Hot on the Highstreet Week 245

I am very lucky to have a mummy who is an expert present buyer, with an eye for the most delectable gifts. One of my favourite birthday presents this year was a set of quirky Nature plates from Anthropologie, designed by Lou Rota.

Artist Lou Rota is renowned for producing ‘some of the most intriguing eco-chic artworks around today,’ and her one-of-a-kind recycled furniture art and decorative vintage plates quickly attained cult status. UK purveyor Liberty snapped up early works and Rota’s signature bird, bug and floral designs garnered huge press, prompting Selfridges, Caravan and Lane Crawford (Hong Kong) to join the retail queue.

To meet demand, Rota created a modern classic of English fine bone china with a chic twist. Anthropologie commissioned her to collaborate on a series of ‘Nature Table’ product lines which quickly became bestsellers in the UK, Canada, USA and beyond. She says of her work: ‘My designs are influenced by my passion for the natural world – especially insects – and I love playing with unusual combinations of flora and fauna.’

These unique dessert plates are timeless and beautiful, each depicting a different creature, from big (giraffe) to small (bumblebee)! Made from new bone china they should only be hand-washed, but though they appear delicate and vintage they are in fact strong and long-lasting. They are 20cm diameter in size and I think work best as serving plates to display biscuits or cake.

The plates are sold individually for £16 each, in store and online here.

Hot on the Highstreet Week 230 – Gilmour & Gray

Let me introduce you to Gilmour & Gray – handmade quality Chelsea boots with a colourful twist.

G&G launched on Thursday 16th October, a high-end and innovative brand, masterminded by two brothers from Gloucestershire. Currently based in London the boots are taking to the streets just in time the Christmas rush. Unisex and made entirely from one piece of the finest Portuguese leather, these boots will inspire Autumn and Christmas shoppers – the perfect present for father, son, daughter and mother.

A timeless classic, these Chelsea boots offer the consumer a cutting edge yet classy look. They are comfortable, hard-wearing and ideal for chilly winter weather. The Autumn collection comprises of four designs: traditional brown suede, brown suede with red elastic, blue elastic and green elastic.

The Gilmour & Gray collection range from European size 36 – 46 and start from £150 per pair, including VAT, (excluding postage and packaging).

Buy your boots here: www.gilmourandgray.co.uk

Hot on the Highstreet Week 197

Having my hair brushed as a very little girl was a nightmare. I have very thin hair but lots of it… easily tangled and painful to brush, a £2.99 plastic implement from the local pharmacy would just not do. Mason Pearson was a great option when my mum discovered this luxury brush brand, with thick but flexible bristles that are perfect for troublesome locks. Soon my younger sister and I both had one, an essential part of our morning routines. The Mason Pearson brushes are classic and traditional, and with no way to differentiate between brushes sibling squabbles soon became the norm too.

Let me introduce you to Rock & Ruddle, the lovely little company producing hairbrushes which solve all your hair problems. I met with the R&R ladies last week for chocolate and chatting at Rococo. Jackie and Alexandra met in their twenties when they were both working at L’Oreal. Years later they combined their knowledge of beauty and started Rock & Ruddle aiming to fill a noticeable gap in the market for a hairbrush that was both great quality and great design. The company began a couple of years ago after extensive research, and continues to thrive with stockists throughout the UK, though the main shop is online.

Visually they are very jolly with colourful and comical patterns and illustrations. Clare Mackie’s ‘Cats and Dogs’ design is particularly sweet. The pictures are printed into the plastic rather than on the surface ensuring the pretty pattern lasts forever. The hairbrushes are made in a traditional style with tufts of boar bristle. The natural bristle distributes the hair’s oil down each strand giving the hair extra gloss and shine. I really appreciated the additional nylon strand included in each tuft which gently separates the hair and detangles knots. The brushes are available in two sizes: Small (£20) and Large (£30). More reasonable than similar brands, but with loads more personality, Rock & Ruddle tick every box.

A thoughtful present for a friend, or a gift for mother’s day, the Rock & Ruddle products are a high quality and fun alternative to the boring brushes currently available on the British highstreet.

I have got a ‘thoroughly modern’ bright pink brush which I love. Buy a beautiful brush here.