Thursday, November 29th 5–8pm
We are looking forward to seeing you then.
November brings shorter days, darker nights and the desire to either close the binds, bring out the cookbooks, and start the search for the perfect gifts online or when the sun comes out and the sky is blue, take a walk and visit your local independent shops. This is the time to support your local shops and cafes.
Here at Sweetlime, we are celebrating three years since we opened our doors in the lovely coastal town of St Ives. As we become a little more known, we have gathered loyal repeat customers and are always happy when we are discovered by locals and tourists alike. As a thank you, we are having a little party on Thursday, November 29th between 5–8pm. Drinks will be served and goody bags will be on offer to shoppers on the day. Take advantage of our gift wrapping service. Choose your gifts, choose your wrapping preference – traditional or boho –, leave them with us and pick them up a little later. Each gift is wrapped for a small additional cost of £3,50.
This month we go Gold and Bangkok is our golden destination.
With love, Elspeth
Gold is the colour of reverence, achievement and triumph. A gold medal denotes first place. It is the colour of the winner. Confident and eye-catching, gold draws attention to the wearer. Gold holds great importance in Indian culture, as it is the symbol of the Hindu goddess Lakshmi, who is considered to be very auspicious and hence buying gold for an Indian bride will bring them good fortune.
Gold’s rich shimmer, combined with its resistance to tarnishing, have made it the metal of choice for religious buildings around the world. Many religions have chosen it as their chosen metal for religious artefacts and decoration within its churches and temples. Gold is associated with royalty as well as religion.
The Golden Buddha, is a gold statue, weighing 5,500 kilograms. It is located in the temple of Wat Traimit, Bangkok, Thailand. At one point in its history, the statue was covered with a layer of stucco and coloured glass to conceal its true value. After 200 years, during the relocation of the statue in 1955, the plaster was chipped off and the gold revealed.
Although most gold is found in Africa and the East, traces of gold have been found at the South Crofty mine, near Cambourne in Cornwall.
I think one of the most striking things about Bangkok is its contrasts and its juxtaposition of old and new. Sadly, the old is being raised to the ground as building high rises becomes the most important issue when the cost of real estate is so high. The sharp, clean and super modern architecture sits beside traditional temples. The simplicity of the new contrasts against the ornate nature of the temples and palaces of the past. On my first visit, over 25 years ago, I managed to squeeze a few tourist destinations into my business trip. I was there to work with silver suppliers, but after my work was done, I’d grab a tuk-tuk and visit the temples such as Wat Pho, home of the reclining Buddha or a crowded night market. One being completely serene and the other an assault on the senses.
I can’t talk about Bangkok without mentioning the food. I love the street food. Never afraid to try something new, I can happily eat my way around the city.
In contrast to the wonderful street food, I have a favourite restaurant, Issaya. This restaurant is partly owned by a renowned chef, Chef Kittichai, who proudly brings food from farm to table. The setting is beautiful, the interiors are exquisite and the food faultless.
I found a lovely boutique hotel, called The Cabochon. It’s hard to believe that it was only built in 2012, conceived by interior designer, Eugene Yeh, it feels like a colonial building of the 1920’s. Combining reclaimed architectural features and collected artefacts, this hotel brings together old and new. It’s like stepping back in time, but with all the modern conveniences to hand. My only criticism would be that it’s a little too dark and moody if work needs to be done. If you wish to keep your stay in Bangkok, smart, modern and efficient, then I suggest the COMO Metropolitan. For something with a modern edge, but for a keener budget, Ad Lib is great.
I am always impressed by the design and attention to detail in this city. Designers take traditional techniques and crafts and make contemporary items which can work in most western interiors. Sweetlime showcases both traditional Thai designs as well as clean and sculptural items, such as ceramic and wooden vases.
