As a travel writer, I love pretty notebooks and stationery and so was thrilled to take these gorgeous Paperblanks notebooks on my recent trips for work. I write all my notes for my travel features by hand, rather than using a tablet or notebook, and I have filled many books over the years on the many trips I have done – but I have to admit that not many of them are as pretty as my Paperblanks versions.
I love the ethos of Paperblanks. The company has been producing gorgeous writing journals and notebooks for over 20 years and believes in reflecting an appreciation of the arts and the the rich artistic history of human culture. Consequently the products have innovative designs across a wide range of beautifully crafted books. From French textile patterns to Persian Safavid binding art, from Japanese Lacquer box design to the traditional embroidery from India’s Gujurat region, each Paperblanks design honours the beauty of artistic creation. What’s more, the brand is also eco-conscious, using acid-free, sustainable forest paper and 100% recycled binder boards.
I recently took these two notebooks on a trip to Nice – making them the perfect travel companion. I was writing about spontaneous travel and ended up staying at La Mas Candille in the lovely village of Mougins, near to Cannes.
The small cream book is from the Shimmering Delights collection which come in the pastel colours of sweet macaroons and is made using the art of pointillé, one of the prettiest of the decorative arts. It is a technique used for forming cover designs using punched dots to create a feather-light pattern, popular in the 15th century, when it was used to decorate armour and coats of arms. The original binding that inspired these journals dates from a book produced in 1709 in Zurich, Switzerland.
The pink book, meanwhile, is from the Bukhara collection. Bukhara, one of Uzbekistan’s largest cities, famous for millennia as a centre of learning and culture, was the birthplace of 18th-century Islamic binding. The luminous design features ornamentation painted and lacquered in golden bronze.
Sometimes known as “Place of Good Fortune”, Bukhara is located along the Silk Road. The city’s rich intellectual and cultural life was shaped by Indo-Persian influences, particularly during the golden age of the Samanids. These influences are shown in the design, with its heart-shaped leaves, a centre rosette and intricate corner pieces. Celebrating this heritage, it makes an ideal notebook for a lover of travel.
Keeping my memories safe from my family holiday this year in Greece, which I have just returned from, was my shimmering delights cream book. It came with me when I visited Ikos Olivia, a glam new boutique opening in Halkidiki.
Choose your own Paperblanks journal at Paperblanks.