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LONDON W11 MEETS…RUTH DAVIS

We had the pleasure of chatting with Ruth Davis, artistic director and founder of All For Love. Ruth took time out of her busy schedule to talk creative vision, inspiration and her favourite London W11 pieces.

Tell us a little bit about All for Love London.

All For Love is an award-winning, young, independent London florist dedicated to producing truly beautiful flower arrangements for all occasions in the UK and abroad. Our secret ingredient is definitely love. All flowers are given with love and we love making up all our flowers! What is done in love, is always done well and this genuine passion for flowers and design comes across in both our service and our creative work and is of utmost important to us.

What inspired you to start your own business?

It was my childhood dream to become a florist and it was always my wish to have my own floristry business one day. Growing up in the beautiful Lake District, I’ve always loved nature and it’s always just been there. Flowers presented themselves as the most magical medium to create art with. Often, so many artistic pursuits have to remain a hobby, but floristry allows me to bring my love of drawing, sketching, ceramics, sculpture and design neatly into one beautiful craft.

What’s your favourite thing about your job?

I love transforming an empty space and giving it soul. Seeing the transformation of a venue is an incredible sense of instant satisfaction and achievement. I also love creating my clients’ dreams and bringing them to life for them! Taking ideas from concepts to real life creations is an amazingly rewarding process.

Where do you get inspiration for your floral designs?

I find all my inspiration in nature. Nature’s beauty is so accomplished – it is the absolute best source of inspiration for creating installations – no matter how big or small. If you stay true to the twists and turns, dips, curves and groupings of nature your designs will never be too far wrong to the eye… It’s a case of replicating its patterns and its beauty and bringing a man-made piece to life with the same energy it would  have if it had grown itself naturally.

What’s your favourite flower?

My favourite flower is our signature, large headed pink, All For Love Rose, that I named my company after! It’s an Ecuadorian rose and is the most beautiful shade of mid pink, with a very large rose head that opens out so large and beautifully. I also am a sucker for a peony any colour, but specifically I love the coral charm ones that change colour from coral to yellow as they open… magic!

What’s been your career highlight so far?

I can’t say too much… but creating flowers for various VIPs was very special!

How would you describe your personal style?

I would describe it as natural, relaxed and feminine. As a florist we are always up early in the mornings and then working inside and outside so layers are important, as is being comfortable, as I drive a van and am up and down ladders! I like to have a touch of creativity about my wardrobe and often have a splash of colour in a scarf or with my lipstick. I’m also a huge fan of over-sized earrings!

Tell us about your favourite piece from the London W11 collection and why?

I love the W11 scarf collection! I’m always drawn to a beautiful, warm, soft scarf come Autumn – there is nothing better than wrapping up in one as the weather changes and gets colder. They go with almost every outfit and are the ideal finishing touch to any October outfit!

What are your top London hotspots for eating, shopping and drinking?

I tend to always be on the move with work but when I can stop in between meetings and installs I tend to head for the Sloane Square and Chelsea area… Duke of York Square and the Kings Road have all my fave shops, lovely restaurants and bars, as well as my favourite art gallery. And of course, the beautiful riverside is always a joy, with the many bridges a feast for the eyes at dusk or dawn!

What’s your favourite travel destination? What do you need for a perfect holiday?

I used to live in France and I miss almost everything about this amazing country, so I would say France is my favourite destination. It’s not very exotic as our next door neighbour, but its food, its people, its style, its climate, its culture, everything about it is pure joy! All you need for a perfect holiday is good company and a pocketful of sunshine!

Finally, what do you like to do to relax?

I love taking my Golden Retriever, Maple, for long walks in the Lake District. It’s so beautiful at the moment up there, as all the autumn leaves are on show – the views are like works of art with all the gorgeous reds, golds and burnt orange colours. I’m happiest in the middle of nature, that’s for sure!

