We hope you and your families have been keeping well and happy in these strange and difficult times. When Boris Johnson announced lockdown on March 23rd due to the Covid-19 Pandemic, STORCX took the decision to allow everyone their space and time to focus on their own adjustments to the temporary new norm of quarantine, and paused sending out our bi-monthly newsletters.
Now for most the adjustment has settled, and you are in the rhythm of home-schooling, outdoor exercise and more family time. Here at STORCX we have been thinking what it is that people really want to hear about and have come up with a few ideas…
Although for some people this has been a very trying time, we feel it is important to remember and highlight some of the positives through this if we can. This new pace of life is not all sour… We for one have never spent so much relaxed quality time with our children, or had time to miss and appreciate our friends. The change of a fast-paced work/home/social life balance allows us to cherish and enjoy these special moments with no reason to run anywhere – we have seen our children, grow, develop and laugh far more than we ever would’ve done. We have built stronger connections with them, more treasured memories and will become more united in the future.
On the flip side of this we have also managed to test our resilience, our ability to adapt to teacher, tech whizz, cook, cleaner, entertainer and secretary, whilst also working and having no, or indeed very little time of our own and no freedom on the outside.
The world has also changed for the better; countries once divided are coming together to fight this as one whole world by searching for a vaccine. We have finally been able to stop and look at the earth around us, appreciate nature, exercise more, acquire new skills like baking and dancing. We have been given the gift of time to think about what is really important to us. Climate emissions are at a record low – something that never would have been achieved in our life time. The skies are bluer, there are more fish in the sea, and hopefully we will emerge from this crisis, kinder, better people with more to give to those who truly deserve.
We hope you enjoy this issue. Wishing you all wellness and happiness.
LOUISA PRESKETT IS FOUNDER OF POLAR BLACK EVENTS, A LUXURY EVENTS AGENCY WITH CLIENTS INCLUDING CARTIER, HERMES, LOUIS VUITTON, DOM PERIGNON, ESTEE LAUDER, PATEK PHILIPPE, VEUVE CLICQUOT AND JIMMY CHOO. SHE IS ALSO DIRECTOR OF MAISON MARGUAX, A LUXURY TABLEWARE HIRE COMPANY AND SHOP, WHICH IS LAUNCHING THIS SUMMER. SHE IS THE MOTHER OF TWO BOYS AND A GIRL AND LIVES IN WEST LONDON WITH HER HUSBAND AND FAMILY.
S: YOU ARE LAUNCHING MAISON MARGAUX THIS YEAR. TELL US MORE?
LP: Maison Margaux is a luxury tableware rental company launching this summer. You can hire beautiful plates, glassware, cutlery and accessories from our ‘at home’ collections or from our larger event and wedding collections. The company was formed by myself, Julian Vogel, Xavier Cadiou alongside Victoria Latrieulle and it’s been a labour of love for the last nine months, finding the right pieces, putting collections and looks together and building this brand which we all feel really excited about.
S: WHY DID YOU DECIDE TO SET UP MAISON MARGAUX?
LP: Having all worked in the Events industry for many years we struggled to find beautiful tableware for events both large and small. Speaking to other event planners, they found the same, as well as individuals that love to make an at home celebration really special. There was definitely a gap. The ‘tablescape’ has been growing as a trend on social media and in the design world over the last few years and we now see images of amazing tables all over the world which transport us to another time and place like a form of escapism. So now people, along with brands, want beautiful tablescapes for their own events, in a range of different styles and colours, to hire in and not buy. There’s been a shift in mood and I think people want to consume less in general. Maison Margaux offers a really large and wide range of tableware which allows people to have different looks each time without wasting or storing any product. We love that.
S: HOW DOES IT WORK?
LP: Our website will have our whole range of tableware so it’s easy to browse for what you’re looking for. For large events and weddings, you can choose items individually or we can curate a look for you. For ‘at home’ and smaller events, we offer a range of gorgeous ‘looks’, which will be available to hire as a set from mid -June in different styles. We also have ‘add on’ bespoke services such as linens, accessories and place cards. For those that truly fall in love with some of our pieces and want to keep them forever we also have an online shop where you can buy.
S: WHERE WOULD YOU SPEND YOUR BUDGET FOR AN AT HOME DINNER PARTY?
