Pictures: Katharine Davies When the Somerset Souk officially opens this Autumn I suspect we're going to be beating its doors down. A heads up, then, on a pre-launch happening on 13 and 14 June, a house sale showcasing its unique blend of Eastern artisanal textiles, reconditioned 50s furniture and cult jewellery.
The brainchild of textile designer Frances Ronaldson and former fashion buyer Caroline Williams, the Somerset Souk celebrates exceptional craft and design with lines sourced from India, Italy, France and the US.
Frances, who has designed for Colefax & Fowler, Graham & Green and Alice Temperley as well as Ossie Clark back in the day, imports traditionally block printed textiles from Jaipur, the emphasis always on quality and design. You'll also find the most beautiful, fine cashmere bedcovers which can sell for around £1000 in high-end interiors stores but are priced at £195, exquisite patchwork quilts and soft men's pashmina shawls in fashionable greys and caramels. There are light wool dip dye scarves perfect for this time of year, embroidered kaftans for the beach, beaded sarongs and these wonderful white cutwork curtains (£45 each).
The sale will also showcase antique armchairs and chaise longues reupholstered by furniture restorer Beatrice Mae in vintage fabrics she sources from around the world. Find light kimono dressing gowns, vivid silk scarves with hand-made tassels, cushions, bags, crystal candle holders (pictured), planted earthenware jardinieres from garden designer Jane Fairclough.
Caroline imports jewellery from the Venetian designer Maria Calderara - complex strings of glass beads on silk, long strands of every colour, unusual, stand out pieces with an element of edge. This is indulgent, investment jewellery but at prices that won't break the bank. She's also selling a huge rainbow collection of friendship bracelets, ideal presents for any age, from New York designer Nicky B.
Talking to Frances and Caroline it's clear they share a passion for pure artisan craft and impeccable design. The Somerset Souk will celebrate the art of the maker and provide an opportunity to find exquisite, hand-made pieces at affordable prices. The Somerset Souk Pop Up at Old Rectory, Lovington, Somerset BA7 7PR from 11-6 Friday 13th and Saturday 14th June and 12 - 5 Sunday 15th June