Great British Brands 2021

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GBB 2021




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THE GREAT BRITISH BRANDS AWARDS 2021 Discover which brands are doing outstanding work in the areas of sustainability, reinvention, collaboration, diversity, community and heritage THE WAITING TIME IS OVER With the fashion industry as one of the world’s biggest pollutants, it’s time to act. Arizona Muse takes no prisoners BROKEN DREAMS The story behind the cover dress by Preen by Thornton Bregazzi A BRITISH GUIDE TO SUSTAINABILITY The brands doing it best DO THE RIGHT THING Diversity is not only good for equality, it’s also good for business, says the founder of Cobra Beer, Karan Bilimoria THE NEXT CULTURAL REVOLUTION Britain’s soft power lies in its great culture. Neil Mendoza urges brands to get on board to save it – and themselves NO SOCIAL DILEMMA Tech has to be harnessed for the greater good, says Michael Hayman WHERE ARE WE GOING NEXT? Nicholas Shakespeare ponders the future of travel FRUITS, SHOOTS, RESTAURANTS AND ROOTS Asma Khan says restaurants must step up to the plate when it comes to bringing people together and healing communities

FROM ABOVE: Hunter, Cleave, Aston Martin

DIRECTORY 54 86 110 122 152 164 204 216 264 294 308 316 328

Style Shoes & Accessories Jewellery & Watches Beauty & Wellbeing Iconic Destinations Designers Property & Investment Inside Outside House Style Sporting Land & Sky Hotels & Travel Food & Drink

ON THE COVER Arizona Muse wears bespoke chiffon dress and upcycled leather boots by Preen by Thornton Bregazzi. Photography by Carla Guler. Fashion direction by Nicole Smallwood. Hair by Ben Cook using Redken. Make-up by Nathalie Eleni using ILIA Beauty and Typology

Editor Charlotte Metcalf Editorial Director Lucy Cleland Managing Editor Amy Wakeham Copy Editors Kate Patrick, Maggie O’Sullivan, Matt Forbes-Dale, Richard Hopton, Simon Brooke Fashion Director Nicole Smallwood Chief Sub Editor Belinda Bamber Sub Editor & Production Controller Alex Bloom-Davis Creative Direction & Production Parm Bhamra Production Designer Samuel Thomas Online Editor Rebecca Cox Online Writer Ellie Smith Online Assistant Daniella Saunders Digital Intern Kate O’Gorman Technical Manager Hannah Johnson Property & Marketing Associate Director Gemma Cowley Advertising Sales Director Ellie Rix Senior Account Manager Pandora Lewis Digital Manager Adam Dean Finance Controller Lauren Hartley Sales & Admin Assistant Bea Cerullo Finance Director Jill Newey Group Publishing Director Tia Graham Managing Director Jeremy Isaac

Copyright © 2021 Country & Town House Ltd. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part without written permission is strictly prohibited. All prices are correct at the time of going to press but are subject to change. While every care is taken to ensure all information is correct at the time of going to press, it is subject to change, and Country & Town House Ltd. takes no responsibility for omissions or errors. Country & Town House, Studio 2, 115 Harwood Road, London SW6 4QL, +44 (0)20 7384 9011


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GBB 2021

Editor’s LETTER

FROM ABOVE: Arizona Muse models the Preen by Thornton Bregazzi dress, made from single-use plastic for our cover; Misan Harriman captured the mood on the streets during the #BlackLivesMatter campaigns; Boodles ring



t feels as if it were in another lifetime altogether that we celebrated the 2020 Optimism issue of Great British Brands with a magnificent shindig at Annabel’s last January. In May, when we began work on the 2021 edition, ‘reset’ and ‘the new normal’ defined the zeitgeist, and I gloomily envisaged that our brands would be floundering and the edition would flounder along with them. ‘What Next?’ seemed the only question worth asking – not that anyone had an answer. Instead, I have been astonished by our brands’ tenacious resilience as they braced for a tsunami of challenges. And beyond surviving, many flourished, as this edition shows, celebrating the ingenuity, innovation and determination that kept them buoyant. It was in that congratulatory spirit that we launched our first awards (see page 18 to find out the winners). I am often asked what constitutes a Great British Brand. Last year I had a ready answer but as the world shifted my perspective changed. In late March I saw brands not just hell-bent on their survival but altruistically focussing on their immediate and wider communities, including the NHS. In response, we launched our Great British Brands United platform, where we posted inspiring stories of brands converting factories to manufacture PPE, stitching masks, delivering meals to those in need or donating their profits to the NHS. Katharine Pooley, an independent interior design brand, set about renovating deprived children’s bedrooms, an imaginative, generous gesture that deserved our Community Award. Meanwhile, as shopping moved inexorably online, brands mastered Whatsapp, Instagram and Zoom. Entrepreneur and broadcaster Michael Hayman convinces us that technology is the surprise hero of the pandemic, enabling brands to build trust and cement relationships with their customers (p40).


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The fashion industry all but ground to a halt, but model and campaigner Arizona Muse, who graces our cover, is confident that this is ultimately to the industry’s and planet’s advantage as consumers turn their backs on fast fashion to buy more consciously in an era of recycling, repurposing and restoring (p20). (See also our A to Z of British Sustainability on page 27). Indeed, beyond fashion, 2020 saw many brands, both vast and tiny, putting caring for the planet at the core of their operations, which prompted us to create a Sustainability Award. In the same way, we created a Diversity Award, as the #BlackLivesMatter movement made brands recognise that they prosper by creating inclusive environments in which all talent, regardless of ethnicity, culture, religion, gender, sexuality or disability, can thrive, as Karan Bilimoria, head of the CBI and founder of Cobra Beer, draws on his own experience to demonstrate (p32). What next for the travel sector, brutally bruised by last year’s restrictions? Novelist Nicholas Shakespeare, well-known for his seminal biography of Bruce Chatwin, describes his delight at rediscovering ‘the beauties of our sceptred isle’ and predicts we will re-embrace the grand old hotels with lots of space and the slow pleasures of train travel, walking, cycling and small, bespoke, guided tours (p45). The hospitality sector was equally hard hit, but Asma Khan, founder of Darjeeling Express, argues that food has tremendous power as the healing ‘glue’ of families, communities and society at large. Food bridges cultures and restaurateurs can take advantage of us gathering around a table to present food in a way that opens doors on its heritage (p50). And what of culture, arguably our greatest export of all? Tourists don’t flock to our banks but to our museums, theatres and galleries, says Neil Mendoza, Commissioner for Cultural Recovery and Renewal. Culture comprises Britain’s ‘soft power’, embedded in communities up and down the land, so it behoves brands to step up and


The real mark of a Great British Brand is that it NEVER COMPROMISES on QUALITY, whatever the degree of adversity. Today’s brands are not so much purveyors of luxury as of REASSURANCE

support the arts (p36). Recognising this, Ed Vaizey and I launched Lockdown Culture, later Break Out Culture, a weekly culture podcast for Country & Town House. Last year galvanised brands into focussing on what they do well and the real mark of a Great British Brand is that it never compromises on quality, whatever the degree of adversity. Today’s brands are not so much purveyors of luxury as of reassurance. They have used tech to keep connected with even the most isolated customers, adapting their products to dispense comfort and happiness. They are potentially a force for great good, harnessing and nurturing diverse talent, helping to save the planet and supporting our culture and the community. Many brands boast years – or centuries – of proud heritage, superb craftsmanship and experience, as our Heritage Award attests. Add to that a quirky sense of humour and a knack for storytelling and it’s no wonder Great British Brands are sought after the world over. Consumers will go on demanding that those brands stay true to their values, never compromising on excellence and delivering products made to last. Above all, the post-pandemic consumer will seek out products from responsible brands that are transparently trying to make the world a better place. In 2021 a Great British Brand will do the right thing and that, in a nutshell, is what’s next.

FROM ABOVE: Great British brands John Smedley and Luxtripper


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GBB 2021


Arizona Muse Model, sustainability consultant and

Karan Bilimoria

Carla Guler

Founder of Cobra Beer


environmental activist

and President of the CBI

Great British brand: Temperley, for Alice’s commitment to bringing back the British garmentmaking industry. Great British hero: Theresa May, for the 25 Year Environment Plan. Great British weekend: The exquisite Daylesford Farm Cottages. Great British dish: I love cabbage. I feel deeply nourished by it. Great British institution: The Design Museum for its interest in design that is sustainable for the planet. Great British hotel: The Beaumont, for its insane service, luxury and sustainability. The level of these three categories is like none other. Great British designer: Amy Powney of Mother of Pearl for her British roots, her knowledge on sustainability and her ambition to make sustainable fashion the norm.

Great British Brand: Cobra Beer, my pride and joy. Great British hero: Dame Stephanie ‘Steve’ Shirley – a refugee, entrepreneur, philanthropist and inspiration. Great British Dish: Chicken tikka masala – Britain’s favourite food. Great British institution: The Confederation of British Industry (CBI), of which I am proud to be president. Great British shop: Farlows – for years I have bought fly fishing tackle here for my father in India. Great British read: The Financial Times – no FT, no comment! Great British art gallery: The Barber Institute of Fine Art at the University of Birmingham – where I am chancellor and where my mother studied History of Art. Great British designer: Apsley Tailors – my wonderful tailor in Mayfair.

Great British brand: Alighieri – its jewellery pieces are really unique and beautiful. Great British dish: During winter months you can’t go wrong with a delicious roast and a hearty glass of merlot. Great British institution: I recently started teaching at Westminster University – it feels really rewarding giving back to the students. Great British shop: The iconic Liberty. As an indecisive shopper I love to have the choice of everything in one place. Great British hotel: The Hoxton, in the heart of Shoreditch, has such a cool vibe. Great British designer: One of my favourite designers is Stella McCartney, I love the sustainable element to the fashion brand. Great British car: My ideal car is a 4x4 so I would have to say a Range Rover as my kit never gets smaller.

Neil Mendoza

Commissioner for Cultural Recovery and Renewal

Great British brand: London Transport always raises my spirits. Great British hero: Samuel Pepys, the best chronicler of London life. Great British weekend: Sailing on the MS Oldenburg and staying on Lundy Island. Great British dish: Half a dozen Whitstable oysters and a side of chips. Great British institution: The pub, with or without a substantial meal. Great British shop: If you’re fascinated by maps it has to be Stanfords in Covent Garden. Great British read: Shakespeare, what more do you need? Great British museum: St Fagans National Museum of History, Cardiff. Great British hotel: Premier Inn – simple, reliable and good. Great British designer: Jony Ive – especially for the colourful and very heavy iMac G3.

Nicole Smallwood Fashion director Great British brand: Mulberry – I love their initiative inviting customers to return their old Mulberry bags for repair and recycling, in exchange for a credit towards a new purchase. Great British institution: The NHS… what the frontline staff have done for us has been exceptional. Great British shop: Hurr – I’m so impressed with what they offer to the rental market, not only as a sustainable model, but also for making designer labels accessible to all. Great British read: Why I’m No Longer Talking To White People About Race by Reni Eddo-Lodge. We can all benefit from learning more about racial equality. Great British art gallery: Tate Modern – I’m looking forward to the Yayoi Kusama exhibition. Great British designer: Victoria Beckham – especially her recent collaboration with Reebok.

TH E BEST OF BR ITISH TO YOU R IN BOX For the latest news, features, interviews and exclusive offers, sign up to the monthly Great British Brands newsletter. @countryandtown





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Lauren Cuthbertson of The Royal Ballet Lauren wears a selection of jewellery from Kiki Uniques

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GBB 2021


Asma Khan Chef, restaurateur and author Great British brand: Royal Enfield for its timelessness. Great British hero: Who could fault the brilliance of William Shakespeare? Great British weekend: The peace and tranquility of the Lake District. Great British dish: The wholesomeness of shepherd’s pie. Great British institution: The bravery and undying dedication of the NHS. Great British shop: The elegance of Fortnum & Mason. Great British read: The stark beauty of Dickens’ Oliver Twist. Great British museum: The richness of the V&A – the breadth and range of its treasures is staggering. Great British hotel: You can’t beat the glitz and glamour of The Ritz. Great British designer: Stella McCartney is brilliantly innovative. Great British car: I love the history and heritage of Land Rover.

Nicholas Shakespeare

Alexandra Dao

Michael Hayman

Nathalie Eleni

Novelist and travel writer



Makeup artist

Great British brand: Worcestershire sauce, by Lea & Perrins. I was born in Worcester, and so am prejudiced. But its distinct flavour enhances everything it splashes. Great British weekend: A stay at the Howtown Hotel near Penrith. This family-run jewel is a matchless base from which to climb Fusedale, or walk in Wordsworth’s contemplative footsteps. Great British institution: The pub, especially my 14th-century local – The Compasses in Chicksgrove. Great British read: The Mating Season, by PG Wodehouse. Great British hotel: The Inn at Whitewell near Clitheroe, probably my favourite hotel in the world. Great British car: A Morgan 4/4 in Westminster Green. Although the company was bought by an Italian group in 2019, the car remains British in spirit, looks and its lion-pouncing roar.

Great British brand: Neal’s Yard Remedies – I love all their sustainably-sourced herbs, carefully dried to preserve their supportive properties. Great British hero: John Lennon, a promoter of justice and peace through music and art. Great British dish: An apple and blackberry crumble – picked from Kent orchards and country lanes. Great British shop: Selfridges: a shoppers’ paradise with innovative pop-ups and events. Great British hotel: Burgh Island – a spectacularly iconic Art Deco landmark on its own tidal island where Agatha Christie wrote many of her novels. Great British designer: The Vampire’s Wife – I love the flattering shape: the round neck, nipped-in waist, mid-length skirt and elbow-length sleeves. Great British car: A Morris Minor Traveller, so quintessentially British.

broadcaster and author Great British brand: The BBC – its motto of ‘Nation shall speak peace unto nation’ couldn’t be more needed. Great British hero: Captain Tom (Sir Thomas Moore) – a hero for our times. Great British dish: Eclectic, inventive and from all four corners of the world – with the variety of British dishes now on offer, an impossible question to answer. Great British institution: Our pubs and restaurants – we have to use them or lose them. Great British shop: Emma Willis – beautiful shirts and a superb founder helping armed forces veterans. Great British hotel: Beaverbrook – a gem nestled in the Surrey Hills. Great British designer: Thomas Heatherwick – a genius who makes the everyday extraordinary. Great British car: The Jaguar XK 120 exudes the romance of the grand tour.

Great British brand: Temple Spa for the most gloriously scented products that leave both skin and senses soothed. Great British weekend: Endless hours in The Coach House Spa at Beaverbrook. Great British dish: Atul Kochhar’s chicken tikka masala pie at Kanishka. Great British institution Allbright – a women’s members’ club that always has a great roster of events. Great British shop: Harrods, for wall-to-wall indulgence. Even if it’s just to window shop, it can make an average day more glamorous for a moment. Great British museum: The V&A with friends or the Science Museum with my children. Great British hotel: Afternoon tea at Claridge’s, it doesn’t get better than that. Great British designer: Alice Temperley – for her stunning colours and textures.

THE GBB X CH A NGEM A K ER S PODCA ST Hosted by Michael Hayman, industry experts, founders and CEOs share their invaluable insights into the future of Great British Brands. Available on all good platforms. B R I N G I N G YO U T H E F U T U R E O F B R I T I S H L U X U RY


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2021 AWARDS We are delighted to celebrate the best of Great British Brands with our fi rst ever awards, judged in a year of extraordinary challenge and adversity



Author, Critic, Curator

‘Great brands have a promise of what’s to come, but also a memory of what has gone before. ’


Chief Executive of the British Fashion Council

‘Great British Brands show resilience, creativity and a quality that is respected internationally.’


Former Culture and Digital Minister, Member of the House of Lords and tech consultant

‘A Great British Brand is one that is authentic, with a great heritage and local roots.’

T H E J U D G E S ’ AW A R D


Luxury Editor of the Economist’s 1843 Magazine

‘Comfort, style and a touch of understatement makes the Great British Brand truly world-class.’


GUY SALTER Represents the British Government’s GREAT Campaign and founder of London Craft Week

‘A Great British Brand is... Love and respect – always.’

Best Overall Brand

The judges created this special award for a truly Great British Brand that exemplifies consistently outstanding creativity, innovation and an unwavering commitment to excellence.


Rolls-Royce has not just stayed true to its magnificent heritage but elevated the concept of bespoke to a new level. Its new ‘post-opulent’ Ghost perfectly exemplifies how in-tune Rolls-Royce is with the changing consumer mood while its Whisper app ensures it stays connected with customers globally. A brand of integrity and astonishing resilience, Rolls-Royce continues to exemplify the very best of British craftsmanship, design and engineering. 18 | COUNTRYANDTOWNHOUSE.CO.UK/GBB

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TH E CATEG ORY W IN N ER S Took pre-emptive and positive action to phase out environmentally damaging practices during 2020.


Faced the challenge of Covid-19 by doing things differently to survive and meet changing customer needs.








Achieved B Corp certification within just ten months, in recognition of its social and environmental performance, accountability and transparency. The brand has never compromised its superb quality while putting caring for people and the planet at the core of its ethos. HIGHLY COMMENDED



When theatres shut, ENO reinvented itself and launched a new way of staging opera. The drive-in La Bohème at Alexandra Palace broke the mould and was a triumph of creativity and innovation. Meanwhile, ENO Breathe pioneered a new way of using singing to support Covid-sufferers. HIGHLY COMMENDED


Used a creative collaboration to expand its reach and attract new customers.


Collaborated with model and influencer Richard Biedul to create three new styles, taking the traditional men’s shoe brand to a younger, new, more diverse audience, and engaging with them via social media. The collaboration repositioned Cheaney as more youthful with wider appeal. HIGHLY COMMENDED

Celtic & Co Has prospered and grown, constantly enhancing its original eco-principles.

The Turquoise Holiday Company Adapted nimbly to travel restrictions and launched its first ever British hotel offering.

Musto x Land Rover Extended Musto’s reach, cementing its reputation for durable outerwear.

Exemplified a continued commitment to diversity and drawing on a range of new talent.


Supported its own community, its wider community and/or the NHS during the pandemic and beyond.








Has consistently championed diversity and lived and breathed creative communities, as its digital #Mirrortheworld campaign illustrated. It has also worked with the Ethical Fashion Initiative for ten years. Its commitment to showcasing a diverse range of culture and talent is exemplary. HIGHLY COMMENDED

Luxtripper Has gone above and beyond to create an inclusive environment and diverse brand.



Responded imaginatively and generously to its community with its heart-warming Decorate a Child’s Life programme. Working with The Childhood Trust, it offered free make-overs of deprived children’s bedrooms, bringing sparkle to little people’s lives across London. HIGHLY COMMENDED

Fairfax & Favor The brand consistently and creatively raises funds for charity.


Showed a continued commitment to traditional values, craftsmanship and excellence, even in the face of adversity.


After 223 years, the company continues to manufacture in Scotland, using the best tried and trusted traditional processes. Its quality remains undiminished while staying relevant by constantly innovating and sourcing new eco-friendly yarns from which it creates classic, enduring products. HIGHLY COMMENDED

Barbour In product terms, it’s unsurpassed – appealing to generation after generation. COUNTRYANDTOWNHOUSE.CO.UK/GBB | 19

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GBB 2021

Arizona Muse wears a dress especially made for GBB by Thea Bregazzi and Justin Thornton of Preen by Thornton Bregazzi. The dress is made from single-use plastics, the sequinned underdress is made from deadstock fabric that was destined for landfill and the boots are made from upcycled leather

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OVER ARIZONA MUSE is the poster girl for sustainable fashion. She issues a clarion call to the industry and consumers alike to put sustainability at the heart of everything they do, before it’s too late Fashion Direction by NICOLE SMALLWOOD Photography by CARLA GULER

Hair: Ben Cook at Frank Agency for Lockonego using Redken Make up: Nathalie Eleni using ILIA Beauty and Typology Digital Artist: Megan Dowson Photographer’s assistant: Luke Weller Videographer: Tracer Ital


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CLOCKWISE FROM THIS PICTURE: Herd uses 100 per cent fine English wool; Stella McCartney collections have always been at the forefront of sustainable fashion; Bamford’s whole philosophy is based on the materials it uses and how they impact on nature


s a model for the past 11 years, I have had a front row seat from which to observe the inner workings of the fashion industry. I was a full six years into my career when I realised I didn’t know where my clothes were made, who made them or what materials were used in the process. These questions quickly evolved into a craving to understand the impact fashion is having on our planet. The answers I found (after quite some digging) quickly convinced me that it’s a matter of great urgency to act to help the planet in her regeneration. I say ‘her’ deliberately, because until we start to see our planet as Mother Nature rather than just as a lump of rock, we will never win the race to save her. This conviction catapulted me into making it my life’s mission to educate myself – and others – about the most pressing issues of our lifetime: climate change, waste, pollution, deforestation, social justice, regenerative economics and agriculture, water displacement and, above all, Nature. Today, I am acutely aware of the catastrophic impact of the fashion industry. Clothing production has doubled in the last 15 years and continues to grow at a rapid rate. Fast fashion is churned out on a massive scale, introducing customers to cheap, usually synthetic clothing that is dumped after a couple of wears. Textile production is the world’s second-most polluting industry, after oil – and every year we throw away hundreds of billions of pounds worth of clothing. It causes damaged river systems, acidic oceans and mountains of textile trash. Meanwhile, impoverished, vulnerable women are exposed to exploitation and violence, sexual or otherwise, simply by turning up to work at the garment factories that employ them. In recent years, the much-publicised scandals about the atrocious working conditions in many clothing factories have tarnished the fashion industry’s reputation almost irreparably.

‘Fashion is a powerful force with access to global networks and a key contributor to the economy and employment,’ says Ethical Era’s Florence Kollie Raja, a global policy expert and sustainability consultant, ‘but it is still working with very dated concepts and models from the first Industrial Revolution.’ There are, however, pioneering organisations, such as Fashion Revolution, Remake, the Ellen MacArthur Foundation and the UN Alliance for Sustainable Fashion, finding solutions and raising public awareness about the systemic challenges facing the industry. The more knowledge we have, the more empowered we are to act. And everyone can act. Whenever I buy something, I try to follow a few simple rules. I buy second-hand as much as possible or, if I can’t, I try to be more conscious about what I do buy. That means buying less and better, from brands which operate with the Earth in mind. Whether I’m buying food, skincare or clothes, I always read the label so that I know what I am putting in or on my body and can assess the impact of those products. And where appropriate, I communicate with the brands I buy from and let them know how they can do more. We can – and should – all try to do our bit, but individual action alone is not the solution. Brands need to be on board. Economic hardship from recent lockdowns has put pressure on them to recoup large losses and the talk is that fashion’s sustainability initiatives could end up on the backburner. But consumer power is a potent weapon. According to a recent McKinsey report, engagement in sustainability has deepened during the pandemic. The use of sustainable materials is a key purchasing factor for 67 per cent of consumers and 63 per cent consider a brand’s promotion of sustainability in the same way. Consumers must go on demanding that brands act responsibly. Already, designers such as Stella McCartney, Amy Powney of Mother of Pearl, Bamford, Phoebe English, Alice Temperley and


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Patrick McDowell are leading the way when it comes to sustainable practices, with other major fashion brands following. Burberry and Erdem, among others, are working with the aftercare industry to build sustainable clothing care into their design processes. Blanc Living, the London-based eco-friendly dry cleaner, advises brands on the fabrics and dyes they are using in their garments and what ecological impact these may have once they have been discarded. Erdem is about to complete a company-wide sustainability review looking at every aspect of the business, and has already been working to reduce waste, upcycling past seasons’ fabrics to create a ready-towear capsule for The Outnet and introducing more bespoke pieces. Meanwhile, Burberry has launched a five-year plan ensuring the sustainable production of cashmere in Afghanistan, with a programme of education and training for the goatherds on the ground, which will result in better welfare for the animals, higher quality cashmere and therefore better prices for the material. It’s a win-win. Closer to home, Alice Temperley has moved her business back to Somerset, where she grew up. The area has a history rich in textile production, and Alice will be helping to support these age-old skills and crafts, since she intends to work on a ‘locally sustainable’ level. Locals are thrilled to have some vibrancy and interest back in an area that currently has few job opportunities. Brands looking to do more should start their quest at The Sustainable Angle, a not-for-profit organisation that initiates and supports projects with a focus on sustainability in fashion and textiles. Its annual Future Fabrics Expo sources and curates materials with a lower environmental footprint. The idea of just creating less stuff is already beginning to take shape too. On 21 May 2020, The Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) and the British Fashion Council (BFC) released a joint message calling for a slowing down of the system. They backed the idea of just two main collections a year, to do away with much of the mass consumption and waste caused by fashion weeks. Their message followed an open letter, championed by Dries Van Noten’s Forum, which called for the selling seasons to be realigned. Van Noten’s initiative has recently joined forces with Rewiring Fashion, set up by a group of independent designers – their similar visions working more powerfully together. A farmer once said to me, ‘Humans do their best work when they are in a hurry’. That helped me to forgive the inaction of the world, which had been making me angry for quite some time. Up until that point I had been asking, ‘How could we have waited this long?’ Now the waiting is being replaced with action and momentum, thanks to inspiring leaders and global movements such as Greta Thunberg’s Fridays for Future, Jane Fonda’s Fire Drill Fridays and Extinction Rebellion. Imagine walking into a shop and knowing that whatever you needed to buy had a positive impact on the Earth. How good would that feel? Sustainability should not be an add-on but a given every time. There should always be transparency about where each garment was made and the people who made it. This way brands would no longer have to hide the embarrassingly cruel life-cycle of their garments. We could remove the ‘sustainable’ and just call it ‘fashion’. Change starts with an almost childlike inquisitiveness about the world. We must keep asking ‘why?’ about everything we buy until we get to the truth. The fashion industry will have to change if we insist on questioning them. The future relies on what you choose to do next.

Imagine walking into a shop and KNOWING that whatever you needed to buy had a POSITIVE impact on the Earth. How GOOD would that feel?

Arizona Muse is a model, sustainability consultant and environmental activist. n COUNTRYANDTOWNHOUSE.CO.UK/GBB | 23

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GBB 2021


Inspired by the Japanese art of Kintsugi, the story behind this year’s Great British Brands cover dress is perhaps more relevant than ever, says LUCY CLELAND. She meets its designers – Thea Bregazzi and Justin Thornton of Preen by Thornton Bregazzi


Chiffon blue dress (up for auction), sequinned dress, earrings and boots, designed by Justin Thornton and Thea Bregazzi

Preen by Thornton Bregazzi’s Spring/ Summer ’21 moodboards were created inside vintage books, using pictures of smashedup ceramics, florals, lace and inspiring imagery, and turning the books into works of art in their own right. From this sprang the GBB cover dress and broken-ceramic earrings, based on the Japanese art of Kintsugi

we used second-hand tweed suits, upcycling them into fitted jackets and pencil skirts. We have always wanted to give tired and unwanted clothes a new life.’ It wasn’t until three years ago that they were really able to ramp up better practices across the board, with factories under pressure to produce more sustainably. ‘We are now using as many sustainable fabrics as we can,’ says Justin. At first, it was hard to get them but now it’s much easier. Our A/W’20 collection was 80 per cent made from recycled fabric, deadstock or materials made from plastic bottles and textile waste. We also only make to order and never produce excess stock. We’ve always had a “make do and


rizona Muse makes the art of modelling this Preen by Thornton Bregazzi dress look as effortless as a bird soaring up to the sky. But she’s not just a clothes horse paid to model a beautiful dress for this year’s Great British Brands cover shoot in a West London studio. Arizona is known for championing the companies and brands that do the right thing when it comes to the use of materials, treatment of staff, traceability and transparency in one of the biggest polluting industries in the world – fashion. She’s pleased that when it comes to husband-and-wife team Thea Bregazzi and Justin Thornton, best known for their whimsical confections with added grit, or ‘dark romance’ as they prefer to call it, the couple are working really hard to make their brand – beloved by A-listers (and the rest of us) the world over – ever more sustainable. Launched 25 years ago, Thea confirms that the idea of not wasting resources is nothing new to them. ‘We have always worked with recycled garments. In the early 1990s, Justin’s first job was for London designer Helen Storey, where he worked on her recycling range, 2nd Life. This was the first of its kind at a designer level.’ That innovation stuck. Justin continues: ‘When Thea and I began Preen in 1996 we carried on with these recycling ideas. In our first collections


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FASHION mend” mentality.’ And what about that showstopper dress – made specifically for our cover from recycled single-use plastic material and based on a design in the S/S’21 collection? ‘When we began we were focussing on the idea of taking something broken and rebuilding it,’ says Justin. The earrings exemplify this since they’re literally made from pieces of smashed ceramics. ‘It was full lockdown and we started to work on a creative idea unsure whether we would show a collection or not, but just to keep busy,’ says Justin. ‘We were also homeschooling our two daughters, Fauve, 11, and Blythe, 7, who were charged with making patterns from found objects in the house. When we dropped one of Thea’s pieces of vintage crockery, it smashed into pieces and the girls began sticking them together.’ ‘It reminded us of Kintsugi,’ he explains, ‘so we showed the girls some of this Japanese art form. They loved it and started painting the cracks with gold. Thea suggested they make earrings for us and that’s how it started. We got in touch with our friend, the jeweller Vicki Sarge (, and she made them into the most beautiful pieces for us.’ Sustainability aside, what of Britain’s other big challenge, Brexit – which, depending on your viewpoint, could be seen as another chance to smash something and rebuild it? The designers say that, while they have no truck with the decision to leave the EU, they plan to carry on and try their hardest against what they feel is a devastating blow to both the country and, specifically, their industry. ‘We are both born and bred British,’ [and that’s quite rare!] ‘and you can pretty much always tell a British designer – they can be a bit out there, they don’t conform and they tend to have that quirky sense of humour. We won’t give up easily but we are really disappointed to be leaving [the EU].’ As this is our What Next? issue, what can we expect from Preen in 2021? ‘We are focussing on the here and now,’ says Justin. ‘We can’t plan as we used to so we are just taking time to adjust and refocus. Our homeware line Preen Home has been very successful so we’re planning to build on the range; we’d also love to do a sports collaboration and we’ll be working more on our direct-to-consumer communications. A more considered approach then, hopefully with less of the vortex spin of the relentless annual fashion collections, and more time for creating and repurposing pieces with materials that would otherwise be neglected and wasted. And, of course, delivering joy for the Preen wearer, who knows they not only get impeccable design but impeccable practice too. n

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BID TO OWN THE GBB COVER DRESS Every year, together with GBB, the designers choose a charity to support with the auction of the cover dress. This is a unique opportunity to own something completely bespoke and original from one of the UK’s bestloved fashion brands, as well as raising much-needed funds for charity. This year, auction proceeds will go to Choose Love, which does whatever it takes to identify, close and prevent gaps in services and protections for refugees and displaced people. From life-saving search-and-rescue to lifechanging education and training, Choose Love provides emergency aid and long-term solutions where they are needed most. ‘We are so grateful to the teams at Preen by Thornton Bregazzi and Great British Brands for supporting our work with the upcoming auction of this beautiful dress,’ says Choose Love’s Alice Sloman. ‘After what has been such a challenging year for our grassroots partners, who have been working tirelessly to prevent an outbreak of COVID-19 in refugee camps, this really means so much to us. All funds raised in this auction will help fund our emergency response work this winter and beyond.’

THE AUCTION IS NOW LIVE To find out more details, visit The auction will close on 31 March 2021 and the lucky bidder will be notified by email. Follow @countryandtownhouse and #GBBPreenforChooseLove for updates. To find out more about Choose Love, please visit @chooselove on social media or online at

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Palmer Harding works closely with its fabric mills to ensure the production process is free from environmentally harmful chemicals and all plastic packaging has been replaced with 100 per cent biodegradable alternatives.





Celtic & Co exemplifies the 16 principles for a circular fashion industry, including providing a repair and resole service and designing for longevity.


Eighty per cent of alpaca yarn used in Ally Bee Knitwear is derived from the fleece of British alpaca flocks.



Inspired by Stella McCartney’s 2021 A to Z Manifesto, we bring you our guide to the British fashion brands, companies and global figureheads doing the right thing

d Data

According to a recent McKinsey report, 67 per cent of consumers consider the use of sustainable materials to be an important purchasing factor.


Woolmark promotes and highlights the benefits of sustainable wool use as the most reused and recycled fibre in the world.




Paper’s textured swimwear is made using REPREVE yarn, which is produced from plastic bottles – since 2018 it has recycled the equivalent of 112,500 plastic bottles.


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Activist Greta Thunberg has made climate change a global issue by challenging world leaders to take immediate action.


We need to start seeing the planet we live on as a living, breathing entity – as Mother Nature – not just an inert static form that we can continue defacing.



If you’re going to buy, make sure it’s pieces that are made to last like Navygrey’s signature navy merino knit that you’ll find yourself wearing again and again.


K Knowhow

Eco-friendly Londonbased drycleaner BLANC works with design houses to make sure the textiles used for collections are long-lasting and cleanable in a more sustainable way.

Jane Fonda

Jane Fonda leads weekly demonstrations (virtually for the moment, but usually on Capitol Hill) to bring the issue of climate change action firmly to the seat of American political power.

O L ‘Locally sustainable’ is Alice Temperley’s new mantra as she moves her business home to Somerset, an area famed for its rich history in textiles and age-old skills she intends to support in her enterprise.


m Made to Order

Phoebe English makes to order and everything else in small batches, so there’s no excess stock. phoebe


All the cotton used by Beaumont Organic is GOTS certified, so it knows where it was grown and knitted, ensuring that no pesticides, chemicals or GMO seeds are used in production. beaumont



Bamford traces everything around the environmental impact of the ingredients, fibres, dyes and the water used, to lighten its footprint on the earth and respect nature’s habitat.





Matches Fashion uses recycled, recyclable and/or FSC-certified packaging, made from responsibly sourced 100 per cent plastic free materials with removable magnets and natural vegetable dyes for the marble pattern.


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U Q V Question

If we don’t ask questions about the brands we’re buying, we won’t be able to change the status quo. Luckily, brands like Skiim Paris make it easier by only using suppliers recommended by The Sustainable Angle.

Erdem is upcycling past seasons’ fabrics to create a new, 25-piece, ready-to-wear capsule collection for The Outnet.




New Brit brand Mynok boasts an impressive 90 per cent sustainability in its first season. Its S/S’21 collection uses recycled fabrics, vegan silks and organic cottons, while its campaign features trans women and nonbinary models.


Second-hand and vintage shops, such as Worn (, Kids O’Clock (kidsoclock. and Loop Generation ( are critical for promoting the circular fashion economy



Waste not, want not

Many of Penelope Chilvers’ shoes and boots have Goodyear welt construction, so they can be completely resoled after years of use, and surplus raw materials are repurposed in repeat designs so there’s no waste.


Social responsibility Mother of Pearl travels to its factories with each production round to personally meet the people working there. Where possible, they strive to trace the initial raw material to the country of origin.

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Burberry’s New Planet-Conscious Cashmere Project provides goat herders with training on sustainable farming, harvesting techniques and animal welfare practices, helping them to achieve higher quality cashmere and, in turn, higher prices for the natural fibre.


Herd uses the finest fleeces in England from farms in Lancashire and Yorkshire, then cleans and spins them with no toxic inputs and knits everything within 150 miles of the farms.


Zero waste Stella McCartney is working hard to reduce its use of raw materials and increase its use of repurposed and upcycled fabrics. This gorgeous one-off Gabriela dress – a rare collector’s piece – was created from strips of patterned fabrics from nine past ready-to-wear collections. stella


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A different perspective Some furniture is made for the here and now. Some is built to stand the test of time. At Neptune, we believe that the best can do both. Because good design never grows old.

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Book an appointment to chat to one of our friendly designers – on us.

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GBB 2021

Do the RIGHT THING Diversity will strengthen your brand and make Britain a better place, says KARAN BILIMORIA


Photography by MISAN HARRIMAN

hen I arrived in Britain from India as a 19-year-old in the early eighties, my family and friends laughed uproariously when I told them I harboured plans to be an entrepreneur. They told me in no uncertain terms that, should I choose to stay in Britain, I had zero chance of making it to the top. They had a point. Though I had come to read law at Cambridge University, having already obtained a degree in commerce from the Osmania University in Hyderabad, the glass ceiling for ethnic minorities still stood firm as steel – unsmashable. In fact, I remember what a big deal it was in 1987 to see the first five ethnic minority members of parliament (four to the Commons and one to the Lords). Today, there are 115.

I’m glad I didn’t listen to my friends and family. Nearly 40 years later, I am the firstever ethnic minority president of the CBI in its 60-year history. I’m a crossbench peer, a university chancellor and the head of Cobra Beer, a brand I started from scratch. I’m proud to say that Cobra is now a household name, a global brand that exports to 40 countries. I had the idea for Cobra while at Cambridge, when I glimpsed how Thatcher’s Britain was beginning to open up to entrepreneurs. Having had a reputation in the ’70s for being Europe’s invalid, Britain in the ’80s was regaining its confidence and starting to thrive. Meanwhile, I predicted that India, a closed, protective country since independence, would emerge before long. Soon enough in 1991 it was officially liberalised and grew fast to become the world’s fifth largest economy.


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Summer 2020 saw the #BlackLivesMatter movement take to the streets. Photographer Misan Harriman’s powerful images of the protest were shared worldwide

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GBB 2021

I founded Cobra with a partner from Hyderabad and we began manufacturing beer in Bangalore. We began on such a tiny scale that we were not just SME but MSME – a micro, small or medium enterprise. Yet we grew by 40 per cent every year for our first 18 years. Today we have a joint venture with Molson Coors, one of the largest brewers in the world, headquartered in Chicago, and we brew in Europe and Britain and have 121 Monde Selection gold medals under our belt. When I look back to when we were first building our team, we hired people from all corners of the globe. We were like a mini-United Nations and today I recognise that it was precisely that diversity which gave us the energy and innovative spirit that drove us forward. Diversity works but don’t take my word for it. Landmark research by McKinsey found that firms with the lowest rates of gender and ethnic diversity in their executive teams were an astonishing 27 per cent less likely to be profitable. A report by Ruby McGregor-Smith, a life peer and incredibly successful British businesswoman in her own right, found that the lack of ethnic diversity in business costs Britain £24 billion a year in lost GDP. In an era that has seen Black Lives Matter grow into a substantial global movement, embracing diversity is obviously the right thing to do, but beyond that it is also the most advantageous and best possible thing you can do for your brand. Brands simply cannot afford to go on drawing from non-diverse pools of talent. Yet diversity on its own is useless. It’s no good hiring someone gay or disabled or from an ethnic minority background without being fully inclusive, because it’s the inclusion that is diversity’s motor and fires it up. Brands need to create an environment and culture in which everyone belongs and feels they can reach their highest potential. Again, just look at the facts: a Deloitte survey found that when employees feel included in the workplace their ability to innovate increases by 83 per cent. The conclusion is simple: The innovative, profitable, competitive brands are those that are inclusive and diverse. When I arrived in this country the food was fairly dismal and there was little variety. Today London has a well-deserved reputation as the restaurant capital of the world. That’s because it wholeheartedly embraced cuisine from diverse cultures, fusing tastes and spices from all over the world to create a dynamic food revolution. We have Tamarind, the first ever Indian restaurant to gain a Michelin star, but let’s not forget the bigger picture – Balti originated in Birmingham and chicken tikka masala is an entirely British take on a South Asian staple. All British industries now stand on the cusp of a similar exciting creative revolution. Some have started and some are well along the way already. It’s going to take one final push. When I became CBI President last June, my primary pledge was to make sure all those under-represented in business, whether due to background, ethnicity, race, disability, sexuality or gender, had the same chance as everyone else to reach the top. This is not just about money. The murder of George Floyd showed the world what happens when people are discriminated against because of what they look like or where they come from.

George Floyd personified generations of hopes shattered, opportunities denied and, tragically, lives lost. If the pandemic has taught us anything, it has to be that we are beholden to and responsible for each other. The luxury sector is enormously powerful and the brands that comprise it have the collective power to challenge and change the world for the better. My focus now is on the achievable, important goal of increasing racial and ethnic diversity in the boardroom, as well as racial and ethnic participation in business. We’re still so far behind. Latest figures show that 37 per cent of FTSE 100 companies and 69 per cent of FTSE 250 companies still don’t have an ethnic minority director on their boards. This is why I helped launch the Change the Race Ratio campaign last October, alongside my CBI colleagues and other British business leaders. The response was heart-warming and momentous but there is still a long way to go. So I am challenging Great British Brands to set targets and then be truly transparent about sharing their progress. Most brands would hate to be accused of not having an inclusive workplace culture. But I hope all companies will take a really good look at their organisations and answer honestly that, yes, their workplaces are environments in which absolutely anyone with talent could thrive. Nearly four decades after I arrived in Britain, I am living proof that someone from an ethnic minority background can prosper here. But beyond my personal success and that of Cobra, I hope I can draw on my personal journey to encourage every Great British Brand to join the campaign and do their utmost to establish a transparent, truly diverse, inclusive workplace culture. So much changed in 2020. For most it was a challenging, tough year of reckoning. Let it not to go waste. The luxury sector might have a reputation for being exclusive and beyond the reach of most, but the brands that exist within it are perfectly placed to help make society fairer for everyone. Consumers will love them for it – and are increasingly demanding that brands do the right thing. Besides, I’ve shown that bringing in and nurturing diverse talent will only make their businesses more innovative and profitable. Research from McKinsey highlights that top quartile companies with ethnic and cultural diversity outperformed those in the fourth one by 36 per cent in profitability. Certainty is particularly difficult in these times but from my own experience, I am very certain of one thing – diversity and inclusion work. The brands that step up to lead the way in this will be the ones to lead overall. A Great British Brand is a diverse, inclusive brand, a brand that shows Britain can drive progress and ambition and lead the way globally. Those brands will emerge from 2020 all the stronger and richer for helping to make Britain a better, fairer place for everyone to live in.

Brands simply CANNOT AFFORD to go on drawing from a NON-DIVERSE pool of talent. They need to create a CULTURE in which everyone can reach their highest POTENTIAL

Lord Bilimoria is the founder of Cobra Beer, President of the Confederation of British Industry, a Crossbench Peer and Chancellor of the University of Birmingham. n


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GBB 2021

We need to cherish all our craftsmen, whether they’re a picture framer in a museum, an actor, watchmaker or ironmonger, for the sake of nurturing our heritage

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NEXT CULTUR AL R EVOLU TION Culture was dealt a bludgeon blow by Covid-19, yet it is vital to the nation’s recovery, restoring global confidence in our creative industries as well as healing hearts and souls. Save it we must, but that requires innovation and intervention from our Great British Brands. This could be their chance to save themselves, says NEIL MENDOZA


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hen I was appointed Commissioner for Cultural Recovery and Renewal, my immediate thought was just how crucial culture is in helping us not just survive this pandemic but move on as a thriving society. Education, sport and hospitality have all been hard-hit by Covid-19 but it is culture that’s been given a sector deal all of its own. It is culture that the government is determined to rescue, because of its irreplaceable role as the glue to a cohesive society. Prior to the pandemic the creative industries comprised one of the fastest growing sectors of the economy, contributing £111.7bn Gross Value Added (which is greater than automotive, aerospace, life science and the oil and gas industries combined) and growing more than five times the rate of the British economy as a whole. Until recently, the creative industries employed more than two million people in Britain, exporting £36 billion in services worldwide and accounting for almost 12 per cent of our services exports. I’m often asked why the loss of a theatre, an art gallery or a small local museum is so drastic. Culture sustains and nourishes our souls and that should be a good enough reason to save those cultural venues, however small or local. Yet beyond that, looking at cultural institutions and enterprises big and small around the country, it’s obvious they represent Britain’s soft power and are essential for our economic growth and recovery. London is a successful city, not for its banks or plethora of high street phone companies, but because of its vibrant culture. International tourists don’t flock to Britain for our landscape or beaches (though they should do that too). They come for our heritage, our culture. Four out of five tourists to London say that culture is the reason for their visit. One of the most trusted, respected and instantly recognisable brands on the planet is the BBC. (Think about the hundreds of millions round the world that listen to or watch BBC News.) Globally, Brand Britain is entwined with our culture – from our museums, heritage and performing arts through to television and film. With Brexit it’s even more important to shore up our culture if we are to maintain a strong voice around the world.

The government cannot do this alone and brands now have an extraordinary opportunity and imperative to become involved. During 2020, many brands saw their survival was dependent on supporting and earning the goodwill of their communities. Most cultural organisations are embedded in their communities already, offering an enormous variety of outreach programmes from schools and prisons to hospitals and care homes. Indeed, Art Council grants are dependent upon a cultural organisation providing evidence of helping its community. Take the House of Memories dementia programme, created by the National Museums of Liverpool and including Walker Art Gallery, World Museum, Sudley House and Lady Lever Art Gallery. It offers training, access to resources, and revitalising museum-based activities for people with dementia and their carers. Or look at The Shakespeare Schools Foundation, which introduces children from all backgrounds to the Bard, enabling them to perform his work in real theatres alongside other schools and thereby help build the confidence and crucial skills they need to succeed in life. Then there’s Manchester Museum, investing £11.5 million, on top of a £5 million government grant, to build the first South Asia Gallery in the north. Nine per cent of Greater Manchester’s population is South Asian in origin, so the gallery will draw on some of the best of the national collections to showcase the region’s history and cultures, and engage its diverse communities, day visitors and tourists. One of my favourite museums of all is a tiny marine museum in Tynemouth known as the Watch House. It’s the perfect example of a successful community museum because it serves as a fully operating volunteer marine rescue service while also containing a treasure trove of artefacts that recreate the history of the Tynemouth Volunteer Life Brigade and its involvement in heroic coastal rescues from the past 150 years. It’s also a local venue for rotary dinners, weddings and the like. These examples illustrate how the survival of culture is crucial to the nation’s future – and Great British Brands should look at how they can be instrumental in that rescue. Lockdown has seen a shift in people who no longer want, or can’t afford, to live in cities. Brands need to find new ways of reaching those customers as they scatter through the country, as traditional advertising and marketing routes close down.


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GBB 2021



FROM LEFT: Proof that culture is the bedrock of Brand Britain: the Watch House is the perfect example of a successful community museum; 2020’s Cheltenham Festival streamed to a far bigger audience than usual; Tamsin Greig in one of Alan Bennett’s Talking Heads monologues, reworked for The Bridge Theatre

One way to reinvent branding is revisit the passion for craftsmanship that culture and luxury brands share. I have watched visitors to Landmark Trust sites spellbound by seeing craftsmen at work, from thatchers and dry stone wallers to master carpenters and gilders. This fascination extends to our industrial heritage – think about people’s love of steam railways. We need to cherish all our craftsmen, whether it’s a picture framer in a museum, an actor, watchmaker or ironmonger, for the sake of nurturing our heritage. I believe the role of culture is to create something beautiful with a higher social purpose, and this is where the aims of the culture and the luxury sector clearly collide – particularly as discerning customers increasingly demand that their chosen brands demonstrate a clear sense of purpose. Creative collaborations between culture and brands can only create benefits for both sectors. The pandemic has forced every theatre, museum, concert hall, art gallery or cultural organisation to think of new ways of doing things. The Hay Festival went entirely virtual during 2020’s spring lockdown – to the point of being nicknamed Hay-on-Wifi by the Prime Minister. It drew in an enormous new audience, as did the Times and Sunday Times Cheltenham Literature Festival, which, for an affordable fee, combined live and longer-term streamed events. Both festivals proved an ability to adapt and refresh their models. These successes show it’s not enough for theatres just to film a play and shove it out online. Venues set to survive and thrive in the future are those which rose to the challenges of lockdown by commissioning new material or seeking out plays more suited to online viewing. London’s Donmar Warehouse put on an acclaimed lockdown production of Midnight your Time starring Diana Quick, for example, while The Bridge Theatre reworked Alan Bennett’s Talking Heads.

Museums and galleries will also be forced to raise their game and improve on those unsatisfying camera tours that currently swoop unsteadily around exhibitions. The Frick in New York responded superbly by offering online Cocktails with a Curator, an opportunity to enjoy an expert’s view on a painting over a drink poured comfortably at home – the consumer’s experience of art cleverly reimagined. In this terrible Covid levelling, it’s hard to predict the great performing arts and cultural institutions of the future, yet it’s also an extraordinary opportunity for young people and brands to get involved. Brands have the potential to help whole cities recover, by working alongside cultural organisations that are already closely involved with their communities. It’s in their interest to collaborate with artists at every level – for who will the opinion-formers of the future be influenced by, if not writers, artists, movie stars, actors and musicians? As someone overseeing a rescue fund worth £1.6 billion, my first question to cultural institutions seeking aid is: what do you plan to do to help your community recover? Never have the goals of culture and the luxury sector been so perfectly aligned. Brand Britain will erode and tarnish if we allow our culture, renowned the world over, to wither. If that happens, Great British Brands will lose their lustre and relevance. ‘Made in Britain’ has cachet because it’s the home of craftsmanship. Lose that world reputation and Brand Britain irretrievably loses its value. Let 2021 be the year our culture recovers – refreshed and stronger than ever. Every British brand stands only to gain from investing in that recovery and renewal.

Brand Britain will ERODE and TARNISH if we allow our culture, renowned the world over, to wither. If that happens, Great British Brands will lose their LUSTRE and RELEVANCE

Lord Mendoza is the government’s Commissioner for Cultural Recovery and Renewal and led the government’s Mendoza Review of Museums in England. n COUNTRYANDTOWNHOUSE.CO.UK/GBB | 39

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GBB 2021



2020 proved one thing: that we cannot survive without technology. We’ve just got to ensure it’s used for the greater good, says MICHAEL HAYMAN

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he Netflix documentary The Social Dilemma is sinister stuff, capturing our concern about the motives of the big social media companies. Our fear is that these giants know what makes us tick and use that power to lure us into becoming digital addicts. In so doing they’re opening a Pandora’s Box of social problems that have been designed into the experience. For tech detractors this is the gotcha moment. The fallen angel is revealed to be manipulating us all for a fast buck. But tech proponents see the film as pulp fiction rather than a revealing documentary. For them, technology has proven itself capable of a greater good, way beyond the remit of social media companies, and this year is proof positive that tech has found its finest hour, the modern marvel lifting the global gloom of the pandemic. Not only did it keep us connected as we were confined to our homes, it crucially demonstrated that by working with science, it could develop medicines and mitigations to vanquish our viral adversary. And if tech can crush Covid, think of the other social and environmental challenges it might be able to combat from here on in. While there is boundless optimism about the future from techies, your personal view on where tech is taking us depends if you believe in the sunny uplands of digitally enabled lives or the inexorable descent into enslavement by the machine. But it doesn’t have to be so black and white. Luxury goods providers upped their game in the Covid 2020 crisis and showed it’s possible to find a way between the two – making the most of digital opportunities to keep in touch with clients, without losing the personal touch, or the profit. Like many British brands, jeweller Theo Fennell used digital resources for reaching out to new clients as well as existing ones during lockdown. ‘New technology allowed us to talk to our customers, show them our designs and then keep in regular contact and show them the progress of the piece live from the workshop. We have also added more interactive shopping elements,’ he says, ‘such as the facility for mix-and-matching when buying our coloured crystal bottles and silver stoppers online.’ For some, the silver lining of lockdown was an opportunity to reset company goals, redirecting resources normally spent on travel and trade shows into developing designs and improving customers’ digital experience. Many British brands would echo what Jean Christophe Babin of Bulgari told us recently: that the pandemic delivered a complete change of ethos, using tech not only ‘to manage the company more efficiently’ but also ‘to have a better life balance’. The goal of using tech for a better life balance – such as between our work, family, health and our impact on the environment – would have been laughed at back in the Eighties, when business manuals simply urged readers to make a fortune, and fast. The phrase, ‘I don’t believe in the no-win scenario’, could easily have come from the mouth of Donald Trump, but was in fact spoken by William Shatner as Captain Kirk in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan. In those heady days of the 1980s heroes won and villains lost, and this was the sort of no-nonsense optimism we flocked to the new multiplex cinemas to watch. Winning was the

TECHNOLOGY cosmic order of things and the proof was in the takings. The message resonated then because we needed to escape the grim realities of the recently departed 1970s and the new challenges of the decade: the punishing spectre of recession, the AIDS epidemic, nuclear proliferation and the Cold War, to name but a few. Our search for optimism soon found a shiny new home, no longer on the silver screen, but in reality, in Silicon Valley, where Bill Gates and Steve Jobs were turning science fiction into fact. Gates’ mission in 1989 was ‘a microcomputer on every desk’, while in 1994 a then-unknown Jeff Bezos purchased the domain name, which would have been an apt moniker for the way he went on to conquer world retail and cloud computing through now-ubiquitous Amazon. These successes helped usher in a generation of billion-dollar entrepreneurs who believed tech made anything possible. As recently as 2014, Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg was widely quoted for his rabble cry: ‘Move fast and break things’. But while the win-win approach delights the markets, the rest of us have become wary of growth at any cost. The world of luxury retailing was late to the party and has often been criticised for resisting change. Family companies that proudly define themselves through centuries of hand-crafted tradition have sometimes been unwilling to rush into the tech fray, determinedly setting themselves apart from the Amazon-style profile of cheap goods being made available even more cheaply online. Prior to 2019, only ten per cent of all luxury goods were estimated to be online purchases. But the pandemic accelerated change, spurred by a 2019 Bain & Company report claiming that a younger market for luxury goods was encouraging companies to up their game, and predicting that by 2025 around half of all luxury purchases will be digitally enabled. That figure may turn out to be conservative. During lockdown, unable to lavish their typically small and exclusive band of loyal clients with the usual outings and treats, many luxury brands expanded their technological reach. Rolls-Royce, which sells around 5,000 cars annually, had already established its exclusive Whispers app for customers, and used that platform to maintain a close relationship with clients during lockdown. Open to all owners of the Goodwood-created Rolls-Royce cars since 2003, including staff from the chief exec down, it functions as a private, exclusive, virtual club for members around the globe. They can speak to individual craftspeople about their car specifications, take a virtual walk around the new Ghost, share their car collections with other members or generate ideas for private philanthropic work.

FROM LEFT: Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg is one of the controversial faces of social media; Hanifa’s A/W’20 fashion show debuted on Instagram Live via 3D models


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GBB 2021 Crucially, when Rolls-Royce decided to expand its remit from mere motorcar maker to purveyor of an entire house of luxury, tech was at the heart of its reinvention. The car’s famous figurehead was digitally coded by Pentagram designers into the Spirit of Ecstasy Expression, the visual signifier of the brand’s new incarnation as a gateway to a luxury lifestyle, in which members can access the company’s ‘Muse’ moving image art programme or tap their ‘Luxury Intelligence’ concierge group for help with a post-lockdown ascent of Everest, designing a private race track or locating a rare Hermès bag. Newcomers to the luxury scene, especially in fashion, are raising the tech bar even higher, borrowing from sophisticated gaming technology to create complex digital worlds for selling clothes. Last May, ready-to-wear label Hanifa hit the headlines by staging a digital catwalk show via Instagram Live, featuring 3D virtual models. Since then, Bigthinx Bangalore founders Chandralika Hazarika and Shivang Desai, backed by the Prada Group, have shown how AI and computer vision can be used to create not just immersive fashion shows but also visually exciting virtual store visits. Its bespoke software program Lyflike can create human avatars for personalised fitting, using customers’ personal data to digitise their body’s anatomy, shape, clothing size, fit and drape. Meantime, for those of us hoping mobile commerce will be a route back to real meetings with real people in 2021, the news is that at-home services, from hairdressing to health and wellbeing, are a boom industry set to generate $870 billion between 2018 and 2022, says Bain. Luxury concierge provider Toshi, helmed by Sojin Lee, has embraced the ‘bring-the-storeto-me’ ethos by creating an online, omnichannel algorithm enabling personalised home delivery for brands like Chanel, Roland Mouret, Christian Louboutin and Galvan. Currently operating within key areas of London and Manhattan, her trained retail assistants use public transport to deliver goods and offer at-home consultations, including hemming and alterations, thereby eliminating the cycle of delivery vans, brown boxes and returns. ‘It’s about using tech for responsible service,’ explains Lee. ‘We’re not asking brands

to make more stock but helping them optimise it responsibly, for conscientious consumption and sustainability. We’re like Deliveroo, part of an existing ecosystem, but Toshi’s tech brain does the calculation.’ She’s optimistic about the future. ‘Tech is about empowering human capabilities by providing logistics,’ she explains. ‘That fine sensibility of customer service, which is the essence of luxury, can only be delivered by humans. It’s our USP.’ The use of technology to reinvent traditional values of personal service, fine craftsmanship and long-lasting goods shows Toshi’s CEO Sojin Lee is bringing the personalised home delivery for us all a way forward. The end luxury brands to new heights, while of the pandemic is likely to lead Rolls-Royce‘s Whispers app is a gateway to the world’s not only to a huge sense of relief most rarefied products, but also to a new sense of what services and ideas it means to live, love and express ourselves – therefore it’s a chance to take more responsibility as conscious consumers. In 1947, Christian Dior captured the spirit of the post-war age with the New Look. It was the ultimate Parisian symbol of defiance. The human spirit endures, and couture showed a way forward from the deprivations and cruelty of war. The New Look captured a euphoric return to freedom and the essential human need to express ourselves creatively. The undoubted pain and suffering caused by the current pandemic may well usher in a similarly exuberant resolve to live differently, express ourselves effusively and reset the world. With the advantages of technology, luxury brands can help lead the way in showing us how to use technological advances not just to sell, but also to improve our social context, including taking responsibility for a fair deal for workers supplying luxury goods. We need to be aware of the consequences of what we buy, eat and wear –and how, not just where, we shop. Technology can supercharge this purpose and transparently deliver the promise of change. This is the ‘win scenario’ of our digital age. It is based on this: that as individuals we can use technology to become more aware, ethically, of the decisions we’re making as consumers. And there is no social dilemma in that.