LP: It looks as though entertaining at home is going to be something we’ll all be doing more this summer so a good time make it feel really special. I always start with a beautiful table as it’s where your guests will spend most of their night. A charger plate or placemat in bold colour or pattern, a patterned desert plate, coloured glassware, scalloped napkins and beautiful table linens. We love illustrated place cards and settings and work with a handful of artists at Maison Margaux who can create these. If you can, having live music at the start of the evening with cocktails is always a winner. If your budget doesn’t stretch, then a jazz playlist and great outdoor speakers if you’re having drinks outside. We love to use lots of outdoor candles or hurricane lanterns for that lovely warm glow, like the wicker collection from Bamford www.bamford.com . The East London Parasol Company (www.eastlondoncompany) do amazing parasols and umbrellas if you need stylish cover in case of light rain and for more coverage, we love LPM Bohemia (www.lpmbohemia.com ).
I love to serve cocktails on a beautiful drinks tray, we have a peacock Matthew Williamson one at Maison Margaux, it’s colourful and makes everyone smile. A host to welcome guests and a bar tender is a lovely touch. Being greeted at the door, coat taken, drink offered etc. And of course, the food! Choose your caterer based on the style of evening you want (formal/ relaxed / Italian/ al fresco etc). The UK has the most fantastic caterers, really 5 star and we work with so many. Little tip, always ask them who their serving staff will be for your event, and ask that they send their very best crew.
S: TELL US ABOUT SOME OF YOUR FAVOURITE TABLEWARE LOOKS THIS SUMMER
LP: I love so many looks! To lift my spirits I love bright, bold colours with lemon motif hand painted plates, it reminds me of warm, citrus Italian nights and transports me to another world. I also love more simple summer tables; chic ‘Riviera’ blues whites and lovely pale greens. We have a very elegant “English Meadow’ setting using a scalloped green floral desert plate that reminds me of warm nights and hazy sunshine. And a gorgeous blue and white Burleigh setting with bamboo cutlery, it’s timeless and classic but also has that relaxed Soho House feel to it. Soft and feminine is also very pretty this summer. Very pale pink with washed linens and a wicker mat, minimal but very elegant. For something really special, we have the most stunning gold and white collection from L’Objet for a beautiful celebration. You can really dress their tableware up or down but it sparkles on the table and is always a crowd pleaser. For daytime or lunch, cabbage and floral plates make me smile, we stock a collection that just makes us happy and brings a burst of colour to the table. My personal favourite ‘look’ however has to be our ‘Flamingo’ setting, with plates by Les Ottomens. It’s like a happy slice of Florida on your table. You can also mix and match with other animal plates, we have giraffes, cheeky monkeys, cheetahs, peacocks etc, match your animal plates to your guests.
S: WHERE DO YOU FIND YOUR TABLEWARE?
LP: We have found tableware all over Europe and then also local brands here in the UK. We’ve honestly had so much fun choosing pieces and we will continue to add to our collection as we grow. But going behind the scenes at factories in Portugal and France, meeting artisans and creatives behind the tableware, it’s been great. We will be stocking a wide range of brands, from L’objet to Les Ottomans, Royal Limoges, Vista Alegre, Porcel and Bordealo, Serax and Nosse, Richard Ginori and hand painted Italian plates from Maremoro. British brand Burleigh, designers such as Matthew Williamson, Peter Pilotto and Christian Lacroix and many more. We also love trawling markets finding plates, shells, glassware and quirky objects.
S: WHAT ARE YOUR TOP TIPS FOR CREATING THE BEAUTIFUL TABLE?
LP: First Choose a theme or colour palette that you love and will match your setting. It doesn’t need to be too ‘matchy’ but have an idea of the colours that make you happy.
In terms of flatware, I love using three plates per setting. Or if using two, then use a place mat to frame the setting. We have a gorgeous wicker selection available this summer. The charger (or place mat) is the ‘frame’, so make a bold statement with bright colours or fun textures and pattern. The serving plate (middle) I like to keep mostly white as it’s a blank canvas which lets the food take centre stage. Go bold with a dessert plate, this is what guests see as they are seated. Hand painted or animal printed plates are great.
Buy linens and tablecloths during the sales! And whenever you find yourself on holiday. We will be offering a bespoke service where we can create tablecloths from a range of fabrics and patterns. Linens are the backdrop to your flatware and having a colour or pattern will immediately transform it.
