Anna dreams of eating, entertaining and drinking outside, all made easy when shopping at this kitchen shop in Holland Park.
Founded by longtime friends, June Summerill and Bernadette Bishop, the elegant and relaxed shop first opened its doors in May 1994, and has remained in the same spot in Clarendon Cross ever since.
With a 25th birthday this month, which is an incredible achievement in the current retail climate - the special place reflects the allure of a Provencal home, and has managed to remain relevant through its continued relationships with unique artisans and vendors from around the world.
Inspired by the two founders’ mutual love of traditional home comforts, the venture began as a way to bring a sense of personality and intimacy to kitchenware that they often found to be clinical. Both fantastic home cooks and entertainers, June and Bernadette were frustrated at most kitchen and tableware shops at the time, so they decided to create their own, sourcing products from France, Italy, Belgium, England, South Africa, Germany and the Middle East.
When they wrote their business plan together on a notepad, seated at a local cafe, the dream was a “happy, inspirational place to be, where people will want to spend comfortable time.” That is what it quickly became, filled with hand crafted earthenware, glassware, kitchen utensils, cookware and natural home products - always with a modern design sensibility.
I can wander in there and browse for hours, and always reliably find a gift for a friend, or a perfect finishing piece for a table.
Always full of character and unique treasures, I love the selection of baskets, bed linen, drinkware and these Handblown Glass 'Sea Urchin' Salt & Pepper Shakers in Blue.
Summerill & Bishop sell pieces that are not mass produced, and ensure beauty and functionality are key. Often hand crafted and cannot easily be found elsewhere, brands sold at the shop include: Wonki Ware, Staub, Laguiole, Cote Bastide, Libeco, Fog Linen Work and Astier de Villatte. Now of course also all available to buy online.
S&B believes that if people take the time to lay the table and present a meal beautifully, they'll enjoy it all the more and create a lasting memory for those who share it. Believing this begins with the tablecloth, the online collection features collaborations from a variety of names such as Carolina Bucci, Solange and Shrimps.
Today, through the love of food and the tradition of sitting down for a family meal, the rustic and traditional brand continues to provide homeware and tableware to both new fans, and the local regulars who visit for inspiration.
Tragically, Bernadette passed away in 2014, and her son Sebastian Bishop took on the role of CEO. steering the company in exciting new directions.
To commemorate the passing of Bernadette, S&B trademarked her flower design which she drew on all her notes and letters, and designed a beautiful line of linens which launched in Sept 2015.
With a shop on Elizabeth Street, a Wedding Gift List service a blog and an array of seasonal pop ups and collaborations, there is always much news flooding in from their newsletter.
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