I spent the last night of my roadtrip in Scotland with my Dad at Bramble Bield. It was also the last country for my next book, Wanderlust and the perfect place to finish.
A cluster of two old wooden gypsy caravans and a 1920s travelling car, all restored with love, are parked at the Powis Estate alongside picturesque fields of woolly sheep. I had opted for the dark green Gypsy caravan ‘Holly’ painted with a prancing horse for Dad and ‘Bramley’ the traditional travelling caravan for myself.
Holly comes with its own mini pot belly stove that’s fed with tiny kindling & miniature quarter logs, a large floating bed covered with a handmade quilt & fairy lights to boot. A handpainted zig zag topped pot houses some lovely old wooden gypsy pegs.
Bramley is simplicity at its best: a cream painted interior with bunk beds made in the old campbed style of canvas, eyelets & rope which take up the back end, a spindle back chair, green wooden chest of drawers and sheep skin on wooden floor boards fill the space. A piece of dried fungi & a tiny handpainted tile of a long horned cow adorn the walls.
The gardens of the house are worth a wander with glass houses, a vegetable patch, highrise rabbit warrens (yes, they live amongst the trunk of a tree), a weeping elm & moss covered sheds to explore & discover.
I am so excited to be coming to Melbourne for my very last Bowerbird launch! To be held at the amazing Meizai, this is an event to be remembered with styling, drinks, a general celebration of collecting and beautiful pictures, stories and adventures.
I’ll be bringing my new range of soaps & hardware so that you Melbournians can get your hands on them at the launch! I use Meizai for all my interiors so be prepared to be distracted in their gorgeous space with their Christmas savings & festive season styling ideas. Contact Meizai & let them know you’re coming (you’ll be sure to get a goodie bag!).
This was a timberyard to begin with, then it was an old prop house and theatre, now it is restaurant & an Edinburgh must-go. It was lovely on entry with the big red door and red car outside, red being the only colour throughout the interior. Simply propped, you walk in toward a ramp and there is an old leather topped gymnasium vault and candles. A central courtyard is the perfect place to admire the space and enjoy your Hendricks served with cucumber and tartan rugs to keep you warm.
All the plates, cutlery & glasses were part of the owner’s assortment of Danishware. It was mismatched and perfect. The menus offering bites/ small/ & large were presented on a collection of old clipboards, right up my alley!
Timberyard is tactile, subtle & perfectly executed and the family who run it are absolutely lovely. Cannot recommend it enough if you happen to be in Scotland for a spot of falconry & Loch Ness monster hunting.
This hotel is on the Isle of Mull, a car ferry ride away from Oban on the west coast of Scotland. It is a lovingly restored house on the hill with many reincarnations throughout its life from a morgue to an Officer’s mess and home. Enter to a big wooden staircase with huge flagging stones and two front rooms that look over the port that we arrived into. The library is all white washed light & modern (I think Isle Crawford had some influence here) with beautiful, deep, shuttered windows. There are painted grey floorboards (more people should do this) in the gallery with a B&B Italia sectional sofa/ottoman and Monocle newspapers.
A pebbled path leads through an old green wire gate to the steep road that descends to the village. It pops out next to the tackle shop, a red shop sitting pretty in a row. Out of everything, my favourite part of the very sophisticated hotel, was the washing hanging to dry under a simple canvas tent, divine. One night was not enough but we had to truck on!
Step back in time to this hidden gem in the backstreets of Newtown. Morrison Polkinghorne weaves his magic on his 18th century french looms. His designs can be as simple as jute tassles or as fanciful as elaborate braids. When I visited him he was working on the restoration of the passementeries for a vintage Rolls Royce, but don’t be shy to make an appointment and go and visit for any of your fringing needs. His workshop is a dream, as is he.
By appointment only.
When I travel, I come home with a colour palette and scent for each place I visit – not just a bundle of souvenirs! I have memories of sitting cross-legged on tatami mats in Kurokawa, eating fiddlehead ferns and listening to the river, fresh from the hot springs surrounded by a mix of rice flower, rain and fire scents. Through my books I translate colour palettes and styling arrangements from my travel inspirations, but have never been able to communicate one of the most important senses, one that transports you back to your globetrotting experiences or makes you dream of future holidays: smell. With these soaps you can close your eyes and think of being surrounded by a new place, new people and things to do, in any part of the world.
I spent a day with my soap maker Rebekah at Wagner’s Free Institute of Science in Philadelphia. We smelt and compared fragrances in the upstairs museum, for the most part we were the only guests and left to our own devices. The room was large, full of glass topped scientific counters and large cabinets displaying Wagner’s wanderkummer, a very appropriate place for researching & perfecting a new creation.
Let the scents carry to you to adventures across the globe: listening to desert sounds smelling basmati rice, jasmine and coriander through the sandy lanes of Jodhpur; a blend of coffee & spice fragrances, cardamom and damask rose wafting from the souks in Damascus; roadtripping along the windy Amalfi Coast with a breeze of ocean and beach, dead sea salts and lemon; bike riding past Mexico City brightly coloured street vendors smelling tomato leaf, geranium, lime and spearmint on a sunny, summer day; and of course, Kurokawa.
All soaps are naturally coloured and pressed, cut into the shape of hearty shields and come inside a linen bag with their place of origin attached. Pick a place that brings you good memories, or the next one to explore!