We’ve been very busy this summer at Sweetlime. Our exclusive kaftans, fluorescent beach bags, colourful scarves and jewellery have gleamed in the endless days of sunshine and been a natural magnet for beach-bound holidaymakers.Continue reading
May looks like being a busy month with bank holidays and half-term in the mix. We’ve already had a couple of beach days in St Ives and hope for many more this month. With that in mind, we’ve introduced in store our hammam towels, beach bags, festival-inspired jewellery and an exclusive range of tops, kaftans and jackets designed by Marlyn Clark. Sparked by the Frida Kahlo exhibition at the V&A next month, the colour red and Mexico had to be the sources of inspiration this month.
With love, Elspeth
Red, the colour of love, passion, festivity and danger. Red is the colour of life, blood and your heart. Traditionally, Indian, Indonesian and Chinese women marry in red. The Chinese consider red to be a sign of good luck, success and loyalty and wedding invitations are sent out in red envelopes. An Indian bride wears a red bindi or tikka to demonstrate her marital status.
The Hindu-Urdu word “Lal” means red, but is also a surname meaning precious or beloved. Crimson and scarlet dyes come from the cochineal insect, which products carminic acid. It has been used as a dye in Central and South America since the second century. The Spanish shipped tons of cochineal from Lima to Spain and it was used to dye fabrics, paint towns and colour woman’s cheeks. Today, cochineal is still used to colour food and cosmetics but is hidden under the label of E120.
I visited Mexico many years ago on the lookout for silver and textiles and to take a little time out. I’m hoping to revisit soon in search of new artefacts for Sweetlime and to take inspiration from the many arts and crafts of the country including its fabulous embroideries, folk art and metalwork.
The vibrant colours of Mexico extend to its architecture, with Luis Barragán being the country’s most famous architect. He worked alongside Le Corbusier and Louis Kahn and combined the simplicity of modernist lines with the intoxicating colours of Mexico. His home in Mexico City is now a national museum.
Of course, I can't talk about Mexico and not mention Frida Kahlo.
One of Mexico's greatest artists, Frida's life is portrayed by Salma Hayek in the 2002 movie Frida, directed by Julie Taymor. This movie is a visual feast and a wonderful insight into her life's loves and her highs and lows.
For a taste of Mexico, take a look at the beautifully presented Mexico: the cookbook by Margarita Carrillo Arronte. Over 650 delicious and authentic recipes sandwiched between paper cut-out graphics and lively photographs evoking the spirit and energy of everyday Mexican life.
Open Studios Cornwall
I first met Susie Chaikin at Open Studios Cornwall. I was thrilled to find someone with a Frida Kahlo obsession, which outshone mine. Susie is a mixed media artist, who after living and travelling in Central America for a year, started creating Frida Kahlo-inspired mosaic figures and paintings. Her love of colour and pattern translates perfectly into her work. Enter her world and see her work at Open Studios this May.
Visit Susie's studio
Celebrate everything Frida at Sweetlime. Frida has always been a Sweetlime icon, so with a nod to the forthcoming exhibition Frida Kahlo: Making Her Self Up at the V&A, we are having a little party.
Join us for an evening of Mexican music, drinks and an array of Frida inspired goodies. Goodie bag giveaway and discounts on the night.
5 – 8 pm, Friday 1st of June 2018
Sweetlime, Wills Lane, St Ives
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April doesn't always bring blue skies, but it's springtime and we hope, a change of seasons. I've chosen the colour blue and the coast as this month's source of inspiration. As the season begins in St Ives, the restaurants and shops open their doors later and longer and the town begins to buzz a little.
With love, Elspeth
I can honestly say that blue has never figured highly in my life until recently, but seaside living means it’s unavoidable and it has crept into my wardrobe and into my homewares offer at Sweetlime. I’m even wearing denim on occasions, which has always been a big “no-no” in my dress code. How things can change. Natural blues derive from four sources, azurite, lapis lazuli, cobalt and indigo.
