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House Curious

Lifestyle and interior shop. Social workshops for the creatively curious.

Filtering by Tag: london


Sommer Pyne

Culture fix APRIL.png

April has arrived and we’re full of excitement with the promise of longer and warmer days. With the Easter holidays creeping upon us, we have some ideas of what to get up to this month in and around London, and not just for the kids, we’ve got the grown ups covered too.

The Chocolate Cocktail Club

The Chocolate Cocktail Club

19th-23rd April Easter weekend

Looking for a chocolate fix with a difference this Easter why not head over to The Chocolate Cocktail Club. Their mouth-watering cocktails range from creamy and intense to cool and refreshing, each drink is garnished with a treat to get the tastebuds flowing for a night of heavenly cocktails, what’s not to love...Chocolate and Cocktails! For more details click here.

Easter Egg hunts

Easter Egg hunts

1-28th April - Cadbury Easter egg hunt.

Looking to exhaust the kids over the Easter holidays? Why not explore one of the National Trust properties across the UK. With their enormous grounds and lush gardens the National Trust properties were clearly made for Easter Egg hunts. Make sure you’re breaking into a Cadbury egg come Easter by joining the big Cadbury Easter Egg Hunt. For more details just click here.

Sunrise Yoga at Sky Garden

Sunrise Yoga at Sky Garden

From 2nd April - Sunrise Yoga at Sky Garden

36 floors high - Sky Garden is the perfect setting for sunrise yoga and a delicious breakfast.

Set among Sky Garden's luscious tropical greenery with a backdrop of incredible city views, take to the mat in the idyllic City Garden. With a dynamic, vinyasa flow style, this class is suitable for all levels and abilities and they offer two ticket options for each class - yoga and breakfast package or yoga-only ticket. For tickets and more info click here.

The London Marathon

The London Marathon

28th April - London Marathon

The race is on and the 2019 London Marathon is nearly upon us! Join cheering crowds and fancy dress fundraisers at the world-famous London Marathon. Covering 26.2 miles and shutting down roads left, right and centre, it takes over the city for one weekend every April. If you want to cheer all the runner’s on just click here to find out all the spectator info.

Gin-House Burlesque

Gin-House Burlesque

12th April - Gin-House Burlesque

Following a year of sold out roaring gin-house parties, London's premium vintage showgirls welcome you back to east London's best kept secret speak easy, The King's Head Members Club for evenings of Burlesque, Circus, Music and Vaudeville delights! For tickets and more info click here.

The Prince

The Prince

Now open - The Prince

The Prince is from the same team behind Pergola on the roof so you know its going to be a good time. It’s made up of 1 street, 3 bars, music, food, drinks, 3 restaurants and an enclosed woodland garden.

Whether you’re looking for a stunning spot for a romantic date, an unusual location for those after-work drinks, or somewhere truly unique to celebrate a special occasion, The Prince has what you’re looking for. For more info and reservations just click here.

The B&H Garden Room

The B&H Garden Room

Now open - The B&H Garden Room

The next in line of London’s increasingly innovative drinking experiences, comes from stepping into this living, breathing botanical bar. Brought to you by experiential drinks aficionados Bourne and Hollingsworth, The B&H Green room will feature an array of fresh ingredients and garnishes ripe for the picking (and then promptly adding to your booze) in its brand new ‘Living Bar’. Green life will be running up the walls, along a trellis behind the cocktail bar, and across the room’s ceiling, helping punters to get inspired before they sip. For for info and reservations click here.


Sommer Pyne

Culture fix MARCH.jpg

March is an exciting month as there is lot’s going on, the days are getting longer and sunnier with spring on the horizon. It’s time to get outside and embrace the warmer weather. To help inspire you we have a round up on all the different things to get up to this month in and around London.

Tom Daley’s Banana and Blueberry Pancakes

Tom Daley’s Banana and Blueberry Pancakes

5th March - Pancake Day

Have your frying pans at the ready because Pancake Day is just around the corner. If you’re looking to perfect your pancake toss at home or venture out to explore some yummy treats check out the previous blog post for inspiration. If you live in the Greenwich area of you fancy a good giggle, check out the Flippin’ Good Pancake races at Greenwich market on the 2nd and 5th March. For more info just click here.

7th-10th March - The Affordable Art Fair - Battersea

The Affordable Art Fair returns to Battersea Park this month. Whether you know your Hockney’s from your Hirst’s, or are simply looking to dip your toe into the world of contemporary art. Friendly, expert gallerists will be on hand to help you choose the perfect piece to suit your space, taste and spend. Discover an array of original artworks from their curated collection of living artists, all priced between £100 and £6,000, and find that perfect piece to bring your home to life! For info click here.

WOW Festival

WOW Festival

8th March - International Women’s Day - WOW Festival at the Southbank.

International Women's Day is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. The day also marks a call to action for accelerating gender parity. To mark the day why not attend WOW festival.

WOW festivals began in the UK in 2010, launched by Kelly at Southbank Centre London, where she was Artistic Director, to celebrate women and girls, taking a frank look at what prevents them from achieving their potential, raising awareness globally of the issues they face and discussing solutions together.

