Squeaky, sweet, clean, fresh, bloomin' spring. Has to be our favourite time of the year at The Hambledon, after Christmas that is!
Say hello again to a design classic. Crispy white with a distinctive blue rim. Solid and functional. An icon of British homelife. Makes us think of cosy kitchens and home-cooked food. It's Falcon enamelware. Here since the 20s. It never really went anywhere, apart from maybe the back of the kitchen cupboard. But dig it out, dust it off and get some more because we're pleased to say Falcon is very much here and now again.
The brand has undergone a major revamp in partnership with designers KIWI&POM and Morse Studios. They've introduced a series of new colourways, and some lovely kitchenware sets, all wrapped up in new 'hardware store' packaging. Apart from that, the core product remains the same, as strong and as functional as ever. Porcelain is fused onto heavy-gauge steel. It's dishwasher-safe, chemical-resistant and cannot burn. If you drop it, it may chip but it won?t break.
We're particularly fond of the new kitchenware sets - the pie set and cook set - as seen put to good use in the above photos. Appetite suitably whet? Yep, ours too.
Our favourite San Francisco stationery people, Cavallini, have embraced all things typographic and cartographic in their newest delivery; tins of notecards, boxes of printed tape and wrapping paper/posters using all sorts of fantastic old type and maps. If you?re keen to smarten up your correspondence and your gift giving hurry along to the shop or hurry along virtually and buy online.
There's crockery and then there's Branksome - capable of holding any tea party to attention with it's beautifully delicate, timeless and colourful designs. For us, the fact that it's produced by a small, independent British business with a long history here in Hampshire just adds to the appeal. It's the sort of crockery to covet and collect piece by lovely piece.
The company was founded in 1945 by Ernest Baggaley, a gifted potter who recognised that 'to be a good china-man I had to create and make my own style using my own technique.' Indeed, at the heart of Branksome is Baggeley's special porcelain recipe which remains unchanged today. Fine and light, yet stronger than earthernware and bone china, water can be boiled in it they claim. Lucy has even followed a lady round the factory clunking mugs together to prove their durability.
In it's heyday, Branksome was the tableware brand to own. Liberty constantly sold out, and the factory with it's 100-strong workforce was at full capacity. Just two years later though the out-of-control company fell on it's knees. Luckily Ernest managed to salvage some stock, move in to the old cinema in Fordinbridge it occupies today and continue to operate on a small scale.
In 2007, Branksome was once again under threat from developers wanting to get their clutches on the old cinema. This time, Philip and Charlie Johnson from a family with pottery in their blood came to the rescue, convinced that Branksome had a future. Happily for us they were right, and Branksome continues today, remaining true to Ernest's original recipe and our favourite 1950s design. Shop our collection.
Work together, love this world, be honourable and stay wonky - now if there are any words of wisdom we are trying to live by this year it has to be those of fabulously quirky print company Aardvark. We just love the cheery messages adorning the beautifully handcrafted prints and mugs we have here at The Hambledon.
The brainchild of artist and designers Lesley and Pea, the pair moved from London in 2008 to open the Aardvark Tea Room & Gallery in St. Leonards, East Sussex. As well as serving legendary soups and fabulous cakes the cafe showcased British art and crafts, including their own - which sold so well they were forced to pass the tea and cake baton over so as to concentrate on printmaking.
Today, the design duo are kept busy printmaking for such names as the V&A. Inspired by their love of "handmade signs, typography, village halls, fruit cake, tweed overcoats and twice-fried chips", their business champions the handmade and "skills and crafts such as typesetting and sign writing which seem to be on the edge of extinction."
The linocuts are lovingly carved and printed in their ramshackle studio while the broadsides are made with traditional wood and metal type and are printed on a vintage Heidelberg press at Adams of Rye - "the best old-school printshop in the world." It's no surprise then that when asked what they would do in their wildest dreams, the answer included taking over Adams to "continue the letterpress legacy"...as well as buying a piece of land near their favourite pub and keeping rescued lurchers and a donkey.
The Christmas countdown starts here at The Hambledon. Our festive pop-up shop is now open and brimming with baubles, bows, cards, crackers, and a bumper selection of stocking fillers. If you're yet to find that Christmas spirit, this corner of the shop has it in santa size sack load.
Here we are unpacking our great new range of retro glassware. It's all American diner style with that characteristically thick bevelled glass. We're all going a bit gooey and nostalgic over the milk jugs, desert dishes, ice-cream sundae and milkshake glasses. Make ours a vanilla with a cherry on top please!
It was all change yesterday as the "main run" - the big wall of shelves on the ground floor - got an all new colourful look. We had a nice big delivery from Rice which we just had to show off to full effect. Lindsey whipped round and worked her magic, and hey presto, we have shelves full of fabulous new homewares.