Hot on the Highstreet Week 254

Harriet Hastings co-founded Biscuiteers with her husband, Stevie Congdon. They are also co-directors of leading London catering company Lettice and parents to four young Biscuiteers.

“We came up with the idea for Biscuiteers on a weekend in New York. We were sure that there were lots of people who are as passionate about biscuits as we are and that there was a real opportunity to set up a biscuits gift business online that was completely different from anything else in the market – biscuits that would look as beautiful as they tasted. In fact, biscuits that people would want to talk about.

We started planning Biscuiteers properly in the spring of 2007, testing our biscuit recipes in Stevie’s catering kitchens. From the start we were committed to using the very best natural ingredients to get the flavour we wanted. We then started planning our launch collections, working on our designs and deciding on the big occasions. We wanted the biscuits to be beautiful and witty. We called them ‘collections’ because we knew we wanted to launch them seasonally like fashion collections and to keep refreshing and developing the range.  It was important that we found our own style- distinctive designs that would make our biscuits instantly recognisable.”

Biscuiteers launched online in September 2007 with the mission statement ‘why send flowers when you can send biscuits instead?’ The business has grown enormously but the biscuits and still made and iced in exactly the same way. They are all handmade using old fashioned non-industrialised techniques. Many of the icers are artists and enjoy creating new designs and perfecting existing ones regularly. Every single biscuit is lovingly made from the start to finish and each one is therefore totally individual.

One of the real joys of iced biscuits is their incredible flexibility. The experienced icers at Biscuiteers do some wonderful work copying logos, fashion designs and all sorts of products. They often work on exciting commissions, including a collaboration with Anya Hindmarch to create a tin of her handbags and a circus tin exclusively for the Conran Shop. They  have created bespoke designs for outstanding brands such as Mulberry, Boden, Swatch, and Burberry among many others. The imaginative biscuits are also used for press launches, as iced place names and biscuit card invitations or party bags.

In 2010 they published their first book ‘The Biscuiteers Book of Iced Biscuits‘ to much acclaim. It has since been translated into a number of languages and introduced the brand to a worldwide audience.

You will also find Biscuiteers in Selfridges, Fortnum & Mason, Harrods, The Conran Shop, as well as Colette and le Grand Epicerie in Paris.

In October 2012 the doors opened to the very first Biscuit Boutique & Icing Cafe in Notting Hill.  Showcasing the much-loved Biscuiteers biscuit, chocolate and cake collections, the Boutique also has a drop-in icing cafe where they host themed icing lessons, children’s icing parties and is the home of the Biscuiteers School of Icing where you can be taught by expert icers to ice like a Biscuiteer.

More information and order a box of beautiful biscuits here:

Hot on the Highstreet Week 249

Whilst in West London a few weeks ago I stumbled across a new little concept store which I can’t resist writing about. Located on the edge of Portobello Road, it is moments away from the busy tourist trail, on the quiet corner of Kensington Park Road.

Native & Co is an independent homeware shop, offering tableware, kitchenware, textiles and accessories. Specialising in high quality, crafted home products sourced from Japan and Taiwan, the products are picked for their unique originality. Native & Co believes in the beauty of simplicity, craftsmanship and honest materials. I found a range of lovely items here, including beautiful Japanese notepads, attractive aluminium kitchen equipment, minimalist Arita Porcelain and stylish leather tote bags.

Shop Address:

116 Kensington Park Road
Notting Hill
London W11 2PW

More information and shop here.

Hot on the Highstreet Week 236

Merchant Archive has been around for several years, but has recently been in the press for the new in house collection. Seen in Vogue shoots, at the catwalk shows, and on the sassiest style blogs the chic clothes and glamorous home-ware found at Merchant Archive are irresistible.

Located in Notting Hill, nearby to Portobello, this shop is the go to for carefully curated designer bits and bobs. Owner Sophie Merchant has a passion for vintage finds and an eye for the unusual. Her shop has gradually grown and now, alongside the unique vintage items she showcases her own collection of tailored clothes, jewellery, candles and cups. The shop is a marriage of art and fashion with beautiful things everywhere you look.

When I popped into the shop last weekend I loved the iconic silver, gold and copper coloured pineapples, lovely as a coffee table ornament but also useful as candle holders or a place for keepsakes. Pineapples are a symbol of friendship so ideal as a gift for a lucky pal! The candles also make lovely presents, available in three fragrant scents. The clothes are all beautiful, contemporary fashion with a old-fashioned elegance, I particularly liked the Pierrot Knit jumpers with a striking white collar.

To celebrate the festive season Merchant Archive are offering 25% off all in store and online sales until midnight tonight. Perfect for extra special Christmas presents.

Browse the website here.