Everyone knows that I love a good party, and will use any excuse to celebrate! Champagne anyone? One of my favorite English antique institution, Alfies, is celebrating their 40th anniversary! To commemorate this occasion, they’re running several activities this month in conjunction with the London Design Festival.
Even though I can’t be in London this month, as I’m traveling in Asia setting up our new Antiques Diva Asia Tours #WatchThisSpace, our English Diva Agent Gail McLeod is on the ground and in command leading a special VIP GROUP tour for one of our favourite clients, Modenus. Founder of Modenus, Veronika Miller is a dear friend and she brings a group of clients – including bloggers, designers and dealers – over each year during London Design Week as part of Design Hounds.
The Antiques Diva segment of their London tour will be on 21 & 22 September and our plan first is to whisk them off to Martin Johnson’s fabulous new warehouse he has opened in Lewis with the lovable Fontaine boys for an exclusive behind the scenes glimpse in the best of the decorative antiques trade in England. And then the next day Gail – aka the Commander in Chic – will take them to Alfies and the Antiques Young Guns pop-up and the Church Street dealers. Sadly the Design Hounds have to dash before the Alfies party begins… but if you watch the #DesignHounds on Instagram you can get a glimpse into this VIP DIVA TOUR!
Besides the 40th Anniversary Party at Alfies, there are several other events taking place this week in London, and we’ve got the run down of must-Diva-do’s!
September Events to Celebrate Alfies London 40th Anniversary
- Pop-up Residency from London Glassblowing
- 20th Century Glass with Mark Hill
- Fashion Through the Ages with Leslie Verrinder of Tin Tin Collectables
- Thirteen Upholstery Workshop Demonstration
If you find yourself in London be sure to check out the pop-up shops featuring several Antiques Young Guns dealers, many of whom are AD&CO friends and vendors! Even if you’re not able to be in London, check out their websites below.
AYG members standing at the pop-up shop are:
- Lily Johnston of Bombe Antiques
- Matthew Wise of Cubbit Antiques
- Edd Thomas of Eddintheclouds Antiques
- Jason Clarke of Jason Clarke Antiques
- Stephanie Connell of Stepannie Connell Art & Antiques
- Eddy Toshi Ishikawa Wertheim of The Japanese Gallery
- Ishmael Khan of Ishy Antiques
- Jon Irvine of Jon Irvine Antiques
And last but not least – Rumor has it Design Hounds will be joining me in Asia to kick off the new year… if you’re interested in joining that VIP GROUP TOUR make sure to contact either me or Veronika @ Modenus.
Toma Clark Haines, The Antiques Diva®
Dear Diva Readers,
an you believe that Christmas is just around the corner? With all the shopping I do, you’d think that I would have my Christmas shopping done by now, but I must confess, I am way behind! If you’re in the same boat as me, it can be helpful to shop antiques stores and markets since there is such a wide variety of items and price points all in one place! I’ve just received word of two fabulous Christmas shopping parties coming up in London and wanted to share them with you all in case you happen to be in London soon! (or better yet are just looking for a reason to book some travel!)
The legendary Alfies and Grays Late Night Shopping events are a fantastic way to shop for rare and beautiful Christmas gifts.
Grays Antique Center is home to a diverse collection of luxury antiques, fine jewelry, silver and Asian art. Seconds from Bond Street and Oxford Street, Grays is a focus of the London antiques trade and is home to over 200 of its finest dealers.
They are located at 58 Davies Street & 1-7 Davies Mews, London W1K 5AB and the late night shopping event takes place on Thursday, 26 November 2015, from 5pm-8pm.
Alfies Antiques Market (formerly Jordan’s department store) has around 75 antique dealers trading there along with a fabulous rooftop cafe. The adjacent part of Church Street also has some 20 shops selling twentieth century antiques. At Alfies you will find a huge range of antique and vintage goods including vintage fashion and accessories, modernist furniture and lighting, costume jewelry and 20th century decorative arts.
