The Laboratory Arts Collective


And so it was. A weekend of DESIRE in April.

The dangerous minds arrived throughout the day from all over the globe, gathering on the terrace for lunch in the warm blush of a first rendezvous. Some were friends, most were strangers meeting for the first time. The letting go of the outside world was delicious as the afternoon languidly unfolded. The aim was to bring together like-minded souls in a creative weekend centered around the theme of Desire.

In the rooms, the first surprise awaited. A handwritten welcome note from Marie-Louise Scio and a mysterious outline of the weekends activities along with the centerpiece of it all, a copy of DESIRE, arousing just the right amount of curiosity.

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Guests gathered on the terrace for "Desire" cocktails made in the exact pantone color of the magazine (905c for those enthusiasts who like the details). This exquisite elixir was created by Federico Morosi the alchemist and master of cocktails from the famous Il Pellicano.

Then to dinner in the grand La Posta Vecchia dining room. The vast table carved from one singular piece of pink marble stretched the length of the room and hummed under the candle light. The menu for Antonio Magliulo's divine offering was tied up in a black velvet ribbon with six cards. Each had a quote about desire and a single question designed to tickle the imagination and start the conversation rolling. Ideas flowed and cavorted, minds whirred and crackled as the evening took flight. 

desire cards

After dinner guests gathered in the fire lit library and silence fell as Lisa Z Morgan entranced all who listened with a sensuous reading of "In the garden of earthly delights" by Dr Jane Wildgoose.

Lisa then read from her own book "Design behind Desire" and called all to think about the space with-in where desire lives, the place from which creativity is born. She posed three questions.  Her first question "What does your space within feel like?" The second question, "What was your first object of desire and does this connect in any way with what you do now?" 

The final question posed was "What does Pink-ness No. 6 smell like?"

Lisa presented the last existing bottle of her perfume Pinkness No-6 as featured in the 'Pushing the pink' sealed booklet inside our magazine. The bottle stayed sealed, the scent of the perfume never to be inhaled, the ultimate physical representation of DESIRE. Bribes were offered but the seal remains un-broken. Deep conversations ensued. Guests drifted to the terrace for more champagne and chatter.  

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And then to bed. A sumptuous gift awaited from the designer Molly Pepper, one of her elegant silk robes for the women and a sensual spray of Santal 33 from Le Labo and a poem for the men.

“i like my body”

by e.e. cummings

i like my body when it is with your
body. It is so quite new a thing.
Muscles better and nerves more.
i like your body. i like what it does,
i like its hows. i like to feel the spine
of your body and its bones, and the trembling
-firm-smooth ness and which i will
again and again and again
kiss, i like kissing this and that of you,
i like, slowly stroking the,shocking fuz
of your electric furr, and what-is-it comes

over parting flesh….And eyes big love-crumbs,

and possibly i like the thrill

of under me you so quite new

Saturday morning unfolded in a lazy fashion with breakfast, yoga, massage, exploring and bicycle rides. And delicious long naps.

Black and white picnic blankets strewn across the manicured green lawn set the scene for lunch. The acclaimed king of eggs Paolo Parisi and Gherardo Gaetani aka "Baru", the duo behind the picnic provided an astonishing culinary delight - the best eggs in the world from their beloved hens turned into a mouth watering dish. Followed by pasta, Roman style. The simplest of foods ingeniously and delicately cooked with the finest ingredients. 

pasta roman style

And then into the night...

The grand dinner of DESIRE inspired by Filippo Tommaso Marinetti, founder of the futurist movement.

An envelope welcomed the diners.

The next envelope was handed to guests as cutlery was removed.

And so we ate the first course with our fingers. Delicious and textured. Such unlikely pairings as crushed fruit jelly with a Szechuan button. An absolute crowd pleaser. Shocking some with a mouth numbing sensation and delighting others but all united in the culinary adventure prepared by La Posta Vecchia master chef and magician Antonio Magliulo.

Loud crashes of music burst in between courses as the plates were cleared, making way for the next explosion of delicious tastes. Marinetti would have thrilled at the theatricality.

A lemon scented card announced a lemon and meringue risotto. On and on it went. Unexpected, surprising and delightfully playful. A culinary triumph so wonderful that the tastes are committed to ones memory forever as surely as Proust's petit madeleines were to his. A dinner that will be yearned for long after the weekend has passed.

And then there was dancing. And more dancing... thanks to the genius sounds of DJ, Paul Harris. Bones rattled and tail feathers shook into the wee hours of the morning.


It was our aim to stop time, to pause, to think and to listen. The weekend was a series of moments unfolding one upon the other and it was easy to be present and available to the concept of DESIRE as it underpinned every experience. Such was the magic of La Posta Vecchia and the gift of Marie-Louise Scio and The Laboratory to all those who attended. 

And she waits for us...

Until next year...

nigel dalyComment