With the advantages of technology, LUXURY BRANDS can help lead the way in showing us how to use TECHNOLOGICAL advances not just to sell, but also to improve our SOCIAL CONTEXT, including taking responsibility for a FAIR DEAL FOR WORKERS supplying luxury goods

Michael Hayman presents the GBB x Change Makers podcast. He co-created the firm Seven Hills and co-authored Mission (Penguin). n


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Making predictions is a fool’s game, but that doesn’t stop NICHOLAS SHAKESPEARE from musing on the future of travel COUNTRYANDTOWNHOUSE.CO.UK/GBB | 45

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ovid has altered the syntax of travel. It compels us to question not only where we are, but where we might go – plus the best means to get there. Back in 1988, before revolution swept Russia and Europe, we had the confidence to stride out. Afghanistan, Patagonia, Algeria, the Volga, Hong Kong, no place was out of bounds to a westerner with a backpack. One great strider was Bruce Chatwin, who gave the impression he’d been everywhere. His doubt crept in only at the end. ‘Which do you prefer?’ he asked me at his kitchen table not long before he died. He held up two alternative covers for his forthcoming collection of travel writing. The title on the first cover had a question mark. On the second, it didn’t. His publisher needed to know right away. Bruce, unusually for him, was undecided. I pointed at the second, which, without the question mark, appeared to calm the sentence down a bit. ‘That one,’ I said. It seemed a small thing, but when What Am I Doing Here became an international bestseller, the question-turned-statement started to haunt me. Chatwin had enjoyed the luxury of tearing around the world without the burden of punctuation, before the age of radical doubt. Since his death in that pivotal year, 1989, the landscape for travellers has changed beyond recognition – post-Aids, post-internet and now mid-pandemic. Chatwin’s question not asked remains unanswered. These thoughts pattered through my head as I boarded a flight from Faro in August. It was midsummer, in any other year the jam-packed height of the tourist season. Yet with no queues, no waiting,

and the plane three-quarters empty, I was transported to another age, back to when I used to fly to Rio de Janeiro as ‘an unaccompanied minor’. With the novelty of a row of Ryanair seats all to myself, I had a hallucinatory moment of feeling absurdly grand, like James Bond in For Your Eyes Only as he crossed the Atlantic strapped into a four-engined Boeing 377 Stratocruiser: eating dinner in peace, sleeping for seven hours in a comfortable bunk, wandering down to the lower deck to have a BOAC ‘country house’ breakfast while dawn flooded the cabin ‘with the first bright gold of the western hemisphere’. For all the horrors of 2020, I felt strangely liberated in a way I hadn’t for ages. My father, a diplomat, grew up before the jet engine was invented. His experiences of travelling as a child of the Empire are frankly astonishing to hear in our post-colonial lockdown. In January 1936,


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aged five, wearing a black armband because George V had just died, he boarded the troopship HMT Neuralia, accompanying his father to Peking on a posting as medical officer to the garrison guarding the British Legation. The journey along the great imperial route lasted six weeks – as opposed to six and a half days by the more expensive Imperial Airways flying boat. ‘We stopped at all the British bases, either to disembark detachments of troops or to take on coal,’ he recalls. ‘Gibraltar, Malta, Port Said, Aden, Bombay, Penang, Singapore and Hong Kong. On the way from Hong Kong we stopped at Shanghai, which was also a British concession. This meant in effect that throughout the long journey we never once set foot on foreign soil. At every port, the Union Flag was proudly flying and Royal Navy gunboats lay at anchor in the harbour.’ And all this within the cast of living memory. Even up until the 1970s, the Foreign Office required our family to travel to my father’s next posting by boat, since this would be cheaper than flying. My first conscious memory of venturing abroad is a sea journey: I’m standing on deck of the French passenger ship SS Vietnam. We’re on our way to Saigon, and my six-year-old eyes are fixed, mesmerised, on a shoal of silver flying fish gliding above the water. Cruise ships were among the first casualties of the coronavirus. Next came the airlines – Ryanair slashed 60 per cent of its flights the week after I landed back in Bournemouth. Then the car industry. All of a sudden the world, until recently so accessible, was shrinking to a more human radius. Its dimensions – no longer intergalactic, as in the rocket-fuelled aspirations of Elon Musk and Richard Branson; or Antarctic, as in ‘expedition cruises’ out of Ushuaia to the ice cap – were being reduced to our immediate horizons. In other words, to the distances obtained by what was always Chatwin’s preferred method of travel: walking boots. Already, travel in a time of coronavirus has become more

inward-looking. I detected among neighbours in Wiltshire an element of disapproval about my visit to Portugal – which had been put back on the naughty list the day before I flew. They would have turned a blinder eye, their expressions said, had I chosen instead to join the spate of tourists on Weymouth Beach. Which brings me to the first of my predictions. We shall rediscover the beauties of our sceptred isle. Oddly, this is precisely what my maternal grandfather once encouraged us to do, during a time of similar upheaval. SPB Mais was a pioneer of radio and the author of over 300 travel books, who rose to prominence during the 1930s Depression, when he was known as ‘the ambassador of the English countryside’. In January 1932, the BBC commissioned a topographical series from him, This Unknown Island, to encourage tourism to Britain’s holiday resorts. SPB (as he was known) travelled to 17 regions. His message for people to get out and explore what lay on their doorsteps, preferably on foot, held a powerful appeal to those who could not afford the cost of travelling abroad, still less a car. The public responded in huge numbers. In July 1932 he was joined by 16,000 people on the Sussex Downs to watch the sun rise over the Iron Age fort at Chanctonbury Ring. Four special trains had to be laid on for this midnight excursion. But my grandmother’s favourite story was the occasion when SPB was invited to give a talk at Lewes Prison. He became so excited and enthusiastic about the English countryside that he found himself urging the inmates to get out more, see it for themselves. Right now, when restrictions make us all feel incarcerated, I am motivated to take a leaf out of one of SPB’s multitudinous travel books (I return to Scotland/Ireland/Wales etc), to recommend some excursions, both at home and abroad, that you can plan for when, eventually, we re-emerge blinking into a post-Covid dawn.

CLOCKWISE FROM LEFT: We will enjoy these sceptred isles more in future: ‘Aira Point in Mist’ in Ullswater, Cumbria by Mark Littlejohn, winner in the 2015 Landscape Photography of The Year awards; travel writer Nicholas Shakespeare in Iquitos, Amazonian Peru, in 1988; the Malvern Hills

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GBB 2021

Go to Lake Ullswater and climb Fusedale or walk in Wordsworth’s contemplative footsteps around the lake, returning by ferry to the Inn on the Lake’s own jetty ( The landscape is eye-popping. Also remarkable is how swiftly and effortlessly you become integrated into it. Ascending the peaks above Ullswater, you could be walking in the Andes. Those Cumbrian sheep could be llamas. The Black Mountains, where Bruce and Elizabeth Chatwin courted, were also the setting for his novel On the Black Hill. Like Cumbria, this ridge of hills on the English border has retained its frontier character, an intoxicating blend of serenity and uninterrupted Welsh wildness. The Malvern Hills are perhaps my favourite walking spot. Make sure to start at the Sugar Loaf and go all the way to the British Camp. Standing on top of the Worcestershire Beacon, you are back in the world of Piers Plowman, who fell asleep in a field below. The lexicographer Peter Roget, buried in West Malvern church, composed his thesaurus here, Caractacus fought the Romans, William Joyce (‘Lord Haw-Haw’) taught at a local school; and on that old bench half way up, I proposed. Some other predictions. The demands for us to be socially distanced will intensify the allure of grand old hotels with buckets of space, like Gleneagles (, where James Bond’s creator, Ian Fleming, liked to play golf. Abroad, former royal retreats or palaces, like the Bussaco Palace Hotel near Coimbra in Portugal (, or Tivoli Palácio de Seteais in Sintra, near Lisbon, with its frescoed interior and reassuring faded grandeur, can be relied upon to escort us back to a safer, gentler age ( And with package tours being squeezed like Oddjob out of the window, I foresee that small bespoke groups, composed of those who know each other already, will not merely survive the present crisis, but flourish. Paddy Singh ( has led me on five incomparable treks to India, with Elizabeth Chatwin as our guide. I bicycled through the Andes in northern Argentina on a bicycle tour led by Ana Ines Figueroa (adventure-landscape. com), and went fishing and horse riding in Patagonia with Yvonne Corbett ( – all tailor-made expeditions that people are clamouring for again.

We’ll travel to many familiar DESTINATIONS, but at DIFFERENT times of year than in the past. The PLACES we might have escaped to in SUMMER we shall visit in WINTER As in one of my favourite novels, Gabriel García Márquez’s Love in the Time of Cholera, the pandemic of 2020 has turned the world upside down. Post self-isolation, our expectations will need adjusting, not only about where to go, but when. My last prediction is that we’ll travel to many familiar destinations, but at different times of year than in the past. The places we might have escaped to in summer we shall visit in winter, and vice versa. To give but one example, like many I grew up believing the following unchallenged caveat: the whole world may be your oyster, as Chatwin had reckoned, but never ever visit Paris or Venice in August. Well, to this I say Quel tas de balivernes! Che sciocchezze! After a lifetime on the hoof, I’m prepared to share a discovery that I’ve kept secret until now: Paris in summer is quite wonderful, Venice too. One of my most treasured holidays was spent with my wife and children in a small family hotel on the Lido that I had booked at the last moment early one August. Cheap flights to Venice; none of the stenches I’d been warned about; being hit by a heat that was not English as we walked out the door; warm swims each morning in the Adriatic; not a single jellyfish; ice cream beneath the tamarisk trees; the pitch and toss of the vaporetto as it chugged back across the lagoon over water that looked, in the sunset, like a Turner oil. All in all a home run. Nicholas Shakespeare is the authorised biographer of Bruce Chatwin and the author of seven novels, the most recent being The Sandpit (Harvill, £16.99). n 48 | COUNTRYANDTOWNHOUSE.CO.UK/GBB

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CLOCKWISE FROM ABOVE: Try Paris and Venice in summer, despite received wisdom never to visit in those months; small bespoke group travel is set to thrive, with adventures like riding in Patagonia


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Fruits, SHOOTS, restaurants & ROOTS

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At its simplest, food is the global unifier – we all need it. But the way we grow, commodify, transport, eat and respect our food needs to change. Restaurants, too, must take up their responsibilities, says ASMA KHAN


Photograph by ALEXANDRA DAO

How we treat our food and how we eat together is a signifier of how we behave as a community

ood was the glue that held my family together. India in the 1970s and ’80s did not have the distractions of television, mobile phones and social media. Often the discussion over a meal centred around what we were going to eat for the next one. The only form of entertainment was eating at home and occasionally going to the local Chinese restaurant. There was a sacredness in eating with the family, a rhythm with which food was passed between family members. Often my mother would serve my favourite piece of chicken to ensure I got what I liked. We ate in respectful silence. The only noise was appreciative comments about a particular dish, which would lead to a conversation about another dish. Now these are just memories. The pandemic has been interesting because it placed me in the unfamiliar position of being a full-time mother to my two sons. They didn’t seem able to understand or appreciate my requests for no phone or TV at the table. I realised that eating had now become something people did while the rest of the world was their focus. One of the reasons I started cooking was because I wanted to look into the eyes of the person eating my food. I began with supper clubs at home so I had the pleasure of serving people at my own dining table. The most beautiful moment was when silence fell as people began to eat. That silence took me back to my parent’s hushed dining table during my childhood in Calcutta. One of the benefits of the pandemic is that many people found themselves at home and a lot of them decided to cook. This has been one of the few positive things to come out of 2020. I often read posts from people who said that they were trying to replicate dishes that their mum and grandma had made. This hopefully represents a tidal change in our attitudes towards cooking. It’s often difficult for those for those who have ample food, heating and clothing to appreciate how easy it is to fall into the trap of buying ready-made food – most of it made up of carbs and of low nutritional value. Often the reason people don’t cook food for the family is because COUNTRYANDTOWNHOUSE.CO.UK/GBB | 51

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FROM TOP: Asma Khan says food was the glue that held her family together RIGHT: Asma’s restaurant Darjeeling Express serves Indian food from family recipes that go back generations, cooked by an allwomen team

they have neither time nor energy. Plus fast food is often cheap. Life is so challenging that the satisfaction of an affordable, instant meal is often the only way for some people to face the next day. Yet cities and towns all over Britain have amazing markets with beautiful food produce. While it’s not always cheap, seasonal produce is often reduced – so instead of buying asparagus grown out of season in a faraway land, you can eat what is in season grown in your own country. It’s about changing your food habits to make them fit in with what is easily available in your region. The other advantage is that locally grown seasonal food is so much tastier than produce that has been refrigerated and aerated around the world. I come from a country where the bazaar was always a great leveller and people rubbed shoulders with neighbours they might not normally associate with. Particularly during the pandemic, open-air farmers’ markets have become community hubs. One of the important things the pandemic presented to us was how the entire environment changed because of the reduction in car pollution and noise. You had deer and wild boar running through towns and my family could see the mountains from their village in India for the first time in a generation. We’d always heard they were there but pollution had hidden them. I think the time has come for restaurants to contribute to environmental change by being responsible about how they source their ingredients. Not everybody looks at seasonality and it is often only the high-end fine dining places that wear this as a badge of honour. Sadly, however well-intentioned, the impact of top restaurants on the environment is minimal because those who can afford fine dining are such a tiny minority. So we need to remove the elitism often associated with sustainability. Sourcing food locally and seasonally and therefore sustainably must become an important issue for a broad church and not just for a microscopic group of expensive restaurateurs. The hospitality industry is unfortunately an industry first and hospitable second. There is not enough discussion in many restaurants about food’s origins, roots or terroir. When I opened my restaurant one of the first things that I had decided was that I was not going to fly in produce from India and Africa. I often hear that buying produce from developing countries is good for the economy. This is the presumption that there is a trickle-down effect and that farmers benefit from international trade. In reality it is the fertiliser and genetically modified mafia that benefit from this trade. My father is a farmer and I have seen the destruction of the livelihoods of farmers who grow produce for the western market.

There is also an alarming lack of knowledge about, and connection with, where food comes from. I went to a ‘show and tell’ class at my son’s nursery school and when I produced an onion and asked where it came from most of them said Tesco. Considering this was a London school it was perhaps not that surprising – but there is a universal disconnect between those who produce and cook the food and those who eat it. The national curriculum no longer encourages cooking classes in schools, which is really where we can start making a change. I have cooked with children in primary schools and it’s extremely rewarding. Children don’t waste the food they cook. We seem to have failed the present generation but we can start again with the next one. Come the future, I think there is going to be a different attitude toward restaurants. This could go two ways. After cooking and washing up for many weeks during lockdown, customers might appreciate their dining experience more by valuing the labour and service that goes into it. They will perhaps understand these need to be reflected in the price alongside the cost of ingredients. They might start to criticise less and appreciate the experience more. The other thing that could happen is that the customers might go out less but when they do, they will want to have a meaningful experience and memorable meal that they’re prepared to pay more for. This is something that restaurateurs must strive to deliver. We need to claim back our space as diverse healers and feeders. London has an abundance of immigrant food and the best of it is found in areas where there are big immigrant communities demanding lots of home cooking. The Indian subcontinent’s long association with Britain has resulted in a rich heritage of South Asian cuisine. One would think this would lead to better communication between these communities but sadly that is not the case. Food is an enormous opportunity for people to break bread together and understand each other’s culture. It’s so important that food isn’t viewed separately from its culture but sadly a lot of ethnic food is reduced to a cheap and cheerful exotic commodity on the fringes of society. The irony is that for many communities providing that cuisine, food is sacred. It is part of their DNA. As chefs and restaurateurs from different cultures, we have an enormous opportunity and we’re failing if we’re not telling our stories. Our restaurants could be so much more than businesses. They are potentially bridges between ourselves and the rest of the community. It’s equally important that media and television, which cover food, give space to diverse faces and voices. I have no problem with the media depicting people of all cultures cooking my food but I do take issue when my food is represented without the cultural context and respect it deserves. Food was glue for my family and I have always believed in its adhesive power to unite people. The time for it to play a central and healing role in Britain starts right now. Asma Khan is an Indian-born British chef, restaurateur, and cookbook author. She owns Darjeeling Express restaurant in London’s Soho ( and was profiled in the sixth season of the Netflix series Chef’s Table. n


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After the PANDEMIC customers might go out less but when they do, they will want to have a MEANINGFUL EXPERIENCE that they’re prepared to pay more for. This is something that restaurateurs must STRIVE TO DELIVER. We need to claim back our space as diverse healers and feeders

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With its long history and sustainable values, Barbour offers British style with heart 56 | COUNTRYANDTOWNHOUSE.CO.UK/GBB

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FROM LEFT: Barbour has been making its iconic waxed jackets since the 19th century; with regular rewaxing, a Barbour coat can last a lifetime; in April 2020 the factory was turned over to make PPE

‘During both World Wars we turned the factory over to make military garments to assist the war effort. We are pleased to have been able to make a difference once again by supporting the NHS’


ith three Royal Warrants, Barbour’s stylish, functional clothing for men, women and children is sought after in over 40 countries around the world. It’s a fifth-generation family-owned business, which was founded in 1894 in South Shields when John Barbour began supplying oilskins and weather resistant garments to local mariners and dockers. Building on its growing reputation for innovation and quality, Barbour supplied outdoor clothing to the military during the two World Wars, its Ursula suit becoming standard issue for the Submarine Service. Then, in 1936, Barbour created the iconic wax cotton motorcycle suit, worn by nearly every rider on the International Six Day Trials circuit from the 1950s, most notably actor Steve McQueen in 1964. In the 1980s, Dame Margaret Barbour designed the Bedale and Beaufort jackets, establishing Barbour as a household name. The two styles remain best sellers and are still made in Barbour’s South Shields factory. In September 2020, actor Sam Claflin became the face of Barbour Gold Standard, a new collection of wax outerwear and quilted styles for men inspired by Barbour’s archive, which dates back to 1910. In October, Re-Engineered for Today was launched as a premium wax collection for women, with leather trims and high shine brass zippers adding a contemporary edge to classics. The Barbour by ALEXACHUNG collaboration continues to produce innovative fashion-forward pieces for style mavens, while childrenswear and footwear are performing well as Barbour grows its reputation as a global lifestyle brand.

Meanwhile, as the company continues to draw on the values and aesthetic of the British countryside, Barbour International offers an alternative look, inspired by the company’s motorcycle heritage. It is now a stand-alone brand and one of the fastest growing areas of the business. During lockdown, Barbour proved its ability to adapt fast to its community’s needs, making 72,000 PPE items, including scrubs, gowns and masks, for local North East NHS Trusts at no charge. ‘The factory is no stranger to adaptation,’ says chairman, Dame Margaret Barbour. ‘During both World Wars we turned the factory over to make military garments to assist the war effort. We are pleased to have been able to make a difference once again by supporting the NHS.’ The brand has also responded to the increased demand for online retail by launching e-commerce in the US. It also reacted swiftly to customers spending more time at home by introducing a new casual loungewear collection. Now its major focus, again perfectly in tune with customers, is sustainability. Annually over 60,000 Barbour jackets are rewaxed or repaired globally and 2021 marks a century of rewaxing. A Barbour jacket rewaxed at least once a year can last a lifetime. In September 2020, Barbour opened its first Wax for Life station in London’s Selfridges, comprising a rewaxing area for customers to bring their jackets to be serviced, a personalisation service and Barbour Re-Loved, a programme that breathes new life into customers’ old jackets and offers them to new owners. Repair, restore and recycle are the important buzzwords for 2021 and now Barbour has added one more: rewax.

Barbour Simonside, South Shields Tyne and Wear NE34 9PD +44 (0)1914 554444 barbour COUNTRYANDTOWNHOUSE.CO.UK/GBB | 57

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Celtic & Co

GBB 2021

Cornwall-based Celtic & Co is beloved for its sustainable sheepskin boots, coats and home accessories

Celebrating thirty years of flying the flag for sustainable British style 58 | COUNTRYANDTOWNHOUSE.CO.UK/GBB

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In 2021 the brand will strengthen its rejection of disposable fast fashion and stay true to its Great British values of quality, craft and purpose


ast year was a big year for Celtic & Co. The brand celebrated its 30th birthday and received its second Queen’s Award for Enterprise in International Trade. What’s more, as people in lockdown sought out its comforting all-natural knitwear and sheepskin slippers, Celtic & Co also saw sales soar by 60 per cent. Based in Newquay, Cornwall, Celtic began in 1990 when Nick and Kath Whitworth decided to buy a small bootmaking business, with just seven pairs still in stock. They taught themselves to sew, developed their iconic sheepskin boots and became the Celtic Sheepskin Company. Today, rebranded as Celtic & Co, the company is an extraordinary success story. It employs over 50 people and sells its range of products, from footwear and coats to accessories and luggage, across the world. The brand is confident that the level of growth it saw last year will continue into 2021 as more and more people discover its products. Celtic & Co is passionate about British manufacture and is proud to continue to make its sheepskin slippers, boots and accessories in Newquay. These home-produced items still make up over a quarter of the business and will always be at the heart of what it does. All its other pieces are sourced from as close to home as possible, with 75 per cent of all products British-made. ‘PostBrexit and post-Covid, “Made in Britain” will be even more important to our customers, who want to be

reassured by quality and craftsmanship,‘ says co-founder Kath Whitworth. ‘Our customers tell us how important it is to support British brands and that it can be difficult to find British-made products, so we’re delighted to be providing them.’ Celtic & Co curates five catalogues a year which, says Kath, its loyal customers can’t wait to receive. The brand also engages with new and existing customers via digital and social platforms as well as by email. It now has loyal customer bases in many other countries, including Australia, Germany and Canada, plus a growing number of boutiques that stock its collections. Since 1990, Celtic & Co has been at the forefront of the slow fashion movement, crafting products from natural sustainable materials, which are designed to last a long time. The brand’s mission is to strive for a better fashion future. ‘We continually seek out new ways to improve, always keeping the conversation open with our customers about where we feel we could do better,’ says Kath. In 2021, the brand will focus on working with knitwear suppliers to increase its use of recycled yarn. It also plans to up its use of digital technology to reduce its carbon footprint, using digital CADs instead of supplier samples and continuing to use Zoom rather than travelling for meetings. Celtic & Co has built its brand around 16 key circular principles, which include repairing and resoling services, to increase the longevity of its products. In 2021 the brand will strengthen its rejection of disposable fast fashion and stay true to its Great British values of quality, craft and purpose.

Celtic & Co Unit B, Treloggan, Newquay Cornwall TR7 2SX +44 (0)333 400 0044 celticandco COUNTRYANDTOWNHOUSE.CO.UK/GBB | 59

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Occasionwear that brings back the joy of dressing up


or a British brand that specialises in formalwear and occasionwear, 2020 was an especially challenging year. Founded by designer Oliver Spencer, Favourbrook thrives on conviviality, social connection and the forging of new relationships, but the pandemic made light work of these. The delightfully extravagant art of dressing up became the duller practice of dressing down as an entire nation embraced a collective life in loungewear. Luckily, the merriment of socialising and the drama of dressing for an occasion are two of life’s greatest pleasures not easily quashed, and no brand is better placed than Favourbrook to put the joy into dressing up again. Favourbrook has long been the choice of a discerningly stylish social set, looking to make the most of the British Season. Once again, the brand has joined forces with Royal Ascot as an Official Licensee, and will release its eagerly-anticipated new Ascot capsule collection in time for the 2021 racing festival in June. With its flagship store on London’s Pall Mall and a waistcoat and accessories boutique in Piccadilly Arcade, Favourbrook prides itself not just on its locations but on its in-store experience. Its staff, some of whom have been with the brand for over 20 years, have

decades of sartorial knowledge between them, enabling them to impart expert advice on morning dress and occasionwear. Favourbrook’s menswear blends classicism with flamboyant English eccentricity, putting a sharp, contemporary spin on traditional formalwear. Its womenswear represents the culmination of an obsessive passion for fabrication, producing elegant and timeless investment pieces for women of all ages, from shantung silk cocktail dresses to intricately embroidered and embellished coats and jackets. The one upside to 2020 was Favourbrook’s discovery of its customers’ appetite for online shopping. A slick new website now offers a more seamless online experience with improved sizing guides and product photography. Newsletters and journals are sent out each week to keep customers better informed about new products while entertaining them with styling advice and deeper dives into the heritage of some of the brand’s designs. It also launched The Register, a monthly online cultural trip around the internet, with all manner of digital discoveries to pique its subscribers’ collective interest. If regulations permit, 2021 will be a busy year for weddings, placing Favourbrook in an enviable position as one of London’s eminent makers of luxury formalwear. With over 400 waistcoats and a variety of morning suits in extra fine wool and recycled cashmere, Favourbrook is the ultimate destination for would-be grooms looking to invest in something special. Undeterred by lockdown store closures, Favourbrook launched a personal shopping service in November, allowing face-to-face digital consultations with customers. This was so popular that the brand has now extended this service to in-store private shopping. The brand takes great pride in the fact that the vast majority of its menswear and womenswear collections are made in Britain, many of them in London. As we start socialising again, Favourbrook is confident that there will be a bigger appetite than ever to create some theatrical entrances with its gorgeous clothes in 2021. Favourbrook 16 & 17 Pall Mall London SW1Y 5LU +44 (0)20 7493 5060 favourbrook favourbrookwomenswear


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Favourbrook has long been the choice of a discerningly stylish social set, looking to make the most of the British Season

Favourbrook’s menswear combines English classicism with a touch of eccentricity, while its womenswear is a celebration of beautiful fabrics and embroidery techniques

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GBB 2021

Hemingsworth’s swimwear has been at the forefront of the brand’s rise to prominence. Its Clipper range has been described as ‘the world’s most luxurious swim short’, while its new Kulbir Gurkha swim short is notable for its double-pleated, crossover belt fastening. Its trim, tailored look is as at home in the hotel bar as it is beside the pool. The secret of the swimwear’s success lies in its 29-piece pattern and 17 hand-finished stages, twinned with quick-drying fabrics, exclusive fittings and its bespoke integral waist belt that can be adjusted throughout the day. Hemingsworth is proud to be a British brand and has invested in and supported British manufacturing, which is still worldrenowned for quality. Its clothes are made in factories in London, Sheffield, Leicester and Blackburn, and are stocked in stores including Harrods, Fortnum & Mason and Selfridges. Last year was a year like no other, but it provided Hemingsworth with an opportunity to support the British manufacturing industry on which it relies. As economic conditions tightened, Hemingsworth channelled work to British factories, championing their design and manufacturing capabilities to the NHS, while also speeding up the development of future collections to provide continued work. It also developed reusable scrubs for the NHS, as well as donating 50 per cent of sales to facilitate the supply of more PPE. The pandemic also provided the brand with an opportunity to engage more closely with its loyal clientele, a process which in turn has led to new collections and additions to existing ones. The new ultra-light goose down 1000-fill gilet, for instance, was the response to the demand for transitional wear in colder climes and represents the introduction of the brand’s new autumn/winter transitional collection. Celebrating the best of British design, footwear joins the collection for 2021, in the shape of Hemingsworth’s Niven deck shoe and Dali espadrille, both made by storied shoemakers Goral of Sheffield. A renewed collaboration with master clothmaker Fox Brothers has resulted in new designs for Hemingsworth’s signature Clipper swim short. All in all, it’s easy to see why Hemingsworth’s stylish yet understated clothes are worn by a discerning clientele worldwide, including Hollywood A-listers, royals and chart-topping singers.

Luxury British menswear for life’s travels around the globe


emingsworth is a British-made menswear brand equipping the wardrobes of the world’s movers and shakers who constantly flit between time zones and seasons. Making the most comfortable and luxurious garments a man would want to wear, Hemingsworth exists for individuals whose wardrobes are changing all the time as they move between clime and continent, boardroom and boardwalk. The brand, conceived by the founder Matt Jones and his creative director Henry Butler, was launched in 2017 after four years of preparation. Hemingsworth sets a new standard in long-lasting, comfortable and stylish travel attire for men, providing the effortless answer for all formal and informal occasions, as well as the journey in between. Exclusive fabrics, elegant swimwear and classic British styles are the hallmarks of a collection that is characterised by timeless design and superb quality.

Hemingsworth 90-92 Pentonville Road London N1 9HS +44 (0)20 3290 2086 hemingsworth


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Modern elegance meets classic tailoring in Hemingsworth’s British-made collections

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Exclusive fabrics, elegant swimwear and classic British styles are the hallmarks of a collection that is characterised by timeless design and superb quality

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GBB 2021

The future stands tall for the world’s favourite boot


unter has supplied waterproof footwear since it was founded in 1856 in Edinburgh. During both World Wars, the War Office commissioned Hunter to provide over a million boots for the British Army. After World War II, civilians took a liking to the protective, sturdy rubber boots and in 1956 Hunter launched the Original Tall Wellington Boot – a bestseller ever since. Last year presented all businesses with challenges but the momentum behind Hunter grew stronger than ever as people of all ages donned their Hunters for their daily walks, countryside rambles or strolls round their gardens. In summer people wore Hunter sandals or sliders to the beach or their poolside barbecues. In 2020, Hunter had truly become an all-weather brand for every outdoor moment. By the end of 2020 sales flourished as Brits pulled on their Hunters to trudge through gardens, parks and fields for the second lockdown. From dog walk to catwalk, 2020 was also the year the Wellington boot arrived at Fashion Week, with the luxury fashion houses embracing the Cottagecore trend.

Practical, functional all-weather boots designed to be worn in both country and town became the year’s most coveted items. Hunter then launched a collaboration with Saint Laurent, creating a limited-edition design boot made from natural rubber, further cementing the boot as the fashion crowd’s must-have item. The Wellington boot trend has taken root and is here to stay throughout 2021, with Hunter launching the Hunter Field Balmoral Hybrid collection, consisting of a Chelsea boot and a Tall boot for men and women. The functional, utilitarian collection mixes neoprene and rubber, making it ideal for rural or urban conditions in all weathers. One of the biggest priorities for the brand today is its continuing commitment to becoming more sustainable. In partnership with First Mile, Hunter ReBoot aims to extend its recycling programme to more countries. With Hunter ReBoot, customers can drop off their old boots at the Regent Street flagship or arrange a home collection, allowing their boots to be ground down into playground surfacing, horse arenas, kickboxing bags and floor fillers, saving three tons of carbon dioxide for every ton that virgin rubber uses. Hunter Donated gives fully functional waterproof boots to its global charity partners, comprising local non-profit organisations and communities around the world. Hunter has so far donated 116,000 pairs worldwide, including to rice farmers in East Timor, refugees fleeing conflict in the Middle East and communities affected by hurricanes in Haiti and Puerto Rico. In 2020 Hunter launched the world’s first fully FSC-Certified rubber boot. The FSC-Certified Original Tall and Short Rain boots are approved to the high standards of the Forest Stewardship Council, and this year Hunter also introduces its first sustainable bag collection; in highly water resistant 100 per cent recycled polyester, the collection marks a new milestone in Hunter’s commitment to sourcing products ethically and sustainably. The brand is justifiably proud of its 160-year history and the Original Tall’s status as the world’s favourite boot. The boot takes three days and 28 parts to make, a feat that has been recognised by the Original Tall’s permanent inclusion in the Design Museum and V&A Dundee.

Hunter Boots 83-85 Regent Street London W1B 4EN +44 (0)3303 334290 hunterboots


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Recent years have seen Hunter Boots go from strength to strength, with styles for all occasions and seasons, for town or country

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Hunter launched the world’s first fully FSC-certified rubber boot. The FSCcertified Original Tall and Short Rain boots are approved to the high standards of the Forest Stewardship Council

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John Smedley

GBB 2021

cloth from a UK supplier and to have the right patterns cut at no cost by a partner business in Nottingham. It then quickly re-trained its staff to sew and finish the reusable scrubs to NHS standards and was able to complete over 1,000 sets in the next few weeks. The Emergency Design Network put John Smedley in contact with hospitals, GP practices and care homes in the county, to whom the scrubs were donated based on need. A great combined effort, this story beautifully illustrates just how creative and versatile our UK textiles industry can be. Looking forwards, John Smedley has seen a varying response across its diverse export markets to the various restrictions and challenges being faced within the industry. Japan is an important export market and managed the Covid-19 pandemic well, resulting in more robust orders for knitwear. The Royal Warrant-holding brand is hoping that all European markets can also speedily recover, with a renewed sense of buoyancy and appetite for the highest quality British products undiminished. Two fashion collections are produced each year, with the dominant yarns being Extrafine Merino in the winter season, and John Smedley’s Sea Island Cotton in the summer. Most recently, it has also added to its repertoire of yarns a new transseasonal merino/cotton blend, Anglo Indian Gauze, which is proving extremely popular for spring and autumn wardrobes, and an Eco-Cashmere, which has sustainability credentials resulting from new processes in its production. Both these new products will, they think, add a boost to new collections produced this year and into the future. John Smedley has come through many challenges in its long history and time-honoured tradition of delivering the highest quality knitwear and is set to continue delighting international customers with new collections, adaptability and innovation and its expert, homegrown teams as dedicated as ever.

Adapting to the tests of time with resilience, versatility and community spirit


ohn Smedley began in 1784 as one of the first mills built at the beginning of the Industrial Revolution. Two hundred and thirty seven years later, it still remains a family-owned business and a British brand that proudly designs and manufactures all of its garments in the UK. John Smedley has two factories in Derbyshire and Yorkshire and employs over 300 skilled staff, who are dedicated to making the world’s finest knitwear for discerning consumers all around the globe. Like so many businesses in the fashion sector, John Smedley found significant challenges in 2020. Due to supply chain disruption and the need to urgently make factories safe, it closed operations for six weeks, taking time to put all the necessary adjustments and precautions in place. In May, it invited a small team of volunteers to restart work in the Lea Mills factory – not however this time on its traditional knitwear garments, but on making scrubs for the hardpressed doctors, nurses and carers in the NHS. Through its contacts in the industry, they were able to secure a source of medical grade

John Smedley Ltd Lea Mills, Lea Bridge Matlock, Derbyshire DE4 5AG +44 (0)1629 534571 johnsmedleyknitwear


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Two hundred and thirty seven years later, John Smedley remains a familyowned business and a British brand that proudly designs and manufactures all of its garments in the UK

John Smedley’s luxury knitwear, as modelled by Caroline Issa and Richard Biedul

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Johnstons of Elgin

GBB 2021

A winning formula of Scottish heritage, craftsmanship and innovation


n a year when online engagement was everything, 2020 saw Johnstons of Elgin harness the power of storytelling. A rich, authentic 223-year history and continuous investment in technology gave it plenty to talk about. Making cashmere and fine woollen goods since 1797, their unparalleled craftsmanship, thirst for innovation and commitment to sustainability became ever more relevant, as consumers re-evaluated what was important. ‘Quality over quantity’ was the lesson of the year, as many embraced a simpler approach to life. Less became more – both practically and in terms of sustainability – with a few well-made pieces taking precedence over extended, disposable wardrobes. Home became a haven, tempting customers to invest in luxurious loungewear, blankets, fabrics and throws. Johnstons of Elgin’s Send Your Love campaign recognised that customers wanted inspiration, with many eager to treat those loved ones whom they were unable to see. This warm sentiment hit just the right note and still resonates strongly. In troubled times, the understated elegance and sumptuous softness of the designs exude a feelgood factor that’s made for sharing. Johnstons of Elgin remains proud of its exquisite collections, made in its own Scottish mills, among them Britain’s last remaining vertical woollen mill. It understands that, in a post-Brexit world, ‘Made in Scotland’ will remain synonymous with outstanding quality and products made to last. Johnstons of Elgin embodies

‘slow luxury’, taking time to create designs with longevity, using the world’s finest fibres. Chairman Jenny Urquhart uses the term ‘modern heritage’ to describe the balance between history and innovation that exists within the business: ‘Whole Garment Technology means many of our products can now be made without seams for increased comfort. We can also create extremely lightweight products from cashmere and Merino wool,’ she says. Spring/Summer 2021 focuses on Innovation and Craft, while Autumn/Winter’s fashion collection explores Tartans, Textures and Twist, taking customers on a sensory journey back to their textile roots. The senses are woven and knitted into every piece; fluidity, drape and layering are key. The comprehensive collection, including knitwear, clothing and accessories, exemplifies the brand’s expertise. A lifestyle loungewear edition understands the recent shift in our sartorial needs, and incredibly soft fibres evoke confidence and elegance. Luxurious designs for the home include indulgent cashmere fabrics and throws in beautiful hues and much-loved textural herringbone designs – not forgetting the essential classic checks for which the brand is renowned. Cashmere and fine wool composites ensure fabrics and throws are durable, insulating and sensuously soft. 2021’s new lambswool fabric Tempo, inspired by the colours, peaks, rock patterns and granites of the Scottish mountains, focuses on texture and large-scale patterning. In the fight against Coronavirus, the company produced scrubs for local hospitals and primary care centres in Elgin and released 350 limited-edition rainbow scarves with proceeds from each sale going to NHS Charities Together. ‘Businesses and individuals faced unprecedented challenges last year,’ says Urquhart, ‘but in 2021 heritage, craftsmanship and innovation are our strength at Johnstons of Elgin.’ Johnstons of Elgin Newmill, Elgin Moray IV30 4AF +44 (0)1343 554000 johnstonsofelgin johnstonsofelgininteriors


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The finest yarns, spun at Britain’s last remaining vertical mill, are used in Johnstons of Elgin’s fashion and interiors collections

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Johnstons of Elgin understands that, in a post-Brexit world, ‘Made in Scotland’ will remain synonymous with outstanding quality and products made to last

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GBB 2021

A leading responsible brand of tomorrow celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2021


s its 50th anniversary approaches, Mulberry continues a legacy of playfully interpreting British heritage for modern lifestyles. Originally a family-run business founded in Somerset in 1971, Mulberry has grown to be the largest manufacturer of luxury leather goods in Britain, with two factories in Somerset producing over 50 per cent of its products. Its lifestyle accessories for men and women are available in more than 120 stores across 25 countries. Mulberry’s founder, Roger Saul, started the business using scraps from the local leather factory, fashioning them into belts and chokers that he sold at London’s Portobello market. This


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passion for craft, sourcing materials responsibly, and making things to last, remains at the heart of the business. Leather sourcing is still a crucial factor in the brand’s responsible approach to manufacturing, with all leathers in the collection a by-product of the food industry and sourced from environmentally accredited tanneries. Mulberry’s design and sourcing teams are also constantly looking for innovative materials; their new lightweight Scotchgrain is made from recombined bio-plastics, and they work with ECONYL® regenerated nylon and sustainable cotton. Sustainability is also a key consideration for operations: all Mulberry’s UK locations, including the factories, are carbon neutral and it sends zero waste to landfill. In line with the made to last ethos, customers are encouraged to repair rather than replace much-loved items. The brand offers a world-class repairs centre with leather and component archives going back 30 years, and a circular economy programme, the Mulberry Exchange, that invites customers to buy or sell back a pre-loved Mulberry bag. Each new collection aims to improve on its sustainability goals. Last year saw the launch of the Portobello tote, Mulberry’s first 100 per cent sustainable leather bag, followed this year by the Sustainable Icons. This collection of the brand’s most beloved bags was crafted at the carbon neutral factories with its most sustainable leather, sourced from tanneries that have achieved a gold standard rating. The iconic Alexa was relaunched as part of this collection, with the timeless satchel proving as popular today as it was ten years ago, when it was dubbed one of the original It Bags. Mulberry’s focus on communitybuilding invites customers into their world through immersive experiences, from light installations to the My Local series of live music gigs. At the beginning of the Covid-19 crisis, the brand converted its factories to PPE production for the NHS and raised funds for the National Emergencies Trust by donating a percentage of proceeds from all sales. The temporary closure of stores also saw Mulberry revisit its service offerings, from complimentary personalisation and same-day delivery to personal appointments, available in-store or via video call for those who prefer to shop from home. As Mulberry looks forward to their next 50 years, they remain firmly committed to building a sustainable legacy by making beautiful products that last, and that have a positive impact on the environment and their communities.

Mulberry offers a world-class repairs centre and a circular economy programme, the Mulberry Exchange, that invites customers to buy or sell back a preloved bag

CLOCKWISE FROM TOP: The Alexa was relaunched in 2020 for a new generation; in a beautiful forest green hue, the Alexa bag is made from gold-standard sustainable leather and recycled Epic EcoVerde thread; the Portobello is Mulberry’s first 100 per cent sustainable bag

Mulberry mulberryengland COUNTRYANDTOWNHOUSE.CO.UK/GBB | 71

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New & Lingwood

GBB 2021

Reinventing luxury loungewear via digital excellence and magical pop-ups


or over 150 years, New & Lingwood has stayed true to its roots as a British tailor while also displaying an unerring ability to evolve. This evolution has propelled it from a small village shop, originally founded to clothe the students of Eton College, to an international brand. Over time, it has continued to attract new customers around the world, who discover its unique mix of classic and contemporary style online and through its shops on London’s Jermyn Street and Lexington Avenue, New York. In the wake of the challenges facing all businesses

in 2020, along with a quick move into producing silk and cotton face masks, New & Lingwood went back to the drawing board. The aim? To ensure that the brand used this time of change to build a business fit for the future of menswear. English-made silk and velvet dressing gowns have long been a brand signature, with an ever-growing number of customers coming to the brand for these distinctive and comfortable styles. Reacting to this, New & Lingwood has broadened its loungewear offering, cementing itself as the go-to destination for those seeking the highest quality and most distinctive loungewear in the market. Relaxed tailoring has become the backbone of New & Lingwood’s offering, all with comfort at the core, but never diminishing the


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STYLE A New & Lingwood dressing gown has always been a truly special purchase – now you can digitally design your own wherever you are

Keen to distance itself from a seasonal model that has become less relevant to its customers, it is introducing styles throughout the year in curated drops

craftsmanship and unique details that underpin the brand. The pandemic also saw the complete overhaul of the way the brand approaches its digital channels. As focused on how it sells as what it sells, New & Lingwood introduced a suite of new digital features in 2020. Most notable was its pioneering custom dressing gown service, allowing customers to design their ideal dressing gown from the comfort of their own home. After a strong response, there are plans to expand this service this year. With some customers less able to visit its iconic stores, New & Lingwood is investing in giving its customers, no matter where they are, as much access as possible to the knowledge and services honed over decades in its stores. Supporting this renewed focus on digital growth, the brand believes a physical presence will play a vital role in conveying the magic of its product. It built on its existing stores in London, Eton and New York with the launch of the first pop-up on Belgravia’s Lowndes Street in December 2020, with further pop-up experiences planned for the future.

New and Lingwood is introducing styles throughout the year in curated drops, keen to distance itself from a seasonal model that has become less relevant to its customers, it is moving away from seasons and changing to a new model. When thinking about how its customers will view the brand following Brexit, Freddie Briance, CEO, says: ‘Our customers have always visited us from around the world and we do not believe that Brexit will change that. It certainly won’t detract from our ambition to keep creating unique products that marry our British heritage with the modern and increasingly connected world.’

New & Lingwood 53 Jermyn St London SW1Y 6LX +44 (0)800 083 5102 newandlingwood


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Olivia von Halle

GBB 2021

The queen of luxury loungewear


livia von Halle founded her eponymous business in 2011 with just one pair of silk lounging pyjamas, the Lila. Ten years on, the brand’s extensive range of luxe pyjamas, robes, kimonos, nightshirts and eye masks is sold by some of the world’s most prestigious retailers, as well as in its own flagship store on London’s Sloane Square. Its Missy silk-cashmere tracksuit was a sell-out when it launched in 2016, while its slip dresses grace the wardrobes of many of the fashion world’s movers and shakers. The Lila, meanwhile, remains a bestseller. ‘Unlike other brands, we make all our own fabrics, dye to order and screen-print our own hand-drawn motifs,’ says Olivia. ‘We also work with cashmere, using a heritage knitting technique to blend it with our silk.’ As occasionwear became less relevant in 2020, Olivia von Halle’s mindful luxury and natural fabrics chimed very much with the unprecedented times. ‘It was definitely the banner year for luxury loungewear. We were incredibly fortunate to see our product and brand resonate strongly with consumers, many of whom turned to our pieces to provide flair for days that all felt the same.’ Naturally there were challenges. ‘At the outset of the pandemic we had to shift focus to direct-to-consumer,

safeguarding Olivia von Halle from the uncertainty of bricks and mortar. Beyond that, we learned to be nimble. We found that small adjustments to our brand strategy – such as our tone of voice – made a great impact, and ensured we remained relevant in a rapidly changing and challenging environment.’ Olivia designed her first set of lounging pyjamas when she was living in China. She is now based in London but her influences, she says, remain universal. ‘My first design was inspired by the lounging pyjamas worn by Coco Chanel and her contemporaries in the 1920s, but although our designs are inspired, at times, by the insignia and silhouettes of yesteryear, our strategy, our community and our identity are forwardlooking and inclusive. The many identities of the Olivia von Halle woman mean there is no single national trait we embody or wish to represent.’ This year the brand will make its first foray into cotton, blending it with silk for a characteristically luxe take on nightwear designed for balmy summer nights. ‘One development we are especially excited about is the launch of our beautiful house slippers – velvet, heavily embellished and the most comfortable slipper imaginable. We want to continue to create directional and decadent dressing, designed for the party or the afterparty; whether enjoying revelry in person or dreaming of it from afar, Olivia von Halle is for moments of freedom and delight.’ Despite the undoubted challenges of 2020, Olivia feels the developments she made then have brought the brand closer to its customers and afforded it clarity of vision. ‘Having streamlined our offering, our brand mission is now clearer than ever,’ says Olivia, ‘and we have absolute confidence in our brand purpose, this year and beyond.’

Olivia von Halle 190 Pavilion Road London SW3 2BF +44 (0)20 7700 1007 oliviavonhalle


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Olivia von Halle’s range of luxury pyjamas and robes is inspired by figures such as Coco Chanel


‘Although our designs are inspired, at times, by the insignia and silhouettes of yesteryear, our strategy, our community and our identity are forward-looking and inclusive’

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Really Wild

GBB 2021

A brand that is ‘committed to thoughtfulness’


f there was one thing 2020 taught us, it was to refocus on what matters and to appreciate the natural beauty that surrounds us.’ So says Natalie Lake, founder of British fashion house Really Wild, who has always drawn her inspiration from nature, creating designs that celebrate our country heritage in both an urban and rural setting. Launched in 2002 to bridge the style gap between town and country wardrobes, Natalie combines her love of the great British countryside with elegant tailoring and attention to detail, creating beautiful basics and statement pieces. Really Wild prides itself on a dedication to craftsmanship that is second to none. Using the most meticulous construction methods and the finest Scottish tweeds, the company creates classic tailoring with a contemporary twist, always with exceptional finishing and in limited numbers. Indeed, Natalie believes that the recent changes in the retail landscape have played to her brand’s strengths. ‘We may not be dressing up as much as we did, but every Really Wild piece, from our softly tailored coats to our Liberty silk shirts, are versatile enough to be worn dressed up or

down. I think many women are taking more joy in what they wear, selecting pieces that have been made from natural fabrics such as cotton, wool and silk, that are not only comfortable, but kinder to the environment.’ Natalie believes that mindful purchasing is vital. Thoughtful designs made from luxury fabrics, crafted into investment pieces that will stand the test of time. The slow fashion ethos also extends to the way in which customers buy online. ‘We have learnt a huge amount from going solely online during the lockdown periods. People have had the time to read and learn more about what they really want from the brands they buy from. To reach our customers we have had to engage with them, providing interesting, valuable content. We have also re-evaluated our own designs by creating garments more relevant to our customers and the way we find ourselves living with less formality. Really Wild’s online offer also gives its customers the opportunity to find out more about the brand’s commitment to sustainability, from working closely with its factories and mills through to fabric sourcing, manufacture and delivery. Producing timeless, carefully crafted designs with limited runs also means there is little wastage in production. ‘We work with generations of highly skilled craftsmen and artisans, helping to protect and support techniques which reflect our glorious countryside traditions,’ says Natalie. ‘Being committed to thoughtfulness is key to our brand. In 2021 we aim to give our customers full transparency and will continue to build a brand that helps to create a positive impact on our beautiful planet.’ The Spring/Summer 2021 collection brings a well-needed dose of escapism, encapsulating the outdoor spirit that Really Wild is known for. An abundance of colour-infused floral prints united with unexpected textures are crafted in to modern, feminine silhouettes that exude laid back elegance for next season and beyond.

Really Wild 53 Sloane Square London SW1W 8AX 105 High Street Marlow SL7 1AB +44 (0)1491 352600 reallywildclothing


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Really Wild’s colours and fabrics are rooted in nature, with pieces that are timeless, and cross seamlessly between town and country


Really Wild prides itself on a dedication to craftsmanship that is second to none

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Sabina Savage

GBB 2021

Beautiful hand-drawn silk scarves and clothes that tell their own story 78 | COUNTRYANDTOWNHOUSE.CO.UK/GBB

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o other scarf is quite like one by Sabina Savage. Savvy owners know they are in possession of a collectible heritage piece. Each scarf is hand-made, expertly printed and hand-edged by Italian artisans in Como, but the real beauty of a Sabina Savage scarf is that Sabina spends six to eight weeks drawing each square in its entirety. ‘I don’t repeat or mirror any elements,’ explains Sabina, ‘and every single corner has a different detail that tells a story.’ Sabina thoroughly researches these stories, which form the basis for each collection. ‘Every tiny detail in a border is taken from an artwork or inspired by something in the story,’ she says. ‘I spend hours in museums building up a solid knowledge of my theme.’ Her Autumn/Winter 2020 collection was based on Pompeii, and Sabina became fascinated by the artefacts and animals left behind after the eruption, such as caged birds and chained up guard dogs. All Sabina’s designs feature animals, so Pompeii became a gift for her fertile imagination: ‘I started visualising the animals helping each other escape,’ she says. Sabina has also expanded her increasingly popular clothing line, made in Whitechapel. The pieces are individually cut and pieced together so the print flows across the seams. In 2020 Sabina starting offering silk velvet jackets and trousers alongside her silk clothing. They are effortlessly elegant and easy to wear, with simple, fluid shapes that allow the print to elevate the clothes to couture level. Many of Sabina’s stockists were affected by Covid-19, so she worked to improve her online shop with user-friendly filters and mood boards, meaning customers can identify the sources of every detail on every scarf. Sabina also has a YouTube channel that highlights the scarf’s versatility, with tutorials showing how

‘We’re a small, London-based brand, but much of our identity comes from absorbing the wider world and other cultures into our designs’ to tie one to its best advantage, whether as headscarf, summer top or winter wraparound. She also commissioned a new film for the Autumn/Winter collection. ‘It’s all about creating an online world for people to step into and find everything they need,’ Sabina explains. The result is that online sales have since a large growth since lockdown and continue to rise. Sabina Savage also collaborated with court jewellers Cleave & Company to create a set of limited-edition pens and perfume ampoules in 18ct gold, silver and enamel, again displaying an ability to extend the brand’s creativity and offer its beautiful designs in a new medium. A further collaboration is planned with Johnstons of Elgin on an anniversary cashmere scarf. The beauty of Sabina Savage is that it remains distinctly British while taking inspiration from all over the world. ‘Increasingly and particularly with Brexit, people are trying to support smaller brands close to home,’ says Sabina. ‘We’re a small, London- based brand, but much of our identity comes from absorbing the wider world and other exotic cultures into our designs. For example, in 2021 I’m looking to Burkina Faso for inspiration and I think our customers love that we’re British but with a global pan-cultural outlook.’

Inspired by moments in history and far-off cultures, Sabina hand-draws every design on her scarves

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s a heritage British brand Sunspel has been handcrafting garments in Britain for over 160 years, building a global reputation for uncompromising quality, timeless design and luxury fabrics. Thanks to this sense of place and tradition its wardrobe classics have become a part of Britain’s cultural heritage: Sunspel was responsible for some of the world’s earliest T-shirts in the late 19th century and it introduced the boxer short to Britain in 1947. In 2006 came the Riviera polo shirt, tailored for that icon of classic British styling, James Bond. Since 1937 Sunspel’s production has been based in Long Eaton, Nottingham, and it’s the only brand to manufacture T-shirts at its own factory in Britain. When it works with other factories, the company applies the same know-how. Cashmere and lambswool sweaters are made in Scotland by long established manufacturers using traditional skills and original knitting machines (dating back to the early 1920s) as no other machinery can replicate the quality of the knit. Many of the businesses that it works with are small, family-owned concerns that share in the same beliefs about quality, ethical working practices and environmental responsibility. By any standards 2020 has been a year of uncertainty and anxiety. As a result, Sunspel has found that consumers have been eschewing fast fashion in favour of the kind of comfort, simplicity and reassurance that its high-quality, timeless designs and luxury fabrics provide. Keeping this historic brand relevant to today’s consumers has been surprisingly easy. ‘We’re fortunate that the principles of our founder were, and still are, contemporary,’ explains creative director David Telfer. ‘The innovation of some of our earliest fabrics – which are still in the collection today – demonstrate his desire to combine

the finest fibres with essential garments. In the late 1800s this led to the world’s first T-shirt made in the world’s rarest and finest cotton: Sea Island cotton from the Caribbean. Over the last 100 years we’ve refined the styles and modernised the fits. But our founding ethos of using the finest fibres combined with timeless and understated designs endures and we continue to create products that will outlast changing fashions.’ Sunspel fans include Paul Weller. A factory visit developed into a collaboration, launching in February 2021 with the singer/songwriter hand sketching designs, selecting fabrics and reinterpreting the brand’s 1930s Sun and Clouds logo. The result is a very personal capsule collection. ‘At Sunspel, 2020 has been a period of challenge – but also a year in which we have been able to question what we do and understand how relevant our brand ethos is,’ says David. ‘Customers have wanted to invest in the kind of quality and comfort that are both intrinsic to the brand.’ ‘Making clothes with care, from where we source our materials to the people we work with and the quality of everything we do, are not new principles for us – it is simply the way we have always done things.’

