Monthly Archives: May 2015

Gotta love an Asiatic Pheasant

The remodelling of my friend’s elegant Rutland rectory continues apace and currently the kitchen is the focus of attention. Having hoiked out the central island, that had totally dominated the kitchen and left little room for any design manevres, the family now sit at a central table leaving lots of expanse to flow around the room. Crucially is also frees up valuable wall space for an antique oak dresser- bought from a local auction house.

My friend absolutey loves the designer Ben Pentreath’s style, a clever combination of classical English tradition with a modern twist. The plan is to paint the kitchen out in a earthy yellow colour and have the dresser decked out in classic blue and white china. The top level, and the most hard to reach, will house some lovely decorative antique plates. including the classic willow pattern, popular in 18th century England.
For the remainder I am going to suggest sticking with the blue and white theme, to keep the look slick and modern, but to incorporate modern and traditional designs. Sort of like the marriage of the house and its occupants, this mix reflects the fact that this is a period property housing a modern family.
I think as a base you need eight or so simple identical plates to stop the thing looking like a hot mess. For this I love either the canteen style from Fairmont & Main at SCP or the Cornish plates from John Lewis. Then you can add on individual extras, such as the beautiful weather plates designed by Faye Toogood from Rockett St George, the blob from Habitat and the classic Burleigh Asiatic Pheasant. I also LOVE adding the ‘fish n chip’ plate from the National Gallery.
Keeping it real with a family of four small boys, all plates below the top level are dishwasher an microwave safe.


Cornishware Dinner Plates
£56.00, set of four

Burleigh Asiatic Pheasants Plates, Blue
£9.00 – £14.50

Sophie Conran for Portmeirion Eliza Dinner Plate


Marimekko Weather Diary Plate, Dia.25cm

All above



Indigo Storm Collection by Faye Toogood – 10 inch Plate £15.95,

Habitat Blot Blue patterned dinner plate, £10.00,

Fish and Chips Plate, £32.00,

Canteen dinner plate, Fairmont & Main, £8.00,


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Rocking the Rolser

I must address one of the most pressing issues facing fashionable women of a certain age in Muswell Hill. Old women’s shopping trolleys. There is no doubt that the jury is out on the merits of the portable shopping trolley, but in a post-pram world who is the idiot? The lady with the rolser or the lady who repeatedly pops to the shops for two items and returns with six heavy carrier bags, limited blood suppply below the wrist and mild to moderate lower back pain?
I had always considered these perambulating bags to be the preserve of the Nora Batty generation but in a curious, and seemingly localised phenomenon, the well-dressed, fashion savvy sisters of Muswell Hill are rocking the Rolsers in their numbers.
My initial reaction of horror gave way to curiosity and in a recent shocking development I found mysef buying a cheapo version of the Rolser from Ikea. Three weeks have passed and I have not left the house with my wheelie wonder. The implications of it’s first public outing are building in my mind. I truly feel that once I physically cross the threshold of the house and go into the public arena with this trolley it will mark a seminal physical and pyscological moment of my life. The abandonment of vitality, child-bearing capibilities and spontaneity and an ushering in of papery hands, wide fit shoes and receding gums.
I have asked my fashionable rollster toting mum mate to accompany me on my virgin voyage. I think it may have to be a night time excursion by way of a public hostelry. So if you see a pissed woman on the Hill, erratically wheeling a shopping trolley late at night, please give me a wave. It will boost morale and soften the blow of impending old age and death.

Aplogies for the hound’s long silence. I got temporarily absorbed in a couple of projects but I am now straining at the designer leash to release random ramblings.


Filed under random