Thursday, 17 November 2011 5:08 PM
By Phil Scullion Follow @PhilScullion
It's official. Christmas has started.
The inaugural Ideal Home Show at Christmas opened on Wednesday with a marching band, Laurence Llewelyn Bowen (I'm not typing all that again so he'll be LLB henceforth), celebrity chef Gino D'Acampo and TV presenter Gizzi Erskine.
Some seasonal – but sadly fake – snow drifted down as the celebs cut the ribbon and the baying hordes were ushered in from the cold.
Baying hordes might be a bit much, but I am pretty sure I saw a lady hammering on the glass doors outside Earls Court Arena. I guess that happens when you combine Gino D'Acampo, an arena full of Christmas cheer and a marching band. It's just too much for some people on a chilly day in November.
So onwards and into the snow. A white carpet stretches out across Earls Court making it actually feel quite Christmassy (which was probably the aim).
It was quite toasty inside, which is a shame as it would have added a bit more authenticity if everyone had been freezing and wearing gloves. I suppose you can only go so far in the quest for an indoor white Christmas.
Mind you a great big Christmas tree will make up for most things:
The first stall I visited (picked at utter random like the consummate professional I am) was one showing off some pretty great looking pods for the garden:
Made by Ornate Garden, the spherical pods rotate 360 degrees so you can avoid the inevitable wind and rain that constitutes a British summer. Not that Christmassy, but they are pretty cool. Although I guess they'd have to be at £6,495!
If you are after a more Yuletide-themed outside space, the Breeze House Collection are showcasing a new smaller hut, which is rather welcoming:
At this point I thought I’d best leave the garden section and seeing as it is almost Christmas I thought the thing to look at would be some chairs.
Actually, the chair I found was great. Marcus Wilkinson, who was running the Wilkinson's Jewellers stall the chair featured on, explained that the designer Lukasz Opalinski has now gone on to design rather magnificent luxury yachts. I said that I was happy with my current yacht, but I wouldn't mind one of these chairs on board:
Because I've nowhere else to put it here's a random picture of the three celebrity endorsers of the event:
That's Gino D'Acampo, Gizzi Erskine and LLB by the way, in case you weren't paying attention earlier. I had to barge a rather burly looking photographer out the way to get that snap so you best appreciate it.
As you might have noticed amateurish photography with a cheap camera is the name of the game here at AboutProperty and I make no excuses. However I feel I excelled myself with this rather terrible picture of what actually looked like a rather nice room design from Lombok:
Warm looking eh? The next stall to catch my eye featured the Queen, a bright pink stamp and sofa. Apparently Alan Carr has one of these stamp rugs from Tulip Interiors on his TV show Chatty Man:
Stumbling away with my eyes still slightly dazed from all the pink I nearly wandered into a rather smart looking chap collecting for The Soldiers' Charity, which the Ideal Home Show at Christmas is supporting:
Now as I suggested earlier I am always the consummate professional. I only ate four pastries in the press room and definitely did not just walk around the show like a headless chicken looking confused.
However even someone such as myself occasionally slips up and alas my error was not charging the battery on that cheap camera I mentioned earlier. Oops...
That meant the poor fellow from Tara Crystal Lighting was left disappointed as I pressed lots of buttons and tried to work out why the camera screen had gone black when attempting to photograph the assorted crystal chandeliers he had on display.
You definitely already know what a chandelier looks like, but do check out www.taracrystalchandeliers.com. They've got some good ones.
I don't actually really know the crystal chandelier market too well ('really?!' I hear you exclaim), but the bloke on the stall was friendly and I feel a bit bad I couldn't take a picture so you can have this as a recommendation, endorsement and guarantee that the chandeliers he sells are great.
You'll be pleased to know I'll be back on Friday and will most likely update you again on my adventures. If you see me there looking a little lost then do come over and say hello, or merry Christmas. If you have mince pies that'll be even better.
The Ideal Home Show at Christmas will be running till Sunday evening and tickets are under twenty quid.
- ideal home show