Blog Archive

Monday, 27 July 2015

Alexandra Byrne - a quickfire interview

Alexandra Byrne - an Oscar winning costume designer whose glittering career has focused on creating costumes for historical period dramas and latterly for the science fiction series of Marvel films - has kindly agreed to answer Christina's questions for the Cabbages & Roses blog. Her work has earned her four Academy Award nominations, eventually winning an Oscar for costume design for the film Elizabeth: The Golden Age, staring Cate Blanchet. Her deliciously dressed stars can also be seen in Finding Neverland with Johnny Depp and Kate Winslet, Captain Corelli’s Mandolin staring Penelope Cruz as well as the more recent Marvel films including Thor, The Avengers and the most recent Dr Strange starring Benedict Cumberbatch. 
Her career goes from strength to strength, but downtime finds her at home in Bath with husband, actor Simon Shephard and their four children.

Your proudest moment: having children

What would you do if you didn’t design costumes: design living spaces

Who would play you in a film about your life: Cate Blanchett, of course…!

Last supper: a big picnic on trestle tables, at sunset, catered by Ottolenghi

What do you like most about yourself: I don’t give up

What do you like least about yourself: I work too hard

Your dream dinner guests x 8: my family, Samuel L Jackson and Grayson Perry

Perfect husband (apart from your own!): Thor

Most treasured possession: good health

Chocolate or vegetables: both because I’m vegetarian!

Desert island luxury: regular deep tissue massage with Frederic Malle ‘Une Rose’ body butter.

Most expensive purchase not including your house: the car I just got rid of because I couldn’t see out of the back window to reverse.

One wish – what would it be: to pay off the mortgage.

Friday, 17 July 2015


Cabbages & Roses Designer, Violet, has let us into her remarkable Nottinghill abode. Cosy and incredibly chic, each and every nook and cranny of the small townhouse has been carefully and thoughtfully designed to beautifully showcase her exquisite taste.

The Outside


Clean whites, pinks and a scattering of beautiful vintage pieces, most woman can only dream of a bedroom like this! You might not guess it, but Violet lives with her fiancé Harry (let's hope he is a fan of pink!)

Bedroom 1
Fresh White Bed Linen
Bedroom 2
Some of her favorite pieces from C&R are hung around the room
Bedroom 3
Vintage Plates Hold An Array Of Trinkets
Bedroom 4
Dancing Fairy Lights
Bedroom 5
We love the idea of framing a piece of fabric


The bathroom offers a calming, soothing atmosphere of clean white walls and a careful selection of products immaculately stored in painted white boxes.

Bathroom 1
A careful selection  of products
Bathroom 2


The pièce de résistance of the house; the living room is a truly unique experience. Each and every item has been thoughtfully placed to create the authentic effortless feel. Walking into the living room I feel like I need some time to explore it; to marvel over the small details and the impeccable way everything has been carefully organised. And yes, her house is always this tidy!

Living Room 3
Hatley Dove Cushions on a White Ikea Sofa
Living Room 1
Carefully placed treasures give the house a homely feel
Living Room 4
The Naughty Step
Living Room 2
Magazines, Dried Flowers and Scented Candles
Living Room 7
Hatley Dove Cushions
Living Room 5
Cabbages & Roses Twenty Seven Roses Candle
Living Room 6
Painted Crates Stacked On Top Of Each Other Make A Great Shelf!


Kitchen 3
A white ladder leans against the wall, making a functional tea towel holder.
Kitchen 2
Silver steel & wood
Kitchen 1
Bowls of Eggs & Baskets of Ginger


Violets use of space is inspirational; she manages to fit in so many different things whilst giving the house a spacious, airy feel. 

Storage 1
Old Wooden Crates Sit Atop Her Cupboards, Offering an Inspired Storage Solution!
Storage 2
Vintage Wooden Lockers Hold His & Her Shoes.
Storage 3

Thank You so much to Violet

I hope you enjoyed exploring her house as much as I did!

Christabel x 

Wednesday, 15 July 2015

Q & A with Daisy Garnett

Daisy Garnett is the co-founder and co-editor of, an arts and style website that recommends great things to do, see, buy and listen to in London and beyond. She has been a journalist for nearly 20 years and has worked at both American and British Vogue. It was while in working at Vogue that she met her partner, Francesca (Martin). They decided to set up A Little Bird because they realised that working at a glossy magazine meant they were privy to all kinds of useful information and tip-offs - when to book tickets for a show before it sold out, which restaurants to rush to, which sample sales to make time for, where to get the best flowers/ cushions/ chocolates/ garden stakes/ jeans etc, which face cream to use - and they decided to funnel all this knowledge and 'insider' access into a useful and opinionated website.

