Thursday, 25 August 2016

Notting Hill Carnival

Notting Hill Carnival is an annual event which takes place every August, with this year marking its 50th anniversary. The event was born out of the indoor carnivals that came to London in 1959 which were used to celebrate the culture of the Caribbean immigrants who arrived in the UK after the war, the first of which took place at St. Pancras Town Hall and was televised by the BBC.

These events eventually grew and spilled out into the streets of London, becoming a celebration for all nationalities, until musician Russ Henderson and his steel band were invited to perform at the 1966 carnival, culminating in the band leading a spontaneous march through the streets of Notting Hill with crowds of people following, thus inspiring the carnival we know today. The carnival has now become the largest street festival in Europe where people from all over come together and celebrate what is Londons now hugely multicultural society.

Notting Hill Carnival 2016 is a free event and will take place on August 28th to August 29th from 10am-8.30pm. We think it's the perfect way to celebrate the bank holiday weekend and soak up the last of the Summer.

With the carnival spirit running through us, we took a look around Alfies for some flamboyant pieces.

Beaded necklace. Offered by Tony Durante

Floral design hand fan. Offered by Eclectic Antiques & Contemporary
Beaded necklace. Offered by Tony Durante
Feathered headpiece. Offered by Eclectic Antiques & Contemporary

Embroidered waistcoat. Offered by June Victor

Friday, 19 August 2016

Birthstone of August: Peridot

The peridot is a lustrous yellowish-green gem that is not as commonly worn as some other birthstones. For this reason, many people are curious about this underated gemstone when they begin a search for peridot gifts, for those born in August. 

In ancient times, Egypt was the primary source of the peridot, called the ‘Gem of the Sun.' The Egyptians were extremely fascinated with the stone, and they were made into Talisman to ward off evil. Interestingly, the gemstones worn by Queen Cleopatra were not emeralds as it was widely believed, but actually the peridot.

While all peridots are green, it is found in different shades spanning from pale green, olive-green to even bright lime. The most expensive Peridots are sparkling lime-green without brown or yellow hues.  

Below are our top peridot picks at Alfies...

1940s 14k gold ring, available from Pars Jewellery
9kt yellow gold ring, c1960s, available from Pars Jewellery
Peridot & diamond 18kt gold ring, c1920s, offered by Naneen Brooks
Russian 14k gold ring and earring set, with peridot, blue topaz and amethyst, c1960s, available from Pars Jewellery
9kt gold peridot & amethyst pendant, c1920s, available from Naneen Brooks

Thursday, 11 August 2016

‪‎Afternoon Tea Week‬

Did you know that this week is ‪‎afternoon tea week‬? What better excuse for a scone! From 8 - 14 August, people throughout the UK will be celebrating one of the nation's favourite pastimes. Afternoon tea was first introduced in England by Anna, the seventh Duchess of Bedford, in 1840. As the Duchess served dinner late, around 8pm, she would become hungry in the afternoon and began to take tea and a light snack around 4pm, to fill the gap between lunch and dinner. It was when she started to invite friends to join her, that this became a trend in fashionable households.

The Roof Top Kitchen at Alfies serves a fantastic afternoon tea, which consists of a selection of sandwich fingers, cakes, scones, clotted cream and homemade jam, plus a pot of tea of your choice. The roof top terrace couldn't be more pleasant spot to enjoy this in the summer months.

Scones and cakes from the Roof Top Kitchen

The Roof Top Kitchen terrace

To celebrate this week long celebration of tea, we're launching a competition to win a decadent Champagne Afternoon Tea for two at the luxurious Landmark Hotel, London, based just around the corner from Alfies. See our Facebook page for details on how to enter.

Alfies has a whole host of wonderful antique and vintage tea ware, from cups and saucers, to teapots, strainers and cake stands. Here are a few of our favourites:

Antique silver cake stand, c1910. From Goldsmith & Perris

Antique silver serving tongs. From Goldsmith & Perris

Antique silver tea strainer. From Goldsmith & Perris

Antique silver sugar spoon. From Goldsmith & Perris

Hulkin & Heath antique silver teapot, 1890. From Goldsmith & Perris
Conran 'Nature Study' stylecraft saucer, 1950s. From Robinson Antiques

Conran 'Nature Study' stylecraft cup and saucer, 1950s. From Robinson Antiques

Jadeite milk jug and matching cup and saucer, more available. From Robinson Antiques
A selection of teacups available from Beth

Vintage reproduction of  a Wedgewood early Victorian tea set. From W & L Antiques

Friday, 5 August 2016

Summer Olympics: Rio 2016

The games of the XXXI Olympiad were awarded to Rio in 2009, which will be the first South American city to ever host the summer games. The Olympic games kick off today and will run until 21 August. 306 gold medals will be given to athletes competing in more than 40 events.

Keeping the Olympics in mind, we took a look around Alfies and came across a selection of sporty themed items.

Bronze & marble 1940s statue of a basketball player, Commonwealth Games, offered by Good Time Antiques

1960s Sabre by Leon Paul, offered by John Cserny

1960s Slazenger racket, offeed by Paola & Iaia - The Originals

1950s Sports themed jigsaw puzzle, by Waddington, offered by Paola & Iaia - The Originals 

English Sports and Pastimes, 1949, by Christina Hole, offered by Paola & Iaia - The Originals

1930s print "The Volleyers" by H. M. Bateman, from Moe Heidarieh

Victorian cyclist print, offered by Moe Heidarieh

Golf Ball match striker with silver rim and golf sticks, offered by Goldsmith & Perris

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