I think if I had to choose one favourite thing at home it would be this table.

I work at it, eat off it, I rest cups of tea, G&Ts and my feet on it. My boyfriend’s kids play on it and I push it out of the way to get the sofa bed out or do a Davina DVD. This table is usually littered with laptops, placemats, post, books, mugs, records and right now, a tin of shortbread. It also has a giant ashtray which has a quote from Pierre Berge “Embrace Reality Even if it Burns You” PREACH Pierre.

This table has got history. In 1989, my mother June and my dad went to a large pine warehouse in Stratford-upon-Avon. June says you couldn’t move for pine furniture in the late 80s and they wanted a table and chairs for the kitchen. As they were paying my sister went over to a little coffee table and sat on it. June says this is because she hated walking and would sit on anything but my mother wanted to stop us drawing all over the Habitat dining table and new carpet so she bought it. She had planned to put a cloth over it but never quite got round to it so play dough, paint, and fuzzy felts were all crushed into the wood.

The table moved house with us and had a tartan cloth thrown over it to “tart it up a bit.” It became a homework table, somewhere to put the ironing and rest a stolen beer from downstairs on. It has had just about every drink you can imagine spilled on it and been biroed and crayolaed within an inch of it’s life. The table was eventually donated to me as something to eat my tea on when I moved into somewhere unfurnished. It was still covered in the same old scribbles my little brother put there twenty years ago. Everything had been thrown at it but it stood solid and proud against it all.

It was whilst I was looking for a sideboard on eBay (which no doubt we’ll come on to later) that I met Seb. Seb owns Cocoon Furniture who renovate old and pre loved pieces and believe “noble but weary furniture deserves a second chance.” Typically they do beautiful vintage restorations so when I told him I wanted it pink on top with orange legs he was surprised but absolutely up for it.

One of the things I remember most about playing and doddling on the table was a small groove on the surface. It’s a flaw in the wood that wasn’t sanded off and it was irresistible to stroke or rub a pencil into. To honour the table’s long fought battle to survive, I asked Seb not to fill it in. It’s still there to slide my finger across and make me feel 6 years old again. I think having things in your home which are covered in childhood history or memories of brilliant times is so important, even if they sit hidden under pink paint.

xxox

Oh well hi there! Welcome to The Museum of Sarah. Pop yourself on an ornate cushion, help yourself to tea and take a little look around.

The Museum is a showcase of gorgeous things, clothing, homewares and miscellaneous items that have caught my eye, curated for you to delve into. Always colourful and occasionally garnish, these bits and bobs are accompanied by stories of how they came into my possession or why I wish they would.

There are also my own articles, words and general musings for a bit of light reading while you’re here.

I have wanted to do a blog like this for so long, to create a place for all the things I love. Some I already own and others are things I’ve seen or found which made me squeal so I have to tell you about them.

A few months ago my friend Tess came round to my flat. She hadn’t been here since I moved in so was having a good look at my shelves full of knick knacks, teacups, flamingo glasses and elaborate footwear. “It’s like The Museum of Sarah!” she exclaimed whilst fingering a gold pineapple trinket pot. I declared that evening, after several Disaronnos, that I would create The Museum and I am delighted that here we are in it.

I have always loved big colours. My style is somewhere between a summer fete, Skittles and Dame Edna. When I was 15 I painted all the furniture in my bedroom powder blue and wrote song lyrics all over them in black marker pen. It didn’t look great but it made me VERY happy.

Ever since then I have refused to believe things need to be cream, pine or neutral. Kitchen utensils don’t have to be stainless steel, door knobs don’t have to be brass and truly, nothing has to be brown. In my kitchen I have a bright pink clothes airer, a teal mixing spoon and a yellow kettle. In fact I’m currently gazing at a bright pink colander hanging over the hob and it makes me ecstatic.

I’ve been asked why everything I own has to be quite so loud and I think it’s just because life can be very serious. Work, careers, exercise, dates, plans, figuring when you can and can’t have cake. It’s exhausting. It’s a joy to look up from doing emails and see a rainbow tea cosy on my shelf. It’s a relief from how draining everything can be.

As well as the high street and big stores, I love independent shops and brands as they usually have the most exciting and unconventional things. I’m also really interested in British made products and companies so there is a whole section of The Museum to celebrate these brands called A Brit Excellent.

This blog is a celebration of the things I love and the story behind them. Wherever possible I’ll show you where I got things from and link to items you can buy. There will also be other gorgeous things showcased on my instagram, where I’ll be using the hashtag #TheMuseumofSarah if you want more.

The Museum doors are now open, I’m very excited you’re here.

xxox

If you’re a regular listener to Jules and Sarah the podcast, you’ll know how enriched your life is by it. You’ll also know that I have mice. Not personally, more in the house, where I live, so now they are kind of mine. Jules has taken to calling all of them Stuart Little and now I have as well. This is partly to fool myself into thinking there’s only one but also to laugh about it rather than thinking what they might or might not have crawled over. Stuart has become very cheeky. He’s been trotting through at all times of the day or night and watched I’m a Celeb with us the other night. Something has got to be done.

Several people, including my mother June, have said getting a cat is the only way. Someone else said the smell of a cat alone is enough but it seems odd to ask to borrow people’s cats so I’ve decided to get one. (An aside: June says cats frighten mice so much they actually have smaller litters which I love as a fact.)

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This dress ❤️ When we came to Edinburgh in August I tried this dress on and fell madly in love with it. It has rows of marching animals, perfect sleeves and is obscenely comfy but it was the end of the month and I just couldn’t afford it. I have imagined us together ever since and said at least 3 times “I would wear that dress now if I had it.” So today on my *very* flying visit to Edinburgh, I went back. They only had two left and she took this one off the mannequin and we were reunited at last. Thank you to the lovely girl for being as excited as I was. Just LOOK at it. I never want to take it off again 🐘🐪🐊🐆🐓🐅🐏🐋🐖

xxox

This week Nadiya Hussain chose Marmite as her luxury item on Desert Island Discs. She said she could eat it directly from the jar on it’s own and I know exactly how she feels. Growing up, my sister would always have lemon curd and I would have Bovril. My Bovril later became Marmite as it was decided our household should “give up” Bovril for health purposes. The theory behind this I’m still not clear on but it meant a lifelong love of the brown salty little wonder.

I usually have at least two jars on the go at once. One that’s very nearly gone but still scrappable and another that’s almost new for when I can’t be bothered to scrape. On Christmas morning June gave me a personalised jar with my name on it. It sits proudly on my shelf and is an unofficial “emergency” jar if things get really desperate. A couple of weeks ago I was at Nan’s having the compulsory “dippy egg” which my sister and I have always eaten when we visit. Nan produced a Marmite eggcup to go with my Marmite soldiers, which now also sits proudly on the shelf.

“Marmite” is actually a French word for an earthenware cooking pot, in which Marmite was originally sold. Imagine that, a whole clay pot full of it on the side. A devil to cart home but worth it. There’s actually the picture of one on the actual label if you want a reference.

What I didn’t know is there are two versions of Marmite. There is the one we know and love and a different Marmite which is made and sold in New Zealand. Initially I reared up to protest “who is this imposter?!” but now I’m quite intrigued. One thing to be very clear on though is, Vegemite is NOT the same. It’s odd and not right and I shall never order it again when I’m down under, though well done to them for trying.