Keeping it WEL local with top British brands
PUBLISHED: 15:16 27 April 2012 | UPDATED: 21:20 20 February 2013
In the second part of our Keeping it WEL Local! campaign Elaine Price takes a look at popular brands that are on your doorstep, Make more of your time without compromising on style by picking them up in West Essex
Cath Kidston at The Orange Tree
Most of us recognise the designs of Cath Kidston: ditsy flowers, stars and polka dots in soft but eye-catching colours that put a smile on your face.The range has rapidly grown from handicraft items to a full range of kitchenware and accessories and you can find much of this in the heart of Wanstead, at The Orange Tree.A high street staple, The Orange Tree has been around for over a decade and now offers an online shopping experience at www.orangetreedirect.co.uk. The formula is simple, on-trend ideas from top brands that are easily accessible.
In addition to Cath Kidston youll also find the gorgeous-smelling True Grace candles that are putting the likes of Diptique to the test. Another British great, a husband and wife team started True Grace in 1991 designing bespoke candles for the likes of Mulberry, Liberty and Molton Brown to name a few, so youll be in good company.
Youll also love the quirky designs of Rob Ryan on stationery and home ware. London-based Ryan was shortlisted in Elle Decorations British Design Awards so its clear that Rachel at The Orange Tree has a keen eye for the best in gifts and pieces for the home.
The Orange Tree
123 High Street
Wanstead E11 2RL
020 8530 4621
Barbour at Coco
OK, so we may be townies at heart, but living in West Essex we have the best of both worlds. There are times when we need to take in springtime in Epping Forest, crisp air and bright sunshine, just to clear away the cobwebs.
But would we be prepared to compromise on style? Of course not and thankfully we dont have to. Even if it does turn out to be a short trip to the end of the garden, cosy up in a Barbour and don the Hunters.
A big British brand with a Royal warrant, Barbour have been decking out the country set since 1894 when they began life in the Market Place in South Shields. From the original wax jacket (of which 100,000 are still manufactured each year), the collection has grown to a highly covetable range of more than 2,000 products across two seasons.
Of course it may take just a bit too long to work our way through every single design so leave that to the professionals. Sandra and Karen, at Coco in Wanstead, have selected some of the best designs from the traditional favourites to new ideas to suit every taste. In this warm and welcoming boutique you can take your time and try on several to find the best fit for a stylish spring jacket. Borrow a Cocker Spaniel for the afternoon and the look is complete puppy couture optional.
125 High Street
Wanstead E11 2RL
020 8989 1008
Martin Oliva our local Hatton Garden
Jewellery is one of those things that goes beyond an accessory. It is true, we all own a few (OK, more than few) purely fashion-led items that can be changed or replaced at the drop of a new season but most items of jewellery mean a lot more than that.
They are, in the main, given as gifts for a specific reason throughout major events of our lives. Christenings, coming of age, engagements, weddings and anniversaries, they are truly a John Lewis ad of the sparkly world marking every momentous occasion.
So why would you want to give something mainstream when you could have something designed specifically for that special someone? Bring on Martin Oliva, our very own Hatton Garden shrink-wrapped and carefully placed on George Lane, South Woodford.
If ever there was a specialist in gem stones, Martin is it. With contemporary designs that are worthy of a case in Asprey these are nothing short of jaw-dropping. Every aspect of each piece can be chosen by you from 18ct gold to platinum and even down to the clarity of each stone. Choose from one of the limited collections, put a twist on it, or just go the whole way and design your own.
Whoever said money cant but happiness didnt know where to shop!
120 George Lane
South Woodford E18 1AD
020 8530 0382
Vivien Westwood at Believe In
You can always trust Danielle at the beautiful Believe In boutique to source something a bit different. With an eye for the best of the latest trends she has given a big piece of the action to the wonderfully quirky Vivienne Westwood this season.
This cult brand has been at the fore of British fashion for many years now with Vivienne still very much in the thick of things at the age of 70. Her story began in 1971 with the Let it Rock boutique at 430 Kings Road. However, the Anglomania collection that has proved such a huge hit (and can be found at Believe In) first launched in 1993.
The ethos behind the designs is an amalgamation of British and French ideals, Vivienne noted On the English side we have tailoring and an easy charm, on the French side that solidity of design and proportion that comes from never being satisfied, because something can always be done to make it better.
Defined waists and a beautiful feminine silhouette are key components to a look that incorporates tartans, checks, drapes and tucks in all the right places.
Add to this one of the fabulous Lulu Guinness bags that Danielle takes great pleasure in selecting, and you have a look that is stylish, quintessentially British and wholly unique. As the lady herself always said, Let it Rock!
75 Queens Road
Buckhurst Hill IG9 5BW
020 8505 9626
Victoria & Albert at Gracious Living
Freestanding baths and basins have become the must-haves of bathroom design in recent years, and whilst they were once the reserve of an original period property (or perhaps salvaged from); specialist manufacturers are now putting their own stamp on the idea. Consequently the choice is growing at a rapid pace as designs are pushed to a whole new level.
It will come as no surprise that many of these cutting-edge designs can be found at Gracious Living, who not only specialise in beautiful bathrooms, but also in fireplaces and exquisite plaster mouldings perhaps consider combining all three?
From traditional to contemporary Gracious Living work with the best in bathroom products, with designs available form West Midlands-based Victoria and Albert baths (dont plan your bathroom without seeing some of these, they are truly spectacular, with clean lines and a flawless finish), Simpsons shower enclosures that are pure design innovation, and stunning Crosswater taps.
All of these British brands are well established but the key factor is the availability of so many in one place. This means you can mix and match individual pieces and take advantage of the specialist design team at Gracious Living to create the perfect look.
After all this local shopping, a nice long soak in a statement bath has to be the icing on the cake!
440-448 Larkshall Road
Chingford E4 9HH
020 8523 3103