The Best Faux Flowers:Part 1

Until fairly recently, faux flowers were a no-no. They were tacky, brash and (for me at least) had a distinct sense of graveyards about them (all those drooping synthetic roses in rusting urns….) But no more! With the design of realistic-looking blooms over recent years, you can now fill your home with the sorts of flowers that would usually cost a week’s salary and wither after a day or two. Hurrah! But where to buy? Because while there might be some tempting options out there, the ones that remind you of your granny are still in plentiful supply (I’m looking at you, Poundland). Don’t get me wrong; I’m usually all for granny chic (give me a Dot Cotton ensemble any day) but with flowers – nope.  Definitely not.
Anyway, the search is over! In my never-ending mission for the loveliest of lovely things, I’ve done the, er, ‘hard work’ for you.  This is the first in a series of three posts on where to buy the best…
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First up, Abigail Ahern. Yes, these are on the pricey side, but you’re paying for quality. The way I see it, I can happily spend £25 on a night out at Pizza Express (I know, right? Rock ‘n’ roll) but I balk at the thought of spending the same amount on something that’s going to last a lot longer, make my home look better, and have a much lesser impact on my waistline. Logic, anyone?

There’s a little Abigail Ahern shop nestled between Habitat and Heals on Tottenham Court Road. Upon investigation I discovered this is the only completely faux florist in the whole of London. Given that I walk past every day on my way to work this knowledge does not bode well for my finances.

After months of wandering by, it was only last week that I actually noticed this little gem. Admittedly this may be because it’s located near a chocolate shop.

The flowers looked so real that at first I honestly believed they were.  I had to get up close to tell. I even rubbed a couple of the petals and was reliably informed by a lady who I think was Abigail’s sister Gemma (who runs the store), that these are ‘real-touch’. And yes, they actually felt like genuine petals. (You can see these in the lower left-hand corner in the image below – the raspberry pink roses).

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The choice was overwhelming and the interior of the store was a cave-like haven in central London; darkly lit and filled with artificial blooms of every type from exotic cacti to simple daisies.  There was even a little spot to sit and relax whilst you considered your purchases.  This kind of approach certainly puts the ‘luxe’ into luxury shopping and makes the entire process feel like a treat. If you half-closed your eyes and wished away the other customers you could almost convince yourself you were in your living room surrounded by flowers from adoring fans… I didn’t do this. Obviously.  Shall we move swiftly on?

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The large peonies in the photo above were £11.00 each and the smaller flowers were £5.50 each. You can see my experimentation on the left. I bought the glass vase from Habitat next door (a bargain at £18) and brought it back to see how it looked stuffed with blooms. I love the life-like effect of these flowers, and the neutral colour means they’d go well with any style of decor.

The store really is worth a visit next time you’re knocking around the area.  It’s right opposite the Goodge Street Station bus stop which is served by the 73, 390, 24, 14, 10, 29 and 134. That’s practically all the buses in London.  You have no excuse! Obviously you can also hop on the tube to Goodge Street.

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If you want to take a closer look from further afield check out the Abigail Ahern website, where most of the flowers mentioned above are available to buy.  In my opinion these are definitely worth the investment.

Er, by the way, I realise this post is so enthusiastic it’s starting to sound sponsored.  Can I just clarify that it reflects only my mad passion for all things interiors-related and I have no relationship with Abigail.  Hahaha! I WISH!

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