Lanterns and loveliness

Joyful Living has been a regular stopping point for ogling interior loveliness when we’re in Norfolk, but it’s been a while and I was long overdue a visit. That was something remedied on our recent visit to Norfolk and it was reassuring to discover that while the stock has changed, the quality and ethos hadn’t. On this visit it was the lanterns that caught my eye, and the succulents of course but that goes without saying doesn’t it?

patterned lanterns

The intricate patterns and weathered finish are great aren’t they, and would work as well indoors or out, with a candle or without. The round shape makes a change too, as often lanterns are the more traditional square shape. But if more traditional is your thing, then there’s also those as well. I love the finish of both, and would happily have them indoors, but only if I could be certain that MOH wouldn’t set about polishing them, which could take quite some negotiation.

weathered lanterns with candles

But there’s plenty more than lanterns here, and it wasn’t long before I found myself drawn to the yellow pouffe and blankets. The pouffe, especially, was a favourite. I’m on a mission to get more yellow in our house, but I wasn’t quite sure about this one just now.

Textured blankets and pouffes

It’s just as well I hadn’t seen these cushions though when we were on cushion-hunt. A couple of these might have ended up on our grey sofas as the constants. And I think that would have given our living room a very different look, possibly a more grown up and sophisticated look, but there’s still time to grow into that I’m sure.

classic striped cushions and woven baskets

Had I seen this star in the run up to Christmas I’d have left with as many as I could get my hands on. I’ve a plan, that may or may not actually come to fruition, to make some of these giant stars myself from wire we have left over from our gabion baskets - yes I know that’s quite random - but I think they could look really good. I’m still working out the lights, but we’ll see how far we get with this before worrying about that just yet.

A twinkling star.jpg

It’s also the type of place that manages to make bowls of shells look effortlessly stylish. Maybe it works because it’s on the North Norfolk coast, and that’s more authentic than a South London dwelling, who knows.

patterned shells
mother of pearl shells

And as ever, there’s always room for some sequins. And more stars.

there's always room for a sequinned cushion

What I’m seeing more and more of is macrame-type holders for jars and plants. These have that feel to them too, but expect to see much more macrame around. Even in the Facebook craft groups and craft magazines it’s making an appearance and reminds me of growing up in the 70s - I’m sure we had a spider plant, with many many babies hanging in a window complete with louvre openings at some point. Our 70s house rocked.

Glass jars hung in twine

Ah yes, more succulents. Aren’t these little pots lovely? I was quickly ushered out of the shop at this point, but look at the shelf too - it’s a scaffold board painted white. Something that would work equally well in a home setting too.

succulents in green pots

So lanterns and more loveliness as usual, I won’t be leaving it so long for my next visit either.

Interiors gems in Burnham Market

Burnham Market is one of those pretty, traditional Norfolk villages, with a green and plenty of shops ideal for browsing but few parking spaces and plenty of visitors. Even this weekend it took a little while to get a space on the green, which is somewhere I rarely get to park, especially in the summer months. As we arrived the blue skies turned dark, the rain that was threatening arrived and luckily a space materialised almost right outside the hat shop, which was the purpose of our visit.

This pretty village has one of the best hat shops I know, and the plan was to take a look to see what they had to get inspiration for my niece’s wedding in May. As it turned out, as you’ll have seen yesterday, I ended up buying one because it seems even wedding guests have a moment when they know it’s the one. We made quite an entrance into the shop as when the rain paused for a moment, that was so it could turn to hailstones instead. You’d never know it from the photo below though, taken not that much after.

A view of Burnham Market after the hailstones

With the unexpected hat purchase safely stowed in the dry of the car, we had a wander around the village to see what’s changed since our last visit, and to see what’s hot in Norfolk interiors. So off we went up an alley and into a small courtyard just off the main street where we found Boudicca Designs, with plenty of cushions and mugs which caught my eye.



While you might think those mugs are out of place, there was plenty of stylish and matching homewares. These orange background matching mugs and lampshade were a favourite, initially I thought they were foxes but looking again I think they’re more dog-like.

orange foxes mugs and a matching lampshade

It was the settle though behind these that really drew my attention - which thanks to my new Salvage Hunters’ obsession, I know it’s a settle - isn’t it great? The colours, the material and while not authentic, it’s something that would work well in many country and even city properties.

Cushions and a padded settle

In one of the newer shops, which I don’t seem to be able to find the name of now, there were plenty of muted colours with white prints and some light hearted quotes, bringing a smile to my face as surely life is better in flip flops? I’ve always said Norfolk has big skies and those cards would look great in a frame, I think.

Norfolk's big skies quote and patterned homewares

I’m not sure about the wetsuit card though.

the only good suit is a wetsuit and matching cushions

I’m sure though that there’s definitely Norfolk time. There’s most certainly Norfolk speed on the roads, it’s about 22mph and is quite alien coming from London where everything moves much faster than the speed limit, it’s hard to readjust and so you find yourself waiting where you could have pulled out.

