One of my favourite local shops is Melrose and Morgan in Primrose Hill. A refreshingly different delicatessen, I have been a fan since it first opened. It is packed with some of the best seasonal British produce in London (fresh meat, cheese, fruit and veg, plus bread and homemade cakes) but my absolute favourite is their scrumptious picnic hampers.
You can pop in and choose a Park Picnic for one, Lunch Picnic for Two or a Buffet Lunch Picnic for Four and a box will be made up for you – crammed with British staples such as chicken, leek and tarragon pie, cured salmon, cheese and chutney, with fruit jelly and Eton Mess for pudding. It’s the perfect recipe for a lazy lunch on the hill – and you can even rent a blanket for that total picnic experience.
MELROSE AND MORGAN
42 Gloucester Avenue
London NW1 8JD
0207 722 0011
I first saw Concrete Blonde at Designers Block in Milan. Their amazing concrete wallpaper reminded me of the new Eberswalde Library in Germany by Hertzog de Meron. Pattern is definitely back in vogue amongst architects searching for something to replace the ubiquitous glass façade.
Now I know that polished concrete has been big for sometime but Concrete Blonde has taken this to a new level of sophistication with their amazing range of concrete wallpaper. Available in different sizes, colours, bespoke patterns and continuous lengths, this ‘Walled Paper’ brings a delicate beauty to a concrete façade.
My perfect Sunday always starts with a visit to Columbia Road Flower Market. This very London experience takes place every Sunday between 8am to 2pm and is a cornucopia of garden and house plants and cut flowers.
To get the best from Columbia Road, always arrive early – ideally before 10am as it gets busy very quickly. Walk up and down a few times to identify the bargains of the day – it is amazing the variations in price and quality between the various stalls! Then with mental list compiled head off to one of the lovely cafes for a coffee and a bacon roll. For those in search of something a little stronger, The Royal Oak Pub has the associated market license and is open from 8am on Sundays, spot the people who still have not been to bed from the night before!
For those not so green fingered, chic little boutiques line this historic street along with shops selling breads, cheese and other beautiful bits and bobs. My favourite shop is Treacle, a haven of fairy cakes, Victoria sponges and fruit loaves. Their mini fairy cakes look like trays of jewels.
So even if you are not a committed gardener, Columbia Road Market is a colourful and fun place for people watching or for grabbing a bite to eat.
A few of us at Camron went to see the Sultan’s Elephant and the giant girl last weekend and we all agreed it was one of the most amazing things we’ve ever seen.
It’s difficult to relate how incredible this spectacle was to those who didn’t see it – think 3 storey wooden elephant ‘puppet’, complete with life-like movements, water spraying out of it’s trunk, gorgeously long eyelashes draping over beautifully realistic eyes; and a giant girl with a green dress and cute little white socks arriving in the centre of London in a wooden space ship that actually creates a crater in the cement during it’s ‘crash’ landing!
There was a whole story around the two of them resulting in a magical finale where the giant girl and elephant finally meet, having walked all around central London for four days looking for each other. It was incredibly well organized, considering the crowds that followed the two of them everywhere – overall a breathtaking, wonderful experience. Makes you glad to live in London.
A cute little café called Konstam, near King’s Cross. Owned by Thomas Heatherwick’s wife’s brother, Konstam is a great little eat-in / take-out lunch stop. Rustic interiors, antique lanterns hanging casually from the ceiling, canteen style seating with one wall mirrored and the other a giant pinboard decorated with an oversized stags head made entirely of drawing pins, and scattered with international currency notes and postcards from abroad – provides ideal entertainment whilst queuing for the tantalizing salad bar that awaits at the far end. The menu changes daily, we were enticed with French onion soup, roast courgette, spinach and ricotta ravioli, shepherds pie, leeky welsh rarebit and a colourful array of salads. By the time we left at peak lunch hour, the place was bustling with hungry punters. Also worth a look is sister restaurant Konstam at The Prince Albert which has just opened a few doors down and boasts beautiful interiors designed by Thomas Heatherwick.
109 Kings Cross RoadLondon