Sigh. Can I be honest? As much as I’m trying hard to make a real go of having a life here in Rochester, my heart is still yearning for an Italian adventure. To pack up everything we own, stick a pin somewhere on that foot in the Mediterranean and call it home-oh the possibilities. I’m a “do now, think later” kind of girl, a risk taker, but I married a head over heart man…and he won out for now. So instead, I have to fabricate situations that allow me to imagine I’m there in a little home just outside the walls of Lucca, like listening to the bells ringing out across the town in the evening, drinking proper stove top coffee or, say, lunch in Another Country.
Newly opened in London’s Marylebone, the beautiful Another Country showroom is home to some of the most stunning pieces of contemporary handmade furniture and home accessories I’ve ever had the joy of touching. Last weekend, I was invited to the store by fellow bloggers Kate Baxter and Daniel Nelson as part of the brand’s #anothersummer campaign to team up with Heart Home magazine’s editor Carole King for some styling fun. With the whole space to play in we were given full creative license to style up a story and shoot it using the furniture and props to hand. It took very little time for us to decide on a rustic theme, the furniture and accessories lending themselves so well to this simplistic style.
Fifteen minutes later we found ourselves on Marylebone High Street on a hunt for crusty herb and olive bread, figs, red wine and delicious cheese and chutney (courtesy of La Fromagerie). Back at the store, we chose a solid oak dining table as our starting point, and dressed it with a rumpled grey tablecloth of Carole’s before building up the look with Ian Mcintyre’s white stoneware dinner plates and terracotta platter. The sleek, black Provençal cutlery created a strong contrast against the white plates and I absolutely loved how glossy the pineapple chutney looked in the grey pinch pot. Those will be on my Christmas list for sure. To finish the look, Carole “borrowed” clippings of olive branches from the trees lining the street (nobody saw so it never happened) and there you have it-a rustic lunch for two in my imaginary Italian farmhouse kitchen. I’m home.
It was a real joy to experiment with a moodier style of photography for the most part because I’m more comfortable shooting in brighter conditions, so it got me out of my comfort zone. What do you think? I get a sense of the end of summer in these shots, with a feeling of autumn approaching in the deep blush of those figs, my favourite season of all.
After we wrapped we sat down together with Kate and devoured the lot. La dolce fa niente. With a German newspaper.
Photography and styling © Tiffany Grant-Riley