‘Our founding ethos of using the finest fibres combined with timeless and understated designs endures’

Sunspel’s original values of luxury, simplicity and innovation are still as relevant as ever, 160 years later

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Turnbull & Asser

GBB 2021

The heritage shirtmaker combining time-honoured integrity with new opportunities for self-expression


urnbull & Asser is the quintessential British shirtmaker that has been dressing heads of state, style icons and stars of stage and screen in British-made shirts since 1885. It provided James Bond with his famous cocktail-cuff shirt in 1962’s Dr No; and, as Prince Charles’s favourite shirtmaker, they were awarded a Royal Warrant in 1980. The Jermyn Street mainstay is immensely proud of its British heritage, although its definition of Britishness has moved with the times. ‘We see our Britishness as defined by our creativity, eccentric spirit, openness, and appreciation of tradition,’ says Becky French, creative director. Turnbull & Asser manufactures all its elegant and

timeless shirts and ties in its English workshops in Gloucestershire, minimising its environmental impact and carbon footprint. This vertical supply chain came into its own during 2020, allowing the brand flexibility to broaden its product offering and meet customers’ new needs. The demand for formalwear may have slowed, but ‘holiday-fit’ shirts and less structured styles became more popular than ever – with customers pivoting to invest in beautifully made pyjamas, including women’s cotton-cashmere ones. Meanwhile, the brand’s bespoke experts made special journeys to conduct fittings safely, in the comfort of customers’ own homes. They also swung into action on behalf of the wider community in its hour of need, answering the call to manufacture scrubs for NHS health workers,


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‘We see our Britishness as defined by our creativity, eccentric spirit, openness, and appreciation of tradition’

Clothing the likes of James Bond and Prince Charles, Turnbull & Asser is as brilliantly British as they come

later introducing high-quality commuter masks available to purchase, which were a huge success, made as they were with the same integrity as a Turnbull & Asser shirt. Like many other brands forced to react swiftly, Turnbull & Asser repurposed its legendary personal service for the digital world, mirroring the level of experience its customers usually expect from its stores in London and New York. Virtual consultations, events and video links to the shop floor were set up; and workshops like How to Make a Mask were posted onto social media channels to entertain and engage existing customers and new. As the world re-emerges post-vaccine, Turnbull & Asser is quietly expecting a sartorial revival, as people desperate to dress up and go out to parties and live events take the opportunity to refresh their wardrobes. With this in mind, the brand is reimagining its By Appointment Trunk Shows, taking an expanded collection of clothing and accessories on the road to hotels and fairs, so that customers have the chance to discover the Turnbull & Asser experience from a location nearer to home. Meanwhile, the bespoke service, traditionally popular with buyers of exquisite business shirts, is being promoted as an opportunity for all customers to unleash their creativity. Bespoke shirts are completely customisable, choosing from over 1,000 fabrics, 25 collar and cuff options, 20 monogram styles and various collar linings – so there’s plenty of scope for self-expression. Where once a bespoke Turnbull & Asser shirt might have needed an office to be seen in, nowadays a shirt tailor-made to reflect the true you will ensure that working from home – or indeed anywhere else – will never have been so effective. Turnbull & Asser 71-72 Jermyn Street London SW1Y 6PF +44 (0)20 7808 3000 turnbull_asser COUNTRYANDTOWNHOUSE.CO.UK/GBB | 83

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Vivienne Westwood

GBB 2021

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Vivienne Westwood’s designs are grounded in the tailoring traditions of Savile Row, models both wearing Vivienne Westwood mainline and accessory collections


Vivienne Westwood continues to use her collections, collaborations and catwalk shows to capture the imagination and as an energising force to promote awareness for positive activism

ne of the last independent global fashion brands, Vivienne Westwood celebrates 50 years in fashion in 2021. Vivienne continues to use her collections, collaborations and catwalk shows to capture the imagination, and as an energising force to promote awareness and to campaign for positive activism. In 1971 Vivienne began designing in London along with then partner Malcolm McLaren, using their shop at 430 Kings Road to showcase ideas and designs. With their changing vision of fashion came a transformation, not only of the name of the shop but also the décor. In 1976, Westwood and McLaren defined the street culture of Punk with Seditionaries. By the end of the 70s, Vivienne was already considered a symbol of the British avant-garde, showing her first catwalk presentation for Autumn/Winter 1981 at London’s Olympia. She then turned to traditional tailoring techniques, using British fabrics and 17th and 18th-century art for inspiration. In 1989 Vivienne met Andreas Kronthaler, later to become her husband and long-time design partner, as well as the brand’s creative director. The V&A’s 2004 Vivienne Westwood retrospective exhibition, to celebrate her 34 years in fashion, was the largest ever devoted to a living British fashion designer. In 2006, her contribution to British fashion was officially recognised when she was appointed Dame of the British Empire by Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II. In 2007 she was awarded the Outstanding Achievement in Fashion at the British Fashion Awards. Vivienne Westwood is a perennial champion of traditional British textiles and Savile Row tailoring traditions, which have

informed and influenced her collections since the 1980s. Over the last 30 years she has created iconic products that are recognised worldwide as a sign of durable quality and style. What’s more, Vivienne Westwood has always partnered with local industries and artisans as well as independent Italian factories. Today, they continue to work with many small, highly skilled independent businesses, such as Harris Tweed and Locharron of Scotland. The brand has always striven to make collections with greater care, keeping heritage, craftsmanship and tradition alive through innovative design, and promoting arts and culture. Vivienne has also personally been at the forefront of raising awareness around the environmental impact of overconsumption and is a long-time campaigner on the impact of climate change, mobilising people around its effects on them and the planet, urging people to ‘buy less, choose well, make it last’. Vivienne Westwood is also committed to sourcing raw materials with the least possible social and environmental impact: embracing developments in sustainable fibres and fabrics as well as low-impact dyeing and processing; using zero-waste patterncutting techniques where possible; and designing products of the highest quality so that they endure. They strives to make quality products that respect people and the planet with every design decision by focusing on four key areas: craft, heritage, materials and processing, and Vivienne Westwood reimagining waste. 44 Conduit Street London W1S 2YL +44 (0)20 7439 1109 viviennewestwood COUNTRYANDTOWNHOUSE.CO.UK/GBB | 85

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Building on its fine British heritage to grow a global brand

a store in New York followed and over the next 30 years many more opened in mainland Europe and Asia, all dedicated to showcasing the very best of English shoemaking excellence and unparalleled levels of customer service. In 1999 the Prada Group, a global leader in the luxury industry, took Church’s over, with the declared desire to optimise the brand’s business opportunities while fully respecting its British identity. As a result, Church’s has massively expanded its retail footprint over the last ten years. Today the company operates from three Northamptonshire factories and has continued to receive numerous plaudits, culminating in the prestigious Queen’s Award for Exports, putting the official seal of recognition on Church’s status as a leading international brand. Church’s now has 62 stores throughout all the major cities of the world, including four stores exclusively dedicated to the company’s women’s collection. In 2020 Church’s announced its first women’s collaboration with designer Kei Ninomiya, who launched the Noir Kei Ninomiya line in 2012 under the Comme des Garçons umbrella led by Rei Kawakubo. For all this momentous growth and change, the manufacture of Church’s shoes remains inspired by its history, heritage and handcrafting techniques. Dedicated craftsman hand-make the welted shoes in a process that can take up to eight weeks and involve over 250 detailed manual operations. This commitment to craftsmanship is evident also in Church’s aftercare service. Full refurbishment facilities at the Northampton factory utilise the same top-quality materials and craftsmanship as in the original manufacturing process. With proper care and attention, Church’s shoes can – and do – last a lifetime. Church’s shoes transcend fashion. Colours may vary seasonally but classic men’s styles, like Oxfords and Brogues, never date. Meanwhile, the brand is always innovating and developing, offering a gentle evolution of design and style to appeal to new, discerning customers throughout the world. It continues to build on its position as the world’s leading provider of exceptional Goodyear Welted Footwear.


hurch’s historical involvement in the manufacture of handmade gentlemen’s shoes can be traced back to Northamptonshire in 1675, a county at the centre of a flourishing leather and footwear industry since the Middle Ages. But it was two centuries later, in 1873, that Thomas Church and his three sons Alfred, William and Thomas Jr – founded the ‘modern’ Church’s as we know it today. They consolidated production, which had traditionally been carried out in the workers’ own homes, into a factory in Northampton, where the firm’s worldwide headquarters are still based today. In the space of a few years, Church’s was transformed from a craft workshop into a benchmark firm for top-quality footwear. It is interesting to note that Church’s was the first footwear manufacturer to introduce the concept of left and right shoes, ahead of most other companies that were still selling ‘straights’. With the dawn of the 20th century, Church’s began exporting to new markets like the United States, Canada, China, and South America, and appointed distributors in mainland Europe. The company opened its first British retail store in 1921. In 1929

Church’s St James Northampton NN5 5JB +44 (0)1604 751251 churchs


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The manufacture of Church’s shoes remains inspired by its history, heritage and handcrating techniques

Church’s has built a reputation for English shoemaking excellence, and flies the flag in stores across the globe

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Crockett & Jones

GBB 2021

Thriving, long-established British shoemaker with an international reputation


rockett & Jones has been making shoes in Northampton since 1879, for much of that time in the red-brick Victorian factory that the company built in the heart of the town in 1891. Manufacturing shoes in the traditional British way is a labour-intensive process, requiring the highly skilled workforce to complete more than 200 separate operations over an eight-week period. Many of the production techniques rely on excellent hand-eye co-ordination, which take years to learn and a lifetime to master. It is this intricate, demanding process that produces the shoes whose strength, durability and comfort are recognised the world over. Running Crockett & Jones is a constant challenge, a juggling act that only the most committed of directors can manage. The fact that the company is owned and managed by the family – seven of its members work in the business – allows it to react quickly and decisively to changing circumstances. That said, in 2020 the business faced an unprecedented number of hurdles. Crockett & Jones has survived two World Wars and countless political changes, but the only historical event which compares to the double jeopardy of the pandemic and Brexit is the Great Depression. Crockett & Jones has faced these twin challenges with determination. The social distancing rules were easily

accommodated as the factory is a sizeable building and the shoemakers have always needed space in which to work. As a result, the factory has been working three-and-a-half days a week since the middle of June, a compromise which has protected jobs and balanced production with sales. It was the strength of its brand in the Far East that helped Crockett & Jones to weather the storm. This was especially true of the Japanese market where the resilience of its revenues did much to keep the company afloat during the pandemic. Having had its own retail operations over the last 20 years has strengthened the company, enhancing its ability to come through the pandemic in good shape. This sense of optimism for the future is reinforced by the fact that early this year Crockett & Jones will sell its first pair of shoes online. This is a development that has been slow in coming, albeit for good reasons. The finite capacity of the factory’s production and loyalty to longstanding clients were the two major reasons why the company did not launch an online sale channel earlier. Digital represents a new and exciting string to Crockett & Jones’s bow at a time when many of its competitors, having already maximised the potential of online marketing, are finding sales hard to come by. For this reason, the outlook for 2021 and beyond is very positive. This year Crockett & Jones will be entering uncharted territory when it launches a collection of loafers made using a superflexible Goodyear-welted construction method developed during lockdown. These more casual shoes may well be the most comfortable Goodyear-welted shoes the world has ever seen, softer and more summer-friendly than even the company owners predicted.

Crockett & Jones 92 Jermyn Street London SW1Y 6JE +44 (0)20 7839 5239 crockettandjones_official


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The sense of optimism for the future is reinforced by the fact that early this year Crockett & Jones will sell its first pair of shoes online

LEFT TO RIGHT: Salcombe in khaki suede; the James Bond 007 limited edition shoes, made in collaboration with EON Productions

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Cutler and Gross

GBB 2021

Widening our sight to focus on what truly matters towards understanding more about provenance, company philosophies and sustainable working methods is welcome. Owning its own factory allows a degree of control and creativity that would not be possible otherwise, enabling the brand to shape its own destiny. Cutler and Gross personally selects its optometrists, who tend to carve long-standing careers with the brand – Salvatore Scinaldi, based at the Knightsbridge flagship, has carried the mantle for the past 21 years. Its renowned Piers Gough eye examination room is now filled with the latest diagnostic equipment and offers one of the most comprehensive eye examinations in the industry. Essilor, inventor of the varifocal, is the brand’s lens partner – underlining the importance of synergy between the frame’s aesthetics and the prescription. Cutler and Gross understands perfectly the evolving needs of its devoted clientele. ‘If you buy a handcrafted



ince its Knightsbridge flagship store opened 51 years ago, Cutler and Gross has been at the heart of fashionable optics. Guided by founders Graham Cutler and Tony Gross’s mantra of ‘function, fit and style’, it makes wearing glasses desirable, through its use of exquisite materials, specific, recognisable features and investing in its own research, development and production. ‘It’s nice if glasses can be sexy and mysterious,’ said Tony Gross. ‘People who need glasses don’t have to feel separated from glamour.’ At the same time, it’s a business that wears its brand subtly. If you’re wearing Cutler and Gross glasses, you’re the only one who knows. Cutler and Gross has always designed products to last a lifetime, so a general shift among consumers


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Cutler and Gross makes wearing glasses desirable, through its use of exquisite materials, developing specific features and investing in its own research, development and production

pair of glasses or sunglasses, you want to see the tiny differences – they give character and make them truly unique to the wearer,’ says Graham. ‘The Cutler and Gross customer has always been an individual. Eccentric maybe, but a rare breed, certainly.’ Despite a challenging past pandemic year, a new European distribution centre was established ahead of Brexit, significant investments were made in logistical operations, machinery and a new design studio was established in the brand’s vertically integrated Italianowned factory to enable more frequent worldwide releases of seasonal collections. In addition, new digital eyewear technology was rolled out in its retail stores and a new website was launched to help to deliver valuable, stateof-the-art customer experiences. The Kingsman Collection collaboration continues

Undercover cool: Cutler and Gross specialises in discreetly luxurious and effortless eyewear

to strengthen with the launch of the film planned this year. In addition to Mr. Porter, The Kingsman Collection is now selling in Cutler and Gross’ retail stores and across its global wholesale network, while its continued partnership with Paul Smith Eyewear generates accelerated growth in worldwide markets. There is another exciting and unorthodox collaboration with a British brand planned for later in the year, all part of the plan to spearhead surprising but exciting brand collaborations and introduce Cutler and Gross to new audiences globally. These are strong foundations for the future. Britishness is core to the brand’s heritage and a vital aspect of its continued success. It is proud to operate globally as an independent British brand, continuing to deliver quality craftsmanship and typically eccentric but elegant British style.

Cutler and Gross 16 Knightsbridge Green London SW1X 7QN +44 (0)20 7581 2250 cutlerandgross


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GBB 2021

highlighted issues with mental health, particularly in men, and given a focal point of conversation for the entire D+D community. Duke + Dexter is made in England and has always had a defined sense of what its own Britishness means and, more importantly, what it doesn’t. ‘We don’t sit back and rest on our heritage or overplay our 200-year-old production techniques,’ says Archie. ‘Instead, we focus on our shoes being of the very highest quality, thanks to our knowledge of the carefully selected materials we use and the team behind them. That’s enough for us and our customers. We don’t need to spin a yarn of a 300-year-old dusty factory that more often than not turns younger customers off – how many times can you release a black brogue and call it new? ‘Our Britishness is not the Britishness of everyone else,’ continues Archie, ‘and to this end, our Britishness will not waver after Brexit because we have a different attitude and approach, and are unafraid to point a finger and start a bigger conversation. We’re very much still the new kids on the block in terms of British shoe brands, so we’ll make a noise and kick up a fuss. We like that.’ The brand is successfully keeping its existing customers, while attracting new ones by giving them all a reason to wear D+Ds and, also, a bold community to be a part of that’s prepared to go against the grain. The new Ritchie sneaker embodies this approach. It is built with a custom sole unit and bespoke black D+D heel bar feature, so it looks great with everything and is purposefully designed to be ultra-comfortable, all day, every day. ‘We used its versatility and comfort to ask our customers to slow down, walk not run, and to wear their Ritchies on days they’re taking it easy, grabbing dinner, coffee, or just strolling through town,’ says Archie. ‘Being able to stick a finger up to their mates in running shoes is very much the evolution of the city sneaker and D+D is there first.’ This year will see the brand launching its biggest collaboration to date and it comes as no surprise that it’s set to cause yet another D+D shockwave through the industry.

Telling tales of iconic collaborations, subversive styles and original designs


ast year saw the London-based global brand Duke + Dexter prioritising its communication with customers and reviewing why and where they were wearing its shoes. ‘Just because we’re homebound in locked-down London wearing our new collection of loungewear loafers, doesn’t mean our customers in LA want the same shoes to go out to dinner in,’ explains founder and CEO Archie Hewlett. ‘To that end, we’ve blended styles for those still on the go with those who’ve found themselves spending a lot more time indoors. Offering a shoe for both situations has been pivotal.’ Duke + Dexter has also changed the way it tells tales and stories, broadening what it talks about as a brand. Instead of chasing sales with discounts or pleas for support during the pandemic, it’s set out to create engaging, wholesome content with help and advice. This spirit has continued through to its collaborations and from Jenson Button to Mensa, the brand has

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Duke + Dexter is redefining what it means to be British, and transforming the footwear market at the same time

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‘We’re very much the new kids on the block in terms of British shoe brands, so we’ll make a noise and kick up a fuss. We like that’

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Edward Green

GBB 2021

will they continue to dress more informally, or will there be something of a reaction, with people yearning for a sense of formality after spending so long in their jeans? As a shoemaker, Edward Green’s job is to keep a close eye on shifting trends to ensure that the right shoes are available, however tastes develop. It looks likely that the demand for brown suede loafers will continue to be strong in 2021. The company has recently introduced the Connemara, a hiking boot, inspired by its classic Galway field boot. The Connemara has a padded ankle collar for extra comfort on the trails, along with the Galway’s distinctive chevron design and bellowed tongue. This year’s new colour is Raw Umber, a caramel tan which fits well into today’s less saturated, natural colour palette. Whatever they buy, customers increasingly want to do it online. Every British brand will be giving much thought as to how it can improve its customers’ online experience. Edward Green now offers same-day delivery within London, or next day elsewhere within Britain. Indeed, there are many changes that businesses can make to support online and wholesale customers more effectively. The company has recently started offering its own extensive retail stock via its global wholesale network, giving buyers a much wider choice and ensuring that they can enjoy the experience of having shoes fitted in-store. ‘Omnichannel’ is something of an industry buzzword at the moment but intelligently blending the advantages of physical stores with the flexibility of online is something that will continue to develop in the years to come. With Brexit now upon us, Edward Green’s vital interest in the European market remains undiminished. On the one hand, most of the world’s best calf and sole leather comes from Europe while on the other, sales in the European market will continue to be important to the brand. Whatever happens, they will continue to make elegant shoes with meticulous care and attention and, while political and commercial tides may ebb and flow, that is something that will never go out of fashion.

In a turbulent world timeless British quality endures


he wise adapt themselves to circumstances as water moulds itself to the teapot,’ says an old Chinese proverb. Certainly, 2020 was a year of rare upheaval during which too many British factories lay quiet, but despite the challenges Edward Green’s doors have reopened. Although demand is tentative for now, these difficult circumstances call for evolution rather than revolution. Covid-19 and Brexit notwithstanding, the company’s mission is clear: to make handsome, beautifully crafted shoes designed to last for many years. It’s that authenticity that buyers have found appealing for more than a century. Many of the changes of the last nine months were already apparent in the market. Millions of us have become accustomed to working from home, with all the freedoms that brings to our dress. Undoubtedly, there’s been an increase in demand for loafers and boots instead of dress shoes such as Oxfords. But will this continue? As people return to the cities and offices,

Edward Green 75 Jermyn Street London SW1Y 6NP +44 (0)20 7839 0202 edwardgreen1890


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As a shoemaker, Edward Green’s job is to keep a close eye on shifting trends to ensure that the right shoes are available, however tastes develop

CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT: Chelsea cap-toe Oxford in black calf; the Galway boots were first made in the 1930s for British military officers; the finishing touches are added; Connemara in mink suede

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Fairfax & Favor

GBB 2021

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he dynamic young footwear and lifestyle brand Fairfax & Favor puts a string of successes during 2020 down to three inherently British characteristics: a sense of fun and adventure, respect for heritage, and philanthropy. During lockdown, the team galvanised their online communications, keeping all staff in the loop with brand and wider industry developments. The newly ignited team spirit paid off. Fairfax & Favor’s online sales rocketed by 400 per cent to a higher peak than at Christmas and next-day deliveries were maintained without missing a beat, despite social distancing reducing the numbers who could work in fulfilment. Judging by the reviews, this positive attitude was appreciated by locked-down customers desperate for reasons to be cheerful. Fairfax & Favor also became the ninth highest fundraiser for NHS Charities Together when it donated over £105,000, derived from ten per cent of its online sales in April, and 100 per cent of profits from the May to July sales of its limited-edition navy tassels and baseball caps. The brand also maintained its ongoing partnership with Breast Cancer Now, which raised £125,175 in its fifth year, with an overall running total of £221,953. The brand was launched in 2013 by childhood friends Marcus Fairfax Fountaine and Felix Favor Parker, who financed 400 pairs of handcrafted leather

CLOCKWISE FROM LEFT: Whether you’re dressing for town or country, Fairfax & Favor has timeless styles; the Elizabeth gilet; the Regina ankle boot is a fresh take on the brand’s original design; the company started seven years ago with hand-crafted leather boots

The collections blur the lines between smart and casual, country and town, making Fairfax & Favor a go-to destination for anyone boots out of their dwindling wage packets and marketed them through country fairs. Seven years on their high-quality products that stand the test of time have made them a sought-after British lifestyle brand with more than a £10m turnover and a loyal clientele who appreciate modern (as opposed to trendy) design. As the label has grown, it has continued to deliver a spirited take on British culture and heritage, drawing inspiration from recognisable themes such as equestrianism, military tradition and explorer style. Now encompassing luggage and accessories, the collections blur the lines between smart and casual, country and town, making Fairfax & Favor a go-to destination for anyone – man or woman – who lives a modern, multifaceted life and wants to capture that British way of looking elegant without appearing to make an effort. The Autumn/Winter 20/21 collection introduced new footwear and reimagined old favourites. The Regina ankle boot is a fresh take on the original tassel boot design, with its signature scalloped edging and memory-foam insole for longevity and comfort. Another addition is the men’s Sterling boot – this design upgrades Fairfax & Favor’s popular desert chukka boot with a signature tracked sole and full grain leather exterior, taken from their most popular outdoor boot, the Trafalgar. This hybrid boot is practical, yet smart enough to take you from office to the pub. Looking ahead to a significantly changing retail landscape, Fairfax & Favor will be engaging more with the ‘buy less, buy better’ model – a environmentally friendly mantra that fits its ethos of creating investment products, appealing to both cashconscious and sustainably minded customers. That said, prioritising timeless style over fleeting trends by no means implies that Fairfax & Favor is anti-fashion. It’s more a case of ensuring that the collections continue to evolve with the necessary agility to go on capturing customers’ dreams.

Fairfax & Favor Narford Hall, Kings Lynn Norfolk PE32 1JA +44 (0)1760 338199 fairfaxandfavor COUNTRYANDTOWNHOUSE.CO.UK/GBB | 99

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Joseph Cheaney & Sons

GBB 2021

An historic shoemaker continually adapting, innovating and crafting with purpose


s one of Northamptonshire’s oldest shoemakers, many aspects of Joseph Cheaney & Sons have remained consistent. Founded in 1886, it operates from the same red-brick Victorian factory that’s been home for the past 134 years. From the cutting of the high-grade calf leather, to the intricate stitching and final polish, the entire process is still undertaken meticulously by hand, resulting in a product that is purely made in England. Last year brought great change across the retail landscape. Cheaney’s retail focus temporarily shifted from its 11 award-winning stores to its e-commerce platform. Cheaney wanted its customers to go on experiencing the ‘theatre’ of an instore appointment, so used its social media platforms throughout lockdown to engage with its growing online customer base. This involved digitally broadcasting

shoe care tutorials, Q&As and polishing masterclasses, to engage organically with its expanding online following. Behind-the-scenes posts were published across Instagram, showing the four-person team picking and packing online orders, including joint Cheaney MD, William Church. Cheaney is best known for its handcrafted Goodyear welted footwear, specifically its highly decorative brogues and sleek Imperial line. However, to attract and engage with new customers, the company embarked on a series of collaborative projects. It expanded its classic line of formal and country footwear by releasing two separate dual-branded trainers, one developed in partnership with established British manufacturer Walsh and another with Sheffield-based makers Goral. Both sold out almost immediately. The trainers complemented and diversified the existing core lines and allowed Cheaney to expand into a sub-genre of footwear not previously explored by the brand.


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Cheaney’s classic, timeless styles are inherently sustainable, and are produced entirely in Britain

Cheaney’s inherent sustainability is evident in its use of natural raw materials, reputable suppliers and skilled workforce, which is 90 per cent local In September 2020, Cheaney collaborated with Richard Biedul, established model and celebrated artistic and creative director, on three new eco-conscious, performance-driven silhouettes. ‘I wanted to develop a footwear collection that was simultaneously classic yet contemporary, elegant yet masculine, refined yet durable,’ says Richard. ‘Above all, I wanted footwear ethically, sustainably and responsibly manufactured here in Britain. From the moment I visited the factory, I knew that Cheaney was the right brand to help me realise my creative vision.’ The collection, all in Rub Off Hi Shine leather, was hugely successful, and comprised a Steadman tassel loafer, a Vietri T-bar sandal and an Isaac Derby with scarlet laces. It resonated with anyone seeking a sustainable shoe that compromised on neither style nor performance, and was featured in some of the most renowned menswear and lifestyle publications. Today, the notion of a quality, investment purchase continues to resonate strongly with Cheaney’s customers, both on British shores and globally. Cheaney’s inherent sustainability is evident in its use of natural raw materials, reputable suppliers and skilled workforce, which is 90 per cent local. A pair of Cheaney shoes can be completely overhauled two or three times in a lifetime. Satisfied, loyal Cheaney owners know that their shoes just look better and better with age, as every crease tells a story. As a British brand with a distinguished heritage, Cheaney’s shoes are designed to have just as proud and interesting a journey as its makers. Joseph Cheaney & Sons 69 Rushton Road Desborough NN14 2RR +44 (0)1536 760383 josephcheaney COUNTRYANDTOWNHOUSE.CO.UK/GBB | 101

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London Sock Company

GBB 2021

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or London Sock Company, socks have always been a little thing with the power to make a big difference. A dash of colour can transform not just your style but your state of mind. Indeed, the brand celebrates the power of the little things in its very first TV ad. Starring British actor Michael C. Fox (sporting the brand’s vivid East India Saffron socks), it champions the little moments – your morning coffee, a stroll in the park, giving a colourful gift, and, of course, wearing great socks – that brighten all of our days. The company was founded in 2013 by Ryan Palmer and Dave Pickard at a time when the way men dressed was changing rapidly. The tie – a traditional way of expressing some personality – was fading fast. Stylish, colourful socks offered a new way to show some individuality. Fast forward to today and the way men dress has changed entirely. Months of lockdown and working from home have resulted in a movement away from the tailored and sartorial to a more relaxed style. These stylistic and cultural shifts have meant that London Sock Company’s main challenge during the pandemic has been adapting to the changing lifestyles of its customers, while retaining the brand’s essential Britishness and remaining relevant and desirable to men, who are no longer wearing a suit to work. Fortunately, the company’s socks have always looked just as good with a pair of jeans as they do with a tailored suit. Moreover, thanks to the dedication to quality materials – the finest Scottish lisle cotton, for example – they are comfortable and eminently wearable around the home. The London Sock Company is also fortunate in that

London Sock Company has a pair – and colour – for every occasion

it has been a digitally native brand since its inception, so it’s been able seamlessly to continue providing a polished, personalised and enjoyable online sales experience to its customers – old and new alike. Among its collections, men will find pairs to suit all tastes and occasions, from the bold block colours in its headline collection, Simply Sartorial, to exclusive collaborations like The Hollywood Collection, with celebrity stylist Ilaria Urbinati. The company has also just launched a trio of cashmere socks – perfect for adding a bit of luxury to the everyday, work-fromhome routine – as well as a new organic cotton Boot Sock range, ideal for country and park walks from puddle to pub. The company’s belief in the power of the little things also extends to those small things we can all do to make a difference for others. With every order, it donates a pair of socks to charity as a part of its Share a Pair initiative. In November 2020, it even doubled its donation to two pairs an order. So far, over 46,000 pairs have been donated to those in need at charities Crisis, Choose Love and Foot Works. At a time when all our horizons have been drawing in, it is especially important to embrace the little things in life, to rejoice in everyday pleasures like the bright, joyful colours of London Sock Company’s socks. Keep the grey at bay.

For London Sock Company, socks have always been a little thing with the power to make a big difference. A dash of colour can transform not just your style but your state of mind

London Sock Company +44 (0)20 3879 4558 londonsockco COUNTRYANDTOWNHOUSE.CO.UK/GBB | 103

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GBB 2021

Beautiful, high-quality British craftsmanship that doesn’t cost the earth


uxury accessories designer Loren Taylor believes that a British brand is not defined by an office address or lifestyle image, but rather by the provenance of its products and by the values that underpin it. Driven by this ethos, Loren founded Padfield in 2017 to craft truly authentic British leather goods that showcase the quality of this country’s materials and the skill of local artisans. Dividing her time between the city and the countryside, Loren draws daily inspiration from cosmopolitan London, the beauty of Norfolk and Somerset, and her love of pared-back European style. The Padfield collection of handbags and unisex leather accessories reflects this with a style that

is sophisticated and modern, yet with the timeless quality that traditional British craftsmanship provides. A Padfield is equally at home in the city, on a European break, or in a beautiful country home. Padfield’s first handbag style, the Somersley tote, is quickly becoming a firm favourite for customers looking for a lightweight, stylish daily companion. New to the collection is the Padfield Somerset top-handle bag – a versatile, compact style with interchangeabledetachable handles and shoulder straps. Padfield’s collection of essential accessories for all – including tech covers, wash bags, card holders and zip pouches – will remain an intrinsic part of the collection, as the company focuses on expanding its handbag offer and refining its signature designs. A culture of sustainability runs through the company. Padfield sources as locally as is possible, and crafts


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A Padfield is equally at home in the city, on a European break, or in a beautiful country home

CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT: The new Somerset bamboo top-handle bag; the lightweight Somersley tote; a Padfield bag being crafted in England; the Padfield laptop cover and envelope pouch; founder Loren Taylor

its bags and accessories in response to demand in order to limit over-production and wastage. This ensures that materials and craftsmanship are genuinely valued, and that accessories are always fairly priced. Padfield’s sustainability ethos extends through to its packaging and support of environmental work. The Padfield signature maroon gift packaging and eco ecommerce boxes are made entirely in England and fully recyclable. The company has also recently launched a tree planting initiative, making a donation towards UK forestation for every tote bag sold. Loren believes that making the decision to embed sustainable principles in the business from day one has naturally led to making better decisions in all areas. Retailing exclusively online has allowed Padfield to remain responsive and adaptable: a blessing as Covid-19 unfolded. The pandemic affected some

of their suppliers with delays to raw materials and the need to alter working practices, but they have met these challenges by remaining loyal and supportive to them, delaying new product launches and keeping in regular touch with their incredibly understanding customers. The plan for this year is to repeat and enhance the winning 2020 formula of leveraging the quality, style and authentic Britishness of Padfield’s products in order to grow brand awareness. The company will continue to support and strengthen relationships with its suppliers, further develop its local environmental work, and listen to the needs and desires of the customers for whom it is designing and crafting. As an agile independent company, Padfield is well positioned to respond to the ever- changing commercial landscape and is excited about what comes next.

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The Restory

GBB 2021

The leading innovator in aftercare for luxury fashion a solution to the problem at The Restory. With an in-house team of artisans and a wide range of capabilities, it also allows consumers to invest mindfully in quality items, knowing that The Restory is always on hand to care for them. Clients book collections online or drop their items at partnered stores. When items arrive at The Restory’s London-based atelier, they are assessed by experts and quoted recommended services. Following approval, The Restory’s elite team of next-generation artisans begins the required work. When complete, the item is returned, beautifully packaged, to one of their partners or to a preferred address, locally or internationally. With increased demand during lockdown from those clearing out their wardrobes, The Restory continued to provide its services with contactless deliveries and increased health and safety measures.



ur mission is to have you fall in love with your favourite pieces all over again.’ The Restory provides on-demand aftercare for luxury fashion across the globe. Marrying the art of craft with the power of technology, it brings aftercare into the 21st century and gives wardrobes a whole new lease of life. The Restory redefines the relationships we have with our possessions. Their extensive repair techniques, exciting reimagining opportunities and thorough restoration skills mean that your favourite items can now grow with you. From that well-loved heirloom handbag and the suede boots you knew would get ruined in the rain to the bag that reminds you of being on holiday but is now badly scuffed, there is always


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From that well-loved heirloom handbag to the suede boots now badly scuffed, there is always a solution to the problem at The Restory Having longstanding partnerships with Selfridges and Harvey Nichols, The Restory advances aftercare into the luxury canon. Indeed, the department store has now become a destination for your entire wardrobe journey, not just the start. The Restory’s vision continued to grow in 2020 as it launched a partnership with Harrods in October. Its display now resides in the Egyptian Hall at the heart of the store’s luxury accessories. Last August Selfridges launched its Project Earth campaign aimed at changing the way we shop. Underpinning circular models and reducing waste, aftercare is integral to increasing the longevity of items to wear, sell or rent. As the official aftercare provider for Selfridges, The Restory’s in-store destination in the Accessories Hall told before and after stories of accessories that had been restored, repaired and reimagined to demonstrate its vast capabilities and to elevate customers’ perception of aftercare. With increased importance on digital evolution, 2021 will see The Restory launch further partnerships with more of your favourite luxury platforms. Priding itself on its unparalleled innovation, it is excited to continue expanding its techniques and capabilities, as it continues to make waves as the world’s first luxury aftercare provider.

The Restory prides itself in restoring your beloved goods back to their former glory and their services can be found in Selfridges, Harrods and Harvey Nichols

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GBB 2021

Leather goods with soul, designed and created in Britain from hide to hand

He could not have been more accurate: agility has allowed the Tusting brand to flourish in pandemic-induced chaos. With greater value being placed on authenticity and quality, customers worldwide have trusted in Tusting and been rewarded by its unwavering commitment to exemplary, personal service and its can-do attitude. When lockdown caused a shortage crisis in PPE supply, Tusting answered the call to arms. With family members and staff volunteers working together, they enabled legions of domestic sewing specialists to work at optimum efficiency by cutting out thousands of sets of NHS gowns and scrubs, and even acquired new cutting equipment to speed the process. Now that a new normal is firmly in place, the factory is running as flat out as distanced staffing allows, while office staff work from home in rotation to reduce pressure on the staff facilities. Customers, however, would never even realise these changes have taken place behind the scenes; there has been no pause or reduction in service level at any point. Nor does Tusting fear Brexit. With generations of experience in global trade, and an international audience who appreciate the best-of-British excellence in its products and service, Tusting foresees little Brexit interruption to business. Take it on trust that its well-practised agility will continue to be thoroughly exercised until yet another new normal is established. 2021 will also see Tusting develop more exciting new collaborations with like-minded British brands. This is valuable to both brands and consumers, who benefit alike from mutual introductions and the fruits of synergistic design. Expect too, a series of new enhancements to the Tusting core ranges, which are in the offing alongside continued seasonal colour and style updates. Alistair Tusting is positive: ‘The horrors of 2020 at least let us all shed a few paradigms in the way we work. There is now tangible, rising optimism in 2021 and we will bring that to fruition in everything we do for our customers.’ Once you discover Tusting, you’ll know you’ve found a friend for life in this master of understated luxury...


eather experts for over 140 years, Tusting designs and crafts its leather goods to the highest standard, stitching the rich history of the British leather industry into its ‘modern classics’ vision. They create bags and accessories that perform faithfully and which are naturally sustainable, through their durability and materials. Tusting is favoured by selective connoisseurs in-the-know, who trust substance and pedigree over glitz and bling. Few luxury leather brands actually make their own bags – most source from third parties in Asia or the Middle East, or from contracted UK factories. But Tusting designs and manufactures from start to finish in its own factory near Olney, Buckinghamshire. Knowledge and pride are invested in every step, from choosing the hide to the final polish. A year ago, Alistair Tusting, from the fifth-generation at the helm of this family business, stated: ‘Flexibility and agility will be the biggest requirements in 2020.’ With hindsight, this now seems not just thoughtful foresight but remarkable prophesy.

TUSTING The Tannery Warehouse 29-31 Olney Road, Olney Buckinghamshire MK46 4EU +44 (0)1234 712266 tusting


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Designed and made from start to finish in Buckinghamshire, Tusting’s naturally sustainable, durable and classic bags exemplify best-ofBritish design

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Customers worldwide have trusted in Tusting and been rewarded by its unwavering commitment to exemplary, personal service and its can-do attitude

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GBB 2021

British fine jewellery in real gold and the destination for luxury charms


ncouraging the British spirit of positivity, hope and resilience through the enjoyment of fine jewellery, Annoushka is a brand that comes from the heart with great emotional intelligence, humour and charm. Founder Annoushka Ducas’ designs, loved by British royals and celebrities, are tactile, playful, creative and encouraging of self-expression. It’s a brand that never delivers a dull moment, such is the richness of innovation that flows from its London studio. Like the rest of the world, Annoushka was forced to adapt to the circumstances of 2020, using technologies such as the in-store virtual shopping app Hero to facilitate a quick pivot. Activities on WhatsApp and WeChat were

increased, winning over customers who had never shopped digitally before. Annoushka herself wrote blog posts and filmed short, personal videos – enabling the brand to become a friend at a time when people were seeking deeper connection. In the spirit of pulling together, a percentage of sales over the summer was contributed to the local St George’s Hospital, generating over £10,000. During this period, the brand guided many customers towards its talismanic charms – symbols of hope, protection and love – to channel the ancient power of precious gemstones at a time when they were separated from their loved ones. The Charm of Hope competition encouraged followers to design their own talisman, and the team was bowled over by the beauty, innovation and elegance of the ideas – making the winning design in 18ct gold and sapphire.


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JEWELLERY & WATCHES My Life in Seven charms is an ‘18ct gold biography’, where Annoushka works directly with clients to design seven charms with all the personal meaning in the world

A brand that comes from the heart, with great emotional intelligence, humour and charm

Earlier in the year, Annoushka had launched Marguerite – its first white gold and white diamond collection. Inspired by the British countryside in summer and featuring a whimsical wildflower motif, this informal collection resonated well with customers, and will be developed in the future. In September Annoushka Ducas took part in London Design Festival 2020, hosting a virtual talk about charms, their role in art and collectables, how they fit into her own life, and why they remain desirable. The brand uses 18ct gold to craft these tiny pieces of art, and by not diluting the metal through plating techniques, it is endlessly recyclable and a more sustainable choice than gold vermeil (plate). Last year also saw the launch of the brand’s bespoke design service. My Life in Seven Charms invites clients to interact directly with Annoushka to design seven precious miniatures that encapsulate special memories and milestones: an ‘18ct gold biography’. To accompany this came Annoushka’s podcast distilling the lives of its guests into seven incredible miniature charms, starting with Princess Margaret’s former lady-in-waiting and best-

selling author Lady Anne Glenconner. British Vogue’s longest-serving editor-in-chief Alexandra Shulman and fashion consultant Caroline Issa were also featured in the first season. The final success of 2020 was The Brilliant Breakfast charity fundraiser, launched with The Princes Trust’s Women Supporting Women campaign. Annoushka explains: ‘Against all odds, we raised over £300,000. Little did I know when I first proposed this idea how pertinent the fundraising and awareness would be, with the effects of coronavirus impacting deprived young women harder than most. Some people thought we were mad, but the global challenges only made us more determined.’

Annoushka 41 Cadogan Gardens London SW3 2TB +44 (0)20 7881 5828 annoushkajewellery


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GBB 2021

CLOCKWISE FROM ABOVE: The ‘Boodles Pink’ diamond, 10.5 carats; Be Boodles large rose gold pendant; Michael, Nicholas, Jody and Honour Wainwright, and James Amos; the 20th anniversary Raindance ring in platinum; the Ribbons Ashoka diamond bangle; Jody and James

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ounded in Liverpool in 1798, Boodles is entering its third century in fine form. One of the few remaining family jewellers on London’s Bond Street, its divine collections are all designed and made by skilled craftsmen in the capital. The fine jeweller is now looked after by the fifth and sixth generations of the Wainwright family. At present, Chairman Nicholas Wainwright and his brother, Managing Director Michael, represent the fifth, while cousins Jody Wainwright and James Amos are the sixth. And the Boodles team has just welcomed its latest family member on board: Honour Wainwright, daughter of Michael. But the new blood doesn’t mean Nicholas and Michael will take a back seat. ‘The old boys aren’t about to up sticks,’ explains James, director of Boodles, about their plans for this year and beyond. He continues: ‘What this does mean is we will have additional expertise in the business to focus on what’s important and exciting, such as spreading the word about Boodles further afield. While many people in the UK see us as the quintessentially British family-owned jewellery brand, there are many people across the world whom we haven’t met yet. We think there’s an opportunity there.’ Diamonds are at the heart of Boodles raison d’être. They source vivid coloured and rare gems from all over the world, as well as the finest diamonds on earth. Boodles’ ethos when it comes to its designs is firm: jewellery should take your breath away. This year marks the 20th anniversary of Boodles’ Raindance ring, and ten since it was chosen for the V&A’s permanent collection as an icon of British design. Featuring nine brilliant cut diamonds, the ring was inspired by a trip to Chelsea Flower Show by Boodles’ Head Designer, Rebecca

Boodles sources vivid coloured and rare gems from all over the world, as well as the finest diamonds on earth

Hawkins, on a wet summer’s day. Its design reflects light from every angle, reminiscent of raindrops glistening in the sun. To celebrate the anniversary, Boodles has just launched a new Raindance ring in platinum, with pink and white diamonds. Boodles also recently bought a pink diamond that Jody Wainwright, Director of Precious Gemstones, thinks is the most special stone they have ever had. The Boodles Pink was mined in South Africa, and has been transformed into a beautiful ring. ‘We love pink diamonds and the Boodles Pink is perhaps the most exciting diamond that we’ve ever owned,’ explains James. ‘Not only is it a beautiful colour, but it comes in at just over 10cts. It’s a corker!’ Next year, Boodles is also concentrating on building relations with its most loyal returning clients. ‘While 2020 was an unusual year, it confirmed to us how important our long-term customer relationships really are,’ explains James. ‘We will continue to build on these friendships, making “The Boodles Experience” so much more than just a transactional arrangement.’ Capturing our yearning for escapism post-Covid, Boodles is also launching a travel-themed jewellery collection in the early part of the summer, and hopes to return to a full events schedule later in the year. Another core issue is sustainability, which it will continue to concentrate on in 2021 and beyond. ‘It’s something Jody and I are passionate about, and we know it matters to Boodles customers too,’ says James. ‘People want to know the jewellery and the gemstones that they’re wearing have been sourced ethically and responsibly and we take pride in providing that level of reassurance.’ To this end, Boodles uses Single Mine Origin gold, and all diamonds are purchased from legitimate, reputable sources and suppliers not involved in funding conflict and in compliance with United Nations resolutions. With the latest generation on board, and exciting plans afoot, one thing’s for sure: Boodles’ future is sparkling.

Boodles 178 New Bond Street London W1S 4RH +44 (0)20 7437 5050 boodlesjewellery COUNTRYANDTOWNHOUSE.CO.UK/GBB | 115

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GBB 2021

The specialist court jeweller reflecting British tradition and excellence in every piece


leave & Company is a specialist in the world of orders, decorations, medals and court jewellery, historically creating these for royalty, heads of state, palace offices, government and civil and military institutions globally. It has forged a reputation for raising craftsmanship to the realm of art and is now attracting private individuals seeking out extraordinary jewellery, objets d’art or one-of-a-kind gifts. Commissions range from tiaras to full banqueting services. Cleave’s designers and goldsmiths unite the finest, ethically sourced precious metals and stones with a contemporary vision. Cleave has headquarters a short

walk from Buckingham Palace but has no shop and no stock, only making to order. It is not a standard business because it works purely according to its clients’ needs, travelling all over the world to meet them in the belief that the best way to understand a client’s requirements is on their home ground. Cleave also prefers traditional forms of communication, usually involving formal letters on proper letterhead. The pandemic has made all this impossible and necessitated improving the website and turning to email and WhatsApp. ‘With our reputation for privacy and discretion, it was hard to embrace social media,’ says managing director, Peter Scott, ‘but we’ve taken our first early steps, even if we are still unsteady on our feet.’ Rather than being diverted by these challenges,


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JEWELLERY & WATCHES Cleave’s notable customers include royalty, but no matter the client, each of its pieces is unique and made to order

Cleave overcame them as a mere bump in the road and focused on continuing to build long-lasting relationships with its client and suppliers. Its workshop remained busy all year and Cleave has further expanded its capacity by investing in new CNC equipment. In 2008 HM The Queen granted Cleave a Royal Warrant as Manufacturers of Insignia and, in 2009, HRH The Prince of Wales granted a further Warrant as Medallists. Being a proud holder of two royal warrants has motivated Cleave to reinforce its British origins and values in its practices and how it presents itself to clients. ‘British traditions are held in high esteem, so whatever the climate, we’re British to the core – classic dark suit, white shirt and tie, polished black shoes and always bearing a properly printed business card,’ Peter explains. ‘For all the curiosity among our overseas clients about Brexit, ultimately they want reassurance that we’ll remain the same.’ Cleave’s motto is: ‘When in doubt, default to excellence,’ and while this will never change, there is much that Cleave did to adapt during 2020. Apart from becoming necessarily more visible online, it is collaborating with Sabina Savage, designer of silk scarves and clothing, to design a beautiful pen. ‘We are very cautious about collaborations,’ says Peter, ‘as we need be confident that there will be zero compromise on quality and that we’ll be proud of the outcome. Sabina’s designs are all hand-drawn and every scarf is different. That true creativity inspired us and convinced us to work with her. When in doubt, we default to excellence – and that’s what we’ve done and will continue to do throughout 2021.’

Cleave’s designers and goldsmiths unite the finest, ethically sourced precious metals and stones with a contemporary vision

Cleave & Company 1 Buckingham Place London SW1E 6HR +44 (0)20 7016 1499 cleaveandcompany COUNTRYANDTOWNHOUSE.CO.UK/GBB | 117

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Hancocks London

GBB 2021

British family jeweller with a contemporary and progressive outlook


ith four Royal Warrants to its name and frequented by British royalty and aristocracy, as well as stars from stage and screen, Hancocks London is the go-to destination for jewellery lovers and collectors alike. Based in Mayfair since 1849, the family-run jewellers is renowned for its carefully curated jewels from designers such as Cartier, Van Cleef & Arpels and Bulgari, as well as its own exquisite creations. Among countless notable pieces that have passed through the company’s hands are a ruby and diamond necklace that was part of the French Crown Jewels and a Cartier diamond rose brooch worn by HRH Princess Margaret to the coronation of HM Queen Elizabeth II.

Hancocks is a particular authority on signet rings, having designed and handmade them since 1849. During lockdown last year they continued to create signet rings for clients around the world. In response to increased demand, they recently launched a dedicated signet ring website (hancockssignetrings. com), which has the most up-to-date, digitised Fairbairn’s Book of Crests of any jewellers. ‘Clients love that our signet rings are made of recycled gold and can be passed down through generations – they’re wonderful sustainable jewels,’ says director Guy Burton. The brand is also renowned for its engagement rings, which it has been making since the shop first opened. ‘We get to know the couple during the process and ensure both of them are happy with


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JEWELLERY & WATCHES Hancocks combines traditional craftsmanship with a contemporary outlook in its pieces; Director, Guy Burton (below)

‘Our design and craftsmanship are second to none and the processes we use are entirely traditional’ the overall ring while balancing the budget,’ says Guy. Guy leads the Hancocks bespoke service and travels the world to track down rare, high quality, antique stones including Kashmir s apphires , Burmese rubies and old cut diamonds. ‘Old cut diamonds were cut during an age when they weren’t necessarily made to look as big as possible, but as fabulous as possible in the piece of jewellery for which they were intended. They therefore tend to be a bit deeper and have so much more life than a modern cut diamond.’ The brand responded to the Covid pandemic by launching a new website and is now including a highresolution video of each new piece so that clients can see it from all angles. It has also increased its presence on Pinterest and is enjoying

meeting new clients via enquiries resulting from this. This year, it will introduce a monthly digital journal to keep past and present clients up-to-date with trends, new services and, of course, new pieces. Hancocks is very proud to be a British firm with a rich British heritage to match. Guy sums up: ‘Our design and craftsmanship are second to none, the processes we use are entirely traditional and we are proud to say that all our pieces are made in Britain. At the same time, we see ourselves as an international jeweller and this is reflected in our curated vintage and antique jewellery by makers and jewellery houses from around the world. One recent client described us as a British family jeweller with a contemporary and progressive outlook and I thought that was quite apt.’

Hancocks London 52/53 Burlington Arcade London W1J 0HH +44 (0)20 7493 8904 hancocks_london COUNTRYANDTOWNHOUSE.CO.UK/GBB | 119

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Theo Fennell

GBB 2021

Time and technology are enabling the renowned Chelsea jeweller and silversmith to thrive during the global crisis


key factor in the definition of luxury is the notion of time. For Theo Fennell, this year has been one of extraordinary challenges, but has also freed up more time for both the brand and its customers. Theo has found the time for press and online interviews, bringing the brand to the attention of new consumers (especially in the USA) who are craving both inspiring content and enduring artistry during dark times. Marrying technology and craftsmanship, the brand is bringing its artisanal

excellence directly into the homes of its consumers, who are able to monitor the entire process of their bespoke designs, from sketching to completion, via Zoom. ‘We are determined to keep the business together and prosper,’ says Theo. ‘We have had a functioning workshop and studio for over 40 years, through some really tough times, so we know what we are capable of.’ Despite the obvious problems of logistics, obtaining raw materials and specialist outworkers, the brand has found solutions to work around obstacles in a way


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JEWELLERY & WATCHES CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT: Theo Fennell in his Chelsea workshop; silver beakers engraved with different British birds; a one-off opal and diamond locket; the Shakespeare silver candlesticks; bespoke rings made for clients in lockdown

that will completely change how it continues to function into the future. Its craftspeople have literally picked up their benches and transferred them to their homes or sheds and used technology to communicate with designer and consumer, ensuring that not one commission was withdrawn. Instagram Lives and online interviews are replacing more traditional PR and gaining new international audiences. In addition to commissions, there has been time to research and create some beautiful and intricate new pieces – a Stonehenge opening ring studded with diamonds to represent the solstice star alignment, an 18ct gold smoky quartz ring with a handcrafted Joshua Tree within its opening dome and other, minutely crafted brooches and pendants, each containing their own precious secrets. New collections and reinterpretations have also been created – adding details to both The Devil and The Angel in the popular Arts collection, as well as presenting new imaginings of the

‘The future of both jewellery and silversmithing seems to be a return to the values of authentically original design. Nothing could suit us more’ much-loved Quiver design, which takes inspiration from the grace of the traditional British arrow, and creating new additions for the Icons, Crosses, Keys and Phi collections. Sparkling Crazy bangles added some uplifting pizzazz for the wrist, while the new Outline cuffs, with their rainbows of coloured stones, are both joyous and timeless. Giving back during tough times is also a key focus for the brand. It chose to champion hard-hit charity the British Heart Foundation and local concern the Kensington & Chelsea Association, which help people in need across the largest London borough by donating a generous percentage from proceeds across a number of specialist online auctions. ‘Being a British company still carries an assumption of craftsmanship and fine detail, as well as a reputation for quirk and originality,’ says Theo. ‘This is something we should all guard jealously. The future of both jewellery and silversmithing seems to be a return to the values of authentically original design. Nothing could suit us more, or give us greater hope for the years to come.’

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Aromatherapy Associates

GBB 2021

A world-leading luxury wellbeing brand, specialising in therapeutic essential oil blends


pioneering, proudly British brand and a thought leader in the spa and wellness industry, Aromatherapy Associates was founded in London in 1985, at the very beginning of the modern aromatherapy movement. Guided by its vision to offer wellbeing that is accessible to all, it produces therapeutic essential oil blends that help to reduce stress, boost energy and aid a better night’s sleep. Its products are sold in 50 countries through leading retailers, such as Harrods, Liberty and Space NK; and it is also found in world-class hotels and spas including The Dorchester, The Spa at The Mandarin Oriental and the JW Marriott group. ‘We believe our British expertise resonates with consumers globally. They see us as a beacon of

quality and a fountain of knowledge which they can trust, whether they are at the start of their wellbeing journey or have used our oils for years,’ explains CEO Anna Teal. Aromatherapy Associates’ essential oils are, and always have been, individually tailored and blended by hand in its London laboratory, using high concentrations of natural ingredients. The goal of the master blender is to create formulations that are an exceptional sensory experience for the mind, body and spirit: put simply, the gold standard of essential oil blends. With 2020 accelerating the need for wellness products and services, yet changing the way people were able to access these, Aromatherapy Associates swiftly refocused its activities, using its digital platforms to guide consumers from the comfort and safety of their own homes. ‘Bringing our treatments into the virtual realm, we introduced online wellbeing consultations that enabled


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The goal of the master blender is to create formulations that are an exceptional sensory experience for the mind, body and spirit: the gold standard of essential oil

us to continue connecting with our customers at a time when they needed it the most,’ explains Anna. ‘We also developed weekly content, from blogs to how-to videos, containing advice from experts across the health and wellness industry to help our customers navigate 2020.’ New blend launches went ahead as planned, including Rose Reimagined, which brought a much-needed uplift to the mood of 2020. Last year also saw the introduction of a new collection of shower oils, accompanied by the beguiling message that it’s beneficial to take a moment to yourself each day to disconnect and reset – whether preparing for the day ahead or looking forward to a blissful night’s rest. As wellbeing and sustainability grow in tandem as priorities in people’s lives, Aromatherapy Associates is introducing sustainable practices to the creation of its new products and holistic experiences. As part of this ongoing commitment, it has introduced significant changes to the way business operates, which includes removing one and a half tonnes of plastic from Christmas packaging and committing to becoming carbon neutral across direct company operations by 2023. Joining the global B Corporation movement in 2020 was an important moment in the company’s history and confirmed its pledge to put people and the planet on the same footing as profit. ‘It’s not just about being best in the world: it’s about being best for the world.’

One of B Corp’s newest members, Aromatherapy Associates confirms its pledge to put people and the planet on the same footing as profit

Aromatherapy Associates 6 Great West Trading Estate Great West Road, Brentford Middlesex TW8 9DN +44 (0)20 8569 7030 aromatherapyassociates COUNTRYANDTOWNHOUSE.CO.UK/GBB | 125

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GBB 2021

Connecting to nature and wellness in the Cotswolds


t the beginning of December 2020, as if to celebrate the easing of the restrictions that had blighted the year, Bamford opened its new Wellness Spa. Surrounded by an orchard in the middle of Daylesford Farm in the heart of the Cotswolds, the beautiful new space is an expansion of the existing facility. An old Cotswold stone barn has been sympathetically converted, using the open-sided construction to maximise the amount of natural light filling the space and connecting it to the orchard outside and the countryside beyond. The original beams have been retained, preserving the character of the building and respecting nature. The conversion, wherever possible, used materials sourced from the estate itself and recycled fittings. This was important to Carole Bamford who says, ‘The natural materials we’ve used to furnish the building recall our innate connection to nature and reflect Bamford’s philosophy that we need to slow our bodies and minds and live in harmony with our surroundings to enable that healing process.’ In this wonderful, light-filled space, the range of treatments

on offer has increased greatly, creating a wellness destination unlike any other in Britain. The extended space includes a wet area with a herbal steam room, crystal sauna and a wellness pool. New, larger studio spaces will offer extensive forms of Bamford yoga, gong therapy, meditation and Pilates. Bamford practitioners and visiting specialists will provide crystal healing, astrology and craniosacral therapy, nutrition and osteopathy. Bamford is renowned for its expertise in the field of holistic therapy, drawing its inspiration from both eastern and western practices, some of them discovered by Carole Bamford in India many years ago. Extended treatment rooms offer a selection of facial and body treatments, each devoted to restoring and nurturing your well-being through targeted, holistic methods. A fusion of ancient traditions, treatments work both physically on the body and on the mind, harmonising your emotional and mental wellbeing. They incorporate techniques such as shiatsu massage, healing jade stones, reflexology, acupressure, assisted stretching, LED light therapy and yogic breathing, all designed to the individual’s needs. Outside the barn in the orchard clients will find the Bamford Wellness Tipi where yoga, Pilates and other treatments are on offer. Tucked away outside is the Bamford Crystal Hut where clients can enjoy private sessions with a resident crystal healer. Once your treatments are finished, you can retire to the Orchard Bar where you can choose from an organic, wheat-free menu of seasonal ingredients from Daylesford Farm. Sustainability and a commitment to reducing its impact on the environment is a key feature of the Bamford philosophy. Its clothing uses the finest natural fibres and its skin and body care products employ natural active botanicals. Likewise, the new wellness centre uses renewable energy and a biomass boiler to heat the building. The opening of the new spa reflects the renewed sense of optimism which the beginning of the vaccination programme engendered. Take time to slow the mind, unwind and face the world with renewed vigour. Bamford’s new Wellness Spa is a haven of holistic treatments to soothe mind, body and soul

Bamford Wellness Spa Daylesford, Nr Kingham Gloucestershire GL56 0YG +44 (0)1608 731703 bamford


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‘The natural materials we’ve used to furnish the building recall our innate connection to nature and reflect Bamford’s philosophy that we need to slow our bodies and minds and live in harmony’

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Carol Joy London

GBB 2021

Expert skincare products and treatments through innovative technology and development


aunched in London in 2009 at The Dorchester, Carol Joy London is now very much a global success story, found in international locations such as the Waldorf Astoria Maldives Ithaafushi, Ritz Carlton Macau, Caesars Palace Bluewaters Dubai and South Africa’s Delaire Graff Estate. The Carol Joy Spa at Fairmont Baku Flame Towers, Azerbaijan won the 2020 World Spa Award for best hotel spa. In Europe, the brand provides treatments at Schloss Fuschl in Austria, The Oitavos in Portugal, Belmond La Residencia in Mallorca and Grecotel resorts in Greece. It also has its own dedicated Carol Joy Spa at Fairmont Monte Carlo. Closer to home, Carol Joy London treatments

are available at The Carnegie Club at Skibo Castle – a private members’ club in the Scottish Highlands – as well as at Coworth Park, part of the Dorchester Collection in Ascot, and of course, The Dorchester in Park Lane. Carol Joy London attributes its success to combining the best of Switzerland’s skincare development and Germany’s pioneering technology with the unquestionable British drive for excellence. The expertly curated range of products, for example, boasts an ingredients list that includes clinically proven Swiss golden millet oil, pure collagen and caviar, as well as a host of the earth’s finest materials, such as diamond dust, 24ct gold and botanical actives. Products are used in combination with myofascial massage techniques as well as technology such as LED and cryotherapy for truly outstanding results.


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Combining the best of Switzerland’s skincare development and Germany’s pioneering technology with the unquestionable British drive for excellence

Founded at The Dorchester (above), Carol Joy London has gone on to have dedicated spas in hotels across the world, as well as an innovative at-home skincare line

The brand has also established itself as an industry leader in pure collagen technology, having launched the world’s first Pure Collagen Spray, and the recent Collagen and Hyaluronic Face Mask, which gives results in just 15 minutes. Its advanced hair care treatments are developed from spa techniques and improve scalp and hair conditions, the synergy between spa treatments, hair care and beauty being central to the Carol Joy London ethos. Due to the uncertainties surrounding what lay ahead for the spa industry, last year’s pandemic threw a lot of unknowns into the equation. However, it also saw a real camaraderie develop between otherwise competing brands. Helping each other to navigate the new landscape and find ways to support each other, brand initiatives included investment in online training, engaging spa partners and team

members to keep spirits high. Carol Joy London recognises the importance of providing a personal service and valuing its customer base, whether it be providing value-added services or incentives for loyalty. Collaborations, such as the one with Jack Barclay Bentley to create a ‘Mayfair to Monaco’ collection of hairstyles for driving with the roof down in the city or by the coast, have also proved invaluable and both will continue to be a key focus for 2021. Over the past 12 years, Carol Joy London has consistently grown its global presence. Being British there’s often an underlying association with excellence, a seal of approval that in turn gives reassurance to the final customer. While 2020 was an unusual year, the brand is looking forward to all the possibilities 2021 will offer.