Daisy in her study. Photograph by Simon Brown

What was your proudest moment:

Well, last Thursday when I watched my four year old daughter recite her lines in her first ever assembly at school I felt fit to burst with pride. I have lots of mini proud moments like that - when the seeds I've planted in my greenhouse germinate for example, or if I turn out a successful Tarte Tatin  - but very few Big Proud Moments. If I had to pick one work thing: probably when I went to Syria and wrote about travelling to Palmyra on a camel for the New York Times. 

What was the naughtiest thing you did at school:

I wasn't good at being naughty at school, and wish I had been more brazen. When I was 12, a group of us all drank vodka out of baby bottles (I think I may have had one sip, max) and got caught - I burned with the shame of it - and had to do a weekend of community service at the school as a result. Not a very glamorous story. 

What annoys you more than anything?

People who ring me about PPI or any cold callers. 
All the big depressing stuff like men fighting each other endlessly.
Unnecessary queues (e.g. when an organisation should have more staff or a better system). 
My 2 year old waking at 5am EVERY single morning.

What makes you happy.

My family. Our garden and allotment. Birdsong. Simple but good food. Having spending money. A bicycle ride. A good night at the theatre. Flowers, both growing and cut. A fab junk shop (preferably with spending money from above). 

Who would be your perfect dinner party guests, dead or alive:

My good pals really. I like small, stress free dinners, so though I'd love to be at a dinner with folk like Coco Chanel and Cecil Beaton, I would find it stressful to have them at MY dinner party. But yes, at someone else's house: Jane Austin, Coco Chanel, The Shelleys (Mary and Percy), and Nancy Mitford. Mostly women. 

What would be your last supper?

Can it be lunch on a summer's day instead of supper. And if so, then plates of asparagus, artichokes, beetroot, tomatoes, zucchini all perfectly ripe and beautifully cooked and appropriately dressed, with some hard sheep's cheese and really really good bread. Followed by delicious ice cream and a fruit tart (almost any fruit tart). And very cold, very delicious rose wine. 

What would you do if you weren’t a mother/editor/ - it can be anything in the world. 

An archaeologist. 

What is the kindest thing you have ever done:

taking the odd extra 5am shift and letting my husband sleep in (till 7am). How awful, though, that when asked this question my mind goes mostly blank. 

Who would play you in a film about your life:

Toni Collette please. 

What is the most expensive thing you have ever bought (not counting your house):

a painting by the wonderful artist Hurvin Anderson. I bought it by instalment over a couple of years. 

Who would be your perfect husband – obv. Not counting your own one!  
Dead or alive: Cary Grant

Your desert island luxury:

a bed with an endless supply of clean linen sheets. 

3 x desert island discs?

Du Bist Die Ruh by Schubert sung by Keith Lewis
life On Mars - but the version David Bowie sung live at Fashion Rocks in 2005. 
Me and Julio down by the Schoolyard by Paul Simon

The first three things you would do if you won £34m on the lottery:

Pay off my debts. Buy land. Start a charity. 

What were you doing just before you started answering these questions?

Sowing seeds and eating rhubarb and custard ice-cream. 

Your earliest memory?

beautiful blur of Bradley Court, the place where I grew up (and rarely ever left), until I was 10. 

Bradley Court

 Visit A Little Bird's Website here:

Friday, 12 June 2015

Seasonal Scents

Cabbages & Roses have collaborated with English candle company Amor et Psyche to bring you two glorious scents for Spring/Summer. Twenty Seven Roses and Fig & Pear have both been hand poured in Hertfordshire, using both organic wicks and wax to give them a burn time of 50 hours. 


Designed by Lex Lane, the beauty behind the brand lies in the explorations and discoveries she came across, with the idea igniting in Paris and developing through the streets of St Germain. Lex Lane wanted to create powerful scents that not only evoke memories but also awaken new ones. Using the maximum possible quantity of essential oil extract and organic soy wax to create a clean, crisp full bodied fragrance, these 38 cl candles release a powerful scent of the vigour of Spring.


Some tips for your new candle:

1. To prevent tunneling of the candle, burn your candle until the molten wax reaches the sides.

2. Keep the wick at least 5 mm tall and trim off any carbon build-up before relighting.

3. Before relighting, keep the wick trimmed to avoid unnecessary smoke

4. Burn your candle in a draught free and open area

5. Never leave candles unattended and keep them away from children and pets

6. Burn your candle on a heat-resistant surface

7. Stop using candle once there is only 15 cm of wax remaining

Georgia x