We've got all sorts of stuff for the boss/captain/sheriff in your life. Check out magazines, books, gifts, cards and superhero masks. And hurry. Father's Day is on 19th June.
Lucy is an avid fan of a gin and tonic. Finn is partial to a glass of fizz. Rob has been known to down a pint or two of Cognac. The Hambledon wouldn't necessarily be the natural home for the temperance movement in Winchester. But we like to confound expectations. Welcome Mr Fitzpatrick (est. 1899) from Rossendale, Lancs, and his traditionally brewed, non alcoholic, botanical cordials.
The temperance movement began in Preston in 1835 during the period of the Industrial Revolution and was a response to the widespread alcoholism that existed at that time. The availability of cheap ale and gin (Lucy, Rob we're watching you) had been responsible for the breakdown of family life and industrial productivity amongst the working classes. Prohibition was never legalised here but non alcoholic bars began to appear in every town and village to promote abstinence from ‘the demon drink'.
The movement started and continued to blossom in the textile districts of Yorkshire & Lancashire, but quickly swept across the whole of the UK. It was a Methodist cheese maker born in Preston, who set about establishing a society under which a pledge of sobriety was taken. The society grew and expanded beyond the churches to become part of every day life for the now sober British. Temperance Bars had become the new social scene.
By the 1890s temperance bars graced every high street, the most prominent being Mr Fitzpatrick's – a successful family of Dublin herbalists who established themselves in the North of England and at their peak successfully ran over 40 shops in the region. After World War II interest in taking the pledge faded. The end of prohibition in the United States and the heavy importation of sweet, sugary drinks, saw the decline of the Temperance Bar. However, one Temperance Bar survived and today Mr Fitzpatrick’s still own and operate the little Victorian bar situated in the Lancashire town of Rawtenstall.
And now The Hambledon has its very own corner of sobriety with a selection of Summer time cordials. It's the perfect time to ditch the hard stuff and get involved in cream soda, lemon and ginger punch, rhubarb and rosehip cordial, sarsaparilla and root beer.
We have been fans of James Brown (not that one, the brilliant printmaker one) for a long time. A while ago we commissioned him to make a Winchester poster, we had an exhibition in the Project Space of his prints and he did a great talk on his work. And now we're big fans of Pressed and Folded, a brand new card and stationery venture, from James and his lovely textile designer missus, Malissa.
Describe a typical working day?
Malissa works from her home studio I go to my studio, so although we work together we have separate spaces and work on our individual projects too as well as Pressed and Folded. I think Malissa is a lot better at sitting down, focusing and getting on with the job in hand, I tend to flit about a bit, going from one job to another. Some would say 'unfocused and easily distracted', I prefer 'multi tasking polymath’.
What do you like most about what you do?
The fact that we love doing what we do, and that we are doing this for ourselves and are in complete control of the fun we can have with Pressed and Folded. We can take it in any direction we choose, creating products we love and having fun doing it.
Who/what couldn't you work without?
A The corny answer to that question would be... ‘Each other.’
The real answer would also be each other. Pressed and Folded is very much a team effort. Without the ‘Pressed’ it would just be... ‘Folded’.
What provides the inspiration for the Pressed and Folded collections?
Anything from an exhibition, to a piece vintage of fabric. Malissa has been designing womenswear prints for many years but designing cards has allowed her to be much freer with colour and pattern. We are not designing our cards for occasions and so don’t have many limitations.
How have you found working together on these collections?
At the moment we design separately, but welcome each others opinion when designing. We like the fact that there are two distinct styles creating diversity within the range.
Which project, collection or achievement are you most proud of?
Of course we are most proud of our new baby, Pressed and Folded, we've been planning it for a while and since launching at Top Drawer in January our cards have been very well received. Its all very exciting indeed and the hard work has paid off.
What are your plans for the future with Pressed and Folded?
We have few ideas in the pipeline including gift wrap, notebooks and some textile products.
What is Pressed and Folded's guilty pleasure?
Absolute 90’s Radio is great to pack cards to. I’m early 90’s baggy and Malissa is late 90’s R n’ B.
Finally, could you tell us about any of your favourite places/hidden gems in the area you live/work in?
We live in Leyton on one side of the Olympic Park and I work the other side in Hackney Wick, so my commute is a nice walk or cycle through the park or along the River Lea. Hackney Wick is a great place to work and has a brilliantly unique community, although I fear the end is nigh, The bulldozers are coming over the hill and the estate agents are circling above like vultures.
Leyton is changing for the better though, thanks to the Olympics and its proximity to Stratford.
We’ve had lots of great new places opening recently to eat and drink (for very important business meetings of course!).
(Marmelo, Yardarm and Deenys)
Leyton is great for green space too, Olympic Park, Victoria Park, Hackney Marshes, Epping Forest.
Well done for showing your other half how wonderful they are, but now it's time to shower your mum with treats and prizes so she knows just how great she is. A few tips. Anything edible is always welcome. You can never have enough lotions and potions for the bathroom. Faux flowers show your love all year round. Book and notebooks with a thoughtful inscription are double winners. And all jewellery is a girl's best friend.
It's looking like an action packed Christmas for the boys: chopping wood, hiking and exploring and a little artistic endeavour in the form of the Superhero Comic Kit. You can't not.
Santa should hurry over. We have everything for every stocking. Jolly putty. Check. Spy pen. Check. Rainbow glitter pen. Check. FaLaLa necklace. Check. Traditional family games. Check. Walnuts. Um no but we have the nutcracker. Check.
So much gorgeousness here from all over the world: chocolates from England, Turkish Delight from County Cork, jewellery from Denmark, ponies from England, socks from France, make up bags from Los Angeles, pennants from England and pens from South Korea and Germany. Cosmopolitan Christmas at The Hambledon. And we're not making generalisations about pink, it just looks so darn pretty.
Lucy has been very busy in the grotto. Check out her homage to Martha Stewart. It's a world of pearly wrap, glitter stickers, mirrored alphabets and candy cane tags.
There is nothing, we repeat, nothing wrong with a little kitsch at Christmas. Might even go so far as to say it's a requirement for the festive season. Please get involved in a frosted parrot, some neon pineapples (for the animals to eat!) and a glittery dog or ten.
We are all about gluttony this holiday season. Get involved in artisan chocolate, silly chocolate, Turkish Delight, liquorice pipes and sugar mice. And all manner of cookbooks and kitchen accoutrements. Eat up.