This week we were lucky enough to sit down with the fabulous interior designer, cook, author and rose fanatic Sophie Conran.

Sophie Conran Sophie Conran

Sophie, please tell us the importance of scented roses in you life and why you love them so much?

Scented roses to me are quintessentially English and they embody the idea of the English summer - even though occasionally we don't get one! But in the rose we do.

Do you have a favourite rose?

My favourite rose varies depending on what I am using it for. I love the ‘Rambling Rector’ for its simplicity and its abundance of blossom-like flowers. I have it planted underneath my cherry trees so they will be filled with flowers again in the summer. The ‘Queen of Sweden’ is delicate, beautifully scented and reliable, and is great for cutting. I use it in the beds in front of my house, interplanted with cosmos and Mexican daisies. The ‘Lady of Shallot’ rose is a heavenly peachy colour, which looks really stunning in my garden or in a vase.

We LOVE your latest photo shoot and the rich, vibrant colours, what was the inspiration behind this?

Outbursts of joy! Celebrating the good times everyday and building magnificent memories with family and friends.

Where is your favourite place to visit?

In the south of France there is a place called the ‘Jardin du Rayol’. Built in the 30s, it is a huge hillside that goes down to the sea that is wild and planted into areas for different parts of the world. It is thronging with bird song and there are various walks such as the ‘scented walk’. There is a gorgeous farmhouse at the top covered with roses with an organic restaurant where you can sit out in the garden and it has music under the stars in the summer – it is a really special place.

What was the last book you read?

“As I walked out one midsummer morning” by Laurie Lee.  The sequel to ‘Cider with Rosie’, it is about him as a boy in the 30s as he sets out from his Cotswold village home and walks all the way to Spain. His writing is fabulous and you can’t help but be transported by his words.

You are a huge inspiration in the design world, who would you consider your biggest influence?

It has to be my Mum. She is an incredible cook and an amazing gardener. She has a wonderful sensitivity for design and is always busy and interested in everything - she constantly inspires me.

What food couldn’t you live without?

I don’t think there is one food that I could pin-point. I have to have variety. I need different flavours to keep me excited.

What is your top tip for creating a great summer dinner party?

Set your table beautifully. I like to set the table quite formally and then for it to be quite relaxed for the rest of the meal, so I like using big plates and bowls of salad, roasted vegetables an goodies that everyone can help themselves to. Candlelight, roses picked from the garden and of course the people are what really make it special.

Sophie's designs and The Real Flower Company stems are an absolute match made in heaven, see the below images from a recent photo shoot of Sophie's. If you would like to see more of Sophie and her beautifully designed collections make sure you visit her website by click here.

Image credit www.sophieconran.com