and I wanted to soak up the atmosphere.
At the start line, I had the likes of Mo Farah stood twenty metres in front of me and the adrenaline started to kick in. 26.2 miles of crowds cheering everyone on and every now and then shouting your name! The sun was shining and it seemed like the conditions were perfect for a great day. After 9 miles I was on course to beat my Paris time but I started to feel a bit light headed and eventually made it to 12 miles where things took a downward turn. To cut a long story short I ended up in a medical tent for half an hour and told not to run any further! I was disappointed to say the least but started to feel ok again. I decided that I wanted to finish the race and walked the remaining 14 miles which took me a very long time! It was brilliant to see my friends and family at the finish line and relief had finally sunk in.
I can take away from the experience meeting many amazing people through the charity, having done two marathons in 2 weeks and thanks to my colleagues, friends and family raised over £2000 and still counting for a great charity! I said that would be my last marathon but after the way London worked out I think maybe one more…
Bring on London Marathon 2014!
Posted on 25th April 2013 by Andrew Quinn.
Tags: London Marathon, Paris Marathon
These stunning images by photographer David Orias, who captures the dawn and dusk light on waves just off the Californian Coast, have us dreaming of holidays and living by the sea.
Orias says of these shots, ‘ I often use the camera to see our world in ways our eyes cannot see. I do this by using long shutter speeds and camera motion to achieve this goal. I am often asked where the colors on my waves come from. I shoot mostly at dawn and the geography of the location allows higher ambient light levels before the full illumination by the sun. Colors are created by different weather conditions, amount of clouds or even smoke in the air from local wildfires which are often prevalent.’
Posted on 18th April 2013 by Henrietta Dauncey.
Tags: David Orias, California, waves
British designer Tom Dixon collaborated with Adidas to create a collection of design-driven travel bags, garments and footwear, at MOST (Museum of Science & Technology) as part of Milan’s Salone Del Mobile.
It seems that adaptability is the inspiration behind the concept. For example, a down coat becomes a sleeping bag. And two travel bags can hold a complete wardrobe, designed to contain everything needed for a week’s holiday in Milan.
The collaboration is an eclectic mix of Adidas’ technical & performance-based materials with Dixon’s refined design.
Posted on 12th April 2013 by Kinnersley Kent Design.
Kinnersley Kent Design is pleased to announce the opening of its latest retail design venture; the Arabic lingerie brand Soiree in Abu Dhabi. Based in the Al Wahda Mall, the store has succeeded in attracting a new customer base through a well-identified gap in the market. Before the completion of Soiree, there were no mid-market sensual lingerie brands which observed the cultural sensitivities of the region. Aimed at married couples, the company presents to potential customers fresh brand values which combine both sophisticated decadence and respectful eroticism at an accessible price point. Their products are neither excessively cheap, nor unduly premium. The company’s owners, Kamal Osman Jamjoom Group, are already highly respected in the area. They are proud to introduce this new sophisticated brand to the market. Soiree is poised for rapid growth across Saudi Arabia and the rest of the GCC.
Posted on 5th April 2013 by Kinnersley Kent Design.
Tags: Soiree, Kamal Osman Jamjoom, Arabic lingerie
I recently received my eagerly awaited copy of Ken Garland, Structure and Substance from Unit Editions. I first became aware of Garland when he was a visiting lecturer at the end of my first year of University and since then, I’ve always loved his thoughtful and simple approach to design.
Arguably one of the most important designers in England today, Garland made the decision early in his career to work closely with only small and mid-sized clients, allowing him and his studio to consistently push the boundaries of graphic design whilst incorporating ethical values at the same time. Now in his eighties, he is still an important part of the design community, lecturing to students and audiences across the world.
The book spans the entire career of Garland, from his student exercises in the 1950’s to his self-published photography booklets released in recent years – chronologically displaying his work with added stories and interviews, all put together and designed by graphic design studio Spin.
Posted on 4th April 2013 by Diego Bucciero.
Tags: Ken Garland
Kimchee is one of a few Korean restaurants taking London by storm at the moment and I had the pleasure of eating there last night.
Culturally and politically, Korea has generally been shrouded in secrecy, so it’s really exciting to visit such an Authentic Korean restaurant right here in London. Dishes come out of the kitchen still sizzling inside roasting stone bowls adding plenty of drama to the experience. The menu has great variation. For the more daring there are dishes like raw beef topped with raw egg, or maybe the beef tongue starter. If you’re not keen on your spicy foods, fear not. Most dishes are served with a small saucer of hot sauce which you can add yourself according to preference.
Definitely worth a try if you’re in London any time soon, but expect to wait. It’s popular and very busy, so you’ll have to wait for a table in a line and service can be a little slow.
71 High Holborn
Posted on 28th March 2013 by Chris Jackson.
Tags: Kimchee, Korean
Despite the rainy start and the threatening clouds, we’re happy to announce that the Great Comic Relief Bake Off Sale was a big success. Delicious cakes and treats for sale included Rachel’s ‘Northern’ rock cakes, lemon drizzle, chocolate & orange cake, rocky road cupcakes, carrot & coconut cake, caramel tarts, fig, walnut & coriander seed cake, mini banoffee pies, chocolate drizzled flapjacks and last, but not least, fairy cakes made by Glenn’s daughter Daisy. It turns out we have some great bakers at KKD (and one for the future!)
The cakes flew off the table thanks to the lovely passers by and our fantastic sales techniques. In particular Chris, our team mascot, who went to Tottenham Court Road to catch the lunch time rush…dressed in a Penguin onesie!
A huge thank you to our bakers, sellers and our very generous customers who helped us to raise a grand total of £189.05. The overall winner of the Bake Off was Dimple whose chocolate & orange cake was the first to sell out. Her prize is to make it again next week!
Posted on 15th March 2013 by Henrietta Dauncey.
Tags: Comic Relief, Red Nose Day, cake sale