Communications consultant and self-confessed Scandiphile Nicola Capper lives in Liverpool with her husband Ben, young son Fox, rescue cat Pip and Cocker Spaniel, Betty.
Over the last three years she has grown her blog, Nordic Notes, from a passion project into her profession, sharing her love for the Nordic way of life, its incredible design culture and her experiences of travelling in the region with her family. As a Fine Art graduate from Liverpool John Moores University, Nicola is truly passionate about the rich artistic and cultural heritage of her city, particularly since Liverpool’s past trade with the Baltic regions is deeply etched into the city’s economic and cultural history.
As today’s My North guest Nicola shares her favourite independent retailers, makers and restaurants taking inspiration from the Nordics, her favourite destinations for arts and culture, and where to find a little slice of hygge in the city…
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Best brand? One of my favourite Liverpool creative success stories has to be Granby Workshop. What began as a collaborative community ceramics project to brighten up the streets and houses of an abandoned neighbourhood, has since gone on to win the Turner Prize. The workshop continues to produce incredible tiles, lighting and dinnerware completing commissions around the world. I’m looking to add some of the new Granbyware range to my home, they not only look beautiful but are made from 100% recycled ceramic, glass and stone waste destined for landfill.
I’ve always been a regular at Utility – they never fail to deliver on my favourite Nordic interior design brands.
Most frequented arts venue? Art is my first love, and while I am super lucky to have Tate Liverpool and it’s showstopping exhibitions right on my doorstep, it is the smaller spaces and places I find most inspiring. Whether it’s fine art at The Bluecoat, a venue I volunteered at during my studies as a gallery assistant, photography at the Open Eye, architecture at RIBA North, or heading over to Crosby to spend some time at Antony Gormley’s Another Place.
Most inspiring piece of architecture? While I love historic buildings, and there are many great examples here in the North of England, modern architecture is more my style, especially when it is a Nordic design. One of my favourite places to visit is the Museum of Liverpool. Designed by Danish architects 3XN, they are also responsible for some of Copenhagen’s most memorable venues including Den Blå Planet, the Royal Arena and Tivoli’s Concert Hall. It also reminds me of the Opera House in Oslo, with its striking minimalist design and perfectly framed waterfront views.
Favourite shop? Supporting our independents is so important and I’ve always been a regular at Utility, they never fail to deliver on my favourite Nordic interior design brands. When it comes to adding more personal touches, such as textiles, ceramics and plants, I usually head to Root and Penny Lane Lifestyle Store if I’m staying local; or pop over to Manchester and pay a visit to Moth, Nordic Muse and Form Lifestyle Store. Each and every one is run by some of the most incredibly passionate and dedicated people you could ever have the pleasure of meeting.
Best hotel? I have to say Hope Street Hotel, as I stayed here on my wedding night. Heading out in my wedding dress onto the Georgian streets of Liverpool to the Palmhouse in Sefton Park was very surreal. This old warehouse, which dates back to 1860, was a derelict furniture shop for decades but thankfully now it is the perfect place for those seeking Scandinavian simplicity as well as a good night’s sleep. With a new spa due to open too, I will definitely be heading back soon.
Best restaurant for a celebration? I have two very firm Liverpool favourites, Maray, which is Middle Eastern style and Etsu, the best authentic, Japanese restaurant in the city. With both serving the most incredible small plates, I can never decide what to choose and always order far too much.
Lazy weekend brunch spot? It has to be One Percent Forest. Tucked away in the leafy Liverpool suburb of Woolton it celebrates all things Icelandic. Coffee shop by day, their pancakes and pastries are amazing, and cocktail bar by night, if you’re inner Viking is looking for something a little bit stronger.
Next trip? I’m really looking forward to getting back over to Yorkshire and spending some time at The Hepworth Wakefield, another fantastic creative space in a stunning location, before heading to Yorkshire Sculpture Park. No matter what time of year it is, it is always a magical experience.
All imagery © Nicola Capper, used with permission.