WELCOME TO MINFORD
Pentreath & Hall
If you’re looking for a one-stop destination to snag an unusual and beautiful gift then Pentreath & Hall is the place. The shop is a creative collaboration of dreams between architect and interior designer Ben Pentreath and Birdie Hall, a decorative artist and maker. If you can’t get to their exquisite Rugby Street shop then all is not lost. Much of it is available online.
I’ve picked out my favourite pieces that I am adding to my own shopping wish list.
(As you can see I’m a bit over excited about the alphabet brush pots).
How To Choose Kids Bedding
When it comes to shopping for children’s bedding for me there’s one golden rule – don’t buy that matching set. Step away from the cartoon character duvet and pillows. I’m personally not a fan of a room with a really obvious theme and matchy-matchy e-v-e-r-y-thing.
Instead, it’s all about the mix of print and pattern. You can experiment with florals, checks, spots, paisleys (you name it) but on the whole for it to work it’s best to keep the print small scale.
Getting this look right means looking a little further afield than the usual high street offering. Have a browse of Camomile London, Lab Boutique, Cyrillus, La Redoute and Zara Home.
Another thing to consider when picking out bedding is to challenge yourself to think beyond the usual kids colours (you know the drill bright blue for boys and baby pink for girls).
If you’re going pink try a muted shade and if you’re after blue go for petrol or slate. If you’re feeling adventurous, I love a flash of unexpected pea green or mustard.
The final word on bedding is this – if it’s from Liberty hit the BUY button immediately. Their prints are a never ending source of pleasure and soon your little ones won’t like it so get in there while you can and then save it for the grandchildren.
Imagine how much your daughter will love you when you wheel out the vintage Liberty – hello grandma of dreams!
Hygge: The Only Way To Survive Winter
It’s unlikely this is the first time you’ve heard about Hygge. Personally I first found out about the whole idea on a pilgrimage with some girlfriends (me and three girls known to ourselves as ‘the pottery four’) to visit a ceramic studio called Tortus in Copenhagen at the beginning of this year. Whilst we were there the very well travelled Katie explained to me what Hygge was one chilly evening as we sprinted to a restaurant in the freezing cold.
It transpires there is no literal translation for the word but it essentially means ‘cosy’. The Danes, when faced with bitter winters and dark days, developed the idea of embracing all things snuggly. Think slippers, blankets, a shit load of candles whatever the time of day, and always lighting the fire. It’s Backgammon and hot chocolate. And, if you want to be really (wanky) into the whole thing you could always do some mindfulness colouring at the same time.
Basically it’s the Scandi way of not descending into the depths of despair and depression for five months of every year and I love it (a little strong perhaps but I’m definitely on the S.A.D spectrum).
Given my tendency towards the Debbie Downers in the winter months I have already started planning my ideal Hygge for making this winter a more cheerful one. First stop are these Toast slippers of pure fur joy.
Photo: Sarah Maingot
In Love With Linen
I’ve got a thing about linen sheets. They’re just so pleasing. Unless you lived rather an extraordinary childhood it seems unlikely that you grew up with them and I think this only adds to the allure. It gives them a grown-up, special, holiday feel. Best of all they’re no longer just a crisp Irish affair in the expensive bit at Peter Jones. Washed bed linen now comes in the most divine, chic muted shades. What’s more, they get better with every wash and frankly if you can’t be bothered there’s no need to iron them. Sound good? Oh and before you scream “coloured bed linen! Are you mad?”, hear me out. Rather than go matchy matchy with an entire set, style your bed with a pair of pillows in a beautiful faded colour. Trust me, once you’ve strayed, it’s hard to go back.
Below are a selection of my favourite colours, starting with wallet friendly options from H&M and La Redoute and ending with more dreamy offerings from Larusi. The general rule of thumb is that the more expensive, the softer, and often better the choice of colours.
Photo: Emma Lee
- The Linen Works Parisian Blue Pillowcase
- The Conran Shop Oxford Linen Pink Pillowcase
- H&M Washed Linen Pillowcase
- Larusi Salmom Pre-Washed Linen Pillowcase
- Merci Old Pink Washed Linen Pillowcase
- Linen Me Ice Blue Washed Pillowcase
- Cologne & Cotton Dusky Heather Line
The Alternative Dinner Party Gift
If I am off out to a dinner party, the last thing you’ll find is me on the doorstep holding a bottle of red. I am rubbish at picking a decent wine. ‘Legs’ and ‘Body’ for me have nothing to do with grapes from sunny climes and I find the whole thing mystifying. Not to mention boring. But I am, *pats self on back* great at bringing an unexpected surprise to my hosts. My favourite trick is to arrive with a beautiful box of matches and candles instead. It screams ‘thoughtful’ even if you’ve got it stockpiled in a gift drawer to take to every friend you ever eat with. Ever.
‘Presenting’ is my regular guide to the alternative gifts to buy for those who like out-of-the ordinary treats. Keep an eye out for more in this department. Obviously not mentioning a certain word beginning with ‘c’ and ending in ‘s’.