It’s not every day, er, or even year, actually, that you get such an amazing invite as I received a few weeks ago – to fly by helicopter to The Grove in Oxfordshire, the home of the late design genius David Hicks, to have lunch with his son, Ashley Hicks, to celebrate a candle collaboration with Jo Malone. It was a tricky decision, my favourite soup was on in Eat that day after all – but decided in the end to say ‘yes please’.

Ashley explored his father’s archive and chose to reinterpret three classic Hicks prints to decorate three Jo Malone candles. ‘The lively Riviera pattern, matched with Lime, Basil & Mandarin, transports me to summers spent in the Mediterranean,’ he says. ‘While the shade for Hicksonian, paired with Red Roses, is taken from the drawing room of my father’s house in Oxfordshire that was flooded with fresh blooms. And the rich plum of the geo-floral Carnation is deep and intense, just like Pomegranate Noir.’

You’ll see the candles in all their glory soon in Livingetc, but until then, have a look inside this incredible house…

Trademark David Hicks in the drawing room – mixing grand, traditional style with bold geometrics. Note logo carpet and upholstery.

David Hicks’s study. The only wall space not lined with bookshelves is lined in red velvet from the wedding dress of his great grandmother. The armchair is upholstered in Carnation fabric, which Ashley chose for the Pomegranate Noir candle. The print was inspired by his father, who always wore a carnation in his buttonhole. Love the romance of that.

We had very nice lunch, got back in the helicopter, flew 15 minutes back to Battersea, and I went back to the office. Somehow the Tube home was a bit of a disappointment…