The cult British mail-order shop Toast was set up in 1997 by the former archaeologists Jamie and Jessica Seaton.
It started as a knitwear company and, despite the fact that neither Jamie or Jessica had any previous experience in design or business, it was an instant hit. They soon expanded the range to include pyjamas and dressing gowns, then launched a separate home accessories collection. It's a delight, and goes from strength to strength each season.
The biannual Toast Home catalogue is a tome of unattainable perfection, revered the world over by stylists and shoppers. Sylph-like beauties wearing linen nighties and leather slippers sip cocoa from hand-thrown mugs and waft around romantic, raw locations - a snug shepherd's hut in the Scottish wilderness perhaps, or a Moroccan town house that oozes faded grandeur.
Mostly handmade, Toast products have a simple yet chic quality. Head here for rustic enamel tableware and lanterns, woven rugs and ticking stripe bed linen. The soft, sumptuous, Ikat-woven silk bolsters have caught my eye, as have the Avignon tablecloths and napkins. They look particularly gorgeous with the Eve hand-thrown pottery from Suffolk. That's the trouble with Toast. It all looks so beautiful together that it's impossible to want just one thing.
Even the word Toast is lovely, conjuring up memories of long, lazy weekends, comfort and cosiness. This is more than just a shop - it's a lifestyle.
The Toast summer sale, offering up to 70 per cent off homeware and fashion, is now on. For information and shipping rates to the UAE, visit www.toast.co.uk.