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Q&A with Catherine Kidston Padgham MBE of C.Atherley

Spring/Summer '23

We're delighted to welcome Catherine Kidston Padgham MBE's brand new Bath and Body brand, C.Atherley to The Hambledon. Named for her maternal grandmother, this is an homage to her love of gardening and flowers and celebrates Cath's obsession with geraniums. And we're extremely smug that we are one of the first bricks and mortar stores in the UK to carry the range. We sit down with friend of the shop from back in the day, the delightful Cath, while she chats all about her new project.

Shop C.Atherley ►

It is so lovely to be working together again. Tell us a bit about the inspiration for your new venture, C.Atherley.

It’s so lovely to be back working with you again!

It all started off in my greenhouse where I have an ever-growing collection of scented geraniums – I am rather obsessed with them with all their different fragrances. I had a chance meeting with friends Denis and Leslie Aaronson who have a business manufacturing beautiful body care products and the idea for C.Atherley grew from there. I wanted a chance to create beautiful product again here in the UK to all the values I aspire to and knew they were just the right partners with their expertise and my design knowledge.

Our customers will mainly know you for your beautiful print designs. Tell us how you came to launch a geranium inspired bath and body range, which might seem something of a departure.

I do still design print from my small studio called Joy of Print but wanted to create something very new with C.Atherley. It has been a wonderful project being able to create a brand from scratch, working with flowers again from a different perspective. In creating the packaging we were drawing directly for the geraniums which look me back to where I started out.

What do you love about about a geranium?

My memories of them go right back to childhood. My mum had them outside our kitchen window and I learnt to crush their leaves to release their scent from an early age. As well as their fragrance I love their vivid flowers and being able to use them as decoration in the house – there is something very joyful about them.

How did you work on the formulations for the new range? And what makes them special?

It was an incredible journey starting with me taking my Radens geranium plants down to the perfumer in the West country where he captured their fragrance directly from the leaves. This needed to be exact as each new scent we create will match back to a particular geranium variety. We worked within the boundaries of creating product with a very high level of natural oils to ensure they are as pure and of the highest quality. I hope you will agree they have the most incredible fragrance and nourishing qualities.

Your garden looks quite quite beautiful. Any exciting plans for Spring and Summer planting this year? We’re always looking for horticultural inspo.

I am a bit sad at the state of my garden this Spring. We lost so much with the frost and snow in December. I have just ordered lots of verbena bonariensis and gaura to spread through the border and hopefully fill some gaps. Each year I order some new geraniums to try out so this year I have gone for Clorinda with its cedar scent and rose-lemon Graveolens which will hopefully spread quite large.

Do you think C.Atherley taps into a particularly British sensibility? And might that be part of the same continuum as Cath Kidston in its glorious floral heyday?

C.Atherley is very much a British made brand which was an important factor when we set up. Having launched the company I am really stuck by how many geraniums fans are contacting us from all over the world. Hopefully we are a British brand with a global reach!

Are you still working with textiles? We need to replace our ironing board covers from the Noughties.

I still have my early CK ironing cover! Yes – I am still very much working in print design but mainly in collaboration with other manufacturers these days. I love teaming up with people with specialist skills - You can see some of our different collaborations on our Joy of Print website.

Indoor plants. Yes or no? It’s an ongoing Hambledon debate.

Some! I’m not so keen on the kind of evergreen plants that can stay indoors all year round but I really love bringing flowering plants into the house. Seasonally I plant a lot of bulbs like paper whites for the winter. I bring my geraniums in from the greenhouse all year round. Jasmine is another favourite. My best success recently has been Sparmania which likes being indoors and as long as it has lots of water grows really tall with amazing white flowers.

Stanley was very much the symbol of Cath Kidston. Will there be a dog representative for C.Atherley? Asking for a friend.

Yes. Kind of. We have designed a lovely toile print of my house and garden and greenhouse and you can spot my Bedlington whippet Grace in there. She is my lucky mascot!

What is your favourite product in the new range?

I’m obsessed with the bubble bath!

Why do you think C.Atherley and The Hambledon are such a good match?

I really do love everything about the Hambledon. The building is of course glorious but the the thing I like most is the selection products you chose to sell- always something fun and surprising and well put together. From a personal point of view we have a very long history of selling together over the years so I am very excited to have my new venture now landing on your shelves.


Shop the C.Atherley Collection ►

The Geranium No.1 Range:

C.Atherley’s Geranium No.1 fragrance is a hand blended formulation that combines eight essential oils. The 100% natural combination of essential oils is full of goodness, imparting a wealth of benefits including uplifting, clarifying and balancing properties. The oils were thoughtfully selected and expertly blended to capture the distinctive scent of the Radens geranium variety grown in Cath's greenhouse.


GERANIUM - Balancing


CORN MINT - Uplifting


LAVENDER - Calming


LEMON MYRTLE - Refreshing




GRAPEFRUIT - Invigorating





GERANIUM - Balancing


CORN MINT - Uplifting


LAVENDER - Calming


LEMON MYRTLE - Refreshing

CHAMOMILE - Relaxing


GRAPEFRUIT - Invigorating





All products are:

Vegan - PETA Approved - Sulphate Free - GMO Free - Paraben Free - 100% Natural Fragrance - High Level Botanical Ingredients

Hand Blended Fragrance - Responsibly Made - Reusable and Recyclable Packaging - Made in Britain


All products are:

Vegan - PETA Approved - Sulphate Free - GMO Free - Paraben Free - 100% Natural Fragrance - High Level Botanical Ingredients - Hand Blended Fragrance - Responsibly Made - Reusable and Recyclable Packaging - Made in Britain


Shipping & Returns
All orders are shipped with DHL or UPS.

UK Mainland Delivery (inc. Northern Ireland):
Standard Delivery is free of charge for all orders over £100 (£4.95 for orders less than £100) and takes 3-5 working days
Express is £6.95 and takes 1-2 working days
UK Highlands and Islands is £9.95

Non-UK Delivery:
European Standard Delivery is £15.00
U.S.A Standard Delivery is £20.00
Rest of the World Standard Delivery is £25

(Please note that this charge includes delivery only, therefore non-EU customers will be responsible for import duties and local taxes)