Cabbages & Roses founder Christina Strutt’s shopping and other secrets

20th May 2015

Christina Strutt founded Cabbages & Roses in 2000. What began as a small mail order business operated from her kitchen table has evolved into a distinctive much-loved lifestyle brand, known for its romantic and eclectic aesthetic and its signature 'refined rustic' feel. The company produces fabulously well-made and designed clothes and printed fabrics and accessories. Christina has also written eight books, the most recent being Living Life Beautifully. Last year, Cabbages & Roses opened a new flagship store at 121 - 123 Sydney Street in Chelsea. There you can find everything the company makes including fabric by the metre, homewares, gifts, a design studio service, and all their lovely clothes.

It’s when I’m shopping for vintage textiles and antiques that my true, greedy personality is exposed. I find I get rather panicky when there is a danger of loosing something beautiful to someone else. That’s the best and worst thing about antiques – usually there is only one of whatever it is you’ve found.

My favourite hunting grounds are:

Kempton Antiques Market and Ardingly Antiques Market.

Sue Stokes Decorative Antiques shop in Lacock, Wilthsire – she has delicious and clever finds from the Georgian and Victorian eras.

Foreign junk shops especially American ones – in fact any junk shops at all. And my own stash in my studio is always good for riffling through and making the odd rediscovery.

When it comes to shopping (rather than hunting), I’m less keen.  I’d rather be weeding the garden, but when the mood takes me this is where I can be found:

Egg, 36 Kinnerton Street, SW1. Maureen Doherty finds the best clothes and accessories for her beautiful and unusual shop.

Cabbages & Roses – the stuff that’s a year or more behind the current stock. I’m rather blasé about current collections, but if I see someone wearing old pieces that I don’t have, I am covetous beyond belief.

Daylesford Organic Farm. Everything they do is delicious and innovative and beautiful, and makes me seem as if I care about food when really I am happy with a bag of maltesers.

Odd Limited. If I could I would position an Odd rocker at every vantage point in my garden, which would mean I would need to buy 7.

I love books, and have about a million coffee table books, but these are my current faves.

Other people’s photograph albums. Anybody’s will do. I love them all.

A House is Not a Home by Bruce Webber.

The Rolling Stones by David Dalton and Waldemar Januszczak. Taschen have published this incredible collection of photographs taken over 50 years. This book would make me seem very cool.

Vogue: The Editor’s Eye. I love anything from Vogue, which reminds me of the old days when I used to work there.

Terence Donovan Fashion. Just beautiful.

Living Life Beautifully by Christina Strutt. OF COURSE.

Jasper Conran Country. The big version, please.

If someone fancied going shopping for me, here’s what I’d most love to receive.

Scented candles. Anything by Diptyque, or Cabbages & Roses’ new Fig and Pear candle or Twenty Seven Roses, which smells like a delicious granny.

Chocolate. Not grown up black chocolate, but posh milk chocolate and lots of it.

An extravagant flowering plant – the sort you would never buy yourself, but not an orchid.

A perfect piece of clothing from Egg (see above). My friend Maureen Doherty would know exactly what I’d love.

Really good bread. My son Edward gave a loaf of bread as gift to a dear friend, and five years later everyone is still talking about it.

About me: I am happiest in my vegetable garden where I have control of neat rows and beautiful produce.

I have a horror of technology and am terrified to change the ‘source’ thing on my TV in case I loose the netflix function.

I don’t know how to switch on the heating in my house. We have a wood burning system and I can’t ask my husband again how it works, so I just put on another sweater.