I was fortunate enough to witness indigo-dyeing in a remote Chinese village, where one of China's minority tribes, the Dong tribe, keep this tradition alive. Jodhpur, a Rajasthani village in India, is known as the "blue city" as many of the central buildings are a beautiful shade of blue, which is a mix of indigo and whitewash. It is believed that indigo works as a natural insect repellent, which can help as a protection against termites and mosquitoes. The Tuareg nomadic people of the Sahara wear indigo-dyed robes and turbans as a sign of wealth. Blue skies can lift the spirits and blow away the blues.
I consider myself to be a city or sea person and nothing much in between, so many coastal destinations have been sources of inspiration and places of contemplation. I have fallen in love with many seaside towns and places, including Essaouira, Collioure and Pondicherry, but there have been two places which hold a special place in my heart.
I suppose it’s fitting to start with St Ives, Cornwall. My first visit to St Ives was almost five years ago. It was a fleeting visit, which became life-changing. Beautiful beaches, incredible luminosity and a creative spirit, which lured me in and I became hooked. I moved to St Ives close to three years ago and established an environment for Sweetlime to flourish.
An island, which has been a part of my life for over 30 years is Lanzarote. Its coastline is varied and dramatic. This island was a dry lunar landscape with little greenery other than cacti and the paintwork of the windows and doors of the buildings when I first visited, but now with a change of climate, it has become lush at times. The simplicity of island and the influence of architect Cesar Manrique was a big part of the island’s appeal and some villages still hold their charm and character.
The seascapes of John Greig are shown and sold in Sweetlime. Surrounded by cushions and ceramics in a homely setting, it's easy to visualise how his paintings can work in your own home. John takes his inspiration from the beaches in and around St Ives and he captures the light and sensibility of this coastline.
We are excited to present Marlyn Clark’s new Spring/Summer collection, exclusive to Sweetlime. The latest range comprises of tops, kaftans and jackets. We begin the season with more of a neutral palette, which sits well with denim or solid neutrals. Ease your way into spring with these pieces and then be a little more daring with brighter prints which will follow. All pieces are one size and have a relaxed fit, which can be styled up or down depending on how you’d like to wear them.
The "jackets" are perfect for the "in-between" season as they are not quite a jacket, but more than a cardigan. A great throw-on item, which works well with casual jeans, cropped trousers or a smarter wide leg trouser.
Marlyn will be here to introduce her collection and to help and advise on styling her designs. Be the first to see and try the new collection. Enjoy a glass of wine or a Sweetlime mojito. Goody bags to go!
See you there, Elspeth
4 – 8 pm, Friday 6th of April 2018
Sweetlime, Wills Lane, St Ives
Back from my travels and excited to share my loves; passions and sources of inspiration, I’ve decided to start a monthly newsletter. This month we begin with the bold and festive colour, orange and a couple of Spanish cities that make me what to keep going back for more.Continue reading
Sweetlime, the store, opened its doors in the seaside town of St Ives, Cornwall, in the winter of 2015. St Ives, known, not only for its breathtaking beaches, has attracted painters, sculptors and ceramists for decades, including Barbara Hepworth, Terry Frost and Patrick Heron. After a fleeting visit to St. Ives, the owner, Elspeth J. Walker, decided it would be a perfect setting to open her lifestyle store. Inspired by an unrelenting passion for wanderlust and diverse cultures, Sweetlime expresses adoration for the exotic through its unique and eclectic pieces.
The store mixes interiors, accessories, artwork and gifts. As well as designing and making jewellery, accessories and home furnishing, Elspeth sources products from around the globe. Each item has been chosen with great thought and care. Elspeth also works in collaboration with other designers to create exclusive collections, such as kaftans in the summer and knitwear in the winter. Paintings and prints from local artists complement the global offer.
A visit to Sweetlime will take you on a journey, which will inspire and uplift on even the cloudiest of days.Enjoy the journey! Continue reading