Passing Time with Paul Thomas

On a warm Spring day in London there are few nicer places to be than sat at a table in the sunshine in one of the alleys that intersect Shepherd Market. Once famous for its prostitutes, here you will now find restaurants, cafes and unusual and interesting shops.
This includes award winning flower designer, Paul Thomas. I had heard of Paul and his work and was delighted that as I chat to Sarah, his manager, (she tells me she has been with Paul for over 20 years) Paul pops his head into the shop, - in between appointments.
Paul tells me that last week was their 23rd birthday - and in these tough economic times for florists, that is a huge achievement.
For those who do not have time to call into the shop, I would suggest a wander through Paul's website www.paulthomasflowers.co.uk
Look on the Events page at Paul's romantic and luscious wedding and party designs - the type of work that earned Paul the position as in-house florist for the Ritz. I am reminded of my friend Trish, who years ago worked in the Ritz flower shop, she told me that if there was someone famous staying who the florists wanted to have a look at, they would grab an arrangement and walk purposefully down the corridor - pretending to look busy - in search of them! She had a particular soft spot for Richard Geer and the manager of the restaurant had it noted that if he ever ate there he should give her a call!
As you scan Paul's website - definitely have a look at the Contracts page. There are so many simple and effective ideas there that could be used - even on a smaller scale - in your own home or office. As I am typing this I look around my office and realise, apart from the masses of flower photographs on the walls, I do not have a single flower. Shame on me! I am going out to do something about that right now!

Picking Flowers

What better place to meet a friend to help her choose her wedding flowers than Pythouse Walled Garden on a sunny Sunday lunch time?
It is such a good idea - everybody comes!
Rowena and Richard are getting married in June so they have SO many different flowers to choose from,
and it just so happens I have the books to help them!
Chat about flowers followed by lunch and wine in the sunshine with friends - it takes a lot of beating.
Since I last blogged about Pythouse they have had a bit of a shift around and make-over (bit like me and my office).
The shop has been changed around to give much more feeling of space and light
and inside the Potting Shed Cafe a new mural graces the walls, reminding those sipping coffee and eating cake on rainy days of what waits outside when the clouds clear.

Room for Renata

I have spent this week up a ladder. I have been painting and decorating and shifting furniture. I have moved my office from what will now be our dining room into an upstairs bedroom.
I am tired and a bit battered but very happy. I am thinking of asking Farrow & Ball for call their next shade of grey paint (with a touch of aubergine), Sally's Bruise. What do you think?
I now even have somewhere in natural light to draw and paint.
I am in love with my new office.
Every girl needs a space of her own.
My friend Renata asked to see photos of it finished - so here they are. And Renata, you are welcome anytime to call in for tea or wine.
But I would leave it a few days or you may get roped into sorting the dining room out - which at the moment looks like a bomb has gone off in it!

Happy in Harrods

I have a soft spot for Harrods. On leaving university my best friend joined their training scheme and I have many happy memories of meeting her in Knightsbridge after work. Those were the days when spending money on a cocktail and a lipstick seemed so much better than wasting our wages on food!
Today I am meeting my daughter Libby for lunch and as we are both early we find ourselves wandering around the ground floor in search of each other. I loiter by the flowers in the food hall, but they are sadly disappointing - so it is with a much happier heart that I spy Harrod's floral windows.
These flowers may not be real but they cheer me up and make me think Spring is on the way.
Having met up with Libby we discover the 'Only Roses' flower stall on the way to the restaurant.
Well ...Only Roses and orchids!
I can't decide between the citrus shades...
or pastel pinks ...
Now I would like to see a bicycle basket filled with these.


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