Wednesday, 11 March 2009

Book by its cover: My favourite ingredients by Skye Gyngell

The cover of this book My Favourite Ingredients is even more vibrant in real life. I love the simplicity of the idea - an apple in front of that beautiful blue-green background. Skye Gyngell is the head chef at Petersham Nurseries, a much-lauded restaurant (and nursery) near Richmond, South West London.

It sells a varied selection of plants, French antiques and elegant gifts - oh, and lemon polenta cake. I went there on Sunday, just before the cafe closed, but I have made a mental note to return when it is a little warmer, more fragrant and the dusty mud floor is less at risk from the damp and welly-clad masses.

Five minutes before closing, and it might have been too late for tea, but I still managed to quickly scurry round the shop. I quickly surmised that their goods could be classified into two categories.

1. Items I can afford:

Clockwise from top left: White roses in terracotta pot, string, gilt-edged notebooks, linen ribbons.

2. Then, items I definitely can't afford:

Again, clockwise from top left: Green patine cabinet, Tolix chairs, cast iron mirrors (actually, I do think these are especially fabulous and worth considering - old mirrors are rarely inexpensive - but they are sold already), French cabinet.

I love old, chipped chairs, and the Tolix chair is one of my favourite designs - but I'm not about to pay £250 for a beaten-up chair. Who would? Well, Petersham Nurseries definitely attracts a posh set; faded but wealthy rock stars and the like - I saw two people driving convertibles with the top down even though it is still mid-winter. On Sunday I saw an English actress there who has a role in an American TV show - if anyone guesses correctly who it was, I will send you a prize...

10 comments:

Clare said...

Stumbled upon your lovely blog. I am an english gal living in the USA. Love my tea. Tetley is my favourite.

I will follow my blog if you follow me. I need to get as many followers as you! Any tips?

hmmm I will be back with my guess on the actress.

n said...

Looks like a lovely place!

Hmm... I'll guess Parminder Nagra?

Nini said...

Oops... hit the button too quickly!

Flora said...

Oh rustic garden stuff... I have been meaning to go to Petersham nurseries for ages-I know I'll love it although come away sad at all the lovely stuff out of my purse's reach..the mirrors are most fab.

is it Joely Richardson?

erin said...

lovely post. so glad to have come across your blog!

Katie said...

I want all those things now too... Was the actress Anna Friel?

Brittany Noel said...

Wow, this place looks amazing. I love that linen ribbon and the string on those beautiful spools. Would love to visit!

wide open spaces said...

i actually like the stuff you can afford better. beautiful finds!

Amans said...

So glad to have come accross your blog, I'm visiting London in May..and looking forward of having a nice cup of tea. Got some English friends hear in Germany, and they are always telling me about the lovely tea amd scones. Even if I have to dig deep into my burse...just need to have a cup of tea and scones. Thanks will really love to try out some of these places.

IRENE said...

Hello,
So glad to find you. Original, interesting and Lodoner? An answer to my prayers.