They are located at 13-25 Church Street, Marylebone, London, NW8 8DT and the late night shopping event takes place on Thursday, 3 December 2015 from 5pm-9pm
At both events you can enjoy vintage inspired music and entertainment, plus complimentary canapés and drinks to add to the festive atmosphere while you browse. There are over 300 dealers across the two markets, so take advantage of this opportunity to shop after hours in two of London’s largest and longest-standing antiques centers and, if that is not enough, for those last-minute shoppers both Alfies and Grays will be open right up until Christmas Eve!
Their in-house services range from engraving a personalized message on your presents to creating a bespoke piece with one of their jewelers. The two centers also offer a personal shopping service and gift certificates as well. There is no better place to find that one-of-a-kind gift!
Alfies and Grays are never short of the perfect gift. With a varied selection of items— from fine jewelry to homewares— and a divers price range, you’re sure to not leave empty handed! I’ve even had a preview of some of the pieces which will be available and want to share them with you below. Here’s a little sampling to whet your shopping appetite!
The Antiques Diva®
Dear Diva Readers,
Megan’s Cafe. It’s an institution in Fulham (their other cafe is in St. John’s Wood High Street in Chelsea). Coming here guarantees I get a healthy incredibly delicious lunch while out antiquing – and better yet – almost guarantees I’ll run into some of my antiques industry friends! Given it’s location opposite Guinevere’s this cafe frequented by some of the antiques industry’s most well known dealers and shoppers alike. Whether you’re there for brunch—try their freshly squeezed juices paired with a free-range eggs Benedict— lunch, afternoon tea— the fresh baked cakes are to die for— , or dinner, you’re sure to enjoy a gorgeous meal prepared with fresh and often organic ingredients.hen it comes to antiquing in London Kings Road is a guaranteed to result in a successful afternoon shopping. Whenever I ‘m in the area I have one place I have to go – and that’s
I’ve spent many afternoons at Megan’s with clients and colleagues, discussing our recent finds and upcoming projects over a bottle— or two— of champagne. A favorite place to sit is the beautiful courtyard, with quaint tables pulled together – you’re in the heart of London, but somehow the ambiance feels quintessentially French country to me. There’s nothing like savoring excellent food while being surrounded by flowers. I often wish I could take a piece of Megan’s home with me!
That’s why I’m so excited that the cafe has come out with a book called, “Friends Around the Table,” chock full of mouth watering recipes.
Whether you’re entertaining a group of friends or simply cooking for two, this cook book has something for everyone. Eating should be a communal activity, and as someone who loves to cook and entertain, I can’t wait to try some of these recipes, such as the grilled squid, chorizo and asparagus salad! Doesn’t that sound like the perfect lunch for me to make friends for lunching on terrace? (winters only just beginning but I’m already fantasizing about summer again). And as I have to accept that the weather is going to get cold… perhaps I should look for a heartier winter dish to fix friends and family? What about the pot-cooked beef fillet with pea puree and hasselback potatoes…yummy! Delicious. I”m an arm-chair recipe reader and Meghans cookbook has already transported me to a dozen tables in my mind!
I’d love to hear what some of your favorite restaurants are in London – or elsewhere – and if you have any preferred recipes from them! Head over to The Antiques Diva & Co Facebook page and share them with me on the wall.
Until next time, bon appetit!
The Antiques Diva®
Dear Diva Readers,
Nobelinks for a special group tour in London this fall. In addition to working privately with interior designers, Steve is renowned for taking exclusive groups of interior designers to destinations such as New York, Los Angeles, Paris, and – coming this September – London. Through exploring design abroad with like-minded professionals, designers are given the opportunity to explore first hand and sharpen their overall strategic outlook.’m delighted to announce that I’m teaming up with Steve Nobel, design industry sage and adviser, who links people, places and ideas through his consulting business
For this upcoming British invasion partnering Nobel’s group with The Antiques Diva & Co was a natural connection. The AD&CO takes people to places and introduces them to people they would not have access to on their own. As a company, our mission is to make European antiques accessible, helping to navigate the international waters of buying overseas and introducing clients not only to antiques vendors but also to international shippers and to European life in general. On our antique buying tours we lend our experience and long-term relationships to our clients, making introductions to off-the-beaten path antique dealers and giving designers inside access that usually takes decades to achieve. My business is based on relationships as we build a bridge between North America and Europe.