Carol Joy London The Dorchester 53 Park Lane London W1K 1QA +44 (0)20 7629 2247 caroljoylondon


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Dr Sebagh

GBB 2021

Showing the world that beauty is more than skin deep


t a time of unprecedented worldwide challenges and change, the Dr Sebagh brand has shone, not only as an internationally renowned, pioneering doctor’s skincare range but also as a company seeking to make a difference

in extraordinary times. Co-owned by Dr Jean-Louis Sebagh, world renowned cosmetic doctor, and philanthropist Melissa John, the Dr Sebagh Advanced Ageing-Maintenance Skin Care range harnesses the benefits of the latest bio-tech ingredients and Dr Sebagh’s 30 years of clinical experience and expertise. ‘We use a high concentration of breakthrough, active ingredients that are clinically proven to rejuvenate, repair and revitalise the skin at every age,’ says Dr Sebagh.

Pushing the boundaries of bespoke, results-driven skincare, the award-winning super-serums in the Dr Sebagh Serum Bar can be used alone to potent effect, or they can be combined to create the perfect, personalised ritual. Favourites among the growing number of fans include Supreme Maintenance Youth Serum, an exceptional formula packed with a 95 per cent concentration of age-fighting ingredients, Serum Repair, which instantly smooths, plumps and tightens, and the deeply nourishing and calming Rose de Vie Serum. Dr Sebagh’s innovative Pure Vitamin C Powder Cream, a powerful, pharmaceutical grade, stabilised formula that transforms from powder to cream on skin contact, is prized among users for its ability to brighten, repair and protect. It can be used alone or mixed with serums, moisturisers or masks. Classics include the pollutionfighting Skin Perfecting Mask and Deep Exfoliating Mask, loved by beauty influencers.


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BEAUTY & WELLBEING British Olympian Jack Cunningham, sponsored by Dr Sebagh

Sustainability is important to Dr Sebagh. Last year saw the introduction of #boxfreebeauty, offering customers the option to buy products without packaging The addition of the new Vitamin C Brightening Primer SPF 15 was hugely well received, launching just before Covid-19 hit the news. Already renowned for supporting charities, including The Mercury Foundation, the RAF Benevolent Fund, Breast Cancer Awareness, the Dog’s Trust and many more, the Dr Sebagh team immediately responded to the crisis by reaching out to their Chinese customers and offering practical help in sending supplies of masks and sanitiser. When the virus reached Britain, the brand turned its attention to London’s homeless. ‘As a company, we support various homeless charities,’ explains Melissa John. ‘During the lockdowns, we felt it even more important to help people who must have been fearful of catching Covid-19 and had nowhere safe to go.’ Dr Sebagh made a substantial donation to The Passage, a Westminster based homeless charity, which provides food and shelter to 150 people a day via its rough sleeping team. The brand continues to champion others in positive ways, including its ongoing sponsorship of British skier Jack Cunningham, chosen to compete at the Youth Olympic Games in Lausanne in 2020. Sustainability is also important to Dr Sebagh. Spring 2020 saw the introduction of #boxfreebeauty, offering customers the option to buy products without packaging.‘We present them in biodegradable wrap and send parcels in smaller packages,’ says Melissa. ‘This keeps costs down and we are able to pass these savings on to our customers at a time when it is most needed. ‘2020 was a difficult year for everyone,’ adds Melissa, ‘but, like our skincare, we’re stronger together.’

Over 30 years, Dr Sebagh (above) has created exceptional formulas to fight signs of ageing, while supporting charities such as The Passage, for the homeless, and the RAF Benevolent Fund, which during the pandemic is helping to combat social isolation among RAF family members

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GBB 2021

Effective, holistic products for skin, body and mind


ne of the most prestigious spa brands in the world, ESPA is an innovator at the forefront of the industry. It focuses on delivering holistic, effective and natural products and treatments to aid skin, body and mind through their expert biochemists, aromatherapists, dermatologists and wellbeing experts. ESPA combines the wisdom of traditional holistic therapies with the scientific power of the purest natural ingredients to create multi-award winning products and treatments that are performed and enjoyed in both the world’s top spas, and in homes all across the world. Over the last 28 years, ESPA has meticulously developed hundreds of powerful products. ESPA’s renowned heritage is showcased by its creation of the Tri-Active™ blend, an efficacious concoction of plant extracts, marine actives and aromatherapy essential oils. This blend works on the

surface and at deeper levels of the skin to provide instant and long-lasting benefits. ESPA has also lovingly created an esteemed collection of Signature Blends, known for their purity, potency and therapeutic qualities. This collection boasts a range of calm-inducing essential oil blends to target every lifestyle. ESPA experienced the challenges we all faced in 2020, however, it still successfully launched over 150 new products, such as the indulgent Modern Alchemy bodycare collection. Inspired by ancient traditions and a desire for a greater sense of connection, the range fuses ancestral wisdom, sacred rituals and revered ingredients with powerful actives, harmonising therapies and transformative textures. ESPA’s newest signature blend, Restful, celebrates the therapeutic power of Lavender. Created with a natural blend of pure essential oils, the range includes a sleep-inducing pillow mist, bath and body oil, pulse point oil and night cream to create blissful bedtimes.


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ESPA has over 20 years’ experience building award-winning spas across five continents, standing at the forefront of today’s global spa industry ESPA also has over 20 years’ experience building awardwinning spas across five continents, standing at the forefront of today’s global spa industry as an authority on spa creation. Every spa ESPA touches captures the very essence of its brand values and heritage, featuring an unrivalled client journey and showcasing their reach across hotels, private residences, yachts and private jets. ESPA is the proud partner of many of the UK’s most luxurious spas, boasting ESPALife at Corinthia London as part of its portfolio. Sprawling over four decadent floors that encapsulate calm, ESPALife at Corinthia creates cocooning spaces of peace and comfort within the warmth of the ambient fireplaces and mood lighting. The ESPALife concept offers a holistic approach to wellbeing, bringing together the world’s top experts, providing guests from around the globe with an extraordinary spa experience and offering them complementary alternative therapies to enhance their wellbeing adventure. This year, the brand aims to become more environmentally focused, with the new ESPA Essentials range offering refillable solutions for the ultimate in conscious luxury. To further enhance the ‘spa at home’ experience, 2021 will see the launch of ESPA’s lifestyle range, including luxury dressing gowns, slippers and more, helping everyone to make their home, their sanctuary. ESPA is an outstanding brand, one of the pioneers who combined science with natural beauty with a profusion of wellness still to come.

ESPA’s groundbreaking spa products and treatments will leave you feeling relaxed, rested and rejuvenated


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Guava & Gold

GBB 2021

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A bath and body range that transports you from your bathroom shower to the waters of the tropics, helping to turn the everyday into the extraordinary


y philosophy is to say yes to every opportunity and then work out how to make it happen. And, more than ever, I’ve done that this year,’ says Guava & Gold’s founder, former barrister Clare Price. She had set out to create a capsule collection of cruelty-free bath and body products, which reflect the colour, vibrancy and fun of your best tropical holiday memories. Now, as we yearn to travel to exotic, sun-drenched destinations after a year of uncertainty and restrictions, Guava & Gold provides an accessible means of escapism and a much-needed sanctuary from the ordinary. These intrinsic values are providing a positive springboard from which to develop the brand internationally in troubled times. At the heart of Clare’s vision are Guava & Gold’s exquisite phthalate-free perfumes. These were created exclusively for the brand in collaboration with the expertise and inspiration of an international fine fragrance house using natural extracts including lemon and bergamot peel oils and pink peppercorn extract. With luxuriously scented blends of distinctive fruit and flowers such as delicious guava and cherimoya, fragrant pink magnolia, sweet vanilla orchid and enchanting orange and plum blossom, the elegant Guava & Gold bath and body collection has been created using the highest quality botanical ingredients. All have been selected for their skincare properties, and its stylish bottles are presented in packaging evocative of the bright colours of the tropics. The result is a bath and body range that transports

you from your bathroom shower to the waters of the tropics, helping to turn the everyday into the extraordinary and offering the experience of a five-star spa ritual at home. Now in its second year of business, Guava & Gold has faced the pandemic head on and, in doing so, stepped up to help others at the same time – donating products to frontline workers during the Covid-19 pandemic and supporting causes to help eliminate hygiene poverty. With a new outlook on shopping emerging, the brand recognises that consumers are even more conscious of the ethos and sustainability of the brands they are now purchasing. This is directly in line with Guava & Gold’s values, including use of natural extracts and kind-to-skin ingredients across all its products and doing as little harm as possible to the environment. The brand has been using new media including Instagram Live interviews and forming partnerships with like-minded businesses to cross-promote its values and messages including outstanding British quality, design, creativity and service, all of which have enduring appeal at this time to a global demographic. After a year that has seen the brand continue to build relationships with new and highly respected retail partners, Guava & Gold is taking every opportunity to step confidently into the future, expanding outlets internationally and especially forging new partnerships with major online retail partners for 2021. Its core mission continues: to promote positivity and optimism with beautiful and ethical self-care products to be enjoyed by everyone, worldwide. CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT: Escape to the tropics with the Coral Beach range; Paradise Found shampoo and conditioner are enriched with avocado and manuka oils, and scented with sun-kissed mandarin and fresh yellow freesia; Clare Price, founder of Guava & Gold

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GBB 2021

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‘We’re coming on leaps and bounds towards making it easier to smell scent figuratively through a screen’


FROM LEFT: Blenheim Bouquet was blended for the ninth Duke of Marlborough in the 19th century; The Favourite was inspired by Sarah, Duchess of Marlborough (1660-1744)

ith its power to lift spirits and transport you to a different place or time, fragrance is an inviting haven for the escapist – and never more relevant than in 2020. As people turned to social media to distract themselves from the reality of two successive lockdowns, British fragrance house Penhaligon’s fired up its creativity and ended the year with a raft of new stories to add to its 150-year-old library. It’s more challenging to sell fragrance online than fashion, say. But during lockdown people’s attention refocused on their homes and Penhaligon’s candles, soaps and hand washes raced out the door. The brand did not miss the opportunity to engage with customers lingering on its website and social media channels. A captive audience discovered content about the history of the brand and its fragrances that was colourful, charming and heart-warming, its quirky Britishness providing a stabilising anchor in an unsettling time. Instagram live events and interviews helped create a buzz. Penhaligon’s famous fragrance profiling service was transformed into a fun online quiz to determine what suited an individual’s personality. They could then book an online consultation (with a human), receive a set of five samples and choose a signature scent.

‘We had to revisit how we entertain customers,’ says CEO Lance Patterson. ‘Even though we inevitably saw a decline in sales through stores, we saw much more traffic on our website and Instagram. I’m immensely proud of how agile we’ve all been through disruptive times, shifting our focus to enhanced digital and virtual experiences. It’s even led to sighting a few new opportunities on the brand’s horizon. We’re coming on leaps and bounds towards making it easier to smell scent figuratively through a screen.’ Last year also saw the arrival of the new Personalise Your Penhaligon’s service – based on the premise that if scent is part of one’s identity, its packaging should be too. Customers can choose a beautiful grained leather bottle sleeve from an array of colours, add a three-initial monogram and a delightfully eccentric Penhaligon’s icon – like a pigeon with a top hat or a handlebar moustache – and top it off with a brass charm, such as a teacup, hot-air balloon or butterfly, designed by Kristjana Williams. Result: a piece for your dressing table or drawing room that’s uniquely yours. Despite the travails of 2020, Penhaligon’s has not allowed its 150 years of dreams, magical places, distinctive characters and the world’s most extraordinary scents to go uncelebrated. It has retold favourite stories of how the founder William Penhaligon, resident barber at Mayfair’s Turkish baths in the 1870s, trimmed the Shah of Persia’s beard, and how his son, Walter, blended Blenheim Bouquet for the ninth Duke of Marlborough and received a first Royal Warrant in 1903. In 2020 Penhaligon’s added The Favourite: a new concoction of mandarin, mimosa and jasmine inspired by Sarah, Duchess of Marlborough (1660-1744), the manipulative courtier and favourite of Queen Anne. After all, when you have 150 years of history behind you, it’s not unreasonable to align yourself with one of the world’s greatest ever influencers.

Penhaligon’s 41 Wellington Street London WC2E 7BN penhaligons_london COUNTRYANDTOWNHOUSE.CO.UK/GBB | 137

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Rhug Estate

GBB 2021

A brand that takes care of its customers inside and out


or centuries Rhug Estate has occupied an unspoilt landscape of mountains, clover-rich pastures, fresh air and clear streams in northern Wales. It is the only estate in the UK to hold a Royal Warrant, and over the past 20 years it has become a successful organic farm, producing award-winning Aberdeen Angus beef, bison, venison, Welsh and saltmarsh lamb, chicken and, at Christmas, turkey and geese. The estate runs a thriving farm shop, café and what is believed to be the first drive-through takeaway established on a farm in the UK. The estate’s owner, Lord Newborough, explains his guiding philosophy: ‘We have a rich heritage that provides inspiration for all that we do. Yet everything we produce at Rhug is guided by modern principles of function and

sustainability. We are passionate about organic security and provenance and this is at the very heart of all our products. Wherever they may land in the world, they take a piece of Wales and the Rhug Estate with them.’ In 2020, despite the challenging conditions, Rhug Estate succeeded in launching a new natural skin and body care brand, Wild Beauty. Products are made using organic and wild-foraged ingredients from the estate, harvested by hand at their moment of greatest potency by the estate forager and his team. ‘We work very closely with our formulation team here in the UK, to identify and introduce new and exciting ingredients from the estate,’ says Lord Newborough. Packed with these active ingredients, along with high-quality essential oils, glorious 100 per cent natural fragrances, vitamins and minerals, all the products in the collection are certified organic by the Soil Association. The packaging also went through a considered process


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BEAUTY & WELLBEING From its organic meat to its foraged beauty collection, protecting the planet for future generations is at the heart of the Rhug Estate

‘We are passionate about organic security and provenance and this is at the very heart of all our products’

to ensure it met the estate’s high sustainability standards. The launch strategy focused on selling the products online. The team managed this by creating an online shop and partnering with retailers who had strong e-commerce platforms, while also identifying specialist e-tailers. Increased social media activity and a focused PR campaign helped to drive brand awareness and differentiation, and the collection was well received by customers and the industry alike. Confidence bolstered, Wild Beauty rolled-out internationally this year. The estate itself was strongly positioned to adapt to the changing situation during 2020. For customers seeking healthy, sustainable choices with impeccable provenance, the farm shop remained popular. The Rhug Estate online shop met the increasing demand from mail order customers across the UK, and international trade continued in markets including Hong Kong, Macau, Singapore and the Middle East. Guided by its passionate commitment to sustainability, Rhug Estate produces its own energy through hydro, geothermal, solar and wind turbine projects. This runs through the shop, offices, electric vehicle charging

stations and various dwellings across the estate. Never standing still, it has plans for further renewable projects and more sustainable packaging, reducing its carbon footprint and enhancing the beautiful surroundings. A remarkably unified – and determined – approach to this is evident across all the estate’s activities. As Lord Newborough points out, it’s about ‘Knowing that we are providing a better and healthier world for future generations.’ You could not have a nobler ambition than that.

Rhug Estate Office Corwen, Denbighshire North Wales LL21 0EH +44 (0)1490 413000 rhugwildbeauty rhugestate


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Salon64 By The 64 Group

GBB 2021

Disrupting the beauty industry one innovation at a time


alon64 is ostensibly a hair and beauty salon – but that’s where any similarity with other salons you know ends. Rocket-powered by its location at the heart of creative Soho, it is a space where you step off the street into an alternative reality; an inspiring social hub in which to recharge, have fun and hang out. Just as the most successful bricks-and-mortar retail concepts are those which go beyond static rails to create places where people want to be, so Salon64 invites you in to a universe that is greater than the sum of its parts. Salon64 and Club64, its associated private members’ club, are the creation of the highly-acclaimed millennial stylist Ricky Walters – the name a reference to 1664 when opulent ‘salons’ were first held by French hostesses as they prepared for the evening ahead.

Rewriting the rules of what a hair salon is, Walters has created a space that allows for sociability, privacy and even co-working. ‘No other hair salon has dedicated and designed a comfortable space where clients can do this without feeling self-conscious,’ said Walters at the launch. His modern-day speakeasy concept offers styling and colour services by day and cocktails by night, with marble fire pits creating ambience throughout the 2,000 sq/ft, two-storey space. As a client you can meet your friends at the sociable coffee bar, charge your phone or send emails at a flip-down workstation, redo your make-up between meetings or retreat into the privacy of a secluded treatment vault. You can pop in in early evening for a blow-dry (with a cocktail) before going out on the town; or hire the space itself for a private party – with hairstylists, make-up artists, baristas and champagne galore.


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‘We have grown so much in such a short time. We are more than just a salon. We are the 64 community’

Its experienced in-house stylists, along with baristas and mixologists, are collectively known as ‘creatives’. It’s a destination that is, undeniably, there for its community. To encourage clients to feel comfortable in London once more, Salon64 was the first hair salon in London to open its own garden terrace in 2020 – Terrace64 – continuing to offer high-end services al fresco, while keeping clients safe. Going a step further, Ricky Walters is making his mark on the industry by transitioning the brand into ‘The 64 Group’, heralding the arrival of his own much-anticipated professional line of hair products. ‘We have grown so much in such a short time,’ he explains, ‘and we are more than just a salon. We are the 64 community. Whether you’re a client of the salon, a member of the club, or a soon-to-be user at home of our haircare line, you are part of the 64

Salon64 is shaking up the beauty industry for the better with its innovative spaces and offering

community of creatives. The 64 community is rapidly expanding and a force to be reckoned with.’ Now going into its fourth year, The 64 Group has become not just a talking point across London, but also a respected destination for A-listers in search of the red-carpet treatment. With their upbeat approach, Salon64’s creatives remain rightly optimistic for the future as they continue to reinvent their sector, one idea at a time.

Salon64 By The 64 Group 14 Bateman Street London W1D 3AG +44 (0)20 3848 4130 salon64london


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Sports HAI

GBB 2021

Performance make-up for everyone who needs it, from dog-walkers to Olympians but, says Grace, ‘our British manufacturing partners kept us stocked with no disruption. We pulled together and worked alongside our fantastic athletes, collaborators, friends and family.’ Indeed, as the year unfolded, Sports HAI went on to win more accolades. It was winner of the Best Luxury Lip Balm in the Attracta Beauty Awards in August and mentioned in Sarah Stacey’s online Beauty Bible. But undoubtedly the biggest accolade for Sports HAI is the enthusiasm with which it is received by those for whom it was originally conceived – the brand has become a cult hit with many of the country’s top athletes and enthusiasts, from ultra runners to freedivers, and even Olympians. Says Grace: ‘We worked closely with Hannah



hen times are tough, honesty, authenticity and integrity can help a brand to survive, even flourish. Fortunately for triathlete, equestrian and mother of three Grace De Alvaro, her performancebased make-up brand has all three. Last year started well for Sports HAI. January saw the brand named ‘one to watch’ by Theresa Yee, athlete and senior beauty writer at WGSN. In February, it was a finalist in several beauty competitions. In March the pandemic hit Britain


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BEAUTY & WELLBEING For whatever life throws at you, Sports HAI has just the product



Sports HAI has become a cult hit with many of the country’s top athletes and enthusiasts, from ultra runners to freedivers, and even Olympians

Henderson and the Ladies Polo Foundation, supplying Sports HAI to the players as they trained in all weathers. Our products went across the water to Ireland’s Olympic dressage team and we supported swim coach and freediver Ruth Osborn. We test in the toughest conditions, but what makes us different is that we further test our products with professional athletes for sports and performance feedback. That said, Sports HAI is for anyone who needs their cosmetics to stand up to whatever life throws at them, from dog-walkers in the local park to gold-medal winners in the global arena.’ For Grace, though, it has never been just about the products. Now more than ever it’s about supporting like-minded businesses and aligning with charities that make a difference to women’s lives, such as The Eve Appeal, which raises money for research into gynaecological cancer prevention. Sports HAI has also collaborated with Freeda Media, a digital brand that creates content celebrating women’s achievements; worked with Pakistani artist Maliha Abidi, who focuses on women’s empowerment and celebrating women’s stories;

and partnered with Hannah Congdon and Catherine Haigh on Women Behind the Wheel: Unheard Voices on the Pamir Highway, a documentary looking at female emancipation across Central Asia. ‘We don’t have a massive budget so we choose to concentrate on areas where we can make a difference. Many of the people we collaborate with are changing the way women see themselves and that’s something that resonates with our own ethos,’ says Grace. What defines her brand? ‘I’d say it’s our Britishness. In business, we’re no-nonsense, honest and, admittedly, a bit quirky. We celebrate that infamous raw, fresh British beauty: effortless, powerful and strong. We’re sporty, always chasing that peak performance moment. We’re also worldly, reaching out to people all around the globe.’

Sports HAI sportshaimakeup


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GBB 2021

A food supplement to support gut health and general wellbeing 144 | COUNTRYANDTOWNHOUSE.CO.UK/GBB

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‘We believe that living your best, feeling your best and looking your best starts from within’


Barry Smith (top right) uncovered the importance of gut health in the Eighties

ur aim is to help people to feel the best that they possibly can,’ explains Symprove founder and farmer, Barry Smith. ‘We believe that living your best, feeling your best and looking your best starts from within.’ If you live well, you should feel well, and if you feel well, you will look well – it’s that simple. It’s what Symprove calls ‘inside out thinking’ and it all starts with good gut health. In Symprove’s case, it all began with an animal feed, which Barry developed in the Eighties. The feed was based on germinated barley and live bacteria, effectively a form of probiotic, and, having noted the positive impact it had on his animals, Barry realised it could also be beneficial to human health. After extensive research and a number of clinical studies, Symprove was launched in 2010. While there has long been evidence that probiotics can support the gut microbiome, getting them past the body’s stomach acids is problematic. Because Symprove is waterbased it doesn’t trigger digestion, so more live bacteria are able to pass through the stomach and have a greater chance of colonising the gut. But, as we’re learning, gut health is not just about its relationship with physical health. As many people struggled with both their physical and mental wellbeing during several lockdowns, we saw more of a focus on the gut-brain axis – something nutritional therapist Eve Kalinik, who collaborates with Symprove, calls a ‘mindful ménage à trois between the microbiome, the gut and the brain’.

The gut microbiome can change according to what you eat, your stress levels and quality of sleep. So, throwing a pandemic, social isolation and the fear of unemployment into the mix is bound to cause problems. To help with these, Symprove ran its first virtual event, Gut Matters, last year. ‘The aim of Gut Matters,’ says Chloe Kind, Digital Marketing Manager, ‘was to drive awareness of the brand and provide insights into the importance of the microbiome and gut health, as well as offer various tools to help people improve their general health through such things as exercise and nutrition. Gut Matters is also part of our commitment to working with ambassadors to provide educational content for our audiences, and something we are passionate about.’ As we look past the pandemic to what’s next, Symprove continues to educate and help its customers, posting YouTube videos from a number of experts, including TV’s Dr Alex George, Eve Kalinik, and performance coach and personal trainer Harry Jameson. It has also partnered with groups such as the British Dietetic Association and the Royal College of General Practitioners. ‘Symprove has seen an increase in customers over the past year as more and more people understand the important role that the microbiome has on their overall health,’ explains Barry. ‘The brand was founded in the belief that recovering and maintaining a healthy gut balance can help you live a fuller life. We hold that same belief today, remaining curious and dedicated to researching the microbiome and its links to overall health and wellbeing.’

Symprove Ltd Sands Road, The Sands Farnham, Surrey GU10 1PX +44 (0)1252 413600 symproveyourlife COUNTRYANDTOWNHOUSE.CO.UK/GBB | 145

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Temple Spa

GBB 2021

The British spa and skincare brand with a Mediterranean soul 146 | COUNTRYANDTOWNHOUSE.CO.UK/GBB

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Created by Liz and Mark Warom, the core identity of Temple Spa is that the brand is beautifully human with a Mediterranean soul


Temple Spa’s luxurious products are made from innovative formulations that really work

ow in its 21st year, Temple Spa is a British brand inspired by Mediterranean culture, its lifestyle, landscapes and mindset. The brand’s treatments and products are laden with luscious botanicals, combined with technically advanced formulations to deliver noticeable and long-lasting results. Each product is packed with the most advanced pro-ageing ingredients, patented complexes and packaged with a personal message of affirmation and enlightenment. Created by Liz and Mark Warom, the core identity of Temple Spa is that the brand is beautifully human with a Mediterranean soul. The couple bring their many years of experience in the beauty industry to bear, from The Body Shop to Virgin Vie, consistently delivering results and adhering to a luxurious approach that is accessible, aspirational and inspiring for its customers. Temple Spa spa experiences and amenities can be enjoyed at luxury hotels around the world, as well as tools and products available for use at home or to ‘spa wherever you are’. The brand makes 90 per cent of its products in the UK, with the choice of ingredients driven by performance, results and its overall benefit, while championing those with low or zero environmental impact. In 2021 they will continue to use naturally derived ingredients from responsible and sustainable sources, work with its long-standing British formalists and also recruit more spa-to-go marketers nationwide. Throughout 2020, as typical spa experiences stopped, Temple Spa showed characteristic innovation and moved all its operations online,

connecting its spa-to-go team with customers via Zoom meet ups, investing and improving its online offering to keep up with general demand and updating its warehouse capacity and workforce safety so that at-home demand could continue and its valued team could keep on working. Temple Spa is committed to saving on plastic through its removal of airbags and spatulas from packing, and use of green energy at its warehouse and head office. It has also planted 10,000 trees in its native West Sussex. As a brand with people at its heart, it has also donated over £280,000 to mental health charity Mind and continues its commitment to work with this cause. The latest launches for Temple Spa include Glowcolic, an exfoliating toner with vitamin C, glycolic and hyaluronic acid and Clean Up Your Act, a dual-function sonic facial cleaning brush. In 2021 the brand will also boast new products that harness the most innovative and effective ingredients available, including Electric Daisy, a flowering herb known for its natural anaesthetic and muscle relaxant properties. These same properties make it a high performing anti-wrinkle active and are combined with natural and potent antioxidants such as red bell pepper, wild yam root and grapeseed oil. They will also be increasing their focus on sustainability initiatives and the development of new products and treatments. There is no complacency or change of pace at Temple Spa, with Liz and Mark taking their committed, innovative and conscientious approach into a new decade.

Temple Spa The Old Barn Toddington House Toddington Lane Littlehampton BN17 6JX +44 (0)1903 719429 templespa COUNTRYANDTOWNHOUSE.CO.UK/GBB | 147

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Yardley London

GBB 2021

A flourishing floral story with 250 years’ experience 148 | COUNTRYANDTOWNHOUSE.CO.UK/GBB

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ardley London is currently celebrating its 250th anniversary, and with a heritage that goes from the reign of Charles I in the 1600s, through to that of King George III in the 1770s and into the swingin’ Sixties, it now bestrides the 21st century as the oldest fragrance house in the world. Over a quarter of a millennium, Yardley London has positioned itself as a pioneer of the English lavender fragrance. In the 1930s, it commissioned scientists to scour the globe for the most sought-after varieties of lavender, which led to the discovery of the highest quality lavandula angustifolia in the fields of southern England. Today, the brand uses over 400 litres of distilled lavender annually to make its signature fragrance and a Yardley English Lavender product is sold every minute around the world. The brand officially established itself as the House of Yardley in London in 1770. Throughout the 19th and 20th centuries the business continued to grow and during the 1940s they were producing make-up in its Basildon factory and advising women to put their best face forward every day while helping with the war effort. In 1956 it even launched refillable lipsticks – an innovative and forward-thinking concept for the time. In the

1960s, British model Twiggy became the brand ambassador and fronted the campaign for a pioneering range of false eyelashes. Yardley London has certainly stood the test of time, winning numerous significant beauty awards for its highquality fragrances and bath and body products and receiving six Royal Warrants since they were first granted. It is a keen supporter of charity, recently collaborating with the Look Good Feel Better cancer charity for the launch of the Limited Edition 250 For Her and 250 For Him Eau De Parfum fragrances. It is also proud to be continuing to support manufacturing in Britain and generating millions of pounds in commerce for the British economy. The past decade has seen a significant change in the brand’s fragrance and product creation, with the successful launches of its new Contemporary Floral Fragrance Collection, The Flowerful Collection, and Flowerazzi, a new Indulgent bathing range. All Yardley London’s fragranced products are suitable for vegans, cruelty free and contain up to 98 per cent naturally derived ingredients, some of which are from sustainable sources. The brand’s cartons are already made of FSC board and recycled plastic will be phased in from 2021. Today, Yardley London continues to build its appeal to the increasing 50-plus female consumer as well as broadening its desirability to a younger market and to men, through its new product launches. Customers will see its Traditional Florals and new, more contemporary fragrances and bath and body ranges available in key high street retailers, grocers, pharmacies and online and being used by a new generation of fans and influencers as Yardley London continues to be relevant today as it has been for generations

Yardley London has certainly stood the test of time, winning numerous significant beauty awards and receiving six Royal Warrants

Over its 250-year history Yardley London has established its appeal among both dedicated customers and new, younger markets

Yardley London 102a High St, Eton Berkshire SL4 6AF +44 (0)1753 753420 yardleylondonuk COUNTRYANDTOWNHOUSE.CO.UK/GBB | 149

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Youth & Earth

GBB 2021

The secret of a long, energetic and vital life


outh & Earth was started by British entrepreneur Ed van Harmelen in July 2019 and has grown at an astonishing rate ever since, now stocked in major stores like Planet Organic and John Bell & Croyden. Ed had been interested in fitness, nutrition and science since he was very young. He had lived in nine countries and travelled extensively in a further 85, becoming fascinated by traditional approaches to ageing. He started learning and researching a wide range of remedies from Ayurveda to traditional Chinese and Japanese medicine. He became focused on ‘bio-hacking’ or what Ed describes as ‘at-home biology’. ‘If you start tweaking your lifestyle according to science it’s amazing how much those small, incremental changes can really boost your body’s performance,’ he explains. Ed’s research and experience over the years culminated in Youth & Earth’s natural, plant-based anti-ageing supplements, which combine cuttingedge scientific know-how with age-old wisdom to slow down ageing at a cellular level. The brand is now the largest supplier of NAD+ boosters – like NMN & NR – in Britain and Europe. ‘NAD+ is an especially important molecule that exists in every living cell on the planet,’ explains Ed. ‘As the body grows older, it produces less NAD+

so by the time you’re 50, you might have half the NAD+ you had as a 20-year-old. Our supplements top up those depleted molecules and make our bodies operate and feel like well-oiled machines again. Science has progressed so much in recent years that maintaining our peak physical health is more achievable than ever and allows us all to live younger for longer.’ Youth & Earth’s products are aligned to combat the nine, interconnected ‘Hallmarks of Ageing’. Some Hallmarks have been given dramatic names like Mitochondria Dysfunction or Zombie Cells and, broadly, they are events or factors that cause our organs to function less efficiently and our systems to deteriorate. ‘If people want to look at ageing as a disease of some sort, then we have the cure,’ says Ed. ‘The science – and art – of antiageing is a lot like playing a piano. To create a truly beautiful melody, you wouldn’t play in just one key. You’d include a wide range of notes. In the same way, when altering your lifestyle to target ageing and creating an anti-ageing regime, it’s important to target lots of different areas at once so you’re fighting more than just one Hallmark of Ageing at a time.’ Another important aim for Youth & Earth is to leave the planet a better place, so the brand has committed never to use plastic and always to use recyclable and environmentally friendly packaging. To this end, all its products are plant-based and natural. ‘Life is about the adventures you have,’ concludes Ed. It’s a phrase that has become the brand’s mantra. Ed is confident that Youth & Earth’s supplements will help our bodies and minds obtain optimum efficiency to enjoy the second half of our lives as much, if not more, than the first. Youth & Earth 507 4 Wood Crescent 101 Wood Lane London W12 7GP +44 (0)8450 633423 youthandearth


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‘If you start tweaking your lifestyle according to science it’s amazing how much those small, incremental changes can really boost your body’s performance’

CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT: Youth & Earth’s plant-based supplements combine scientific know-how with age-old wisdom to slow down ageing; Youth & Earth’s Glutathione supplements; NMN Sublingual Powder and Capsules are NAD+ supplements that stimulate energy metabolism and DNA repair; Lipsomal Vitamin C reduces fatigue, renews skin and assists heart health

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GBB 2021

Safeguarding the spirit of Chelsea’s community and creating a sustainable future


t the heart of property manager Cadogan’s strategy is an unwavering long-term commitment to community and careful curation of the Estate’s 93 acres, which span Chelsea and Knightsbridge. Alongside staff and public safety, Cadogan’s immediate priority in 2020 was to support the community and maintain the vibrancy that makes Chelsea so special. A Business Community Fund was created, which provided over £20 million in financial support to over 240 occupiers – shops, restaurants and cultural attractions – as well as supporting the NHS and increasing funding to local charities. One destination that became more central to the local community than ever is Pavilion Road. Running parallel

to Sloane Street, it is home to all the shops necessary for a ‘five minute village’ – including butcher, baker, grocer, cheesemonger and wine merchant. Now pedestrianised and thriving, it became the go-to for enjoyable essential shopping. Cadogan also launched a complimentary zero emission e-cargo bike service, which delivered shopping from these retailers to resident’s doorsteps. Its popularity encouraged a winter re-launch to support the Christmas rush, expanded to cover all of Chelsea. Over on Duke of York Square, the weekly Fine Food Market was moved to the green running track opposite the Saatchi Gallery, allowing for a more spacious and relaxed environment. Socially distanced picnic bubbles allowed visitors to relax safely among the beautiful surroundings. Throughout the summer, hundreds of outdoor seats were added to ensure that the Square’s five restaurants could continue serving customers.


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Looking ahead, Chelsea will see the first Costes Townhouse outside of Paris opening in Sloane Square and chic Beaverbrook launch its first Town House on Sloane Street CLOCKWISE FROM LEFT: Pavilion Road, Chelsea; picnic ‘bubbles’ on the running track outside The Saatchi Gallery; al fresco dining at Vardo, Duke of York Square

The architecturally award-winning new restaurant central to the Square, Vardo, operated the roof terrace as a champagne bar – Chelsea’s first rooftop bar. Throughout the summer, sun cream, water bottles and ice cream were provided for shoppers in queues waiting for the Square’s stores, from one of Europe’s largest Zaras to Joseph, Boden and Sunspel. The protection of future creative talent synonymous with Chelsea – fashion, arts and crafts, music and food – has also been supported by wider partnerships, including support for the British Fashion Council’s Foundation Fashion Fund, which nurtures emerging talent and provides much-needed funding for British designers. Looking ahead, Chelsea will see the first Costes Townhouse outside Paris opening in Sloane Square and chic Beaverbrook launch its first Town House on Sloane Street. Exciting new experiential store concepts

are on the horizon, too. These include outdoor specialist Shackleton opening a pop-up on the King’s Road, featuring a 23ft replica of the wooden lifeboat used by the explorer to escape Antarctica, and anatomē, the exciting new wellness brand, launching its modern-day apothecary. More will also be revealed for Sloane Street, with significant investment into one of the world’s most famous luxury shopping destinations – while a partnership has been formed with other local stakeholders to ensure that the King’s Road recaptures its independent spirit. Cadogan is also focused on minimising its environmental impact, ensuring sustainability is integrated into every aspect of the business. With ambitious targets, the Chelsea 2030 strategy reflects both local and global approaches to tackling the climate emergency and societal issues, promising Chelsea a greener, more sustainable future.

Cadogan 10 Duke of York Square London SW3 4LY +44 (0)20 7730 4567


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English National Opera

GBB 2021

Changing the face of world-class opera for everyone


nglish National Opera is the nation’s opera company, dedicated to the single aim of making opera for everyone. In 2021, the ENO will welcome audiences back to live opera whilst developing filmed performances from its historic West End home – work that will again challenge, excite and bring together audiences, whether they can get to the theatre or not. Founded in 1931 as Sadler’s Wells Opera, the company produces world-class productions that feel different, more theatrical and creatively daring. Through the 1968 move to the London Coliseum and renaming as English National Opera in 1974, its purpose of being open to – and for – everyone has not wavered. While its Grade II* St Martin’s Lane home remained closed during lockdown, it was important to raise the national spirits in such uncertain times.

As restrictions gradually lifted, the ENO hatched an alternative plot to bring live performers and audiences together. The result was ENO Drive & Live: La Bohème, the world’s first fully staged drive-in opera. Held in the grounds of London’s Alexandra Palace on a festival-sized stage, the modern-dress production was rehearsed and performed by two casts and crew in separate bubbles, with audiences enjoying the spectacle safely from their cars, with music through the radio. The production also broadcast live on Sky Arts. ‘This is opera but not as we’ve known it,’ said The Guardian. ENO’s award-winning productions are sung in English, so you will understand every word. At the London Coliseum, Covid-secure procedures will ensure everyone’s visit is safe and comfortable. Opera at ENO is a brilliant theatrical experience with thrilling acting, singing, music and stage design and is more affordable than you think, with a number of attendance


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ICONIC DESTINATIONS ENO Drive & Live © Lloyd Winters. Courtesy of English National Opera

Opera at ENO is a brilliant theatrical experience and is more affordable than you think, with a number of attendance schemes available in 2021 schemes available in 2021, and tickets from just ten pounds. Under-18s already come free to all ENO operas and this will extend to under-21s in 2021; an additional under-35s scheme offers heavily discounted tickets. And for those that want to try it for the first time, there are dedicated performances for new opera-goers through a newly developed ENO First Ticket scheme. Equally as important as its stage productions is the work of its learning and participation department, which offers opportunities for all ages to engage with opera. In direct response to the pandemic, the ENO partnered with Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust on ENO Breathe, a pioneering social prescribing intervention, providing support for patients recovering from coronavirus. This interactive programme of singing, breathing and wellbeing is delivered entirely online; after successfully piloting in September 2020, it rolls out nationwide this year. Commitment to talent development will continue to be a crucial part of ENO’s ethos during 2021 through both the Harewood Artist programme nurturing talented British and British-trained singers to develop global careers, and the ENO Mackerras Fellowship, which provides a unique opportunity for an exceptional emerging conductor to develop their skills. ‘This year has been difficult,’ says CEO Stuart Murphy, ‘but ENO has continued to innovate and entertain. ENO can’t wait to come back even stronger when we return to the London Coliseum in 2021.’

English National Opera has its home at the London Coliseum but proved itself remarkably agile during the pandemic delivering acclaimed socially distanced performances

English National Opera London Coliseum St Martin’s Lane London WC2N 4ES +44 (0)20 7845 9300 englishnationalopera COUNTRYANDTOWNHOUSE.CO.UK/GBB | 157

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GBB 2021

The world’s most famous department store is redefining retail for a new century


arrods was founded 186 years ago when an ambitious young miller from Clacton by the name of Charles Henry Harrod opened a tea merchant and small grocery shop in Stepney, east London. In 1849, two years before The Great Exhibition in Hyde Park, Harrod realised that if his store moved to up-and-coming Knightsbridge, it could attract adventurous, curious customers, eager to sample that which was new and exotic. Today, the world’s most famous department store spans seven (and a half) storeys of wonder, with a shop floor covering 4.5 acres and 40 lifts that travel 40,000 miles each year. And now the next chapter of the Harrods story is being written. For the past four years the store has been in the midst of a masterplan to transform

half the internal space into an experience unlike any other. It’s the largest, most ambitious undertaking in the brand’s history and it will turn Harrods into a veritable cultural and experiential hub. Many of the newly transformed departments have already been unveiled: customers can purchase a made-to-measure suit in Men’s Superbrands’ elegant club rooms; head to the Fresh Market Hall for recipe suggestions and on-the-spot preparation; or discover sensory aroma tables and masterclasses in the Fine Wines and Spirits rooms. Meanwhile, as many of us spend more time at home, with our living spaces becoming more agile than ever, Harrods Interiors department has been completely reimagined as a unique and elevated destination to support customers with all their home comfort, home creativity, home office and home experience needs. The changes at Harrods reflect how retail itself is changing. It’s no longer about simply shopping but seeking out experiences not


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The changes at Harrods reflect how retail itself is changing. It’s no longer about simply shopping but seeking out experiences not found anywhere else found anywhere else. So, there are masterclasses to keep pace with the dazzlingly fast, often bamboozling march of technology. There’s an in-house interior design service for all manner of projects, from developing entire buildings to styling a single room. There’s a Personalisation department for having your bath towels embroidered with your family crest or you can create your very own bespoke chess set in the newly opened Harrods Arcade on the Lower Ground Floor. There’s a Baccarat Bar, bringing together the glamour and craftsmanship of sparkling chandeliers and crystalware, with one-of-a-kind cocktails and chef-made delicacies. Recent changes also reflect the new future of retail in which customers want to experience exceptional service, access beautiful products and connect with expertise and guides remotely through sophisticated digital channels and virtual concierge touchpoints. The new, fully immersive is a digital destination where customers can discover all that is on offer at the iconic Knightsbridge store, presenting shopping, styling advice and stand-out content through an incredible ecommerce hub. There’s also a new concierge service and app, where customers can talk to Harrods experts from home. Harrods has always pioneered the art of the possible. After all, it installed Britain’s first-ever revolving staircase in 1898 (with cognac and smelling salts at the ready to calm customers’ nerves). It’s as much of a stimulating cultural hub as a retail emporium and will continue to inspire and delight anyone who enters its doors, or who desires to connect with Harrods virtually, from the comfort of home.

Harrods has been at the cutting-edge of retail since it opened in 1849, and its latest iteration is no different

Harrods 87–135 Brompton Road London SW1X 7XL +44 (0)20 7730 1234 harrods COUNTRYANDTOWNHOUSE.CO.UK/GBB | 159

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Hay Festival

GBB 2021

Turning the page to begin an exciting new chapter


hen the world’s most famous book festival cancelled its flagship edition in Wales last spring, it was hard to see how any live event had a chance of surviving Covid-19. Worse still, the news hit at the very moment of maximum financial exposure, placing Hay Festival in immediate peril. But if Hay Festival had any doubts about its ability to continue, its audience did not. In a standout cultural success story for 2020, Hay Festival Wales went online. Within weeks, the festival produced one of its most ambitious programmes ever, featuring a dazzling array of writers, thinkers and performers from Hilary

Mantel and Margaret Atwood to Stephen Fry, Helena Bonham Carter and Benedict Cumberbatch. Sessions were viewed half a million times by people from 30 countries and friendships were formed in digital chat rooms, giving organisers renewed hope for the future. Since that online festival, dubbed Hay-on-Wifi by the Prime Minister, Hay’s digital model has grown, with editions around the world bringing writers and readers together in Spain, Mexico, Croatia and Peru, and with new Book of the Month live Q&As and a refreshed podcast series bolstering the digital offer. 2020 closed with Hay’s annual Winter Weekend taking place online too, featuring Dawn French, Lee Child, Irenosen Okojie, Elton John, Arsène Wenger, James Rebanks, Katya Adler, Susie Dent and Booker Prize winner Douglas Stuart. In 2021 Hay Festival’s global audience is reaching


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In 2021 Hay Festival’s focus is shifting further towards innovative hybrid events, merging the best of live and online experiences

Through a turbulent 2020 Hay Festival has continued to represent and support the best of British talent; in 2021 the legacy of Hay-on-Wifi will live on through live and online experiences

into the millions and its focus is shifting further towards innovative hybrid events, merging the best of live and online experiences. Blended programmes are planned for Medellin, Jericho and Cartagena, Colombia (January to February); Querétaro, Mexico (September); Segovia, Spain (September) and Arequipa, Peru (November). Closer to home, in May the green fields in Wales will once more be filled with the hum of conversation, in a pioneering hybrid edition of the Hay Festival. Outreach programmes will again bring festival events into local communities, supported by the Hay Festival Foundation. The festival’s schools programming will tour Wales, while Hay Joven and Hay Communitario will offer free programming for young people across Latin America. Throughout a turbulent 2020, Hay Festival continued to represent the best of Britain’s openness,

welcoming writers, thinkers, artists, performers and readers from all over the world to share ideas in a cultural moment that exceeds the sum of its parts. Its mission remains clear: in a volatile world of anger and corrupted language, this not-for-profit festival is a champion for empathy and curiosity. Stories and truths are told and exchanged and everyone is encouraged to imagine the world from different perspectives. Reflecting on the past year, festival spokesperson Christopher Bone added: ‘The support we have received has been both humbling and inspiring. The very people we feared we were letting down the most came to help us in our hour of need and showed a deep desire to meet these challenging times with hope and new ideas. As we look to 2021 and beyond, we hold close the lessons of these past 12 months and step forwards with renewed purpose.’

Hay Festival The Drill Hall 25 Lion Street Hay-on-Wye HR3 5AD +44 (0)1497 822620 hayfestival


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The Knightsbridge Estate

GBB 2021

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he history of London is a story of constant renewal. The city has expanded, both outwards and upwards, reinvented and reimagined itself many times over the centuries and will always continue to do so. The story of The Knightsbridge Estate is a fine example of this everlasting cycle. Occupying a fabulous three-anda-half acre island site in Knightsbridge, elegantly sandwiched between Harvey Nichols to the east and Harrods to the west, much of The Estate has been successfully modernized over the last ten years. The most important redevelopment is currently taking place at The Estate’s northern end. The buildings, which boast one of London’s finest runs of Dutch gabled façades, mostly date from the late 19th century. By the time the present owners, The Olayan Group, bought The Knightsbridge Estate in 2010, it was ripe for redevelopment, having declined over a period of many years into a state of genteel shabbiness. The redevelopment is focused in the angle of Sloane Street and Brompton Road. Here a mixed-use scheme will sit behind the restored façades, thus maintaining the unique character of the area, while delivering a brand-new building that meets modern occupiers’ needs. Once completed, the new development will offer seven flagship stores, a new roof-top restaurant and ground level café, a new Grade A office building and 33 luxury apartments set around a private courtyard, exclusively for the rental market. A notable and highly visible feature of the redevelopment scheme is the construction of a cupola atop the façade above the junction of Sloane Street and Brompton Road. The cupola, part of the original design but never built, will form a striking new landmark in this part of London. In Hooper’s Court a new

The redevelopment of this historic part of London will provide fantastic new homes, shops and office space for modern residents

façade bearing a honeysuckle design evokes the 18th century market gardener John Hooper. Likewise, the development will preserve the distinctive ox-blood glazed tiles that characterised the original design of Knightsbridge tube station. In revitalising these existing historic buildings for the 21st century, the Olayan Group has also succeeded in creating flexible spaces for modern retailers. The redevelopment has also brought other parts of the estate back to life, most notably Hooper’s Court, offering ultra-modern office space set back from a pocket garden. Importantly, the scheme will include two new entrances to Knightsbridge station, one on Hooper’s Court with step-free access, complementing the new entrance on Brompton Road. Skanska, the main contractor, addressed the Covid-19 challenge by reconfiguring the site and revising working practices in compliance with new social distancing rules, allowing work to continue, thus minimising furlough and avoiding redundancies. At a time when predictions for the future of conventional bricks-and-mortar retailing are often pessimistic, this redevelopment represents a resounding vote of confidence in the future of Knightsbridge, both as a luxury goods shopping destination and as a thriving place to live and work. London has survived plague, fire and war emerging stronger on each occasion; it will survive Covid-19 and prosper again.

This redevelopment represents a resounding vote of confidence in the future of Knightsbridge, both as a luxury goods shopping destination and as a thriving place to live and work

The Knightsbridge Estate 50 Hans Crescent London SW1X 0NA +44 (0)20 7290 2388 theknightsbridgeestate COUNTRYANDTOWNHOUSE.CO.UK/GBB | 163

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1508 London

GBB 2021

Trailblazers in stellar international interior design and architecture


508 London is at the cutting edge of the world’s design studios, a collective proud to take on the most challenging of briefs. Having won important Rosewood and Four Seasons hotel commissions during the pandemic, the 80-strong team of interior designers and architects in London and Dubai is going from strength to strength. In the 12 years since it was founded, 1508 London has already left its distinctive mark in many cities of the world and its ability to design residential projects, multi-unit developments, clubs and hotels is now attracting the hottest names in property. This year, the Mandarin Oriental Residences will become the first new-build in Beverly Hills’s revered Golden Triangle for nearly 40 years, representing a departure from the traditional preference of Los Angeles’s elite for living in the Hollywood Hills. ‘The lessons absorbed from our private residential designs about how the world’s elite live their lives filter up the creative ladder to influence every project,’ says Hamish Brown, partner, ‘but it works the other way round, too.’ These values have made 1508 London the go-to designer for branded residences. Two such schemes are those for Park Hyatt Residences at Nine Elms in London and for The OWO Residences by Raffles at the Old War Office, Whitehall, the hotel group’s first property in Europe. This Edwardian neo-Classical building is being recast as 88 residences in the most sophisticated modern idiom.

1508 London is confident it can prosper in the post-Covid world. ‘With health the new wealth and our commitment to sustainability, our portfolio is taking advantage of the importance we place on redefining luxury, whether it’s a modest apartment, a superyacht or a supercar showroom,’ explains Stuart Horwood, CEO and partner. Residential schemes remain the studio’s pedigree: among recent projects are superlative houses in London’s Chelsea Barracks and No.1 Grosvenor Square and further afield in New York and Barbados. The studio transformed a six-storey house in Holland Park’s Ilchester Place into a £35 million property. In Hampstead, it converted a Grade II-listed former school into a sensational home with a design that incorporates work, play and family living space in a single scheme. The result is one of north London’s most sought-after properties, and an enduring influence on the studio’s residential design. With its growing reputation, 1508 London is inevitably briefed as the best-in-class designer. At the newly opened The Carlton Tower in Knightsbridge, a sympathetic design, which is destined to be a modern classic, has distilled the grandeur of Jumeirah’s Burj Al Arab into a quintessentially vernacular London setting. Meanwhile, in Qatar, the studio has been commissioned to design Rosewood’s prestigious Doha flagship hotel, spa and residences, an immense project. If 1508 London’s future looks bright, it is because its designers and architects relish a challenge. Indeed, the essence of design is the challenge of providing elegant, workable solutions to a client’s brief, no matter how complex. This is 1508 London in a nutshell.

1508 London 7 Howick Place London SW1P 1BB +44 (0)20 7802 3800 1508london


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‘With health the new wealth and our commitment to sustainability, our portfolio is taking advantage of the importance we place on redefining luxury, whether it’s a modest apartment or a supercar showroom’

1508 London’s luxury designs are setting the pace in hotels, private residences and public spaces all over the world

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GBB 2021

Architectural joinery turning fine period houses into exquisite family homes


rom simple beginnings on a borrowed workshop bench 30 years ago, Artichoke has become the leader in its field. ‘We started Artichoke with a strong conviction that brilliantly designed joinery can immeasurably improve a client’s experience of living in a period building. We are still excited by our work with wood and remain fascinated by its power to shape homes,’ says founder, Bruce Hodgson, the creative force behind the company, overseeing the direction of every project. Commissions have taken its craftsmen into some of England’s most intriguing homes, each offering the challenge of how to fit it for modern living without

compromising its historic elegance and value. By combining sensitive joinery design with space-planning expertise and keen observation of household life, Artichoke’s work becomes integral to a building’s architectural heritage for generations to come. There is purposely neither showroom nor brochure. That’s because Artichoke joinery is genuinely bespoke: imagined, designed, and crafted specifically for each client’s home and household. ‘At any one time we work with only a handful of clients,’ says Hodgson. ‘That allows us to forge close relationships with them and their team. Through trust and collaboration, we help transform houses into the family home of our clients’ dreams – exquisite yet practical – while doing justice to the house itself.’ Artichoke’s designers draw upon a profound understanding of period styles. But they are experts,


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‘Through trust and collaboration, we help transform houses into the family home of our clients’ dreams – exquisite yet practical – while doing justice to the house itself ’

Artichoke’s specialist joinery skills create incomparable results in period and new build homes alike

not purists: forget slavish reproduction, they prefer to devise ideas that weave into a house’s fabric and architectural story. A hand finish on wood, for example, can restore atmosphere to an older house, just as it adds subtle beauty to a new build. Breadth of design vocabulary and an encyclopaedic knowledge of classic interiors makes for kitchens and houses fitted for modern living, without compromising their original period charm. To conjure up the remarkable for clients and their homes, Artichoke’s designers work hand-in-glove with exceptional artisans. An incomparable network across a myriad of specialist trades brings to bear the craft skills of talented individuals in executing the designer’s vision. Quality of design must be matched by the highest quality of cabinet-making: joinery is therefore made at Artichoke’s Somerset workshops, where extraordinary makers are equipped with state-of-the-art technology.

The original design vision is accurately executed; quality control and detail are overseen at every stage. Never has a year brought into such sharp relief the idea that an Englishman’s home is his castle. More time at home has prompted many to think hard about their houses: what works and what does not. ‘This is where we come in,’ explains Hodgson. ‘We’ve had a really exceptional year, thanks to clients who have supported us unflinchingly and to an incredible team of designers and makers who have adapted how they work to guarantee no compromise in the quality of what we deliver. In designing and making architectural joinery and fitted furniture for generations to enjoy, we are committed to making a difference in our clients’ lives, as well as enhancing Britain’s architectural heritage. We are excited about 2021 and relish its returning freedoms.’

Artichoke 9 Cheddar Business Park Wedmore Road, Cheddar Somerset BS27 3EB +44 (0)1934 745270 artichoke_ltd


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Atelier NM

GBB 2021

Creative design studio specialising in interiors of character, colour and authentic expression


ajwa Mroue is an interior designer who brings her love of art, passion for collecting and eclectic cultural background to creating lively spaces for clients looking for something truly individual and original. Born in France, she grew up in Lebanon and Czechoslovakia before settling in England – a nomadic upbringing and a blend of experiences that had a dynamic impact on her creative style. Atelier NM was born as a result of clients looking for more diversity – something Najwa was uniquely qualified to offer. A perceptive creator and instinctive designer, she takes her cues from the subtleties of location, architecture and proportions of space, but beyond that, she describes the Atelier NM style

as maximalist, quirky, unconventional and daringly innovative. ‘My personal style is very much a blend of abstract beauty and rule-breaking imperfection,’ Najwa explains. ‘In fact, there really are no rules when I am designing. I love creating unexpected juxtapositions with colour, pattern and materials – schemes that create conversation and spark debate. But also, an appreciation for rich materiality and artisan craftsmanship underpins each project undertaken by my studio. I want things to feel asymmetrical but balanced; for it to be an immersive experience that is also tactile. All of these aspirations combine to create what I believe are confident and authentic interiors.’ The service covers initial scope, conceptual design, development and execution, during which the studio works with trusted tradesmen and suppliers. But it is the bespoke element that is Atelier NM’s biggest differentiator – and this comes through conceptualising furniture designs that reflect clients’ personalities,


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Despite Britain’s changing position on the world stage, Britishness is still an overwhelming positive and a powerful differentiating attribute when it comes to the luxury property sector passions and aesthetic preferences, and through the sourcing and inclusion of one-off pieces of decorative art. Najwa is a self-confessed magpie, who describes her passion for collecting as an obsession that brings her into contact with an exotic array of sources all over the world. It started as a hobby, in response to requests from friends and family; now she is tasked by clients to find and create troves of treasures for their homes. In 2020 she took this a step further by launching her own capsule collection of rugs, artworks and ceramics, something she hopes to expand throughout 2021 in tandem with the interior design service. She sums up the philosophy behind the product collection: ‘Provocation, wonder, hope and joy are entwined in a riot of colour, bold expression and captivating designs, informed by allegory and symbolising life, promise and love.’ Najwa believes there has never been a better time to be a truly British brand. Despite Britain’s changing position on the world stage, Britishness is still an overwhelming positive and a powerful differentiating attribute when it comes to the luxury property sector. ‘I personally hand select whatever I need for a project from a small pool of fellow British brands whom I trust and value,’ she says. ‘I believe that appreciation for something that is made or designed in the UK will not be diminished after Brexit.’

Expect the unexpected: Najwa loves playing with colour, pattern and materials to create schemes that spark conversation

Atelier NM The Pavilion 96 Kensington High Street London W8 4SG +44 (0)20 7993 7174 ateliernminteriors COUNTRYANDTOWNHOUSE.CO.UK/GBB | 171

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Celine Interior Design

GBB 2021

An award-winning interior design consultancy


efore establishing her own thriving interior design practice back in 2014, Noor Charchafchi qualified as an aviation finance lawyer. Now Celine Interior Design is not only one of London’s finest interior design practices, but it also enjoys a world-class reputation. International in outlook, Noor’s Iraqi background means that both her Middle Eastern projects and her home-grown ones are thriving. Noor’s understanding of her clients’ cultural background, combined with her deep knowledge of British design and the quality of craftsmanship that accompanies it, give her a unique design perspective that is much sought after. Although 2020 inevitably meant big challenges for many businesses, Noor used the year to innovate

and reinvent things to ensure her business wasn’t just surviving but thriving. ‘I feel that 2020 was a really creative time for my business,’ she explains. ‘We founded The Design Platform at the beginning of the pandemic to give other British design businesses a voice on our social media channels, and I began to give tutorials to design schools internationally, most recently in the UAE.’ Celine Interior Design has also collaborated on six new product lines with well-known names such as Peter Reed and Couture Editions, and is launching two new sub-divisions of the Celine brand to bring more British craftsmanship to its clients. ‘Overall, it’s been a fully packed year and we intend to keep up that spirit of growth and commitment well into this year and beyond.’ Setting up a business and getting it to the level that it is at today has taken a great deal of hard work and challenges along the way, states Noor. ‘When I started my business I knew I loved design,’ she says.


