Flower gazing and Fynbos

For over 2 years now myself and Lady Bob have been planning to visit the famous floral Mecca that is Columbia Road. Somehow our Sundays were always enveloped by other ‘duties’ and the early bird factor also quashed some of our attempts. However, finally this weekend we managed to get up, get together and get on the assortment of trains, tubes and buses to the East End…..


Bob, the Gherkin and the Sun

And what a day it was…. even the Monsieur Soleil decided to join us.


Rows of Roses

And it was worth the wait……. beautiful blooms everywhere and the place was buzzing.

Heaving by 10.30am with a continuous stream of people who trailed through a coniferous corridor of  Roses, Lilies, Tulips, Heather and Hydrangeas….

All of us wide eyed at the variety of flowers on offer whilst the vendors entertained us with tales of woe and boastful bargains.


Coloured Leaves

Being big fan of bouquets which containing the odd sculptural cabbage,  you can imagine my delight at finding them in every colour and combination.


Joyful Cabbages

Also with Madiba in the forefront of my mind it was comforting to see the plethora of Protea on sale.





Even Pin head Proteas!



Spot the Strelitzias

Tata’s most favorite flower was actually the Strelitzia, also present in the market, nestling in their bird like form above..


Fynbos.. five pound a bunch

It seemed that South African flowers were very a la mode this week…. with  ”no water required’ bunches of Fynbos flying off the stalls. It was probably their upbeat palette and carefree-ness which appealed to the average flower gazer….but I like to think that maybe it was a silent nod towards Nelson….

And for those looking for something less challenging than an entire tree and the creative use of tinsel…. Columbia Road has just the ticket! Behold… the Christmas Cherry…….


Christmas Cherries!

 Buoyant, bright and  three for a Fiver……Now you can’t get much more merry than that!


Super berries


Sleep Well Tata xxxxxxxx



Car Boot, Cocktails and Forgotten Spaces

The Southbank is always a bustle with an exciting happenings here and there. It has an instinctive pull to all sorts of Bright Young Things; whether your drug is quality street food, art, architecture, film or theatre …..the Southbank is a remarkable people pleaser.

The Southbank Effect

‘YOU LOOK HAPPY”…… The Architect & I experiencing The Southbank Effect


So what better venue would there be for  Hemingway Designs’ Classic Car Boot Sale…… 


Pitch Perfect Parafanalia

Pitch Perfect Paraphernalia

Rows of vintage cars, caravans, motorcycles and trucks were on display for all to view and with more than just a white walled tyres to admire…. Clothing, jewellery, shoes, furniture, home-wares, art and all sorts of delightful paraphernalia were beautifully displayed and for sale!



And if your shopping antics brought on an appetite there was a another section devoted to plentiful array of Food Groups, Cocktails, Tea ( glass pots individually heated by tea-lights and timed for brew perfection!) and quality East London Coffee.


Happy Faces en route to the Double Decker Bar

There was also the bigger, better version of a Car Bar….. The- Double -Decker- Bus- Bar….. complete with DJ;  playing great music to shop by…think Marvin Gaye and Etta James and accompanied by some beautifully kitted out Car Boot attendees who were suited, booted, coiffed…. complete with their Victory Rolls and vintage get-ups.

All of which created great atmosphere and a sunshiney, happy, Saturday shopping experience.  This is a must-do, must- repeat event and has enticed me to get booking tickets for more Hemingway inspired fun next month! This time at Somerset House……

In fact last weekend I was also at Somerset House,  The Architect took me to see the RIBA Forgotten Spaces Exhibition in which they invite their members to put forward ideas on how to restore dissused and abandoned spaces all over the Capital.   Housed in the lightwells and coal holes of the old customs house, this showcase of re-invention felt right at home.


Darn good bit of recycling if you ask me!

See below some pics of my two favorite ideas…….


Escape from Street Level

An inspired escape route from the every-day drudge of the streets…. In The Canopy by  Studio McLeod.  Based on traditional cherry picking ladders this project allows you access to an otherwise abandoned space…. up in the canopy of the trees. It’s not just the nod to childhood tree climbing that I love about this but the usual and never-often-seen birds eye view. (beautiful blue ladders too)


Brilliant Bathhouse by  Charlotte Tamplin, Charlotte Marshall, Kate Stevens

Or a public pool in a disused tube station? What a fantastic notion! Having tried desperately and failed to get tickets to a tour of a abandoned tube station for The Architects’ Birthday (they sell out months before apparently) this is something that I would definitely frequent. Imagine all those tiles, the curved walls, the stairs down into the pool, diving off the platforms??


Yes Please!

Now each time I walk down into the bowels of Brixton tube… I imagine how much fun it would be to swim up North instead!