Meanwhile Steve Nobel explains, “The real benefit for the participants in my Nobelinks groups is the people; collegiality is based on trusted relationships. We give interior designers the opportunity to make not only professional connections, but, perhaps more importantly, to make personal connections. Profound connections are made in our groups that are life changing for our designers.” Past participants in these ventures include Mark Cutler, Sherry Hayslip, Skip Sroka, Wendi Young and many others.
With the help of The Antiques Diva & Co, Nobelink’s Design Trust will delve deeply into design during the top industry events in the UK this fall, traveling abroad September 19 – 23, 2014 during the International London Design Festival, DECOREX and FOCUS at Chelsea Harbor. Going further afield into the English countryside, this intimate group tour will help designers curate resources from British town and country, visiting country houses, historic castles and some of the top decorative antiques dealers in the Cotswolds and Sussex. Designers will learn how buying antiques abroad can increase their profit margin while also giving them a competitive edge in the marketplace.
For more information email firstname.lastname@example.org
The Antiques Diva®
Dear Diva Readers,
Grease is the word” is going through my mind….. Though in this instance I’m singing “Mid-Century is the word, is the word, is the word”…. Okay, forget singing, it’s never been my forte. But mid-century is the word that keeps popping up everywhere lately. From top shelter magazines to design shows on television, it seems that everyone is infusing mid-century modern pieces into their interiors. At The Antiques Diva & Co, we’ve been taking clients on buying tours all across Europe to source mid-century modern items including lighting, art, and furniture. But we love when our favorite dealers come together in one place, and that’s exactly what’s happening on Sunday, May 11th. Modern enthusiasts from all over will flock to Mid-century Show East at Goldfinger’s Haggerston School in London to shop 50 of the best mid-century vendors in Europe.o you remember the movie Grease? As I write this blog the song where they repeat “
Known for their stylish events, Modern Shows are thoughtfully curated, offering up highly sought after design classics by Eames, Jacobsen, Bertoia, Nelson, and Wegner. This show will feature original twentieth-century pieces of British, American, and Scandinavian provenance. The variety promises to be vast with dealers offering ceramics, glass, wallpaper, vintage fabrics, industrial, clocks, collectable posters, furniture, lighting, and much more. If you’re looking for top quality mid-century modern design, this is the place to be!
Pack your bags because it’s time to shop! Or let us shop for you – we’re always happy to help source antiques abroad through our buying services. How it works is simple. You tell us what you want… we scout out what you’re looking for, taking photos and sending them to you with pre-negotiated trade prices scored through our brilliant array of contacts. Let me know if you want more details on how we can help you source European mid-century modern pieces.
And remember – Grease is the word! I mean Mid-Century Modern is the Word!
The Antique Diva®
P.S. Missing this spring event? Don’t worry – there’s time to come abroad on future shows.
October 12th 2014
The Midcentury Show at Haggerston, East London
November 23rd 2014
Midcentury Modern in Dulwich, South London
Dear Diva Readers,
eet our newest Antiques Diva Guide, Alys Dobbie – she’s an antique and vintage dealer, wearer and endorser as well as being the newest Diva on our team, leading tours in London at the Portobello Flea Market! She has been in the antiques trade for the last 11 years, getting her start selling in the markets of London and working her way up to owning 2 shops and becoming owner of “Vintage Shop of the Year 2012” and “A Judges Choice Young Gun 2013.” She’s 30 years old and has a wide spectrum of knowledge with a specialty in Mid-Century Modern design. In addition to being a dealer and antiques tour guide Alys also restores furniture and we will be featuring Alys’ restoration tips on our blog in the coming months.
Meet Your London Portobello Guide – Alys Dobbie
Antiques Diva: Which Tours do you lead?
Alys: I currently run one-day tours in Portobello and Notting Hill but will be working on the East Sussex and Brighton tours too alongside our Antiques Diva UK agent, Gail McLeod.
