Ah the beauty of social media! I meet like-minded people, shopowners, designers & everyone in between from around the world & hatch lovely friendships with them this way. 3Potato4 is one of them. I orchestrated my recent roadtrip to include visiting Stu & Janet at their 3Potato4 barn just on the outskirts of Philadelphia.
Although running hideously late (that is after it closed at 4pm), Stu & I shot the breeze for a couple of hours over our mutual love for the curious & ‘the find’ as old friends. His aesthetic is right up my alley: oversized theatre props, macabre props, handtooled stencils, maps, signs, books, spindle backed chairs, old packaging, flour sacks & all those other irresistibles.
He has made promises of letting me tag along to local fleamarkets & auctions on my next trip to Philly.
NB: Stu suggested The Dandelion for dinner & it was fantastic! Make sure you look at all the different levels, the interiors are super cool!
On my recent roadtrip through PA (that’s Pennsylvania, USA), I stopped at Terrain- this had been on my list for a long time. It is one hours drive from Philadelphia & well worth hitting around lunchtime- make sure you book a table at their internal cafe, Styer’s.
The shop & cafe are surrounded by gardens, a greenhouse for the more sensitive plants, an open wood fire pit, trees, wood walls, grasses, produce, seedlings & other gardening essentials and after recent snowstorms in the East coast region (I know- snow for Halloween!)- it looked all magical & Narnia-esque.
As you meander toward the cafe: books, twine, gardening tools, lights, furniture & uber-cool products are for sale plus great storage & display ideas are a-plenty ie jars of honey & it’s own comb casually displayed on a window (heaven!).
The cafe is a conservatory of zinc potted green walls, overflowing log shaped planters, floating string balls (you know the ones with the trees), all light & bright & split bamboo shaded. The food is seasonal, local, fresh as it should be & feel free to BYO champagne or a drink of your choice as they are yet to be licensed but happy to pop your cork.
Even the bathrooms are considered & inspirational. NB: take your camera!!
On arrival into Amsterdam, we headed straight to Pont 13 (our taxi driver found it a challenge): a restaurant on a boat, on the water, on a pier in an industrial area- I’m sure there are lots of shipwrights around!
This place is fantastic. A truly original space, not gimmicky or theme-y, but all nautical, rope-y, teak, brass & round metal riveted windows.
The bar curves with oversized industrial lighting, more beacon in style, suspended from above. A metal spiral staircase leads to a tiny office that looks over the restaurant which is laid out with long tables of teak & paneled like a boat. Knotted & slightly frayed rope acts as a screen for the bathrooms. This place is more ship than boat with lots of heavy ship metal painted dark blue and a creamy white painted hull. Even the heavy sail canvas, leather & stormy blue velvet curtains (that keep the cold winds at bay that whip off the water) rocked my world- or boat haha! In the summer months I heard they BBQ & spit roast on the outside decks. I am soooo coming back on my bicycle.
Yesterday I spent the day on top of a teetering ladder hanging giant moths & ships from the ceiling and tacking, nailing, pinning & taping gorgeous over sized prints to the wall of Barometer Gallery. I was installing my photographic exhibition of shots from my book, ‘Etcetera etc: creating beautiful interiors with the things you love’. The opening was such a success with Absolut Summer cocktails full of rosemary, oranges & mint flowing all night at the expert hand of my assistant, Hannah and ice cold water from the very special charity, Water for Water. Pop in to Barometer Gallery (13 Gurner St, Paddington) anytime this week between 12-6 to check out the installation & just enjoy the space. Chris & I are having a q&a on Saturday 19 from 2-4pm- hope to see you there!!
My new book, Nomad, has lead me to think about the crisis that independent booksellers face- to support them & to encourage people to shop locally ie not online and to enjoy the knowledge & personality that comes with a great independent bookseller. If we do not support these fabulous shops they will go & this would be a great travesty.
For the launch of Nomad, we targeted what we admire as amazing Australian bookshops that are to be celebrated (hope to see you at my remaining booksignings!)-