Archives Month: March 2014

A family favourite treat is to spend a day in Bath – sightseeing the fabulous Georgian architecture, having coffee in the Pump Rooms, listening to the string trio, or in December, mooching about the Christmas market.

Yesterday was one of those treats. The city was packed with students and foreign visitors – the sun was shining and the mime artistes and buskers were entertaining the relaxed passers-by.

A stroll up Milsom Street is a must, so calling in on Vinegar Hill, India Jane and the Highgrove shop was like visiting old friends.

By lunchtime we were in need of rest and refreshment and as always, Bill’s Restaurant and Store in Cheap Street did not disappoint. From the moment you put your face through the door you are greeted by friendly, relaxed and competent staff. Taking a 2 year old grandson to a restaurant is always a good test of genuine service and care! Squid with garlic mayo (yes, the 2 year old loved it) followed by burgers and fries and then ice cream for his lordship. He loved the experience and the staff loved him.

Having financed assets for restaurants for 40 years, it is so thrilling to see us Brits shaking off all the old pomposity and now producing quality food with friendly, helpful service.

In many places the UK is producing dining experiences of fast food or fine dining that is equal or better than any catering in the World.

A day in Bath can make you proud to be British – proud of our heritage, proud of our retail offering and proud of our catering entrepreneurs and their staff.

Bath – Beau Nash and Jane Austen would be proud of you today!

Image: Jane Austen Festival

It was great to see one of the UK young designers we are featuring, Sophie Hulme, having her beautiful stylish handbags being promoted in the Telegraph Stella Sunday magazine. Sophie’s bags are being retailed by uber smart Fenwicks of Bond Street.

We are so fortunate to have so many talented young designers in the UK, who are creating quality and helping the export drive.

Britain has a long history of design and manufacturing quality goods – Burberry, Rolls Royce, Paul Smith and James Purdey & Sons are all examples of superb design and exemplary craftsmanship.

In leather goods Mulberry, Ettinger and Tusting have been producing the finest leather items for generations and in shoe manufacturing, Grensons, loakes and Barkers are purchased worldwide as a stamp of success and under-stated style.

Now that the UK economy is beginning to forge ahead our future will continue to be reliant on individuality, quality and “British” design.

Even if they are not yet recognised as household names, there is a significant number of new, young designers who will play their part in upholding the image of Britain being synonymous with quality and success.

Sophie Gittins and Oliver Sweeny are designing stunning, up-to-the-minute shoes, whilst Sophie Hulme and Danielle Foster are young designers creating the next Mulberry Bayswater.
Rosie Hofman learnt her craft at The Birmingham School of Jewellery, while Chari Cohen is designing and producing wicked sportswear to grace any London or Los Angeles gym.

Without apologies we are going to feature some of our best UK designers on this blog in the coming months. If you know of a young person with exceptional talent for design, contact KMS at Armada – the best will get featured and promoted.