Antiques Diva: What do you like about your job?
Alys: I love meeting new people and finding out their individual tastes and requests. Having a good relationship with dealers is essential in being a Diva and I love having a rapport with the characters of the industry!
Antiques Diva: What do you consider your specialty in helping clients?
Alys: I have a good knowledge of Mid-Century design and artefacts so I’ll be able to help anyone seeking the vintage look. I also have a degree in furniture restoration so I know to look for repairs or damage and can give advice on polishing and restorations. I love helping clients find what they want – the cherry on the cake is always when you find the speciality item they’ve been looking for.
Antiques Diva: Where did you grow up?
Alys: I grew up in Tunbridge Wells in Kent – my dad and I used to hit the boot fairs every sunday when I was a kid to seek out bargains. I used to buy clothes and sell them to the designer boutiques in town for pocket money.
Antiques Diva: What do you do when you’re not working? Hobbies? Interests?
Alys: When I’m not working I’m usually still working. I love buying items for my shop so will drag my boyfriend (er Fiance! Ms Dobbie is getting married!!) around antique centres (he secretly loves it too). I also make my own wine and sloe gin. My favourite part of the day is taking my Border Terrier dog Fred for a walk on Brighton beach, where I live now.
Antiques Diva: Favorite spot to vacation?
Alys: I went to the States last year and absolutely loved it. My dream holiday would to be to drive around the Deep South, checking out thrift and antique stores whilst eating some good BBQ. I have a soft spot for Granada in Spain. The tapas are to die for.
Antiques Diva: Do you have a favorite museum of work of art that inspires you?
Alys: The Tate Gallery in St Ives, Cornwall is my favourite gallery in England. The building itself is spectacular and conjures up memories of long summer holidays with my dad. The whole village is full of artists – both up and coming and established. The Barbara Hepworth gardens are also fantastic.
Antiques Diva: Give me 5 words that describe your personality?
Alys: Quirky, Dry, Organised, Confident, Thoughtful
To book a Portobello Flea Market Tour in London email email@example.com.
The Antiques Diva ®
Dear Diva Readers,
‘m so excited to announce that The Antiques Diva & Co will now be offering tours of the Portobello Flea Market in London! We’ve just finished mapping out our tour with new Diva Guide Alys Dobbie (watch this space for an upcoming blog all about Alys). Alys has been in the antique industry for over 11 years and brings her knowledge of the London markets to lucky Antiques Diva & Co clients, taking them hand in white glove hand through London’s most popular flea market.
The Portobello Road Market calls itself “the world’s largest antiques market” with over 1,000 dealers selling every kind of vintage and collectible item imaginable. It’s a bustling street in Notting Hill full of shoppers hunting for the perfect treasure. Composed of street vendors and shops, there is a wide variety of items available.
At The AD&Co we love the market for the vintage clothing options as well as purses and shoes. From Versace to lesser known designers, there are many pieces to choose from. And speaking of fashion, the jewelry options are amazing at Portobello! If I’ve found one piece of jewelry I’ve wanted I’ve found a thousand!
On Portobello Road there is definitely a “thrill of the hunt” feel when scouring through cabinet after cabinet, looking for just the right piece. You’ll find a wide range of silver, silver plate, pewter, and brass merchandise available. Antique china and tea cups are in abundance and the prices are phenomenal!
Portobello is the place to find a deal on vintage finds. While the occasional high brow antiques mix in with the bric-a-brac this is a market to come to if you’re looking for unique small pieces for your home. Here you’ll find those perfectly packables that fit in your suitcase, commemorating your trip abroad.
We believe antiques and vintage finds should be used in every room in your house and when you buy antiques while traveling abroad these pieces replace the proverbial t-shirt as your travel souvenirs. One of our recent Portobello finds is this onyx lidded jar. It’s going home with our client to hold cotton balls in the powder room or to be used as a stamp container on their desk. Priced at 18GBP it’s a great example of these perfectly packable travel souvenirs found at Portobello that allow you to take a piece of London home. Each time you see it you’ll remember that day you spent shopping with The Antiques Diva & Co in London’s most beloved market.
