Fjona Hill: the best places to buy statement furniture

Fjona Hill is the creative director of Hampton Manor where the glorious food is matched by the splendour of her interiors, a particularly English mix of vintage and modern. She shares with us the places to find statement pieces of furniture

Newark Antiques Fair

Newark is a treasure trove: fields and fields of antiques. It’s where I pick up a lot of my one-off pieces. I always turn up with a van and sometimes we leave with it so full that we have to tie the doors together. It’s definitely a place you have to hunt around, but in among the generic and the trashy, you can find some amazing things at a fraction of the price you’d pay a London dealer. I’ve got all kinds of things there, from a stunning period pantry cabinet to a collection of handmade crockery that I bought from a woman who had come across from France. 


Avignon Antiquités

The market in Avignon is similar in size to the Newark one and it makes for a lovely trip. It’s great for art and we’ve picked up some lovely paintings there that have that tone to them that only age can bring. It’s great for statement pieces of French furniture – a massive dining table or a lovely, aged sideboard – and they have couriers there who can organise shipping back to the UK. There’s a collection of other fairs in the region that are on at roughly the same time, which makes for a nice holiday in Provence eating, drinking and shopping.


Lassco at Brunswick House

There are lots of nice pretty towns that have a good selection of antiques shops, which are always worth a look, such as Tetbury in the Cotswolds or Matlock in the Peak District, but with all of these places you end up rifling through a lot of stuff on the hunt for that one piece. Lassco is different. It’s part of Brunswick House, which is this amazing retro-theatrical restaurant in Vauxhall right near the Thames. Everything in there is for sale, from the chandeliers to the pillows, and of course it’s more expensive than the markets but you go in knowing that everything in there will be excellent. And you can eat Jackson Boxer’s amazing food while you’re at it. 


The Makers

As well as sourcing things from antiques markets, I commission from makers and I’ve built a brilliant network of people, lots of them working with wood. Sophie Sellu of Grain and Knot (grainandknot.com) has made some beautiful objects for our new restaurant, Grace & Savour. She mostly sells online but is planning a studio you can visit in 2023. I worked on a chair with Nigel Briggs (windsorchairmaker.co.uk), who coppiced all the wood from down the road from us. He tends to work to commission, so he doesn’t have much work to show but if you get in touch with him, you can visit his studio in Nottingham. And then there’s Sarah Jerath (sarahjerath.co.uk), who makes all kinds of beautiful things out of clay – from lights to table plates. 

Fjona Hill is the creative director of luxury country escape Hampton Manor; hamptonmanor.com

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