Article by Ceri Wheeldon
There are certain events in the year that I go to with friends – they have become annual traditions – although sadly we were unlucky with our Wimbledon tickets this year!
Usually we go to the Ideal Home Show, but as we were disappointed last year,so decided to give it a miss this year – which is why I was happy to discover that there was a new show at Olympia, the House and Garden Festival, which combined the Spirit of Summer with the House Fair and Grow London, and was launched this year to coincide with the 70th anniversary of House and Garden magazine.
Planned our day around the talks
We had a fabulous day out. We planned our day around the talks. We thoroughly enjoyed the talk by interior designers Tiffany Duggan and Natalia Miyar who shared their own very different approaches to designing a room from scratch – and we were able to see the rooms they had designed at the show itself. We also chatted to Natalia later when we visited the room she had designed specifically for the show – where her passion for design, and filling a home with things you love really came through.
We weren’t totally convinced by the favourite Summer Recipes talk- we thought a white bread sandwich with mozarella filling dipped in egg and fried was a slightly heavy choice for summer – and wished we had gone to the champagne tasting instead – next time!!!! In fact we thought that with all the talks you really needed 2 days at the show to fit everything in.
Interesting and unusual stands
The stands at the show itself were split into three sections – the Spirit of Summer was very much about Clothes and Lifestyle , while the House and Grow sections speak for themselves. Brands represented were primarily smaller UK based companies , mostly with the owners/designers on the stands, talking passionately about their products and services. We found some hidden gems, including Olive Aubrey Shoes – stylish shoes with low heels whose founder designed the shoes and launched the company when she reached her 50s, founds she didn’t like wearing high heels any more – but wasn’t ready for flats or frumpy footwear. Not being able to find what she wanted at a reasonable price she set up her own company. Similarly nologo-chic was another clothing company whose designer/owner could not find what she wanted on the high street – lovely kaftans and tunics.
Emerald Faerie showcased some fabulous individually designed lamps – and some very innovative jewellery – made from antique cutlery – a great idea for upcycling family heirlooms!
I hope they have another show next year – we decided we would definitely go again – one to put on our list of annual outings. We enjoyed it far more than the Ideal Home Show.