Norse Projects is now a Project. Yep. A gift for a lazy writer. Thanks to our new best friend Tom Bettinson, Norse's capable and lovely factotum, Norse Projects is now live in the project space. And it's looking very sharp indeed. Stainless steel, Danish oak boards, some very nice vinyls and an occasional orchid: this is a project of which we are very proud. Expect to see old friends including Anton shirts, Niels tees and Aros chinos. But we're taking some brand new clobber from Copenhagen's favourites from all three key areas, Refined Technical, Technical and Casual. There's a cotton nylon jacket story featuring lightweight, packable SB blazer, Samuel, and his big brother the full raincoat, Thor. Jens, padded shirt with Primaloft lining. And we're introducing denim. Clean, unbranded, 14oz Cone Mills in a slim taper. Fit no. 2. Norse Projects is the full story. The project runs until 28 March.
We've got a lot of love for this label. Each season they head off in a bit of a fresh direction. But unlike some other labels, they never lose their way. It's always effortlessly cool. And you always know it's Bellerose.
This season is still a little bit American teenager but now she's gone on a European holiday and met the ever talented Mr Ripley. Gone are the eclectic get-ups and mad clashes of colour and print. Instead, the pallette is super gentle; all washed out blues and greys and hits of yellow. The t-shirts and knits are all easy peasy. And the classic stripe is a cause for celebration; bold over cute cotton sun dresses and Breton-style tops; fine over floaty silk maxi skirts.
It started with our new Makers & Merchants range - chocolates, sweet and biscuit tins in beautiful bold red packaging. Which gave us the perfect excuse to go ahead and order Falcon's enamelware in pillarbox red. And throw in the adorable teapot and mug to the range. Sitting alongside our old faithful Duralex and Weck glassware, we soon realised we had a proper utility kitchenalia thing going on. So why not add some red topped storage jars and Archivist matches into the mix? Really, really useful, plain and simple, and now we're on a roll so watch out for phase two, utility diner-style, coming soon.
And it really was rather special. Familiar faces and impromptu visitors gathered around our late century French dining table, set with loaned crockery, tea lights and anenomes in milk bottles. They sipped speciality teas from our friends over the road at Walker, Austen & Alexander (spearmint and ginger is really nice) and worked their way through the results of a Hambledon team bake-off.
Victoria pulled off an impressive chequerboard chocolate cake (how did she do that?) while Rob introduced us to Weetabix cookies (ingenious!). It was master baker Mercy Webb who triumphed though, with her peanut butter button cookies (thanks to a recipe donated especially for the event by Great British Bake-Off champion, Francis Quinn).
The tea drinking and cake eating was all for a good cause, and we raised £300 for the Haven in Wessex, a specialist centre supporting those affected by breast cancer. All in all, a wonderful testimony to what can be done with the props right under our noses, the support of our lovely customers and a little help from our friends.
And so continues our love of a good cookbook. And this one's not just about beautiful photgraphy and artwork. With chapters based around a handful of key kitchen cupboard ingredients, the recipes hit just the right mark between simple and refined, honest and imaginative.
We're especially intrigued about the ketchup chapter and its featuring in chocolate cake. That said, we won't be quibbling with author, Florence Knight. The girl landed head chef at renowned Soho eatery, Polpetto, when she was just 25. The restaurant closed in 2012 while its owners looked for a larger location, and so Florence got busy writing this book. Now, at 27, her book has been released and Polpetto has found a new home, opening just last week on Berwick Street. Hurray for both!
Not for us the glamour of Paris or the buzz of London. No. This buying trip we were all about the functional city of Frankfurt and an uber functional trade show at the Frankfurt Messe. 'Christmas World' was a little light on the festive spirit (no elves, no Santa, no music) but we did manage to dig out some super special gems for the holiday season. And even had time for a Frankfurter. We know how to live.