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London Design Festival 2014

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by Joanna Sopylo-Firrisa (subscribe)
Writer by passion, administrator by profession. I check what life brings and turn it into writing.
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Last 48hrs of London Design Festival
London Design Festival, cafe, Soho, contemporary design, events in London
picture by Joanna SF
London Design Festival 2014 is coming to an end and you've just realised that you haven't had a chance to see anything? Don't worry. Here is a guide to some of its highlights.

Having last 48hrs or even less of this year's London Design Festival you need to be smart in planning what are you going to see to get as much as you can out of it. There are different strategies: visit one of the festival's districts: Brompton, Chelsea, Clerkenwell, Shoreditch, Islington or Queens Park; pick only one place and explore it to the fullest or choose a few highlights and do a quick round around the town. If you miss it now, you'll need to wait another year.

If you choose the first option, I recommend going on a tour around Victoria & Albert Museum. Within an hour, guides who know the building very well will take you on a walk showing you the best spots. Tours leave from festival's welcome desk at the Grand Entrance of the museum at 11am, 2pm and 4pm. Afterwards, to complete the walk around Brompton area you can head to luxurious Harrods and walk along the design trail on the second and third-floor Home department or go back to V&A and visit the "Disobedient Objects" exhibition. It is first time that Harrods has joined the festival and with number of global collections launches and pop-ups it is quite a treat.

If you prefer to visit only one spot, there is no better place than the festival's Design Café located in 19 Greek Street in the middle of Soho. It's based in a three storey building. Each level hides different examples of interior design. I was planning to see only the ground and first floors but climbing up the white stairs was too tempting. I don't regret it at all, as I got to see stunning examples of modern design.

London Design Festival, cafe, Soho, contemporary design, events in London
Tables, stools and chairs by Markus Friedrich Staab; picture by Joanna SF


If you want to buy a festival souvenier then head to Smug Café in Islington. It's a small place hidden in the Camden Passage 5 minutes' walk from Angel tube station. Upstairs you can buy products designed by (not only) British designers and downstairs chill out with a cup of coffee and some sweets while catching up with design magazines or festival brochures.

London Design Festival, cafe, Soho, contemporary design, events in London, Smug, Islington
Some of the products available at Cafe Smug; picture by Joanna SF


London Design Festival, cafe, Soho, contemporary design, events in London, Smug Cafe, Islington
Some of the products available in Smug Cafe in Islington; picture by Joanna SF


You can choose from among cushions designed by Donna Wilson (some of them made exclusively for Smug), plenty of useful stationery and, my favourite - a wool blanket made in Wales. Every time you use it, you'll remember to plan ahead for the next year's festival.
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Why? Because it shows the best design in the world
Where: All over London
Cost: different
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