Thinking ahead, Anna introduces us to the delights of the most joyously floral patterned garden parasols to shade from the summer sun.

Last summer on my way to Gatwick airport, there was just enough time before the flight to join lunch for a friend’s 40th. It was a glorious hot day, and The Beacon pub in Tunbridge Wells has spectacular views, but I was immediately distracted on arrival at the terrace drinks. Perfectly located on the side of a valley, we were standing under the most joyously floral patterned garden parasols to keep cool.

I immediately took a photograph of the label with the aim to track down these eye catching patchwork design parasols when I returned from my holiday.

The creators I soon discover are Sunbeam Jackie, quietly making a name for themselves as the most exclusive luxury parasol and canopy makers around.

Founded by husband and wife team Charlie and Katy Napier, everything Sunbeam Jackie produce is made in their 12th Century Barn studio perched on the edge of the North Atlantic Ocean in heart of Cornwall’s UNESCO world heritage site. Combining their backgrounds in fine art, sculpture, and costume design, the couple use antique, vintage and designer fabrics from the 1920’s to present day. From Liberty prints, William Morris, Barbara Brown, Sanderson, Marimekko, Designers Guild and many more, the handcrafted designs often represent a by-gone era of textile production in the heyday of the fabric industry. These are one-off collectable pieces which makes each parasol a work of art in its own right.

The very first limited edition run of parasols made in 2011 were spotted by both Mark Homewood, the buyer for Designers Guild, and by Josie da Bank the creative director of Bestival Ltd. Since then they have worked on many exciting commissions.

Charlie and Katy work closely with their dedicated team... designers, interior decorators and specifiers worldwide to adapt their designs to individual projects and needs. Bespoke and waterproofed, all the materials used are sourced from within the UK. Cottons, linens, silks, satins, woven textiles... hand-picked from a network of textile collectors and dealers.

They are currently working with established textile designers and printmakers on developing our own range of textiles.

The parasol frames are made using Sunbeam Jackie’s unique parasol design in hand-oiled ash timber components, stainless steel mechanisms welded and polished by a marine welder in Falmouth and assembled by Charlie and his team.

If like me, you would love to add a Sunbeam Jackie parasol (or three!) to your garden tomorrow, they can either be purchased from the existing collection of parasols available through the online shop or get in touch regarding Bespoke Commissions.

My current favourites on the website are the 'Belcombe’ a design endorsed by Liberty of London and Rossana Orlandi Gallery in Milan, and ‘Her Highness the Maharaja’ that uses a beautiful 1970s floral cotton screenprint and ‘Minuet’ a Bernard Wardle cotton screenprint.

Prices start from £1,450 and come with their own Sunbeam Jackie weatherproof canvas cover.

I also love the Bespoke Lampshades, suitable for lamps and ceiling hanging.

March 2019