Our Diva Guide Alys knows what different vendors specialize in, so before arriving the market you tell her what makes you tick and she’ll custom plan a route that guides you through the hoards of people (the crowds are unbelievable) to find just what you’re looking for! Having someone who knows the lay of the land really does help it seem not so overwhelming when navigating these crowds! Moreover – because Alys is a member of the antiques trade – she’ll ask for a trade discount to help you score better prices than you could on your own.
While Portobello Road is known as a tourist’s haven there are some true gems to be found hidden in the halls if you know where to go to avoid the reproductions and tourist tack. Not only does Alys know these secret sources she also knows where to get away from the crowds to shop nearby areas off the tourist path. And when your bellies start rumbling she can whiz you away from the crowds to get a quintessentially English meal at a nearby pub. Steak and ale pie? It’s just what this diva needed to refuel after my last Portobello Road shopping trip!
To book a Portobello Flea Market Tour in London, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Best day to book a Portobello Road tour is Saturday! Though we also offer special vintage fashion tours in London Wednesday through Friday!
Let the shopping commence!
The Antiques Diva ®
PS: To book an Antiques Diva Tour or inquire about our Buying Services so you can source antiques abroad virtually, email email@example.com
Dear Diva Readers,
The Antiques Diva® team is ALL over the place this month. Gail, our UK Diva, joined Susan, our Italian Diva and me in Parma, Italy this past week for Mercanteinfiera meanwhile Lucretia, our Belgian and Dutch Diva was in London shopping the Autumn Decorative Fair at Battersea Park!
Lucretia writes reporting from the London Decorative Fair:
“By a stroke of luck, I happened to be in London during the Autumn Decorative Fair in Battersea Park, 1-6 October 2013. Curious and in possession of a free ticket, I had to go check it out. Afterall, it’s important for me as the Dutch & Belgian Diva Guide to understand what’s happening around the world in the antique scene. Interior decoration is kind of a passion for me. Where else than in cosmopolitan London can one get a better update on the latest trends?
The fair is relatively small and cozy, with 143 exhibitors each with a compact stand, allowing you to see the whole inventory without getting bored or exhausted. The atmosphere is relaxed, the vendors congenial, the prices affordable and negotiable.
There were a few dealers with traditional antiques, but the majority showed a mix of old furniture — mostly stripped down to the bare wood, sometimes whitewashed or with the original paint — and 20th century pieces. What really surprised me was the predominance of glass and metal furniture from the sixties and seventies. Coffee tables, nests of 3 tables, console tables, dinner tables, they have to be transparent, light, made of chrome or brass or painted black metal, with a glass top. Exactly the style we bought for our first home when we married in 1981 (you begin to feel really old when the fashion of your twenties makes a come-back)! Instead of storing it in the garage, I should bring it back to the living room and get rid of my mahogany!
The overall style was not moody like The Antiques Diva discovered at Maison Objet but rather delicate, with walls painted light grey or taupe, lots of mirrors, crystal chandeliers to catch the light. Symmetry is still going strong, you often see two identical console tables with huge mirrors next to each other, perfect doubles. Cheerfully bright upholstery (think pink, purple, turquoise) on vintage chairs and sofas was also a noticeable trend. On the other hand, the industrial design with its large proportions and rude surfaces is also still present, although not my personal favorite.
These antique and vintage dealers have to be inventive and original decorators nowadays, composing their stands using unusual objects in order to catch the attention of the visitors. Some did a great job, and they make a visit to the Decorative Fair in Battersea Park an uplifting experience!”
Your Belgian-Dutch Diva – Lucretia reporting Live from London!
PS – All this and don’t forget you can have a chance to meet our Swedish Divo in England this weekend at Esher Hall.
Dear Diva Readers,
On Friday I introduced you to one of my favourite vendors at London’s Decorative Antiques & Textiles Fair this weekend I wanted to tell you a bit more about the fair, sharing with you some highlights of the SPRING 2013 fair gearing up for this Fall event 1-6 October 2013.
