From home, to garden and fashion, these nine independent companies based in south east London are on hand to help us city slickers live a more country-inspired life…
Simon Carter is a British croquet champion, classic car collector and south London resident. So it’s not surprising that his AW15 collection takes you effortlessly from urban to rural, with a collection of satchels, tablet bags, cardholders and wallets fashioned in historic army wool from the Moons factory in Yorkshire. Below: Holkham tablet bag (left), £200; Rye satchel, £175.
71 Westow Street, Crystal Palace SE19 3RW & 9 Tranquil Vale, Blackheath SE3 0BU; simoncarter.net
Simon Carter’s Moons Army wool gloves in tan leather, £100
Brixton-based fashion label Lowie creates gorgeous snuggly pieces like lacy mohair socks and wool boucle coats that are perfect for those long, chilly, country walks. The AW15 collection has been inspired by Nordic heritage with luxury yarns, brushed cotton-checks and embroidery details. Below: Cashmere button-back sweater, £168, diamond beanie, £78, folk people gloves, £69.
115 Dulwich Road, Herne Hill SE24 0NG; ilovelowie.com
3Alleyn Park Garden Centre
Alleyn Park Garden Centre in West Dulwich, one of The Independent on Saturday’s Best 50 Garden Centres in Britain, has a lovely display of rich autumn/winter hues in stock – the vibrant reds and oranges of the Heuchera perennial and Euonymus alatus, or ‘burning bush’, and the glorious ‘firethorn’ (Pyracantha). For advice on creating your English country garden, ask the friendly staff.
Rear of 77 Park Hall Road (opp Café Rouge), West Dulwich SE21 8ES; 020 8670 7788; alleynpark.co.uk
Alleyn Park Garden Centre, West Dulwich
Hortus in Blackheath Village stocks a beautiful range of gifts and products for the outdoor enthusiast – from bay trees, bistro tables, nesting boxes and potted orchids to candles, throws, carefully sourced garden antiques and ceramics by designer-makers. But the team also offers a landscaping service to help you create an English country garden, or you can simply ask for advice on plants to add rich autumnal hues.
26 Blackheath Village SE3 9SY; 020 8297 9439; hortus-london.com
Hortus stocks gorgeous gardening buys like this Kew Gardens plant pot
5Rigby & Mac
Rigby & Mac has a gorgeous new collection of ceramics to add warmth to your home. This ceramic bowl with drip glaze design (above, £26.95) by Scandinavian brand Broste Copenhagen, is minimal yet striking. The original feel and character of the material have been left in tact, just as if you’d made it yourself in the pottery at the end of your garden… Browse the collection at one of their three Dulwich stores; ed, tomlinsons and the dulwich trader, or hop online.
For those seeking a more continental style of escape, take a trip to Cedarlia in Greenwich. This chic boutique stocks beautiful, handmade French-Nordic country style furniture, lighting, decorative accessories, gardening goodies and gifts. Rustic coffee tables on wheels and enamel handpainted jugs, like the ones below, are among the many treasures you’ll find in this gorgeous place.
3 College Approach Road, Greenwich SE10 9HY; 020 3489 8720; cedarlia.com
Cedarlia’s old India cart, £800, hand-painted jug, £27, bowl, £6, Jane Packer’s Flower Course book, £19.99
Based in West Dulwich, this online brand has its heart firmly in the great outdoors. Inspired by childhood camping adventures, Anorak’s Creative Director Laurie Robertson uses striking silhouettes to bring a touch of fun and whimsy to homewares and outdoor lifestyle accessories, from Kissing Rabbits to Proud Foxes. But, on returning home, it’s probably better to leave the outdoors, um, outdoors, with this quirky Kissing Hedgehogs doormat (above, £18).
Anorak’s Kissing Hedgehogs doormat, £18
Marie Rodgers and Maria Livings draw and apply colourful, characteristic prints to a range of homewares, from their famous lampshades to aprons and wallpapers. Their love of the outdoors is clear in many of these prints, featuring foxes, owls, wild boars and horses. Their bee-puffer cushion should be popular with any honey lover (above, priced £35), just glance at the landscape lampshade to escape London’s grey urbanity (priced £56.25), and then there are the Great Bustard vases, which celebrate this great rare bird (£36-£40).
8 College Approach, Greenwich SE10 9HY; 020 8293 5662; lushlampshades.co.uk
Lush Designs’ bee cushion, £35, landscape lampshade, £56.25 and Great Bustard vases, £36-£40)
Eleanor Lakelin carves vessels and sculptural forms in wood from her studio at Cockpit Arts in Deptford. Eleanor was brought up in a small village in mid-Wales, which is probably why she has a life-long love of natural wood – in her work she peels back bark to reveal the organic chaos that nature has created. The next Cockpit Arts Open Studios in Deptford runs 3-6 December. Entry £3.
See Eleanor Lakelin’s work at Cockpit Arts Open Studios, Deptford, from 3-6 December