OUR JANUARY ISSUE IS OUT. LET OUR ACTING EDITOR GABBY DEEMING TALK YOU THROUGH THE HIGHLIGHTS...
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The eagle-eyed among you may have spotted my migration from the pages of decoration to the position of acting editor while Hatta Byng spends a few months at home with her new baby. It is a rare luxury to be able to take a step back from one's 'day job' and see it objectively for a while as a component part in a bigger picture, rather than the thing around which everything else revolves. (Of course, when I return to my role, I shall resume my firm belief that the decoration pages are by far the most important in the magazine!)
I am used to dealing in the beautiful but temporary. On a decoration shoot, wallpaper goes up, only to be peeled off again hours later, precious ceramics are unwrapped and rewrapped, and specially made curtains are taken down and folded, as the little world we thoughtfully created is neatly packed and carried away in a photographer's camera. By the time the images appear in the pages of the magazine, they have long ceased to exist in the real world.
So, by contrast, how wonderful it is to explore the journey of a real bricks-and-mortar house, knowing that the rooms are alive with people and the gardens blooming before, during and long after the magazine is published. This issue is in part a lesson on how good things come to those who wait. Italian novelist Umberto Pasti fell asleep under a fig tree on the coast near Tangier and awoke knowing he had to create a garden on that very spot and entering into negotiations ofbaffling proportions. But just look at the result of his labours (from page 114). Back in London, pigment specialist Pedro da Costa Felgueiras has set the scene for a traditional Christmas in the Georgian town house he painstakingly restored after a fire (from page 92). And lovers of The River Café, you have been rewarded for your patience as it releases its first recipe book in eight years, celebrating 30 years of producing arguably the most iconic Italian food in London. We share four new recipes from page 121.
Meanwhile, the decoration team has come up with playful ideas for New Year celebrations (from page 69) and although, in real time, the glasses have long been cleared away and the floors swept, I hope the images will inspire the party spirit in you. Happy New Year!