Whether your decorating style is grand manor style or country cottage, the brilliant thing about The Decorative Fair is that it covers the gamet… putting the most decorative pieces from the continent and British Isle in one chic locale. Look… while I was standing in line awaiting my entry on opening day last Spring they even served champagne… they must have heard The Antiques Diva & Co was rocking the fair!
With more than 140 dealers presenting each season, this thrice-annual event IS ONE OF THE TOP TWO MOST IMPORTANT INTERIOR DESIGN EVENTS on this side of the Pond. You’ve got Maison Objet in Paris and The Decorative Fair in London as the LEADING SOURCES for setting design trends. What happens here will follow around the world!
In January you are in LUCK – Maison Objet Paris will be held January 24 to 28 and London’s Decorative Fair will be JUST BEFORE THAT 21-26 January. In theory you my dears could do the DOUBLE DIVA and do both fairs back to back!!!!
Want to come along with The Antiques Diva & Co for some MAJOR DESIGN INSPIRATION? Then TRADE PEOPLE – DEALERS AND DESIGNERS – you’d better join me in January for 2 Tempting Events that will design inspiration into your life!!! Contact firstname.lastname@example.org so I can custom plan a European antiquing and design itinerary based upon your shopping list and your shopping needs. Don’t forget to register for access to our TRADE ONLY website…
The Antiques Diva & Co
P.S. Other London Decorative Fairs are held in the Spring – 29 April-4 May 2014 – and Autumn – 30 September-5 October 2014!
Dear Diva Readers,
Our Antiques Diva locally based English Diva Gail McLeod is putting on her pearls and joining the jet setters at Berkley Square – she’s taking our Swedish Divo Guide Daniel as her “date” for an opening night fete representing The Antiques Diva & Co at the art & antiques social event of the season!
Glamorous, sparkling and alluring, over the last five years the LAPADA London Art and Antiques Fair has developed into one of the most interesting events around. The 25-29 September 2013 event will have more than 100 exhibitors. Prices of works range from £500 up to £500,000 and beyond, offering the most discerning collector exceptional antiques and fine art to choose from and inviting first time collectors to develop exciting new interests. Among the exceptional works on offer are furniture, jewellery, carpets, tapestries, antiquities, clocks, ceramics, silver and fine art.
One of the vendors making a debut this year at the fair is the society jeweler Grima whom has all of us here the AD&Co SWOONING! Their jewelry is wearable sculpture! It’s modern, sexy, and voluptuous. It’s not unusual to see a Grima design fashioned from watermelon tourmaline with diamond stamens, or find a fire opal set in beaten gold or a huge Colombian emerald pendant tied up with ribbons of diamonds. Iconic style-setters of every generation have been drawn to the brand. In the 60s and 70s it was people like Princess Margaret, Jackie Onassis, Peter Sellers, Estee Lauder, Ursula Andress and sculptor Barbara Hepworth, and more recently, fashion designers Miuccia Prada and Marc Jacobs.
Francesca Grima, daughter of founder Andrew Grima, who was fortunate to have spent ten years working with her father before his death in 2007, will exhibit with her mother Jojo Grima showing iconic Grima designs from the 60s and 70s together with their own contemporary interpretations and original designs. Francesca Grima’s talent for creating remarkable jewellery came not just from the emotional support her parents provided, but also from their creative inspiration.
Andrew Grima trained as an engineer and only entered the jewellery business after the war having served nearly five years with the 7th Indian Division in Burma. In 1946 he joined his future father-in-law’s jewellery business in London, where he astonished everyone with his first improvised collection based on a suitcase full of rough-cut semi-precious stones brought-in one day by a Brazilian dealer – this creative burst took everyone by surprise as he had been working in accounts at the time!
Other new exhibitors include AD Antiques, Jeroen Markies, Galleria del Coronari, Peta Smyth, Jenna Burlingham Fine Art, Philip Mould Gallery Portrait Miniatures, Plus One Gallery, Hampton Antiques, Mark Mitchell, Michael Chipperfield and Japanese Gallery.
The Antiques Diva