With the next step in our freedom not far away now, here at LCW we’re embracing the official arrival of Spring and the promise of ever longer, brighter days. From a bike ride along the river to taking a picnic with your loved ones, discover our top picks for the next few weeks.
Image: Hackney Herbal
What simpler pleasure is there than growing your own? Spring’s drier days are an opportunity to get busy propagating, preparing your raised beds and sowing the last few seeds. If you need a helping hand getting started in the veg garden (or your window box), we recommend Hackney Herbal’s two-hour online workshop, which provides an introduction to organic vegetable growing.
Image: Grafton Saddler
As the days warm up, get out on your bike and enjoy the change of the season. For those based in London, we suggest a cycle down the river to Kew Gardens, which is especially beautiful at this time of year, with bulbs giving way to some of the best cherry blossom west of Tokyo. While one can’t cycle around the gardens, there are many places to lock up the bike while you explore the gardens. Up your cycling comfort with a bespoke leather saddle from Grafton Saddler, who create custom leather work from their studio based at Cockpit Arts. Each piece is designed, hand cut, dyed, punched and stitched in-house using traditionally dyed calfskin.
With outdoor social gatherings – although somewhat limited – permitted from 29 March, it looks like the picnicking season might start a little earlier this year. If, like us, you can’t wait to see your friends and family, gather your support bubble for an al fresco celebration with Pique’s Freedom hamper. Their seasonal menu focuses on picnic classics with a modern twist, and includes caramelised apple and thyme sausage rolls, herby aioli, and creamy za’atar hummus with crudités. Everything is handmade to order, so if you’ve been hankering after something special, Pique will add it for you.
Image: Begg x Co
There’s no denying that balmy summer evenings are still a little way off yet, so Begg x Co’s versatile picnic blanket is worth bringing along in case things turn chilly. Made from the highest quality Lambswool and Angora, which provide exceptional warmth without feeling too heavy, it’s ideal for taking on all your travels this year, as we are allowed to venture further afield.
Ettinger’s Hunter Flask is another way of warding off the chill with a tipple or two. We also particularly like Connolly’s leather Cocktail Case. In collaboration with Sebastian Conran, it takes outdoor socialising to another level. Maybe keep it for Glyndebourne.
Image: Louisa Loakes / The New Craftsmen
Image: St. John
With Easter almost upon us, it’s hard to resist freshly made hot cross buns. If in London, we highly recommend a visit to St. John’s bakery counters at Borough Corner, Commercial Street, and Druid Street, where you can find their famous buns speckled with warming spices, candied ginger, dried fruits and peel, available for takeaway. When you’ve made it home with your bounty, they recommend serving them toasted with butter and marmalade, and a cup of tea.
Artisan perfumers Ffern release four fragrances each year that put nature, craft, and creativity at the centre of their practice. For Spring 2021, they’ve shared with us some insights into the profile of their latest fragrance, which captures the scents that embody the Spring Equinox:
- They began by laying the foundation: the distinctive smell of soil. For this they turned to vetiver, with its earthy, woody undertones and ginger, with a warm, spicy aroma. Onto this they mixed pink pepper and basil, echoing the fresh, peppery notes of young green shoots.
- Complementing this culinary sharpness are the soft notes of bergamot and the zest of green mandarin which capture the dense foliage of the greenhouse.
- They have brought in jasmine as a reminder of the spring blossom in the garden – and grounded its delicacy with the more resinous, woody notes of cedar, a reflection of the greenhouse’s old wooden frame and the woody vines that interlace the ceiling.
- For the centrepiece they chose the bitter orange tree. Each element of the orange tree comes with its own unique scent. For Spring 21, Ffern decided to incorporate them all.
- First the petitgrain, sharp and faintly herbal, taken from the leaves and twigs. Then the neroli, honeyed and airy, produced by steam distillation of freshly picked orange flowers. Finally, they turned to the rind itself – a juicy, bitter, citrus note. Once the maturation of the fragrance was complete, they added orange blossom water instead of the traditional pure water, incorporating a byproduct of the steam distillation process.
As every batch is strictly limited, Ffern operate a production ledger to ensure the quality of their work is not compromised by scale. Sign up to join the waitlist here, and be the first to access a space on the ledger when one becomes available.
Image: Sebastian Cox
Sebastian Cox embraces a more harmonious way of living with the natural world through his ‘nature first’ approach. Discover his new collection Products of Silviculture, constructed from coppiced hazel, hornbeam, birch and sweet chesnut partnered with other carefully sourced British wood. Each piece of furniture showcases the rich and lively nature of this entirely renewable material; Sebastian comments, “the key to being able to work with what nature wants to yield is reframing how we think about our materials. I see our woodland not as standing boards for furniture, but as a living ecosystem, which we can glean material from while increasing life within it”. The collection embodies this sustainable approach whilst offering beautiful pieces to enrich the home: find out more on his website.
Image: Kazuhito Takadoi / jaggedart
There’s still time to discover Collect 2021, which is live on Artsy until 24 March. We’ve enjoyed exploring the range of galleries who have sought to highlight the wonders of nature, and the artists who manipulate found natural materials to exquisite effect. LOEWE FOUNDATION Craft Prize Finalist 2019, Kazuhito Takadoi, presented by jaggedart, trained in horticulture in Japan and creates his works from grasses, twigs and branches, many of which he grows in his back garden in the UK. Discover his work in a virtual tour at SoShiro, which will be open for by appointment viewings in person from 12-30 April.
Look out for the fourth edition of the LOEWE FOUNDATION Craft Prize, which returns this Spring when the postponed 2020 exhibition opens at Musée des Arts Décoratifs, Paris.
Featured image courtesy of Ffern
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