Happy Guest: Happy London Lifestyle Guide

27 September 2013 0


Hello Happy Interior Blog readers. My name is Tina and my blog is called Colourliving. I feel honoured to be here and will try my best to bring you inspiration in Igor’s absence.

I thought long and hard about what to post here as Igor’s blog in an online encyclopedia for a Happy Home and everything that goes with it. Colourliving embraces colour, creativity, design, interiors, real food and inspired ideas for slow living.

For some time now I was thinking of creating some curated Colourliving lifestyle guides. These guides will be themtic and show ways of creative and inspired lifestyle. To kick things off I tailor-made a little guide here for you dear readers and will be your own personal tour guide:-) Igor and I share a love for colours and for London, so hopefully he will enjoy this too:-).

London – a 24hrs shopping spree. Don’t worry if you can’t make it to London. All shops featured here have online stores for you to be able to indulge, should you wish so. Let’s go…

We’re starting out on the famous Kings Road in Southwest London. The Shop at Bluebird is an eclectic lifestyle store offering an exceptional edit from the world of fashion, interiors and beauty. It has evolved a lot since it first opened in 2005, and has become very much a destination shop for finding untapped brands and the latest must have items.

A new concept to the shop is a series of pop-up concessions. I was delighted to see this first one on my visit: YCN is close to my heart and I have blogged about them here.

You’ll find many interesting products as well as funky shop displays.

I’m a huge Fornasetti fan and the Shop at Bluebird carries a large range of this most fascinating artist.

They have a sofa upholstered in one of my favourite fabrics. It’s called Jerusalem by day and I have it as a picture frame hanging in my bedroom.

Just opposite you will find the exquisite Rococo Chocolates. This year they’re celebrating 30 years in business and it’s not hard to see why. Founded in 1983 by Chantal Coady, Rococo Chocolates is a heaven for chocoholics. The packaging, the variety of flavours, and the design make Rococo treats highly desireable gifts.

You’ll find they’ll use all kinds of combinations like chocolates with flowers, spices, dried fruit and teas with dark, white or milk chocolate. I’m sugar and dairy intolerant but if I want something special, Rococo is certainly the ticket!

A few minutes down the road you’ll stumble across an iconic shop that I’ve loved since they first opened many many years ago. Wild Ones is an Aladdin’s cave of New Age gifts sourced from around the world. They also have a massive selection of Native American jewellery and artefacts, as well as world music and spiritual books.

This jewellery is designed and hand made by Michael Van Moppes and each piece is unique.

New are the biggest collection anywhere of hand-made Navajo Rugs. They are all one-offs and when they’re gone they’re gone. It seems that the new generation is more interested in computer devices than hand-spinning rugs so it’s a dying craft out there. I must admit they look far better in real life than in the photos online but that goes for a lot of products, right? Wild Ones used to be famous for their second-hand native cowboy boots. They no longer sell those.

Hopping over to Central London, we’ll make a pitt-stop at Content – an organic and natural apothecary. For those of you interested in organic cosmetics and skin care, you won’t find a better place. You can read a far more in-depth interview I did with Imelda, the founder here.

This deodorant is my absolute favourite product and I cannot recommend it enough!

Arriving in Hoxton, we pop into the Goodhood store. Made up of a lifestyle store and a separate fashion store (directly opposite) it’s another refreshing and welcome addition to truly creative independent retail shops in London. Their product ranges are expertly curated and it’s got more of a feel like one of those enviable Japanese shops, full of clever and well made products. You’ll find everything from mens and womens fashion to accessories, homewares, footwear, divine stationery and much more.

I love these plant hangers.

This Log Stool is by the Japanese Collective Gelchop and, apparently, rather difficult to obtain. It’s beautiful but also carries a hefty price tag!

Now we’re moving over to the darker side of things:-) We’re off to Stoke Newington and the eclectic Pelicans and Parrots. There are 2 shops, one concentrating heavily on fashion and the other (this one here) sells stylish vintage furniture and ornaments, as well as the odd bit of clothing. Ochuko, who runs this shop has a great eye and it’s not hard to want to buy most things.

Painted black, the shop oozes a rather dramatic appearance and makes the wonderful selection of objects and furniture stand out.

I particularly love all the rather ingenious contextualising by using taxidermy and other artefacts to display and show off products. It’s one of those shops that you will return to over and over again and that makes vintage clothes shopping so much more attractive!

If you’re a lover of ‘making a home’ than you absolutely must visit the fabulous Abigail Ahern and her emporium of seriously gorgeous homewares on Islington’s Upper Street. If you can’t get there, then take a look at her rather ‘yabberish’ but full of wonderful tips and tricks blog. And, if by any chance you fancy becoming the next Ms. Ahern, then attend school, either online or offline (with the design guru herself in her most lavish house). If all else fails, buy her new book, have a cup of tea and indulge in her world!

