May we point you in the direction of these beautifully curated maps by Herb Lester. Witty, pretty, curious and opinionated, they'll take you to places well-used, much-loved, usual and unusual. The brainchild of Ben Olins and Jane Smillie, the company started life when the pair found themselves meeting in "foul chain coffee shops" which inspired their first map 'You Are Here' - a guide to the best places in London to meet and work for people without offices.
Like the original, each map has a distinct purpose designed to suit all manner of whims, pleasures and agendas. You'll find 'Paris for Pleasure-Seekers', 'An Uncle's Guide to London' and 'How to find Old New York' among their collection which now covers an eclectic smattering of the world's great cities. Starting at just £3, you need never find yourself wandering the pavements aimlesslessly again.
To all our loyal James Jeans wearers, your new season delivery is here. The straight leg, high rise Hunter is as flattering as ever in a dark stretch fit as well as a heavyweight, everyday option. Twiggy also returns in super smart black and a navy slate twill which we are loving, loving, loving. And this is just for starters. Expect two more deliveries later in the season.
Once again Great Plains deliver our hardest working collection of the season. Polished and ladylike, these are skirts, dresses, blouses and knits that negotiate occasions from day to night with ease. Our trusty wide-legged trouser returns for business alongside neat shift dresses, pleated skirts and smart wool coats. Then there's the Rothko stripe pleat skirt and Chanel-esque cropped jacket which both totally belie their very reasonable price tags.
If there's a shirt Rob loves to wear it's his white Gitman Brothers Oxford. As clean and as classic as they come, and back on the menswear rails for A/W12 as part of another superlative offering from our favourite shirt-maker. Alongside our perennial favourites, the standouts are the beautifully intriciate Japanese poplins carrying micro dots and key collars, a trend which is firmly sticking around for autumn/winter.
Hats off to our first arrival of the new season - Levi’s Made & Crafted - who have managed to get us all excited about the prospect of rugging up come the cooler months. This is the way we like winter to look, all cosy and colourful. Think American trucker gets washed up on a cold Nordic shore where they love to brighten things up with a serious dose of colour. We’re loving the check flannel shirting, chunky knits and primary palette, and once again, the quality and attention to detail are excellent.
If there’s a dress we could all imagine pulling out of our wardrobe fifteen years from now, it would surely be a Goat number. The epitome of timeless classic, these dresses make elegance effortless. The clean lines, beautiful tailoring and luxurious fabrics do all the work you need of them. And this season is no excepetion. The celebrated anywhere/everywhere Lola shift is back in a lovely, delicate needle cord. Then there's Pandora, fitted at the waist with a flared sleave, and Purdy, all sophisticated babydoll in wool crepe. What we're really falling for though are the colours, the gorgeous colours. Deep blackberry purple, vintage gold, blush pink and soft grey. Hook, line and sinker.
Check out our project space, all styled up to resemble the Lomography Paris concept store – a bit like a junkyard, with walls plastered in cool photos and shelves lined with a substantial cherry-pick of their entire range of cameras and accessories.
Over the course of the next month we’ll be running Lomography ‘lend weekends’ where, for just £5, you can take away the Lomo of your choice for the weekend with a free film to shoot as you please. Then on Saturday 18th and 25th August at 1.30pm a member of the Lomo team will host a special workshop, taking you into town with your loaned Lomo to dispense all their Lomo know-how and help you take some lovely snaps. It’s just £10 and spaces are limited so please be sure to book by calling 01962 890055.
Could a bar of soap have any more going for it than the Murphy & Daughters Bon Bon? We don't think so. The list of credentials is long, so we’ll start with the evident stuff. They’re made in Australia, they look beautiful (like a cracker or a giant sweetie), smell divine and make a great gift (one that doesn’t require wrapping).
Then there’s the stuff you might guess if you know a thing or two about soap. They’re triple milled French style, enriched with shea butter and scented with essential oils from fresh herbs, flowers and citrus. All big ticks, but there's still more lovely stuff.
Sarah Murphy founded Murphy & Daughters in 2010, inspired by the traditions of her great-great grandfather who ran the Murphy Bros. General Merchants in the late 1800s. Her Bon Bons are made in small batches using traditional techniques and produced from pure, sustainably sourced palm oil, which ensures no orangutans or their habitat are endangered in their production. The soaps then go on to be handwrapped in recycled paper by Ability Works, an Australian charity which empowers people with disabilities by employing them with meaningful work.
And with that, we say top scores.
...or a quilt, or anything else Petit Pan for that matter. Founded by a French artist and Chinese kite maker, this is the company responsible for the mini explosion of print and colour in Hambledon homewares right now. If anything can inspire you to pick up a needle and thread, it's these super lovely quilting squares and buttons. Our Lucy has embarked on a quilt of many colours while Lindsey is relying on the star buttons to save an old cardi.
These here paper goods are a bit special. All the way from the States, and currently sitting ever so pretty on our counterback, it's our new delivery from Rifle Paper.