Published in the Autumn 2012 issue of Heart Home magazine. Advertisements
The Lugger Hotel, Cornwall
The Lugger Hotel is the ideal setting for a Frenchman’s Creek-style romantic getaway. Once a smuggler’s inn, the hotel still retains its atmospheric fog-filled history, but now embraces a more relaxed and modern feel.
The boutique hideaway can be found in the delightfully coastal village of Portloe. Think whitewashed walls, lobster pots and fishing boats – and you won’t be disappointed. The hotel clings to the water’s edge, literally a stone’s throw from the Cornish surf. With a heavenly terrace for sampling locally sourced treats when the sun does shine, a cosy and chic interior for less pleasant weather and a luxourious spa for truly disappointing days, The Lugger is a seafront haven whatever the British weather throws your way.
Plus, in Portloe, with miles of rugged coastal path to explore, little mobile phone signal and no street lamps, you can really get away from it all.
Artists’ Beach House, Whitstable, Kent
If you’re dreaming of Great British summer holiday, what could be better than your very own cottage on the beach? Set on the edge of Tankerton Beach in Kent, surrounded by wild woodland, the Artist’s Beach House is an idyllic setting for the ultimate beachside break.
You can spend your days sunbathing on the sand, reclining in your hammock or frolicking in the surf – there’s even an outdoor shower for rinsing off afterwards. The white, wood clad beach house was built in 1906 and retains all of its vintage charm, with a wrap around veranda and chic period features. The veranda is the perfect spot to enjoy 180° views of the ocean, or indulge in some seaside cuisine – fish n’ chips anyone?
The Artists’ Beach House is easily accessible from London, too. After just a 90 minute train ride you’ll be able to hear the sound of the surf and sink your toes into the sand.
Titchwell Manor, Titchwell, Norfolk
Set above the North Norfolk coastline in the pretty village of Titchwell, Titchwell Manor is a perfect bolthole from which to explore Norfolk’s sweeping stretches of sandy coastline.
The county’s beaches will delight bird watchers, sand castle builders and sun seekers alike. Marshes and woodland sit alongside miles of sand that are just crying out for a picnic blanket. When you’ve selected the perfect sun-soaked spot indulge in a lunch of local crab and deliciously salty samphire.
Titchwell Manor itself is an elegant Victorian manor. Simply designed, with calm, coastal shades and luxurious fabrics, it’s an ideal place to wipe the sand off your feet and refresh after a day on the beach. With ambitious, bold and eclectic menus, foodies won’t be disappointed by dishes on offer in the Manor’s restaurant either.
This charming hotel, set on the edge of Titchwell Marsh, is the perfect treat for a summery weekend away.
Published in the summer issue of Heart Home magazine.
Clarissa Hulse is well known for her lively and vibrant botanical designs. The exciting prints, which capture the colours and shapes of the natural world, can now be found in hundreds of department stores and exclusive boutiques across the globe.
We meet Clarissa in pretty North London at her studio. The building was once home to the chauffeurs who worked in Islington’s grand houses, but it now it serves as Clarissa’s studio, and will soon be converted into her family home, too.
‘I started my business in 1994 completely by accident!’ says Clarissa. ‘I was hand printing scarves and I got an order from Liberty and then Barney’s in New York saw my scarves in Liberty – then I had an order from Neiman Marcus and before I knew it I had orders coming out of my ears. All of a sudden I had to employ people and get a bigger studio. I had a business before I knew what I was doing!’
Clarissa’s business was a challenge to begin with. ‘We had a lot of ups and downs,’ she says. Now though she employs 3 full time and 3 part time staff to help her manage the ever-increasing work load.
In 2002 she expanded and launched her first cushion collection. She quickly sold the collection to Heals, The Conran Shop, Liberty and Selfridges. ‘I just knew I was really on to something!’ she says. After that the business grew into lampshades, wallpapers and fabric, before she was asked by House of Fraser to design bed linen.
Although her career really began in fashion, she says: ‘I felt happy with the move into interiors because in fashion everything is very fickle. People are much more conscious of what is “in” and what is “out”. With homeware people just buy what they really love.’
When coming up with the ideas for her designs she sometimes starts with sketches. ‘A lot of my designs originally start from photography or plants that I’ve gathered from trips to the countryside though,’ says Clarissa. ‘Some photographs I take in situ, but other plants I’ll take home and press. I also might take a picture of an amazing sunset or beautiful flower for colour and inspiration.’
‘For the next fabric and wallpaper collection I’m doing I’ve actually done a lot of research online, which I’ve never done before,’ says Clarissa. ‘It’s a very different way of working. On the one hand it’s very frustrating because you’re sat at a computer and it doesn’t affect you in the same way that being out there experiencing nature does, but at the same time the enormous breadth of what you can find is just mind blowing. I think it’s good to change the way you work and challenge yourself every now and again.’
She also finds inspiration in the area around her. When she is in need of a little natural inspiration, Highbury Fields, with its vast expanse of green grass, is a must-visit. As is Angel’s Camden Passage, bursting with quirky shops and cafes. It’s a little haven of creativity – and only a short walk away from Clarissa’s studio.
A favourite haunt of hers is The Elk in the Woods, a cafe and restaurant with impeccably designed, wonderfully eccentric interiors. After seeing the plush fabrics and bold prints for ourselves its clear why it’s one of Clarissa’s favourites! While visiting Clarissa we popped into nearby Thomas Kleibrink, where Clarissa bought a cute vintage cup and saucer and Annie’s Vintage Costume and Textiles where we couldn’t help but try on some hats – we also stumbled upon a newly opened shop, Folklore, which Clarissa loved. ‘What I love about London is that you come across new things all the time!’ she says. Clarissa also showed another of her favourite places, the Little Angel Theatre – a puppet theatre for children which showcases amazing puppets and props.