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DESIGNERS Celine Interior Design, founded by Noor Charchafchi (bottom left), enjoys a reputation both in the UK and internationally, especially in the MIddle East

‘Supporting the quality and craftsmanship that comes from Britain is not only important but imperative’ ‘However, passion isn’t enough to run a business successfully. It’s a great start, but there is so much more that you need to be able to deliver outstanding designs. Enhancing your client’s life has to be your ultimate goal at every step of the way.’ Noor is personally involved in every project that comes through the door but she’s also worked hard to put together an excellent team over the years and she credits her staff for the smooth delivery of each project. ‘I believe the difference between running an excellent design practice and going it alone is all about the people – that means the clients, the staff and everyone involved in the project directly and indirectly. I have very high expectations of my team but I also make sure that they have them of themselves. Mistakes will happen in every business but I’m only excited by the creative solutions that my brilliant team come up with and the prospect of having another opportunity to do even better.’ ‘To be a great British brand is not only a huge source of pride to the practice,’ she continues, ‘but it also comes at a critical time in history, when being British and supporting the quality that comes from the country is not only important but imperative.’ Noor’s commitment to maintaining that quality is unshakeable and she has an exciting vision for the future.

Celine Interior Design Ltd Unit 27A Jasmine House Juniper Drive London SW18 1GJ +44 (0)20 8032 2911 celineinteriordesign COUNTRYANDTOWNHOUSE.CO.UK/GBB | 173

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Design Centre Chelsea Harbour

GBB 2021

Championing its design community with strength, positivity and agility


esign Centre, Chelsea Harbour is the world’s premier destination for design and decoration. Its sense of community, commitment to creative excellence and specialist expertise make it the first port of call for professional designers, architects and design enthusiasts. With 120 showrooms representing more than 600 international brands, it is a compass point for world-class talent, makers and luxury brands. The Design Centre is where interiors of individuality and distinction begin. It’s the place to discover beautiful patterns, uplifting colours and tactile materials, alongside details like scale, craftsmanship and artisan finishes. After a very digital 2020, it has never been more vital to see products close up, from fabrics to furniture, leather to lighting, beds to bathrooms, tiles to trimmings, carpets, hardware, wallcoverings and much more.

As needs shift and ideas develop, the Design Centre maintains momentum. From sustainability and interest in biophilia to the development of bespoke pieces, showrooms keep up the pace, with many collaborative projects yielding impressive results. The personal shopping team knows the showrooms inside out, accessing products from leading global brands, remotely and via in-person visits. A new online hub supports this service, aiming to showcase the breadth of creative inspiration. The designer sourcing service helps busy professionals find what they need. Even as forthcoming vaccines offer the prospect of a brighter 2021, many organisers of international trade shows have cancelled or postponed their events – except for London, where London Design Week 2021 remains a design calendar highlight. Focus/20 in September was a remarkable show of inspiration and strength, and the Design Centre will continue in the same hybrid format for its annual spring event. Wider expansion plans, including an enhanced space for curated design exhibitions, means that there is always more to explore. These experiences, including a future exhibition devoted to contemporary craft, have been devised to appeal to targeted sectors to gain exposure to important clients. An indispensable hub for the industry, the Design Centre continues to attract more companies, build new international audiences and invest in infrastructure. Offering professional support and strategic marketing ensures that it is the place to grow a business. The Design Centre has been swift to ramp up its digital offering with more e-news, dedicated microsites and in-depth content via the design blog. Its free-to-view virtual content brings together A-list designers, industry insiders and thought leaders, showcasing remarkable, ever-evolving creativity. An exceptional line-up of talks with global names, masterclasses and business-focused webinars provides engaging conversations and in-depth analysis that keep the design industry competitive and connected. Signing up to the mailing list via the website is the quickest, easiest way to hear about latest news and events. Carrying forward the strength of togetherness, and keeping the design community engaged and informed are the messages of positivity and connection that have put the Design Centre firmly Design Centre on the international map. Chelsea Harbour Lots Road London SW10 0XE +44 (0)20 7225 9166 designcentreCH


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A commitment to creative excellence and specialist expertise make Design Centre, Chelsea Harbour the first port of call for professional designers, architects and design enthusiasts

Design Centre, Chelsea Harbour’s 120 showrooms represent more than 600 international brands, making it a compass point for creativity and craftsmanship

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GBB 2021

them as much as we can with an optimistic, flexible attitude.’ Elicyon has enjoyed witnessing clients demonstrate a renewed passion for being able to see and handle pieces and designs in person, whether to enjoy the feel of a piece of fabric, examine the veining in a slab of marble or appreciate the dappled light effect from a chandelier. ‘In a creative, tactile industry like ours, the past year has actually emphasised the importance of face-to-face contact,’ says Charu, ‘and we’ve seen a huge burst of appreciation from clients for being able to experience materials physically with their senses. As people have started paying much closer attention to their homes, it’s been exciting to see them take such an interest in all the beautiful materials and furnishings they can have around them.’ The studio has also been busy adapting its design schemes to cater for the way in which we live now, focusing on versatile layouts and designs that can function as both working-from-home environments and spaces in which families can come together. This year, Elicyon is continuing to work across the super prime London market on landmark developments and private, heritage properties. Meanwhile, it is embarking on a number of exciting new schemes in Europe, focusing mainly on the South of France, and will be making its first foray into yacht interiors. Further afield, the studio is working on several ambitious, largescale projects in the Middle East. ‘As a British brand working globally, we’re always inspired by our connection with the rest of the world,’ says Charu. ‘Throughout 2021 we will maintain our outward-looking approach, collaborating with clients across Europe, Asia and the United States. For me, Britishness symbolises not only the best of the best in terms of quality and creativity in design but also a love of adventure and celebrating other cultures.’ CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT: Jewel tones in the living space at Elicyon’s project in Lancaster Gate; Beaufort Gardens exemplifies Elicyon’s refined, elegant style

Delivering great British design on a global scale


ack in the spring of 2020, at the height of lockdown, the Elicyon team was mid-installation on three major projects. Needless to say, the circumstances presented numerous challenges, but it is testament to the resolve and positivity of Elicyon’s founder and director, Charu Gandhi and her team, that all three projects were delivered on time to happy clients. Throughout the upheaval of the past 12 months, Elicyon has never wavered from its ethos and vision to create beautiful spaces for its clients around the world. Indeed, 2020 saw Elicyon complete a number of landmark projects across London in private homes and leading luxury developments, including Chelsea Barracks, Lancaster Gate, Southbank Place, Mayfair Park Residences and a new boutique development in Beaufort Gardens, Knightsbridge, as well as progressing international projects in Dubai and Kuwait. ‘We understood very early on the importance of communication and taking an empathetic approach,’ says Charu. ‘Now we speak even more regularly with our clients and continue to work extremely closely with our suppliers, understanding that they too, especially smaller businesses, are facing hurdles. We support

Elicyon First Floor, Avon House Avonmore Road Kensington Village London W14 8TS +44 (0)20 3772 0011 elicyon


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Throughout the upheaval of the past 12 months, Elicyon has never wavered from its ethos and vision to create beautiful spaces for its clients around the world

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FBC London

GBB 2021

Timeless luxury furniture, inspired by nature and handcrafted in Britain

managed to achieve a number of exciting milestones. In September, it launched its first American flagship showroom at the renowned New York Design Center. Following her training at the London Chelsea College of Art, Fiona studied at Parsons School of Design in New York and knows the market there very well. ‘The NYDC was the natural choice for our debut into the US market,’ said Fiona. ‘As an established and well-regarded resource within the industry, the NYDC gives FBC London an immediate footfall among like-minded makers and businesses.’ Closer to home, FBC London opened a newly renovated and expanded showroom on the Pimlico Road. The new 3,000 sq/ft space is separated into ‘room vignettes’, showcasing FBC London’s signature and new collections within individual living, dining, study and bedroom settings. In autumn 2020, FBC London also unveiled its latest collections, Rain and Column, which are displayed at the new showroom alongside its outdoor furniture range and pieces from the signature Aurora, Bridge, Byethorne and City collections. The new Rain collection draws on the success of FBC London’s best-selling City collection of bedside tables, credenzas and chests of drawers. While the designs are identical, the Rain collection introduces a new textural façade. In keeping with the brand’s inspiration from nature, a heavy 3D textured finish of diagonal lines, in either ombre bronze or bronze and verdigris, captures the essence of falling rain. The remainder of the pieces are finished in a matte stone-grey oak and feature antique brass bases. The Column collection, inspired by the pillars of Greek and Roman temples, introduces a new range of dining tables, consoles, coffee and side tables. Columns form the supporting base of all these pieces, each featuring a unique rivet detail and finished in bronze or brass patina. The columns are complemented by the addition of either bronze textured glass or Italian Calacatta viola marble tops. Looking ahead, this year will see Fiona unveil further new collections and pieces, maintaining her enduring commitment to British craftsmanship and working with the most creative and innovative makers in the country.


aunched in 2013 by award-winning interior designer Fiona Barratt Campbell, FBC London is renowned for its impeccably crafted, meticulously detailed and luxuriously defined furnishings. Fiona’s designs are born from a passion to create pieces of timeless elegance and diverse materiality, inspired by history and colours and textures derived from nature, particularly the rugged Northumberland landscape of Fiona’s childhood. Each piece is made by a selected group of artisans and craftsmen, utilising both modern and traditional techniques and a varied palette of materials. The brand is exceptionally proud to work predominantly with makers in the northeast of England, within a few miles of where Fiona grew up. Fiona and her team work closely alongside these craftspeople to ensure that they use only the finest materials and an environmentally responsible approach to produce beautifully balanced designs and exquisite pieces of furniture. While 2020 certainly presented numerous challenges, through perseverance, positivity and unwavering hard work, FBC London still

FBC London 66 Pimlico Road London SW1W 8LS +44 (0)20 7730 9555 fbclondon


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FBC London’s pieces are timelessly elegant and pay particular regard to materials, colours and textures derived from nature

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FBC London is exceptionally proud to work predominantly with makers in the northeast of England, within a few miles of where Fiona grew up

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Helen Green Design Studio

GBB 2021

Timeless interior design with a touch of the unexpected


elen Green Design Studio creates luxurious yet liveable residences, primarily focusing on town houses and penthouse apartments in super-prime London locations such as Chelsea and Belgravia, as well as country estates. It also works with private clients on international projects. At the heart of the business lies its commitment to delivering exceptionally high, personalised levels of service. Founded by the late Helen Green in 2002, the brand is proud to be a bastion of British craftsmanship and design, sourcing furniture, accessories and artwork through trusted partners and carefully selected artisans and suppliers throughout the country. The beauty of British design, of course, is that it has

historically been inspired by elements of global design in the 18th and 19th centuries, infusing elements of architecture, material and motifs from places such as Asia, France and Egypt, among many others. ‘The idea of Helen Green being a British brand is based on the quality, detail and craftsmanship that go into each piece and a design aesthetic that is elegant and timeless, with a bit of the unexpected,’ say Ivana Allain, studio director, and Jennifer Jarvis, associate director. Last year, for example, Helen Green Design Studio was appointed to create a British-style interior design for a Victorian apartment in London’s Kensington that reflected the historical London landmarks in the surrounding area. The result was a sophisticated and elegant design scheme to meet the client’s aspirations and needs. In this instance, the client really wanted to maximise every square foot of the property, so the studio had to be clever


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Helen Green Design Studio is proud to be a bastion of British craftsmanship and design, sourcing furniture, accessories and artwork through trusted partners with the pieces it designed to ensure there was enough storage without sacrificing design and beauty for functionality. It therefore created a compact, bespoke modular desk, layering elements of timber, glass and metalwork. The result was a beautifully designed piece which still allowed the client to move the storage elements around to suit his needs. The brand is confident that its Britishness, rooted in bespoke and artisanal design, will not be affected by Brexit. ‘I don’t believe that having been in the EU for the past 47 years has defined the Britishness of our brand, and therefore I don’t believe that being out of the EU will define us any differently,’ says Jennifer. The pandemic afforded Helen Green Design Studio the opportunity to evaluate its process, engaging with clients more informally but also more frequently. At a time when people were feeling isolated and disconnected, Helen Green doubled down on ensuring clients felt its commitment to them. The studio also experienced a great deal of interest in its HGD collection last year. The collection was developed by the late Helen Green with beautiful pieces that reflected the timeless ethos of the brand. The hope is to relaunch the collection in 2021 with some of its previous best-selling items as well as some exciting new designs. It is Helen Green Design Studio’s way of honouring the heritage of the brand while also looking to the future.

Contemporary yet classic, Helen Green Design Studio works closely with clients to create beautiful, bespoke interiors

Helen Green Design Studio 29 Milner Street London SW3 2QD +44 (0)20 7352 3344 hgdstudio COUNTRYANDTOWNHOUSE.CO.UK/GBB | 181

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GBB 2021

Traditionally British architecture, interior design and construction management practice


oncentrating on period, listed and historic properties predominantly in London’s Kensington, Holland Park and Notting Hill, Huntsmore takes projects from the initial designs and planning through to full delivery of the build. Founded in 2014 by director Eamonn Agha, Huntsmore prides itself on having a very personal approach, taking time to understand how clients live and use their homes. The in-house design and construction management team, comprising RIBA Part III architects, interior designers and chartered construction managers, works collaboratively with each client, blending traditional and contemporary British design with detailed construction knowledge to ensure project delivery and create truly exquisite homes.

‘We are very proud to be working and delivering design and build projects in many of the area’s traditional period properties,’ says Kensington-born Eamonn. ‘We work closely with many British brands, particularly London-based suppliers, which allows us to espouse truly British values in our design, architecture and construction management projects.’ In 2020 Huntsmore began to incorporate technology more into the practice, which has allowed it to run its projects smoothly and concentrate on developing personal relationships with clients, overcoming the inevitable difficulties thrown up by the pandemic. For example, when restrictions made travel impossible for one US client, technology saved the day. ‘We only met that client twice at the end of 2019 ahead of the project starting. They planned on making multiple visits to Britain to view progress and choose many of the fittings. When this couldn’t happen, we successfully handled all aspects of the project remotely, from


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‘We work closely with many British brands, which allows us to espouse truly British values in our design, architecture and construction management projects’

CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT: Huntsmore works collaboratively with clients to ensure its designs fit perfectly with their lives; its bespoke kitchen cabinets have become ever-more popular in recent years; all woodwork and joinery, like this custom wardrobe, are done in Huntsmore’s west London workshop

specifying all materials to managing the on-site delivery of the build,’ says Eamonn. The brand has also ramped up its digital marketing, engaging new clients through Instagram and other social media channels. It has been collaborating digitally with many of its existing suppliers to boost their respective brands and has found that guest articles and posts have been a positive way to showcase the beautiful craftsmanship of its trusted suppliers within its schemes. In addition, Huntsmore has spent time nurturing existing relationships to help develop and grow its customer base. ‘We were recently referred a new client by Thackeray Gallery in Kensington after having purchased artworks from them for several years,’ Eamonn explains. ‘We created a beautiful home for the client, with some of the finishing touches being paintings selected from the gallery to complement the overall scheme. Continuing to maintain good relationships with our design suppliers has been a positive way to generate new business.’ In recent years Huntsmore has been steadily building its bespoke kitchen and joinery offering. This is an in-house design and build service where the brand undertakes the concept, manufacture and installation of beautiful handmade cabinetry. ‘Our woodwork and joinery designs are classically British, with everything being manufactured in our workshop in west London, and nothing manufactured overseas. Increased client demand for sustainable luxury and quality British design and manufacturing has seen this arm of the business grow and is an area that we want to develop,’ says Eamonn. Huntsmore 96 Kensington High Street London W8 4SG +44 (0)20 7484 5745 huntsmore_design_build COUNTRYANDTOWNHOUSE.CO.UK/GBB | 183

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Juliette Byrne

GBB 2021

An award-winning design studio specialising in classic contemporary style


ounded in Chelsea in 1988, Juliette Byrne is known for creating elegant, sophisticated interiors and her studio is as experienced in refurbishing Grade II listed buildings and English country houses as it is in creating contemporary riverside penthouses and boutique hotels across London. Juliette has been included in Country & Town House’s Finest 50 Interior Designers, House & Garden’s Top 100 Leading Designers in the UK and The Telegraph’s Top 20 Interior Designers in Britain. ‘Whether the client’s taste is for the classic or the contemporary, we seek out the best of British talent to create an incredible interior that speaks of comfort, elegance and proportion,’ says Juliette. Last year clearly posed unique challenges for the design industry and for Juliette Byrne this meant constantly adapting to reflect

clients’ changing priorities and concerns. ‘More than ever, there has been a need to redefine the traditional functions and perimeter of the home. National lockdowns have driven a surge in demand for flexible spatial design that allows for home office conversion and stylish, multi-functional furniture,’ she says. The isolation and monotony of endless Zoom calls have led to an increased appetite for artwork that will rejuvenate the spirits. The trend of biophilia, ‘bringing the outside in’, has also proved popular, inspiring the studio to explore new ways of improving interior air quality via home automation systems. What has not changed is Juliette Byrne’s skill, honed over 30 years, at delivering carefully considered interiors with exceptional attention to detail. This she does through collaboration with a wide variety of highly skilled British craftsmen and suppliers. ‘We have built strong, long-standing relationships with many talented British makers such as Robert Langford,’ says Juliette. ‘He turns


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‘More than ever, there has been a need to redefine the traditional functions and perimeter of the home’ our own one-off designs into reality – dramatic headboards, upholstered banquette seating and a wonderful range of walling and elegant furnishings all designed in the UK and manufactured here and abroad.’ Juliette Byrne continued to offer a fully bespoke service throughout the year, with the brand’s highly-skilled team of designers working closely with contractors through every stage of the projects, albeit remotely whenever possible. Practices were adapted to ensure clients received a service of the highest quality, from mailing or emailing complete furniture, fixtures and equipment (FF&E) presentations with fabric samples and hard finishes to clients and in-house 3D visuals to aid the understanding of more complex areas, to socially-distanced site visits for routine progress checks. ‘Social media platforms such as Instagram and Pinterest are a good way to engage with clients at home and abroad,’ says Juliette. ‘Posting about our ongoing projects and uploading our editorial features from print and online publications provide our international clients with that added confidence to entrust their homes to our designers.’ ‘We have experienced an increased demand for locally sourced goods and a renewed passion for traditional British artistry, both in response to the restrictions of Covid-19 and the uncertainties surrounding a Brexit future. Going into 2021, we’ll be working on our bespoke line of furniture and lighting to ensure that our designed interiors are unique and individual to each client.’

Juliette Byrne loves collaborating with brilliant British craftspeople and suppliers to create interiors of comfort, elegance and proportion

Juliette Byrne Ltd The Plaza, Unit 3.20 535 Kings Road London SW10 0SZ +44 (0)20 7352 1553 juliettebyrneltd COUNTRYANDTOWNHOUSE.CO.UK/GBB | 185

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Katharine Pooley

GBB 2021

The finest British design and craftsmanship


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Katharine Pooley works with British craftsmen to create the luxurious fittings and final touches that have made her the go-to name in global interior design


sk Katharine Pooley about her design ethos and the theme that comes across most clearly is her passion for British craftsmanship. Recently voted British Interior Designer of the Decade, Katharine is currently working on projects located in the French Riviera, Hong Kong, Kuwait, Qatar and New York, as well as London. In each case, Katharine is blending British craftsmanship with a range of cultural influences and inspiration from her incredible travels.

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True luxury in a globalised society is based on individuality, exclusivity and quality. Clients from across the world seek out Katharine’s original viewpoint and visit her Knightsbridge-based design studio for her unusually diverse approach. From yachts to private jets, castles to palaces, and bijou apartments to country estates, every project is conceived from its own organic idea and created using bespoke, one-of-a-kind finishes with exceptional detailing. As every Katharine Pooley design is different, her impressive portfolio is not easily defined. Nonetheless, a common thread woven through every design is her unsurpassed patronage of British artisans. COUNTRYANDTOWNHOUSE.CO.UK/GBB | 187

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GBB 2021

‘While I work internationally – and have a very global mind-set – it is Britain’s innovative history, creativity and incredible artistry that sets us apart as a country of designers and makers,’ Katharine says. ‘British design is so exciting and its history is infinitely inspiring.’ Katharine is currently working on what she describes as a ‘heart-stoppingly’ beautiful château on the French Riviera, which has the largest privately owned grounds in the South of France. ‘What a dream project,’ she says. ‘I feel very honoured to be working on such a majestic property and one with such

a glamorous history. It was famously the backdrop for the filming of Alfred Hitchcock’s To Catch a Thief, and it’s where the characters played by Cary Grant and Grace Kelly fell in love.’ The house itself, with its intricate plaster mouldings and panelling, Florentine façade and pale ochre stucco finish and shutters, is a celebration of the Belle Époque. Large, arched windows and doors look out over the Mediterranean. During the first lockdown, in the spring and summer of 2020, Katharine and her large team completed a seven-storey town house in Notting Hill. She worked with traditional British

Katharine foresees a greater usage of calm, serene colours, large mirrors and organic, textured finishes


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joiners, Halstock and Silverlining, creating furniture and joinery designs that are, she describes, a ‘testament to the beauty and quality of British design’. In fact, Katharine has found that Covid-19 has prompted greater interest in interior design: ‘I’m already seeing a surge in requests for design proposals, as people realise that their mental wellbeing is now more dependent on living

in a home that is beautiful and has the capacity to sustain them when the rest of the world is closed to them. In their homes, clients are looking to make a peaceful sanctuary, filled with objects they love and that give them a feeling of happiness and contentment. I foresee a greater usage of calm, serene colours, large mirrors and organic, textured finishes that help create a restful mood.’

Katharine Pooley 37 Ixworth Place London SW3 3QH +44 (0)20 7584 3223 katharinepooleyltd


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Lawson Robb

GBB 2021

Tailored interiors for residences, superyachts and special commissions

a contemporary-meets-Georgian aesthetic that mirrored the architecture of the building and that of the surrounding neighbourhood. Cabinets and floors are solid oak; marble, finished by Italian stone artisans, is used for the stairwell and the kitchen, and the bronze balustrades on the balcony are bespoke designs inspired by the botanical prints of textile designer William Morris. The brand is equally renowned for its impressive portfolio of superyachts, recently working hand in hand with Extra Yachts to hone a design to align with a longstanding client’s ideals. Lawson Robb created a Penthouse feel with open plan living areas and a galley open to aft deck creating a very involved client experience. Key artworks from the owner’s collection were displayed within bespoke panelling & complimented by the whites/neutrals, blue hues and bespoke embellishments within the interior scheme. Lawson Robb is currently working on the interiors of a revolutionary 60m superyacht, Phi. The concept was to explore the ideas through transition. From the scientific rationalisation of a chaotic cosmos, its creation of naturally occurring forms and those brought to life through technology, through to interpretations of tradition and the unearthing of the unexpected. ‘We are proud of being a London-based business that has flourished into a global brand and we will continue to strive and build on our portfolio of work within the superyacht and residential industry,’ says CEO Iain Johnson. ‘We are thought leaders within the design industry, producing concepts that are on trend and relevant. We are always adapting and refining our processes which has allowed us to remain focused and adaptable to our clients’ needs. This, alongside our commitment to creating unique resources and a bespoke approach to each project, means we continue to succeed and look forward to showcasing the projects in the pipeline for 2021.’


reating beautiful interiors and exceptional spaces around the globe, Lawson Robb has a reputation for curated eclectic colour and art-infused designs for private commissions, super-prime developments and superyachts. Its exclusive project portfolio includes the prestigious Chelsea Barracks Penthouse as well as show apartments for renowned developers and private residences in Europe, USA and Middle East. Lawson Robb was established in London in 2003 and today the team comprises talented individuals from a wide spectrum of nationalities and disciplines, each bringing a broad range of influences to their designs. Indeed, they take a bespoke approach to everything they do, not just in terms of furniture, but also in their approach to lighting, artworks and decorative accessories. Plays on heritage is teamed with contemporary; bold accents with neutrals; expressive shapes with organic textures. Each space has a one-of-a-kind identity. At Chelsea Barracks Lawson Robb was selected to design a show apartment and a penthouse with a stunning wraparound terrace atop the Nine Whistler Square building. The result was

Lawson Robb 29 Milner Street London SW3 2QD +44 (0)20 7351 9383 lawsonrobb


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‘We are always adapting and refining our processes, which has allowed us to remain focused and adaptable to our clients’ needs’

The elegant Chelsea Barracks penthouse (top left and right) is just one of Lawson Robb’s special commissions worldwide

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Louise Bradley

GBB 2021

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Louise Bradley offers a classic, contemporary take on luxury, effortlessly combining bespoke pieces, unique finishes and state-of-the-art technology to deliver an eclectic and ultimately very personal space for her clients


Louise Bradley is known for her elegant, timeless interiors, which fill private homes all over the world

very crisis presents a unique set of issues. But for an interior design studio with a diverse portfolio of private clients, both at home and across the globe, a health pandemic throws up a whole new set of challenges, from the day-to-day running of the business to broken supply chains and keeping to previously confirmed schedules. ‘What’s important,’ says designer Louise Bradley, ‘is to face those challenges with a cool head and to work systematically on overcoming them.’ From her flagship showroom in Knightsbridge, Louise offers a classic, contemporary take on luxury, effortlessly combining bespoke pieces, unique finishes and state-ofthe-art technology to deliver an eclectic and ultimately very

personal space for her clients. Working with a team of interior architects, interior designers, 3D-visualisers, furniture designers and FF&E specialists, she launches new collections of classic contemporary furniture, fabrics and accessories every year. ‘One thing I have learned is that taking care of my team is the most important thing I can do, especially in difficult times,’ explains Louise. ‘While I still oversee every project, it’s my amazing team that brings everything to life, from the creative team meticulously working through the design process, to the most efficient operations team delivering our ideas on-site. Whether you’re a small or medium-sized company, if your team is strong and supported, you’ll get through any crisis more quickly and with more ease.’ Thriving in a pandemic has also meant being consistently resourceful, not least because many of the manufacturers and craftspeople the Louise Bradley team works closely with have had their own difficulties and vicissitudes to deal with. ‘Travel restrictions, here and internationally, have meant not being able to visit many of our clients. Zoom has been a vital tool for communicating with both site progress and clients. We have also had to find alternative solutions for progressing projects or working out how quickly we can get them off the ground once the various lockdowns are lifted, keeping as much as possible to the original completion dates.’ Louise Bradley’s international clients expect nothing less. ‘I think that British brands are trusted across the globe because of their stability and being able to stay calm and deliver even in the toughest situations,’ says Louise. ‘The pandemic hasn’t changed that.’ In that vein, she doesn’t think Brexit will either. ‘Brexit is a political situation, while the Britishness in question, the one that we cherish together with our clients, is timeless. I was born in London and have lived in the capital all my life. I have always associated Britishness with diversity, multinational influences, idea exchange and the merging of international ideas and cultures,’ she says. Looking to the future, Louise hopes all Great British brands will stay true to their heritage and their visions, entering 2021 with open minds, an enhanced awareness and a flexible business strategy. ‘We will continue working with and supporting British and European craftsmen when collaborating on our new furniture collections, ensuring that their workshops, which have been through very difficult times throughout 2020, can thrive again in 2021.’ Louise Bradley Kimbolton Court 117b Fulham Road London SW3 6RL +44 (0)20 7589 1442 louisebradleyinteriors COUNTRYANDTOWNHOUSE.CO.UK/GBB | 193

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GBB 2021

Experts in architectural regeneration, building for the future


uildings shape who we are and enhance our lives. How we repair, repurpose and rebuild them today will affect and improve our quality of life for future generations. Awardwinning architect and heritage consultant Purcell, founded 70 years ago, specialises in extending the life of the old, unlocking the potential of a space and providing excellent and robust new design for the present and future. Purcell employs 200 people at studios in several locations around the UK, as well as internationally in Hong Kong and Australia. Its name is synonymous with the master planning of heritage restoration and conservation projects across numerous sectors,

including residential, cultural, commercial, education, hospitality, places of worship and public buildings. Purcell was the architect and lead designer on the most recent monumental renovation of the Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park in London; and it is often called in to Oxford colleges to blend new additions with historic fabrics. The practice’s expertise addresses the context, character and purpose of all manner of places, and helps clients to manage change and make informed decisions. While delivering successful schemes across large public and private buildings, Purcell also brings clients’ domestic visions uniquely and creatively to life. ‘A home is one of the most important things in our lives, and the right design can make it both a space for connection and a safe haven that ensures our wellbeing,’ says Purcell partner, Theo Manzaroli. ‘We create home


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Purcell was the architect on the most recent monumental renovation of the Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park in London; and it is often called in to Oxford colleges to blend new additions with historic fabrics

Seventy years after its inception, Purcell continues to deliver exceptional projects and thrive on the diverse skill-set and knowledge of its team

environments that match clients’ rhythm and lifestyle, which involves making a considered selection of highquality materials appropriate to our design aspirations.’ Purcell often applies its diverse skills to creating schemes that respect an infrastructure’s original design and intent, while also meeting current building regulations – thereby making an historic building fit for purpose in the 21st century. ‘Our heritage consultancy expertise empowers us with a strong understanding of a building’s capacity and flexibility to change, and we ensure that all our buildings become the most accessible they can be,’ explains Theo. One such example is Wildernesse House, part of a 24-acre historic estate in Kent’s picturesque countryside, renowned for its magnificent period houses and ancient woodland. Purcell sympathetically

transformed the grade II-listed Georgian building into 23 high-end apartments and added in cutting-edge spa facilities, wellness areas and communal spaces. Regenerating a historic building in this innovative way ensured its survival for the future, setting Wildernesse House up for the next chapter in its fascinating history. The challenges of 2020 did not bypass Purcell, but throughout the year the practice’s team spirit, creativity, diverse skill-sets and knowledge enabled it to thrive and deliver a number of successful projects. In a major milestone and cultural change, the early part of 2021 will see the ownership of the business transfer to Purcell’s employees. A newly formed Trust, made up of passionate team members across Purcell’s UK and Asia Pacific studios, will then start an exciting new chapter in the history of the practice.

Purcell 15 Bermondsey Square Tower Bridge Road London SE1 3UN +44 (0)20 7397 7171 purcell.architecture


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Randle Siddeley

GBB 2021

The landscape architect and garden designer who creates spellbinding oases the world over


andle Siddeley established his business over 40 years ago and now works with a team of 80. No challenge is too small or too daunting, as shabby urban courtyards or muddy fields are reincarnated as magical green oases, lending the houses they adjoin new-found stature, space and beauty. Despite the pandemic, Randle has enjoyed a triumphant year, completing vast projects at home in the UK and abroad, as well as winning the Independent Publishers’ Gold Medal for his book, The Garden: Before and After (Papadakis, £50). In Hong Kong, Randle completed a project – the first of its kind in the world – creating six different, but complementary, 6,000 to 8,000 square metre gardens for a luxury development of new mansions; one neoclassical and the rest contemporary.

Randle hand-picked and transported 900 mature trees from the Chinese mainland to transform a vast area of dirt into desirable real estate with expansive views over Discovery Bay. Every garden called for an individual design, each with a pool and an emphasis on privacy. The Classical Garden has a sweeping tree-lined drive and a water wall, while in the Wavy Garden, everything curves, from the pool to the seating area and steps. The tropical Water Garden has an infinity pool and three smaller pools, while the Sculpture Garden features six dramatic David Harber sculptures. The Glass Garden has a specially created glass wall and five glass monoliths, and the Mediterranean Garden is lush with ornamental grasses, agaves and junipers and also includes a textured rubble wall. In the South of France, Randle undertook a challenge to create a garden on a steep seven-acre slope above the bay of St Tropez. It was a demanding project that involved building terraces with


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It’s Randle Siddeley’s vision, combined with a pragmatic approach, that enables him to go on transforming spaces into beautiful, flowering havens the world over retaining walls, a pergola walkway connecting a cypress avenue with the main entertaining terrace, and an elevated walkway to maximise the views of the stunning seascape beyond the garden. Making use of the only flat area, he transformed the old kitchen garden into a tennis court, which doubled as a five-a-side pitch or basketball court. He remodelled the swimming pool, adding a classic loggia and an art wall. Finally, Randle planted using indigenous species, focussing on herbs and colourful, fragrant flowering perennials like lavender, verbena, artemisia and nepeta. The result was a garden that his client likened to her idea of what paradise should be. At home, Randle worked with luxury interior design company Finchatton to complete the gardens for the Four Seasons’ new serviced apartments in Grosvenor Square. Here he created visual theatre, using sculptural artificial Californian silver birches, bonsai trees and a huge living wall inset with slips of bronze mirror for maximum drama. Randle’s creativity is underpinned by simple but meticulous rules and practical common sense. ‘You can spend a fortune on a garden, but you must know how the plants will survive,’ he says. ‘You do this by employing the best and, if overseas, working with the local landscape architect who understands the constraints.’ It’s his vision combined with this pragmatic approach that enables Randle to go on transforming spaces into beautiful, flowering havens the world over.

Randle’s unique vision and imagination have resulted in some exquisite gardens

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Rigby & Rigby

GBB 2021

Multi award-winning architecture, design and delivery studio with a holistic approach


igby & Rigby is a Londonbased design studio and founding member of the Allect International Design Group, whose multidisciplinary expertise extends across development management, architecture, interior design, construction and private client services. From conception to completion, exceptional contemporary properties in desirable locations around the world have benefited from Rigby & Rigby’s holistic approach and complete turnkey service. Alongside its design expertise, Rigby & Rigby is committed to the client experience and offers carefully personalised service at every stage. This journey starts with the initial concept and goes through

the delivery phase, covering construction, interior design detailing and the integration of technology. Once completed, a client’s property can then be immaculately maintained and managed through their concierge property service. Although 2020 was a challenging and uncertain time, the company continued to thrive. Its design studios engaged in two hotel projects, while the delivery and construction side of the business continued to excel even with the working restrictions and revised safety regulations that were put in place. The studio used the time to further develop its strategy and work on product line launches and new market opportunities for 2021, while also bringing in exciting new projects within the commercial, residential and maritime industries.


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DESIGNERS From hotels and high-end residential projects to offices and superyachts, Rigby & Rigby brings its defined and refined aesthetic

Rigby & Rigby differentiates itself by constantly testing its own capabilities, pushing innovation and being willing to experiment ‘We have been very fortunate, and our continued success throughout this period emphasises the fine reputation of Rigby & Rigby and the excellent relationships we have with both new and repeat clients,’ says Iain Johnson, CEO. In the competitive, high-stakes world of international property, Rigby & Rigby differentiates itself by being a research and design-led studio that is constantly testing its own capabilities, pushing innovation and being willing to experiment – while consistently infusing its projects with a defined and refined aesthetic. Its special projects team is currently involved in schemes that are collectively worth in excess of £1bn, including two elegantly contemporary London sites: Lancelot House in Knightsbridge and Berkeley Arcade Residence in Mayfair. In 2021, alongside the planned launch of its own first furniture collection Unknown Editions, Rigby & Rigby will embark on numerous international special projects. These include managing the development of an ultraprime private residential property in the epicentre of Tokyo with the world-renowned Kengo Kuma Architects; redesigning a prestigious private family office in a scenic setting in Oslo; and designing a superyacht for a private

client. The brief for the latter is to create a flexible, contemporary and open-plan interior, integrated crew accommodation and space for eight guests in four cabins, including a full-beam master suite. Rigby & Rigby is bursting with the energy that comes from being successful at making its clients’ dreams and aspirations a reality. Creating fully resolved and refined spaces that are both luxurious and functional takes confidence and a sure hand. Both qualities are evident in this British brand that plays on a world stage.

Rigby & Rigby 80 Brook Street London W1K 5EG +44 (0)20 3418 0446 rigbyandrigby


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Sims Hilditch

GBB 2021

Timeless and elegant interior design for modern English country living


mma Sims-Hilditch launched Sims Hilditch in 2009 to offer a fully comprehensive, bespoke interior design and interior architecture service for city townhouses, country estates and manor houses. Today she and her expert team of interior designers, interior architects and project managers create relevant and original interpretations of the ever-popular country house style, approaching each commission with a fresh and open mind. There’s no doubt that the brand’s Britishness is what makes it tick. ‘We are well-known for creating interiors in an English country style with a contemporary twist, an aesthetic that our clients often seek out when they commission us to transform their homes,’ says Emma, who has studios in London and Gloucestershire. ‘We work

with British suppliers in many cases, including Lewis & Wood and Marlborough Tiles, and have designed interiors for a number of manor houses, townhouses and country piles, all steeped in British history. We pride ourselves on creating sympathetic interiors that champion the heritage of each property, incorporating its original features into the design as far as possible. ‘Lockdown last year meant finding new and creative ways of continuing to work. We took the opportunity to align our way of working with RIBA to make it easier to collaborate with our partners in the industry.’ The pandemic created new challenges for the Sims Hilditch team, particularly in terms of the logistical side of the design process. ‘We tend to work with manufacturers and suppliers who are based in the UK, but the effect of the pandemic on travelling abroad and shipping reinforced the importance of this,’ says Emma. ‘We have our own manufacturers for upholstery


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‘We pride ourselves on creating sympathetic interiors that champion the heritage of each property, incorporating its original features into the design’ in Gloucestershire and many of our joiners are local to our Cotswold studio. We also have an experienced project management team who were able embrace these challenges by being incredibly efficient and organised whilst continuing to support our partners in the industry.’ Instagram proved another excellent resource, not just for staying connected with existing followers but for attracting potential new clients. The brand also launched an IGTV cooking series that Emma presented herself. Combining an element of interior design (showcasing Emma’s beautifully designed kitchen), with practical recipes that people could try at home while on furlough, it proved hugely popular. Emma also took part in a conversation on all things interiors with Country & Town House’s Carole Annett on The House Guest podcast. ‘We are lucky to have very strong connections in the industry that have helped us to continue to win business throughout 2020,’ says Emma. ‘We created a curated bedroom space and a dining space in collaboration with GP&J Baker for Design Week 2020 and we designed a lampshade for Vaughan’s Made in the Shade Campaign for the charity Watts of Love. We were also very fortunate to appear in Country & Town House’s 50 Best Interior Designers, House & Garden’s Top 100 Interior Designers, and the Andrew Martin Design Review World’s Top 100. We are working on a very exciting collaboration and look forward to sharing more details this year.’

Sims Hilditch is beloved for its country house style with a contemporary twist

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Ward & Co

GBB 2021

The luxury design team poised to enter an exciting new era


ard & Co was established over 30 years ago to facilitate beautiful and mindful interiors, translating client vision with authenticity, exquisite taste and a respect for the surrounding environment. It became synonymous with the finer things in life, from prime residential and development to hospitality sector projects. Like all businesses, Ward & Co has evolved over time. When Sarah Ward began, she was on her own, but the business quickly flourished without sacrificing the personal approach, with each client dealing with Sarah or her daughter, Rosie, directly. As Design Director, Rosie is an integral part of the business and the pair have exciting developments to this end: Rosie will now become the face of the company,

bringing in a new dynamic and making them the perfect duo. The team has been working on rebranding for the studio and is relaunching this year. ‘We bounce off each other very well,’ says Rosie. ‘We look at a project in different ways, especially when it comes to spatial planning and finding clever solutions for the trickier elements.’ They are used to navigating through ever-changing environments and being able to offer an adaptable, boutique approach. Looking to the future, Sarah and Rosie have identified the importance of adjustment and keeping abreast of the shifting needs of clients, beginning with reconsidering the purposes of each room, particularly as we are all now spending more time at home. Social media has proved an integral tool to nurture and build relationships remotely, developing engaging content and offering insights into the business and its processes. Adapting to the hour has seen the company


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‘Ward & Co will continue to maintain its ethos of working with British products and brands, appreciating the importance of collaboration between small businesses in Britain’ make that all-important digital switch. ‘We have achieved a lot more virtually that we ever thought possible,’ says Sarah. ‘However, we will always be about touch and feel and there is nothing better than building a relationship face to face.’ Ward & Co has also been busily making exciting plans to release a new, bespoke furniture package this year. Its sister company, Posh Trading, has continued to enjoy great success with its range of high-end coaster and placemat boxes, beautifully handcrafted from silver leaf and faux skin, making an international footprint and now trading in ten countries. The company will continue to maintain its ethos of working with British products and brands, appreciating the importance of collaboration between small businesses in Britain. It worked with Carole Annett from Country & Town House and Sophie Callendar over the first lockdown to launch a series of webinars, The Connected Series. The idea was to support the design community and property industry at a time when everyone was having to take action and creating a weekly platform presenting a changing line up of topics and panellists. This created not only an awareness opportunity for business owners but also the potential for mutual support. ‘We have developed some great relationships from the series,’ says Sarah, ‘and that is what has been so special.’

Mother-daughter team Ward & Co has had a busy year: working on a rebrand for their studio and a new bespoke furniture package

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Chelsea Barracks

GBB 2021

Led by British craftsmanship, the coveted development becomes a community


his year, Chelsea Barracks slots the final pieces of the jigsaw into place with the much-anticipated completion of Garrison Square. Both the restaurant and the community arts-space within the chapel are due to be open, cementing the development as a destination at the heart of Belgravia’s community. Last year, with the pandemic changing the way we live, work and spend our free time, Chelsea Barracks saw the positive impact that its five acres of public gardens and walkways had on both residents and the surrounding community. Future-proofed for the changing needs of the times, it also met the growing needs of residents to work from home with flexible business facilities provided by The Garrison Club.

Chelsea Barracks has always held British heritage and legacy at its core, something that will continue to shape and determine its perception post-Brexit. Last year, it acknowledged this through a celebration of British craftmanship and world-class design: tasked by Qatari Diar to lead the interiors for two town houses at the development, Albion Nord was commissioned to design a new, bespoke collection of refined, British-made furniture and homeware, The Chelsea Barracks Collection. The 11 pieces forming The Collection were crafted by a handpicked selection of British artisans, with each item handmade in Britain using quality materials from oak to patinated bronze and marble. The result is an entirely bespoke collection, each piece being built to last and having its own story to tell relating either to the local area, the site, Great Britain or Georgian design. Ranging from tableware to a military-inspired desk,


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Grand in proportion and with British craftmanship at their core, 13 new Georgian-inspired townhouses were recently launched the items were seeded throughout two of the town houses, and The Collection marked the first time that Albion Nord’s designs were available to purchase, a unique memento for residents and also available to non-residents via both the Chelsea Barracks and Albion Nord websites. Grand in proportion and with British craftmanship at their core, 13 new Georgian-inspired townhouses were recently launched. Each shares the elegant proportions and vertical arrangements of its Georgian predecessors, with high ceilings, expansive entertainment spaces, home working facilities and leisure complexes to align with the complex needs of today. Architects PDP London liberated space from top to bottom, front to back, creating houses eight to ten metres in width complete with basement pools, private garages and rooftop terraces, capitalising on generous plots and acknowledging the importance of gardens, outdoor living and home office facilities within contemporary purchase decisions. To further celebrate the stunning townhouses themselves and the inherent craftmanship behind The Collection, a series of carefully and cinematically produced films were also created to visually communicate these special elements far and wide. The high-spec films showcased the collaboration with Albion Nord and provided a platform to spotlight each of the individual pieces in The Collection as well as the artisans behind them, telling captivating stories with craft at their core. Fly-through films of the gardens and open spaces in summer also brought the special magic of Chelsea Barracks uniquely to life for viewers all around the world.

The Barracks Bench, part of The Collection; expect community living extraordinaire at Chelsea Barracks, where British craftsmanship plays a pivotal role in design

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Knight Frank

GBB 2021

Chelsea Barracks: a rare collection of apartments, penthouses and townhouses, set around seven garden squares

Leading the revolution in how property is bought, sold and let


hese are eventful times in the property markets. As Britain moved into its first 2020 lockdown, industry leader Knight Frank stepped up with an urgent five-point plan to galvanise the market, calling for a Stamp Duty holiday, an extension to Help to Buy, a review of the conveyancing process, the introduction of virtual planning meetings and greater flexibility around planning obligations. Six months on, all five issues had been addressed by the government, and the housing market was riding a wave of enthusiasm, defying all expectations. With people recalibrating their lifestyles and demanding more from their homes, prices rose and sales volumes soared. Between August and October Knight Frank reported a 121 per cent increase (against the five-year average) in the number of offers accepted across Britain. Its Richmond office in southwest London negotiated £30 million of transactions in August alone, turning a quiet month into the busiest for over 13 years. The country house market was also busier than usual,

as buyers sought out green space and larger homes. As long as they had excellent internet speed and space for at least one home office, properties were seeing multiple bids and achieving sales over the guide price. The fast pace all added up to a rollercoaster of emotions for buyers and sellers alike in 2020. But Knight Frank has always understood this aspect of property dealing. Part of its mantra is: ‘There’s a human element in the world of property that is too easily overlooked.’ Founded in 1896, headquartered in London, with 480 offices across 57 territories and over 20,000 people, Knight Frank is a property business that’s ‘locally expert and globally informed’. Its continuing success comes down to its consistent, personalised service, long-term relationships and solid knowledge across residential and commercial markets. It also offers a breadth of expert-led services in valuation, property management, strategic consultancy and debt advice, to name a few. Last year, however, called for an innovative approach. It was critical to adapt and improve on existing technology. ‘We exponentially developed the digitisation of our business,’ says Tim Hyatt, head of UK residential, ‘pivoting to offer virtual viewings on all our properties – an accurate, immersive and popular alternative to physical viewings. We became the number one result for searches of “virtual viewing” on Instagram. We believe the technology used could revolutionise the way in which our customers arrange viewings in the long term, even after social distancing measures are relaxed.’ The business also launched two podcasts, Intelligence Talks and At Home With, to share up-to-the-minute insight on people and movements in the property market, and successfully introduced auctions, the first of which featured nine British properties selling at an average of £910,000. For a firm that built its success on human relationships to have pivoted to the virtual world with such agility is no small achievement. But needs must. As the Stamp Duty holiday draws to a close, it is to be hoped that Knight Frank’s leadership will inspire sellers, buyers, mortgage lenders, developers, renovators and even removal companies to do whatever it takes to keep this all-important market moving. THIS PICTURE AND BELOW: A slice of quintessential old-London charm with Christian Candy’s 80 Holland Park; sponsorship of Team GB athlete Charlie Raposo

Knight Frank 55 Baker Street London W1U 8AN +44 (0)20 3944 6697 knightfrank


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The atrium at Knight Frank HQ, 55 Baker Street in London


Its continuing success comes down to its consistent, personalised service, long-term relationships and solid knowledge across residential and commercial markets

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Native Land

GBB 2021

Leading developer specialising in high quality mixed-use developments in central London


f you had to choose the ideal location to develop prime property that would stand the test of time, there could be few places with more appeal than Holland Park, Mayfair, Marylebone, Belgravia and Bankside. These are the rarefied playgrounds in which Native Land operates, partnering with Britain’s best designers, architects, landscapers and brands to deliver prime real estate, curated to the smallest detail. As a world-class developer in a global city, Native Land is always seeking to set new standards in luxury living for its portfolio of domestic and international clients. It commissions top-tier British designers on its residential projects, such as Rogers Stirk Harbour & Partners, Stiff & Trevillion, PLP Architecture, Make, Marcus Barnett Studio, Hudson & Mercer, Studio Reed and Studio Ashby. The award-winning developments are designed to inspire,

motivate and revitalise the people who live, work and spend time in them. At Holland Park Villas, for example, residents enjoy bespoke service and world-class amenities on a par with five-star hotels, as well as being surrounded by tranquil green spaces. Despite the uncertainties around Brexit and Covid-19, Native Land reinforced its position as a leader in the luxury residential sector by amassing combined sales in 2020 of over £100 million. 2021 is already shaping up to be a strong year, starting with the completion of TwentyFive in Marylebone: a boutique collection of 23 finely-crafted apartments and two penthouses designed as part of The Portman Estate’s strategy to reinvigorate its assets. The development exemplifies Native Land’s expertise in creating outstanding London homes, with exteriors crafted to blend into the existing aesthetic of the area. In the commercial market, Native Land will complete its first office space, OneThreeSix: an inspiring, 44,520 sq/ft workspace


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PROPERTY & INVESTMENT CLOCKWISE FROM LEFT: Bankside Yards will connect the South Bank and Bankside for the first time in 150 years; TwentyFive in Marylebone will have 23 luxury apartments and two penthouses; chic interiors from Holland Park Villas

Developments designed to inspire, motivate and revitalise the people who live, work or spend time there set over six floors in Marylebone, designed with productivity, sustainability and wellbeing at the core. Bankside Yards, a major 5.5-acre mixed-use site, is under way – connecting the South Bank and Bankside in a continuous cultural strip along the River Thames for the first time in 150 years. This development will combine commercial, residential, wellbeing and retail spaces across eight new buildings and 14 grand railway arches, as ambitious modern design complements heritage architecture. Within the new neighbourhood will be 650 apartments complete with stunning river views and a five-star ‘urban resort’ hotel, with over half of the new development to be landscaped and open. The business is also working on New Eidyn, the residential element of the landmark St James Quarter development, and, in conjunction with Transport for London, on the planned restoration and regeneration of South Kensington Underground Station. Native Land partners with many British brands to help define the identity of its schemes, including Noble Macmillan, Jeroboams, Rockabye, Foffa Bikes, Harper and Tom’s, Playlister and Daunt Books. It is also proud to support creative and cultural British institutions such as the Royal Academy of Arts, Tate and Heritage of London Trust. Within the arcade at Burlington Gate, there is a window displaying the work of young RA students. This year they are also supporting United in Design, a new charitable organisation founded by Sophie Ashby and Alexandria Dauley to address the lack of diversity within the interior industries.

Native Land The Pavilion 118 Southwark Street London SE1 0SW +44 (0)20 7758 3650 nativelandlifestyles COUNTRYANDTOWNHOUSE.CO.UK/GBB | 211

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Octagon Developments

GBB 2021

Creating high-quality, individually designed homes in London and beyond


ast year was extraordinary for everybody, not least Octagon. But having quickly adapted to work safely through two lockdowns, the team managed to keep abreast of unprecedented demand from British and international buyers looking for high-quality bespoke properties. The brand now looks forward to continuing the momentum throughout 2021 and beyond. Unsurprisingly, the home became a key focus last year – not just as a place to eat and sleep, but as a workplace, gym and leisure space, even a virtual quiz venue. Out of this has come a surge of movers and improvers who want to use their home in new ways – and are prepared to invest heavily in doing so. To satisfy this growing desire for a truly personalised service, Octagon’s well-established architectural and build teams were joined by its own in-house interior design department, enabling the brand to offer a full turnkey service.

‘The first year of the Octagon Interior Design service has been a roaring success,’ says Rachel Hall, Interior Designer for Octagon. ‘Clients have been extremely keen to make the most of our talented team to create homes that are just as showstopping on the inside as they are outside. We provide a fully tailored, comprehensive range of interior solutions, from window treatments to custommade furnishings, delivering Octagon’s signature, professional service to every part of a client’s home.’ Octagon Bespoke continues to expand its new build portfolio, embracing both traditional and radically contemporary architecture as well as delivering the latest, most environmentally friendly and energy efficient technology. At the same time, its dedicated restoration team has been busy bringing back to life exquisite listed homes across the capital. Indeed, Octagon has become the go-to developer for delicate restoration projects as it turns these one-of-a-kind properties into grand family homes once again. One area where Octagon’s restoration skills have been on full display is Broadoaks Park, the developer’s 25-acre flagship


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Octagon’s Hampton Place (left and top) won ‘Best Luxury House’ at the WhatHouse? Awards 2020

development in West Byfleet, Surrey. Octagon matched listed properties with sympathetic new-build homes, all set within an abundance of green space, including a luscious central green planted with 350-year-old oak trees, cementing Broadoaks Park’s position as Surrey’s most exclusive country estate. Offering country living with city connections, the 125-home development experienced unprecedented demand in 2020, with many properties reserved long before completion and enquiry levels remaining at an all-time high. Octagon’s pioneering approach to landscaping has been central to Broadoaks Park and a hallmark of its supermansions for the past 40 years. This put it well ahead of the game in 2020 as green space became the property must-have. Comprising so much more than just a lawn, Octagon’s outdoor spaces are known for sophisticated lighting, heating and cookout installations as well as sumptuous leisure facilities, from pools and hot tubs to steam and sauna rooms, tennis courts, gyms and even yoga retreats. This exceptional company refuses to play safe and reprise tired and uninspiring formulas. Instead, it continues to adapt and looks forward to a post-Brexit, post-Covid future, confident it will retain its top British brand status for many years to come.

Octagon has become the go-to developer for delicate restoration projects as it turns these one-of-a-kind properties into grand family homes once again

Octagon Developments Weir House, Hurst Road East Molesey Surrey KT8 9AY +44 (0)20 8481 7500 octagondevelopments COUNTRYANDTOWNHOUSE.CO.UK/GBB | 213

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PDP London

GBB 2021

Thoughtful architecture designed for modern living and future heritage


ith studios in London, Hong Kong and Madrid, PDP London is British with an international design outlook and influences. Aware of global trends, it understands and respects the heritage legacy of urban surroundings and its culture of collaboration creates vibrant, lasting and timeless designs. 2020 has been busy. The pandemic has taught PDP London that its collaborative, supportive and flexible working culture can see it through the most difficult of times. Flexibility and adaptability are designed into its work: for many people, homes are now also places of work and learning; but well-being also demands quality external space, as well as room for life and work. In contemporary and technically high-spec buildings of decent proportions with

light and vistas, it is often unseen details like thermal efficiency which make for real comfort. ‘We’ve made time for research,’ says partner Alec Howard, ‘investigating how life will change post-pandemic: how we live, work and spend leisure time. More than ever before, we believe external environments and flexible internal living spaces will become key residential features. Ideally, we should be able to live where most needs, if not all, are within a short walk or bike ride – a more local approach to living.’ Three large luxury developments in London preserve local heritage: Regent’s Crescent, a modern and thermally efficient residential building set behind a grand Regency street, rebuilt as John Nash intended (the only Grade I listed façade to be rebuilt in the UK) features interiors by Millier; One Queen Anne’s Gate, weaving a new-build townscape into its Georgian façade to create a classic external aesthetic with state-of-the-art interiors


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‘Our approach of collaborative and innovative thinking is fundamental in adapting for the future and in shaping our homes and environments’ in collaboration with Linley; Chelsea Barracks’ contemporary design for future living re-imagining Georgian townhouses on a magnificent scale, while featuring details like decorative balustrades to a design of locally found flora and fauna by Tord Boontje. Portland Stone exteriors veil interiors of hand-picked marble, limestone and granite in superlative living spaces by 1508 and Albion Nord. At Auriens Chelsea, completing in 2021, thoughtful design allows residents to embrace vitality in their vintage years. The landmark Cambridge House hotel on Piccadilly is set to become one of London’s grandest. Hong Kong’s Blue Pool Road takes inspiration from a faceted façade and distinguishes itself as a luxury, family residence reflecting the best of international design, materials and workmanship. Duke’s Place in the secluded Jardine’s Lookout area, is a new-build tower of spacious and flexible apartments with panoramic views. Ingenious electrical sliding door systems open the entire corner of an apartment, so no framing obstructing the views; the inside of the apartment turns into outdoor space, unique in its size in Hong Kong. ‘As a practice we put people at the heart of what we do, both in our work and in the way we work,’ says partner Pedro Roos. ‘Our approach of collaborative and innovative thinking is fundamental in adapting for the future and in shaping our homes and environments. As architects we have the opportunity to become creators of housing innovation through understanding space, flexibility, three-dimensional awareness and the use of technology.’

From Regent’s Crescent to Chelsea Barracks and Auriens Chelsea, PDP’s luxury developments meticulously preserve local heritage while creating vibrant, lasting and timeless homes

PDP London 5-6 Eccleston Yards London SW1W 9AZ +44 (0)20 7730 1178 pdparchitects COUNTRYANDTOWNHOUSE.CO.UK/GBB | 215

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GBB 2021

Bespoke Victorian glasshouses inspired by a passion for all that grows


greenhouse is so much more than a place to grow tomatoes. It is a haven and retreat from our increasingly chaotic lives. It’s a place to nourish the soul and build a connection with the outdoors – essential for everyone’s physical, mental and emotional well-being. Alitex is a company that brings this dream to life. A designer and manufacturer of fine aluminium greenhouses and conservatories, it was established in 1952, and has since built a strong reputation for design, detail and fine craftsmanship. It created a collection in partnership with the National Trust that celebrates a shared ethos of creating spaces for all generations to enjoy; and it has a long-standing

partnership with Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew – the location of some of the world’s finest glasshouses – based on a shared passion for plants and their protection. Last year the company saw people enjoying their homes and spending more time in the garden than ever before – a situation that had a positive knock-on effect. ‘We are in the fortunate position of having received an influx of orders,’ says brand director and owner, Nelly Hall. ‘In turn, this has prompted us to invest in and transform our new manufacturing facility in Emsworth, enabling us to maximise our resources and deliver our beautiful structures.’ The traditional glasshouse design adopted by Alitex first became a feature of British gardens during the Victorian era. As the Victorians’ love of gardening grew, the need to house their fragile plants did too.


