I have, since my stint on House & Garden, too many years ago to remember, had an obsession with coordinating my gift wrapping, particularly at this festive time of year when presents lay around for a while. It is paramount that there is ascetic harmony under my tree, none of this nasty mishmash of clashing colours, patterns and baubles. I choose to blend colours so they complement each other and are soothing on the eye.
So to ensure artistic balance, I plan ahead and allow myself plenty of time for contemplation to unearth Jewell's of the wrapping world presenting a pleasing theme, and I now have a new and calming place to do my thinking at the newly elegantly restored Grosvenor Hotel in Shaftesbury, where I can sit and read, and think and eat and drink in the kind of luxury and elegance that can only inspire. The charming owners have skillfully designed this once sad looking dilapidated building into a contemporary retreat for comfort seeking visitors.
As I sat eating my Omelet Arnold Bennett and sipping a glass of crisp wine I felt ready to tackle my wrapping project and had brought with me my tools for research, Vogue, World of Interiors, and Tatler, a distinguished and suitable medley of magazines to give me a cross section of ideas.
The overriding topic I gauged from these bibles of style was a strong focus on pastels, and that I have decided will be my theme this year for my Christmas wrapping, which heartens me as I have repeatedly been drawn to pastels over the years, and when I gaze into my knitwear cupboard it does sometimes resemble a sweetshop of pastel goodies.
Finding pastel wrapping at this time year is quite a challenge as most shops are full of red, gold, green and silver wares, which is super if that is your theme, but not helpful to me. Fortunately there must be some like minded people living here as in a boutique which also sells some interesting and unique accessories I found what I was looking for, a mouthwatering selection of pastel wrapping paper and I decided I would favour a lavender and pink combination which I shall tie together with some thick velvet and silk ribbon from an enormous haberdashery shop (actually warehouse) within walking distance of home.
With that job done and another item I can cross of my list, I feel more relaxed and well on the way to Christmas harmony, only 27 more things to cross off and 13 more days to go... If you ever find yourself in the Shaftesbury area and need a boutique place to rest your weary legs visit Hotel Grosvenor.