As if there wasn’t enough in part one, we have a pretty full part two of our Best of Britannia report. In this one we move away from style and move into some of the diverse other brands that were showing at the event; everything from food to tea cups to books. We will start with Banjos.
I was surprised, but excited like a small child with a new toy, to find a stand with Banjos proudly displayed. The Great British Banjo Company was founded by Simon Middleton, who wanted to make premium banjos in Britain and seems to have done a fantastic job. He has also expanded the brand Shackleton (named after the great British explorer & banjo player), which makes premium jumpers, beer and other diverse items. I adore the diversity of the brand plus its logo; a Bowler Hat. I am sure we will be chatting to them again.
Whilst walking around, out of the corner of my eye I spotted some bright items of china in the shape of Tea Cups. I headed straight over and had a brief chat with Sara Smith who designed and runs the company. They are large, bright and exceptionally attractive tea cups, I can happily see myself with one at 4pm.
After the tea cups, food seemed to be the theme. I was politely accosted by an enchanting lady, who runs the Social Pantry, to try her salads, sadly I had already eaten. I must say that I neglected to catch her name, but I shall rectify that when I pop over to visit the cafe as they did look delicious. A gentleman called Mash was eating one and informed me that they were very tasty. He was manning his stand, The Bay Tree Company and The Bath Pig. The Bath Pig is Mash’s company and produces British Charcuterie, including a chorizo which was truly yummy. The Bay Tree company, which makes Chutneys, Pickles and Sauces, they are the suppliers of the National Trust’s branded goods.
After the food experience, I stumbled upon the Do Books, publishers of a number of interesting books which stem from the Do Lectures. They are inspiring and in some instances, such as the baking of Sourdough bread, truly practical. I shall be investigating more, both the books and the lectures.
I could go on for ages about all the other items I saw at the event. There was Trove, a stylish and innovative credit card wallet. The male grooming product store and stylists Carter & Bond and the indeed the very quenching drinks of Fever Tree. These, and quite a few more I have probably forgotten, made up a truly inspiring event for the promotion of ‘Grand Britannia’.
As the day wound down, I was delighted to bump into our dear friend James Marwood, and whilst waiting for him to finish his tour of the event and for us to catch up properly, I had a very interesting conversation with Container & Artomatic founder, Tim Milne. We talked all things Gentlemanly and style, along with his innovative magazine of objects.
One small issue I had was with the talks, I felt that putting them tucked away at the top of the building didn’t really bring them into the fold of the event. We shall see what happens next year, for we shall certainly be there and, you never know, we might even be exhibiting or demonstrating some of our own elements.