I first entered the Asylum a couple of years ago. Before you start, no this isn't because I have a mental problem (arguable) but actually the Asylum in question is a beautiful old building in Peckham that is now used as a venue for lots of different events including weddings. Apparently the building used to be used as a 'care home' for the elderly (a little less odd than you might have thought) and according to the Asylum website (link below), this 'care home' was specifically for...pub landlords!? Ok, so it is kinda odd but essentially, it doesn't really matter exactly what it was before because of how utterly beautiful a space it is today.
Outside, the building is positioned behind a neat little garden amongst the cottages which are still in use and has huge stone pillars and steps leading up to the entrance. This takes you through a small wooden door into the hidden gem beyond. Inside is a totally majestic chapel, with a mixture of charming crumbling plaster and exposed brick walls, historical stone plaques and twinkling stained glass windows up high; the space is nothing short of magical and the perfect backdrop for flowers! Although the specifics of the building's history aren't so important in my view, you can definitely feel a strong sense of past in the Asylum. The rich turquoise walls covered with stone tablets have been left just as they were after the site was bombed in world war two (with the exception of stabilising the space and making it water tight of course) and this gives a sense of stillness and beauty I have rarely seen before.
A few summers ago I was lucky enough to work in this amazing space for the first time, providing flowers for the wedding of Kate and Tom (pictured). The bride chose a colour palette of dusky lilac and ivory with soft green to compliment the beautiful colours and textures inside the Asylum chapel. I used blousey, scented 'O'Hara' garden roses, ivory hydrangea and 'memory lane' roses and astrantia to add a touch of lilac and continue the vintage feel. The foliage was silvery grey senecio or 'dusty miller' and seeded eucalyptus, for a softer less structured feel. The couple also requested dried lavender for the place settings and pew ends, which added a summery scent to the room as well as complimenting the colours perfectly.
On the day the venue was full of candles and tea lights making it even more beautiful and effortlessly romantic. Below are some of my favourite pictures of the flowers in the gorgeous setting. Both bride and groom looking stunning too!
What a fab wedding venue - an unexpected gem in Peckham.
For details visit www.maverickprojects.co.uk
As I mentioned above, the chapel plays host to lots of other events too, including photoshoots, parties and craft fairs. Last December, I set up shop at the Christmas Craft Fair selling artificial wreaths, candle and tree decorations. The venue was equally charming at Christmas (if a little chilly) and I was more than happy to spend the afternoon there selling floral bits and bobs. Pictures below.