I went into London last week to visit my friend Silka Rittson-Thomas at her incredible flower studio in Mayfair. Silka is formally a private art advisor and curator, but she also happens to be my very chic neighbour in the Cotswolds – every time I see her she inspires me with her obvious embrace of personal style. I first had a look at her incredible vision for flowers when she opened a little pop-up flower shop – literally inside an old tuktuk (an automated rickshaw commonly used in India) – at the local Charlbury train station. I thought it was a brilliant idea, especially around Valentine’s Day or even just on weekends. Silka’s flower-filled tuktuk made it that much easier for women to pick up something to make the house prettier or for men to bring home something lovely for their wives. I was already impressed by Silka’s bountiful creativity, her motivation to take on a whole new endeavour in addition to the success of her art world career, and the charm with which she carried it off.
Then the next thing I knew Silka had a shop on Duke Street in London! I’d seen glimpses of what she was creating there – not only fresh flower arrangements but also incredible paper flowers ones as well. I had even sent some friends bouquets from her – I didn’t dare suggest what she send, knowing her ideas would be better than mine, so I just gave her a budget and let her do her thing. One friend who received them, Justine Picardie, the editor of Harper’s Bazaar, commented that they were the prettiest flowers that had ever entered her office!
So finally last week I made it to see Silka’s shop in person, and it is so much more than just the incredible flowers. She had a show on called TulipFever, including an unbelievably beautiful array of dutch tulips arranged by German artist Nicole Wermers, displayed in antique Royal Dutch delftware tuplières, all shown alongside vintage indigo fabrics and hand-printed neckerchiefs from Howe, a textile shop on Bourne Street (instagram: howe36bournestreet). The space itself was equally compelling…..basically it’s a small corridor and a staircase – that’s it! – but with colourful old tiles on the walls and new cabinets made to match the floral pattern of the old tiles. Every detail is considered and charming, and even the workshop studio around the corner is a place in which you just instantly feel you want to hang out. It was my first visit but certainly won’t be my last.
The TukTuk Flower Studio, 73 Duke Street, London, W1K 5NP
Tel. 0207 493 5813, Email: email@example.com, Instagram: @thetuktukflowerstudio, Web: thetuktuk.net