The Curious Shop Series: The Hambledon

Welcome back to the Curious Shop series, where we scour the country and beyond to find the some of the quirkiest shops around. We love places where you can have a wander about, and enjoy the thrill of discovering something that makes your heart skip a beat – a candle whose fragrance conjures up a special memory of home, a colourful and cosy blanket that you can’t take your hands off, a set of prints that speak to you and will speak to your guests from your walls… 130122-the-hambledon-101-ipadThe Hambledon1 March'12

If you love all that, you will love The Hambledon. Set in the gorgeous city of Winchester (can’t say enough how the city is well worth a visit!), The Hambledon is a gem of a store. It is set up like a mini-Liberty London, where you feel as if you have stumbled into someone’s beautiful home. Technically-speaking, The Hambledon is a department store, selling home wares, books, stationery, clothing, beauty products; however, while “department store” might conjure up images of counters upon concessions upon lack of styled product display, The Hambledon is as far from that as you could go.


The store lies in the shadow of the stunning Winchester Cathedral, so you can pop in after a walk through the Cathedral. The Hambledon has a rustic wooden interior, featuring tall ceilings, white-washed walls and wooden stairs, and large floor to ceiling windows at the front of the shop, to let in plenty of sunlight. Large, antique, and slightly distressed tables are cleverly placed all around the shop floor, decked with books and beauty products, and shelves overflowing with gorgeous cake stands, glass ware, ribbon…

main runSpring 2014 window vases  Milk Glass Cakestand Trio It’s not all the time that you see plenty of flowers in a store either! We love how inviting the colours are – makes browsing the wide range of home wares so inviting! Paper BuntingThe Hambledon Lookbook AW13 Floral Bunchposters and stickers feb14 Paper Ice Creams Spring 2014 window shelfmeri meri counterback 2 Our American counterparts seem to do a wonderful job of sourcing off the high-street items, and displaying them in fun, pretty, stylish ways that make you want to buy everything… We think The Hambledon has managed to do this really well too! It has nooks and crannies filled with enamelware, colourful hardback books, candles, and beauty products… every corner is filled with something eye-catching. The Hambledon Lookbook AW13 Falcon EnamelwareMenswear SS11 The Hambledon Lookbook AW13 Bathroom
Spring 2014 Womenswear rail and table Spring 2014 Womenswear denim rail norse-projects-project-12 kids 1 falcon-mini-tumbler DSC_1235 brilliant-biscuits books 1 bellerose-ss14-yellow-dress-4 bellerose-ss14-blue-silk-top-2  bathroom run Atelier Spring 14 130122-the-hambledon-103-ipad 130122-the-hambledon-100-ipad 130122-the-hambledon-82-ipad 130122-the-hambledon-43LO 130122-the-hambledon-19LO We are pretty sure if you visited The Hambledon you will walk away with something special. It’s such an inspiring place. Thank you for sharing your beautiful shop with us!

The Hambledon
10 The Square, Winchester SO23 9ES Images courtesy of The Hambledon


Meet the Maker: Wallography

It is such a treat having a landlady who is happy for us to do whatever we want to her flat while we are living in it. Obviously, it was because she could tell what impeccable taste we have and knew any changes we made to her flat would only be for the better…

Only joking.

One of the first few things that we did in Courage & Dash HQ was to deck the walls with our favourite prints and pieces of art. Some of you will know that I love old things, and one of my favourite wall hangings is an original newspaper from 11th November 1918 (not a great photo below because our walls in the stairwell are two stories tall, and I’m like, 5’2″).


Which is why we were pleased to discover Wallography! Firstly, the name sort of reminds me of Wall-E, that film with the super cute robot who makes a Mac startup sound when fully solar charged. Adorable. Secondly, and more importantly, Wallography perfectly combines colourful old prints with clever display. WIN.


Wallography are no strangers to the world of old things. Their love for vintage things has seen them rummaging across Europe for special finds, but the thing that really captured their heart was an old, educational chart they saw hanging on a wall.


Wall hangings are such a quick and easy way of making a rented home feel very much your own. Your personality and taste are so evident in the images you select, and how you choose to display them.

“We currently have a pine wall chart above our bed,” founder Neil Kidd says. His favourite use of their old prints in a modern setting, though, is hanging a blue whale print (above) in a boy’s bedroom.


