Tartan holds an enduring appeal for me. I’ll happily sport a tartan mini, swathe presents in tartan ribbons and collect old shortbread tins. I wanted a tartan diary this year and couldn’t find any. My fantasy honeymoon would be flying through the highlands on the Belmond Royal Scotsman, just like the Victorians. I loved Jo Rodgers’ tale of her locomotive trip, ensconced in cosy tartan booth. Because of her, Skibo castle is now on my list. Except secretly, I want to renovate the BRS, it’s all a bit twee boardroom for my liking. I’d strip the glossy wood stain and lose the tie backs. Piling the faded tartan blankets high on Harris tweed Howard armchairs. Whisky and tablet on drip feed.
In the 80s tartan was huge and used to great effect by one of my all time design heroes, Roger Banks Pye. It’s due a restrained come back. Too much check can look at bit Disney. Like chintz, the dust needs to settle. Though I can’t tell you how much I covet a tartan loo. Until I buy my castle ( or croft), there’s ALWAYS room for tartan blankets, draped over the sofa in winter, folded stacks ready for long journeys. I’d happily take all of these;
There are some fantastic travel posters from a time when it was more fashionable to explore North of the border. I’ve become fascinated by the idea of visiting St Kilda, the archipelago of islands evacuated in 1930, here’s the album I’ve loved most recently.