When Christina and I heard about Selvedge’s ‘I love linen’ evening in the beautiful 17th century Fenton House in Hampstead, we couldn’t resist a visit! As we walked up to the house through the beautifully kept gardens, we spotted our India Rose tablecloths on the tables laden with strawberries and champagne… and we knew it was going to be a lovely evening.
We listened to a wonderful talk by Elizabeth Baer on the French antique linens she has collected over the years from France, and were delighted to be able to have a closer look at particular pieces – from delicately hand embroidered napkins for young lady’s trousseaux, to red and blue ticking blankets for oxen in the fields. We listened to the stories behind the linens Elizabeth has collected in France and about the different uses her clients have for the textile she brings back to the UK. We were transported right back to hazy summer lunches when shown large linen squares that were historically used as portable lunchboxes in France; bread and cheese and drinks would be placed in the centre of the square and wrapped up in the linen to be carried easily to work. The linen would then be unfolded at lunch and used as a tablecloth whilst they ate – it was agreed that the French have always known how to dine in style! I then got lost in an imaginary world of linen dressed trestle tables under the dappled shade of trees and wished for a French summer…
The evening was rounded off by an opportunity to have a closer look at the antique linens and a chance to enjoy the house and grounds. On the way home Christina and I also took the chance to explore the surrounding area of Hampstead (we shot our A/W2006 catalogue here), well worth a look at the stunning houses and old fashioned streets if you are ever in the area!
We love the beauty and functionality of linen here at Cabbages & Roses, and understand its timeless appeal for everyday living for both fashion and the home. We have a beautiful collection of our linens on our website (www.cabbagesandroses.com) as well as limited printed vintage linen sheets in our shops, not to be missed!