The Secret Mindfulness Tool Hiding In Your Kitchen

Do you lay the table or do you serve from the hob and then grab cutlery, glasses, the salt, etc., in random increments as you attempt to eat? 

I ask because I put myself firmly in the latter camp. Even though I should know better.

It was my German granny who taught me how to lay the table. She would do so with proper linen napkins in napkin rings. But my granny had an advantage- laying a nice table was in her blood. They even have a word for it in German. It’s called “Tischkultur”.  

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How to Marie Kondo your Home and Pass on the Joy

My mum was a proponent of the Japanese idea that inanimate objects are our equals. She once apologised to her chocolate digestive after it slipped from her fingers to the floor. “Sorry biscuit”, she exclaimed with genuine regret.

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When luxury becomes essential

You might not  think that a decanter is a necessary piece of equipment, or that it's important to drink from a  particular shaped wine glass to appreciate Burgundy. But then perhaps you are not familiar with Von Poschinger glassware.  The timeless beauty and exquisite craftsmanship of these pieces will make you believe that they are essential to your way of life.

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What's all the fuss about Bauhaus?

When I tell people that Spiero is dedicated to German design they can look a bit bewildered.

We all  know about the cool minimalism of Swedish design and the chic cosiness of Danish Hygge,  but German?

Of course, what is often forgotten is the Bauhaus.

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Things We Keep

I love stumbling upon obscure exhibitions in quiet corners of cities. Recently in London  I found a display of household objects at The German Historical Institute (which is worth a visit for the staircase alone).

The show was called “Things we keep” and was the result of a Kings College project which asked German expats to reveal the treasured possessions they had brought with them to England. 

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Luxe Calme Volupté at Luca London

Is it possible that Luca got everything right?

The pistachio leather banquette. The  blush pink plaster walls. The marble counter. The pleated lamp shades. The brass and wrought iron. The linen. 

This decor isn't cutting edge but it is thrilling in its attention to detail. It is the embodiment of Luxe calme et  volupté -a line from a Baudelaire poem which translates as luxury, peace and pleasure. And that is exactly what Luca delivers.

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People Will Always Need Plates

I have just been to a  brilliant exhibition at the Jewish Museum in London on ceramic art. The last time anyone got really excited about pots involved Patrick Swayze (although The Great Pottery Throw Down could change all that).

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Design with Staying Power

It’s one thing to love the beauty and delicacy of antique tableware but it’s quite another to wash everything by hand and live  in fear of breaking the irreplaceable. But what if you could have dishwasher safe products hand finished to an antique design? Enter Onion Pattern porcelain. 

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Probably the best marzipan in the Wald.

You would never find Wald Marzipan if you weren’t looking for it. Or perhaps the point is that you stumble across it when you’re least expecting it.  Nestled down a quiet residential street in a leafy corner of Berlin, Wald’s shop is discreet but a peek inside and the sugar pink candy stripes give the game away.

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Box of Delights

You may recognise this image from The Grand Budapest Hotel, a film by Wes Anderson.  This film's designers deserve a book to be written about them, never mind a blog.  Any film that requires a set design for a 19th century cake emporium as well as a 1960s hotel lobby is extraordinary by any standards. The fact that the finished designs look like they do is breathtaking.

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