It’s that time of year again when our calendars go a bit nuts and we have to be in around twelve places at once… however, while we might find this stressful, it does mean that it’s time for Clerkenwell Design Week in London and we couldn’t wait to head up there and see what was new for this year.

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Unfortunately, it wasn’t a lot. We’re starting to see a trend with trade shows and events like this that you’ll constantly see the same faces and brands in the same place as the year before. We appreciate that as a trade show, this is ideal for the brands and the buyers that want to visit, but for the humble inspiration-seeker, it can fall a little flat. We mean, how excited do you get by the car display in the atrium of the Farmiloe Building?

This being said, we did see some really cool bits and pieces up in the retail space. Upon arriving in the London Transport Museum Shop, we had a sample of gin thrust upon us. Now if you know us personally, you’ll know that this is one of the ways to our heart (and bread and cheese and chocolate…). The No.8 London Dry Gin was a great way to start our show experience and we’d highly recommend you try it! Also in their space we spotted some fantastic cushions and fell a little bit in love with this Aga cooker, which is a collaboration between TFL and AGA as a nod to Routemaster Designer Douglas Scott.

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On our way round David definitely got distracted by some lovely dusky florals…

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Veering away from interiors slightly, we stumbled upon Danish eye-wear manufacturer CrossEyes. New and local to Clerkenwell, these glasses are all mostly hand-made and come in a variety of cool and on-trend shapes and designs. With very, very reasonable pricing (£145 for eye test, lenses and frame) we got more than a little bit excited about this brand – David even did his best Sybill Trelawney impersonation…

Channeling my inner Sybill Trelawney

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Considering a good pair of designer specs can set you back upwards from £400, these were definitely more in our price range and we hastily entered their competition for a free pair –fingers crossed!

On to something a little closer to home for Mark, we stopped by the Crypt at St James’ outside of the Farmiloe Building to see some smaller names and more up and coming designers. After pinching some of their delicious tablet (Scottish fudge) from their stand we got talking to the ladies from Iona Crawford. She is a Scottish designer known for her statement prints and ability to transform fabric with fantastic designs. We’d learned that Crawford has moved into homewares and we spied everything from cushions, lampshades and wallpaper in the collection – one to watch for sure!

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Pelican designs by Iona Crawford

A contender for Best Show Space had to be Havwoods flooring. We loved that they’d taken over an old-school Routemaster which we were already geeking out about, to then board it and find it’s a coffee shop and has a showroom with tables and chairs on the upper deck was fantastic and such a cool use of the space. We also got a packet of free biscuits after we left, so they definitely were the winners for us…

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The top deck of Havwoods bus…
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Flooring displays

One of the other things we love at CDW are the street sculptures created to direct visitors around the area and constantly inspire as you bob from showroom to showroom. We loved in the installation in Saint John’s Square, which was created out of a collaboration between architecture firm Cousins and Cousins and interior glass manufacturer GX Glass and Equitone who created this wonderful walk-through pavilion.

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We definitely had to take this opportunity for a quick snap!

That @sparticus88 getting his rhubarb and custard on at #CDW2015

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Did you see anything radical this year that we’ve missed or do you think it’s more of the same? Let us know on Twitter and keep the Clerkenwell conversation going with #CDW2015

On to the next,
David & Mark x

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