Treasure from Paris...

There are many reasons why I've decided Autumn has to be my favourite season but rather than bore you with a list as long as my arm, I've got to say that one reason near the top of the list has to be because it signals the start of our buying agenda for Christmas. At this time, each year, Julia and I head to Paris to scour the flea markets, brocantes and trade shows in the search of unusual treasures for our shop, in time for our busiest season. Its also a fantastic opportunity to meet up with our long-standing suppliers - to share a drink and a chat over current trends, swapping ideas over business and the time to reassess and re-visit old haunts is always inspiring for us. This year was no exception, but only in the fact it was exceptionally good. This Autumn starts at the shop with a change in colour palette. As the pale, clear, watery colours of summer clothes give way to a richer palette and warmer textures, we're bringing out the boots, brogues, knits and coats and changing over our homeware collection to reflect that. Expect some twinkly lights, copper lanterns and lamps from Belgium and France, cushions and throws in bonfire colours, new candles and scent and some incredibly beautiful antique pots and bowls from Asia. As the new season gets underway with our clothing collections arriving weekly, and whilst we gradually turn over the shop to cosiness and candlelight we're embracing this Indian summer we seem to be having and aiming to stay in this glorious moment...

Tom Homewood at FLINT

So this month saw the opening of our latest exhibition by a true local treasure who continues to go from strength to strength, artist Tom Homewood. After months of meticulous preparation on his part and anticipation on behalf of us and our customers, he didn't disappoint. In fact, it's fair to say that in our eyes, this latest collection - Coast and Country - is his best yet. We've been happily showing Tom's work for a few years now. His work has taken us from the whimiscal sketches of his beloved dogs, the acutely observed drawings of everyday folk doing everyday things and the majestic landscapes of the local places that he holds dear but this show reached out further, to the coastline of Sussex that many of us know and love. This show struck a chord with all who relish those Sunday walks down along the river to Cuckmere Haven, to Newhaven, Birling Gap, Hope Cove and day trips to Hastings to see the fishing boats and the nets out to dry. Tom has always loved the modest 'folk art' approach of some of the Cornish artists - the heavy mark making on rough board, the immediacy and the un-preciousness of it all and he's captured this freedom so perfectly that you just know they've been done on the spot, sitting on the beach looking at the waves. They're incredibly evocative. After another hugely successful start to the show, he went back to the studio to replenish our stocks and we are now proudly exhibiting some beautiful new drawings, more pared down in style, abstract even. Come and have a look and breathe in some sea air... Please contact us for more information, or for images - we are happy to email them to you if you can't visit us in person but will also be adding new pictures to our website in the coming days. Please keep checking here

The Perfumes of Jardin D'Ecrivains

My current obsession is a perfume by a woman inspired by her love of gardens and literature. Anais Biguine took her passion for literature to a new level when she created her company, Jardin D'Ecrivains - literally translated as the garden of writers. Her collection of five fragrances, George, Wilde, Orlando, Gigi and a cologne called La Dame aux Camellias, are as unusual as they are beautiful and having tested all of them, Wilde wins hands down - at the moment... The thing is, each one is so different from the next, and like most perfumes, appeal at different times according to your mood however, the really wonderful thing about these fragrances is the back story, the story behind each blend. That's what makes the decision so difficult. Since I'm interested in Virginia Woolf, Orlando definitely influences my choice but how can I not been drawn in by this complex perfume of such contrasts? I feel this clever composition mirrors the adrogynous character in the novel perfectly. The top notes are fresh and spicy at first, but the citrus top notes dry down to a totally different warm, incense base. It's completely unusual and very intruiging...

If you're after something a bit more floral, Gigi with its blend of neroli, tuberose, jasmine and blackcurrant is feminine yet strong, just like Colette's mischievous young heroine.

La Dame aux Camelias is perhaps the most sophisticated of all five fragrances not least because of its fabulous vintage inspired bottle. This beautiful cologne is designed to be worn at night and is a seductive blend of fresh, crisp top notes, with a floral and musky base. It perfectly captures the image of this elegant lady Marie, allegedly the most elegant woman in Paris at the time, leaving a cloud of this fragrance behind her wherever she went...