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‘We hope that even during a time where individuals and businesses have felt the most disconnected, they gained some joy by being a part of the Alitex community’

A growing interest in nature and gardening saw an explosion in demand for Alitex greenhouses in 2020

The greenhouse provided a temperature-controlled home for these species, while also paving the way for plant experimentation and cultivation. Alitex took this aesthetic forward and has been manufacturing in Britain for 70 years. While 2020 brought challenges, not least the cancellation of many live events where it was due to have a presence, Alitex focused on connecting with partners, customers and the wider community in the only way possible – online. ‘We took the opportunity to create new relationships by hosting online workshops and webinars that were insightful and enjoyable no matter what your horticultural experience. We hope that even during a time where individuals and businesses have felt the most disconnected, they gained some joy by being

a part of the Alitex community,’ says Hall. To fill the hole where the Chelsea Flower Show should have been, Alitex collaborated once again with interior and garden stylist Selina Lake, whose stunning floral party greenhouse helped secure a five-star gold trade stand award in 2019. Using plants that had been intended for Chelsea 2020, Nelly Hall designed a beautiful wildflower garden at Alitex’s Torberry Farm HQ, with styling finesse from Selina – open to all who visited and providing onsite teams with a welcome boost. Alitex encourages individual thinking and is proud of bringing the same level of care to its people as it does to the plants that will ultimately propagate and grow under its greenhouses and conservatories. It seems the passion for growth is spreading.

Alitex Torberry Farm South Harting, Petersfield Hampshire GU31 5RG +44 (0)1730 826900 alitex_


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Brook + Wilde

GBB 2021

Outrageously comfortable and innovative sleep solutions marketed via digital platform 220 | COUNTRYANDTOWNHOUSE.CO.UK/GBB

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INSIDE OUTSIDE FROM LEFT: The popular Duchess bedframe with its cocooning headboard; the Ultima mattress, the last word in luxury and innovation

‘We have once again reinvented the luxury mattress with new launches that are packed with innovation’


f there’s one heart-warming theme that emerged from 2020, it’s that an Englishman’s home is once again his castle and sanctuary. This is good news for businesses and brands in the interiors sector as investment flows into creating comfortable domestic spaces. Enter Brook + Wilde, online purveyor of best-in-class mattresses, beds, pillows, duvets, bedlinen and more. The Covid-19 crisis sent business booming, with customers latching on to the truth that stress can be improved with good sleep, and that we can take great comfort in having a wonderful place to rest. As an online business, Brook + Wilde was also in pole position to take advantage of customers flocking to their tablets to shop. Co-founders Andrew Tyler and Jonathan Coulson embraced the new norm by beefing up the brand’s service proposition, introducing a concierge delivery to meet the needs of bigger-ticket customers and VIPs. Increased demand required investment in the business infrastructure and supply chains. ‘We recruited the very best people we could find to help refine our customer experience journey and achieve consistent levels of service,’ says Coulson. Servicing the WFH community gave them a new-found respect for the British public’s resilience. ‘That British “keep calm and carry on” attitude was everywhere to be seen. People understand that we are a committed British business, and want to support us. The importance of British manufacturing can’t be stressed enough. Clearly, it helps to support the economy and will be a more reliable supply chain as we head into Brexit,’ explains Tyler.

Last year also saw Brook + Wilde launch ambitious new products. ‘In a challenging year, we have once again reinvented the luxury mattress with new launches that are packed with innovation,’ says Tyler. The Ultima mattress has just launched, with technically advanced cooling properties and airflow systems; Brook + Wilde say it’s the most technologically advanced mattress on the market. Packed with ten different layers of luxury, the Ultima mattress has also been tested to reduce body temperature by two degrees – perfect if you overheat in bed! Hot on the heels of the Ultima is the ingenious Duo mattress. ‘Our new Duo mattress will help settle arguments across the country between couples who can’t agree on firmness. It’s one complete mattress, within which one side can be firm and the other soft, or whatever combination of four different comfort choices is required. This is truly ground-breaking and not offered by anyone else.’ Awards and plaudits have meanwhile flowed in from the homes and interiors media for the brand’s new duvets and pillows. The Independent reported that the duvets provide ‘a cloud-like splendour that we’ve rarely ever encountered’, while another reviewer raved: ‘Quite unlike any pillow we’ve tried, ridiculously comfortable’. More bedroom and homeware products are on the slate for 2021, including an innovative sofa bed with the world’s first hybrid mattress – a springs-and-foam combo that should transform the sofa bed’s reputation. The standout success of the brand’s Duchess bed frame, with its cocooning, curvaceous headboard, has inspired a new bed collection; and there will be elegant rugs and well-designed chairs too.

Brook + Wilde 5 St John’s Lane London EC1M 4BH +44 (0)20 3887 3466 brookandwilde COUNTRYANDTOWNHOUSE.CO.UK/GBB | 221

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Brookmans by Smallbone

GBB 2021

Exceptional kitchens made with passion and precision


ward-winning Brookmans by Smallbone launched just over a year ago as a flexible, versatile range by Smallbone. The furniture is a contemporary take on kitchens and cabinetry, influenced by its heritage and led by creative innovation. Like its older sibling, Smallbone, Brookmans is part of Lux Group Holdings, alongside Mark Wilkinson Furniture and McCarron & Co. While Lux Group Holdings operates at the top end of the market, Brookmans is about reinterpreting traditional furniture for the modern day and meeting burgeoning demand for accessible, custom-made luxury among entry-level consumers. All collections and accompanying furniture reflect today’s urban lifestyle and are aimed at customers with an appreciation for British-made quality products, as well as at trade professionals. The company launched with two contrasting kitchen collections, with additional freestanding furniture pieces, designed to showcase Brookmans’ breadth of design appeal. The first, K1 Westbury, has taken the very best elements of beautiful, Georgian fitted furniture, traditionally found in period homes, and adapted them for modern living. The concept brings alive both fitted and freestanding elements, which can be creatively fused together according to customers’ individual needs. A broad range of colours, hardware and details will further enable customers to create their own personalised design. The second collection, K2 Avebury, is cool and confident, with a vintage feel and proportions influenced by 1960s and 1970s design.

Appealing to a stylish, design-savvy audience, it is crafted in a lightgrained ash, a hardwood native to Britain, with minimal handles, clean lines and optional paint finishes. The two kitchen collections are complemented with fitted wardrobes, freestanding furniture, vanity units, tables and benches and both ranges will continue to grow with every season. Of the exclusive launch, Iain O’Mahony, Ideation Director for Lux Group Holdings, says, ‘Brookmans by Smallbone is a strong addition to our portfolio. It responds to a design conscious audience who have a keen interest in provenance and quality. Our clients want to invest in their homes and are looking for brands that reflect these values. Our kitchens are made in Wiltshire, supporting local British manufacturing, but offered at an affordable price point. We have also invested significant time and resources into making this product sustainable while economical, proof that it is possible and without any compromise to the design.’ All Brookmans furniture will be built using quality sustainable materials and hand-assembled at the same state-of-the-art workshop in Wiltshire that creates Smallbone cabinetry. The workshop has recently benefited from substantial investment in new machinery, creating a more efficient, economical and streamlined process without compromising on the quality. Iain O’Mahony adds, ‘Brookmans represents our optimism about the future of British manufacturing. We are confident that great design combined with the best manufacturing techniques will prove that it is possible to make kitchens and furniture here in Britain that Brookmans by Smallbone are both economical to buy and Heal’s, First Floor environmentally conscious. We 196 Tottenham Court Road are very excited about these London W1T 7LQ collections, not just in terms of their +44 (0)20 3960 8760 aesthetics but for the future of British manufacturing.’ brookmans_by_smallbone


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Brookmans is about reinterpreting traditional furniture for the modern day and meeting burgeoning demand for accessible, custommade luxury

LEFT TO RIGHT: K1 Westbury – a modern take on Georgian painted furniture with the essence of informal elegance; 2 Avebury – contemporary styling coupled with the timeless luxury an international design inspired by the 60s and 70s

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GBB 2021

Trailblazing kitchen furniture captivating savvy design lovers worldwide


abbonet is a 13th-century English word meaning a ‘chest of safe keeping’. It is an apt name for a brand that only launched in 2019 but that values and safeguards traditional craftsmanship while thrusting into the future with its flexible, innovative kitchens, closets and living furniture. Cabbonet’s bespoke product range celebrates the art of tactility, sourcing materials both old and new, and experimenting with traditional finishes in contemporary contexts. Its furniture and kitchens appeal to discerning – if not highly demanding – design-conscious customers worldwide and perfectly capture the eclectic, cosmopolitan soul of London. Today’s kitchen is way beyond just being somewhere to cook and entertain. As people locked down and reappraised their

homes in 2020, the kitchen increasingly became the hub that best expresses everything about us. Cabbonet has witnessed a real movement away from big brands’ uniform trends towards a far more personalised approach. Clients now want practical, versatile but highly original and beautifully crafted rooms that reflect their personalities and Cabbonet fast became the go-to brand for idiosyncratic, theatrical kitchens. It’s therefore no coincidence that founder Andrew Hays also designs sets and costumes for some of the world’s greatest opera houses, including London’s Royal Opera House, Venice’s La Fenice and Sydney’s Opera House, through his multidisciplinary studio Arteim, the creative machine behind Cabbonet. ‘The experiential nature of opera has given me a perspective that’s allowed us to create interiors that engender a strong emotional response,’ says Andrew. ‘Different materials conjure up a whole range of memories that add to your


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INSIDE OUTSIDE CLOCKWISE FROM LEFT: Black chrome metalwork offsets foraged oak and bold natural stone in this Arteim designed space for Cabbonet; the multi award-winning Epoch collection by Arteim is available through Cabbonet studios globally – here shown in petroluem blue chevron, champagne metal mesh and walnut; Cabbonet kitchen with ribbed titanium oak, titanium metal, walnut interiors and honed Breccia Capraia marble; black metal with walnut detail in this customised Cabbonet kitchen drawer interior

Cabbonet’s bespoke product range celebrates the art of tactility, sourcing materials both old and new, and experimenting with traditional finishes in contemporary contexts emotional connection to a space.’ Andrew’s obsession with kitchen design was ignited in 2014 when he conceived the award-winning Fourth Wall kitchen for Poggenpohl, where he served as the creative director. He has been creating ground-breaking kitchens for delighted customers ever since. ‘In some ways, for all its turmoil, this year has been one of opportunity,’ says Andrew. ‘Our primary vision was to make Cabbonet more accessible to more clients and we’ve done this both physically and virtually.’ Knowing how important its materials are to its customers, Cabbonet expanded physical locations where clients could touch and feel, while creating virtual brand experiences enabled customers to connect with products from home. ‘Materials are tactile, expressive, and stimulating – they engage the senses beyond the visual,’ Andrew explains. ‘Skilfully combined materials bring out the best in each other so it’s so important for customers to get a real feel for them.’ By remaining agile, communicative and inventive in 2020, Cabbonet witnessed enormous growth and is

optimistic this will continue this year. Indeed, Andrew fully expects to be in ‘over-drive’. ‘We will go on collaborating and forging partnerships with like-minded creatives across the world who manifest the same passion and energy as us. Our pledge is to deliver total functionality without ever compromising on superb aesthetics and design. So long as we do this and surge ahead with new concepts, materials and products, the allure of buying British is eternal and will remain unchanged.’

Cabbonet Berners Mews London W1 +44 (0)20 8144 4400 cabbonet


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Cameron Design House

GBB 2021

The bespoke sculptural lighting studio entwining brass, glass and light

are often invited to watch the craftsmen at work. Everything is customisable in terms of finish, sizing and configuration. Each project goes through a design process, and once this has been finalised, the chandeliers are handmade to order by a team of artisans. Much of the work can be seen in the UK, US and Canada, but the business also has clients in China, Russia, Hong Kong, New Zealand, Australia, Dubai and the Gulf. Discussing new design directions, Ian Cameron commented, ‘Last year was all about brass. 2021 is all about glass and brass. We have noticed a growing trend for combining glass and brass to create a contemporary feel within interior spaces. Glass has the ability to be moulded into lots of different shapes making it a really exciting material to work with. Both of these materials evolve and shine when illuminated, making them the perfect marriage with light.’ For 2021, Cameron Design House has launched the Kuulas, an eye-catching chandelier that focuses on making a statement through modular design. Blending cultivated elegance with industrial flair, the piece is made up of hand-blown glass pearls, each individually suspended from industrial-style chains. It’s available in 14 different glass colours and in any size, offering interior designers an incredible scope of possibility. The Inari pendant is another new addition to the collection. Inspired by Lake Inari in Finland, the Inari chandelier furthers the studio’s organic exploration of light fluidity. Each piece is hand formed by artisans to the desired size, meaning that no two pieces are ever quite the same. ‘Creativity and sustainability are at the core of our studio’s ethos and this is a key focus for us for the next year,’ comments Simeon Chilvers, managing director. ‘We make it a priority to use the best materials and manufacturing processes to ensure our pieces last for many lifetimes. In this ever-changing world, materials and manufacturing processes progress and it is critical we are constantly adapting to make sure we are the market leaders in innovation.’


ameron Design House is an awardwinning bespoke sculptural lighting studio dedicated to creating statement chandeliers for residential, hospitality and commercial spaces. Founded by creative director Ian Cameron in 2014, the company has since grown to a team of 30 working on striking projects all around the world. Ian has a shared history between the UK and Finland and his sculptural pieces reflect the influences both of vibrant central London and the tranquil Nordic countryside. One of his earliest designs which demonstrates this is the Lohja chandelier: a piece inspired by the tranquil Lohja lakes in Finland, combining simplicity with geometry in an eye-catching, versatile design. An enduringly popular piece, the Lohja complements a variety of interior settings, either as a centrepiece in a hallway with high ceilings, or suspended above a dining table to create a feature. Every commissioned piece is conceived and handcrafted in Cameron Design House’s studio workshop located in the leafy residential London borough of St John’s Wood: clients

Cameron Design House 96a Clifton Hill London NW8 0JT +44 (0)20 7372 7748 camerondesignhouse


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Cameron Design House’s light installations are phenomenal sculptures in their own right


‘We have noticed a growing trend for combining glass and brass to create a contemporary feel within interior spaces’

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Clive Christian Furniture Co

GBB 2021

A distinctive global interiors brand, elegantly crafted in Britain


he exceptional circumstances of 2020 prompted many of us to re-evaluate how we utilise the space in our homes, and to reflect on the need for clever design to maximise a room’s potential. Moreover, throwing open our homes to virtual inspection by friends and colleagues woke people up to the realisation that an interior makeover might be long overdue. Enter Clive Christian Furniture, renowned for its statement kitchens and interiors since the company was founded in 1978. Characterised by its lavish approach to the contemporary, the brand brought opulent chandeliers, marquetry and mouldings into kitchens, transforming them into glamorous and sociable entertaining spaces. From its humble beginnings in Cheshire, the

brand can now be found in luxury estates and residences in all corners of the globe, adding value while flying the flag for fine British craftsmanship. Under the stewardship of ambitious new owner David Dare, the brand’s board took the opportunity of enforced downtime in 2020 to reflect and refocus, so that the business was wellplaced to relaunch once doors reopened. Strategic alliances were announced with a number of well-known brands including Champagne Louis Roederer, London’s oldest bookshop Hatchards, and Glancy Fawcett, purveyor of high-end products for residences, yachts and private aircraft. New show spaces opened in Manchester and Vietnam in 2020, and more are scheduled for Manhattan and Marbella in 2021. While 50 per cent of sales are exported each year, all cabinetry is still crafted in the Clive Christian workshop in the north of England, providing vital support and investment for the local area and its economy. Apprenticeships keep skills alive, with master craftsmen passing their time-honoured expertise on to the next generation. The brand will debut an exciting new collection in 2021, designed, it says, to send ripples through the interior design world. The long-term success of the Clive Christian brand is attributable to its sharp antennae for meeting the challenges set by the constantly evolving high and ultra-high net worth modern client. ‘The meaning


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Clive Christian is extremely proud of the longevity of its creations, which are inherently sustainable in nature and built to stand the test of time of luxury and its associations changes over time, particularly when faced with the pressures of an unprecedented global pandemic or Brexit. However, the demand for, and appreciation of, expert British design and craftsmanship remains,’ says Dare. The company serves a client base that invests carefully in products for the long term: a viewpoint that transcends local political or financial cycles. A Clive Christian-designed space has a tangible, tradeable market value. Every project is wholly bespoke, starting with a hand-drawn sketch and with each component carefully considered in order to deliver a unique scheme. The company is extremely proud of the longevity of its creations, which are inherently sustainable in nature and built to stand the test of time. David Dare’s visionary approach, backed up by new investment, echoes that of Clive Christian’s original intent: to deliver the finest designs and finishes for the home, which celebrate heritage, excellent craftsmanship and future-proof design. As society contemplates the prospect of spending a lot more time at home, the outlook for the Clive Christian brand looks decidedly rosy. Clive Christian Furniture Co St. Germain Street Bolton BL4 7BG +44 (0)1204 702200 clivechristianfurnitureco COUNTRYANDTOWNHOUSE.CO.UK/GBB | 229

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The Conran Shop

GBB 2021

The Conran Shop’s award-winning first store in South Korea is its biggest yet and has paved the way for continued retail opportunities with the Lotte Corporation

The home of curated living and considered design for life


ounded by Sir Terence Conran in 1973, The Conran Shop is the favoured destination for the latest and greatest in furniture, lighting and gifting. Hosting diverse and compelling collections from established designers and fresh, exciting talents across the globe, the brand has ten international locations and a web presence delivering over 8,000 lines to 70 countries. An international brand with a British heart, The Conran Shop has collaborated with many of the most renowned design brands, including Knoll, Vitra and Carl Hansen & Søn. Its limited editions of world-famous designs draw on Sir Terence’s legacy of crafting plain, simple and useful objects.

In 2020, these collaborations saw Eero Saarinen’s timeless Tulip Table honoured with a Sequoia tabletop, an extraordinary Brazilian granite. To mark the 75th anniversary of the LCW Chair by Charles and Ray Eames, the chair was awarded a sublime and exclusive finish in ash and walnut. An ever-growing private range saw the triumphant launch of new furniture and lighting pieces, from ‘Hatch’ to ‘Highline’, alongside extensions of Gabriel Tan’s ‘Monument’, Samuel Wilkinson’s ‘Fold’ and Daniel Schofield’s ‘Mag’ collections. The brand’s newest expansion, its first in South Korea, has won multiple awards, confirming The Conran Shop as the best design store in the world. This warm welcome from the Korean market has paved the way for continued retail opportunities with the Lotte Corporation, and a second location is due to open in July 2021 in Dongtan.


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Sir Terence Conran’s founding vision endures: to showcase only the best in design, honouring his British roots with a hand-picked product range

The Conran Shop has led the way in British design and interiors since 1973. Its flagship store in Michelin House (top right) is a mustvisit, housing the latest Conran exclusives such as the pictured Tulip Table in Sequoia and the ash and walnut LCW Chair (right)

Having been under the ownership of Sir Terence since its inception, The Conran Shop was acquired by British businessman Javad Marandi OBE in early 2020, when Sir Terence avowed, ‘I remain passionately fixated on the future, and this deal secures our legacy. We share so many common beliefs and values about the future of The Conran Shop, luxury and retailing in general.’ Grand ambitions are firmly in place for the new decade. Pandemic restrictions on stores inspired The Conran Shop to prioritise its online presence. Already endowed with exceptional pieces, the available range has been expanded and polished, as has its strategy for ecommerce trading, where it has collaboratively honed its creative response to the new normal. On 12 September, the passing of Sir Terence Conran, aged 88, shocked the world. The trailblazing innovator, architect, designer, restaurateur, writer and great British success story left a formidable legacy for The Conran Shop, not just to enjoy, but to prolong. His founding vision endures: to showcase only the best in design, honouring his British roots with a hand-picked product range and championing British creative innovators, including such former design protégés of Sir Terence as Daniel Schofield. In nurturing these talents, the brand has supported initiatives like New Designers, digitally highlighting this emerging community. The Conran Shop is an unbeatable shopping experience, with design that is both aesthetically pleasing and investment-worthy, whether in store or online. Ever-changing and evolving, where design classics stand proudly alongside future collectibles, it carries forward Sir Terence’s heritage to the future, whatever challenges that may hold. The Conran Shop Michelin House, 81 Fulham Road London SW3 6RD +44 (0)20 7589 7401 theconranshopofficial COUNTRYANDTOWNHOUSE.CO.UK/GBB | 231

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The Cornish Bed Company

GBB 2021

Sweet dreams – metal beds traditionally cast by hand to last for generations


he Cornish Bed Company is the last working foundry to make authentic Victorian bed frames in the same way that they were crafted over 150 years ago. At its foundry the craftsmen make beautiful brass, nickel and cast-iron beds. It’s a time-honoured Victorian method of building metal beds, which has become increasingly rare since the advent of bulk production and lighter weight, flimsy metal frames that are held together with nuts and bolts. However, these handsome – and extremely comfortable – traditional beds have been finding new audiences in recent times. That’s why The Cornish Bed Company, which was first established as a side business of a family that ran a Cornish antiques emporium and made reproduction Victorian furniture, has painstakingly revived every process that forms part of the craft of traditional bedmaking.

The company’s foundry, still in the same location, was set up in old steam engine sheds near Fowey at the end of the old Great Western Railway. The red-bricked, slate-roofed Grade II*-listed building boasts one of the first train turn-tables in the country, which was built for the Cornwall Mineral Railway. Today, behind its original round-arched, keyed windows, craftsmen continue the traditions of iron bedmaking. The frames and moulds are set out on a jig and then from the bubbling vat of molten metal, zinc is super-heated to over 500°C and carefully poured by hand and left to cool, setting all of the components in place. Next, the frames are knocked out of the moulds, cleaned, fettled, polished and powder-coated to meet a customer’s choice of colour. The key component of a Cornish Bed is the handcast Victorian knuckle joint that joins the head and foot sections of the bed. The two parts of this joint slot together and are then tapped in place


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It’s a time-honoured Victorian method of building metal beds, which has become increasingly rare since the advent of bulk production and lighter, flimsy metal frames with a hammer. This secures the bed without the need for any screws or bolts and is guaranteed to last a lifetime, ensuring that these beds become the antiques of the future. ‘Because we make beds individually, we can offer customers a high level of customisation at little or no extra cost,’ says Garry Smith, director at The Cornish Bed Company. ‘This means that different heights, sizes or embellishments can also be easily accommodated so that your bed is bespoke to you. Before each bed leaves the foundry, it’s stamped with its unique number and furnished with a certificate of authenticity.’ Since 2015 The Cornish Bed Company has been part of the Naturalmat Group of companies. Naturalmat’s know-how has helped develop custom spring and divan bases that fit into the traditional frames, making the beds even more comfortable. ‘Naturalmat and Cornish Beds seems an unlikely marriage,’ explains Garry, ‘but as one company creates organic beds and mattresses that join the earth at the end of their life, while the other produces beds that last lifetimes, it’s a combination of two very distinct-looking yet sustainable options and together, they both celebrate West Country craftsmanship at its finest.’

A Cornish Bed is guaranteed to last a lifetime and beyond

The Cornish Bed Company Cornwall Foundry 24 Round House Harbour Road Par, Cornwall PL24 2BB +44 (0)1726 825182

London Showroom The Old Dairy 66 Paddenswick Rd London W6 0UB +44 (0)20 8090 2845 cornishbedco


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Dale Rogers Ammonite

GBB 2021

A world-class collection of rare, inspirational fossils, crystals and minerals


ith all its travel restrictions, 2020 presented a challenging year to the veteran traveller and fossil hunter Dale Rogers, yet the brand proved flexible enough to remain as buoyant as ever. It was in the mid-1980s in Morocco that Dale spotted some small stones that looked like fragments of shells in a Tangier market. When he found out that the beautiful stones were at least 350 million years old, containing fossils of prehistoric sea creatures, it was a light-bulb moment, and both his vocation and the Dale Rogers Ammonite brand were born. Dale Rogers began selling his intriguing specimens and fossils from a modest market stall in London’s Portobello Road. He quickly built an unparalleled reputation for focusing on quality and those hard-to-come-by larger pieces with true wow factor. Today, the Dale Rogers collection ranges from exquisitely mounted crystals to giant statement pieces and wall hangings. Clients have included Candy & Candy, Collett-Zarzycki, Terence Disdale Design, Andrew Winch Designs and Rose Uniacke. The Pimlico Road gallery attracts customers from far and wide, so when the pandemic forced it to close, they had to adjust fast. Dale’s son, Luke Garwood, who runs the gallery, remained cheerful:

‘Thank God for Whatsapp and Instagram,’ he says. ‘We turned a nightmare scenario into something manageable, offering virtual gallery tours. So far customers have been entirely happy with how we’ve kept in close personal – if virtual – contact.’ Luke also credits their robust survival with his father’s ‘phenomenally good buying’ during 2019 and early 2020. ‘We’re confident that we have the best collection of natural art in Britain and one of the top five in the world that we’ve built up over time, so we still have umpteen exceptional pieces,’ says Luke. The company’s success is also largely due to its wideranging network of expert hunters who have kept the brand in the loop when Dale himself was unable to travel to meet them in person. ‘We have people on the ground almost everywhere,’ says Luke. ‘Over 35 years of building trusted relationships means that when sources find a great piece, they’ll come to us first – and that has continued via technology.’ Above and beyond continuing to trade successfully, 2020 heralded in two exciting new projects. One was installing a collection of extraordinarily rare crystals in Bamford’s new wellness centre in the Cotswolds, which included a 55-million-year-old fossil fish plate, a large-scale quartz collection, a Bolivian amethyst and a Jurassic 180-million-year-old crinoid. Looking ahead, Dale Rogers is building a stunning new home for its collection in a listed dairy barn on Mersey Island. The barn will house a permanent, revolving display to enable clients to experience the breadth of the range. There are even plans for a helicopter pad. ‘Travel is in his blood and so Dale’s itching to get back out there to start scouring the world again for those awe-inspiring manifestations of our natural history that date back millions of years,’ says Luke, ‘but meanwhile we’ve got loads to feel optimistic about in 2021.’ Dale Rogers Ammonite 77 Pimlico Road London SW1W 8PH + 44 (0)20 7881 0592 dale_rogers_ammonite


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‘We are confident that we have the best collection of natural art in Britain and one of the top five in the world’

Dale Rogers Ammonite sources its ancient treasure from all over the world, resulting in utterly unique and fascinating pieces of history

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David Hunt Lighting

GBB 2021

Traditional techniques are balanced with a modern sensibility at this 300-year-old company


hen David Hunt L i g h ti n g first opened its workshop during the reign of James II, lighting meant candles. The technology might have evolved beyond all recognition to include oil, then gas and now electricity but the traditional skills and craftsmanship have endured. Over three centuries, there have been ten remarkable generations of the Hunt family. In each case the eldest son has always been called John. They’ve adapted the business to benefit from advanced technology to meet the demands of new customers; the company was selected to exhibit at both the Great Exhibition of 1851 and lit the streets of 19th-century Britain.

When the National Grid arrived in 1926, John Hunt was ready to produce electric lights for its customers. The company was soon renowned for its electric fittings, designed in the new Art Deco style, and installed in the first Odeon cinemas with their spectacular, maritime-inspired lobbies. Having moved its factory to Shipston-on-Stour in the Cotswolds in the 1950s, the company became known for cutting-edge techniques such as spun metal and resin casting, while maintaining its classic British styling. The 1980s witnessed a new stage in its long evolution as John Peter Hunt, representing the tenth generation of the family, began rescuing Victorian gas lamp designs from the archives. Adapted for 20th-century standards, these collections anchored the brand to its past and have remained best sellers ever since. ‘People love the fact that our lighting is British


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Today, you’ll see David Hunt lamps in both traditional country homes and hip urban bars and restaurants

CLOCKWISE FROM BOTTOM LEFT: The Pigalle pendant; the Flemish Collection; bespoke spinnings; the Liberty pendant and Gavroche wall and table lights

made and based on traditional skills and materials,’ says creative director, Hollie Moreland. ‘We’ve noticed that with the growing interest in sustainability and concerns about how companies source and manufacture their products, customers want to know more about our traditional workshops and the local people that we employ and train in these centuries old techniques.’ Its classic styling with just a touch of British quirkiness means that today, you’ll see David Hunt lamps in both traditional country homes and hip urban bars and restaurants. Another advantage of being a niche manufacturer is that the company does a roaring trade in bespoke lighting. ‘Working with clients is particularly enjoyable, as it not only encourages mutual creativity but can sometimes open up new avenues for our own design development,’ explains Hollie.

Covid-19 has, of course, been a challenge. ‘Each of our staff has particular skills and our lamps can go through eight different processes, so we’ve had to reorganise working hours and rearrange our workshop to allow for social distancing. We also offer a ‘white glove’ service whereby we’ve had to put systems into place so that our lighting installers can visit people in their homes safely.’ Hollie adds: ‘We’re constantly improving our online services, including updating our online product customisation tool. We’re also working on new task lighting to enhance the home office. ‘This year has been challenging for everyone in many ways, but as we have all spent more time at home, it seems people have been really thinking about their interior design, including the lighting – which is positive for us as a classic British lighting brand.’

David Hunt Lighting Tilemans Lane Shipston-on-Stour CV36 4HP +44 (0)1295 672628 davidhuntlighting


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Deirdre Dyson

GBB 2021

Design counts: it’s been a good year for heirloomquality hand-made rugs


eirdre Dyson has always brought her skills as a fine artist to bear on the beautiful colour palettes and compositions of her carpets. Despite the challenges of the pandemic, the brand thrived in 2020. Indeed, March’s lockdown came at the time of year Deirdre usually focuses on her creative designs, so she was able to focus on her 2021 Paper and Stone collection. Deirdre’s themes normally centre around the natural, but for this latest collection she focused on everyday materials like paper – including pieces that were crumpled, folded or torn. Deirdre elevated these every-day, sometimes discarded objects to create a collection of seven stunning hand-knotted Paper rug designs. ‘I’d often used overlapping or crumpled paper in my paintings,’ says Deirdre, ‘so it was fascinating using silk and wool instead and seeing a two-dimensional surface transformed into three dimensions, just by using the same colour in many different tones.’

CLOCKWISE FROM LEFT: Offcuts from the Paper and Stone collection; Concertina in situ; the Looking Glass collection on display in Paris

Unfolded does just this, creating a three-dimensional effect with just seven shades. Fold Out is reminiscent of childhood with its playful paperchain design, Love Letter draws inspiration from a torn up note with symbols of hugs and kisses, while Note Paper and Offcuts make use of her craft cutting mat as a background. The extra lockdown time also enabled Deirdre to design three vertical wall hangings that can be adapted for the floor, inspired by stonework and paving. ‘They represent the stones used in walls and floors and highlight the amazing decorative skills of those who work with the materials,’ says Deirdre. The result comprises artworks full of textural depth and light, made with large quantities of silk, like Blue Stone, woven in silk with a wool grouting effect, or Dry Stone, featuring 13 natural stone hues. Deirdre’s vibrant 2020 Looking Glass collection previewed at Masion et Objet in Paris, where she annually exhibits. Deirdre also opened her first Paris gallery in Saint-Germain-des-Prés, with French tastemaker Julia Van Hagen as her French representative. ‘After such a long relationship with Paris, it’s exciting to have a permanent, physical space there,’ Deirdre says. Despite Covid scuppering the launch, the French interiors press was wowed by Deirdre’s rug designs, which attracted particular attention from contemporary art gallerists and collectors. When French lockdown restrictions lifted, Deirdre collaborated with French furniture designer Rinck to showcase her Transparent and Silvers rugs from the Looking Glass collection. Each Deirdre Dyson carpet is bespoke and can be made to order in any shape or size, fitted or free-standing. All are Goodweave-certified and hand-woven by Nepalese craftspeople (observing social distancing), using only the highest quality Tibetan wool and pure silk. The carpets can also be produced here in Britain, using a less expensive gun-tufted method. Her new collection launches virtually in January and, as soon as it is safe, clients will be able to visit her galleries in London and Paris. Asked the secret of her success in such a challenging year, Deirdre says, ‘I wanted to find beauty in simplicity at a time when life suddenly seemed rather complicated.’

Deirdre Dyson 554 King’s Road London SW6 2DZ +44 (0)20 7384 4464 deirdredysonrugs


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All the rugs are Goodweave-certified and hand-woven by Nepalese craftspeople, using only the highest quality Tibetan wool and pure silk

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East London Parasol Company

GBB 2021

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Every piece in the range is a labour of love, a contemporary design made by traditional methods in Britain, India and Bali


FROM LEFT: The Big Bill styles feature beloved William Morris prints; an East London Parasol makes a flamboyant final touch for your garden

n India the parasol was considered a symbol of royalty, shading a Maharaja from the fierce tropical sun as he sat in his bejewelled howdah high on an elephant’s back. This ancient tradition of the splendidly ornamental parasol is now flourishing again thanks to the East London Parasol Company. Launched in 2016, the company produces fabulous parasols with beautiful bases and matching cushions, bringing colour and elegance to any garden. Lucy Ferguson, the founder, was inspired to start the business after spending time in southern India. Having witnessed the ceremonial umbrellas used in Keralan temple celebrations, Lucy wondered why garden parasols were limited to uninspiring green or white designs. She embarked on a mission to make the most flamboyant parasols she could imagine. Some of the designs retain a Keralan influence: the silver fringes are made there by the temple umbrella makers and flown to Bali, before being sewn onto traditional Balinese parasols. The parasols are statement pieces in gorgeous fabrics of all colours of the rainbow, zigzags, plain white, and leopard print, many of them embellished with sumptuous handmade tassels

and beautiful fringing. The parasols have contrasting coloured or thread-work linings, making the insides (which you look at when sitting underneath) as striking as the outsides. Every piece in the range is a labour of love, a contemporary design made by traditional methods in Britain, India and Bali. East London Parasol Company is proud of its role in keeping artisans in work and their skills alive. The fact that the parasols are handmade is an essential element of their appeal: many of these processes cannot be mechanised without compromising the beauty and personality of the fabrics. The East London Parasol Company has weathered the turbulence of last year better than many other retailers. This is due in part to the fact that its business is exclusively online. As a reaction to the disruption of Covid-19, the company is now making parasol frames in Hampshire using British FSC-certified wood, simultaneously providing jobs for British craftsmen and reducing freight travel. In difficult times, it is a positive step to provide employment in the home market. The company was also fortunate in that lockdown coincided with exceptionally good weather, a real boon for a company selling garden products. The enforced restrictions of 2020 had the wholly beneficial effect of bringing the East London Parasol Company closer than ever to its customers. The company’s Instagram feed during lockdown was dominated by photos sent in by customers showing off their gardens and parasols to their friends online. There is much to look forward to in 2021, including the launch of the beautiful, British-made frames furnished with the company’s own brass fittings and pulleys. The range continues to expand as new and ever more vibrant designs, including the evil eye pattern and the red lip print, become available. It’s a royal tradition revived and reimagined for the post-Covid world, bringing colour and elegance to gardens, terraces, and balconies across the land.

East London Parasol Company eastlondonparasolco COUNTRYANDTOWNHOUSE.CO.UK/GBB | 241

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GBB 2021

The trusted specialists in exceptional architectural, garden and ornamental stonework


s Haddonstone celebrates its 50th year in business, the company can look back on half a century of continuous growth, innovation and unrivalled expertise. From its earliest days in Bob Barrow’s Northamptonshire garage, Haddonstone has grown into an international business exporting its products across the world, while at the same time continuing to meet the individual needs of its valued clients – large and small, commercial and private – in Britain. Haddonstone has been fortunate to have avoided the worse effects of Covid-19. Demand for its products has remained robust and by July 2020 the company was operating again at full capacity. It was able to reopen its beautiful Show Gardens in Northamptonshire shortly after the end of lockdown, attracting many visitors keen

to seek inspiration from seeing the brand’s stunning designs in a natural setting. Lockdown witnessed a nationwide renaissance in enthusiasm for gardening, a trend that kindled great interest in Haddonstone’s Home and Garden range. The strenuous efforts made by the company to ensure the safety of people entering the Show Gardens were amply rewarded in visitor numbers. At the same time Haddonstone experienced a significant rise in the number of clients ordering online through its newly launched website. Much market research, user testing and refinement of content went into its development to ensure the website offered clients a high-quality online experience. This painstaking approach has resulted in a three-fold increase in web-based orders since March 2020 – a trend that continued as the year progressed. Haddonstone is also comparatively sheltered from the commercial impact of Brexit. While the company exports its


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Haddonstone’s range of elegant façade stonework, including its porticos, can transform a property and greatly increase its value and appeal products worldwide, its most important markets are at home in the UK, the Channel Islands and in the USA. Moreover, the suppliers of its materials – stone, aggregates and resin – are based in Britain. The company is now focusing on private, residential clients and hoping to benefit from the trend towards extending and renovating their properties rather than moving. Haddonstone’s range of elegant façade stonework, including its porticos, can transform a property and greatly increase its value and appeal. In the last year, the company has continued to be commissioned in prestigious, high-profile public projects. Haddonstone provided the cast-stone architectural elements for the new courtyard at the Royal School of Music in South Kensington. It has also supplied bespoke cast stonework to a variety of international projects, including the Anouska Hempeldesigned Monsieur George Hotel & Spa in Paris and award-winning Hamilton Gardens in New Zealand. Two of Haddonstone’s other important recent public commissions were the Cambridge Central Mosque, Europe’s first eco-mosque, and the Sri Krishna Haveli, the Hari Krishna temple at Bhaktivedanta Manor, Watford. The company designed and supplied stonework for both projects. Having survived recent turbulence relatively unscathed, Haddonstone is well placed to prosper in the coming year and beyond. As a family-owned and -run business with a loyal, experienced and skilled team, the next 50 years look promising for this greatly admired British brand.

CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT: Haddonstone supplies the highest-quality architectural stonework for clients worldwide; an elegant fountain and pool surround by Haddonstone; a member of the Haddonstone team creates a bespoke wooden mould in their Northamptonshire manufactory; Haddonstone was commissioned to supply stonework to Europe’s first ‘eco mosque’, the Cambridge Central Mosque

Haddonstone The Forge House, East Haddon Northamptonshire NN6 8DB +44 (0)1604 770711 haddonstone_ltd COUNTRYANDTOWNHOUSE.CO.UK/GBB | 243

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GBB 2021

The finest antique and reproduction fireplaces, lighting and furniture

17th, 18th and 19th centuries that recall the work of Britain’s finest architects such as Inigo Jones, William Kent and John Nash. Clients can make an appointment to view the 200 antique chimneypieces at the company’s warehouse, which is a former tank factory on the outskirts of London. The constantly changing Pimlico Road showroom can also be visited to view fireplaces, foundry-made grates, lighting, garden ornaments and furniture. With the showroom periodically closed last year, like so many around the world, the sales team had to adapt to new methods. But they never missed a beat and were able to continue to work on bespoke projects throughout, drawing on their knowledge and extensive library of sketches and moulds to create the perfect, bespoke pieces to the best proportions. Jamb is fastidious when it comes to historical detail, leading to the most faithful of designs, and having these important antique fireplaces in the company’s possession enables the highly skilled craftsmen at the workshop to create replicas with an unparalleled level of historical accuracy. Bespoke fireplace commissions range from creating a collection of one-off mantels for a Neoclassical mansion, to the demands of designing and building a unique Gothic centrepiece for a château in France. Currently, Jamb is making many reproduction fireplace designs in wonderful Italian marble, as well as stones from the oldest English quarries. When it comes to reproduction lighting, a globe lantern is still Jamb’s signature, yet there are more than 100 designs in the collection, all of which stem from antique originals. Above all, the brand is looking back on 2020 as a period of intense focus. During the eerie spring when life stood still, it had a precious window where all its attention could be placed on the next generation of product, and it prepared enter its 20th year with renewed passion and a much tidier warehouse. As a result of this renewed focus, the Hanbury collection of smaller light fixtures has been doubled in size, half a dozen new chimneypieces designs has been finalised and carved in wonderful new materials, and next year Jamb is excited to add a significant new offering to its reproduction furniture collection.


amb continues to be synonymous with the English country house aesthetic, taking endless inspiration from the layered, evolved interiors of the finest private homes in the land and the objects therein, which so often surprise and delight. From the finest Palladian mirror to an unadorned, robust oak pantry table, the thread that binds the Jamb collections together remains the quality and sleepy patina of the quintessential English country house. Once an antique is sold, it’s gone forever, but a faithful reproduction continues its design life: that was the inspiration behind antiques dealer Will Fisher’s decision to set up Jamb 19 years ago. He began by creating a reproduction collection from antique lighting and chimneypieces that he had once owned; in 2004, Will’s wife Charlotte joined him and together they have continued to grow the business. Antique fireplaces form the backbone of the business and Jamb has a reputation for having the most extensive reclaimed antique fireplace collection in the UK. This includes period pieces from the

Jamb 95–97 Pimlico Road London SW1W 8PH +44 (0)20 7730 2122 jamb_london


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Jamb’s antique, reproduction and bespoke fireplaces and lighting evoke the quality and style of the classic English country house

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Life Kitchens

GBB 2021

Personal, flexible kitchens designed for real life – built to last a lifetime


fifth-generation family kitchen company with over 110 years of expertise, Life Kitchens believes that its British heritage plays a large part in inspiring customer trust. Proud of its tailored, hand-finished joinery, state-of-the-art paint finishing and work surface manufacture in its own UK factory, Life Kitchens is living proof that focusing on what you do best will generally bring success, regardless of the prevailing conditions. Over the challenging weeks and months of 2020, Life brought in six new collections, added new products, colours and finishes and pioneered some fresh design directions – all while keeping customers safe. It also developed a 360-degree 4D virtual showroom tour, allowing customers to walk around the new displays and immerse themselves in all of Life’s kitchen

inspiration from the comfort of their own homes. Potential buyers could access the design team, and take advantage of a newly introduced virtual design service. Life’s new collections – normally viewable at the southeast London showroom – put people’s lives at the heart of the design. The way we live now, with the kitchen as the hub of the house – variously doing service as a dining room, a family collecting point and a WFH office, as well as a place for storing and preparing food – is constantly evolving. Kitchen designers and manufacturers need to be ahead of the curve, acutely aware of people’s complex, different approaches to life. These latest collections are the product of Life’s abundant wisdom and experience. Life’s new Homely collection, for instance, brings together classic in-frame Shaker style cabinets, a traditional dining table, state-of-the-art storage and a beautiful dresser unit


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Life Kitchens puts people’s lives at the heart of the design

With a wide choice of finishes, colours and fittings available, and a hyperpersonalised design and planning service, a Life Kitchen is a true investment

– resulting in a highly multifunctional space for cooking, dining, entertaining or even working. The Luxe collection presents a sculptural take on the kitchen island, naturally sectioning off the cooking area from the dining; while the Relaxed range allows for a statement pantry at the heart of its personalised storage. The Seamless look is made for open-plan living, with handleless cabinets and barista-style bars; and the Structured collection shows the possibilities for keeping your kitchen compact and linear while injecting excitement through varied industrial textures and material finishes. The Vivid look, contemporary and vibrant, introduces the latest Siemens ovens and induction hobs, alongside a boiling-water tap to consign the humble kettle to history. All kitchens start at £25,000; but with the wide choice of creative finishes, colours and fittings on offer, as well as a hyper-personalised design and planning service, a Life kitchen is to be seen as an investment – materially adding to a property’s value, as well as its desirability for living. Business owner Oli Stephenson says, ‘We love getting to know you, hearing your stories, discussing your ideas. You’ll find us very easy-going and down-to-earth but uncompromising on nailing every last technical detail.’ With the most established supply relationships in the industry and comprehensive manufacturing capabilities in place, Life is walking into 2021 confident of being able to support and inspire all of its existing and future customers in creating the kitchen of their dreams.

Life Kitchens Newnham Terrace Hercules Road London SE1 7DR +44 (0)20 3972 0150 life_kitchens COUNTRYANDTOWNHOUSE.CO.UK/GBB | 247

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GBB 2021

British in product, international in outlook


oomah specialises in the design and supply of luxury bespoke handmade carpets and rugs. The brand does not possess a set look or style: every piece is custommade to suit each individual interior and available to be supplied in any size, shape or colour. Loomah is equally at home designing a one-off rug for a family living area or a suite of carpets with elaborate borders, following the contours of the rooms across an entire residence. The company has an extensive archive of designs, both classical and contemporary, which can be used for direct orders or as design inspiration. Alternatively, one of Loomah’s expert team can create entirely original designs to match any interior scheme. Loomah swiftly rose to the challenge of working under lockdown, using the enforced slow-down productively. A smart new company design portfolio was created, which acts as a beautifully presented print version of its website and can be utilised as a leave-behind or marketing tool. Loomah continued to pick up new business throughout too – the team was readily available to keep communicating with clients – existing and potential. Additionally, the company saw a rise in design interest and footfall to its showroom when permitted, with more clients having time to dedicate to their homes. Loomah has produced four new product ranges to create a broader offering. These products include a range of bespoke outdoor rugs, a range of flatweave qualities and two new yarns. The first is an upcycled yarn, made exclusively from

FROM LEFT: A bespoke dining room rug in an interior styled by Schiller Beynon; a Mara leopard print rug in emerald green

plastic bottles fished back from the sea, which is velvety soft, durable and offers a fantastic sustainable alternative. The second new yarn is AVA (anti-viral and allergy) which, when blended with wool, prevents the reactions that people with dust or wool allergies often experience with wool carpets. This yarn was also proved to eliminate any Covid-19 particles walked in off the street on shoes, making it doubly useful and an important and timely defence strategy against allergens and viruses in the home. With regard to Brexit, Loomah is quietly confident that it will continue to trade successfully with its many European partners and customers going forward. The brand is currently completing projects in Monaco and Barcelona and already has them lined up for 2021 in Paris and Italy. ‘Great Britain is renowned worldwide for design and innovation and our largest export is the service industry,’ says managing director, Andrew Cotgrove. ‘Loomah is proud to consider itself part of this industry, creating new and beautiful designs for every project and constantly updating our product ranges to suit our clients’ individual requirements – all quintessential British traits and ones we are proud to demonstrate.’ This year certainly presented choppy waters for Loomah to navigate, but, by swiftly adapting to new circumstances, innovating new procedures and products and – most importantly – by continuing to offer its uniquely personalised service, Loomah feels it will successfully sail though to the hopeful calm of 2021 and beyond. Loomah 592 King’s Road London SW6 2DX +44 (0)20 7371 9955 loomahltd


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Every Loomah rug is custom-made to suit each individual interior and is available in any size, shape or colour

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GBB 2021

Organic, sustainable beds and mattresses for natural, restorative sleep

mattresses for boats, they could make them for babies too. They started handcrafting baby mattresses with the same pure, properly certified organic materials so that babies didn’t have to absorb the harmful toxins found in synthetics. Parents were so delighted with this eco-conscious approach that they understandably wanted the same for themselves. With that, Naturalmat was born. Today, Naturalmat has stayed true to its founding principles, but now makes a sumptuous range of beds, headboards and bedding for the home, nursery, super yacht and hotel markets. All the materials Naturalmat uses are organic from renewable sources and harvested according to Fair Trade principles. Where possible, all ingredients are locally sourced, so Naturalmat has pioneered a relationship with neighbouring organic sheep farmers to ensure all its wool comes from within a 50-mile radius of the factory. At the end of their life, all materials used by Naturalmat are 100 per cent biodegradable or recyclable, so they can either be returned to nature or upcycled into a new range of items. In 2020, in recognition of its contribution to the environment, Naturalmat was honoured to be awarded the Queen’s Award for Sustainable Development. Naturalmat not only makes everything itself, but also sells everything itself. If you want to buy a Naturalmat, you need to visit its stores in Devon, Notting Hill (nursery and child) or Chiswick (home) to try out the full range of mattresses and beds. Naturalmat understands that it’s important not to feel pressurised or rushed when making such an important decision. To this end, it has created a Sleep Zone in its Chiswick shop, where each mattress is housed in a special, sleep-scented pod, with low lighting and a sleep soundtrack, for customers to spend time relaxing in before choosing their mattress. Naturalmat believes that people, not machines, make superior, long-lasting beds. Its craftspeople ensure that every stitch, fibre, tufting button and cover are painstakingly measured, layered and sewn. When a mattress or bed leaves the factory, Naturalmat is confident it will deliver years of comfortable, healthy and relaxing sleep: the deep, restorative sleep that most people only dream of...


ince 1999, Devon-based Naturalmat has been handcrafting beds and mattresses from organic, natural ingredients. Every great idea starts with an instant of inspiration and, for Naturalmat, that moment came over 20 years ago on the high seas, when keen sailors Mark Tremlett and Peter Tindall were struggling to understand why mattresses aboard boats were so uncomfortable. ‘Why you would spend hundreds of thousands on a boat and then be expected to sleep on a £30 slab of foam?’ expostulates founder Mark Tremlett. He points out that synthetics are utterly unsuitable to sleep on as they retain heat and absorb moisture. Conversely, natural fibres are inherently breathable and dissipate heat and moisture. Peter and Mark duly set up in Mark’s family boatyard and began making mattresses from breathable, natural fibres that were fabulously comfortable and fitted neatly into boats’ awkward spaces. Another lightbulb moment came after the birth of Mark’s first child, when the pair realised if they could make eco-friendly

Naturalmat Odhams Wharf, Topsham Exeter, Devon EX3 0PD 66a Paddenswick Road London W6 0UB +44 (0)1392 877247 naturalmatuk


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All the materials Naturalmat uses are organic from renewable sources and harvested according to Fair Trade principles. Where possible, all ingredients are locally sourced

Naturalmat makes all-natural, sustainable beds and mattresses to dream about

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Riviere Rugs

GBB 2021

Modern British rugs made using traditional techniques


ugs have adorned the palaces of the most powerful rulers in history, from the Mughal emperors of India to Louis XIV and Queen Victoria. Weaving them is an ancient skill, one kept alive today by Camilla and Leo Riviere, owners of their eponymous rug company. Riviere Rugs was founded in 2005. Camilla and Leo, who both have backgrounds in art and design, are steeped in the principles of classical and modern architecture and design. Their designs are contemporary in spirit, inspired by their extensive travels in Europe and Asia. The rugs are woven in a workshop in the Kathmandu valley in Nepal, using age-old traditional techniques passed down from generation to generation. It’s a lengthy process, carried out entirely by hand, without recourse to any machinery. Using the finest hand-carded and hand-

spun Tibetan wool, pure Chinese and botanic silk, the rugs are hand woven with a minimum of 100-150 knots per square inch. In addition to wool and silk, Riviere offer a wide assortment of other yarns including mohair, nettle, linen, as well as a range of different knot counts. The trauma of Covid-19 has affected Riviere less than many other businesses. Most significantly, its workshop in Nepal, being a family concern, was able to keep working in an isolated environment through the pandemic. As a result, there was no interruption in production. In the past, the majority of Riviere’s clients have been interior designers and architects, but since lockdown began the company has been doing an increasing volume of business with private clients. This reflects a widespread resurgence in interest in home improvement and interior design. As the business emerges into the post-pandemic world, Riviere can look forward with optimism to its ground - breaking collaboration with fabric and wallpaper designer, Zoffany. The two houses have come together to produce six stunning rug designs, to be released in March 2021. This collaboration is the fruit of more than a decade’s creative co-operation between the two companies. The six designs, which took more than a year to realise, are inspired by patterns discovered in Zoffany’s extensive archive to which Riviere was given exclusive access. Each design is the result of hundreds of hours of creative endeavour, standing on its own as a new modern classic of exceptional quality. The rugs are available in any colour, size or shape. Three of the six designs, Kanoko, Suminagashi and Taisho, are contemporary reinterpretations of traditional oriental artistic motifs. Of the others, Jigsaw, is an inventive reworking of the Zoffany monogram while the other two, Tumbling Blocks and Moonsilk, are more abstract in character. Riviere is a British company that is proud of its British roots, serving its predominantly British clientele from its base in Chelsea’s Lots Road. Last year may have been difficult, but for Riviere the future looks bright. As Camilla and Leo say: ‘We are really looking forward to our exciting new partnership with Zoffany and other upcoming collaborations with some great British interior brands.’ Riviere Rugs 46 Lots Road London SW10 0QF +44 (0)20 3601 4600 riviererugs


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CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT: Moon Silk; Kanoko; Jigsaw; Taisho – all-new designs inspired by Zoffany’s extensive library

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Camilla and Leo Riviere’s designs are contemporary in spirit, inspired by their extensive travels in Europe and Asia

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Roger Oates Design

GBB 2021

Signature striped wool rugs and runners woven in the UK


oger Oates Design is renowned for signature striped stair runners and rugs in bold colours and vibrant designs, which have a particular way of enhancing all kinds of interiors from simple country boltholes to smart, formal town houses. Founded over 30 years ago, the company is the market leader in flatweave flooring. Flatweave was popular in the 18th century to protect the best carpets in grand country houses, but by the mid-20th century it had lost favour and was almost extinct. Roger Oates Design was largely responsible for transforming it into the highly desirable decorative floorcovering that it is today. Roger Oates Design is a British brand through and through, and has always been proud of this heritage. Weaving takes place on traditional Hattersley looms in small-scale mills in the south of England using a British Cheviot 100 per cent wool blend, spun and dyed in Yorkshire. The looms, operated by a team of skilled weavers, have been specially adapted to weave heavy wool flooring. The woven texture and finished edge make the flatweave perfect ‘upholstery for stairs’, and the narrow widths can

be hand-sewn together to create rugs and wall-to-wall floor coverings of almost any dimension, finished with a selvedge edge or bound with linen tape. Design and finishing take place at the Herefordshire workshop, and the human touch is evident at every stage. A woven roll of 40 metres can take one of the skilled sewing team up to eight hours to hand finish – invisibly darned where necessary. Hand sewing and darning require not only skill and dexterity but also extensive knowledge of the construction of the flatweave cloth. ‘Staying true to traditional techniques keeps our designs tethered to the people and skills involved in their production – giving our flatweave a beauty and honesty that is admired across the globe,’ says Andy Guard, creative director. In 2020 Roger Oates Design established new ways of working, many of which will continue into 2021 and beyond. The ability to offer instant advice and inspiration through social media played an important role in keeping the brand connected to its loyal customers as well as introducing it to new ones. Clients were helped to visualise how their rugs and runners might look in situ through two downloadable online brochures and an extensive online Inspiration Gallery. The online Lifestyle Store, offering cushions, benches and travel bags, was expanded to include finished rugs and runners. Roger Oates Design showrooms in London and Eastnor were open by appointment offering dedicated individual time; and video consultations could be booked for expert advice on design, measuring and fitting. Their bespoke service, often called on by interior designers, continues to offer individual designs and customised colours and widths – all without losing the Roger Oates Design signature. 2021 will herald a new collection exploring clashing colours and experimental weaving patterns, as well as the opening of a new flagship space in Chelsea’s design district in early spring. The future for timeless floor coverings that combine classic heritage with a contemporary edge is, one could say, far from flat.

For over 30 years, Roger Oates Design’s flatweave has been woven in the south of England, using a wool blend spun and dyed in Yorkshire

Roger Oates Design Unit 31/31a Chelsea Wharf 15 Lots Road London SW10 0QJ +44 (0)20 7351 2288 roger_oates


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‘Staying true to traditional techniques keeps our designs tethered to the people and skills involved in their production – giving them a beauty and honesty that is admired across the globe’

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Silverlining Furniture

GBB 2021

Thirty-five years of making magic and creating 21st-century collectibles


n 1985, Mark Boddington, a scion of the famous brewing family, relinquished a life in the beer business because he had a vision of creating furniture unlike anything else. ‘I’m still inspired by that idea today,’ says Mark, ‘and love sharing the making journey with our clients as part of a hugely talented and ever-growing team.’ Over 35 years later, Silverlining is now proud to be recognised as one of Britain’s leading furniture brands, with a 70-strong team of designers, makers and alchemists. From its base in Wrexham, North Wales, Silverlining creates museum-quality furniture for palaces, galleries, corporate headquar ters, homes, yachts, and private jets around the world, using only the finest materials, from unusual woods to leather and precious metals. ‘We draw on both traditional and new, innovative techniques to conjure up our extraordinary

furniture – we call it “making magic”,’ says Mark. They have always been international with a loyal following of first- and second-generation clients. It grew substantially in 2020 as locked-down clients became acutely aware of the importance of their surroundings and more focused on their home, office, yacht or aviation projects. Unable to have faceto-face meetings, Silverlining expanded its digital offerings, making video documentaries and films that allowed clients to feel a sense of involvement in its creativity and skill and the overall emotion of luxury. Last year Silverlining also launched its Provenance Collection. In French provenir means ‘to come from’, which suggests the beginning of something – its origins. ‘We see what we do as the start of a journey, explains Mark. ‘It’s a journey in which our client’s vision becomes real, from the designer’s creative spark via a maker’s craft, to the creation of a legacy.’ Normally, Silverlining promotes its collections via exhibitions but the Provenance Collection was launched on IGTV, allowing a worldwide audience to experience the collection and interact with designers and makers. It contains ten striking examples of ‘making magic’. An example is the rosewood and leather Aztec Apex Credenza, which refl ects the striking form of pyramids, dating from the ancient Mesoamerican temples of central America to the contemporary pyramid outside Paris’s


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‘We draw on both traditional and new, innovative techniques to conjure up our extraordinary furniture – we call it “making magic”’ Louvre. Another example is the 3,000 plus-year-old bog oak and 24-carat gold Fluid Contours dining table, whose metal etched lines and inlays echo the contours of the rice terraces of Yunnan in China. Recent collaborations with other talented great British brands included desks designs with Holland & Holland and architectural practice Foster + Partners, and the Cosmic dining table with superyacht designers Reymond Langton Design. The latter has a sculptural bronze base and an astronomy-inspired top, which shows planetary bodies in metallised resin with black mother-of-pearl satellites orbiting the planetary compass. Whatever the future holds, Silverlining remains focused on creating truly original pieces for its clients. Long after the pandemic becomes a footnote in the history books, it is proud and confident that it will continue for decades to come and that its beautiful, heritage furniture will still be enjoyed by future generations.

