Pardon My Dreamy Nostalgia…
My first encounter with Fleur Wood came halfway through an exhilarating year of solo travels. I arrived in Sydney wide eyed in the middle of Australian winter in my dusty flip flops (following four months in Fiji) and stumbled upon the victorian-era Strand Arcade. Tucked into the hustle and bustle of the city, the arcade is home to an incredible array of boutiques and curiosities from a vintage hattery to a tea garden to a delicate chocolaterie; the stuff of time travel! This incredible space made me nostalgic for the jumbled shops of Edinburgh’s grassmarket, where every shop or item tells a story, as I explored the various levels and balconies.
Fleur Wood‘s flagship store, though it has since moved to a larger premises, was such a breath of fresh air; inspiring, quirky, detail orientated and designed with so much love – from the changing rooms concealed behind bookcases cluttered with antiques and vintage family portraits to the tiny boxes of pastel coloured popcorn being handed to each person as they entered. I perused the rails filled with lace and feminine, flowing textures with delight when I finally set eyes upon Wood’s debut publication: FOOD FASHION FRIENDS.
Cookbook, style guide and photographic tour de force, this is a gloriously indulgent celebration of the pleasures of frocking up, decking out and cooking up a storm.
Piled up high on a vintage commode, it was love at first sight. The hefty hardback is a guide to all things entertaining, encompassing delicious menus and perfect settings with a variety of themes linked to the designer’s life and loved ones. First seeing this book, and briefly flicking through it’s lovely pages filled me with longing for home and friends, yet also kindled the deep hunger for the new and unfamiliar I was living each day. Inspiration from the unparalleled freedom of travelling, which would serve as muse for evenings to come, filled with tales of spear fishing at midnight in Fiji, trekking a New Zealand glacier and walking barefoot down Santa Monica Pier.
Alas, my meagre round the world ticket baggage allowance meant a brief mental tussle over whether or not I needed clothes more than this book. As it happened, I did, and subsequently waited several months before making Wood’s entertaining bible mine at last!
When I first unwrapped the book from its austere cardboard packaging, the styling as well as the food looked so delicious and delicate that I could easily have taken a bite out of the book itself like a great hardback custard cream. Whilst perusing the detailed chapters, I was continuously tempted to lick the glossy photographs of rhubarb cake like Willy Wonka’s edible wallpaper.
My particular favourite scenarios include the “Hot House Afternoon Tea“, for ladies who lunch with a twist; drinking icy prosecco served over homemade watermelon sorbet. An outdoor winter masquerade dinner party looked equally beautiful, with glittering disco balls hanging from icy branches and a variety of delicious fondues..Fleur shows us how to create the kind of event that delights the eye and ignite the imagination in a childlike but decidedly glamorous fashion.
When I come to the end of the book I get the feeling that I have just finished a beautiful novel spanning years, with characters I feel I know, and momentarily feel bereft, which quickly turns to excitement.. I must whip up a feast at once! Fetch me 1000 balloons, one kilo of cotton wool and you shall all be invited to my extravagant soirée!!
‘Fleur Wood’s Food, Fashion, Friends is the ultimate guide to entertaining with glamour, sophistication and fun.’ – Vogue Australia
‘A stylish fairytale volume with luxe allure for grown-up girls with parties to plan.‘ – Cosmopolitan
You can purchase your own slice of Fleur Wood inspiration here.