I had the great pleasure this week of meeting Charlie McCormick and his partner Ben Pentreath at Charlie's pop up shop next to Pentreath & Hall in Rugby Street, Bloomsbury, London. Charlie is a very talented, fellow Kiwi who grows magnificent flowers at their home in Dorset, is an excellent cook and has a superb eye for styling interiors. He also runs a supper club. Ben Pentreath, Charlie's partner, is a charming, well-known and highly talented architect and interior designer and he and another fellow Kiwi Bridie Hall, own the beautiful home products shop Pentreath & Hall.
I've been following both Ben and Charlie on Instagram for some time and am always inspired by their photos on Instagram and Ben's superb blog. I own a copy of Ben's stunning book English Style which shows the best of English Style.
Anyway, this blog post is about Charlie's pop up shop which is open for the month of October. I read about it online and just had to pay a visit. I really wanted to meet Charlie as he comes from the same part of NZ that I do, though he grew up on a farm north of Christchurch and I was a city girl, from Christchurch. I was lucky enough to meet not only him but also Ben Pentreath on Monday so I felt very honoured. And of course, Charlie and I did the requisite selfie!
The pop up shop from the outside is very inviting thanks to the vibrant colours, textures and Charlie's superb styling touches:
The inside has a stunning yellow dresser as the focal point laden with vintage items, Charlie's home baked cakes and a huge container of Charlie's homegrown vivid pink dahlias. There are several other containers of the beautiful dahlias dotted around the shop and in the window, a feature above the fireplace of stunning 19th century framed prints of pressed plants, rustic watering cans to die for and a huge basket of apples from Ben and Charlie's orchard just outside the door. I wanted everything in the shop but first I wanted to chat with Charlie. He is very down-to-earth, laid back and friendly like all of us Kiwis (!!) and he is incredibly multi-talented. I'm a massive foodie myself, as some of you may know from my tried & tested favourite recipes that I include on my blog so a note to self to book a place at one of his supper clubs so I can sample his renowned cooking.
I left the shop having purchased so many things that I wasn't sure if they would fit on my little Vespa moped. Note the dahlias squeezed in a bag on the right!! Charlie kindly gifted me one of his homemade Afghan biscuits for the road, to remind me of home. It's a traditional Kiwi biscuit made with cocoa powder and cornflakes, topped with chocolate icing and then half a walnut. I managed to demolish it a bit at a time at each traffic light where I had to wait!!
And my purchases, well, plenty of them and I am going back for more on Friday! I bought two of the 19th century prints, four vintage containers and some dahlias.
The dahlias in situ on my mantlepiece. Aren't they divine?
Beautiful vintage bowl I purchased
The little vintage bowl I purchased has found its place on a tray I recently painted in Farrow & Ball 'Brinjal'
The two 19th century pressed plants prints that I purchased. I'm going back on Friday to buy two more as I plan to hang two either side of the bed in the guest room
I couldn't resist buying these Portuguese dishes as they reminded me of my grandmother who had a several similar
If you are lucky enough to live in London do try and visit Charlie's pop up shop. It's only there until the end of the month.
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