My name is Sonia Demetriou.
I’ve just finished writing “Androula’s Kitchen” which is a non fiction book about traditional foods and crafts in Cyprus. It is the first thing I’ve written and it might be the only thing I ever write I, don’t know. I surprised myself with the idea of writing it but it seemed like a good idea at the time and helped me connect to my cultural heritage and my father. I was born in London to a Greek Cypriot father and an English mother, the youngest of three children.
We all ended up in creative jobs, my sister became an architect and my brother trained in furniture design at art college and ended up in the kitchen design business, now living and working in Cyprus. I started as a trainee restorer of painted furniture and at 16 started work in a studio in Chelsea. This was a quite an eye opener for me at the time as I worked alongside and met people from completely different backgrounds to my own, debutantes, artists, prestigious interior decorators and antique dealers. This was the height of the swinging sixties and the studio was just around the corner from the Kings Road and The World’s End pub. Exciting times, and it seemed like the world was your oyster and anything was possible. After several years I set up my own studio in Sussex purely so I could get out of the commute from north-east to south- west London every day which took a huge chunk of time. It was a hard but I gradually built a reputation and customer base. The job has taken me to some interesting places and I’ve been lucky to have been inside some beautiful houses. Since leaving London I have expanded my expertise to include harpsichord decoration and mural painting amongst other things.The most prestigious job I had was decorating a harpsichord case for the Sultan of Oman, the most challenging was decorating a cupboard which was a a copy of the one Edward Burne Jones, the pre Raphaelite painter, originally painted. The most adventurous was painting a wall to simulated rusty metal, in a kitchen in Moscow.
Life is forever forcing us to adapt and I have welcomed the opportunity to explore new avenues