Interiors Little Black Book: Aalish Yorke-Long
Interiors Little Black Book: Aalish Yorke-Long

Interiors Little Black Book: Aalish Yorke-Long

Aalish Yorke-Long was appointed as the first CEO of British interiors brand Neptune in 2022, having previously served as MD of retail at Soho House. So, it’s fair to say she has a keen sense for what British consumers want when it comes to cool homeware. Here, she tells us the names and places she goes back to time and again…
By Georgina Blaskey


If I could only buy homeware from one place, it would be India – I’m addicted to colour and India is the most vibrant country, particularly the north provinces. The textiles, rugs and handicrafts are so joyful; they just make me incredibly happy and I love filling our home with things that make me smile. On a recent sourcing trip I had to take a spare suitcase to bring home all the beautiful antique dhurries and kanthas. Sadly, the marble pieces had to follow behind with DHL!

The most interesting interiors shop is Roman and Williams Guild. It was a real eye opener for me when I first started travelling to New York. I had long stretches of time on my own in the city and I used to explore one district per trip in depth. It was on a late Saturday afternoon in Soho that I found Roman and Williams Guild. Not only is the building itself stunning and the edit very interesting (each product has a fascinating story), but the founders Robin Standefer and Stephen Alesch are totally committed to the idea of longevity, so every piece in the range can actually be maintained and repaired if needed. They really champion quality, natural materials and promote master craftsmen who use traditional techniques and methods. They also serve a mean steak and have a great wine list.

The best department store in the world for homeware is Merci in Paris. I won’t win any points for originality but it never fails to deliver. The curation is pitch perfect and I always leave with something. The store refers to itself as ‘a good editor in chief’  and it’s always on the front foot. The team has a great eye for handmade objets and small producers, and they take a credible stance against the idea of mass luxury. 

I love what Beata Heuman is doing right now. Everything she does feels incredibly well considered, from the product itself down to the execution of the Shoppa – the auctions are absolutely inspired. I’m lusting after the moveable feast ottoman and am waging a war of attrition with my husband to buy it for my birthday. 


It’s difficult to pin down the best independent designers and makers but Liberty does it so well. I always pop in when I’m in town as I love the fashion and beauty curation as much as the interiors. 

My perfect shopping day would include an early start. I want as much time as possible to browse and make time for food and drink. I can think of nothing better than wandering around a small town I haven’t visited before, eating local food and browsing through the markets and independent boutiques. If there’s time for a game of backgammon over a cocktail in a pretty square, then I’m in heaven.

I can’t resist a French brocante. This year we took a family trip to the Lot Valley in France and spent a lot of time in Lectoure. There is an enormous antiques centre there called Village des Brocanteurs where I found some exquisite lace – plus, the weekly market is a treasure trove of baskets, table linens and local food. When the market clears away, the vintage stores that line the main street are revealed. My favourites are the Galerie Nationale concept store and Peut Etre. My favourite vintage piece is an enormous 1920s silk lampshade I found in Peut Etre. It looks like it’s made from the finest ladies silk pyjamas.


Antique furniture is a natural inspiration – at Neptune we have a 100-year vision, whereby we hold our products up to the highest standards by expecting them to last for 100 years or more. Antiques have already done that, so they inform both our making and design processes. Our philosophy is all about using the right material for the right purpose. For instance, we use solid oak to showcase the beauty of natural timber, and hardwood plywood for structural stability. Wherever possible, we use natural materials which are not only kind to the environment but also have a positive impact on customers’ wellbeing. You’ll never find any MDF or chipboard in our designers – these particle boards pose risks to the natural world and our health. 

For something really special I go to Hauser and Wirth. I’m only just beginning to explore the art world and I find it extremely exciting. I bought myself a pair of James Kerr  oils for my 40th birthday.

The best interiors gift I’ve ever received was advice from my mother-in-law. She’s an interior designer and has shared so much practical advice with us while we’ve been doing up our farmhouse. I’ve learnt a lot from her, particularly about curtains. My father has also spent countless hours helping us around the house and in the garden. 


I do like to get stuck into the occasional home DIY project. The most recent item I bought for my home was Christopher Farr Chubby Check fabric for our club fender which my husband and I upholstered together.  

The most expensive investment I made in my home was converting an old granary into a guest house. It means my parents can come and stay and when we have friends to stay, they can make their own breakfast.

I have a few core sets of tableware. Some are for everyday and formal but my favourite way to shop tableware is to collect individual pieces on holiday – a serving platter from Tuscany, a tagine dish from Morocco. I’m all about filling our house with pieces that tell a story and carry a memory. For bedlinen, I like crisp white cotton. The higher the thread count the better. I love  Sophie Conran and Cologne and Cotton


I’m a total magpie for glassware. We have a whole pantry filled with shelves of drinking glasses, flower and bud vases, jugs and colourful glass candlesticks. I collect them from all around the world – Murano, Morocco, Mexico – you name a destination and I probably have a glass from there. Casa Celva, launched in 2020 by Catherine Maguire, marries my love of Murano glassware with a deep focus on sustainable and ethical sourcing practices. Unsurprisingly, I have a huge Soho Home collection, too. The crystal glassware went through many rounds of development to make sure it was dishwasher safe in all the houses. 

Classic silhouettes in bold fabrics are my go-to for soft furnishings. My Max Rollit Katzsic sofa is a favourite. 

The item I regret not buying is trees for our garden the moment we moved in. We’ve been here for six years now and we’re only just getting around to proper planting. Think of all that missed growth!

Next on my shopping list is rugs – I’ve already placed my order from Neptune’s AW24 collection. They’re sourced from the best makers in Jaipur and I just can’t wait for them to get here. 



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