Before we left we asked Clarissa what she hoped to achieve next. ‘Life is totally nuts at the moment – I feel like I’m spinning hundreds of plates!’ says Clarissa. ‘But I’ve got a great nanny and a great team and because this is my own business there is a lot of flexibility. Travel is the one thing I really miss since having children. I used to go to India all the time. Now they are getting older though I hope I’ll be able to start travelling again.’
‘I still feel like really I’m an artist. I want to work with new techniques and new fabrics and I’d like to do more arty projects. Most of all though I do miss doing scarves and I’ll definitely go back to that.’
Published in the Summer issue of Heart Home Magazine. View the magazine here.
On the morning her twins leave home for university, Eva Beaver throws tomato soup over a chair she spent years embroidering and gets into bed…
She no longer wants to clean up after her obnoxious family, host disappointing dinner parties or keep up appearances. As she climbs into bed she quickly decides, to the dismay and confusion of her loved ones, that she is going to stay there for an entire year.
Initially her family and nosey neighbours are convinced that she is mad, or suffering from some kind of breakdown, but Eva assures them she is perfectly well. With the help of a friendly window cleaner and an obliging handy man, Eva starts removing the evidence of her old life. Along with her unworn shoes and stained party dresses go the years she spent living a half life, playing the role of dutiful wife and caring for the children who she’s never really understood.
First she gives away her clothes, then her bedroom furniture and then Eva paints her entire room blindingly white, until all that remains of before is her beloved Chanel makeup and, of course, the bed. In the year that follows, her children Brian Junior and Brianne turn from quiet teenagers into threatening and socially inept mathematical masterminds; her disillusioned husband moves in with his mistress in a glorified shed at the bottom of the garden and Eva begins a strange courtship with Alex the banker boy turned handyman she hired to rid her of all her material possessions.
As her eccentric family carries on living around her and Eva battles with her inner turmoil, a host of lost souls gather outside the Beaver household, convinced that she is an angel. Through all the absurdity and chaos Eva’s stationary existence creates, you can’t help but wonder: is she mad? Or is Eva actually the sanest of them all?
Although our heroine literally never leaves her bed, Sue Townsend’s novel is far from static. Eva’s refusal to move triggers action and animation from those around her. From a horrifically scarred war hero and a suicidal cab driver, to a hard edged nurse and the promiscuous pathological liar Poppy, a herd of misfits push their way into Eva’s life.
The Woman Who Went to Bed for a Year flits between being hilarious and deeply uncomfortable. Charming and aggravating in equal measure, at its heart lies a life misspent. Townsend’s novel is a perceptive and touching depiction of suburban family life in all its mundane glory.
Stand up comedian Nat Luurtsema has suddenly found herself a victim of the recession…
At 28 and unable to find somewhere affordable or vaguely habitable to live in London, she is faced with having to move back in with her parents in Watford. She does contemplate finding her and boyfriend Craine a comfy looking cardboard box, but eventually they both decide that moving back home is the more attractive option. Anyway it’ll only be for a month. Or at least that’s how it begins…
Soon Nat finds herself stuck in the middle of her parent’s strange routine. She is bemused by their incessant cleaning, silly arguments and insistence on tiny amounts of bathwater. With her possessions confined to the garage, Nat spends her days watching gruesome crime drama on TV, trying (unsuccessfully) not to make a mess and being judged for the amount of Cheerios she eats for breakfast.
Cuckoo in the Nest is warm, cleverly written and wonderfully funny. If you’ve ever found yourself back in your childhood bedroom, or realised you’re not quite living the normal adult life you thought you would be by now, Nat’s hilarious memoir will certainly strike a chord.
For our Spring issue, Heart Home were lucky enough to spend some time with bespoke furniture maker, Johnny Egg. We found him with wife Lucy in the aptly named Egg House. They share their Essex home with two dogs, one cat, a handful of chickens and hundreds of furniture prototypes…
Read the article at Hearthomemag.co.uk.
Published in the Spring 2012 issue of Heart Home magazine.
Heart Home had the pleasure of spending one cold November morning with Lee Broom, ELLE Decoration’s newly proclaimed Designer of the Year…
We met at Lee’s studio gallery which is located in the middle of Shoreditch, London’s mecca for young creatives. His studio is the place where Lee turns his fantasy into reality. For him, making his concepts real and allowing other people to experience them is the best part of being a designer. In his studio there are no limitations. “We do what we want. And when we’ve got exactly what we want visually, then there is the laborious task of working out how we do it” says Lee. In some cases, his creations are about “doing something that seemed perfectly illogical”. The results are neon edged dining chairs, studded footstools and vintage decanter light shades – wonderful collections which bridge the gap between interiors and installation art.
Unsurprisingly Lee’s creations are inspired by fashion; he studied Fashion at Central St Martins and has since worked under the legendary Vivienne Westwood. But he is also influenced by London’s architecture. He says “I’m just always looking up in London. Sometimes you’ll see the side of a building and I can see a coffee table instead…”
Published in the Winter 2011 issue of Heart Home magazine.
Leave the stresses and strains of everyday life behind and retreat into the countryside this spring. Whatever your budget, we’ve found three of the best secluded spots for a weekend away…
Read the article at Hearthomemag.co.uk.
Published in the Spring 2012 issue of Heart Home magazine.
Issue 6 of Razz My Berries magazine
Published in spring 2011