Shake, Shake, Shake your Booty
My passion for the Caribbean happened purely by accident. After the boys’ father, I had a relationship with a DJ, whose family originates from there. Put it this way: he had the funk, I did not. My first trip to the Caribbean was with him to St Vincent and Barbados. After that, I had the bug.
One of my favourite memories is of a little turquoise wooden house on the seafront on the island of Bequia called The Gingerbread House. It had the most delicious chocolate and rum cake. To top off my heavenly state, all the lovely women working there wore cute pink uniforms.
I’m not sure how or why but I keep getting drawn back to paradise. I have a dear friend in the Turks and Caicos, who the boys and I visit regularly. She’s from Paris and is a fabulous cook (dream friend I know). The Turks are where we source the papermaché birds in our off the wall section; they are made by local Haitian artists.
My most recent Caribbean trip was to Jamaica, where I met up with my friend Rosie, another tranquil turquoise blue sea addict. People say Jamaica is a bit more “heavy”. I noticed the music was more present compared to other islands, that’s all. Jamaica is great fun. I sat next to Lee Scratch Perry on my flight (Bob Marley’s producer for those non-musos like me).
We stayed in Jakes, my favourite hotel in the whole wide world. It’s a eco resort that supports the local community. The colour palette blew my mind. All the individual houses look like tall sugar coated french fancies. Grace Jones takes the turquoise one apparently.
The flamboyant pink in the little nook at reception is dressed with the famous 1972’s Jamaica tourist board poster of the model Sintra Bronte in the clinging red tee.
I might not have the funk but I’ve got that Caribbean colour palette nailed, trust me! (Disco Devil Lee Scratch Perry’s hair is a vibrant tangerine btw), I do shake my booty sometimes and as it is Notting Hill Carnival, I thought I’d let you know my favourite tune. It’s Uptown Top Rankin by Althea & Donna the girls are from Jamaica and it was No1 in the UK in 1978.
In our off the wall department the vintage cinema parrot chairs are made by Axelle Young, a local Hackney reupholster. They remind me of watching the scarlet ibis at dusk in Tobago. If I had my way they’d be in my hallway rather than in the online store.
Well they say you wear your heart on your walls. I definitely do. I love going “backyard.” Oh and the DJ; he broke my heart every single day that I was with him, but that’s another story. I wouldn’t change it for the world though as he opened up the colourful world of paradise.
If you’re going to Notting Hill Carnival, shake your booty for me and if you see Snoop Doggy Dogg say hello. (I just like saying Snoop Doggy Dogg, childish I know!)
Axelle Youngs vintage cinema chairs are now in our off the wall department. Fly by and say ‘wagwan’ to them.