Tuesday, 25 September 2012

The London Design Festival 2012

After the delights of the V&A, on then to the London Design Festival with my friend Nadine Reid who had  the good fortune to be taking part this year.  Nadine is a designer maker, who graduated from Birmingham City University in June this year with a BA in Textile Design and who I blogged about in my post about the Festival of Quilts as she took part in the Graduate Showcase there.  The London Design Festival showcases new designers over a ten day period at various events and locations throughout London.  This was a great opportunity for Nadine coming about as a result of taking part in New Designers 2012 in London back in July which is the UK's most important graduate exhibition for designers.

Nadine's hand-crafted richly coloured and textured cushions and throws were being exhibited at Mint, an exclusive interior design shop showcasing emerging and established contemporary designers in furniture,  ceramics, glassware, jewellery and textiles. 

The interior design shops in South Kensington were buzzing with events and parties. It was a shame we couldn't have stayed for the V&A bash but alas we had not been included on the guest list and were literally chucked out on the street at closing time.  Mint's party was in full swing when we got there with as many people outside on the pavement as inside.  We waded through the throngs to 1) catch a glimpse of Nadine's work and 2) get to the food and wine which incidentally was the best private view buffet I have ever seen or tasted.  Finally spotted her cushions conveniently situated next to a long trestle table containing huge whole cheeses with crusty bread, cold meats, crudities and fresh fruit - bread and cheese basically but served on wonderful stylish platters and bowls and with the most amazing utensils. This place not only had cutting edge design but cutting edge food.  It was a shame we had already eaten in the nearby Bunch of Grapes pub on the Old Brompton Road but we still managed to  find room for a few wafer thin morsels of bread, cheese and saucisson washed down with a fruity glass of well chilled rose. Well it would have been rude not to.

Eventually we had to drag ourselves away from the festivities to catch the train home so we left them all to it. A long but exciting day, reflecting that although Birmingham has a lot to offer in terms of art, design and culture there really is nothing like the buzz of London. 

 And just around the corner I spotted my dream kitchen in a shop window. It was the herbs in the middle that did it for me. 

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