Back in the summer I spent three days shooting one house in Maylebone for architectural practice, Studio Loop. It was one of those perfectly proportioned Georgian homes, prevalent in that part of town. The house, which included the adjoining mews house behind, is situated on Wyndham Place, a short, tranquil street with an imposing church at one end, and a garden square at the other. On further exploration, St. Mary's church actually forms the end of an impressive axis running south all the way to Marble Arch. The house has been immaculately restored, and beautifully detailed by the architects, to create a spacious, modern home. Step inside.
The house is for sale via Knight Frank.
I first met designer, Paulo Hanke of PHLondon when he was working for Casa Forma, and I was shooting one of their projects in Mayfair. He has since set up his own interior and landscape design company, and I was delighted to shoot his latest project, which combines the two disciplines. From the street, this house in Dulwich would appear to be much like its Victorian neighbours, but inside it feels quite different, perhaps a reflection of the owners, one of whom came here from the warmth of the southern hemisphere. The rich fabrics and details give the house an exotic air, as if a wind has blown up from the Sahara.
But it's in the gardens that you really feel transported to warmer climes. From the Morroccan balcony to the Mediterranean terraces below.
Inside and out, both have a rather cinematic feel, which comes to life in the video Paulo commissioned of the finished project.
Rather like Brighton & Hove, or even Ant & Dec, Hastings & St. Leonards are inseperable. I would say indistinguishable, but unlike the northern celebrities, the Sussex towns have plenty that sets them apart from each other. While St. Leonards was originally built for pleasure and tourism in the early 19th century, Hastings goes back to beyond the famous battle of 1066, as its medieval streets testify. And to this day, is at its heart a fishing port. On the sunday morning of my birthday weekend, we wandered along the seafront towards Hastings. Although most of the architecture is Victorian, there was a spurt of development in the 1930s, including a new promenade and wind shelters. Most was designed by Borough Engineer, Sidney Little, otherwise known as King Concrete. He injected a dash of Gaudi into his promenade walls, which to this day is known locally as "bottle alley". It may have seen better days, but it deserves protection. I hope when the adjacent burnt out pier gets its makeover, they can spare a little cash for this rare piece of seaside design.
Skipping past Hastings "New Town", the Victorian town centre, we reach the picturesque black fishing net huts, huddled beneath the cliffs of the Old Town. Sitting quietly, and almost unnoticed in its black surroundings, is the wonderful new Jerwood Gallery designed by HAT Projects. Clad in beautiful iridescent black ceramic tiles, the gallery, an offshoot of the one in Southwark, is a key project in the regeneration of the seaside town, although I can't help but feel that the high entrance charges, are not going to help it draw in the visitors.
On the inside, all may be the standard white of contemporary galleries, but the spaces are thoughtfully detailed, with lovely framed views outward, of the town and the beach.
Our next stop couldn't have been more of a contrast to the gallery. Winding our way up the High street, we reached A.G.Hendy & Co., a wonderful vintage homewares store, but also our lunch venue. Despite looking like it's been around since 1842, it actually opened in 2012. How much of the store is genuine, and how much artifice, I don't know, but either way I loved it.
After tucking into shrimps, cobnuts, dover sole (and complimentary lettuce), buttery potatoes, and home made coconut and raspberry ice cream, all served up in wonderfully rustic surroundings, I couldn't resist exploring the 3 floors of this retail curiosity.
So, Berlin will have to wait until another birthday. I wouldn't have missed Hastings & St. Leonards for the world!
For more trips to the seaside, you might like to try this blog.