If laughter is the best medicine, then a trip to Abigail Ahern’s Islington shop should surely be handed out in apothecary bottles on the NHS. The alchemy of Abigail’s quirky and humorous take on life will bring a smile to your face and a glow to your heart. At The Foodie Bugle we are always on the look out for genuine, friendly artisans and purveyors who challnege our preconceptions of style, form and function, showing us alternative ways for decorating our homes for feasts and parties.
Dining rooms can be notoriously stuffy places, where people can often try to show off or emulate their parent’s grown up taste, or worse still, try to follow the dictates and dogma of the latest interiors’ magazines.
We have found some really wacky and delightful things in her shop that can help you “lighten up”, an imperative with a subtle double entendre she uses on her own calling cards. Her animal lights, featuring dodos, British bulldogs and whippets would look really charming on a fireplace mantelpiece.
Everything in the Atelier is hand made or designed by craftsmen who make one-off objects, the antithesis of modern day high street blandness and repetition. There are huge cadelabra and statement armchairs, some of the colours are really bold and Abigail is not afraid to mix ethnic, classical and modern all at the same time with a joyful and celebratory gusto that embraces artisanal uniqueness and artistic freedom.
The shop is situated in Upper Street, a neighbourhood that is achingly chic and prosperous, but fear not. Abigail is chatty and cheerful, she will welcome you into her aladdin’s cave without the predictable snootiness that we have come to expect from interiors shops.
( “The Foodie who?” the haughty manageress enquired, as we handed over our card, and she looked at it with the froideur of a Lady Dowager inspecting something she had trod on in the deer park).
And you can eat breakfast, lunch or have tea at Ottolenghi just across the road. “Purveyors of all things fabulous” says Abigail’s business card. Marvellous!
137 Upper Street
London N1 1QP