Perfect for picnics
Picnics can combine eating on a budget with enjoying the outdoors. One of our favourite department stores has noticed a sharp increase in the sales of picnicware as customers save on restaurant bills but style up on the alfresco accessories.
Colourful sundae glasses cost £10 each (right), fleece rug rolls come in charcoal/red at £35, while acrylic tableware plates are £8 for a set of four.
Peter Jones, Sloane Square, SW1 (020 7730 3434; www.peterjones.co.uk).
Turn to these tables
Designers Guild is selling folding bistro tables and chairs in a range of its gorgeous trademark colours, such as wisteria purple, aniseed green and peony pink, both online and instore, at £42 for a chair and £139 for a table.
They are tougher than they look, and made of steel coated with polyester-baked anti-UV powder, so they will not scratch or fade.
For stockists, visit www.designersguild.com.
Restall Brown & Clennell
There’s up to 75 per cent off at the Restall Brown & Clennell clearance sale. The bespoke furniture maker is holding its sale on the weekend of 9 and 10 May, 10am to 5pm.
Bargains will be found on all its collections, including a traditional octagonal table (right) down from £1,500 to £750, an ebony drinks cabinet, down from £25,150 to £5,300, Art Deco Good as Gold dining chairs from £2,618 down to £785 and a Scroll End Sofa from £5,300 down to £3,180.
Restall Brown & Clennell, The Old Imperial Laundry, 71 Warriner Gardens, Battersea, SW11 (020 7627 1298; www.rbc-furniture.co.uk).
That’s a good idea
It is all the rage to bring sandwiches to work, so next week’s British Sandwich Week is doing its bit to make them as exciting as possible, promoting all-British ingredients.
And for those who like their sandwiches toasty Cuisinart has launched its Overstuffed Sandwich Maker. It has extra-deep pockets to cope with plenty of filling, which will not spill out, even when the lid is shut.
The machine has dish washer-proof plates and costs £50 from John Lewis and other stockists. See www.cuisinart.co.uk.
Sale of the week
The Shambles: A Museum of Victorian Life
Now is the chance for Londoners to bid on a piece of Victoriana. Coming under the hammer in two weeks’ time is one of the biggest collections ever privately assembled.
It’s all here, apothecary jars, glass eyes, fireside equipment, children’s sewing machines, garden tools, alongside furniture, mirrors, ceramics and glassware — for sale at the original museum premises in Newent, Gloucestershire.
This vast collection — more than 4,000 lots — was created by enthusiastic antiques dealers, Jim and Holly Chapman, who began in 1986 when they bought a butcher’s shop in Newent.
They kept and displayed the things they could not bear to part with and eventually acquired several other buildings in Newent, including a doctor’s dispensary, a bakery, estate cottages, a photographer’s studio and a taxidermist’s workshop, all of which became, over time, an extraordinarily complete museum of Victoriana called The Shambles.
The Chapmans now want to sell everything in order to concentrate on their cider and perry business, so estimates are remarkably low, starting from £5.
Admission to viewing days and the auction is by printed catalogue only, £15 including p&p (admits two), otherwise you can see the lots and bid online at www.simonchorley.com. Viewing is from 14 to 17 May; the sale is on 18 to 21 May at 7 The Shambles, Church Street, Newent, Gloucestershire.
For information call Simon Chorley Auctions on 01452 344499, or visit www.simonchorley.com.