This house runs on norfolk time print

I’ve found another Norfolk shop with some fabulous candles, who’d have thought Norfolk would be so candle rich?

dark grey candles

Another shop that’s always worth a visit is Uttings of Burnham, it’s deceptively large and has a mix of functional and frivolous. From the outside it looks a traditional hardware shop, fronted with a fruit and vegetable shop. It’s full of wonders though, on this visit while we were looking at these gorgeous plates there was another lady in the shop was in there looking for loo rolls.

Fish plates in Uttings of Burnham
More of the fish plates - including the octopus one - at Uttings

I fell for the Octopus plate, and it would look fabulous on my dresser. I didn’t even get as far as looking at the price before MOH chipped in with, where wouldI put it, I wouldn’t mind - but he liked it too!

Reflecting on my week #60

As ever most of our activity takes place at the end of the week and weekend, and both of us were out on Friday; me at a work do and MOH meeting friends for lunch. Him bemoaning the fact that I’d arranged for him to collect some Blackberry Gin made by one of our friends. Thankfully though it was well packed and carefully transported and arrived home in one piece. I arrived home with a couple of sticks of rock, like you do, and after a slow start to the weekend I was impressed at how colour coordinated our Friday night treasures were with their surroundings.



Saturday evening we were back at Gravetye Manor belatedly making use of one of our 110th gifts, and enjoying the seven course tasting menu and wine flight. We’d previously visited at the start of May, just before our birthdays and enjoyed a wander around the kitchen garden, and of course I’d popped into the loos to check them out. We were keen to make use of our gift in a different season, and part of the delay in our return was due to the complete refurbishment of the restaurant which brings it totally up-to-date and gives it a view over the gardens. Not that we saw much of the gardens on this visit, so we’ll have to go back again at some point.



The food was fantastic, and each course and its accompanying wine was carefully explained either by the chefs, including Executive Chef George Blogg on two occasions, the waiters and for the wine the young but very knowledgeable and personable sommelier. Below is the final course of Roasted Acorn Custard, walnut crumble and dark chocolate - and boy, what a course. It was good but my favourite was the Roe Venison with Crown Prince and chestnut, three of my all time favourite foods.

And if you’ve seen me in real life recently, or are about to soon, let me just say I am now addicted to jumpsuits. They’re so easy to wear and so that you get to see me in more than this fantastic one from Laura Ashley, I’ve invested in at least a couple more, which are a little more on the colourful side. Well, there’s only so many necklaces and accessories that I have to give this one a different feel…



Afterwards it was nice to sit and wait for our taxi in the traditional surroundings with a beautiful tree. It’s amazing how filling the tasting menu is, as it looks small when it’s placed in front of you, but oh, the flavour that’s packed in there. The sauce on the venison takes four days, elapsed, to make - so on a completely different level to cooking at home.



Sunday we were keen to get my MIL out of the house, but where to go, that also allowed for a trip around Sainsburys.  In the end we headed off to closeby Pots and Pithoi to admire the pots, and more importantly check out the cafe, which wasn’t there when we visited before.  We’d previously bought some pots for the garden, and they’re great, but coffee and cake was on the agenda for this visit, and it didn’t disappoint - the crockery was great, and so was the bakewell slice.



Payment was taken in the shop, and that’s where it got dangerous. I was trying not to engage too much with the ceramics, as they’re a bit of a weakness for me, and as MOH will readily tell you I don’t need any more. Well, unless they look like this of course:

Carola Van Dyke ceramics

Aren’t they great? 

I love the patchwork nature of these and took the photo above so I could work on MOH and acquire them as a Christmas present, from him - that’s still a work in progress, but I’m fairly confident.  They’re by Carola Van Dyke and there’s also a espresso set which matches, but that seems to be out of stock everywhere, although I’m still on the hunt for those.

Carola van Dyke cushions

Just as we were about to leave MOH spotted some tweed hats, and he can’t resist trying them on, and this was fatal. As by the hats were cushions that matched the ceramics and I was smitten - in fabric, they were even more gorgeous, and we were still in the market for two more cushions. The original plan was to get two grey, relatively plain cushions, to go behind the more colourful cushions we’d already bought. But that plan was quickly shelved, especially as hares and stags are particular favourites of ours.

The choice wasn’t if we should buy them but if we should buy a stag and a hare, or two hares, and if the stag and hare needed to look at each other, or away from each other. Serious stuff, which I think my MIL was most bemused by. But we left with two and our cushion quest is almost complete, so expect a sofa sharing moment in the not too distant future.

Carola Van Dyke cushions at Pots and Pithoi

And if you find the Beasties Espresso set in stock, let me know - MOH is keen to know where he can buy it from, or at least he will be soon!