This year WOW presents an incredible line-up of events to mark the launch of The WOW Foundation and begin the countdown to 2020 – the 10th anniversary of WOW. The programme includes two very special conversations, including on Friday 8 March – International Women’s Day – with Angela Davis, and with Naomi Klein on Saturday 9 March, as well as two full afternoons: WOW: What Now? and WOW: What Next? led by Jude Kelly – and more. For more info and tickets click here. Source: Wow Festival Southbank.

Source - Blue Plant II at the O2.

Source - Blue Plant II at the O2.

17th March - St Patricks Day

On the 17th March it is St Patricks Day, the pubs will be full to the brim and the rugby will be on. But if you want to do something a bit different why not check out what is happening at the O2 on the 17th March. We were all obsessed by Blue Planet II and now you can relive the best bits of the action as the show is going on a UK concert tour and it hits Londons O2 this St Paddy’s Day. Stunning film sequences from the series will be screened alongside the City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra playing live, featuring music by Hans Zimmer, Jacob Shea and David Fleming for Bleeding Fingers Music. And if you thought the programme looked epic on your telly, just wait until you get a look at it on the state-of-the-art 200sqm 4K Ultra HD LED screen…it’s going to be epic. For more info and tickets just click here.

The London Coffee Festival

The London Coffee Festival

The London Coffee Festival- 28th-31st March

Returning for 2019, the London Coffee Festival is the UK’s largest coffee and artisan food event, a celebration of London's vibrant coffee culture featuring gourmet coffee, speciality tea, artisan food, demonstrations from world-class baristas, live music and a comprehensive ‘lab’ seminar programme that will educate even the keenest of coffee lovers. 

The festival is once again the flagship event of UK Coffee Week. Highlights include the Latte Art Live workshops where you can learn to craft milky masterpieces, home barista workshops and a brand-new multi-sensory, guided and meditative coffee tasting experience. For info click here. Source - London Coffee Festival

The Gloria

The Gloria

With the warmer weather and longer evenings just around the corner, it’s time to get out of hibernation and explore again. It’s also Mother’s Day on the 31st so if you’re looking somewhere new to treat your mum look no further. Here are our top picks of restaurants and bars to check out this month.

The Gloria - We all have dreams and fantasies. Today, one of our wildest ones at Big Mamma is coming true (spoiler: it’s not taking pizza to the moon ). Since the beginning, we’ve always wanted to open in London, the most exciting city with the craziest vibe.
So meet Gloria, a 172-seat traditional Italian trattoria in the middle of Shoreditch.
Joyful and lush by day, it also gets funky with a buzzing atmosphere and house made playlists.

For info and reservations click here.

EartH Kitchen

EartH Kitchen

EartH Kitchen - Earth kitchen is situated in the recently launched music and arts venue Earth (Evolutionary Arts Hackney), a former art deco cinema in Dalston’ bustling Stoke Newington road.

The kitchen was established by Auro Foxcroft, founder of Village Underground and EartH, and Chris Gillard, who previously helmed the St. John Group as Executive Chef.

EartH Kitchen reflects Head Chef Chris’ passion for using the best available ingredients in line with the changing seasons. Restaurant Manager Toni Castillo, also formerly of St. John, will be running the floor and curating the wine list with a European focus, while the cocktail list will make the most of seasonal ingredients.

For more info and reservations click here.

BBQ Dreamz

BBQ Dreamz

BBQ Dreamz - Fresh from their triumph on My Million Pound Menu, where they secured investment from Draft House founder Charlie McVeigh, street food faves BBQ Dreamz will be popping up at MEATLiquor Kings Cross for a six-week residency. The 11-course tasting menu will consist of dishes that featured on the show, including grilled satay duck hearts (in homage to co-founder Lee Johnson’s auntie who runs a skewer stall back in the Philippines), their signature lechon kawali, adobo glazed chicken wings with lime aioli, and sour papaya noodle salad, with calamansi lime-spiked Bloody Marys on offer too (plus other drinks from the MEATLiquor bar). For more info click here.



DND — Do Not Disturb. Is the cocktail bar hidden in the basement of the Vintry and Mercer Hotel in the City of London — it is the place for a clandestine drink in the City. Hand-beaded images of Ziegfeld Follies girls line the walls, beckoning guests into this secret bar through a darkened entrance tucked back on Garlick Hill.


Sommer Pyne

As promised here is the follow up blog to our Instagram Live garden tour last week. A big thank you to those of you that were able to join us. If you missed the tour head over to my IGTV to check it out now.

I was joined by our Garden Designer Shelley Hugh-Jones who shared her wealth of knowledge and answered all your burning questions. Shelley has kindly written a blog post below sharing some of her insider tips, explaining why it's important to get a garden designer, plus the plant list with all those tricky plant names. 

Photo Credit - House Curious

Photo Credit - House Curious

Why use a garden designer?

An experienced garden designer will have the creativity and perspective to assess the existing garden and come up with fresh ideas, identifying solutions that run in line with the available budget.