Silverlining’s ornate designs are known for their painstaking detail, craftsmanship and originality

Silverlining Furniture The Old Ordnance Factory Bridge Road, Wrexham LL13 9QS +44 (0)1948 822150 silverliningfurniture COUNTRYANDTOWNHOUSE.CO.UK/GBB | 257

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GBB 2021

Handmade kitchens and furniture that have epitomised British craftsmanship for over 40 years


ith a heritage deeply rooted in England, Smallbone was founded by a team of artisan designers who shared a passion for original design and fine craftsmanship. Together, they had an uncompromising vision: to change the way we live. In the early days, Smallbone pioneered the concept of hand-painted cabinetry, trailblazing a new style of kitchen that placed this previously overlooked room at the heart of the home. It became an instant classic for its informal aesthetic and architectural beauty. More than 40 years later, they are still at the forefront of bespoke interior design with inventive,

expertly crafted designs that push the boundaries of what is possible within the home. In a year when people’s focus was naturally drawn to the home, Smallbone brought out its new Icarus Collection: a daring tour de force of contemporary design with sweeping contours inspired by the parabolic curve of a bird’s wing. The floating, scalloped glass cabinets, crafted using a glass-shaping technique that dates back to Roman times, form a dramatic centrepiece, while the curved oak doors are enhanced with shimmering flecks of brushed gold. Each piece of wood is selected by Smallbone’s craftsmen for its uniformity of grain and intricacy of patterning, with rare exotic hardwoods bringing a luxurious richness. Icarus is being showcased at Smallbone’s brand new 15,000 sq/ft concept showroom, a ground-breaking private retail experience whose opening in Knightsbridge


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INSIDE OUTSIDE CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT: Smallbone’s beautiful new Icarus kitchen has sweeping contours inspired by the parabolic curve of a bird’s wing; the bar in the new Knightsbridge concept showroom; a gleaming Mulberry kitchen; a Smallbone craftsman hard at work

Smallbone is still at the forefront of bespoke interior design with inventive, expertly crafted designs that push the boundaries of what is possible within the home

in January 2021 was modified, but not delayed, by Covid-19. The multi-sensory concept is spread over four floors, placing an array of kitchens and wholehouse solutions in design stories that showcase the bespoke creativity, magnificent craftsmanship and 21st-century engineering that go into them. It also demonstrates how Smallbone’s talent for personalisation can turn clients’ visions into interior reality. For their designers, no request is too unusual. From rare and exquisite Rosso Levanto marble, which makes the boldest of statements as a worktop, to bespoke drawers for Nespresso pods, ice buckets integrated into islands and even an internet shopping room, Smallbone is able to open up limitless possibilities for the home. Also partnering with Samsung for a revolutionary clothing care system, the AirDresser uses heat, air and steam to revitalise tired garments, and is

right at home in a Smallbone dressing room. Smallbone plans to host a succession of events, launches and one-off experiences in its new destination, enlivened by rotating displays of contemporary art and a bar serving coffee, wine, champagne and spirits. Post Brexit, Smallbone does not foresee its vision – nor the way it is received locally and globally – being compromised or diverging from its current positioning. Its view has always been resolutely long term. As a beacon of British design and craftsmanship, it will continue to handmake unique products in the heart of Wiltshire for a vast and loyal database of clients round the world. Beyond this, Smallbone has an array of partners who elevate the whole-house offerings, and will further build traction and excitement for 2021 – keeping this time-honoured brand at the forefront of luxury artisan cabinetry for another 40 years, and beyond.

Smallbone 197-201 Brompton Road London SW3 1LA +44 (0)20 7589 5998 smallbone.devizes


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St James Interiors

GBB 2021

Envisaging a world where beauty and design enrich lives


t James Interiors has fine-tuned its handcrafted bespoke joinery business as it has grown over the last two years. ‘For us, it is all about providing the interior designers, architects and private clients with the seamless high quality service that everyone is looking for,’ says company founder Pritish Lad. At the heart of St James Interiors is a team of highly skilled craftsmen, designers and project managers, who are passionate about delivering bespoke projects and pieces to the highest standard. The team takes pride in ensuring each client experiences a seamless journey from the start of the design process to the finish of the handcrafted piece. The brand has already seen a big shift towards supporting local crafts people and business. ‘There has definitely been

a change in the way people consciously look to see where things are made and how they are produced,’ says Pritesh. ‘Understanding what you are getting and where its coming from adds to the story of a client’s journey. We are super proud to be a British company and our clients love the fact that they can come visit our workshop and see first-hand how their work is being crafted.’ Last year had its challenges, but St James Interiors managed to overcome these by embracing the community of design and professionals within the industry, forging great new lasting relationships. It was also fortunate enough to be recognised by its industry: its Vithal Jesse desk won an award at the International Yacht & Aviation awards, which has helped the brand to reach a new clientele. New for 2021 is the brand’s first collection of furniture, with a further two planned for later in the year. St James Interiors will


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‘We are super proud to be a British company and our clients love the fact that they can come visit our workshop and see first-hand how their work is being crafted’ be working with new materials, reflecting the worldwide shift to more sustainable products, and also with new technologies used in joinery detailing. In line with these changes, there will be a new website in early 2021 to coincide with the launch of the furniture collection. ‘New collaborations include teaming up with Dara Huang and her new furniture range, with Noor Charchafaci at Celine Interior Design, and with Emma Robinson of Oh I Love That, working on a young couple’s home and documenting the whole journey,’ says Pritesh. ‘All three are very different collaborations and each is exciting in its own way. We are also working with lots of other new designers and clients – what we love is how they all have their own individual styles and how we can work with them to deliver exactly what they are looking to create. ‘We are really excited about this year and what the future holds for the interiors industry.’

St James Interiors makes all its bespoke, award-winning pieces in the heart of London

St James Interiors Vithal House 35 Gorst Road London NW10 6LA +44 (0)20 8961 1342 stjamesinteriors COUNTRYANDTOWNHOUSE.CO.UK/GBB | 261

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Timothy Oulton

GBB 2021

Delivering visceral experiences through story-filled collections that elevate each moment


uring Covid our homes became sanctuary, playground and office. Nights out became nights in. More than ever Timothy Oulton and his team confronted the question of how our homes make us feel. That visceral feeling is at the heart of what Timothy Oulton creates with its furniture designs. ‘We only have one life, so we must elevate each moment to the utmost,’ says founder and creative director, Tim Oulton. ‘Whether we’re alone or relaxing with loved ones, working towards a better world or celebrating joyfully, all these moments are heightened when we’re surrounded by beautiful materials, finishes, forms and craftsmanship that connect deeply through the senses via stories and meaning.’ An example of this is the Noble Souls sofa collection, which makes use of natural linens

and vegetable dyes to appeal to what people increasingly want in their homes – furniture and textiles that are natural, simple, trustworthy, comfortable and beautiful. During lockdown, Tim was adamant he would not lose touch with his customers, so he hosted Friday night Zoom drinks with them. ‘I really enjoyed that face time with customers,’ says Tim, ‘and they’d turn their cameras round to show us their homes with their favourite Timothy Oulton pieces. It was brilliant.’ Brand ambassadors also offered video tours of products in the gallery – or even whole gallery tours – enabling customers to shop from home. Typical of Timothy Oulton was the way it launched Live Chat. While many websites also have Live Chat, the brand wanted to improve on its offering so came up with a real face-to-face experience, instantly connecting customers, whatever time of day or night, with a real-life sales ambassador,


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‘Our core focus is unchanged, we want to build relationships with our customers, understand their needs and guide them to create distinctive spaces to suit them’ who had personally met Tim. While the brand recognises digital is fast and responsive, the human touch remains key to the brand’s identity: ‘Our brand will never become an online-only experience at the expense of our galleries and Ambassadors,’ says Tim. ‘Yes, we’ve adapted our way of working, but our core focus is unchanged. We want to build relationships with customers, understand their needs, and guide them to create distinctive spaces to suit them. We believe that the future will be a hybrid of digital and real-life interactions.’ Innovation is crucial to the brand, so this year the Rex mirror and lighting collection did really well, as did the home bar collections, like Bio Hazard and Hudson. These will be added to, alongside more exciting innovations, in the 2021 Collection that launches in February. Despite all the challenges of 2020, the year saw Timothy Oulton expanding to 40 galleries, with new openings in Glasgow, Hamburg, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Bangkok, Hong Kong and Barbados among others. More openings are planned globally this year. Rather than adapting to market forces, Timothy Oulton’s success lies in the brand’s unwavering focus on creating a visceral connection with its clients through extraordinary design. ‘We’re in it for the long haul,’ says Tim. ‘Our vision is clear and consistent and our strategy hasn’t altered much in response to either Covid or Brexit. Our mantra remains, “Be relevant or be dead”.’

While Timothy Oulton has adapted to meet customer requirements digitally, its strategy continues to be creating distinctive spaces and a visceral connection through extraordinary design

Timothy Oulton 350 King’s Road London SW3 5UU +44 (0)20 3150 2024 timothyoulton COUNTRYANDTOWNHOUSE.CO.UK/GBB | 263

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Addison Ross

GBB 2021

Putting creativity into the picture and framing memories since 1978


n 1978, aged just 20 and 19, respectively, brothers David and Timothy set up Addison Ross and opened a gallery on London’s Eaton Terrace. The gallery enjoyed significant royal patronage, becoming a hotspot for designers and architects looking to commission its talented artists. In the early 80s, the brothers also opened a studio on the Scottish borders to make hand-gilded and veneered frames, fast developing a reputation for design and elegance. In 1989, David met his now-wife Sarah and it was clear from the beginning she shared his passion for creativity. On a trip to what is now their factory, nestled in Northumbria’s Cheviots Hills, Sarah selected some moulding and set about making photograph frames. Receiving many compliments for the designs, they created a debut collection. Very quickly,

these were stocked all over the country, then the world, appearing in the grandest homes. ‘It was a very exciting time,’ Sarah remembers. Along the way, they have enjoyed amazing experiences, particular highlights being a million-pound order placed by Marks & Spencer and creating collections for The Lanesborough and The Balmoral hotels. The Nineties and Noughties saw Addison Ross launching in the USA, Europe and the Far East and exhibiting twice yearly in New York, Atlanta, Paris and Frankfurt. In 2008, Timothy left the business to start a new venture with his wife Emma, a highly successful company designing and manufacturing fire pits in Wales. It was only a few years ago that the business made its greatest changes. A lightbulb moment occurred when it was considering the idea for a suitable gift with purchase:


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Just as the world locked down, Print & Fit was perfectly poised to service the huge demand for thoughtful and personal gifts ‘We realised that everyone who buys a frame wants the same thing,’ says Sarah, ‘the printed photo to go in it.’ Realising this idea proved complex, and they spent over 18 months developing the technology to make the process as seamless as possible. In March 2020, just as the world locked down and online use jumped ahead by two years, Print & Fit was perfectly poised to service the huge demand for thoughtful and personal gifts. While Print & Fit remains the focus, David and Sarah continue to develop their collections, which now include elegant clocks, boxes and trays, as well as their signature fragrance range, with 2020 also seeing the launch of a stunning collection of scalloped trays and accessories. Covid-19 gave Addison Ross the time to focus on its ecommerce platforms. With the generous support of RTC North it has added advanced digital features: customers can now upload thousands of photos, dropping them into any frame and zooming in on any image. This year sees the launch of more dazzling designs, including acrylic collages to frame between 24 and 96 photos, new multiaperture wall mounted frames, rounded scalloped trays and wastepaper bins in fabulous colours. Despite many changes over the years, Addison Ross remains primarily a family-owned brand, continuing to provide customers with original gifts of refinement, quality and elegant style.

Everyone loves a beautiful framed photograph, and Addison Ross offers the perfect service – both in printing and framing

Addison Ross Berwick Rd, Wooler Northumberland NE71 6AH +44 (0)1668 281212 addisonrosshome COUNTRYANDTOWNHOUSE.CO.UK/GBB | 267

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Alexandra Llewellyn

GBB 2021

Handmade games sets featuring intricate marquetry and traditional British craftsmanship 268 | COUNTRYANDTOWNHOUSE.CO.UK/GBB

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t’s the stuff of epic movies – a young girl visiting her step-grandfather in Cairo finds herself playing backgammon with an elderly gentleman in the street. ‘He was dressed in a galabeya, the traditional Egyptian robe. He was about ten times as old as me and he didn’t speak any English but game-playing is a universal language as well as an ancient pastime and so somehow we were able to communicate and laugh together,’ says Alexandra Llewellyn. With a fashion designer mother and a father who was a garden designer, creativity was all around her as a child. Her love of the ‘game of kings and the king of games’, continued as she went on to study fine art and work in product design for a charity. Ten years ago, she launched her own brand, creating beautiful, hand-made backgammon, chess and other games sets as well as game tables. Most are created bespoke and feature a striking contrast between traditional marquetry and photography plus precious stones. ‘People are more interested to know about materials and techniques these days, especially when they’re having something specially crafted,’ says Alexandra, who is currently working with Martian meteorite for a doubling cube. ‘It’s a painstaking process because there are so many constituent parts. It can take up to three to four months from initial conversations and sketches to the moment when I present the final piece to the client.’ Restrictions permitting, she’ll visit her suppliers in their workshops to ensure that the wood, leather, polished stone and other materials being used are exactly the right colour, texture and quality. ‘As a designer I find it quite liberating to be creative and imaginative and to meet a client’s requests while complying with the strict geometric requirements of a games board,’

The craftsmanship that goes into Alexandra Llewellyn’s beautiful boardgames is just staggering

‘Like a leather-bound biography or photograph album, my designs tell your life story in a game to be enjoyed for generations to come’ she says. Clients come from all over the world, and she’s recently completed a major project for a client in Australia. The Glacier Travel Set depicts the epic grandeur of snowcovered mountains against a backdrop of dazzling blue skies. A collection of playing cards features two designs inspired by Alexandra’s popular Skull Poker Set. Interpreting some of her favourite motifs, including the pattern on a pheasant’s feathers and a grinning skull, complete with gold tooth, the artwork on the cards incorporates elements of the marquetry box that has been especially created to house them. Created from sustainable natural and dyed woods, including black poplar, sycamore and bubinga, the Crane and Poppy Signature Marquetry backgammon set is based on a traditional Japanese design. Demand has increased since lockdown as many of us spend more time at home, seeking entertainment that requires thought and patience – and doesn’t involve staring at a screen. This slowing of the pace of life means that customers are willing to wait for something special that will last a lifetime. ‘Like a leather-bound biography or photograph album,’ says Alexandra, ‘my designs tell your life story in a game to be enjoyed for generations to come.’ Game, set and match.

Alexandra Llewellyn Design By appointment only +44 (0)20 7183 1058 alexandrallewellynlondon COUNTRYANDTOWNHOUSE.CO.UK/GBB | 269

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GBB 2021

Exceptional linens from a brand with core family values


wo years ago, the Roston brothers launched Coze, a brand born from a wealth of expertise passed down through four generations of working in textiles. Coze’s parent company has been in business since 1979, specialising in supplying high-end linens and textiles to some of Britain’s finest hotels, including The Dorchester, The Ritz and Gleneagles in Scotland. In 2019, Coze joined forces with talented interior designer Sophie Paterson to take the brand to a new level. Featured in 2020’s LuxDeco 100 and Country & Town House’s 50 Finest Interior Designers, Sophie worked closely with Coze to introduce ‘SP for Coze’ – a range of exclusive collections with a choice of bespoke monogram options. The same monogrammed collection is showcased by Sophie’s team of interior designers on projects, providing a personalised design service to create detail-driven, luxury interiors that meet the client’s needs and stand the test of time. ‘I’ve always loved monogrammed products – they add a layer of luxury to your home and they make the most thoughtful gifts,’ says Sophie. ‘I wanted to partner with the right company

to bring a wider range of monogramming towels and linen to Britain and the interiors market. Monogramming is very timeconsuming and there was nowhere online combining the luxury and quality I wanted, as well as the right style of monogram that Coze does.’ It’s a collaboration that has worked exceptionally well, both for Sophie and the brand. Coze believes its ongoing success stems not only from a high demand from customers wanting to recreate the ‘hotel and spa experience’ in their own homes, but by offering the option to add a signature monogram. ‘I am honestly thrilled to finally to be able to get my hands on beautifully monogrammed towels and bed linen that I can use in my own home and for clients,’ says Sophie. ‘I also wanted to ensure the collection provided value for money and would allow most people to buy something special from our collection, even if it’s just a tea towel.’ While many brick and mortar stores were forced to close for business last year, consumers continued to invest in online retail, top quality goods and home improvements. Coze, which is available exclusively online, grew by more than 200 per cent in 2020 alone. Great product quality and pricing has seen the company grow rapidly, while Coze has continued to place the customer first and concentrate on service. Coze is still very much a family business at heart and remains determined to offer the very best products and service to both the consumer and interior design market. New for 2021 is a long-awaited monogrammed luxury cushion collection, which has already proven exceptionally popular with both interior designers and consumers alike. ‘I’m really excited that we finally launched our monogram cushions with the Coze Linen collection,’ says Sophie. ‘It’s something I have been asked about for quite a long time and they just dress a bed so beautifully.’

Coze Linen +44 (0)20 3866 3939 coze_linen


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Coze is still very much a family business at heart and remains determined to offer the very best products and service to both the consumer and interior design market

SP For Coze collections offers a choice of bespoke monogram options

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GP & J Baker

GBB 2021

Your partner in design since 1884


t’s a story that began in 1884. Adventurous young brothers, George Percival and James Baker, based in what was then Constantinople, decided the riches and beauty of the city and its surrounds should be shared with the rest of the world. They started to export Persian, Turkish and Turkoman carpets back to England, travelling to London in 1884 to set up GP & J Baker. An instant hit with the Victorian world, the rugs were then exported again to customers in Paris and the US. Shortly afterwards, the brothers purchased the renowned Swaisland Fabric Printing Company in Crayford, gaining with it most of its printing blocks and a huge archive of pattern books dating back to the 18th century. By 1893, GP & J Baker was employing some of the finest Arts and Crafts designers of the era, developing exclusive designs from the ever-growing archive. Almost 140 years later, GP & J Baker is still going strong and producing the finest fabrics, wallcoverings, furniture and trimmings from its base in Design Centre Chelsea Harbour. It gained a Royal Warrant from HM The Queen in 1982, an accolade that it holds proudly to this day. The brand is also an umbrella for names like Threads, Baker Lifestyle and Mulberry Home.

Despite the difficulties of 2020, the dedicated team remained undaunted by the challenges ahead. They swiftly embraced the advantages that technology has to offer, reconfiguring the team so they could work just as efficiently from home. They also used the opportunity to pivot to become a real partner for designers, rather than just a supplier. ‘We’ve shifted our marketing direction to messages that really help the designer,’ explains Ann Grafton, managing and creative director. ‘We’ve created virtual pattern books online, which designers can download onto their mobile devices, so they have a library of colour books that they can refer to anywhere. We’ve worked hard to shift our direction to tools that work in today’s new environment. And we’re going to continue to develop more to help designers work in a smarter way.’ The team is keen to carry the learnings from 2020 into this year and beyond. They are launching five new collections in 2021, one of which is called Portobello. In a palette of warm blue, white and red, and using embroidery, jacquard and block printing techniques, it was developed from the archive in response to changing interiors trends. ‘People want lovely things that are timeless but easy to live with now,’ says Ann. ‘They want a comfortable, beautiful environment in which to live and work.’ They are also celebrating Mulberry Home’s 30th anniversary this year, with a new collection called Long Weekend of printed linens and velvets, as well as the Iconic collection, a celebration of its most beloved designs over the years. As for Brexit, Ann and the team aren’t concerned. They’re used to working with partners around the world and have a strong business across Europe. ‘We’re as prepared as we possibly can be,’ says Ann. ‘My view is it’s going to happen and we all just need to get on with it. As a country, our businesses are very adaptable and flexible, and we can just move forward. I don’t see it affecting our day-to-day business.’ Above all, they are very hopeful about the future: ‘I’m really super optimistic about 2021,’ says Ann. ‘We have this vaccine on the horizon, but people have also really focused back on home and comfort. Builders and designers are swamped with work. People have come to appreciate their homes and gardens through this time, which is hugely positive for us. And people want to look forwards from all this with enthusiasm for moving on.’ G P & J Baker is looking to the future with optimism and enthusiasm, with anniversaries to celebrate and new collections to roll out

GP & J Baker Design Centre Chelsea Harbour Lots Road London SW10 0XE +44 (0)20 7351 7760 gpjbaker


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‘People want lovely things that are timeless and easy to live with now. They want a comfortable, beautiful environment in which to live and work’

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Halcyon Days

GBB 2021

Authentic, English-made luxury goods to treasure for a lifetime


ast year was an almighty blow to businesses around the world, but thanks to a huge team effort, sheer determination and a clear focus to get through tumultuous times, Halcyon Days adapted to the new market realities. Far from going into retreat, the company pushed ahead with two major projects, which it believed would make a positive difference going into 2021 and beyond: a brand new website and the opening of a beautiful boutique within The Arcade in Harrods. Supporting the craftsmen and women behind the brand and protecting its made-in-England DNA have also been instrumental to the strategy. ‘We firmly believe that local manufacturing will be a key differentiator in the future, as provenance and sustainability become increasingly important.

In 2020, production continued during the pandemic and was key to getting us through the year, as interest in fine bone china and our home decorative soared. We have fantastic new developments to reveal in 2021,’ says Pamela Harper, chairman and CEO. All of Halcyon Days’ enamel and English fine bone china gifts are 100 per cent crafted in England. This is a rarity the company champions with passion, as part of cherishing and promoting the traditional values at the heart of the business. ‘Our customers recognise the quality of our products and enjoy the fact that their choices are an exceptional example of English craftsmanship, designed to last,’ continues Harper. The brand discovered that using appropriate and sensitive messaging during 2020 was paramount, and that it worked. Existing customers were communicated with regularly, more as friends than customers. ‘We kept them up to date with


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Supporting the craftsmen and women and protecting its made-in-England DNA have been key to Halcyon Days’ strategy our progress and enquired after theirs. We have found new customers too, perhaps drawn by the fact that we support local craft. Our products bring a spark of joy, and what better to send or receive than something to draw a smile?’ This year Halycon Days has exciting plans for several product categories and is lining up collaborations with other renowned British brands. In partnership with Nina Campbell two collections of English fine bone china tea, coffee and dinnerware will be released: the Marguerite and the Serengeti Collections. Meanwhile, a beautifully curated pop-up is due to open at Fortnum & Mason in mid-February. On the product side, home fragrance will be extended with the introduction of diffusers. More items will join their coveted Maya Torque bangle collections. Beautifully crafted accessories for the home – such as wittily designed trinket trays and eye-catching candles – will also be added to an expanded Home Accents collection. It’s exciting to watch a true luxury brand grow and evolve before our eyes – and a truly British one at that. If it sticks to its values, Halcyon Days holds much resonance for the future. And just in case anyone thought it was forsaking the exquisite enamel boxes that made its name, never fear: there are new collections coming, designed to celebrate different occasions throughout 2021. Let’s hope people will be celebrating.

Halcyon Days’ beautiful homeware and gifts are all proudly made in England

Halcyon Days 251 Brompton Road London SW3 2EP +44 (0)20 7514 5454 halcyondays_uk COUNTRYANDTOWNHOUSE.CO.UK/GBB | 275

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Heirlooms Linens

GBB 2021

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eirlooms Linens is a family-run business, nestled in the Sussex countryside from where it manufactures quality bed, table and bathroom linens. Since 1984, Heirlooms has supplied top interior designers, superyacht builders, executive jet manufacturers, property developers and boutique hotels and is proud to have two Royal Warrants in recognition of its passion for excellence. By collaborating with leading Italian weavers, Heirlooms ensures that it sources the very highest grades of cotton that are then spun and woven to create exceptional fabrics. Once the fabrics arrive in West Sussex, Heirlooms’ highly skilled cutters, machinists and embroiderers craft them into the signature products that their clients love. As a manufacturer, Heirlooms knows first-hand that not all cotton is equal, but its fabrics are only ever of the very highest standards, as kind to the planet as to our sleep. When it comes to sourcing new fabrics, Heirlooms has created a beautiful new organic range that includes bed linens, towels and accessories, all produced and certified to the highest organic agricultural standards. Sustainability, social and environmental responsibility have been at the core of the business for more than 12 years and will continue to be throughout 2021. Heirlooms is ever more determined to make a positive difference to the planet, having signed up to Planet Mark certification with The Eden Project. A Planet Mark indicates and ensures that the brand is actively involved in reducing its carbon footprint and helping to protect our fragile earth. Personal health and wellbeing also continue to be priorities in 2021 as Heirlooms develops its fabric and product ranges. The brand motto is ‘luxury must be comfortable otherwise it’s not luxury’, and

Sustainable, highest grade cotton turned into the crème de la crème of linens by Heirlooms Linens

to this end Heirlooms uses only the softest fabrics as bed linens to wrap its clients comfortingly for a good night’s sleep. The mark of Heirlooms linen is a client waking up feeling utterly refreshed. Walking into Heirlooms’ HQ, near Goodwood, is to discover an Aladdin’s cave of sumptuousness. Lush jacquards and Pandora fabrics sparkle alongside eye-catching new designs and intricate embroideries in rainbow colours. A team of skilled machinists is on-site, ironing and stitching, and there is an evident sense of pride and excitement amongst the seamstresses as new designs take shape, even though members of the team are used to dealing with the extraordinary on a daily basis. This sense of creating something special, a secret for clients to discover, makes every day at Heirlooms feel like Christmas. Heirlooms is also excited to be launching a brand new website in 2021 with an e-commerce platform to meet the requirements of its fast-growing private client base. Its mission remains to engage its clients and draw in new ones by creating evermore amazing collections. This is a brand that believes the love of beauty is taste and the creation of beauty is art. It’s perhaps no surprise that Heirlooms is perceived to be one of the haute couture names of the linen industry and now its new website will make its beautiful linens accessible to all across the globe, acting as a catwalk to parade its new designs.

It’s perhaps no surprise that Heirlooms Linens is perceived to be one of the haute couture names of the linen industry

Heirlooms Linens 2 Arun Business Park West Sussex PO22 9SX +44 (0)1243 820252 heirloomslinensltd COUNTRYANDTOWNHOUSE.CO.UK/GBB | 277

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Johnson & White

GBB 2021

Distinctive home fragrances evoking the joy of travel


isters Laura and Danielle launched Johnson & White just over a year ago. Inspired by their shared passion for fragrance, travel and design, they set out to create a range of deliciously evocative home fragrances. All Johnson & White candles are hand poured into beautiful glass containers in Britain, using the highest quality mineral wax. But the distinctive fragrances are what really set this brand apart. ‘Aroma can be so powerful, sparking nostalgia and transporting the imagination, so we started with that power in mind,’ explains Danielle. ‘We decided to focus on interiors, creating a product that doesn’t only scent the air, but can be used almost like an ornament to complement the design and feel of a home. More importantly, though, we want our customers’ chosen scents to reflect their individuality or mood.’ Available in reed diffusers and candles with two or four eco cotton wicks, the collection captures the essence of four favourite destinations. London, for example, has top notes of bergamot, juniper and lemon, velvety heart accents of pink pepper, rock rose and jasmine, and woody base notes of moss and patchouli. This zesty and rich aromatic blend perfectly captures the sisters’ eclectic and intriguing home city.

Bali, meanwhile, is an uplifting lemongrass and lime fragrance balanced with lavender and eucalyptus and a base of woody spice and ginger, while New York is a rich mix of creamy vanilla, sandalwood and cashmere with floral notes of white tuberose, jasmine and ylang-ylang. Emblazoned on every Johnson & White product is a Celtic sisters’ knot. ‘We were so proud of our company’s vision and values woven from the beauty of sisterhood that we chose the Celtic sisters’ knot as our brand logo,’ says Laura. ‘Our support and allegiance to one another has created a sense of purpose for our business and lives as a whole.’ Johnson & White built up a strong following in its first year – then came Covid. ‘The pandemic left many of us feeling stuck and uninspired,’ says Laura. ‘Being avid travellers ourselves, we were really aware of the limitations of being confined to our homes during the lockdown. But though we couldn’t travel, we had our fragrances to transport us to the places we longed to visit. We felt we were delivering escapism to our customers’ doors at a time when it was most needed.’ Plans for this year include the introduction of room sprays and the launch of two new fragrances. The brand is also working with a growing number of interior designers. ‘Every country has had to unite to battle Covid and in Britain we’ve also had the uncertainty of Brexit,’ says Danielle. ‘But we’ve seen consumers actively and more frequently supporting local, British businesses in an effort to save and strengthen our economy. We have been so lucky with our new and existing, loyal customers. They’ve kept us very busy and focused and, we hope, they will continue to do so in 2021 and beyond.’

Johnson & White +44 (0)1708 691961 johnsonandwhite


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‘We decided to focus on interiors, creating a product that doesn’t only scent the air, but can be used almost like an ornament to complement the design and feel of a home’

CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT: The Bali collection with zesty lemongrass and lime; Dubai mixes powerful amber, saffron and musk; sisters Danielle and Laura

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Naim Audio

GBB 2021

Pure, authentic, soul-stirring sound, from the comfort of your own home or car


n the 48 years since founder Julian Vereker started making exceptional music systems in Salisbury, Naim Audio has evolved and thrived. Today, despite numerous developments and changes, the company remains true to Julian’s original driving mission: to deliver music with sound so pure and authentic that it could be live. This continuity of purpose, together with the brand’s obsessive attention to detail and builtto-last ethos, has put Naim in a strong position to meet today’s extraordinary new challenges. During 2020’s difficult times, Naim’s dedicated, resilient audio experts adapted swiftly to new ways of working. After a very brief production shutdown to adapt and equip the company’s Salisbury workshops with the necessary virus-protection measures for its staff, Naim lovingly continued to craft products for its growing worldwide audience. Naim works with a global network of specialist retailers to help customers find their perfect Naim Audio

product. Service and support is provided at every stage, including Covid-safe product demonstrations, home deliveries and installations. In a world in which we are all necessarily spending far more time at home, the quality of home audio products has never been more important. Whether it’s mood music seamlessly streaming into every room, a relaxing track for the bedroom, inspiring music to work to, motivating music to work out to, or your all-time favourite album in the rare luxury of a dedicated listening space, there is a hand-crafted Naim waiting to enhance and bring joy to the experience. Revolutionising TV sound is another priority. Puny TV speakers with thin, tinny sound can be relegated to history with the HDMI ARC connectivity of the Naim Mu-so and Uniti ranges. This connectivity comprises a top-quality music system that transforms the experience of watching television with outstanding, good-as-live sound that will add clarity, drama and vividness to whatever you’re watching. Naim continues to attract and engage new customers and inspire existing ones by collaborating with fellow Great British brands, which is also Naim’s way of expanding its horizons and celebrating shared values. The Naim for Bentley in-car audio system is considered the best in class and in 2020 Naim’s long-term partnership with Bentley was further strengthened by the launch of the Naim Mu-so for Bentley Special Edition. This wireless speaker is now part of the exclusive Bentley Collection and is a delight to both eyes and ears. It skilfully combines Bentley’s styling cues and colour accents with award-winning audio performance from Naim, exemplifying both companies’ pride in their heritage, while also embracing the opportunities offered by cutting-edge technology. The Naim Mu-so for Bentley Special Edition defines a new benchmark in premium performance and customer experience. Naim greets 2021 optimistically with a peerless product range and exciting innovations to reveal later in the year. In tandem, the company’s Naim Records label will continue to uplift and entertain, with new releases from an eclectic roster of British-based artists, including Fable, an unmissable, newly signed talent. Soul-stirring music lies at the centre of Naim Audio’s heart and purpose, and the company is confident that anyone who experiences the difference will become an immediate devoted convert.

Naim Audio Southampton Road Salisbury SP1 2LN +44 (0)1722 426600 naimaudio


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CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT: The Naim Audio Statement, an amplifier that’s at the pinnacle of the brand’s engineering knowledge and artistry; the new Naim Mu-so for Bentley Special Edition system; Fable is one of Naim Records’ new signings


Naim Audio remains true to Julian Vereker’s original driving mission: to deliver music with sound so pure and authentic that it could be live

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Noble Macmillan

GBB 2021

Timeless leather goods epitomising the very best of British craftsmanship


oble Macmillan produces beautiful leather goods. Designed with both practicality and luxury in mind, they strike the perfect balance between classic and contemporary. Founded by friends Tom Dodd Noble and Adam Macmillan in the 1980s, the brand began life in their garage (which once accommodated their Le Mans racing car) in a quiet Kensington mews. It has remained there ever since. In 2007, the company was bought by Tom Fleming, who has maintained the brand’s traditional approach, creating products that epitomise the very best of British craftsmanship. Throughout the uncertainty of 2020, Noble Macmillan has maintained the excellent service for which it is known, always at the end of the phone for customers, old and new. It was with a heavy heart that it temporarily closed its Elvaston Mews store for the first time in 30 years, in line with government restrictions, telling customers: ‘There will be many stories of sadness, but it is our hope that there will be some happy memories created through this tough time. We hope this is a time to dig out those family albums and reflect on happier days, a time for people to take a step back from our fast-paced, technology-driven world, and return to simpler forms of entertainment.’ And indeed, the brand reported a huge spike in online sales of photo albums during the pandemic, suggesting that its customers

were spending time at home storing their memories in beautiful Noble Macmillan albums. The launch of its new website ensured that Noble Macmillan remained highly functioning throughout last year. As most of its products are produced in Britain, the brand largely managed to avoid Covid-related supply chain issues. To show its support and appreciation for frontline workers, it sent personalised keyrings to lockdown heroes and hand-delivered them to customers shielding in London. Opting to hand-deliver was typical of Noble Macmillan’s approach to customer service, which works to create a personal relationship with shoppers. In a bid to help minimise its customers’ need to leave home, for example, the brand added the facility to print and insert photos into frames prior to sending. The brand is constantly coming up with exciting new products – recent additions to its range of leather goods and games include a new emerald green design to its popular collection of cross-body bags, new quirky and fun luxury card boxes in collaboration with artist Jakki Doodles, and a luxury Ibble Dibble set, whose launch coincided with the game’s appearance in the hit Netflix show, The Crown, turning it into an instant bestseller. ‘Not only will we continue to champion British craftsmanship post-Brexit, but, following the success of our sell-out recycled shopper bags, we hope to explore new ways in which we can use sustainable materials for our products,’ says head of product and marketing, Hannah Fleming. ‘We’re looking at 2021 with excitement and are brimming with ideas, both for enhancing our service and for further increasing our range of products.’

Noble Macmillan 9 Elvaston Mews London SW7 5HY +44 (0)20 7581 4178 noblemacmillan


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‘We’re looking at 2021 with excitement and are brimming with ideas, both for enhancing our service and for further increasing our range of products’

Noble Macmillan is renowned for its beautiful products and friendly, personal service

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GBB 2021

and upped the time spent creating organic content on Facebook and Instagram. This included describing her personal journey, taking a peek at behind-the-scenes activity and drumming up excitement for the reveal of the latest new fragrance. Her new Winter Wonderland launched in September and joined Nostara’s collection of eight fragrances – including Lime & Juniper, Leather & Vetiver and Ebony Rose & Burnished Amber – which were individually created in collaboration with an award-winning Somerset perfumer. Nikki also took time during 2020 to foster the Nostara community with a newly created newsletter, which shares wellbeing tips and general lifestyle advice. Gradually influencers have become personal friends, playing a key role in promoting Nostara’s products, increasing sales and amplifying Nostara’s social reach. ‘It’s been amazing to see how people have come together during this time to support independent businesses,’ says Nikki, ‘and it’s really helped us to keep going and stay motivated during such a crazy year. During 2021, I will continue to focus on building an online community of Nostara customers and I’ll be working with influencers on new product launches to spread the word.’ While working on Nostara’s online presence, Nikki has also developed two new home fragrances that are in the pipeline for spring. She has also been using this time as an unexpected opportunity to develop exciting new products, diversifying into personal scents and creating an earthy eau de toilette and a floral, oceanic eau de parfum. Silver linings come in all shapes and forms. ‘I’m such a lover of fragrance, whether for the home or as a perfume,’ she says, ‘that it’s really exciting for the brand to be evolving in this way.’

Beautifully made fragrances for you and your home


ince launching in 2017, Nostara has carved a small but distinct niche for itself in the crowded British home fragrance market. The brand offers scented, hand-poured candles and reed diffusers, beautifully designed and made from ethical and sustainable materials sourced locally in Britain. The brand’s founder, Nikki Holt, has built a loyal following in just three years, as well as attracting the attention of numerous independent retailers. Having previously engaged with consumers in person, through the top lifestyle fairs and exhibitions around the country, Nikki had to rethink her strategy in 2020. ‘I’m always excited to meet new customers and passionate about helping them find fragrances that really appeal, so this year has been particularly challenging because Covid meant fairs and exhibitions were cancelled. However, demand for beautiful fragrances in homes and offices has not gone away,’ explains Nikki. Knowing she needed a fast new plan, Nikki turned her focus to online – not the easiest medium through which to sell fragrance, but the only way to keep a conversation going with new and existing customers. She invested in social media paid adverts,

Nostara The Orangery Yeovil Somerset BA21 3UJ +44 (0)1935 478949 nostaraluxury


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Nostara offers scented, hand-poured candles and reed diffusers, beautifully designed and made from ethical and sustainable materials sourced locally in Britain

Nostara’s core range of nine fragrances was created in collaboration with an award-winning Somerset perfumer

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GBB 2021

Blossoming professional cookware brand based on non-toxic titanium


hen Marie Guerlain’s first child was born, she found herself spending more time in the kitchen cooking nutritious meals, but struggled to find cookware that was both non-toxic and aesthetically pleasing. ‘It is counterproductive to cook thoughtful, organic meals in badly made cookware,’ she says. As a qualified nutritional health coach and student of functional medicine, Marie had always embraced holistic wellness and the nurturing and balancing of body and mind through delicious and nutritionally fulfilling food. She felt so strongly that cooking tasty food should not mean compromising on nutritional quality that she started researching the best materials for avoiding toxicity in the kitchen. She landed on the highest grade 316Ti titanium and used it as the basis for

launching a new professional cookware brand in 2018. Combining artistic form with innovative function, Ondine cookware is designed to go straight from oven to table. Its healthy, non-toxic make-up protects both the taste and the nutrients in your food, while being meticulously crafted to be used again and again, and passed down through the generations. ‘I translated my passion for health and nutrition into Ondine,’ explains Marie, ‘but it also represents my love of art and design. I believe oven-to-table cooking is both helpful for preparation and also a loving, bonding way to serve food. Ondine cookware is designed to take pride of place at the table.’ Although the brand is headquartered in the UK, it was Italy’s top artisans with whom Marie spent five years researching and developing her practical and beautiful cookware. Every detail, from the simplicity of the overall design to the hand-finished brass handles, was considered for its functionality and style. The finish is naturally non-stick, which means cooks can minimise the use of butter and cooking oils.


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Every detail, from the simplicity of the overall design to the hand-finished brass handles, was considered for its functionality and style

Ondine, founded by Marie Guerlain, is made from the highest grade 316Ti titanium, known for its non-toxicity. Beautiful as well as practical, it’s designed to be handed down through generations

With people both cooking at home and focusing on their health in general during 2020, the brand had a really successful year. Ondine’s retail model was already established online which gave it a headstart, and the lockdown saw a big growth in both awareness and sales internationally. Much of this was organic, attributable to word of mouth and online recommendations. The film Dark Waters, about the toxic components of Teflon, was also a contributory factor in spreading the message about the value of non-toxic cookware. Alongside a strong online performance, Ondine also became Harrods’ leading cookware retailer for part of 2020, and sales are still going strong there. The brand’s distinctive

products and philosophy around healthy cooking and eating clearly plays well with the Harrods customer. It’s an achievement of which Ondine is rightly proud, and it does not rule out adding more products to the collection in future. As a working mother with young children, Marie understands the challenges of finding time and space to come together as a family, as well as making time to nurture oneself. Through her Instagram channel she shares insights, tips and family-led recipes that celebrate the joy of food and life’s simple pleasures. As she sums up: ‘We will continue to promote healthy cooking and healthy cookware. In light of the pandemic, this approach has never been more important.’

Ondine +44 (0)20 3858 0601 ondinecuisine


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Rachel Vosper

GBB 2021

A new website, subscription service and family-run factory in East Molesley are just some of the latest developments at Rachel Vosper

The creative chandler working towards a bright and sustainable future


ike so many luxury brands, Rachel Vosper used 2020 as an opportunity to take stock and look to the future needs of her business. With many large corporate orders on hold, especially in the hospitality and travel sectors, Rachel was able to reconnect directly with her customers and private clients as she had done when she first launched her Belgravia flagship nine years ago, having previously practised her chandlering craft from ateliers in Devon and Barbados. She found a newly invigorated appetite for home fragrancing, with so many spending more time at home and devoting time to the creation of their own private sanctuaries. ‘People were not only burning through their candles fast,’ she says, ‘they were also clearing out their attics and rediscovering all sorts of stunning vessels for us to fill and to upcycle into beautiful, bespoke candles.’


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This is one of the unique offers of the business, that, in addition to its bespoke refill service, it can work with and fill pretty much any container brought in by clients, from Christening silver to commemorative pottery, flea market finds or vintage glassware. These are then filled with a scented beeswax of choice from Rachel’s vast library or a completely bespoke concoction and exquisitely wrapped, providing a truly personal product and also directly linking customers to the integral creative process of the brand. Rachel is launching a new, business to consumer online platform this year including a subscription service for refills and has also sourced a new family-run factory in East Molesley, near Hampton Court, to create her retail stock and provide logistical support, fulfilling the demands of the new site. She is also shaking up her social media presence, including showcasing favourite pieces and offering a new click-to-buy service on Instagram. Meanwhile, she continues in her mission to become the most planet-friendly chandler in the business, with a new range of sustainable, European-sourced formulations and blends and continued research into the most environmentally safe reeds for diffusers. Further pioneering research has also seen her develop incredibly realistic, flame-free candles that can be safely used in tricky environments, such as members’ clubs, offering the warm glow of candlelight without any health and safety concerns. In addition, she has also been working on high-tech fragrancing systems to be used primarily within the luxury yacht and hospitality sectors, with bespoke fragrances cleverly designed to work in tandem with air-conditioning systems to deliver instant ambience. Corporate clients have continued to commission Rachel’s creative services, including requests from the Arts Club in Mayfair, the Berkeley Hotel and Garrard to create bespoke votive offerings for their top-tier customers. While the enforced end of tax-free shopping by the Government remains a concern, Rachel looks to a bright future and cites a significant upswing in interest from new clients in the Middle East and the United States. ‘Now more than ever,’ she says, ‘it’s all about bringing a bit of light and joy into people’s lives. It is better to light a candle than to curse the darkness.’

‘It’s all about bringing a bit of light and joy into people’s lives. It is better to light a candle than to curse the darkness’

Rachel Vosper 69 Kinnerton St London SW1X 8ED +44 (0)20 7235 9666 rachelvosperbelgravia COUNTRYANDTOWNHOUSE.CO.UK/GBB | 289

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Rollo London

GBB 2021

Beautiful notebooks and stationery to encourage everyone to keep writing


ollo London was founded by Alexandra Fagan, the former creative director of accessories brand Beauchamps of London. Alexandra had been struggling to find an elegant, sustainable, good quality, affordable notebook to use. Realising there was a gap in the market for one, she set about designing her own. ‘I wanted a beautiful classic book,’ Alexandra explains, ‘in which everyone could record their dreams, wishes, songs, poems, doodles, lists, notes, thoughts and experiences.’ Rollo London now has three collections comprising the Rollo, Otto and Coco notebooks, which are available in three sizes with a Hardy or Softy back. They all boast ribbon bookmarks, elastic retainers, dated pages with margins and perforated edges so they can be torn out easily – plus a handy reference page at the front so you can keep track of its contents. ‘We’ve crafted all our notebooks for functionality and elegance,’ Alexandra says. ‘Notebooks without margins should be firmly relegated to school exercise-book territory; we believe a perforated page is akin to a hidden, deep pocket in a skirt: practical and comforting.’

The Rollo Collection consists of notebooks with a Scotch paper grain cover with a leather-like texture. The notebooks have goldtipped page edges and an embedded gold charm on the front – Alexandra’s greyhound, Rollo. The notebooks in the Otto Collection have smooth covers with graphics hand-drawn by the in-house design team, allowing for bespoke colour matching. Finally, the Coco Collection is the everyday collection for corporates only, with a soft spot-patterned cover in ‘Earth’ material, milled in Scotland. Sustainability is core to the brand’s ethos. ‘We believe that you only need buy once, but buy well,’ affirms Alexandra. ‘Our products are British-made using certified supply chains and environmentally friendly materials. The notebooks are all made to last so price is key – if it’s too low someone or something else is paying. It’s environmentally friendly to buy something you’ll use until the end of its life and treasure with pride long after you’ve written on the final page.’ She continues: ‘Every product tells a story. It can be about where it came from or how it’s made, but we’re seeing that Brexit is increasingly encouraging people to buy locally and buy British. Plus, so many people are now working from home and seeking out beautiful, affordable luxury products to cheer up their home offices. That’s why we’ve launched our complementary Desk Collection.’ The Desk Collection consists of blocks, jotters and mouse mats, all with the signature Rollo greyhound charm. Products can be personalised and monogrammed and, for corporates, there is even the option to create a bespoke charm logo. The brand’s mission – to encourage everyone to keep writing – is inspired by author Will Self, whose rules for writers include: ‘Always carry a notebook. And I mean always. The short-term memory only retains information for three minutes; unless it is committed to paper you can lose an idea for ever.’ ‘I created Rollo London to record your dreams and inspire everyone to write, create, organise, scribble, doodle or start on that overdue blockbuster or novel,’ says Alexandra. ‘So just pick your pen up, open your Rollo and the rest will follow.’

Rollo London +44 (0)20 3727 5412 rollo_ldn


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‘Our products are British-made using certified supply chains and environmentally friendly materials’


Sustainable, affordable and high quality, a Rollo London notebook is a must for scribblers, writers or fastidious note-takers, and everyone in between

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GBB 2021

The perfect time to capture and share a cherished life story


s a child, Rutger Bruining was fascinated by the stories his grandfather told him about his experience as a member of the Dutch resistance in World War II. Rutger had always planned to write down these memories, but his grandfather passed away before he was able to do so. How many other people’s stories, he wondered, disappear when they’re no longer around to tell them? It was this personal regret that inspired him to help others to capture the stories of their families, and even their own life experiences, each one remarkable and moving in their own way. Launched in 2015, StoryTerrace is the leading biography

writing service that helps people to turn their life stories into beautifully curated memoirs by carefully matching them with a professional writer. Their packages are popular gifts for milestone birthdays, anniversaries or other momentous occasions. To date, it has brought to life over 2,000 stories using a network of over 600 professional writers – the largest of its kind in the world. Many of these writers have been published by the world’s most prominent media and publishing houses, including Penguin Random House and Hachette Book Group. Others have topped The Sunday Times and New York Times bestseller lists. Since lockdown began, there has been a surge in demand for StoryTerrace’s services. ‘Coronavirus and lockdown have prompted many of us to reflect on our lives and to spend more time talking to family. I think


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StoryTerrace captures the lives of many in beautiful hard-bound biographies, keeping the stories alive for the next generations to come

‘Coronavirus has prompted many of us to reflect on our lives and spend time with family - I think that’s why so many want to create a personal record’ that’s why so many more people are interested in creating a permanent record – something that’s very personal, but has been produced under the guidance of a professional writing and editorial team,’ says Rutger. Each client is carefully matched with a writer who can best emulate their own voice and reflect their personality, interests and background. The writer then interviews the client to craft their story, recording anecdotes to create an authentic testament of the client’s life. These interviews are typically conducted face to face in the comfort of the client’s home, but the company also offers remote options, with conversations by phone or video call. StoryTerrace’s proprietary platform, BookMaker, ensures that the storyteller and writer can stay connected every step of the way. The storyteller is able to request changes while the in-house editorial team handles the rest of the process. The result is beautifully produced, hardback book with colour images that is delivered to the client’s home for them to share with family and friends – a unique heirloom. StoryTerrace, which greatly impressed the investors of the hit BBC show Dragon’s Den, is expanding its offering to businesses as well as individuals. Alongside its standard

packages, it can meet bespoke requests such as full translations, e-books and audiobooks. ‘It’s amazing what people can learn about their parents and grandparents. A professional writer with a sympathetic ear and a talent for spotting lovely anecdotes can capture the essence of someone’s life in a way that may never have imagined,’ explains Rutger. ‘People tell us that it’s one of the most amazing gifts that they’ve ever received. It brings me so much joy to help people to preserve their stories forever.’

StoryTerrace Unit 1BB, 230 York Way London N7 9AG + 44 (0)20 8629 1001 story.terrace


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E.J. Churchill

GBB 2021


he name could hardly be more British – and the company, which was founded in 1891 and is the largest British owned gunmaker in the UK, is proud of its roots. Supporting suppliers and businesses around the country is also important to E.J. Churchill, from the shooting facility providers to the country clothing and accessory brands they stock. ‘The British element is incredibly significant given the rich history of shooting in the United Kingdom; it has international appeal and a global audience. The association with Britain provides a strong element of quality and assurance,’ says Rob Fenwick, managing director of E.J. Churchill. Despite Covid-19, as an outdoor sports company, E.J. Churchill was able to keep its doors open for a period in 2020. During the first lockdown period the team decided to take the initiative, and they invested heavily in both of its shooting grounds in Buckinghamshire and North Yorkshire, installing covered shooting stands and a new state-of-the-art air rifle range. ‘Covid-19 has increased interest in the sport massively as it’s an outside activity,’ explains Rob. ‘Shooting is a perfect chance to do a fun competitive sport while being out in the fresh air. It also has very few barriers to entry so people from as young as nine years old, with any amount of experience, can take it up. When people have visited they have often brought members of their family or friends to have a go as it is a social sport.’ A partnership with Caviar House & Prunier has added to the appeal. ‘This meant that when people came back after lockdown, we

were able to offer them a first-class shooting experience followed by excellent food and wines,’ says Rob. ‘Lobster and fries and a glass of Sancerre became the most popular post-shooting dish.’ Country sports might be steeped in tradition and even though E.J. Churchill has a great heritage, the company is constantly evolving to meet the demands of new fans and customers. E.J. Churchill achieve this by delivering unrivalled events for all occasions, not just shooting. They also have a Sporting Agency which has access to some of the most spectacular estates both in the UK and abroad, a gun room that supplies new and second hand shotguns and rifles including its own portfolio. And their instore and online retail shop stocks a number of carefully selected brands alongside its own collection of country attire and accessories. For example, a new, fully self-automated clay release system was installed by trap supplier Promatic, the new system means that experienced shooters with a valid license can use the shooting facilities at their leisure and pay for exactly what they shoot. ‘Our clay manufacturer, CCI’s new Eco Clay Pigeons are a huge step forward in our goal to become a more sustainable company,’ says Rob. ‘We recycle all of our plastic wads E.J. Churchill and cartridges and so having Park Lane a fully eco-friendly clay, which Lane End, High Wycombe is made using pine resin, is Buckinghamshire HP14 3NS brilliant for our grounds, for our +44 (0)1494 883227 clients and for the countryside.’ ejchurchill ejchurchillswintonestate


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The traditional British country sports company that’s changing with the times



E.J. Churchill’s ambitious, international outlook has taken the brand to addresses well beyond prime central London and Britain’s country estates

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You’ll get a first-class shooting experience at E.J. Churchill

21/12/2020 12:17

The Fitzdares Club

GBB 2021

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itzdares was founded by Balthazar Fabricius in 2005 to put old-fashioned customer service back into the increasingly impersonal bookmaking industry. He started with a traditional private telephone service and became the first bookmaker to introduce text betting. In 2016 Fitzdares acquired Sunderlands, which had in turn taken over T Guntrip, a 100-year-old bookmaker with roots in Mayfair. Not for nothing did Fitzdares choose Davies Street, W1, to open a first physical space as a private members’ club in September 2020: Mayfair feels like something of a spiritual home. The club, which is upstairs at the Running Horse, Mayfair’s oldest pub, is referred to as, ‘the world’s most luxurious sports bar’. It must surely rank as one of the sumptuous places to settle in for the racing, rugby or golf – or whichever is the live sporting event du jour – seven days a week. The Rosanna Bossom-designed interior is colourfully classy, and somehow incorporates nine monster TV screens. But while the service is impeccable, it is really all about the excitement of sport. The club is the next best thing to being at an event in person. In fact, during 2020 the club was arguably a better – and safer – place to enjoy sport. No crowds, no argy-bargy, no swearing (‘OK, a little swearing’) and no packed trains or traffic jams. It saw an increase in active members by a third from before lockdown. ‘This is the busiest we have ever been,’ says the club’s CEO William Woodhams. ‘Also, a huge amount of safe experiential activity is on the way, so we have forecast dramatic growth, which is really exciting.’ The brand issued an app to the public in 2018, enabling it to reach a wider audience of app-only members while maintaining its traditional private office one-to-one service. Now the app

With interiors designed by the acclaimed Rosanna Blossom, The Fitzdares Club is a few steps above your usual bookmaker’s

is being refined and personalised. ‘We are very proud of how we offer great tech that can fast-track you to a highly-trained human,’ says William. That said, full club membership is an attractive proposition, providing access to more generous betting offers, invitations to Fitzdares Club hospitality at major sporting events, the Fitzdares Wine Club, subscriptions to the bookmaking trade’s Total Performance Data and the in-house Fitzdares Times, plus preferential rates at partner restaurants, top hat retailers and Savile Row tailors. The club’s recent burst of activity includes building a mobile bar and cigar room, taking over a castle for the Cheltenham Festival, writing an old-fashioned book and making films. Spurred on by the success of its first filmic offering – a tribute to the legendary racehorse trainer Sir Henry Cecil, which has received millions of views – Fitzdares will continue to build out its ‘Honour’ series, putting further great sportsmen of old into the spotlight. This year, Fitzdares looks a far cry from the brand that has, in the past, been perceived as a bit too old-school posh. ‘A true premium British brand looks forward but remembers the traditions that make us special,’ remarks William. Fitzdares may have an eye on the past but, with a procession of new ideas taking shape, it certainly has both feet in the future.

It must surely rank as one of the sumptuous places to settle in for the racing, rugby or golf – or whichever is the live sporting event du jour

The Fitzdares Club 50 Davies Street, Mayfair London W1K 5JE +44 (0)20 7495 0386 thefitzdaresclub COUNTRYANDTOWNHOUSE.CO.UK/GBB | 299

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Great British Racing International

GBB 2021


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GBRI will continue to publicise the worldwide importance of British racing and its vital place in the social and economic fabric of this country



or many racehorse owners, the dream begins on a racecourse, as they gaze longingly into a winner’s enclosure alive with jubilant celebrations. In the middle is the hero of the hour, receiving a well-deserved pat down on the neck from adoring connections. Alongside adrenaline-fuelled excitement, Britain’s premier race meetings, such as Royal Ascot and the ‘Glorious’ Qatar Goodwood Festival, offer incomparable social occasions. Meanwhile, out on the racecourse, the sport’s thoroughbred stars are establishing their credentials as the stallions and broodmares of the future. So it was with considerable trepidation that Britain’s worldfamous racecourses closed their gates in March; there was no racing for 11 weeks. For Great British Racing International (GBRI), an immediate rethink was required while all plans for hosting and entertaining international owners were suspended. It was clear that the sport would take a financial knock, but worries abounded that racehorse ownership might also be badly affected by the pandemic. Yet, by the autumn of 2020, there were welcome signs that the commitment and resilience of racing’s owners and breeders had held up unexpectedly well. At the world’s most prestigious annual auction of yearlings, Newmarket’s Tattersalls sales in October, nervous breeders were rewarded for their courage and patience with a competitive market, which exceeded the expectations of even the most optimistic onlookers. Things were far from perfect, but the losses were not as damaging as anticipated. In such a challenging year, how can this be explained? GBRI recognised that those who weather 2020’s political and economic

storms will have the opportunity to buy the world’s best-bred bloodstock at more reasonable prices than ever before. This is a world of supply and demand, in which the price of a horse is determined not by the vendor, but by the buyers standing – socially distanced, of course – around the ring. In 2020, more than ever, there was value to be found at the sales. What’s more, at a time when our leisure options are severely limited, is it possible that racehorse ownership might represent an exciting new entertainment opportunity, one in keeping with the new normality? Social distancing measures are easily observed when going behind the scenes for a magical morning on the gallops or during stable visits. Britain’s talented and colourful coterie of racehorse trainers work hard to keep its owners fully informed and entertained. Regular coverage on ITV Racing, the industry’s terrestrial broadcasting partner, and the distribution of British racing’s flagship festivals to over 125 countries, brings all the excitement of the races to you at home. As GBRI prepares to welcome international owners back to Britain’s racecourses and recommence its year-round hospitality and concierge service, it will be refocusing its attention on novel ways to reward these owners from afar. These might include individual portraits of their horses or improved online communications. Meanwhile, as the world recovers from the pandemic, GBRI will continue to publicise the worldwide importance of British racing and its vital place in the social and economic fabric of this country.

