Simms' City: From design festivals to dinosaurs


Our diarist Freya Simms shows us around her favourite London haunts…

Made.com ninthfloor showroom launch

The London Design festival was fizzing with activity and creative talent once again, and fittingly, online furniture retailer Made.com chose to launch their physical showroom at the height of it.

Situated on the 9th floor of a 1970s tower block in Notting Hill Gate, the design eschews the typical format of a showroom or ‘shop’ and instead explores the relationship between online and offline by  creating a physical and interactive version of Made.com’s website.

The launch rather cleverly took the form a debate on how the website has changed forever hosted by Brent Hoberman and the founders of Made.com. 

Speaking on the panel were design gurus Sir John Sorrell (London Design Festival), Sebastian Conran (designer) and Made.com’s creative director Chloe Macintosh. It gave a fascinating insight into the industry and was a very enjoyable event with fun people including the ever glamorous Allegra Hicks (designer), all attended to view the showroom and engage in a panel discussion about how the internet has changed the design world forever.

Allegra Hicks and friend at made.com showroom launch

Allegra Hicks and friend at made.com showroom launch

Don’t look now or you’ll be petrified  – the Atlas Medusa unveiled at Dale Rogers Ammonite

An extraordinary feat of nature, The Atlas Medusa is a 90 million year old seabed containing hundreds of perfectly preserved ammonites.

With over 25 different species included and at four meters by two meters in size, it’s Dale Roger’s most ambitious project to date.

This natural masterpiece weighs in at a colossal two tons and is by the far the most impressive work in terms of sheer scale that Dale Rogers and the team have ever encountered. Originally discovered in the Atlas Mountains five years ago, this miraculous find has undergone a three year excavation and preparation period and is finally ready to be unveiled at Dale Rogers Ammonite gallery. 

The gallery was heaving and all were agog as the Dale pulled back the cover to reveal this stunning piece. Guests left very happy indeed with a treat of a goody bag – inside each was a real ammonite as well as a chocolate one, some wonderful postcards of the piece and an amethyst keyring.

Dale Rogers unveils his latest display at the Ammonite Gallery

Dale Rogers unveils his latest display at the Ammonite Gallery

Ex 1744

Last night the little known, but very proactive Ex 1744 club met at Linley’s gorgeous showroom in Pimlico Road.

Ex 1744 is the brain child of Alex Reece and Sasha Weld-Forrester – a club made up of past employees of Sothebys. These entrepreneurial bods and range from stars of The Antiques Roadshow and those who have set up their own auction houses, to the creator of valuemystuff.com who pitched his winning idea to BBC2’s dragons.

It was lovely to catch up with old friends and as well as an excellent place for a gossip provides a genuine opportunity for networking.

Linley’s gorgeous showroom in Pimlico Road

Linley’s gorgeous showroom in Pimlico Road

Now I need to head off for a night of sparkling white for oenophiles and magpies alike at HSBC’s event into investments of passion –  the Rock and the Vine at Philip Mould Gallery

Freya Simms is managing director of Gong Muse a Strategic Communications agency for the art and luxury markets and winner of PRCA Agency Campaign of the year 2011.