Last night, Amy and I went to the launch of Zaha Hadid’s new tap project with Triflow Concepts. The glamorous event took place at a beautiful venue in central London. Ordinarily used as an art gallery, the space was spread across 4 floors and with stylish cocktails and canapés, was the perfect setting for the event. The taps were aptly positioned on top of Zaha-designed tables on the mezzanine so as to be observed from all angles, and looked wonderfully strange and beautifully fluid, reflecting the concept behind their design.
Marcus and I popped into the new Opus Store on King Street in Covent Garden and were blown away by the gallery-like setting surrounding these magnificent books. The epic-scale books are an archival collection of images and stories covering all manner of subjects from Manchester United FC to Vivienne Westwood. Size is not just what makes these limited-edition books unique – they often contain rare and previously unpublished images and are written by the finest writers in their field. Upcoming launches this year include Prince, The Saatchi Gallery and Formula One.
There’s always something daunting about huge international art fairs. However, what struck me about the rich mix of work on offer at the London Art Fair was something sensory and almost visceral. The turpentine tang of newly finished works in oil by young artists mingled with the curiously musty aroma of lithographs, linocuts, etchings and prints by 20th century masters like Piper or Hockney. The Private View at the Business Design Centre was teeming with artists and buyers and, judging from the deals I overheard on stands, the appetite for art, old and new, is as intense as ever.
Boundary is the brilliant new venture by Sir Terence Conran. Set in the heart of edgy Shoreditch, the project includes a hotel, shop, café and restaurant. It’s a great place for a coffee and a treat or a sumptuous dinner with friends. The ground floor houses a fantastic farm-style shop and café – complete with pink and white tea cosies on Brown Betty teapots. The basement restaurant is typically Conran – über classy and quintessentially British – with dim lighting and ‘magic carpets’ on the ceiling! All in all, this is a very cool project in a very cool setting.
When I dropped into Cocomaya to see if its reputation as London’s most exquisite chocolatier was justified, I was not disappointed. From the moment I opened the door of the Connaught Street shop, I was assailed by the delicious aroma of chocolate and a visual feast of truffles, many dusted with gold and iridescent powders to resemble precious jewels. The shop is beautifully decorated in pinks and greens, with vintage cake stands and antique glass domes. Want to know what heaven might taste like? Then try the milk chocolate pomegranate dome. Or the pecans dipped in chocolate. Or anything really. It’s all delightful.