Meeting Cressida Bell and a few things to buy from Heals

cressida 02We were invited to meet the designer Cressida Bell at Heals last week, she of the innovative cake design book we wrote about so enthusiastically here. She was trying to teach us how to do her amazing decorative designs on the tops of our small victoria sponges, but some of us struggled to resist eating the varied piles of chocolate sweet shapes (very much me) which didn’t help the pattern balance much.

Cressida, for those of you who like me fell in love with her decorative style, was as fabulous as you would hope the grand daughter of Vanessa Bell and daughter of Quentin Bell would be. She collects pen knives and brought along her favourites to demonstrate her chocolate button cutting techniques.

She’s also produced fabric designs for Heals new 1810 printed fabric collection- she decorates cakes as a side line- and she’s wearing her Trees print apron in the picture below.The 1810 collection is interesting, as well as gorgeous. In its hey-day, Heals used to be the type of store you’d go to spend time in, with a well respected art gallery, restaurant and strong connections to the Arts and Craft movement as well as top end furniture designed by artists of the day. The new team want to recreate something of this ‘destination store’ idea with the refurbishment and we’re promised all sorts of exciting new areas.

The 1810 range is the first Heals ‘buy by the metre’ fabric range for 30 years, it’s fabulous to see it back. There’s an interesting video at the bottom of the post where you can see the prints and listen to Cressida, Zandra Rhodes et al talk about their designs. The new fabric collection goes on sale -in store and online-  from March 1st.

cakes02We had a ball with the decorations-these below are a selection of the ones made, Jane’s and mine are fourth and fifth in the vaguely top row.

cakesWe had a quick wizz around Heals while we were there and it’s changed for the better already, even though the refurb is at the early stages. The ground floor looks much more exciting with a great lighting section and home decoratives area. We absolutely loved the ABC Carpets and home rug collaboration which I’m quietly coveting but you need to be swift as these are selling fast.

abc again

For those who haven’t already got Cressida’s book, then you can buy it here and you might like to keep an eye on Heals in the future, you heard it hear first.

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