Today I'd like to tell you about the DecorCafe Festival, a fabulous interiors event coming up in March in which Pomegranate is participating and which is going to be fantastic!
If you haven't heard of the DecorCafe, it is a wonderfully creative and supportive network of interior designers, artists, craftspeople, furniture & home accessories retailers and creative business owners. You can read this blog post for a little more insight or just head over to their website to learn more - or even to join!
THE DECORCAFE FESTIVAL
So what is this festival all about? Well, it's a joint event organised by the DecorCafe Network and Strawberry Hill House in Twickenham. Its purpose is to inspire and help visitors and guests (you!) to create a more personal home by meeting its network of talented experts - all in the wonderful Gothic setting that is Strawberry Hill House.
There's a twilight evening cocktail event on Thursday 10th March and then it will be on all day on Friday 11th March.
You'll get to meet over 40 DecorCafe Experts (including yours truly!), attend talks, watch free demos and get free interior design, styling and lighting advice. You'll be able to shop from a wonderful selection of interiors products, furniture and home accessories - oh and there'll be great (and I mean great) food and wine tastings as well - what's not to love right?
And whilst you're wondering around from one amazing room to the next, you can also learn all about this impressive house and meet some of the trade specialists and incredibly knowledgeable volunteers who have been involved in its massive renovation project.
STRAWBERRY HILL HOUSE
Have you heard of this wonderfully original and charming estate? I hadn't until recently and it's got an interesting history. Just so you know what you'll be visiting if you come (and I hope you do), the house was built by Horace Walpole in the mid-18th century as a 'little gothic castle' to house his extensive and very eclectic art and artifact collections.
He took inspiration from the architecture of gothic cathedrals for his villa with vaults, pinnacles, battlements, towers and rose windows. Apparently he was known for his elaborate and sophisticated parties and even used to open his house as tourist attraction, allowing four visitors a day to visit!
And he had a dream...oh yes...one of a giant armoured fist on his staircase which inspired his novel 'The Castle of Otranto', evidently the first gothic novel, which in turn was the inspiration for Mary Shelley's Frankenstein!
Unfortunately by the mid-19th century, all Horace Walpole's collections were sold off but the house itself underwent several extensions and modifications. Eventually in the 1920s, it was bought for St Mary's University College and became a teacher training college.
The house has recently undergone massive restoration and has been painstakingly renovated and brought back to life in all its gothic glory. You can read more about the house, its history and the restoration here.
I visited the house a couple of weeks ago, along with my fellow DecorCafe exhibitors, to get a feel for it and figure out who was going to be in which room. The house is absolutely fantastic and a must-see if you're interested in interiors and architecture. Take a look:
The Gallery at Strawberry Hill House - Not everyone's cup of tea but there is so much detail in this amazing space!
The Round Room at Strawberry Hill House. The detail and pattern on this great fireplace is exquisite.
The Round Room ceiling detail
The Library. An amazing room full of these opulent, rich details.
The Tribune Ceiling
THE DECORCAFE FESTIVAL EXHIBITORS
You can find out about all the exhibitors and experts who will be taking part in the DecorCafe Festival (and of course book your ticket) over on the DecorCafe website, but here are some of the people you'll meet on your visit:
That's a pretty amazing list of businesses isn't it? So if you can make it, we'd love to see you there! You'll find Pomegranate in The Great Parlour on the ground floor in front of the most impressive and enormous gothic fireplace!
The Great Parlour. Check out that fireplace! That's where Pomegranate will be so come and say hello!
And finally, here's the official DecorCafe Festival invitation. Make sure you book your ticket and I can't wait to see you there :)
'till next time...
Photo credits: Photo of exterior by Strawberry Hill; Angled photo of The Great Parlour by Victoria Hill; All other photos by Nicole Antar.