Wagumi – Japanese designer wares at the Oxo Tower

Oxo Tower

The Oxo Tower is a London landmark. Saved from the developers by a bitterly-fought campaign and refurbished in the nineties, it’s now the centrepiece of the preserved Coin St area on the South Bank, just along from the brutalist modern architecture of the National Theatre and right next to Bernie Spain Gardens (familiar to fans of Ben Aaronovitch’s Rivers of London series as the site of the Spring Court). Below it, next to the riverside path, is a red-brick block that is home to a fascinating selection of designer and artisan shops. Which explains why I was there on one of the few non-rainy days this month – visiting Wagumi, the Japanese design store. Continue reading

Earl’s Court hosts Craft, Home and Top Drawer

Earl's Court Craft/Home/Top Drawer

Ever since Boris approved the plans to demolish Earl’s Court and build a residential and retail estate in its place, I’ve been expecting it to sink into decay and oblivion, if not vanish altogether. But no, it’s still there, hale and hearty and actually in much better nick than I expected. Maybe that’s because the set of three exhibitions Yannick and I went to see were, as one of the titles said, top drawer, or maybe the exhibition centre is refusing to go quietly. Either way, we were impressed. Continue reading