Alongside these perfumes are a range of beautiful candles. My favourite of these is Le Jardin de Blixen, whose house and garden is in Nairobi, Kenya. Visitors can wander round the grounds and savour the exotic plants and flowers she planted there. This fragrance takes me right back to the heat and the dust, mingled with the scent of the luscious green lawn and flower borders! Click here to visit the website...

Two sublime bath products are also available, based on the New York society novelist, Edith Wharton. The bath milk is a dream to use - spoon some into a warm bath for super soft skin. The scent is just incredible and completely addictive.

Jardin D'Ecrivains speaks to us of literary giants throughout history who still have the power to capture our imagination. Anais Biguine has sought out every last detail so that she too, can tell a beautiful story, through scent.

Call in to experience the range in person or check out our range online here...

Exciting new skincare brand, AS.AP Apothecary

I have been excitedly anticipating the launch of the Sussex based AS.AP Apothecary for many months, watching and waiting with baited breath as the brand has developed and blossomed into a collection of skincare to truly covet. I've been savouring the scents and sampling the balms and oils that the talented herbalist and homeopath, Amanda Saurin has formulated into an elegant and pure, 100% natural range of exquisite skincare products. Amanda uses an ancient method of distilling, in the way of a traditional apothecary, which enables her to capture the very essence of the plants. This way of working means that only small batches of product are made at any time, in fact she has labelled each item with a batch number but it's this attention to detail, this integrity and provenance that makes this skincare collection really special. There is a range of three face creams, some lip balms, some divinely scented body balms, a range of 'first aid' balms and a beautiful cleansing oil which will change the way you clean your skin forever...

We are lucky to be the first to stock the range which has already started to cause a bit of a stir and the beginnings of what will no doubtedly be a very loyal following. A selection of products are now available to purchase via our online store, but do call in to sample them in person.

Easter Opening Hours

Wishing all our customers a very happy Easter holiday. We are closed on Good Friday and Bank Holiday Monday, but are open for business as usual on Saturday 10am - 6pm.

Sourcing Shawls in Oman

My latest travels took me to Oman in the Middle East. This area has always held a deep fascination for me but this was my first visit to Oman and I was keen to explore and learn its history firsthand. We discovered a country full of contrasts - silent, deep Wadis whose streams have carved dramatic deep sided valleys over centuries, the rugged coastline of the Arabian Sea and its white sandy beaches that are home to nesting turtles and of course the saffron coloured dunes of the desert that stretch for miles and miles.
And as mind-blowing as the landscape is, I was completely bowled over by the hospitality of the local people. The Omani's are very gracious and proud but above all, they are welcoming and friendly and although we felt a million miles away, we were made to feel right at home. As ever, I was on a mission to find treasure. Muttrah Souk in the heart of Muscat is where it's at. Frankincence burned at every turn and the scent hung in the air, infusing everything with perfume.
I met a lovely man from Kashmir whose family business has been weaving and embroidering shawls for many generations. His family photo album was a treat and I poured over the incredible snaps of his grandfather working away on the loom. These cashmere shawls are of exquisite quality and so some hard bargaining was in order but I'm happy with my hoard and now I'm offering them to you. A unique piece of craftwork, from a centuries old tradition, to wear your own way. A selection of shawls in many different colours are now in store, a few of which are available online. Click here to see our selection

Mothers Day Flowers at FLINT

Spring flowers are like a breath of fresh air. Today the shop was filled with the sweet scent of the new season. Narcissus, hyacinth, ranunculus, tulips and roses bring a promise of the lighter days ahead and we filled our vases, bottles, pots and urns to the brim. Julia has been busy taking orders for Mother's Day this week and comes back from the market everyday with armfuls of blooms that look amazing just simply plonked in a vase, straight out of their wrappings... Of course, we do make lovely handtied posies and arrangements too, but they're put together in a very naturalistic way, as if you'd gathered them yourself. That's the way we like it. We let the beauty of the flowers speak for themselves. Call in over the next few weeks to see what we have on offer.. Or call us now to place your order for a Mothers Day posy. You can check out our flower portfolio to get a feel for what we do, by clicking here