The great thing about these antique educational prints is the level of detail involved. If you think about it, pre-colour film/television/internet/Instagram/etc., the only way people knew about the wider world was through illustrated representations. The colours and the drawings had to be accurate and contain all the relevant details of whatever was being shown.



“It’s just mind blowing,” Neil enthuses. “These amazing pieces were used in classrooms to teach children about the workings of plants and animals.” His passion is so evident in the way he discusses how these charts were used.
“The thought of turning to class to learn about a butterfly with one of these as an aid is just fantastic.”


Very different to the Youtube videos that might be found in today’s classroom. Wallography’s collection is deeply satisfying because it has emerged from the team’s obsession with visual communication, illustration and scientific discovery. The original lithographic plate is used to recreate the image on paper, before the paper is mounted on canvas and completed with black wooden rods on either end.


As if it couldn’t get better, Wallography are teaming up with Sarah Moore Vintage to create some new designs featuring British floral design! Yes, you heard it here first! We can’t wait.

Wallography have also launched a series featuring aeronautical blue prints – our current favourite because we just caught Studio Ghibli’s The Wind Rises (by Miyuzaki, maker of the famous Spirited Away; both films well worth a watch!).

Visit Wallography here.

All images (apart from the first) thanks to Wallography

Chelsea Flower Show Series: The Cut Flower Project at West Elm London


Photos by Emily Quinton

I love flowers. I don’t know many people that don’t, but I REALLY love them. As in, they make my insides turn to treacle, make my heart trill like a canary, kind of thing. Something about the colours and the shapes of cut flowers in whatever container just beams intrinsic pretty. And we love pretty!


Which is why this week, I am in the Best Mood Ever – not just because the sun is out, but because it’s the annual RHS Chelsea Flower Show, the harbinger of Summer! Plenty of events and beautiful blooms everywhere. Tomorrow, West Elm London joins in the festivities by turning their store into a floral delight with help of The Cut Flower Project. What a great idea! We kick off the Flower Show feature with the lovely Saima Ishaq of The Cut Flower Project and her journey through floristry.


The Cut Flower Project is based in South London, and was founded by the energetic and creative Saima. After years of working in the media industry, Saima discovered that her passions lay with floral arrangements, and left to learn the art of floristry.

“I practised and practised,” Saima recalls, “I enrolled on a college course, attended many flower workshops, watched online tutorials.” She documented the hours of hard work and her progress on Instagram.


The effort clearly paid off, because The Cut Flower Project is growing (like a weed!). “Friends and family began asking me to do their wedding flowers, and the Southwark Arts Forum invited me to host a workshop at the Bermondsey Street Festival.” The Cut Flower Project also recently hosted workshops for Valentine’s Day and Mother’s Day at Boxpark, Shoreditch.


Top photo courtesy of Emily Quinton; bottom two images by Saima Ishaq (The Cut Flower Project)

The success is clearly spurring Saima on to greater things. “There’s so much I want to learn,” Saima enthuses. Besides being booked up for various weddings this summer, The Cut Flower Project is busy preparing for their first pop-up store at West Elm London. Inspired by the RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2014, West Elm have asked Saima to take over their London store with her flowers,  from 20th to 24th May – a challenge which she is grasping with both hands.


The Event 

The Cut Flower Project will be at West Elm all day from 20th to 24th May, selling pre-arranged bouquets. There will be a focus area by the front of the store, with Saima’s beautiful creations dotted around the rest of the store
(sigh, sounds great already!).

What’s even better, on Saturday, 24th May, between 12pm and 5pm, The Cut Flower Project will be hosting a flower workshop. You can either buy a vase/pot/vessel from the store and create an arrangement or create an arrangement in a repurposed food tin. How fun does that sound? SO FUN. We can’t wait!


West Elm London is at 209 Tottenham Court Road, London W1T 7PN, UK 

Details of workshop, 24th May

Tickets are £25 (covers flowers, tools, tins, etc.)

Ticket-holders can drop-in anytime between 12pm and 5pm

Purchase tickets from:

Visit the Facebook event page: ‪

Hashtags: #WEflowershop #westelmevents #TCFPflowershop

All photos by Emily Quinton, courtesy of West Elm London and The Cut Flower Project