The curtain is down, the tree is up and the lights are on. Yes people, it’s time. Christmas Shop 2017 is here and it’s more beautiful than ever; our take on Christmases past, as traditional as we’re ever going to be. On one side, shelves glittering with baubles; pears, pinecones and a menagerie of creatures great and small. On the other side, crackers, wrap and all the trimmings, a flurry of gold stars and candy cane stripes. In the middle of it all, our very first Hambledon tree, decked to the nines and truly resplendent. The countdown starts here.
AW17 at The Hambledon has the feel of a different time, stepping back as far as the 19th century to a refined and ever so English affair. In fact, we like to think we’re at home with Jane Austen, taking tea and eyeing up her desk in the corner.
The furnishings are subdued; plush velvets and floral prints, punctuated by rich colours, glints of burnished gold and beautiful objects arrived from far flung shores: candles and confectionery, stationery and china, linens and trinkets.
Of course we’re dressed for the occasion, every occasion, always elegant and polished. Wardrobes laden with heavy velvet, fine knits, print jacquards, metallic stitching, lace trims, and all the colours of autumn; mossy greens, mustard yellows, rich browns and stormy greys.
Welcome to AW17 at The Hambledon.
As the buy for each new season progresses, a bit of a theme often starts to emerge. Style references, sometimes subtle, sometimes undeniable, that culminate in a distinct look throughout the store. For SS17, we were seeing the '80s. A coming-of-age kind of summer, fun, laid-back and beachy. The sun shines endlessly and there are pools and palm trees and parties. Think The Breakfast Club meets Miami Vice. Yes, we're in Miami, definitely Miami. But Miami Nice. No bad hair or shoulder pads in sight. Just saturated pastels and bleached out stripes, high waists and relaxed, oversized shapes; metallic details, fun prints and just the right amount of kitsch. This is Miami Nice as seen in womenswear.
Easter isn’t egg-shaped here. Instead we’re focusing on the best quality chocolate we can get our hands on, serious artisan bars through to fun flavour combos. Here’s a tempting and timely round-up of our current confectionery scene.
OCELOT: New for spring, this is the eye-catcher of the pack. The pretty packaging is just the start though; gorgeous flavour combos, great quality and a commitment to sustainable, organic and fair-trade production pack substance. Founded by a married couple of former chefs from Edinburgh, Ocelot’s chocolate comes from Peru and the Eastern Congo, where the farmers and environment are cared for as much as the produce. Bee Pollen and Mango, Raspberry and Vanilla, Porcelana with Salted Almonds; we’re struggling to narrow down a favourite.
LAND: Another new arrival. Slightly more serious in tone, this is chocolate for connoisseurs, created by Phil Landers, a former BBC Radio production employee turned master chocolatier. The transformation took four years, a lot of time spent in south and central America learning about harvesting, fermentation and new cacao varieties, and a stint back in London training as a chef. This is his resulting collection of single origin and single bean bars, and they are very, very good. Our taste buds may be in training, but we can definitely detect the strong floral tones and underlying berry notes in the Nicaragua Dark. And we’re certainly growing very accustomed to Venezuelan Milk, which develops into a stronger fudge flavour and ends with a slight nuttyness. This is where it’s at, chocolate enthusiasts.
CREIGHTON'S: Our fondness for Creighton’s and their chocolate granny gnashers shows no sign of waning. This small, family-run business, is headed up by mother and daughter team, Andrea and Lucy, who are just lovely and know how to have fun in the serious world of artisan chocolate. Their new spring collection of breakfast bars has just arrived, and we’re seriously wondering if we can get away with meal replacement. Coffee and crumbs, a spoonful of cereal and maple and bacon, surely a fine way to proceed any day.
March 26th is fast approaching. And we have everything you need to show your everlasting love and appreciation for the best woman in the world. Happy Mother's Day all you mums.
Welcome to SS17 at The Hambledon. We’re calling it Miami Nice. Womenswear, menswear, homeware, it’s all feeling a bit ‘80s coming-of-age summer in a good way; endless sun-soaked days, beach loungers and pool parties. Basically, all the fun without the bad hair and shoulder pads.
Saturated pastels, metallics and strong prints feature across the board in Womenswear. Accessorised with turquoise and yellow Nailmatic, a rainbow of plastic baskets by Sun Jellies, and all kinds of ban.do attitude. Meri Meri and Rice flood Homeware with summer colour and everything to get a party started. And the fun and colour carries on down to Menswear too with pastel Ts, shorts and beach accessories. Game of frisbee anyone?
Lodestars Anthology 6 Canada £12 | Lost In Lisbon £9 | Falcon Mug Original White £9 | Fishbone Throw Sea Green £49.95 | White Chocolate & Popping Candy Matches £7.95 | Adventure Print £25 | Hestra Kathryn Gloves £95 | Ernest No. 5 £10 | Universal Works Marl Socks Red £16 | The Best Things in Life are Free £16.99
Chrysanthemum Stem £4.95 | Leone Fine Fruit Jellies £14.95 | Set of 6 Marble Cork Coasters £8.95 | Porcelain Jug Pineapple £34.95 | Cire Trudon Candle £62 | East London Food £26 | Flamingo Salt & Pepper £16 | Cabana Issue Six £18 | Vase 70 Purple £24.95 | Mini Grey Enamel Cup £3.50 | Amber Glass £6.95