london | grand designs live, excel centre

Thursday, 7 May 2015


on monday, rebekah and i headed over to custom house on the river to check out grand designs live at the excel centre. as a biiiiig, big fan of home renovation and interior decorating (and let's face it, just about every other genre of reality tv known to man) shows, you'd think i'd be right into grand designs, right? truth is - i've never, ever seen it. 

i know a ~lot of people who do, and who are fascinated by kevin mccloud (had to google that to make sure i had his name right), but it's just not a show that's ever really gripped me. why go? i hear you ask. well, after all the blog posts i read about last month's ideal home show at london olympia, i wanted to see what all the fuss was about. and i'd heard there was going to be some great food stalls there, and... well, i do love a great food stall.




we started in the interiors hall, as it seemed the logical place to start for two thirty-somethings who don't yet own houses of their own, so who aren't in a position to  update bathrooms or kitchens, et al. there, we saw some great local art and print stalls, including some awesome neon pieces and multi-textural art... i don't know anything about art, but i liked it, and that's kind of the first step, right?

when it comes to decorating my many flats and rooms over the years, i've always been more focused on the 'cutesy' and vintage and kitsch kind of styling - very 'country cottage', but there's something about the pop-art aesthetic that i really enjoy too. not sure if it would be too much in ~my personal space, but i certainly like it in ~other people's spaces.




on our way around the stalls, we were accosted by the guide dogs charity. we managed to avoid two of the sign-upper-people, but the third one caught us while we were pawing (pun) over a picture of the guide dog puppies zeb and ava, and then we got sucked into listening to the whole spiel, and i even ended up asking ~him a bunch of questions - how long does sponsorship last? (up to 24 months) is the training all charity funded? (yes, completely. no lottery or government funding is received at all) does every puppy graduate? (no!) what happens to the ones that don't? (they go on to be assistance dogs for deaf people or helper dogs for children with disabilities, or go on to forever-homes if they're just ~not right as assistance dogs). needless to say, we both signed up to sponsor a puppy. i picked zeb, rebekah picked ava. i can't wait for my monthly updates to start rolling in...

i also wanted to have a chat with the lads at the british gas stand about what they thought my chances of picking up my own one pound house from the lewisham council would be, but sadly, they were all busy talking to ~actual customers about ~actual energy efficiency in their ~actual real-life homes. instead, we visited gilchrist's old fashioned toffees and fudges for some supremely expensive pick-and-mix (pictured stash cost £7.50 - no word of a lie. £2.25/100g is easy to misjudge when you're talking about chunks of fudge and truffles that are quite dense...), before making our way out of the event, and on our way home.

all in all, we were there for under an hour. it was a ~really disappointing show, in comparison to all reports of the ideal home show, so... maybe i will hold out for that next time. or, wait until i have an ~actual home to need inspiration for, then i'm sure i'd find it much more interesting! we weren't able to find ~real food stalls (only the sweeties and a super expensive restaurant type thing, plus like... carrots at amazing-chopping-device stands!), which is kiiiinda why we went.

plus, no celebrity sightings (in our 50 mins), which is always a let down.
have you been/are you going?

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