Screen Shot 2013-09-19 at 16.00.53 19th September 2013

Our top picks of the London Design Festival

The London Design Festival has grown into a huge, sprawling series of events, workshops, displays and shows and, whilst there is great stuff to see, it can sometimes be hard to decipher what to prioritise.  We’ve been trawling through what’s on offer and here are our top picks:

Part of the Brompton Design District contribution to the London Design Festival (14th – 22nd September), this week Skandium founder Chrystina Schmidt has been hosting talks to discuss Scandinavian design and introduce Skandium’s latest new products.    

If you’re a fan of the site Etsy, then you definitely need to head up to The Dock (16th – 22nd September) to check out their pop-up craft market with a selection of 6 stall holders who’ll be holding workshops all week.  You’ll also find Tom Dixon’s latest fashion collaboration with Adidas, his new Y Chair plus food from Tart and of course, The Dock Kitchen.

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For something a little larger, don’t miss out on Design Junction (18th – 22nd September) at the Old Sorting Office on New Oxford Street.  Three floors filled with a mixture of the more established (think multi cultured Arne Jacobson chairs) to new younger designers, we always love this show for its great snapshot of what’s new in design, plus the food offerings including Gelupo and Jamie Oliver’s first ever pop-up Barbecoa.  On our Wednesday visit, we were particularly taken by the Flora prints from Bill Smith Art, gorgeous Welsh woven rugs from Melin Tregwynt, stationery at Quill London and Ham Made and the beautiful ripple lights at Poetic Lab.

Finally, if you’re near the Tate Modern, check out the Endless Stair on the front lawn (until 10th October) by designer Alex de Rijke which has  187 stairs and is made up of over 11 tonnes of American tulipwood.

boundary 29th March 2012

Restaurants, bars & cafés: our top places to eat & drink alfresco

How much are we loving the arrival of this warm sunshine? So much so that it has got us thinking about our top places to eat and drink alfresco. For delicious food and a roomy terrace, we love Dock Kitchen, off Ladbroke Grove. Under Stevie Parle’s direction, this restaurant and bar serves up a daily changing menu and at lunchtime midweek, it’s usually possibly to get an outside table without a wait.
Re-opening tomorrow at midday is the rooftop at The Boundary in Shoreditch, which has a huge terrace with a bar, restaurant, garden and 360 degree views from The Gherkin to Canary Wharf. It does get busy though and reservations are not allowed unless you’re a group over 8, so head there early to get a seat.
Keeping to East London, the Towpath café is right on Regent’s Canal and serves simple, good food with a laid back atmosphere, whilst The Crown Tavern, a trendy pub on Clerkenwell Green and in particular The Modern Pantry with it’s top-notch menu, have outside tables.
For an often over-looked spot just near Oxford Circus, try the restaurant at RIBA (Royal Institute of British Architects) which has a great modern terrace at the back that’s quiet and green.
Or if you’re in Chelsea, La Famiglia has a bustling, walled conservatory that opens to the skies. With fantastic Italian food and good service, it’s as close to Italy as you can get off the King’s Road.

dock_kitchen_-429 resized 16th December 2010

Shopping: The Dock Christmas Market

Furniture designer Tom Dixon has the magic touch. Not surprisingly, his shop, housed in a Wharf building on the Grand Union Canal, is great, selling not just his designs, but stuff he loves—everything from flowers and rarefied candles to heavy duty furniture. The accompanying restaurant is the Dock Kitchen, run by chef Stevie Parle who was recently named Young Chef of the Year by the Observer Food Monthly. We know. It’s panic inducing if you haven’t been yet. But this weekend sees the perfect opportunity. It’s the Dock Christmas Market: a fest of food, design and fun. You can make inventive cards and gift boxes with PLAYLAB, eat and take away enormous amounts of delicious food, jolly along to a live band, and buy all manner of great Christmas gifts.