Miria Harris, Floristry designer for One Leicester Street
Is there a theme for the floristry at OLS?
The flowers and plants are seasonal and when possible sourced from the British Isles. Because I’m also a garden designer, I’m always thinking about what’s in flower in the garden. There are always cut flowers in the dining room and plants in the bar. The plants in the bar always make reference to some aspect of the menu; I started with Jasmine because of the use of Jasmine Tea in the Lisle Street Bun and the location of the restaurant in Chinatown and then green strawberries ripened over the course of June and July. I now have Violets growing.
The choice of vases is purposeful. I sourced vintage pickle jars because I wanted to make reference to the kitchen and how preserving foods is central to the menu - everything is pickled, cured and smoked in house.
Where/how do you source the materials and flowers?
The cut flowers are bought each week from Covent Garden Market on the day that I arrange them. I then have the luxury of being able to create a pop-up workshop in the back bar upstairs. Not all jobs are that accommodating…
Where do you get your creative inspiration?
I use to be an art curator, so I take a lot of inspiration from visual arts and design. However, when it comes to flowers, my design hero has to be Constance Spry. She was so ahead of her time and was passionate about promoting the idea that decorating your home with flowers is completely democratic, and possible regardless of wealth.
Favourite thing about creating pieces for One Leicester Street?
I used fennel a couple of weeks back and the seed heads were then dried and used for the fennel ice cream. So often the heartbreaking thing about floristry is the stuff you end up throwing away. I loved that, for a moment, we were applying a completely holistic approach to decoration and consumption.
If you weren’t a florist, what would you be?
I’d buy tatty old stuff put it in a nice place and sell it to people who like my taste
What’s next for Autumn flowers at OLS?
There is a three week window of English Hops being available at the market… It’s an old-English tradition to dry hops as decoration… I’d like to see how how that looks. Otherwise, lots of berries and rose hips.