Search This Blog


Sunday, 13 May 2012

Vidal Sassoon, Bond Street and The Tailor

The sad news of the loss of Vidal Sassoon last week has brought back lots of memories of an exciting time living in London in the 60s.  I had started my first job as a shorthand/typist working in St James' a short walking distance from Bond Street.

With the advent of Honey magazine, my world suddenly opened up to the magic of fashion, hair and exotic make-up.  My lunch times were taken up with walking along Bond Street, Picadilly and St James' just looking at the latest fashions which were way out of my price range.  Honey magazine not only introduced me to Biba, which was in a very little shop in Knightsbridge before they made it big, but more importantly the change in hairstyles coming from a collaboration of Vidal and Mary Quant.  Up until then, you either had long or short hair and nothing much in between.

I saw Vidal Sassoon's new shop in Bond Street and determined to make an appointment for the latest haircut. I only owned one tight skirt, white blouse and kitten heels but wore the latest makeup when I hesitatingly opened the door of the Salon. The sight just stopped me in my tracks. Glamorous, fashionable and busy and that was just the apprentices. It was like being on a filmset.  I was totally mesmerised.  I asked the price of a new hairstyle and was horrified. A whole week's wages and that wasn't even with the man himself.  I agreed immediately!  How I was going to explain to my mother that I couldn't give her housekeeping, I would deal with later.

The appointment was everything I thought it would be. Fabulous customers wearing the latest fashions and very handsome stylists made it so exciting.  For the rest of my time working in St James, I had my haircut there every six weeks.  I stretched the time out in there as long as I possibly could. Arriving way too early for the appointment, using the loo,  Coffee? Yes please.  I loved it!
Very similar to this one:

Now I'm not saying that my new 60s hairstyle, my dress from Biba or those secondhand kitten heel shoes had any affect but I met a very young apprentice tailor at around that time.  He worked in a very fashionable tailor's shop in Battersea (everyone wore handmade suits and probably ordered three a year).  We fell in love straight away!  15years old!! We had a ball.  Living and working in London at such an exciting time was fantastic. I did object though to walking into a pub and everyone looking at what he was wearing first and then me.

The 60s were responsible not just for the new fashions etc as I have mentioned but the best ever change was to the lives of women.  No more babies (unless you wanted them), no more dead end jobs, no more the little women.  A popular phrase was 'Coming out of the Doll's House'. We had a voice and we used it.

Well, that is just a few memories that the passing of Vidal Sasoon has evoked in me. An exciting time.

You may ask what happened to The Tailor - I married him of course and still remain married to him and the rest, as they say, is history.

Tuesday, 10 January 2012

The Art of Dining

One of my prized possession is a battered, green leather book with the words 'HOME DINNERS' embossed in gold on the front.

Inside are details of Dinner Party Menus dating from 1904 - 1910. Not only do they give the Menu for the evening but detail who the guests were, what was served and by whom, and the flower decorations. All noted down in very pretty handwriting in black ink, presumably by the hostess. I do wish she had written her name on the inside cover of the book for me to research her.

This is a typical Dinner Party Menu for fourteen guests and 'ourselves':


Consomme Chiffonade
Filets de Sols a L'American/Lobster Sauce & Madeira
Ris de Veau a l'Italienne

Welsh Saddle of Mutton
Sea Kale
Pintades a la Broche
Langue de Boeuf Russe
Salade Mache
Plum Pudding
Compote de Pommes
Croutes de Sardines
a la diable

The table was decorated with : All coloured Tulips - Dwarf Similar
and Fern Velsken centre.
The servants: Bertha, Jessie, Nancy and the Cook: A Newland

Such an elegant and gracious way of living

Sunday, 8 January 2012


We are going to have a little giveaway of two of our beautiful vintage style glass hanging hearts! All we want you to do is share our Facebook page with your friends and we will pick from all those that share this post. Easy! just click the share button below. Thanks Christine and Alex
We will anounce the winner tomorrow night at 8pm!

Saturday, 7 January 2012

We paint in so many colours. We get inspiration from all that surrounds us. We wouldn't consider painting in this colour but WOW! how amazing is the sunrise!

Tuesday, 3 January 2012

Our Teeny Tiny Mention in Homes and Gardens Magazine!

I have to say that we are both Interior magazine obsessives! We buy pretty much everyone and do love to spot new trends and ideas.
In between Christmas and New Year I asked my husband to pick me up a copy of Homes and Gardens. So he did.
And there it sat....
After four days of it being sat on the side I finally got to look at it. Imagine my complete surprise to find we were mentioned in the January issue! It was regarding our beautiful vintage style clock
Very very happy

Christmas at the'Attic

This was the image we used for our Christmas at the 'Attic page of our shop. I love it and I have only just noticed the toy village at the base of the Christmas tree...too cute.
Christmas was as we expected - very busy. We had lots of last minute orders to get out with people panicing for tables large enough to seat families.
We had a frantic call from a pub for benches that was opening 36hours from when we got the order and we managed to get them there in time!

Monday, 3 October 2011

Our Special Van Driver

We moan a lot about Couriers but we do have a favourite one that helps us out at short notice and is willing to leave the furniture 'in the garage, put cover over the top, close the doors, lock them and put the key under the third brick from the water butt' without too much moaning.

He came back from making deliveries for us today and said that his sat nav sent him down a street but he didn't have the correct name of the house. He said he drove up the road and saw a house painted in exactly the same F&B colour that the bench was painted in. That's what I call initiative.

We always ask him how it was and quite often he will say, it fitted perfectly where they wanted it. I think it goes to show that our customers do their research and make sure that what they are ordering fits nicely where they want it. Only twice have we had to remove an armoire because although they measured the room, they didn't measure the staircase and said Courier and mate got stuck on the stairs.

It helps to build up a relationship not only with customers but suppliers, Couriers and sellers.

Anyway, hope you like the Christmas bench in the photo. We are getting many new lines in and very excited about our next photo shoot.