Obscure Objects of Desire

Pots which grow with your plant

I love these expanding flower pots developed by Studio Ayaskan on show recently at the Cockpit Arts open studio in Holborn, London.   The expanding origami planters will grow with your plant by simply adding soil. No need to uproot your plant, get messy or your hands dirty.  Besides their practicality, they look stunning too!  They are not on sale yet, but register your interest by joining Studio Ayaskan’s mailing list.

A plant pot that grows with the plant by simply adding soil

A plant pot that grows with the plant by simply adding soil.

Kale and poached eggs at Brewtown.

My top three places for brunch in Sydney

With extortionate wine prices at most Sydney’s restaurants (made worst by a weak British pound), brunch seems the perfect choice when in Australia.    Almost all casual restaurants and coffee places offer an all-day breakfast and brunch menu.  Perfect for all lifestyles.  Below are three of my favourite ones.

Smoked trout salad at Toby's Estate

Smoked trout salad at Toby’s Estate in Chippendale, Sydney.

Toby’s Estate prides itself to offer amazingly freshly brewed coffee at 32-36 City Road, Chippendale NSW 2008.  They are well known for their coffee roasting techniques and serve coffee from Toby’s farm in Panama.  Together with the best coffee, they offer a fine brunch menu.  I loved their smoked trout salad

Avocado toast with kale

Avocado on sourdough bread with toasted kale and poached egg served at Paddock in Surrey Hills.

Paddock on Crown (@paddockoncrown) is another of my favourite breakfast spots.   Not only do they have wifi, (far less common in Sydney then you would expect) it’s just great sitting on their small terrace on Crown Street and watch passers-by.  I am a huge fan of their kale and avocado toast with eggs.  Find Paddock on 509 Crown St, Surry Hills NSW 2010.


Kale and poached eggs at Brewtown.

Brunch with kale and poached eggs at Brewtown in Newtown.

Another fun area to head for brunch in Sydney is Newtown.  I love the village-like atmosphere and some of the shops there.  My favourite place to hang out in Newtown is Brewtown on 6-8 O’Connell Street, Newtown, NSW 2042.

Martina Bohn-in-Buenos Aires
My Style

Mixing turquoise and orange

Martina Bohn-in-Buenos Aires

Martina wearing orange and turquoise in Buenos Aires

Wearing one of my favourite colour combinations, orange and turquoise.  In orange, jacket by Japanese designer, Issey Miyake, shoes are by Melissa, an amazing Brazilian brand creating plastic shoes that are 100% recyclable, and the bag is made from recycled sailcloth by British label Terracotta Row.   Necklace by Australian accessories brand Elk.

In turquoise, bag by Canadian vegan brand Matt and Nat and handmade beret by Martina Bohn.  Dress in grey and black by Australian designer Alicia Hollen and sunglasses by British designer DavidDavid made for Linda Farrow.

Camille Walala designed the Clerkenwell design store

Spotlight on Exmouth Market, London

Exmouth Market in London is one of my favourite place to hang out for a lazy lunch and to browse some great independent design shops.  For food, stop at Caravan which always draws a hip crowd, or if the queue is manageable, head to the tiny Morito at 32 Exmouth Market for some great tapas.

Avocado toast with chillies

Caravan offers a great brunch selection, I love their avocado toast with chillies.

It’s always a pleasure exploring the small independent shops around Exmouth Market.  One of my favourites is Bagman and Robin at 47 Exmouth Market, EC1R 4QL where you can shop for beautiful bags and accessories made from leather and fabrics such as vintage Kimono material.

Bags designed by Bagman and Robin

Bagman and Robin are crafting their London designed bags in Exmouth Market.

Bagman and Robin wallets

Bagman and Robin use vintage kimono fabric to create these stylish wallets.










A few minutes away from Exmouth Market, is the fabulous concept store Clerkenwell London at 155 Farringdon Road, EC1R 3AD, watch out for ceramics by Katie Brinsley or jewellery by Eleanor Bolton.   I love it that they get other artists to transform their store, most notable Graphic Designer Camille Walala has added her touch to the Clerkenwell design store.   Close by Exmouth Market, you find another great British design duo, Wallace and Sewell, located at 24 Lloyd Baker Street, London, WC1X 9AZ.  Their studio is just at the corner of Amwell Street, a beautiful London street with the occasional pop-up shop.  Wallace and Sewell create colourful scarves and other textiles to enrich your home.

While you’re in the neighbourhood visit Craft Central. This designer studio complex usually has pop-up shops at 33-35 St John’s Square and 21 Clerkenwell Green, showcasing different British independent designer-makers each week.

Find out more about some of my favourite shops in London in my guidebook on designer-makers, which was published by Airbnb today.