Painting the Town


Have you seen the mimosas in all their flowering finery, and sniffed in their scent? Yellow yellow yellow, full, flighty, fabulous, their slender soft green leaves hosting the puffs and pompoms of a million blossoms.


The new sunshine’s been streaming through the window in the afternoon – I love these limes in their pot and my fave checked shoes too.

Picasso Jug

My view of Hilary Mantel’s thoughtful article in The London Review of Books is that it’s not at all personal in relation to Kate M herself but furthers the old old discussion about women as vessels – for decorating, impregnating, carrying, emptying. And it’s a vitally important discourse. It’s so infuriating that such an interesting and provoking debate cannot be held but that the tabloids turn it into a scream of a headline.

Picasso earthenware Woman 1949


Tessa Souter, glamorous in her sparkling second skin, sang at Pizza Express last week. Some songs were from her new album, set to classical compositions, some were old favourites. I loved the Cole Porter she belted out the best – it’s just one of those things! The vibes player Jim Hart was a revelation. Going to see her was one of my recent birthday treats.

Brush Shop

And another (aren’t I lucky?) will be seeing Keith Jarrett next Monday at the Royal Festival Hall. It’s thirty-something years since last I saw him live and I’m so looking forward to it. 

I finally got my hands on a special new paintbrush from Stuart Stevenson’s shop of treasures. I’ve had my eye on it for months and at last my ‘brush fund’ had filled up a bit so I spent it all!  Isn’t it a beauty?


What’s more I got included in someone else’s birthday celebrations and enjoyed a special and beautiful lunch at Nopi, where the nosh looked good and tasted even better.


Another place to have a tasty lunch – or anything – is the restaurant at the V&A. The food is good and varied, the environs too – you can sit in the open airy part, or out in the garden, or in the extraordinary elaborately tiled, panelled and papered Green Dining Rooms of Morris and de Morgan. These really are a pattern-maker’s banquet: every surface is decorated. Sitting there amongst their opulent work, whether it’s to taste or not, I feel elevated and included surrounded by such complete artistic commitment. A meal’s duration is probably time enough – a longer span and it may start to get overpowering, but I’m not sure. And one of the sites you might see as you sit there is a regular V&A visitor walking by – he always arrives dressed as Henry VIII!  

The Green Dining Room

Henry VIII

Last Saturday I got a new job doing a lot of dressing up myself – my first time as a model. Yes, me!  Why, you may well ask, and for whom? Well, watch this space… meanwhile here’s a sneak peak..


My friend Lucy popped round to drop off my ticket for Parade; we’re off to see it tonight in the Old Vic tunnels, Waterloo – another first for me. She made me laugh no end with a story of her father: as a lonesome child from a family of Cornish clergymen he dressed up and played church when he had time on his hands – with his dogs as the congregation. I’m sure at least one of them made good use of the correct neckwear…looking at the word dog and thinking about collars I can’t help reflecting that the whole thing was a very back-to-front enterprise!


West Elm’s fresh March catalogue is out this week – how exciting to see my new patterns coming through on upholstered chairs as well as all the other textile, paper and glass products!

West Elm

CCI00002_2Read all about it! Angus Stewart reviews the book in the current issue of The Jackdaw.

Thanks to Alan and Molly.

PS – tweet tweet – now follow me on Twitter @sarahcamdesigns !


15 thoughts on “Painting the Town

  1. Pingback: trouvé! | Sarah Campbell Designs

  2. Sarah,
    Your Blog is lovely. Just like the old days when a favourite magazine would pop through the letterbox!
    Would you mind adding to your circulation? I would like our colleagues to share it too.

    Please drop by when you are next in Teddington – We are next to a little Gallery, which might be of interest???

  3. Sarah I agree with you regarding Hilary having read the transcript in the London Review of Books. It is a wide ranging analytical essay on the role of the Monarchy today. Your birthday treats were wonderful and I too loved Tessa’s evening. How you manage to see so much colour around you i shall never know, and transform it so magically into design. Tonight is so very cold -21/2/13.
    I am looking forward to the Collier Campbell Design book soon.Cheers Dave x

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