Nina Campbell whose clients include Rod Stewart, the Duke and Duchess of York and Ringo Starr, talks about her latest creative collaboration with luxury crafts store Halcyon Days, what she is looking forward to most now that lockdown measures are easing up in the UK and her idea of the perfect weekend.
Options: How has 2021 been treating you so far?
Nina Campbell: Well, it hasn’t been too bad, really. I have been going to my office every day and have been visually stimulated and able to do a lot of creating. In 2020, we were at the drawing stage of several projects. But this year, we are at the designing stage. So, being able to go to the office has been just wonderful!
Tell us about your new collaboration with Halcyon Days.
I’ve known Halcyon Days forever as a company and I know the current chairman and CEO, Pamela Harper, very well. She is someone I admire and respect enormously. I agreed to the collaboration because the products Halcyon Days create are of the highest quality and, as I have always wanted to create a tabletop collection, it seemed perfect to work together to form the Marguerite and Serengeti tea and dinnerware collections with them. The collection needed to be fun and could be used to entertain during dinner or over tea parties with friends, and I believe we’ve achieved that.
What inspired the collection?
The inspiration for the Serengeti collection stemmed from memories of travelling to Africa on safari. The first animal I saw, which rustled through the trees, was a giraffe with a wonderful neck, eating some leaves. That image has stuck in my head ever since. The giraffe was first, then seeing elephants drink out of our swimming pool and naughty monkeys, which liked hanging around our cabin. I’ve always had a great love of animals, so one thing led to another, resulting in the Serengeti collection.
For Marguerite, I have always admired French porcelain with tiny flowers and stripes. Being able to design something with a very pretty floral motif, much like a little stamp seen on block-printed fabric, is a joy, especially as I have always wanted to form a collection such as this using traditional English manufacturers and English fine bone china.
What have been your greatest takeaways from the pandemic?
It has made me appreciate being with cosy, small groups of friends. I have also learnt to appreciate Zoom dinner parties!
How do you keep yourself in top form, physically and mentally?
I try to use my brain as much as possible. I am very careful with my diet and focus on breaking up parts of the day to make sure I cook healthy meals for lunch and dinner.
What are you reading and listening to right now?
I am always listening to Classic FM for easy, background music and I am presently reading Amor Towles’ A Gentleman in Moscow. The book is beautifully written and is both fascinating and divine!
Now that lockdown measures are easing up in the UK, what are you looking forward to most?
I long to go back to the ballet, the opera and the museums.
Describe the perfect weekend for you.
On Friday, a grandchild would come and stay and I would be bamboozled into playing games until the early hours. Friends would come over to play Monopoly and we would order a takeaway dinner. On Saturday, a cosy dinner with friends. Playing cards would also make for a calm weekend. And Sunday would be spent purely relaxing.
This article first appeared on May 3, 2021 in The Edge Malaysia.