Working from a studio in London’s Bloomsbury, Sara Hartley is a jeweller who has been championing British design since 1996. Every single piece she creates is handcrafted, whether it be a bespoke engagement ring commission or a necklace from her most recent Tinies collection. We caught up with her to uncover her favourite haunts in the city that she has based her business.
Hampstead. It’s got everything – beautiful Hampstead Heath for fresh morning walks, good shops, places to eat and still has the good old fashion pubs and most of all it’s so pretty.
Favourite place for brunch:
I’m a big fan of Greenberry Cafe in Primrose Hill. It’s a relaxed environment with yummy fresh food. I’m quite boring and have the poached eggs with avocado but they do do a mean lamb burger when I’m feeling a bit naughty.
Best coffee in London:
Again, it’s a Hampstead stop, Ginger and White in one of the paved allies off Hampstead High Street. I’m very fussy about my coffee – I like it strong and hot and a cup here always hit the spot. On a sunny day it’s so peaceful sitting outside.
Favourite gallery or museum:
I’ve always been a massive fan of the National Gallery. I don’t like aimlessly wandering around museums, I’ll have a painting in mind and head straight there. The Sainsbury Wing is my favourite part of the National, it has a different vibe to the rest of the gallery because it was designed to look like a Italian church, which might be why it makes me feel calm. When I get there its Piero della Francesca’s ‘The Baptism of Chris’ that I’ll want to see, which always put me into a creative coma! But more recently I’m also loving The Portrait Gallery.
I’m sounding very old fashioned, but I love, love, St. Paul’s Cathedral, especially since they transformed the surrounding area and knocked down the buildings that were covering half of it up, so now you can see it in all it’s glory.
Favourite place to shop:
Marylebone High Street. I always feel a bit special when I’m walking around there. I don’t even have to buy anything to feel it, but a small purchase does make the experience even more exciting.
Favourite place to find inspiration:
I don’t really have one particular place, but open spaces, parks, woods, and if that doesn’t work then I’ll head to the Victoria and Albert Museum to the jewellery department, they have some amazing pieces in there.
Best London destination for a date:
Being married for nearly 10 years, dates can be few and far between, but recently my husband took me to Social Eating House for dinner and that was right up my street for a fab night out. Nothing too flash, just great food in a good location. We met after work, which was even more romantic! But if I was going on a first date, I think St Katharine Docks is perfect. You can walk over London Bridge, have a look at the magnificent Tower of London, then sit by the river, watching the boats moored in the harbour. It offers a different view of London.
Kenwood! It’s the place that reminds me of my childhood and a place where I’m making new memories with my children. The house and grounds are just beautiful.
Favourite food market:
I don’t visit it nearly enough but Borough Market. I love shell fish, so I’ll head down there to eat some and then perhaps pick up some delicious tomatoes and wild mushrooms.
Your sanctuary in the city:
This has to be my studio. It’s the only place that’s completely mine, I’ve spent the years creating a space that makes me relaxed and creative. I do love my own space and this is where I can get it. It’s also located in a perfect part of London’s Bloomsbury which is so central but not too crazy. It’s a quiet little niche of London, with lovely unusual shops and Restaurants. I hope it never changes as it is my safe heaven.
What inspires you?
My daughter has become an excellent inspiration to me. Now she’s 7 years I will always show her my new work or ideas and she’ll come up with more inspiring concepts. My son on the other hand is more shape orientated so he can inspire me with his arts and crafts. Nature is also my first point of contact for inspiration, like when the morning frost leaves beautiful patterns over the ground.
This season I’m loving:
My over-the-knee long black leather boots. These have freshened up my day jeans and a jumper look.