For napkins, we love scalloped detailing and stock some really pretty ones lined in blues and greens go hire. Don’t forget about the cutlery and glassware. We have some beautiful bamboo, coloured, silver and gold.
If you can afford it use calligraphy name settings. With a contemporary font. I try to avoid folded ‘tent name cards’ and prefer to write names on flat card or at the top of the menu but that’s just me! For large events a florist is important, but at home I like to get as many vases as possible, (low so that your guest can see each other) pick flowers from the garden otherwise from your local florist and create a dense runner of seasonal flowers. Never too perfect.
Finally lighting can never be too low! Use candles in hurricane holders or warm lights. Always turn off overhead lighting if indoors.
S: WHAT TRENDS DO YOU SEE FOR THE YEAR AHEAD?
LP: This summer I think we’ll again see a lot of bright, Portofino inspired colours. Wicker place mats and scalloped details alongside fun, quirky pink and green charger or top plates. Because we are all at home more, our dining rooms will become our new ‘restaurants’. I think everyone will want to make it feel special if they can. In general, I think we’re seeing a shift to a more minimal tones and textures, more earthenware for later this year. Perhaps a move back to elegant simplicity.
S: HOW DO KEEP BUSY?
LP: At the moment, I’m with the children doing home schooling, so that is keeping me busy, along with all the other parents across the country! And I’m also finding myself (as everyone else is) cooking much more. I didn’t have the time before and as a result I lost my confidence in my cooking. Having had this time at home has reunited me with my love of food and nurturing the children.
S: WHAT IS THE ONE THING YOU CANNOT LIVE WITHOUT?
LP: Other than my family of course, music. I literally escape into another world through music, it makes me so happy.
S: GOOD READ?
LP: I just re read The Goldfinch which I loved, it’s a classic and it was just as good second time. My friend gave me “I feel Bad About My neck’ which I would recommend to anyone over 25 and was exactly the sort of laugh out loud I needed these last weeks. Although I’m now thinking a lot about my neck…
S: DO YOU HAVE A NEW HOBBY SINCE LOCKDOWN?
LP: I have played piano a lot more, when you have time, you can do the things you loved when you were younger but let slide as life became busier. I love playing with my eldest son Charlie.
S: WHAT IS THE BEST GIFT YOU EVER RECEIVED?
LP: My mum started a champagne glass selection for me when I was about 12. It seemed so weird to me back then, but each year for my birthday she would find an antique glass on Portobello or an antiques auction and over the years she has built up an eclectic and incredible collection. Her best was a red Murano fish champagne flute she found for $3 in Savannah, Georgia. I know that glass has a few tales to tell!
STORCX GUIDE TO THE BEST BUYS FOR ENTERTAINING AT HOME
It’s always a good idea to make your home as welcoming as possible when having friends over. Lighting, music, flowers and small special details make the biggest difference when inviting people into your home. Think floral scents, warm corners with gentle lighting and a flickering candle or firelight dancing to a rhythmic beat. That stand out item with a story behind it is always a good way of breaking the ice to get conversation flowing.
TOWNHOUSE TROLLY IN GOLD
This beautiful metallic trolley, topped with smoked glass shelves is a beautiful piece to strike up a talking point. Flawlessly crafted with a sleek, tubular structure and finished with a luxurious golden hue. With beautiful, petite wheels in a metallic hue to match the framework, the piece can be moved around the home with ease.
MANHATTAN COCTAIL SHAKER
This beautiful cocktail shaker is sure to get your guests in the mood. Crafted in mirror polished stainless steel and inspired by the glamourous 1920s in New York, the Manhattan collection oozes sophistication and makes for a perfect bar setting.
We love these multi-coloured vases from L’object. They are great room decorations as well as the perfect vase.
WOODEN LACQUER RAINBOW CARD BOX
THE LACQUER COMPANY
This truly exquisite hand painted lacquer design with traditional “brick” eggshell lacquer and burnished brass hardware is a must for any entertainment space.
SET OF FORTY MARU PAPER NAPKINS
AND BOX – RED
SET OF 4 SCALLOPED-EDGE LINEN PLACEMATS
Remember Keep Life Simple – #storcxit