Experiences

4 years ago · 7 min read
Dating, Vietnamese style.

In England, it would be rare to hear a couple say that they went on a date at the side of the motorway or on a bridge, and that instead of going to each other’s houses they hang out in the park. But in Vietnam, our eyes were opened to another world of dating.

4 years ago · 7 min read
Vietnamese martial art: meeting a master.

Rows of children kneel on the floor, dressed in black, green belts tied around their waists, swords and staffs spinning around their heads. They move through a sequence of movements, their belts swishing with every swift turn. It’s nearly sunset as we pass the youth club, stopping to ask the teacher if we can photograph […]

4 years ago · 7 min read
Shanghai streets: where life is lived.

In the tranquil quiet of a restaurant between serving times, a chef sits at a table slowly sipping from his flask of tea. He looks out at the crowds under bright lights in a flourishing city. The streets of Shanghai are alive, and it’s on its streets that so much life is lived.

4 years ago · 7 min read
From time to time: longevity in China.

Just watching her, the movement of her arms and her legs, soft and slow, determined and confident, is hypnotic. Bearing cameras and foreign curiosity, we’re at first concerned that we may be disturbing her. We soon realise she hasn’t registered our presence at all. Such is the power of tai chi – a centuries old […]

4 years ago · 7 min read
Satiated in Shanghai: sampling street food.

Food sizzles, steam rises, we can almost taste the chilli in the air as we make our way through the night market. As with every market we come across, it’s the Ma La Tang – hot pot – with its variety of fresh, skewered meats, fish and vegetables, dipped into flavoursome broth that draws the […]

4 years ago · 7 min read
Artisans around the world: China and Vietnam.

Our journey continues. Our blog expedition takes us around the world visiting the workshops where our pieces are made, recognising the skill of the artisans who craft them. From the North of India with its pink mountains and dry terrain, to the tropical South with its palm trees and scenic coastline, we now head easterly […]

5 years ago · 7 min read
Walking with cows.

They’re curled up on main streets amongst haphazardly parked tuk tuks, motorcycles and cars; they’re meandering slowly up urban alleys in the centre of busy towns; they’re roaming the highways that stretch for miles. Within hours of arriving, we realise that to travel through India is to walk with cows.

5 years ago · 7 min read
Indian families: working together for generations.

Wandering through workshops and people’s homes, on a journey to meet the artisans who craft our furniture, there was something other than a flourishing sense of passion and skill that stood out amongst the hand-crafted furniture – the powerful bonds of family. Siblings and cousins, husbands and wives, aunts and uncles, parent and child – […]

5 years ago · 7 min read
Tickled pink in Jaipur.

Horns beep, tuk tuk drivers call out to us from the road, weaving artfully out of the way of cars and bicycles and the occasional lumbering elephant. We smile at it all, even at the touts who are trying to show us their wares. Jaipur, the capital of Rajasthan, is known as the Pink City, […]

5 years ago · 7 min read
On the road: remote India.

Inside the 4X4 everyone grows quiet as we emerge from the energetic city, into the countryside, journeying to one of our craft villages. The scenery, with its fields and mountains, sparse and empty, has lulled us into tranquillity. The lilting sound of Hindi music playing quietly on the car stereo is our soundtrack as we […]

5 years ago · 7 min read
From light to love: the importance of the moon in Indian culture.

“My wife has a good face. Round, like the moon,” Surendra says, perching on the edge of the Lille armchair’s mango wood frame, smiling warmly at the mention of his wife. “I love her like the moon.” We notice though that everyone around Surendra is smiling; our guide is nodding his head approvingly too. “That’s […]

5 years ago · 7 min read
Kites in the Pink City.

The sky is filled with kites. Hundreds of paper diamonds in every colour you can imagine. It’s a dazzling sight, compelling us to look up as we weave our way through the streets of Jaipur.

5 years ago · 7 min read
The journey begins.

Bumping around in the back of a 4×4 as we make our way from one artisan workshop to another, the incessant beeping of car horns ringing out in the slow-moving Indian traffic, Debbie smiles. “This trip is incredible,” she muses.