 

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The Five Best Art Hotels in the World

The cultural medium of art is no longer reserved for exclusive galleries, or hidden away inside collectors’ homes. Instead, the accessibility of art has grown exponentially in the modern world – both in the sense of who is making the art, and who is seeing it. As a result, art is everywhere, from the walls of a gallery to the tube stops of London. Art hotels combine this global appreciation of art with luxurious places to stay, making them coveted destinations in both the art and travel scenes. We list our top five art hotels in the world, taking you from Alpine retreats to Italian masterpieces.

 

La Colombe D’Or, Saint-Paul-de-Vence

http://www.la-colombe-dor.com/indexEN.html

 

Located atop the hilltop road leading to Saint-Paul-de-Vence and in between the hubs of Nice and Cannes, this hotel perfectly balances the rustic charm of a French family-run hotel with one of the most extraordinary art collections. The story behind the hotel is equally fascinating; during World War II, painters and liberals seeking refuge on the coast often found lodgings at La Colombe D’Or, and then paid for their board with paintings. Today, the hotel houses a compendium of works ranging from Matisse to Chagall – a collection to rival the most  prestigious galleries in the world.

 

The Dolder Hotel, Zurich

https://www.thedoldergrand.com/en/

 

When the hotel wouldn’t be out of place in a fairytale, you know you’re on to something special. The Dolder Hotel in Zurich nestles itself between Lake Zurich and the Alps, with the city only an hour away – an idyllic position. The architecture of the hotel is similarly impressive, with two wings designed by Norman Foster boasting steel, stone and tinted glass that juxtapose the turreted rest of the building. Inside, you are greeted with an 11-metre Andy Warhol piece, whilst works by artists such as Dali and Henry Moore litter the walls of the remainder of the hotel. For a getaway that is as steeped in relaxation as it is art, look no further.

 

 

 

The Exhibitionist Hotel, London

https://www.theexhibitionisthotel.com/

 

With the Natural History Museum as its neighbour, the Exhibitionist Hotel certainly lives up to its name. The open plan ground floor is filled with statement sculptures and set pieces, including a life-sized bull, a Jimmie Martin mannequin lamp and bark-crafted ballerina legs. Yet the striking entrance and its décor are not the most remarkable aspects of this hotel; instead, look for the rotating artist spaces within the rest of this South Kensington Hotel. Eight spaces have been handed over to contemporary artists for decoration on a bi-annual basis. This ever-changing boutique hotel is one to visit again and again, if just to see the latest installation.

 

 

 

Rome Cavalieri, Rome

https://romecavalieri.com/

On the periphery of the city centre, the Rome Cavalieri holds 15 acres of grounds, overlooking the city of Rome and including three pools, tennis courts and a full wooded parkland. The stark, rather brutalist architecture of the hotel is tempered by its lavish interior, which is where the Rome Cavalieri gets its luxurious reputation, gathering high society members since it opened its doors. The property is covered in a collection of over 1,000 paintings, sculptures, furnishings and antique tapestries, as well as works by Robert Indiana, Warhol and Nureyev’s ballet costumes. Overall, the claim that this hotel is one of the best art hotels in the world holds considerable worth, and is perfect for those with an appreciation of both history and fine art.

 

Hotel Arts, Barcelona

https://www.hotelartsbarcelona.com/en/

 

One of Barcelona’s original luxury hotels, Hotel Arts is located right on the seafront in the Catalan Olympic Village, with coastal views and surrounded by beach-style restaurants and bars. With a minimalist modern aesthetic and exposed glass and steel architecture, the Hotel Arts blends old-school service with sleek décor. The enormous fish-like sculpture of the Frank Gehry-designed Peix is one of the key landmarks for this hotel, but it also puts on major exhibitions throughout the year, including Picasso and Dalí, as well as more contemporary names such as Xavier Corberó. For those looking for the rare combination of art escape and beach break, Barcelona’s Hotel Arts is the answer.