I’m lucky to live a few minutes away from the shop so am a regular visitor. I’m also lucky to have attended one of her classes in her house. Going to the dark side is her thing! Whether it’s your thing or not, what is clear is that Abigail has an incredible style, a great eye for detail and loves sharing her knowledge.

Just look at this wonderful lamp.

Yep, the tin tiles are actually wallpaper.

I’ll never tire seeing those animal lamps. If your budget doesn’t stretch to these, Abigail has just launched a more affordable edition range for Debenhams so don’t worry! They ship worldwide.

Some fab patchwork dog cushions.

I dare you to walk out without buying something.

Ok, to round it all up and because by now you’ll be tired and a little broke:-) we’ll nip across the street to the one and only Ottolenghi for a quick snack. Another emporium, but this time it’s food. I’ve been a big fan since the first time I visited the very first one on Ledbury Street back in 2002. Since then, Yoram has gone to super stardom so if you don’t already know this fabulous place that essentially wants to make people happy with good food, take a look and indulge next time you’re in London. You won’t be sorry, I promise. Alternatively, buy all of his books. You will treasure them.

Phew, that’s it. We made it. I hope you’ve enjoyed my curated guide and that you found some new inspiration here.

I want to thank Igor for inviting me over to his virtual home and am sure he’s having a whole load of inspiration while on vacation. I’d love you to leave comments and let me know which shops you know, would like to visit or simply what has inspired you. I hope we meet again. Bye from London!

Photography by Tina Bernstein

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  • Reply Sarah @ Mocha 27 September 2013 at 07:08

    What a great tour! You’ve gone for such an original slant – and the photos are beautiful too.

    • Reply tina @ colourliving 27 September 2013 at 12:50

      Thank you Sarah. I wanted something different for Igor’s readers. I adapt my guides to the audience…. Glad you enjoyed:-)

  • Reply Chi Feasey 27 September 2013 at 08:59

    OMG, OMG, OMG! Bookmarking frantically as we “speak”.

    Gosh, where to begin …
    I’ve heard of The Shop At Bluebird and YCN but never shopped there;
    I ADORE the Jerusalem By Day fabric, by the way!

    I shop for chocolate gifts at Hotel Chocolat but I’m always open to pastures new. πŸ™‚

    Love stores like Wilde Ones and I’m always on the lookout for new (to me!) ones so thank you.

    Content is my go-to destination for beauty and wellbeing as you know! πŸ˜‰

    Goodhood and Pelicans and Parrots are new to me and rather fab. Does anyone not love Abigail Ahern?! I certainly do! I’ve got both her hare and penguin lamps on my wishlist, I recently went to the “dark side” with L’s room and I have her latest book.

    As for Ottolenghi, I’ve eaten there often and I have their cookbook, Plenty.
    So …….. when can we have a day of girly shopping, just you and me, Tina? When?! πŸ˜€ x

    Super, super post. Good move getting her on, Igor! πŸ˜€

    • Reply tina @ colourliving 27 September 2013 at 12:54

      Hahaha! Think Igor might be in shock about the length of this comment:-))

      The Jerusalem print has always been one of my favourites and I have a big piece hanging above my bed…

      Darling, Hotel Chocolat? Really? Please try Rococo, it’s on another level all together.

      You better hurry. Both Hare and Penguin have been bestsellers at Debenhams.

      You went to the ‘dark side’.. wow! Exciting. Would be magic to Abigail’s ears..

      Let’s schedule a Tina & Chi day asap.
      Thanks Chi x

  • Reply Anya Jensen 27 September 2013 at 09:48

    WOW – Tina can you be my tourguide next time I’m in London – I’ll jump on the back of the vespa πŸ™‚ l.o.v.e everything you’ve picked. HAppy weekend Igor and Tina <3

    • Reply tina @ colourliving 27 September 2013 at 12:57

      Anytime sweetie… but I have a feeling you know your way round London pretty well. I was delighted that my friend Holly loved the Vespa rides and it didn’t rain even once in 5 days, can you believe? xx

      Igor, you still have to come on the back of the Vespa.

