Devonshire Tea and Vintage Nostalgia – Kidston Style

17 Jul


Having landed in the UK, fresh from the Queens Jubilee, we planned a trip with family to sleepy Salcombe (Devon UK), hiring a cute little apartment over looking the estuary.

Whilst the weather did not go to plan – meaning that I was forced to go clothes shopping- well I needed some warmer woolies it was supposed to be summer you know!, it was a great time to catch up with family and spend time with my new nephew. And I did manage to get in a few piccies when the rain quit for a few minutes during the day!

Candy colour houses in Salcombe High St – Source Birdcage Design

The cute candy coloured lane ways and streets of Salcombe are full of character and charm, and plenty of little shops!!!

source Birdcage Design


Now yesterday I talked about nostalgia and that is exactly what Devon evokes for me, holidays as kids with a bucket of prawns with a crusty roll, fish and chips still in the paper, and fresh crab, most notably followed by the traditional Devonshire Tea of scones and clotted cream, with your finest strawberry or raspberry jam.  There was also nostalgia of my student days – but admittedly much of this nostalgia was for the old english pub and a pint of Scrumpy Jack (now there is a force to be reckoned with!).

This Nostalgia for the high tea has been fully reignited by the Jubilee and is evident with a bombing business in styling and accessories around this British icon!

Cath Kidston


source dawnmcvey

Dubbed as the current day Laura Ashly and the queen of vintage nostalgia is Cath Kidston.  Originally starting out as an interior designer in 1990 after a “career crisis” ( I know how she feels)…. sparked by her fathers death, Kidston has worked for flamboyant designer Nicky Haslam, whose clients included the Prince of Wales, Bryan Ferry and Rupert Everett.

In 1993 Kidston set up on her own, opening her first store in  Holland Park, north London,which was initially intended as a bit of a sideline. With a multi million point turnover, that is certainly the kind of sideline I would like to set up…..just need that one damn idea!

Source Pink and Polka Dot

The vintage fabrics and brightly-painted junk furniture sold at her first Kidston store, proved an instant hit with “yummy mummies” at the shop’s location. The success encouraged the designer to create her own signature products, for which she is very much famous for today.

One of Kidston’s very first designs was for an ironing board cover – practical, quirky, with a distinctive floral print – came to epitomise the “Cath Kidston look” and her desire to put a cheery spin on day-to-day chores. It is possibly this cheer which means that Kidston has continued to defy the economic downturn, with people seeking out that “nostalgic smile”.

“We work hard to ensure that our products are pretty, practical and affordable,”

 “We also try to make the shopping experience fun and light-hearted, which we hope will give our customers a reason to be cheerful regardless of the economic climate.”

 Cowboy Enamel Plate Fiona Ragdoll

What ever you need Cath Kidston has thought about it…. from, plates to rag dolls, picnic sets, to wellie boots and teepee’s!

Bleached Flowers 2 Person Picnic Hamper Spot Wellington boots  Cowboy Teepee Tent

Well I have to agree, I love walking in her shops, they are like a huge grown up dolls house…..!

 For those of you in the Uk this summer you may also want to check out the Cath Kidston Tour….. revamping an old library van the Kidston store will become mobile with some limited edition goodies…. Alas… I was just not in the right place at the right time.


…..On with the colourful journey………


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9 responses to “Devonshire Tea and Vintage Nostalgia – Kidston Style

  1. This Sydney Life

    July 17, 2012 at 12:07 pm

    Let’s get together with Sparks and start tabling those ideas, BCD…:-)

  2. elisaruland

    July 17, 2012 at 2:26 pm

    A very pretty, pastel post!

    • birdcagedesign

      July 17, 2012 at 2:42 pm

      Thank you, I love those pastel coloured houses they are so homely and welcoming!

  3. EverydaySparks

    July 17, 2012 at 9:54 pm

    Those pics are great, BCD – especially the candy coloured houses! I have to confess that I liked Cath Kidston’s stuff until it was everywhere – even stocked in that Typo chain of stores – so the idea of her reaching even further with a bus tour made me chuckle a lot! Still, she’s undoubtedly a huge success and has a distinctive style – but our big idea will be BIGGER and BETTER, my friend. But first things first, what to call our venture – ThisBirdSparks? or SydneyBirdSparks? Or EverydaySydneyBirdcage? Or EverydayBirdcageLife? These are the big questions! 😉

    • birdcagedesign

      July 18, 2012 at 7:57 am

      How about “Sparks from a Sydney Birdcage” I’ll start looking for the caravan! 😉


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