darsham nurseries

my favourite place in suffolk is darsham nurseries – its a smaller version of petersham nurseries – with a lovely cafe/restaurant, gift shop and lots of interesting plants to buy.  the food uses locally sourced  seasonal ingredients- some of them grown at the nursery itself.  the beautiful planting and vegetable garden and summer shed are all inspirational.  they are now selling my book ‘stolen glimpses’ and a selection of my flower cards.   i actually pass it on the way to my cottage, so it makes a good stopping place for a cup of tea and homemade cake plus a plant.  i have really taken to succulents, and Laura has made the most amazing tray to cover my water butt container filled with succulents – but they are great plants to put indoors, especially in bathrooms.


new york and eating

as you all know i originally started the blog to encourage me to take more photographs, but although the first few started with just a photo, i gradually started to add more words – and now,  its actually become my address book and source finder.  even I have to refer to it to remember the names of places, things, restaurants that i have been to.  its amazing how quickly information can change though, from one year to another, things can close, change name or be replaced – so often i reissue older posts and update them.

the search engine within the programme is limiting, but at least I can browse through categories.   i wondered who came up with the term ‘blog’ – its actually a pretty ugly word – shortened from web log – they emerged in the late 1990’s, mainly from individuals who used it like me  – more like a personal diary, but now they are professionally edited and are big additions to corporate businesses.

anyhow, here is my list of interesting cafes and restaurants in new york that are worth visiting – most i have been to, or they have been personally recommended to me via friends who live in new york.   one of the trials and tribulations of travelling is discovering decent affordable places to eat – it really annoys me to waste not only money, but time in a bad restaurant.  by the way, remember that portions are generally more generous than uk sizes, so bear that in mind when ordering.

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comme des garçons

just back from a few days in New York – it was a last minute decision as my very good friend Yuki invited me to stay in a friend’s flat there – it was also a good excuse to see the exhibition Art of the In-between – Rei Kawakubo and Comme des Garcons.    when i finished university, all those years ago, i worked for Yuki and hence Comme des Garcons, as she was the UK press officer.  fashion life in the 80’s was exciting and unpredictable.  this show at the metropolitan museum of art is a visual history of the art, skill, expression and inventiveness that Rei Kawakubo is so good at.  the choice of outfits running from the 1980’s to today are obviously the most outlandish and unwearable ones, but represent her wit and design superiority in the design world.   also showing are the photographs of the inspirational photographer Irving Penn.   definitely worth a visit to New York.



we used to choose our flowers purely because you liked the look of them, but now their significance and meaning plays such a big part of why you choose that flower. i  love the simple daisy – always overlooked, but when woven into a garland looks beautiful in a childs hair. The flower symbolism associated with the daisy is purity, innocence, loyal love, beauty, patience and simplicity.31. Baby - Lampshade dress, Grey,1030050910_1959

for eilleen

it would have been Eilleen’s birthday today, so this is for the most inspirational lady i know.

You inspire me
When my eyes begin to glaze
You inspire me
In so many ways
When I’m on the ground
You seem to know
How to pour blessings down
And spread them all around

You inspire me
When my well is almost dry
You inspire me
And in the twinkling of an eye
I’m back on my feet
You’re so inspiring to me

The road is long
And it winds through the night
But when you’re near
You let there be light

You inspire me
When my eyes begin to glaze
You inspire me
In so many ways
I’m back on my feet
You’re so inspiring
I don’t have to wish upon a star
That’s how inspiring you are
the beautiful lyrics of Nick Lowe

82,white_bud_rose 81.single_white_rose

white roses from my cards range – eilleen’s favourite flower.

japanese knives

if you are looking for a great unusual gift for that person who seems to have everything, then go to the japanese knife shop in baker street, W1.  it has an amazing display of knives for every occasion – you can even have something special engraved on the knife of your choice!  however there is a saying that giving knives or scissors is a sign of severing your friendship, if you do receive a knife for a gift, you are supposed to return the thanks by sending a penny – in effect, you are purchasing your gift!  depends how superstitious you are!   kataba in brixton pop up has a beautiful collection, plus they do knife sharpening and sell some japanese ceramics – its really interesting at Brixton pop up, lots of fun places to eat, makes going to brixton village even more worth it.

keeping house on columbia road is another destination and it means you can also get your flowers. Gill Wing in islington also has a wide range of kitchen items, but my all time favourite kitchen shop is Summerhill and Bishop in Holland Park – charming and stylish, it has the french provence feel with a modern touch.


trying to make a bathroom different is quite hard – using tiles can change the feel, colour and mood of a room – i found these lovely hand made tiles in Darsham from smoke and fire for the cottage bathroom in suffolk.   i actually went into the shop, fell in love with the tiles and then thought where can i  put them. i was quite lucky that the sink  i bought was slightly hexagonal and the old mirror too.

absolutely loved these coloured roof tiles at the colombe d’or – and also the tiles that framed the bottom of the walls and stairs.  such an inspiring place – i couldn’t stay still or put my camera down…….  the colombe d’or is one of my favourite hotels that i have been to.
you can simply add colour to a bathroom or kitchen by laying a beautiful floor with encaustic floor tiles.  Encaustic floor tiles are coloured with oxides while the design is being formed, which gives a soft merging of colour, quite classical and antique in finish.  The colours are muted, yet still give you lovely colours without being too bright.  you can buy encaustic tiles from Fired Earth and Terra Firma tiles.   fired earth have a new collection based on the original designs of the london underground -including beautiful edwardian tiles and signage tiles such as ‘mind the gap’.

colombe_d'or30Jun2014_0052 roof29Jun2014_0245 29Jun2014_0198 colombe_d'or29Jun2014_0195