    • Reply Igor Josifovic 27 September 2013 at 15:00

      Anya, Tina is an excellent London tour guide! I already had the pleasure but the Vespa tour is still on my to-do list:-)

    • Reply tina @ colourliving 27 September 2013 at 18:16

      Igor, I’ll hold you to this:-))

  • Reply Gerard @WalnutGrey 27 September 2013 at 11:49

    Hello Tina on Igor’s blog. Firstly, you really should do some Colourliving lifestyle guides. And secondly, I love how you champion different places in London. They’re not to my personal taste (those above), but I know a lot of people will love your choices. Keep on doing what you do – you do it so well! xx

    • Reply tina @ colourliving 27 September 2013 at 12:59

      Hello Gerard on Igor’s Blog:-)

      Thanks, yes I am doing some very different guides, depending on the audience. Who knows, there might be something amongst them that you’ll approve of:-)) and pigs do sometimes fly LOL

      Maybe, just maybe I’ll do an Walnutgrey approved guide, now that’ll be a challenge, don’t you think?

      Thanks G xx

  • Reply Ligia Seabra 27 September 2013 at 14:26

    Thanks Tina, it was a lovely tour. I love London as well, it’s such an inspiration.


    • Reply tina @ colourliving 27 September 2013 at 18:16

      Thank you Ligia.

      Yes, for me it’s the best city in the world:-)

  • Reply caroline @trend-daily 27 September 2013 at 23:34

    May just have to follow your fabulous guide myself Tina! Plenty s one of my all time favourite cookbooks, but I’m ashamed and a little sad to say I’ve never had a sit down meal at one of his restaurants. Must do something about that! great guide lovely xx

  • Reply tina @ colourliving 28 September 2013 at 14:39

    Well, the Islington Ottolenghi is 5 mins from me so anytime you’re around, let’s go together…:-) I have all his books and love Plenty BUT am currently obsessed with his latest: Jerualem xx

  • Reply Elisabetta 29 September 2013 at 08:22

    Thanks for sharing all these addresses! London is absolutely my favourite city (and love Bluebird store!)

  • Reply Yvestown 29 September 2013 at 11:17

    Let Igor trust you with this guide. You always have the best taste in shops and laces to eat, I love you for that xox Beautiful post Tina.

    • Reply tina @ colourliving 29 September 2013 at 16:08

      Hey you…. you make me blush:-)) Thank you! Looking forward to seeing you in November x

  • Reply Holly 29 September 2013 at 21:08

    How nice to see Tina here on Igor’s blog πŸ™‚

    What a great collection of places and the pictures tell such a nice story. I’m glad to say I have had the personal experience of touring London on the back of Tina’s Vespa and it was magnificent! We went to some fantastic places. So I totally trust Tina when it comes to London πŸ™‚ It is undeniably one of her biggest passions! This post supports that all the way.

    Bookmarked this for future trips πŸ™‚


    • Reply tina @ colourliving 30 September 2013 at 06:27

      Haha!! Yes, you had a bespoke London tour with me:-)
      Thank you for the huge compliment… x

  • Reply tina @ colourliving 30 September 2013 at 20:10

    Thank you very much Igor for hosting me on your happy Blog! I had a hoot and hope your readers enjoyed my London Lifestyle Guide – thank you all for leaving such nice comments!

    …..à bientôt mon ami…..

  • Reply Chedva 1 October 2013 at 16:37

    What a great guide! I really need to come back and explore the design-y side of London. x

    • Reply tina @ colourliving 2 October 2013 at 12:30

      Thank you Chedva… you mean you haven’t been exploring the design-y side of London ?? Haha! Hope you’re well.

  • Reply Catherine Bedson 2 October 2013 at 11:45

    There is no one better than you to give us a Lifestyle Shopping Tour of London. My heart skipped a beat at Abigail Ahern’s store (the lamp and the tin tiled wallpaper) swoon!!! Also Ottolenghi’s, I die, love his food, the way he displays it and the vibe of the store. Thanks for the inspiration Tina. Hope to visit all of these places one day.

    • Reply tina @ colourliving 2 October 2013 at 12:32

      Thank you Catherine. (blush) Abigail’s stuff is rather brilliant and I know you will LOVE Ottolenghi. Here’s the best part. I live literally 5 minutes away from both of them so you know what that means *wink wink* x

  • Reply Jenny 3 October 2013 at 12:53

    Absolutely love this blog. We would love you to come visit our store Home & Pantry on Camden Passage in Islington. There are some gorgeous and quirky independent shops on our street so I think you would get lots of inspiration. Please let us know if you are coming and we would be happy to give you any information, images etc. Thanks, Jenny

  • Reply Antado 10 October 2013 at 07:10

    I really like the great colorful sofa! I would like to have it in my apartment!

  • Reply fantasy art 18 October 2013 at 09:45

    Sofa is lovely, I like also that lion sculpture πŸ™‚

  • Reply Sam 26 November 2013 at 15:42

    Thanks for lovely tour!! This post reminded me of amazing memories I had in London… Your post has shown life in London that is unforgettable.Cheers!!

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