News & Events

  • Frank Batstone

    Dear All.

    It is with great sadness that I write to let you know that Frank Batstone died peacefully on Boxing Day.

    His Memorial Service will be at Saint Gabriel’s, Pimlico, on the 13th of January at midday.
    Enquiries should be directed to Chelsea Funeral Directors, 91 Rochestre Row, SW1.
    westminster@chelseafunerals.co.uk

    Frank was a much loved member of our community and in his retirement was often to be found looking after his wife’s shop in Holbein Place, Hilary Batstone Antiques and Interiors. His quiet charm, jovial character and gentlemanly good manners will be much missed by us all. Our deepest sympathy goes to Hilary, their daughter Rose Heyman (Rose Uniacke) and all their family.

    May I extend our deepest sympathies on behalf of all the PRA members. Mark Boyce.

  • Winter Newsletter

    Dear All.

    I had the great luck of being in London for two weeks for the run up to Christmas. Unforeseen problems detained me in town but it meant I could spend a lot more time in my favourite area of London. The Pimlico Road and the adjoining streets were decked out in all their festive glory, the windows bursting with inspirational gifts and wonderful new products. On my numerous wanderings I discovered some amazing items to wet your appetites.

    I was staying in a friend’s apartment just around the corner from Lower Sloane Street. On my doorstep was the Sloane Club perfect for a light lunch or early supper where I met some of my friends. The reception rooms were decked with their usual stunning flower arrangements and the staff were their ever charming and welcoming selves. In Tim Bent’s window, “Bentleys“, amongst many delicious grown up “toys for boys” I particularly liked his large mahogany and brass four bladed aeroplane propeller. Tucked in beside this on his stylish glass shelves were several elegant rectangular textured silver hip flasks. Perhaps more appropriate for the inside pocket of a very capacious over coat. Just right for a long winter walk. In this age of PC rectitude another echo of the past was a handsome silver cigar case with a sapphire studded clasp from the beginning of the 20th century. Large pockets again required. The most exciting object was a beautiful model of a steam speed launch with fully working engine. The hull decorated with a brown and black camouflage design.If only it was life size what fun we could have had on the river.

    Next door I popped into Potterton Books and spent far too much money on several books. Paulo Moschino’s elegant book of photographs and quotes. Many of his projects with his partner Philip are beautifully illustrated, an inspiration. Francois Catroux’s stylish book covers several decades of his superb work capturing his creativity and imagination. A wonderful new book on Cecil Beaton and his inventive and sometimes whimsical interiors is a must for those interested in the glamorous lifestyles that seem to have been lost in the 21st century. A stunning new publication on the history of “Hardwick Hall” and several other titles emptied my wallet only too quickly.

    Portuondo, run by the two charming Portuondo brothers, had a stunning garniture of two granite , white marble and porphyry obelisks with a matching column surmounted by a porphyry urn, some 3 or 4 feet high dating from the early 1800’s. In complete contrast was a sophisticated wall sculpture by the contemporary Peruvian artist Aldo Chaparro. A folded sheet of mat black enamelled metal with two corners turned over in burnished gold. Highly sophisticated and compelling in its simplicity.

    Rose Uniacke and her team always create the most elegant and un-cluttered window displays. A simple little globe of silvered metal turns into a small table lamp when the top rises to reveal a cylindrical glass shade within, concealing the bulb. In another vignette a stylish English Regency day bed with a high scrolled back and lower foot was decorated in a faux bois rosewood finish with burnished gilded detailing. A perfect foil for any contemporary interior.

    Just as I was passing Outred I saw them hanging a new purchase, a stunning set of four late 18th century feather pictures of exotic birds.

    Haynes Fine Art had a stunning painting in red and black by Sir Terry Frost, a stylish small gouache on paper abstract by Andy Warhol and a naïve sketch by Lowry.

    I am always tempted by glamorous detailing to stimulate the creative senses and in Collier Webb’s stunning window display I spotted two wonderful curtain tie backs designed by their team. They took the form of open sunflowers. One had black seeds surrounded by golden petals, the other surrounded by silver petals. Who could resist these when creating a glamorous new pair of curtains. Way down the other end of the road at Gallery 25 a huge Murano glass chandelier echoing this theme hung in David Iglesis’ window. It resembled a giant down turned sunflower, the leaves curving up to the ceiling in clear glass flecked with gold.

    Linley, for those of you have not been in lately, have completely restyled their showrooms. They are much pared back with clean white interiors with black metal shelving and bannister rails. Their beautiful furniture and accessories standout like works of art in a gallery setting.

    Joanna Wood will be relocating just around the corner in late Spring 2017 to Elizabeth Street where we wish her every success. Until then you can still buy wonderful gifts and accessories in her charming shop on the Pimlico Road. My eye was caught by a set of three almost square wall mirrors with burnished silver frames cast to look like strips of tree bark. Silver seems to be a theme here.

    Paulo Moschino for Nicholas Haslam were completely redoing their show room on the Corner of Ebury Street and Bourne Street as I passed. I popped back within less than an hour, what a transformation. A stunning deep aquamarine blue sofa with high baroque back was flanked by a pair of chests of drawers inlaid with horn and bone in a horizontal chevron pattern. Either side facing each other were two elegant cream upholstered arm chairs with brass detailed sled legs. Decorating shelves and tables were beautiful Chinese blue and white jars and vases, some very convincingly imitating 17th century wares. A wonderful pair of hexagonal blue and white porcelain garden seats almost fooled me into thinking they were period. Super stylish.