Great British Racing International 75 High Holborn London WC1V 6LS gbri_uk COUNTRYANDTOWNHOUSE.CO.UK/GBB | 301

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Holland & Holland

GBB 2021

Bringing together the best in refinement, innovation and skill


ince 1835 Holland & Holland has been the pre-eminent gun-maker crafting the finest bespoke shotguns and rifles for clients. Proud holder of two Royal Warrants, Holland & Holland’s values of quality, craftsmanship, tradition and innovation are distilled into every gun made. Such excellence has been further recognised by royalty across the globe. These qualities shine through notably at the Holland & Holland shooting grounds where world-class tuition has been provided since 1932. Set within 60 acres of open countryside, the main attractions are the newly refurbished lodge, superb lessons and courses, the cigar lounge, the indoor rifle cinema, an impressive wine room, event rooms and, of course, the stunning grounds

themselves. New additions include wildflower meadows and a cosy welcoming bothy to appreciate between stands. Whether you seek peace and quiet or a place to spend time with your family, the grounds at Ducks Hill Road, Northwood offer the perfect escape from the city without venturing outside London. The shooting grounds cater to both game and sporting shots with a wide range of simulated game and clay pigeon targets too. A 100-yard outdoor rifle range provides full facilities to test, zero and practise rifle shooting in preparation for stalking. Holland & Holland proudly offers the only private, non-military indoor live-round rifle shooting facility in Britain, enabling rifle instruction with a moving target and live ammunition. As well as lessons, they offer gun-fittings and a range of courses to improve performance in the field. Director of the shooting grounds, Nicolas Ollivier,


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Proud holder of two Royal Warrants, Holland & Holland’s values of quality, craftsmanship, tradition and innovation are distilled into every gun made

Perfect your shot at Holland & Holland’s London shooting ground, and then get kitted out at its Mayfair Gun Room

takes great pride in providing an environment that caters for all tastes. Lockdown stimulated remarkable changes in hospitality at the grounds, with the restaurant becoming a main attraction of Northwood’s culinary offerings. Menus feature fresh seasonal produce; eating good food, sourced naturally and locally, are all integral to Holland & Holland’s mission of sustainability. ‘The quality you get from freshly picked produce is unparalleled,’ states head chef, Joshua Hunter, who believes that food seasonality and supporting British producers are essential factors in a sustainable food system. Holland & Holland’s famous London Gun Room is on Bruton Street, located in the very heart of Mayfair. Helpful staff are as expert in this field as on the shooting range. The Gun Room furnishes a range of additional

services from gun storage, servicing, repairs, renovations and valuations; its tailored gun-fitting service typically starts at the Mayfair Gun Room. The addition of an online accessories shop to the company has been a strong catalyst in extending the brand experience and strengthening client relationships. An extensive range of beautiful leather goods and other custom-made products is further proof that Holland & Holland is not only a phenomenal gun-maker but also applies its skills to crafting multiple luxurious and desirable items. Last year undoubtedly presented challenges for many businesses, but Holland & Holland’s diversification places the brand in a strong and prominent position moving into 2021 and beyond. Although the company is steeped in almost 200 years of heritage, it consistently faces forward and into the future.

Holland & Holland Shooting Grounds Ducks Hill Road, Northwood HA6 2ST +44 (0)1923 825349 London Gun Room 33 Bruton Street London W1J 6HH +44 (0)20 7499 4411 hollandandholland1835


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The House of Bruar

GBB 2021

Scotland’s home of country clothing


CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT: Men’s Hereford Cap, Tweed Shooting Coat, Plus Two’s, Ladies Fairisle Crew Neck and Tweed Tapered Culottes; Ladies Austrian Feather Hat with Pashmina Coat; Ladies Suede Fur Hood Parka

ow celebrating 25 years of business, this exclusive and progressive brand is one of Scotland’s foremost shopping destinations, set in the beautiful Perthshire countryside. Top quality, natural fibre materials, expert craftsmanship, impeccable style and the vast array of colours that represent their highland home are distinct hallmarks of The House of Bruar. And with the brand boasting the largest knitwear collection in Britain, it is clear to see the evocative and expressive colours of the Scottish landscape in its premium lambswool, finest merino and pure cashmere; while the cultural heritage of its homeland is reflected in its extensive collection of pure new wool British plaids, tweeds and luxury leathers and suedes. With everything from traditional designs to boldly contemporary creations, the House of Bruar is known for its expansive range of ladies’ and men’s textiles, many of which are designed by the in-house team. Add to this an extensive food hall offering the best of Scotland’s natural larder, an art gallery containing works from some of Britain’s leading wildlife artists and a country living and gift shop boasting a host of ideas for the home, garden and even bespoke wedding lists, and you have a retail destination like no other. While the pandemic presented the same issues as other retailers, its thriving mail order business, as well as its textile, handmade gift catalogues and website, meant it was in a strong position to weather the storm. ‘The pandemic has encouraged the more traditional customers to consider other forms of shopping and helped retailers realise the potential of ecommerce,’ says the creative director. ‘Mail order and home shopping were already a large part of our business. We were able to keep our food hall and our mail order departments running during lockdown and came back stronger than ever when restrictions were lifted in Scotland.’ Nevertheless, while its focus may have shifted online this year, the brand believes there will always be a place for bricks and mortar retail. ‘Nothing will ever beat an authentic shopping experience, where you get to live, breathe and feel your choice of attire. We truly believe that a beautiful shop floor cements our integrity as a brand and says to one and all that our doors are open, as we once again welcome visitors from across Britain, Europe and the world. For the last four or five years, quality has become more important to the consumer and this has very much been the message from the founders, Mark, Linda and Patrick Birkbeck, since the shop opened in 1995.’ The brand is already something of an ambassador for Scottish style and craftsmanship on the world stage and, in the wake of Brexit, The House of Bruar believes it is more important than ever to reach out to potential visitors in Europe and beyond, whilst continuing to offer the best service The House of Bruar to their valued British customers who have supported them for By Blair Atholl so many years. And as we watch their mail order and ecommerce Perthshire PH18 5TW grow, the main retail store will continue to attract global visitors, +44 (0)1796 483236 promising the very best in Scottish and British quality with an emphasis on customer service and innovative design. thehouseofbruar


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Top quality, natural fibre materials, expert craftsmanship, impeccable style and the vast array of colours that represent its highland home are distinct hallmarks of The House of Bruar

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GBB 2021

Born from the oceans: Musto, the leading technical performance clothing brand


hen Keith Musto arrived in Tokyo as part of the British Olympic sailing squad of 1964, he was an unlikely choice. Too light and short for the heavyweight Flying Dutchman boat he was competing in, Keith and his crew, Tony Morgan, quickly realised their only chance of winning gold was to be fitter than their opponents. So, every day, Christmas included, they underwent fitness training. Fellow competitors derided such activity as unsporting, but already a new breed of sailors was emerging – and they were athletes. Unfortunately, with their Guernsey sweaters and flannel trousers, they weren’t dressed for the part. After taking the sailing world by storm and winning silver in Tokyo (missing out on gold

by nanoseconds), on his return to the UK, Keith Musto set about producing ground-breaking technical sailing apparel. Today, Musto has a global reputation for producing innovative clothing that’s tested in the harshest environments. Combining high performance and style, it’s sold in over 40 countries around the world. Brand ambassadors include Zara Tindall and the British Sailing Team, the sailing squad that will represent Britain at the Tokyo Olympics, 57 years after Keith Musto won his silver medal in the city. ‘Musto is all about adventure. Despite the challenges of 2020, this past year has allowed people to rekindle their love for the great outdoors, after months of lockdown, cooped up at home,’ says Nick Houchin, head of marketing at Musto. ‘As a brand, we encourage people to get outside and we support them in their own adventures – however big or small. We keep them protected on the outside so they can be stronger on the inside.’


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‘Musto is all about adventure. Despite the challenges of 2020, this past year has allowed people to re-kindle their love for the great outdoors’ Musto, which holds two Royal Warrants, continues to push the boundaries with innovative performance clothing to suit all adventures, whether on land or water. At the world’s largest motor show in Frankfurt in September 2019, Land Rover and Musto announced they had joined forces to deliver the ultimate clothing collection, designed for trailblazers who live to test limits, push boundaries, and look good while doing it. Among the new product ranges for 2021 is the Musto Land Rover Welded Thermo Jacket. Made for adventurers, it features the lightest solid known to man – PrimaLoft® Aerogel – designed by NASA and consisting of 95 per cent air, it creates a total thermal barrier, protecting the wearer from the most extreme temperatures. Already furiously competitive, the constant drive for speed in inshore sailing means that participants are looking to lose every ounce of unnecessary weight. That’s why Musto has created the lightest jacket on the market. The LPX Gore-Tex Infinium Aero Jacket will keep sailors comfortable during high energy racing while Flexlite Vapour, a new breathable neoprene wetsuit, will help to give the British Sailing Team the winning edge. ‘The message for our Autumn/Winter 20 campaign was “Together we can weather anything”,’ says Nick. ‘It sums up everything we’ve achieved this year and the exciting new performance gear that we’ll be launching next year. We weathered the challenges of 2020 – now it’s time to get out there and raise the bar in 2021 and beyond.’

Musto’s innovative designs continue to push boundaries, and the brand is known for clothing the most hardy adventurers and athletes

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Aston Martin

GBB 2021

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LAND & SKY CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT: The DBX, the marque’s first luxury SUV; the new Archetypal Hunter Vantage Roadster; Aston Martin is proud of its British-based craftsmanship

Aston Martin works constantly on innovative ways to enhance and expand its brand in the luxury car market


he world will be pleased to see the back of 2020, but nonetheless, it was a very significant year for Aston Martin, marking two important launches for the British brand: DBX, the marque’s first luxury Sports Utility Vehicle (SUV); and the raw, instinctive Vantage Roadster, dubbed the Archetypal Hunter, which took the roof off its most dynamic series production car. The year also saw the arrival of new executive chairman, Lawrence Stroll, and CEO, Tobias Moers. DBX takes Aston Martin into the highly competitive luxury SUV segment, where it has already been recognised with international awards for its engineering and bold, beautiful designs. DBX, sitting on a brand-new platform and manufactured in a purpose-built facility in St Athan, Wales, represents the pinnacle of the luxury SUV segment. Aston Martin works constantly on innovative ways to enhance and expand its brand in the luxury car market. This year, it began a limited production run of the DB5, the most famous car in the world, in the Goldfinger Continuation. Limited to just 25 customer orders, the meticulous construction process, completed by highly skilled specialists at the brand’s Heritage Division HQ in Newport Pagnell, takes around 4,500 hours per car. Collaboration with other brands also offers Aston Martin the opportunity to innovate and extend its expertise in design and craftsmanship. In 2020 Aston Martin partnered with Brough Superior to develop the AMB-001, a track-only, limited-edition

motorcycle; and with Curv Racing Simulators to produce the company’s first home racing simulator, the AMR-C01. Outside the automotive sphere, the brand also collaborated with architect Sir David Adjaye on the design of 130 William, his new Manhattan penthouse apartments. Partnership with Bowmore Islay Single Malt Scotch Whisky produced an exceptional Single Malt, ‘Black Bowmore DB5 1964’, featuring a bottle made from a genuine DB5 piston, as well as the most recent DBX Bowmore Edition. Covid-19 brought unexpected challenges for all in 2020. It also highlighted the versatility of the Aston Martin team, which supported Britain’s key-workers and establishments providing essential services by designing and manufacturing key items of PPE. Aston Martin is renowned worldwide for its high-profile success in sports-car racing, but is perhaps less well-known for its Formula 1 exploits. However, from the founding of the business by Lionel Martin and Robert Bamford in a small London workshop in 1913, top-flight motorsport has been integral to the company’s ethos and identity. In a momentous move, this British luxury brand prepares to return in 2021 to the Formula 1 grid for the first time in more than 60 years, as the Aston Martin F1 TM Team. Passion and dedication shine in the vehicles produced by the brand and the team behind it. British to its very core, Aston Martin takes pride in being one of the world’s pre-eminent luxury car brands, synonymous with beautiful design and exceptional performance. ‘Aston Martins are about authenticity,’ says Marek Reichman, chief creative officer. ‘They are made with passion and love.’ This will only continue into 2021 and beyond.

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GBB 2021

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n 2020 Rolls-Royce Motor Cars took a bold step and announced a new brand identity, reflecting its ongoing journey from the creator of the ‘Best Car in the World’ to the world’s leading House of Luxury. In a time of extraordinary global upheaval, it was essential for Rolls-Royce to reflect the marque’s product portfolio and present the brand in a forward-facing, fresh and relevant way, speaking to new, younger and increasingly diversified audiences while respecting its loyal clients. Digitisation is paramount for every brand and Rolls-Royce recently revealed a new visual language to actively engage with both existing and new clients. ‘As the marque’s digital presence increases, there has never been a more important time for the visual language of the company to reflect our standing as the leading luxury brand in the world,’ says Torsten Müller-Ötvös, the chief executive officer. To this end Rolls-Royce embraced Whispers, a platform and application, available to clients of all Goodwood-manufactured Rolls-Royce motor cars. Established in 2017, Whispers offers members transformative experiences, rare and desirable products, whimsical treasures and exclusive Rolls-Royce previews, curated by the marque’s Luxury Intelligence Unit. Rolls-Royce clients are also able to liaise with fellow Rolls-Royce patrons in a secure, global, digital community. During the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic, Whispers became increasingly popular as the marque’s Luxury Intelligence Unit explored exceptional offerings that could be experienced in the safety of clients’ own homes. ‘Being confined to home during lockdown, our clients were seeking comfort in the natural world, creativity, health and wellness,’ says Verena Masters, head of Whispers. ‘We’ve witnessed Rolls-Royce clients turning to Whispers for solace and

CLOCKWISE FROM LEFT: The Rolls-Royce Dawn, an emblem of spontaneity; Whispers is the marque’s new online platform that offers transformative experiences to clients; the Rolls-Royce Cullinan is the marque’s first all-terrain SUV

enlightenment during this period; it has been a time of reflection, a time to focus on well-being and planning for the future.’ Despite all the challenges posed by 2020, Rolls-Royce launched the new Ghost. While it is the most technologically advanced Rolls-Royce yet, its design reflects a philosophy of ‘post-opulence’, showing how perfectly in tune the marque is with the prevailing global mood and a desire to turn away from excess back to life’s essentials. The minimalism combined with the high complexity of the new Ghost ensures it is, in every aspect, a true Rolls-Royce. Born from in-depth dialogue with their diverse and global customer base, it precisely meets the needs of those who desire a simpler Rolls-Royce that can be used for both business and leisure. Customer deliveries began in late 2020. Every Rolls-Royce is brought to life at the Home of RollsRoyce in Goodwood. The marque began production here 17 years ago, choosing Goodwood for its deep automotive roots and quintessentially English setting close to the South Downs in West Sussex. With British luxury at its heart, RollsRoyce continues to draw on the talent and craftsmanship of associates from over 50 nationalities, enabling the marque to fulfil every wish of every client. In 2020 bespoke personalisation was the brand’s main focus and will continue to be so throughout 2021. This unparalleled expertise in bespoke is what really defines Rolls-Royce as the world’s leading House of Luxury.

Unparalleled expertise in bespoke is what ultimately defines Rolls-Royce as the world’s leading House of Luxury

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GBB 2021

On-demand jet charter by Victor – the better way to fly


or Victor, 2021 marks a milestone tenth anniversary for this awardwinning British-born brand. The year celebrates a decade of innovation and resilience in private aviation. Above all, the organisation retains its focus on one clear-cut vision: delivering a better way to travel to a global audience of movers and shakers. Launched by Clive Jackson in 2011, Victor is the world’s first net-zero on-demand jet charter marketplace, enabling flyers to search, compare and book private air travel quickly and with confidence. The company has rewritten the jet charter rulebook with a fully transparent, subscription-free, global marketplace, which allows members swift checks on pricing options and aircraft specifics before booking. ‘Service, choice, transparency and environmental action set Victor above the rest,’ according to one frequent flyer. Listening to customers inspires continuous innovation and improvements to these market differentiators, which have kept Victor in tune with changing consumer priorities. There’s no need to look too far back in Victor’s history to see the team’s agility in staying one step ahead; witness the ‘flygskam’ flight-shaming movement of 2019, shortly followed by the devastation of travel by the global pandemic. Spring 2020 saw an unprecedented 80 per cent drop in flights across all geographic regions. Global restrictions hugely impacted every travel company but sparked a pivotal response from

Victor. The aviation fight-back against the pandemic began with the launch of Victor Rescue – a 24/7 emergency and missioncritical service which fulfilled repatriation flights, transportation of large workforces, medical evacuation, and government and state missions across the globe. Victor predicts that this 2020 hiatus in leisure travel will now drive a conscious choice to travel better. ‘As we embrace a new year and consider the future of travel,’ says Clive Jackson, ‘one certainty is our sense of adventure – desire for new experiences and yearning for connection with the world about us.’ The company has welcomed new members who value the comfort, safety and speed of charter to private islands, secluded villas and far-flung remote locations, to recharge, reset and reconnect. The Victor app puts on-demand access to 7,000 aircraft and 40,000 destinations at their fingertips, while a trusted Victor travel advisor is on hand every step of the way to ensure a seamless experience and peace of mind when they travel. It doesn’t stop there. Not only is Victor transforming the world of private air travel, but also the world itself. The privilege of travelling on your own terms brings with it responsibility to the planet. This requires collective industry and consumer responsibility, but Victor leads from the front. Every flight booked is 200 per cent carbon offset, paid by the company in its strategy to define a more environmentally responsible future for private aviation. The result? More than 45,000 tonnes of carbon offset in 2020, in partnership with Vertis and South Pole, which funds reforestation projects over four times the area of Manhattan for an entire year. So, as you plan your 2021 destinations, ask Victor to help you travel responsibly, with purpose, and discover a better way to fly.

Victor +44 (0)20 7384 8550 victorprivatejets


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Victor has welcomed new members who value the comfort, safety and speed of charter to private islands, secluded villas and farflung remote locations, to recharge, reset and reconnect

As the world’s first net-zero on-demand jet charter marketplace, Victor continues to innovate with sustainability initiatives and carbon offsetting commitments

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Iconic Luxury Hotels

GBB 2021

A brand defined by its personality and commitment to British hospitality


t a time when many were holding back from opening new properties and investing in British hospitality, Iconic Luxury Hotels made a characteristically bold decision and launched the latest addition to its portfolio, The Mayfair Townhouse, on London’s Half Moon Street. Opened in December 2020, the 172-bedroom Mayfair property fits so well into the brand’s collection because it delivers on the unexpected,but also redefines what it means to be a London hotel. The Townhouse bridges a gap and finds the sweet-spot for independent travellers between ritzy, high-end lavish hotels and the somewhat characterless corporate ones. The brand had questioned why people stay in the capital and discovered that what they want is a really comfortable home-from-home in the right location. It has correspondingly created the most fitting proposition and assembled a great team to deliver the expected outstanding service, proving that choosing personality over conformity is always worth it. Elsewhere, it has invested heavily in the new, restyled spa concept at Chewton Glen and expanded its outdoor dining opportunities at The Lygon Arms. It also has great plans for 11 Cadogan Gardens and, with the changing dining landscape

in mind, greater emphasis is also being placed on the creation of much-enhanced plant-based menus across all properties. The group took a typically proactive approach to the pandemic, keeping customers well informed, investing in increased staffing and new technology, with procedures including electrostatic fogging of rooms. Its properties are naturally very well set-up to be Covid-19 secure, with plenty of well-spaced restaurant areas, numerous al fresco dining spaces, large lounges and public areas, well ventilated bedrooms and suites, many with private terraces, gardens and balconies and, of course, its award-winning Treehouses at Chewton Glen. Over the summer months in 2020, The Lygon Arms, Chewton Glen and Cliveden were particularly popular with guests enjoying al fresco dining with pop-up dining opportunities available at all the properties Iconic Luxury Hotels UK properties is as quintessentially British as you can get, and its long-term mission has always been to buy British and local wherever possible, something which is highlighted in a small way by its wide collection of English wines and fabulous British cheeses. It enjoys a loyal local following, with 85 per cent of guests coming from the UK and choosing to return to the properties year-on-year. It has also seen many new guests visiting for the first time as their overseas holiday plans have been curtailed and feels that, post-Brexit, its British audience will continue to be its greatest strength. The brand has always been highly diligent in keeping in touch with guests and established longstanding relationships. Its ‘here for you’ approach to communications is very well received. New guests have discovered the brand through word of mouth, social media and plenty of press highlighting its many new developments. ‘We ask our team to put themselves into our guests’ shoes,’ says executive director Andrew Stembridge, ‘so that they can provide effortless and intuitive hospitality, which is our DNA, the cornerstone of our business.’ Iconic Luxury Hotels chewtonglen clivedenhouse lygoncotswolds 11cadogangardens themayfairtownhouse


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FROM TOP: The magnificent Cliveden House; Chewton Glen’s spa in the New Forest

Iconic Luxury Hotels enjoys a loyal local following, with 85 per cent of guests coming from the UK and choosing to return to the properties year-on-year

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GBB 2021

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Since its launch, the London-based company has scaled rapidly, becoming one of the UK’s fastestgrowing luxury travel businesses


Whatever type of adventure you’re looking for, Luxtripper has the holiday for you

uxtripper specialises in multi-destination, experiential travel for clients who want a five-star experience, but also yearn for adventure. The business was established in 2015 by Nena Chaletzos, who wanted to combine innovative technology with a personal, customer-centric approach. She saw a gap to deliver an efficient, flexible and easy-to-use model, putting customers much more in control. A new type of luxury travel company ensued, underpinned by the technology to curate exciting adventures within stunning settings and present these to customers in an instant. Luxtripper’s technology matches deluxe destinations and exciting experiences with customers within seconds, based on simple questions such as who they are travelling with, ideal temperature and preferred travel dates. It can also create complex, multi-destination itineraries, often within the same day, tailored to customers’ exacting requirements. From stargazing and safaris in Namibia, to rainforest retreats in Borneo or a bath overlooking the ocean in the Maldives, Luxtripper has something special for everyone. ‘Luxury means different things to different people,’ says Nena, ‘and it’s our role to find out what those extra special elements are for each client and bring those experiences to life.’ The responsibility for these extra elements lies with Luxtripper’s team of luxury travel designers, who spend less time phoning airlines and hotels and more engaging with customers, understanding their needs and delivering a truly bespoke service, transforming holidays into trips of a lifetime. With the addition of its 24/7 concierge team, the company prides itself on having the highest personal service levels from start to finish.

Luxtripper also upholds the same standards when it comes to sustainability, animal welfare and local communities – values on which it stands firm. Dedicated in-house staff are responsible for upholding just these values, with diversity, sustainability and cultural awareness all at the forefront of the business. Since its launch, the London-based company has scaled rapidly, becoming one of the UK’s fastest-growing luxury travel businesses. Nena credits clear vision, strong company culture and providing an enjoyable and inclusive workplace for this success. Customer satisfaction speaks for itself, with consistently glowing reviews on TrustSpot and extremely high levels of repeat custom. The Covid-19 pandemic hit the industry incredibly hard, but Luxtripper concentrated its efforts on protecting customers and providing the necessary reassurances to encourage them to travel again. It introduced a raft of safeguards, including a promise to protect bookings against Covid-19 diagnosis or redundancy, alongside offering existing ATOL protections. Luxtripper continued to hire during the pandemic due, it says, to higher volumes of enquiries for experiential, multi-destination trips as holidaymakers looked to make their next adventure really count. The year ahead promises exciting developments with a new range of bucket list destinations being introduced from January, including the Galapagos, the Antarctic, South America and Africa. With experiences including chimpanzee trekking in Tanzania, helicopter picnics in the Kalahari Desert, family adventures in the Galapagos Islands and private jet flights to witness the Antarctic Solar Eclipse, Luxtripper is catering for an even more intrepid customer who seeks to clear the mind and enrich the soul.

Luxtripper Gun House 1 Artillery Passage London E1 7LJ +44 (0)20 8534 3125 luxtripper COUNTRYANDTOWNHOUSE.CO.UK/GBB | 321

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Luxury Family Hotels

GBB 2021

Putting family at the heart of a hotel stay


uxury Family Hotels is a collection of some of the most picturesque properties in Britain, including Fowey Hall in Cornwall, Moonfleet Manor in Dorset, The Ickworth in Suffolk, Woolley Grange in Bradford-on-Avon and New Park Manor in the New Forest. The award-winning hotels all boast excellent facilities and exceptional service. More importantly, says Luxury Family Hotels managing director Simon Maguire, they offer guests the opportunity to spend time with those who matter most – a need that came into particular focus last year. ‘The coronavirus pandemic brought many families closer together and made parents re-evaluate what’s important,’ says Simon. ‘Travel restrictions also meant

that many families refocused on the UK, bypassing foreign holidays and seeking new adventures closer to home. As a result, we created a range of local, immersive experiences unique to each of our properties, offering guests a chance to discover the amazing areas in which our hotels are located in on foot, on bike or scooter, and by sea. These have been a real hit and we are curating them by season and also by special family moments such as Easter and Christmas.’ To ensure families were entertained in times of social distancing, Luxury Family Hotels introduced private dining, serving seasonal food and drink in beautiful heated garden igloos and pods in its hotel grounds, with more pop-ups planned for this year. The introduction of a number of outdoor den-led family activities, such as treasure and scavenger hunts, as well as themed afternoon teas, catering for both


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‘We created a range of local, immersive experiences unique to each of our properties, offering guests a chance to discover the amazing areas in which our hotels are located on foot, on bike and by sea’

CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT: Family fun at The Ickworth Hotel; enjoy afternoon tea at Fowey Hall; Fowey Hall Hotel; flying high at Woolley Grange

adults and children, also proved an instant hit. Following a multi-million-pound top-to-toe refurbishment, the ultra-stylish Fowey Hall reopened its doors in 2020 with a raft of new family-friendly facilities. It also saw the hotel’s first shop opened in December. Aptly named ‘The Little Shop’, it has been carefully curated by former editor-at-large of British Vogue Fiona Golfar, who has a family home in Fowey. The shop offers an eclectic collection of homewares, clothing, books, beauty products and gifts and is brimming with items that each have their own story, with many sustainably and ethically sourced. Luxury Family Hotels also recently announced a partnership with fellow quintessentially British brand,

The White Company. Initiatives have included the launch of a children’s pyjama set by The Little White Company, which features the hotel group’s animal icons and is available exclusively to hotel guests. ‘We are very proud of our British roots and also passionate about championing our hotels’ amazing locations as well as the best produce from local suppliers,’ says Simon. ‘We are passionate about ensuring our hotels offer guests a range of discerning experiences – from visiting the most beautiful beaches only the locals know about to being able to enjoy the best food and drink from the region. Above all, we pride ourselves on providing the time and the place for our guests to create magical moments and lasting memories.’

Luxury Family Hotels +44 (0)20 8076 5555 luxuryfamilyhotels


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GBB 2021

A family story driven by a love of the land, food and entertaining


hyme is a haven of restorative calm. Nestled in the Cotswold village of Southrop on the Oxfordshire and Gloucestershire border, this quintessentially English country destination is a collection of restored 17th century farm buildings, houses and cottages. Together they form a peaceful hamlet, evoking a spirit that epitomises the natural beauty of the surrounding area. Founder and creative director, Caryn Hibbert, has spent the past 18 years overseeing the buildings’ restoration with assiduity and intelligence, breathing new life into the original structures to create a thriving working community and inspirational business. ‘Thyme is a family story where a passion for the land, food and entertaining merges with a love of local heritage, beauty and conservation,’ says Caryn. Meticulous attention has also been paid to Thyme’s farm, kitchen and formal gardens, herb beds, orchards and water meadows. Together with the hotel rooms and Ox Barn restaurant, this village within a village encompasses the Baa Bar, Meadow Spa, Pool & Botanical Bothy, alongside a cookery school, self-

catering cottages for hire and a stunning Tithe Barn for private events. Two gorgeous boutiques stock the Bertioli by Thyme silk wear, tableware and beauty ranges, as well as a carefully curated product selection personally handpicked by Camilla, Caryn’s daughter and head of retail development and marketing. Caryn’s empathy for the surrounding landscape has influenced every aspect of this delightful, distinctive destination. Working closely with garden designer, Bunny Guinness, a series of classic country house gardens have been carefully designed in harmony with the adjacent architecture, anchoring the collective buildings deeper into their natural surroundings and connecting them with the adjoining farmland. And all less than two hours from central London, an hour from Heathrow airport and 35 minutes from Oxford, yet still in the heart of the Cotswolds. Caryn’s son Charlie has been at Thyme’s culinary helm since the Ox Barn first opened in 2018. His seasonal dishes are inspired by a deep-rooted connection to the land. Menus are infused with a flavoursome and wide-ranging array of fresh produce, sourced from Thyme‘s kitchen gardens, herb beds, orchards, nut trees and farm. Working hand-in-hand with the gardeners on a year-round cycle, Charlie has enviable access to produce of which many chefs can only dream. These home-grown ingredients are complemented by a handful of gifted suppliers, including Neal’s Yard Dairy, Saltpig Curing Co, Huntsham Farm, Cutler & Bayliss and Shipton Mill. The Hibbert family’s love of the land is fundamental to the Thyme philosophy: ‘Proceed thoughtfully, tread lightly on the planet and notice the small things’. Dedication to the environment has led them to partner with conservation charities including Plant Life, TUSK and 1% For The Planet – one per cent of every sale of Bertioli by Thyme products goes to philanthropic environmental causes to protect the natural world. ‘We took time to make Thyme,’ says Caryn. ‘We have created a thoughtful place with love and care lavished on every detail. We hope you will experience a real connection to the land, the seasons and to nature, and we invite you to rest, relax and enjoy this English country idyll that our family calls home.’ Eighteen years in the making, Thyme is a country idyll where rest and relaxation are paramount

Thyme Southrop Manor Estate Gloucestershire GL7 3NX +44 (0)1367 850174 thyme.england


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‘We have created a thoughtful place with love and care lavished on every detail. We hope you will experience a real connection to the land, the seasons and to nature’

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The Turquoise Holiday Company

GBB 2021

Extraordinary holiday and honeymoon experiences and best-in-class customer service


ur overseas holidays might be on pause, but our passion for travel remains unabated. Not since Prohibition in 1920s America has there been such desire for a product you can’t buy. But if there’s one tour operator that can navigate the choppy waters of a pandemic, it’s Turquoise Holidays. Recently named Best Tour Operator in Condé Nast Traveller’s Readers’ Choice Awards for the fourth year in a row, Turquoise Holidays was founded in 2002, at a time when bird flu was at its apex and the second Gulf War was on the horizon. It wasn’t the most auspicious start, but it allowed the brand to develop a steely fortitude,

something that has helped it adopt a safe but proactive course of action today. ‘I have learnt two important lessons from Covid-19,’ says managing director, James Bell. ‘The first is that flexibility and honesty will go a long way to solving most problems. The second is that if you look after your clients and employees in a crisis, no problem is insurmountable. While some of our competitors have pulled back on their marketing, we wanted to go on being a strong presence so we’ve continued with the traditional methods like newspaper adverts, social media campaigns and magazine spreads. We also knew it was imperative to make our clients feel valued.’ Making clients feel appreciated is no simple task at the best of times. ‘Our customer service has to reflect


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‘I really believe that once we start travelling again we will be better at it. We’ll slow down, savour every moment and show greater respect for those around us’

CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT: Baros resort in the Maldives; Lewa Wilderness safari lodge in Kenya; one of Marataba Thabametsi game reserve’s treehouse lodges in South Africa; Hotel Esencia is a luxury beach hotel in Mexico

our sympathy for anyone with disrupted holiday plans, particularly our wedding clients,’ says James. ‘We always make a point of getting in touch with our customers to discuss their options, rather than waiting for them to contact us. We’ve introduced refundable deposits, greater flexibility on itineraries and sourced insurance policies offering specific Covid-19 protection – even for clients who wanted to travel against FCO advice. As they say, “you can’t stop the waves, but you can learn to surf”.’ The business model has had to be adapted, which James describes as ‘shortening our sail and relooking at our course’. This has meant making changes to the company’s working practices, destinations and product. Extra support has been given to staff, introducing ‘selfcare days’ so they can rest and recharge their batteries.

The brand’s outlook remains buoyant. ‘We’re certain of our future because the security, protection and advice a tour operator provides will become even more important to people looking to book their holidays,’ James says. ‘Our personable service and innovative approach to choosing the best islands and hotels based on their awareness for the surrounding environment will also certainly help.’ Turquoise Holidays also knows the thirst for travel hasn’t gone away. ‘Turquoise Holidays will be moving into 2021 and beyond with confidence and optimism,’ says James. ‘I really believe that once we start travelling again we will be better at it. We’ll slow down, savour every moment and show greater respect for those around us. The world is still a wonderful place and it would be a shame if we weren’t allowed to visit it.’

The Turquoise Holiday Company +44 (0)1494 678400 turquoiseholidays


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12 Hay Hill

GBB 2021

Club-working: doing business in a post-pandemic world


et in an imposing, six-storey building at the heart of the most coveted postcode in Britain, 12 Hay Hill has conceived and pioneered the concept of ‘club-working’ as a modern way to do business. It is the first members’ club to provide businesspeople with fivestar service and a high-specification, curated environment in which to meet, entertain, conduct business and even base their entire enterprise. As technology continues blurring the boundary between work and home life, 12 Hay Hill goes way beyond the usual very British concept of the private members’ club as a destination for leisure. While other members’ clubs may shun business activity, 12 Hay Hill’s director Stephanos Issaias explains

that club-working offers the exclusivity, leisure space and social networking of the City clubs of old and combines these with an unashamedly work-friendly environment. It’s this that makes 12 Hay Hill so different. 12 Hay Hill has grown and evolved with the challenges presented by Covid-19, moving its focus towards safety and continuity for members and their businesses. By undertaking this responsibility, themselves they have taken the onus away from their members and residents, allowing them to focus solely on the operation of their businesses. The Covid-19 pandemic has driven a desire for people to have more business flexibility, especially in London, with the freedom to work remotely in an environment that suits their needs, and that is exactly what the 12 Hay Hill concept of club-working offers.


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FOOD & DRINK At 12 Hay Hill, people from the business community can come together for excellent food, brilliant facilities, a convivial bar and all sorts of additions like curated members’ events and art exhibitions, all in the heart of Mayfair

12 Hay Hill has proved popular with London’s business elite and the club’s fast-growing membership comprises a diverse community of industry leaders, influencers and innovators. With foreign travel being affected in 2020, the club has also seen a surge in international members, who are giving up their larger London offices in favour of a flexible workplace. Members speak approvingly of 12 Hay Hill as a place where they can work, meet and impress seamlessly – the club’s restaurant offers fine dining, while their opulent bar provides the perfect place to unwind with friends and colleagues alike. The club also curates an ever-changing backdrop of spectacular artwork from well-known artists such as Salvador Dalí, to some of the art world’s most prestigious emerging newcomers. There are nine meeting rooms, each with a distinct style, so members can choose the ideal environment for board meetings, confidential conversations or private dining. Facilities are constantly being updated and augmented, such as the beautiful roof terrace overlooking Berkeley Square which launched last year. The popular events for members feature some of Britain’s finest thought leaders and range from talks by business leaders and politicians to insights from leading brands and lively discussion of cultural or business trends. Because of social distancing measures, necessity has meant that these have gravitated online, but the club hopes to bring back physical events in 2021. From finance to fashion, the club prides itself on being a hub of inspiration, a central, comfortable and flexible environment in which great ideas are born and nurtured, deals are signed, and businesses flourish.

From finance to fashion, 12 Hay Hill prides itself on being a hub of inspiration, a comfortable and flexible environment in which businesses flourish

12 Hay Hill 12 Hay Hill London W1J 8NR +44 (0)20 7952 6000 12hayhill COUNTRYANDTOWNHOUSE.CO.UK/GBB | 331

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Dash Water

GBB 2021

Revolutionising soft drinks – with just water. Bubbles. And wonky fruit


ash Water was established in 2017 by Jack Scott and Alex Wright, with a vision to create a healthy and sustainable drinks brand made from sparkling water infused with ‘wonky’ fruit and vegetables which would otherwise go to waste. Both growing up on farms, the pair were aware of the staggering extent of wasted produce in the UK, with up to 40 per cent of fruit and veg grown not reaching our plates. Dash judges on taste, not looks, and has so far saved over 179,000kg of bent, curved, knobbly or crushed raspberries, blackberries, peaches, lemons and cucumbers from going to waste, infusing them with British spring water and bubbles to provide a zero-calorie, zero-sweetener, guilt-free drink. Initially backed by Virgin Start Up, Dash Water spent

Dash Water founders Jack Scott and Alex Wright work with imperfect fruit that would otherwise go to waste – since launching in 2017 they’ve saved 179,000kg of fruit


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Dash is on a mission to continue to hydrate and inspire its customers with a target to have saved 2,600 tonnes of fruit and veg by 2025

an initial 18 months in development, sampling its infusions around London’s parks to see if consumers would trade their sugary fizzy drinks for something healthier. Positive public reaction was seconded by enthusiasm from suppliers, with Selfridges, Whole Foods Market UK, Daylesford and Planet Organic all enlisting as early stockists. The brand is now available in approximately 6,000 stockists with major listings including Waitrose, Sainsbury’s, Ocado and British Airways. ‘2020 was a breakthrough year for Dash in many aspects, but something we are most proud of is our B Corporation certification,’ says Jack. ‘Sustainability has always been at the forefront of what we do and we’re proud to have passed the assessment to join B Corp’s global network of progressive businesses, putting social and environmental concerns at the heart of what they do and adhering to strict standards of transparency and accountability.’ Dash uses only fully recyclable aluminium cans and glass bottles. Its online delivery service is carbon neutral, offsetting carbon emissions via planting up woodland with its partner charity, Trees for Cities. ‘We’re proud that Dash is manufactured in the UK and that our wonky raspberries and blackcurrants, for example, come from a 30 miles radius of where the cans are manufactured,’ Jack comments. ‘Our footprint on the world around us and how we can continue to improve this is something we take very seriously.’ The challenges of 2020 heralded a major shift to online for the business. Before Covid19, its web shop accounted for around 10 per cent of revenue, but now constitutes around 35 per cent of the total business, with people enthusiastically signing up to its Subscribe and Save model. Dash is now launching a new range of drinks, and is on a mission to continue to hydrate and inspire its customers with a target to have saved 2,600 tonnes of fruit and veg by 2025. ‘We want to bring a fresh perspective to everything we do at Dash. Acting with a fresh perspective means constantly looking for a better way of doing things,’ Jack concludes. ‘So, it’s not just about the finished product in its goodlooking can; it’s how we make our drinks, how we treat the people we work with and how we continue to conduct our business as a pioneering British brand.’

Dash Water 36 Soho Square London W1D 3QY +44 (0)7720 883282 dashdrinks COUNTRYANDTOWNHOUSE.CO.UK/GBB | 333

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The Great Wine Company

GBB 2021

Wine experiences that reflect the places and people that make them


or The Great Wine Company, 2020 was a year of transformation. Expanding nationwide delivery was reflected by June’s rebranding from Great Western Wine, a clear sign of growth beyond its original West Country base. From a local Bath start-up in 1983 selling to the trade, to a world-leading wine portfolio delivered to private customers buying online across the nation has been an epic journey. ‘The new name emphasises our greatest asset – the wineries from all over the world that we represent,’ says Edward Mercer, business manager. ‘Our core values remain rooted in the quality of our portfolio of wines; in celebrating the personalities that sit behind them; and in responding to individual tastes in recommending the

right wine for each customer.’ Lockdown proved a huge opportunity as new customers hunkering down at home discovered The Great Wine Co. Its digital presence led the way into their homes. Instagram Live sessions hosted by the charismatic director of buying, Harriet Kininmonth, were a delightful, interactive liquid passport into the wine world. They brought to life moving stories of the passionate makers behind the wines, and how they engage with local communities to drive sustainability beyond the vineyards. Each episode featured a curated case of wines, with profits supporting local charities chosen by the winemaker. ‘By broadening the conversation from winemaking and appreciation of liquid in the glass to our winemakers’ roles in their local communities, we help customers engage with the human stories behind those wines,’ says Kininmonth. This mission endures into 2021: great content, continued


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‘Wine is all about people. We are a company run by wine people. Our mission is to introduce wine-lovers to the people who craft such wonderful wines with care, attention and passion’

The Great Wine Co is passionate about uncovering the people and stories behind fabulous wines

support of charitable causes close to these winemakers’ hearts, and commitment to producers who are pillars of their community. Wines with exceptional provenance and craftsmanship are more than a commodity; they reflect the places they are from and the people who make them. ‘Wine is all about people,’ Mercer adds with fervour. ‘We are a company run by wine people. Our mission is to introduce wine-lovers to the people who craft such wonderful wines with care, attention and passion.’ Customers are also increasingly health-conscious. Alternatives to wine for modern lifestyles have been added in response: Leitz alcohol-free Rieslings; premium CBD from OTO to counter anxiety, sleep issues and lack of focus; and innovative Copenhagen Sparkling Tea, developed by a former Michelin-starred sommelier. The Great Wine Co always looks outwards, sourcing the world’s best wines and alternatives for a change of pace. That definition of ‘world’s-best’ now includes quality British products sourced from all quarters of the UK. The Great Wine Co proudly works with Britain’s best producers, such as Hattingley Valley wines, Cotswolds Distillery, Ditchling Spirits with its dry Sussex gin, Hepple Spirits, Kentish Pip Cider, whiskies from great established Scottish houses, and innovators like the Lakes Distillery, and beers from the craft Bristol brewery Wiper & True. Representing home-grown talent is important – there is growing interest for sustainable sourcing, provenance and locality. ‘Our Britishness lies in understanding where British drinkers want to explore,’ says Mercer, ‘and bringing that world to doorsteps across the country.’ The Great Wine Co Unit 3-4, Wells Road Bath BA2 3AP +44 (0)1225 322810 thegreatwineco COUNTRYANDTOWNHOUSE.CO.UK/GBB | 335

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Hattingley Valley

GBB 2021

As sparkling as ever with its first still wine


attingley Valley was founded on 25 beautiful south-sloping acres of Hampshire by Simon Robinson. In 2008, winemaker Emma Rice joined Hattingley and its first wine launched in 2013. 2020 was Hattingley Valley’s tenth anniversary. It should have been a year for the family-owned brand to celebrate, having won 90 medals and three World Champion trophies during its short history, but like so many other businesses, Hattingley Valley was faced with the challenges of Covid-19. Before the pandemic, Hattingley sold most of its wine in restaurants, with direct-to-consumer sales making up less than five per cent of its business. With no knowledgeable sommeliers on hand to explain the delights of its wines, the brand was forced

CLOCKWISE FROM TOP: Hattingley Valley is an English wine brand with a serious sense of humour, evidenced by its Mad Hattingley Tea Party creative; Vineyard Manager Colin laying out grape crates; Hattingley Valley RosĂŠ Classic and Blanc de Blancs label


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to have a change of strategy. It started promoting its wines via social media so effectively that it was quickly overwhelmed by a huge increase in consumer orders. Undeterred, Hattingley rebuilt and fully integrated its website so orders could be processed speedily and efficiently, something which the brand is still benefiting from. Hattingley’s first ever still wine from the 2019 harvest was released just days into the first lockdown. With restaurants shut, it had to be sold direct, luckily with great results. Wonderful weather in the 2020 growing season enabled Hattingley to make more styles of still wine, something the brand will continue to do, weather permitting. Lockdown saw another adventurous departure for Hattingley. ‘We took the plunge and decided to gamble on being the first English winery to promote ourselves on national TV,’ says Commercial Director Gareth Maxwell. ‘We certainly raised a few smiles with our tongue-in-cheek advert that was all in French. It made a huge difference to our brand awareness and sales’. The commercial aired on Sky TV for a month, followed by a stint on ITV. Meanwhile, throughout the pandemic, the brand supported Hospitality Action and The Rainbow Trust Foundation, to which it also donated a percentage of its Christmas sales. Hattingley Valley has always traded on its Britishness rather than its Englishness. ‘We love promoting our English quirkiness and eccentricity, as our TV commercial shows, but we also highlight the painstaking care and attention that goes into producing our wines,’ says Gareth. ‘The world realises that Britain isn’t a country that cuts corners or produces inferior goods and that our wines are of the highest quality, able to stand shoulder to shoulder with those from the top producing wine countries.’ Following the enormous success of the 2014 Kings Cuvée, with its Hattingley Valley Happiness Guarantee, the brand has attracted more loyal fans to its Kings Club, offering free shipping and promotions. Lockdown meant people became more accustomed to buying wine online so Hattingley will continue to focus on this as well as building on its growth the world over. It is already probably the widest distributed English sparkling wine in the USA, and in 2021 they will continue to find ways of reaching new customers. 2020 has shown that this is a resilient, adaptable brand, able to take the necessary bold steps to meet any challenge.

‘We took the plunge and decided to gamble on being the first English winery to promote ourselves on national TV. We raised a few smiles with our advert that was all in French’

Hattingley Valley Wines Limited Lower Wield, Alresford Hampshire SO24 9AJ +44 (0)1256 389188 hattingleywines COUNTRYANDTOWNHOUSE.CO.UK/GBB | 337

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GBB 2021

Distinctive, delicious single garden teas that expand your palate and horizons


ew things are more beautiful than a cup of tea.’ The words come not from an English person but from a Spaniard – not just any Spaniard, but one of the Roca brothers, multiMichelin starred chef-owners of the celebrated El Celler

de Can Roca restaurant. This shrewd observation was made during a tea tasting hosted for the Rocas by Ed Eisler, founder of JING Tea and featured in a new TV documentary called Distil your World, in collaboration with The Macallan whisky. ‘The Roca brothers are all about exploring new tastes and I started JING because I wanted to share the idea of appreciating fine tea as a journey of exploration,’ he says.

Consumers want to know more about the high quality chocolate, coffee and whisky they buy today, including their provenance. Just as interest in single malt whiskies has grown, more of us are coming to appreciate single garden teas, the pure, whole leaf varieties that reflect the taste and style of a particular region. ‘So much of what is marketed as English Breakfast tea might have colour and strength, but it lacks character and depth of flavour,’ explains Ed. Consumers get a poor deal and so too do producers. ‘That’s why I wanted to share the single garden teas that I’d experienced in Asia with people in Britain. Learning from the masters I wanted to explore with British consumers tea’s immense variety of flavour, aroma and colour – and the value of enjoying high quality tea at home.’ The growing number of fans of the select range


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‘I wanted to explore with British consumers tea’s immense variety of flavour, aroma and colour – and the value of enjoying high quality tea at home’ of high-end teas produced by JING has also been enjoying them in restaurants such as The Fat Duck and Hélène Darroze at The Connaught in London, as well as L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon in Hong Kong, among others. The company has a store in St Christopher’s Place in London, while online sales have increased enormously. Black, green, white, oolong or jasmine – the choice is as impressive as the quality, but it’s also JING’s expertise and insights that people appreciate. JING has turned the crisis of Covid-19 into an opportunity to share this knowledge even more widely with online events and consultations. ‘We’ve offered people the opportunity to explore far-off lands through stories told directly by tea masters – from the high mountains of Taiwan to the humid plains of Assam – and we’re continuing to support those tea makers, who’ve also been hit hard by the global events,’ says Ed. Sustainability is a pillar of the company, which works to support tea producers and to reduce its environmental impact. Around 80 per cent of its teas will be organic or grown without pesticides by the end of 2021. The company has launched personalised video consultations to help customers broaden their tea horizons and explore new varieties. ‘Our ability to travel has been severely curtailed during lockdown but we can always enjoy a good cup of tea,’ says Ed, ‘and a single garden tea connects you with the people and place of that single garden.’

JING’s single garden teas have attracted a customer base of iconic fine dining restaurants including The Fat Duck, Hélène Darroze at the Connaught and L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon in Hong Kong

JING Tea 18-19 St Christopher’s Place London W1U 1NN +44 (0)20 7183 2113 jingtea COUNTRYANDTOWNHOUSE.CO.UK/GBB | 339

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Justerini & Brooks

GBB 2021

A St James’s Street institution welcoming the future with open arms


ong celebrated St James’s Street stalwart, Justerini & Brooks embodies the values of a quintessentially British wine merchant, but on a global stage. Established in 1749, engaging the world’s greatest wine collectors is nothing new for this 270-year-old institution. The company was awarded its first Royal Warrant by King George III in 1761, and with offices in London, Edinburgh and Hong Kong, it has been dealing with fine-wine collectors and drinkers around the globe since its first overseas shipment to India in 1858. However, what distinguishes Justerini & Brooks from its peers is not its past, but the company’s continual willingness to adapt and embrace the future. This can be seen most noticeably in how the company seeks out fresh winemaking talent from up-andcoming regions, complementing its vast offering of old-world

wines with exciting new producers such as Domaine du Pélican from the Jura, Raúl Pérez from Bierzo in Spain and Kühling-Gillot from Rheinhessen in Germany. Justerini & Brooks also leads the way when it comes to promoting sustainability within the wine world. It actively supports beacons of sustainable wine-making such as Felton Road in New Zealand and Château de Meursault – soon to be the largest certified organic estate in the Côte d’Or. Its J&B Care for the Rare programme set up in 1992 raises funds and awareness for global conservation projects and charities such as Tusk Trust. The company also pioneers the little but important things: delivering wine in hybrid vans and sending out tasting samples in small, eco-friendly 50ml and 100ml bottles. This progressive approach has helped Justerini & Brooks adapt and thrive even in the strange, challenging world of 2020. The company’s website has long been a portal to its library of over


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Justerini & Brooks proudly stocks not only classic bottles but exciting new wines from emerging estates

What distinguishes Justerini & Brooks from its peers is not its past, but the company’s continual willingness to adapt and embrace the future 4,000 rare wines and spirits. But with travel put on hold, everything – from seminars with multiple winemakers to private whisky tastings – was quickly moved online as well. Wine producers have been surprisingly adept at joining the online throng, and the buying team at Justerini & Brooks has welcomed some of the wine world’s most exceptional talent – with hundreds of customers enjoying live online tasting sessions with growers including Katharina Prüm from Mosel and Dominique Lafon from Meursault. The company is primed to tackle all the logistical hurdles and political unknowns of 2021. Years of regular visits to the winemakers have built deep and meaningful bonds, many of which span generations, with Justerini & Brooks representing a treasured bridge to both British restaurants and global collectors. This means that the company’s close, ever-strengthening relationship with its growers will remain one of the most cherished pillars of the company’s business, whatever the challenges of 2021. So, as for what’s next? More of the same it seems: 2020 has seen Justerini & Brooks stand by its long-standing growing partners through a turbulent year, while bringing several high-profile new signings to market. A clear sign of the company’s belief in valuing the past – while welcoming the future with open arms.

Justerini & Brooks 61 St.James’s Street London SW1Z 1LZ +44 (0)20 7484 6400 justerinis COUNTRYANDTOWNHOUSE.CO.UK/GBB | 341

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GBB 2021

A British artisan chocolatier with history at its delicious centre

innovative marketing. Take, for example, its Milk Earl Grey Thins. What could be more British? Truffles continue to be bestsellers – Charlie and the Chocolate Factory author Roald Dahl paid homage to the Prestat truffle by making it the centrepiece of one of his novels. The exquisite Jewel Boxes are inspired by Queen Victoria’s very own chocolate box, which she had regularly refilled from the Royal Kitchens. Diving swallows and wild roses, reminiscent of a warm English summer’s day, designed by Storm Athill, are gracefully illustrated in pink, blue and gold, Prestat’s house colours. The boxes reveal an amazing assortment of the best chocolates made in the English tradition. A colourful, elegant icon of British style, Prestat holds a Royal Warrant as Purveyors of Chocolates from Her Majesty The Queen. The prestigious appointment honours not only its membership of a select community of Royal Warrant Holders, but its distinctive entrepreneurial approach. Fundamental to this is the exceptional quality of Prestat’s raw material – only the best varieties of cocoa are used to make its chocolate – thanks to the strong affiliation with its sister company Domori, widely recognised for making some of the finest chocolate in the world. Prestat has access to Domori’s acclaimed single-origin couvertures, making it the only company with a Royal Warrant to have complete control of the chocolate-making process, from tree to truffle, and bean to bar. This rigorous model of chocolate-making, based on purity of ingredients and simplicity of recipe, matches modern-day sensitivity to sustainability across the supply chain. Prestat increasingly epitomises the meeting place of tradition with innovation, as its original recipes are adapted to satisfy today’s customer expectations and needs. Prestat relishes the challenges of the contemporary world. In 2021, it will launch new Cocoa Beans, based on a superfood with fantastic wellbeing benefits – either Natural or cloaked in Dark Chocolate – a completely new taste experience which complements the lifestyle-oriented items, like the beautifully packaged and delicious Vegan Bars. Prestat’s superior quality chocolates reach the consumer after an inspiring journey, but the trusted mantra always rings true – ‘less is more’.


restat is one of the UK’s most-loved chocolate brands; its famous truffles are internationally renowned as an authentic expression of the British Art of Chocolate Making. Founded in 1902 by chocolatier Antoine Dufour, creator of the chocolate truffle, Prestat today celebrates outstanding quality, a unique and romantic style and a commitment to sustainability. Prestat views 2021 with enthusiasm and determination. A new, direct approach to customers draws them closer to the ‘factory of chocolate’ and its processes. Prestat’s beautiful shop in Prince’s Arcade, Piccadilly London, rated by The Economist among the best in the world, will again welcome visitors to sample its truffles and chocolates and browse Prestat’s complete collection, rich in themes, colours and packaging. A recent digital restyling now showcases the range online and further attracts steadily growing internet sales. Prestat owes its fame to a style that combines creativity with romanticism, steeped in British history. All are celebrated in its

Prestat 14 Princes Arcade London SW1Y 6DS +44 (0)20 8961 8555 prestatfinesttruffles


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Nothing says box of chocolates like a box of Prestat


Prestat is the only company with a Royal Warrant to have complete control of the chocolate-making process, from tree to truffle, and bean to bar

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GBB 2021

12 Hay Hill 1508 London

I N DE X 330 166

A Addison Ross Alexandra Llewellyn Alitex Annoushka Aromatherapy Associates Artichoke Aston Martin Atelier NM

266 268 218 112 124 168 310 170

B Bamford Barbour Boodles Brook & Wilde Brookmans by Smallbone

126 56 114 220 222

C Cabbonet Cadogan Cameron Design House Carol Joy London Celine Interior Design Celtic & Co Chelsea Barracks Church’s Cleave Clive Christian Furniture Co. The Conran Shop The Cornish Bed Company Coze Crockett & Jones Cutler and Gross

224 154 226 128 172 58 206 88 116 228 230 232 270 90 92

E.J. Churchill East London Parasol Company Edward Green Elicyon English National Opera ESPA

234 332 236 238 174 130 94

K 296 240 96 176 156 132

F Fairfax & Favor Favourbrook FBC London The Fitzdares Club

98 60 178 298

G GP & J Baker Great British Racing International The Great Wine Company Guava & Gold

272 300 334 134

Haddonstone Halcyon Days Hancocks London Harrods Hattingley Valley Hay Festival Heirlooms Linens Helen Green Design Studio Hemingsworth Holland & Holland House of Bruar Hunter Huntsmore

242 274 118 158 336 160 276 180 62 302 304 64 182

I 318

J Jamb JING Tea John Smedley Johnson & White Johnstons of Elgin Joseph Cheaney & Son Juliette Byrne Justerini & Brooks

Katharine Pooley Knight Frank The Knightsbridge Estate

R 186 208 162

L Lawson Robb Life Kitchens London Sock Company Loomah Louise Bradley Luxtripper Luxury Family Hotels

190 246 102 248 192 320 322

M Mulberry Musto

70 306



Iconic Luxury Hotels

D Dale Rogers Ammonite Dash Water David Hunt Lighting Deirdre Dyson Design Centre Chelsea Harbour Dr Sebagh Duke & Dexter


244 338 66 278 68 100 184 340

Naim Audio Native Land Naturalmat New & Lingwood Noble Macmillan Nostara

280 210 250 72 282 284

O Octagon Developments Olivia von Halle Ondine

212 74 286

P Padfield PDP London Penhaligon’s Prestat Purcell

104 214 136 342 194

Rachel Vosper Randle Siddeley Really Wild The Restory Rhug Estate Rigby & Rigby Riviere Rugs Roger Oates Design Rollo London Rolls-Royce

288 196 76 106 138 198 252 254 290 312

S Sabina Savage Salon64 By The 64 Group Silverlining Furniture Sims Hilditch Smallbone Sports Hai St James Interiors StoryTerrace Sunspel Symprove

78 140 256 200 258 142 260 292 80 144

T Temple Spa Theo Fennell Thyme Timothy Oulton Turnbull & Asser The Turquoise Holiday Company Tusting

146 120 324 262 82 326 108

V Victor Vivienne Westwood

314 84

W Ward & Co


Y Yardley Youth & Earth

148 150


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