Posts Tagged ‘Siam’

HRH Dukey’s Baby Shower at 123 Bethnal Green Road

Wednesday, March 16th, 2011

A list of deliciousness available at Dukey's Baby Shower

Last Sunday I hosted Dukey’s Baby Shower at the newly opened Bunker Cafe, at 123 Bethnal Green Road (www.123bethnalgreenroad.co.uk): a shop whose products are all sustainably sourced from within the boundaries of the M25.  What I loved about the store, when I came to Amelia’s book launch there last month, is the way it combines a simple use of space with quirky eccentricities.  Plus designers sold there include some old friends, such as JJ aka Noki, which adds another layer of familiar cuteness to the equation.

The Bunker Cafe pre-celebrations: prepped for the baby shower

My lovely god daughter Zoe came down for the weekend on an exeat from her school in Taunton to take up the mantle of face painting artistry; while Mark commuted between shows at Covent Garden for balloon animal-making duty (plus a rather ‘creative’ balloon neopolitan ice cream, as well as randomly sized swords, which was perhaps more than a sleight of hand!..).

Zoe, brush in hand.

Mark displaying his skills.

Face Painting Art Direction: note how the result matches the outfit - genius!

The staff at The Bunker Cafe were lovely: providing a carb-fest high tea of scones and victoria sponge, combined with Siam’s super-duper triple layered home-made carrot cake. The result: a relaxed soporific haze of smiles and contented stomachs; while mini-munchkins compared their face painted results, enjoyed a spot of colouring book wizardry and fought each other with balloon-shaped swords.

Eddie and Rocco as Spidermen.

Jeremy arrived for the last hour; displaying if ever we needed reminding our divergent tastes in wardrobe!

All smiles from Dukey's Glamour Aunties!

Mum aka Grandma!

As the countdown to motherhood rushes on unabated: part exciting, part scary; this was a really special afternoon, filled with kindness and smiles. Pregnancy can be isolating and I am sure so can early motherhood, it was then, all the more lovely to spend time with friends, basking in a golden glow of love and kindness.  We were bought some fantastically gorgeous gifts, Dukey (our nickname for the bump) will clearly be the best-dressed baby in town!

Tea, cake and art: a delightful Friday afternoon ritual!

Tuesday, February 1st, 2011

Last Friday, I went along to Amelia’s book launch at the lovely Bunker basement soon to be opened cafe at 123 Bethnal Green Road with Siam and of course, my permanent guest of honour, ‘Dukey’ the 6 month bump (currently showing his flair for rugby high kicks while I type!).

Amelia is someone I have known since she assisted my old friend and fellow Watford evacuee (though she went back!), Lou Winwood.  She then took the brave step to launch her own magazine: http://www.ameliasmagazine.com/ which after 5 years as a biennial print publication, is going online, while she concentrates on book publishing and other projects.  Her last book I remember poring over in a bookshop on Broadway Market, so I was keen to see what was on offer this time, with ‘Amelia’s Compendium of Fashion Illustration’, a book of illustrations by new artists of sustainable fashion designs.

123 was a bit of a revelation (www.123bethnalgreenroad.co.uk): like a Georgian house, where winding wooden staircases led to rooms filled with old friends’ designs: JJ’s Noki collections feature heavily, alongside other designers with a sustainability slant, including the lovely Kenna (hairdresser extraordinare of my wedding day locks) even more lovely girlfriend Aimee McWilliams’ designs. 123′s stock is sourced purely from the M25 radius.  I felt amongst friends; Siam felt partial to a good shop, which suited me as I sat in a lovely leather chair, surveying the room and edited her choices from my new ad hoc throne.

Meanwhile downstairs in the Bunker Cafe there was much merriment to be had.  As someone whose first home economics lesson at her rather aspirational girls’ school was how to bake a victoria sponge, prepare the cucumber sandwiches and correctly lay a tea tray, for the English lady’s ritual that is high tea, I have never been one to shy away from that gathering of the clan, that genteel art, which is afternoon tea and conversation.  Girls in brightly coloured tights, with sleek hennaed hair, or patterned frocks, pinned with antique brooches, drawing pad in hand, offered to paint our portraits, while we sipped Pukka teas and surveyed the mountains of miniature gilt edged scones, which we could diy coat with lashings of jam and cream, laid out on vintage china.  This, I thought was my kind of party.

Jenny Robins (http://www.jennyrobins.co.uk/) painted my portrait, I was amazed that she could paint without seeming to mark her corners.  Here I am, doing what all expectant mothers seem to do: hug their precious bump, aah!

Impressive I think and a marvellous aide-memoire for when he is born, of what pregnancy was like.  Siam’s portrait was a fabulously glamorous rendition of her 1940s aka a Nana Golda Goorwich-inspired outfit, velvet turban et al!

It was such a charming sparkly way to spend a Friday afternoon, the bubble of which was certainly not burst when I surveyed the treasures incarnate in the goody bag (thank you Amelia!): I defy any woman to not smile with delight (and possibly squeal) when presented with gifts including Dr Hauschka products, Tatty Devine treasures, magazines and more.  This ocean of beneficent goodwill carried me forth to buy my husband bagels on Brick Lane, drive back to North London listening to Pulp and into the weekend with a sense that all is right, nice and proper in the world – just as it should be after an afternoon tea soiree!