How would you describe M.Hulot?
M.Hulot is a bag and accessories label founded on a desire for purity in design, truth and materials and ethics. My designs are simple and classic with a contemporary, playful edge and an exciting colour palette.
What inspires you?
All sorts of things inspire me, but my biggest loves are colour and texture. The tonal palette and depth of natural untreated leathers or small slubs and irregularities in woven cloth always draw me in and get the creative juices flowing. People might be surprised to know that I’m also sucker for highly lacquered and metallic surfaces too. I love the work of Anish Kapoor and his use of texture. I have a thing about brights sitting alongside neutrals- the grounding and playing down of these tones is just so beautiful to me.
What is it like working in Cambridgeshire and what do you love about the city?
I now live and work in a small market town west of Cambridgeshire called St Neots. It's semi-rural and I have a garden studio, so its a big change from London, but a welcome one. Just a short walk from me is the River Ouse and a wetlands conservation area, so there’s plenty of time for gathering thoughts and musing over design ideas. Cambridge is really close by and I love that I can straddle between two very different places and reap the benefits. Having been to Sixth Form College in Cambridge, I knew the city well, but returning now I am blown away by how beautiful it is- possibly something you don’t fully appreciate at seventeen years old!
Your top tips for a first time visitor?
Although it can get extremely busy, Cambridge is a great city for pottering and nothing has to be done too quickly. Kettle’s Yard is my favourite place to be. The former home of art collectors and curators, Jim and Helen Ede, the cottage houses paintings, found objects and textiles all existing alongside each other in what was until 1966 a functioning home. It’s really special and unlike any other gallery you’ll visit. Last year a new contemporary gallery opened next door; they’re currently showing one of my favourite artists Louise Bourgeois, and I’m visiting tomorrow!
Of course, a visitor should see the world famous college ‘Backs’ which are truly breathtaking. The Mill Pond is very picturesque, in a much gentler way, and near some great historical pubs including the Mill and the Eagle. The University Museums from the Fitzwilliam to the Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology all very close together and well worth a visit.
Can you share a secret insider place / view / experience?
For something really different, I’d recommend The Cambridge Gin Lab I visited at the weekend for an hours tasting with some friends, sampling various gins including Truffle, Pomegranate and Chilli and Elderflower. The hour covered the history of the drink as well as trying to pin point your palette. Unsurprisingly the gin meant that the atmosphere became relaxed and fun very quickly!
Mill Road is great place to go to see a less grand side of the city but somewhere full of independent shops, restaurants and pubs. The Garden Kitchen is a personal favourite for coffee and their homemade cakes.
Anna Kreeger - M.Hulot Founder