Clifton Nurseries, feathered headbands and Van Cleef & Arpels

Clifton Nurseries, with its tiny hidden entrance

Clifton Nurseries, with its tiny hidden entrance

We don’t really ‘do’ fine jewellery here on TWR, mostly because, y’know, it’s pricey, and if we did have the cash to spend on sparkly things, I’m not sure J and and I wouldn’t prefer to opt for another pair of metallic Grenson brogues and then spend the balance on full price, this season Marni…

But i recently met the irresistible Joan Rolls, PR for fine jeweller Van Cleef & Arpels, who encouraged me to take a closer look at the brand at the press day, held at Clifton Nurseries. Now, I would go to practically anything held at Clifton Nurseries, in Maida Vale, JUST to visit. It’s a small piece of stylish garden-heaven in an urban setting and is apparently the oldest garden centre in London.

clifton nurseriesVan Cleef & Arpels had made the main glass house look like my idea of a perfect spring garden, all mossy edges and flowering spring bulbs making the air smell divine. Interspersed with the fragrant flowers were highlights from the 2015 range, sparkling in the spring sunshine. I don’t normally go to press days where there’s security on the door, but the collective value of all the jewellery on show must have been enough even to make an oligarch nervous.

Van Cleef & Arpells Charms Extraordinaire Desir and Amour watches- hand painted enamel and jewel exquisitness

Van Cleef & Arpels Charms Extraordinaire Desir and Amour watches- hand painted enamel and jewel exquisiteness

clifton and van cleef

Van Cleef & Arpels Alhambra necklace in carnelian

Although the dazzling diamonds and precious stone designs were gorgeous, i was more drawn to the simplicity of the Alhambra necklace, with its sweet clover leaf shape stone, which comes in mother-of-pearl, carnelian, tiger’s eye or onyx stone. Or, of course, sparkly diamonds if that’s more your thing.

Now a word on Joan herself, always beautifully turned out and who gamely allowed me to photograph her amongst the daffs. She grew up in Fiji, where wearing flowers in your hair is a daily expectation rather than a style statement. Unwilling to break the habit, she now wears artfully sculptured feather headbands, which she makes herself. I think they’re rather lovely. her dress, btw, is by Amelia Wickstead.

joan-rolls-daffsFor those of us who can’t -or don’t want to- invest in top end jewels, I can definitely recommend you try the Van Cleef & Arpels fragrance First, which comes in at a more accessible price point (around £48) than the jewellery. The perfume was created in the 70s, so it’s bang on trend, in terms of this season’s fashion and is was the first fragrance created by a fine jewellery brand.

It’s actually gorgeous, richly floral (no pun intended) with lovely tuberose and amber notes prevailing. I’ve been wearing it recently and it always gets a good comment or two, I feel a touch Joan-Collins-glamerous when wearing it and it’s very long lasting. Just like the jewellery, I guess.

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