    On my way to Robert Kime’s stunning new shop I spied in John Adams‘ window a blue and pink oil painting by Andre Brasilier of Jazz Musicians in a smoky night club “La piano rouge a la Nouvelle-Orleans”. I think this may have just sold. Very atmospheric. Robert Kime had just opened with his eclectic mix of period furniture , wonderful antique textiles and porcelains with his own range of beautiful fabrics and accessories. I covet his pair of baroque armchairs upholstered in a striking multi coloured striped velvet. In the window was a very sophisticated 18th century gilt wood settee upholstered in an understated striped cotton. This would be equally at home in a grand Palladian Country House or a modern steel and glass apartment overlooking the Thames. Flanking it on a pair of side tables were two large early 18th century porcelain vases adapted as lamps. One was Japanese Imari c1700 the other Chinese Imari c1720, their similar colour palette perfectly balanced.

    Just across the road at Tomasz Starzewski a glorious winter coat in emerald green wool attracted my attention. Down one side black embroidered flowers with black beaded detailing elegantly highlighted the simple lines of the garment. Many of his new collection have embroidered and beaded detailing used sparingly but to striking effect. He is designing a wedding dress for a dear friend’s daughter, one of his classic horizontally pleated confections that are extremely flattering. He will also be making two outfits for her mother.

    Promemoria had a pair of screens either side of their entrance. They seemed to be made of lacquered metal in a deep ox blood red, they were pierced with linear geometric dodecahedron designs through which LED lights glowed from within. They looked particularly stunning as night drew in.

    Next door in Arthur Brett‘s window in contrast to their usual beautifully made reproduction furniture was an elegantly restrained modern desk. The sleek top, a simple rectangle with three shallow drawers , veneered in pale walnut resting on two black trestle A- frame legs.

    Poggenpohl Kitchens were closed for a complete refit, their window filled with a large photograph of what may be coming in in the near future. So look out for their new look in January.

    I spotted two quirky items in Humphrey Carrasco’s window , a marvellous pair of root wood grotto or garden chairs. Bleached out with age and exposure to the weather with knobbly joints. In a similar vein in Patrick Jefferson’s window were two items made from the antlers of Scottish deer. One was an umbrella or stick stand the other a side chair both as equally bleached as David’s chairs.

    Any minute now a new small restaurant will be opening at No 72 Pimlico Road. The owner / chef used to be at Olivocarne in Ebury Street. Lots of buildings are being worked on for new developments and as I write I believe someone is about to open in the old Marston and Langinger shop in Ebury Street, next door to Robert Kime. Don’t forget to walk round to Ebury Bridge Road and visit Ebury Trading if you are looking for some striking light fittings. Mark also carries a limited range of period furniture, 18th to 20th century items hidden under a veritable deluge of chandeliers, lamps and wall lights.

    Every thing changes and nothing changes. The Pimlico Road is evolving and changing all the time but the constant theme is originality, quality and great design. You cannot beat independent design companies and traders for their flair and special take on what is new and exciting in the design world. This is what is so special about the Pimlico Road and the streets that spread out from it. Come and see for yourselves.

    May 2017 be full of wonder and joy for you all.

    Regards and best wishes, Mark Boyce.

  • Travis Perkins / Newson’s Yard Update

    I am sure many of you have heard that Grosvenor have won their final , revised, Planning Application to redevelope this site and the four associated galleries on the Pimlico Road. Having originally proposed to remove 7 units and replace them with 3 mega units we at least managed to save the beautiful Carlton Hobbs showrooms and adapted the layout to 2 mega units plus one medium and one smaller unit, thus loosing 6 to get 4. Added to this we achieved the change in design to the new entry way proposal from a modern steel, wood and glass structure, which nearly everyone thought inappropriate, to a more restrained Victorian inspired façade more in keeping with its neighbours. For this we must thank the BTA, BRA, BS, English Heritage, The Victorian Society and the many local residents for their support to mitigate the worst aspects of the original proposal.

    Sadly we will loose David Humphrey and Marie-Lise Carrasco who will loose their home and their business premises. Sadly Gabriel Bernardo , of Coote Bernardo, will likewise loose his home and business premises. We are hopping they may gain a short reprise before they have to relocate, hopefully not too far away. Ochre , though only on a temporary pop up licence, have gained an extension to early April 2017. We will be sad to see them move on but hope they find new premises near by. They all express their thanks for your support in trying to save these much loved smaller galleries.

    Travis Perkins, who merged with Newson’s several years ago, and thus between them have been here for over 175 years will also have to relocate, though they will probably launch an appeal. Sadly many of those whom they employ will probably be made redundant . Stewart Drummond and his team have expressed their great thanks for what support we managed to give them. We wish them all every success .

    We must all now rally round and work closely with Grosvenor to achieve a successful redevelopment of the site. We urge all of you to come up with ideas for potential new tenants, for suggestions as to the kind of businesses you would like to add to the retail mix that is The Pimlico Road.

    The Pimlico Road has a remarkable resource of some of the worlds leading designers across numerous disciplines. This should be celebrated and shouted from the roof tops.With all the empty shops that will now appear in the area it is vital that we all make every effort to tell the world that “WE ARE STILL OPEN FOR BUSINESS”.

    God luck to you all. Regards and best wishes. Mark Boyce.