A note from Seb, S&B's CEO:
When Mum (the late Bernadette) and June opened this shop, they brought their own unique sense of beauty, craftsmanship and a modern spirit to the kitchen. They (rightfully) believed that the kitchen is the heart of the home and that we should honour that by equipping it correctly and—most of all—beautifully.
Tragically, Mum suddenly passed away last year, and my father, brothers, June and I were faced with the difficult decision of what to do with her and June's wonderful store.
Our first instinct was to close the shop, but after talking to June, we decided to come into the shop one last time, as painful as it was to be surrounded by so many memories.
The moment we set foot inside, though, we knew there was no way we could close: We quickly decided to spend the next six months behind the till, helping customers, meeting mum's old friends and gathering ideas with June on what to do next with the business.
Could the business become a vehicle for more people to experience Mum and June's wonderful way of life?
During that difficult period, my brother Oli found mum's old cookery book (which we hope to republish in the future) in our grandmother Winnie's house. We opened it to find her dedication to our grandmother, signed with mum's classic flower (also the Meanderings logo), which she drew on all her notes and letters. This small gesture on mum's part suddenly opened up a world of inspiration and a new direction for us at S&B.
As many of you already know, there was nothing Mum loved more than bringing friends and family together around the table for a meal, and so to commemorate the anniversary of her death this August, in time for Fall, we thought we'd celebrate her spirit by creating a line of table linens featuring her signature flower.
With a clear new vision for the future, we set about creating a set of designs and headed to see our friends at Bertozzi to produce Mum's first line of "BB Flowers" table linens.
Strangely, although Mum is no longer with us, she has still managed to influence S&B's new direction: One where we will be focusing more and more on the kitchen table. The kitchen may be the most important room in the house but 'La Table' is the place where friends and family come together for meals, drinks, laughs and life's big conversations. It's where decisions are made.
We see a world where people will spend a day preparing a meal, yet only spend a very short time on the presentation. We want to change that. We eat with our eyes and we see the tablecloth as the ultimate blank canvas, full of design potential, and also full of promise for more and more families to honour meal times by making them that much more beautiful.
Below, a scrapbook from our trip to Bologna to see the BB Flowers range in production.
Hilltop View from nearby Longiano.
Getting the Emilia-Romagna look just right inside our hotel.
[The Making of BB Flowers]
We headed over to see our collaborators at Bertozzi, a third generation family of fine linen and ceramic makers, to see the first BB Flowers linens in production.
Originally, 'Stamperias' in the region created ceremonial outfits for local cattle to parade on the town streets of the Emilia-Romagna.
Inside Bertozzi's vaults there is an endless array of hand-carved wooden stamps for the many thousands of patterns they've created over the last 100 years.
[The BB Stamp]
The BB Flower pattern is traced and then hand-engraved onto a piece of pear wood, which is then used over and over again as a stamp.
First, Bertozzi's special organic paint is smoothed out on a tray using a coarse brush.
Then, when the paint is totally smooth and spread out, the stamp is dipped into the tray, ready to create a pattern on the linen.
On linen tablecloths, napkins and coming soon on dishware, too.
[In Store, In Situ]
We're proud to present our first BB Flowers linen tablecloths in commemoration of Bernadette Bishop. You can pre-order yours for this September by giving us a call at the shop - +44 (0) 207 221 4566 or emailing us at [email protected]
We'll have napkins and tablecloths in two different designs and in a great selection of colours including dark red, dark green, gold and silver—all in time for fall.