They can help with everything from planning the entire garden,  from solving privacy problems, to selecting the most suitable plants for beds and borders, and in doing so avoiding potential costly mistakes. Their expertise in planning an outdoor space will also maximize the potential of your garden and add value to your property.

As well as plant knowledge, a garden designer also should have specialist knowledge, regarding local guidelines and building regulations regarding driveways, fence heights, tree protection orders, conservation areas, levels and slopes, hard landscaping etc.

They can take responsibility for all the design work, specifications and appointment of contractors, as well as act on your behalf in any discussions regarding the actual build.

Photo Credit - Shelley Hugh-Jones

Photo Credit - Shelley Hugh-Jones

When to get garden designer involved:

Do this as early as possible.  If you are working with an architect or builder, a collaborative approach is key. Decisions regarding the space planning are made together so that both inside and outside are unified.

Practical issues such as where the outdoor tap will be situated, gas if running a gas pipe rather than using bottled gas, lighting cables and light fittings on the house wall all effect the position of feeds from inside the house etc. The electrician also needs to leave enough capacity on the system for enough circuits, two at least, for the garden. Feeds for outdoor speakers also need to be installed early on.

Conduits under patios etc need to be left for electrical cables and irrigation feeds.

Photo credit - House Curious

Photo credit - House Curious

Briefing a garden designer

  • Give them as much info as possible regarding your likes and dislikes.

  • Show them around your downstairs space or show plans of how things will look inside. Discuss interior colours, flooring, work surfaces etc.

  • Introduce them to your builder/architect/etc. as early as possible.

Considerations when planning a garden

  • How you want to use the garden, dining, cooking, relaxed seating, play areas- trampoline, climbing frames, football area, etc real grass/ artificial?

  • Privacy issues.

  • Likes and dislikes in terms of materials and plants if you have them.

  • The direction the garden faces, soil type, whether you are in a conservation area as there are planning rules within these areas.

  • Budget

  • Draw up a list of requirements and how you want to use your garden.

  • First of all use your existing internal décor style/colours etc as a starting point, (specifically of the room that adjoins the garden) in order to create a good flow from inside to out, these two spaces should work together. Look at the flooring material or colour and repeat this outside, kitchen surfaces, chrome or brass hardware etc. All this can be reflected in the garden.

  • The façade of the house also is very important, type of brick, render, colour etc and the position of doors onto the garden.

  • Divide up the space to make the garden appear larger even if it is a small garden this can be done to a lesser extent. Use planting or other focal points along the garden length so that your eyes track from side to side rather than just focusing on the back border.

  • Lay paving widthways to make it appear wider and lengthways to appear longer.

  • Evergreen structure in a garden is key and the first thing to be considered.

  • Planting can divide up the space, add structure, act as focal points, provide privacy, add colour, texture and form plus year round interest.

  • Very important to use plants that will thrive in the conditions specific to your garden, sunny, shady, soil quality, clay, sandy etc.

  • Consider the eventual height and spread as the plants mature also important to consider and how the garden will look in years to come.

  • Speak to your neighbours before the work starts as boundary issues especially in London often rear their head.

Photo Credit - House Curious

Photo Credit - House Curious

How I work with clients:

After an initial visit and discussion of the brief I draw up an initial proposal and outline of ideas plus design costs and details of how the design process works.

I create a Pinterest board for the project to which all parties can contribute. It’s a good way of exchanging ideas and getting inspiration.

The garden is surveyed.

I draw up to scale 2-3 ideas for the layout and an outline of the planting and after discussion with the client a lead design is chosen and a detailed building specification is prepared. Landscapers can then quote on the same design and specification making all the quotes comparable. .

Regular site meetings with the landscaper and client while the build is in progress take place which allows for discussion regarding and any decisions or changes that have to be made that all are in agreement with.

The planting plan and plant lists are discussed with the client and ordered ready for planting at the end of the construction period.

Photo Credit - Shelley Hugh-Jones

Photo Credit - Shelley Hugh-Jones



Allium 'Mont Blanc'


Trachelospermum jasminoides


Asplenium scolopendrium

Matteuccia struthiopteris

Polystichum polyblepharum

Polystichum setiferum Divisilobum Group 'Herrenhausen'

Dicksonia antartica


Hakonechloa macra  (down lhs and down to the basement)

Hakonechloa macra ‘Aureola’


Prunus lusitanica 1.50-1.75m

Euonymus japonicus 


Allium schoenoprasum

Rosmarinus officinalis

Thymus 'Doone Valley'

Thymus x citriodorus



Pachysandra terminalis


Rosa ‘Generous Gardener’ -climber

Rosa ‘Spirit of Freedom’ -shrub rose


Hydrangea arborescens ‘Incrediball’ (Annabelle Strong)

Ilex crenata Single

Lavandula angustifolia 'Munstead'

Paeonia lactiflora 'Shirley Temple'

Viburnum opulus 'Roseum'

Viburnum tinus


Multi-stemmed Amelanchier lamarkii (in front of pergola)

Standard Viburnum lucidum (behind pergola)

Standard Catalpa bignonoides ‘Nana’ (rhs and lhs)


We hope you found that interesting and useful. Please do take the time to comment below with any feedback or questions.