I am ecstatic to introduce this ‘Day With’ to you as this is hands down my favourite London interiors shops of all time! You must have heard me wax lyrical about the wonder that is Few and Far before, see older posts here and here to find out more. Priscilla Carluccio is my hero, and it is a privilege to get a glimpse into the running of this magical store. The staff of Few and Far takes us through a day when the store was being be-decked for Christmas.
The shop opens at 10am most days [12 on Sundays]. One of the first tasks of the day, after sweeping the pavements and the odd bit of dusting, is to prepare the flowers. The only flowers we ever offer are roses; the traditional kind found in an English garden, with an exquisite fragrance – not found in many shop bought flowers these days. In the summer months the flowers come from a farm in Hampshire and they look good as small hand ties or as large and extravagant bouquets.
Apart from having an ever changing stock of interesting and original products one of Priscilla Carluccio’s main philosophies behind Few And Far is that the customer should feel looked after. Not only does that involve having an excellent product knowledge to help the customer find the perfect gift or piece of furniture, but also going that extra mile to make shopping enjoyable. Any customer is welcome to a cup of coffee or tea when shopping. The coffee we make is especially delicious and most of the staff succumb to a cappuccino before the morning is out!
There are few restrictions to what we will sell in the shop. It is Priscilla’s highly personal selection – anything she has in her shop she would have in her own home. We have even sold a gypsy caravan and a 1950s Fiat 500.
As it is coming up to Christmas we have recently put our Christmas displays. At all times of year we try hard to make the shop look beautiful, but at Christmas we make a special effort. We have seventeen Christmas trees in the windows, all sprinkled with snow. We have a three and a half metre table displaying our silver and glassware, which also shows you a way to dress a contemporary Christmas table. Also we also have a little wooden shed in the shop which displays our original Christmas decorations.
Furniture is a big part of what we sell at Few And Far. We always have a wide range – from sleek contemporary pieces to more quirky pieces. We also always stock old pieces such as Georgian cupboards from England to intricate pieces from India. Designs from the Italian designer Paola Navone often strike a chord with Few And Far. She is able to marry perfectly a contemporary modern design with a quirky sense of humour while looking to the past for inspiration.
Downstairs, the shop has a very different feel. We sell clothes and toys. We have clothes from the Italian designer Daniela Gregis. Her clothes are always made from beautiful natural fabrics such as silks, wools and linens. Many items can be worn in many different ways, and customers enjoy being shown how to wear the clothes and experimenting themselves.
We also have clothes from India by Raag. These are often made from hand woven silks and cottons known as khadi and in many cases hand-stitched. Some garments take up to 75 days to complete.
Some customers come to look at the clothes with their children and they are relieved to know that next to the clothes are our toys to keep them distracted! Our toys are all tried and tested by Priscilla’s own grandchildren so we know they are all fun. We tend not to have electronic gizmos but toys that hark back to the past, many of them beautifully made from wood so that they will last and can be passed down the generations.
Today was a long day – but worth it, it is 9.30pm before we are able to make our way home.
Author: Rohini Wahi
Rohini is a London based freelance journalist and trend forecaster for the design industries. She has worked for Elle Decoration, Living Etc, Houzz and Design Sponge amongst others.
She loves a period drama and keeps a tidy home. Launched in 2007 The Beat That My Heart Skipped focuses on home inspirations, design trends, lifestyle and food – coupled with an insight into Rohini’s work and home life – from key picks at trade shows to styled weekend soirees. To contact Rohini for queries, work for hire or just to say hi drop her a line at email@example.com