A Glimpse…

Sipping an end-of-lunchtime espresso at Terroirs.

Sipping an after-lunchtime espresso at Terroir in London.

 

Cherry blossoms in bloom inside Regent’s Park.

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A favorite Marylebone haunt, the Natural Kitchen, has the best seasonal produce for on-the-go snacking!

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I adore custom neon letter art and I would love to find a small piece for my own home.

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Admiring the home-like vibe inside Club Monaco on Sloane Square.

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Lovely red ranunculus caught my eye in these mini bouquets!

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My most comfortable new sneaks, Chuck Taylor all star high tops.  I realized they’re a wardrobe essential…

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Studying for my French class al fresco one sunny day at Thomas Cubitt, an excellent gastropub near Pimlico.

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Museum breaks at the Portrait Gallery. Third column from the left, second row: he’s my fave.

Columbia Road Flower Market

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During the years Jenna, Hallie and I lived together in New York, one of our favorite pick-me-ups was an early-morning outing to the Chelsea Flower District to catch the florists dealing their gorgeous wares.  This mecca was the best spot to find our favorites like peony, ranunculus, gardenia, fiddle leaf figs, and even fir trees when their respective seasons were upon us.  Naturally when Hallie and Jenna visited London we made our way to the Columbia Road Flower Market together.  For those who aren’t familiar with London town, Columbia Road is a veritable landmark.  Open Sundays from 8am to 3pm, the market stalls stretch a long block of London’s East End which is flanked with over sixty different independent shops, art galleries, cafés, antiques dealers, and vintage clothiers.  Rain or shine, the barrow boys running the flower stalls will hawk everything from jasmine bushes to tulips, shouting, “Everything’ a fiver!”  The girls and I grabbed a coffee to fuel our hunt, then wandered up and down the road enjoying bursts of color, great people watching, and even an oyster or two for a midmorning snack.  With the first day of Spring just around the corner, I am tempted to revisit this market for some blooms to brighten up my apartment.  Here’s a handy link that shows you how to arrange fresh flowers.  Have you been? Will you go? And what’s your favorite flower to bring home? Please do share in the comments below…

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Practice Makes Perfect: Photography Edition

A Random Walk round the stoops of South Kensington-8

Do any task repeatedly with awareness and curiosity and you are bound to improve.   Log 10,000 hours of deliberate practice to become world-class in any field, if you believe Malcolm Gladwell‘s rule. That’s my approach to photography lately.  I noticed that it was the one item on all three of our new year’s resolution lists: Hallie, Jenna and I all want to become better picture takers.  Toward that end, I promised to lug my camera along with me even on the most basic outings this week.  On Monday morning’s dog walk, armed with my lens and two pups, I snapped away as we looped through my new corner of South Kensington.   I found something inspiring about the faded light, the white sky, how cold and silent it was (can’t you just feel that in the images?)  I took these pictures well before the garbage collectors hit the streets, so I had a sense of solitude in this sleepy neighborhood as I traipsed along.  I lingered around the painted red doorways – an element I’ve always been drawn to in images.  I felt sad about the lonely, discarded Christmas trees that had been recently taken to pasture.  I snapped the stoop of nearby boutique hotel Blakes, its exterior painted a stony, deep blue-grey that is so on trend.

In the end I learned something about better controlling aperture, and I practiced pulling back since I tend to focus on the details and shoot too-tight crops.  On the flipside I fudged the focus somehow and it is no longer functioning how I want it to.  Trial and error is my mantra, and I think it’s working because I’m making progress.  Slowly, with practice.

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Red doors.

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Discarded trees.

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The Blakes, a boutique hotel.

Blakes' stoop.

Blakes’ stoop.

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Peeking down Priory Walk.

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Gold & black along Roland Gardens.

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Autumn colors and mirrored windows.

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Brick red, forest green, gold and chessboard tile.

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Facade of a favorite sushi spot, Yashin Ocean House, just around the corner from home.

Red door no. 2.

Red door no. 2.

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Mews neighbor scenes.

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Christmas is over.

 

A Glimpse…

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A cocoa-dusted cappuccino at bistro Colbert was the perfect start to Sunday morning.  We New Yorkers do weekend brunch, but I find Londoners embrace more of a breakfast culture.  Petit déjeuner (or not so petit, if you go for the croque monsieur!) in a gilded, old-world French setting is the grand-dame of breakfasts in my book.

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Looking up at the trees on my recent trip to Helsinki, this image of golden leaves hanging onto threadbare branches took my breath away!  In that moment I captured this picture I thought of Robert Frost’s poem Nothing Gold Can Stay.   Autumn was nearly to a close in Finland, and it was so cold it snowed.

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Back in London this week, I was feeling melancholy after getting news that we will need to vacate our apartment soon.  Our landlord has decided to sell his beautifully renovated place versus continuing to rent it out.  We’ve only been in the space 6 months, and after moving four times already this year, my heart just sank at the thought of hunting, boxing and hauling again.

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Hitting the ground running, I started the apartment (er, flat) search immediately and found one or two very charming options off the bat.  I adore the herringbone wood floors, floor-to-ceiling windows, and balconette in this South Kensington stunner.

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I lingered over this view from one master bedroom while apartment hunting.  Isn’t the light in London incredible?  On a daily basis I am stopped in my tracks by the beauty of natural light as it selects and illuminates objects around me.  My friend Sarah has a theory that has to do with the remarkably fast-moving clouds, but whatever the cause, it is simply magical.

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On the topic of things magical, I popped into Skandium this week and could not resist taking home this gnome for my mantle.  In the Scandinavian tradition, the gnomes live under the floorboards and help out farm animals and humans, but if you irritate them they can play tricks on you.  I love how he’s festive but not kitschy.  Together with the wooden spruce tree and geometric-shaped silver garland (from the Daylesford Christmas shop), my fireplace is now outfitted for the holidays.

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One great thing about walking around London is that you experience so much nature and art without even trying – it is woven into your everyday life.  I find nature and art more accessible here than in other places I’ve lived. I am pretty certain this effect is by design.

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I was in the mood for a baking project (it’s therapeutic) so I made Hallie’s award-winning pumpkin dark chocolate chip cookies on Thursday night.  The chip-to-batter ratio is super high, they have a spongy density, and Steve and I have nearly eaten the entire yield by now.  They are just that good.

A Glimpse…

Living in the museum district has its perks. On a recent rainy morning, I was delighted to spend a few hours among the dinosaurs at the Natural History Museum.

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Hitting the streets in Autumn gear.

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I took Lola and Gus to visit Holland Park just in time to spot the falling leaves.  It even has a Japanese garden, waterfall, and dense forests where you can completely forget you’re in the city.

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My favorite nook, the cookery section at Daunt Books.  I picked up my new copy of Hemsley + Hemsley: the Art of Eating Well, an instant kitchen staple. Have been sipping homemade bone broth all week.

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Inspired by Nigel Slater and the Hemsley sisters, I headed to the newly-renovated Daylesford Organic farm store and cafe in Notting Hill.  It’s a beautiful place to stock up on fresh produce & meat straight from their farm in the Cotswolds.

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The makings of a proper Sunday roast at my house. Here in England, you can find this meal at any pub all day Sunday.  I love this tradition of tucking into a cozy meal to cap off the weekend.

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 The ambiance of my neighborhood one crisp, cloudy night reminds me that Halloween is just around the corner…

London: The Clove Club + A Cure for Overindulgence

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The other night Steve and I ate an incredible meal at The Clove Club, a small restaurant that takes up two rooms of the historical Shoreditch Town Hall.  Before taking a seat, we lingered at the bar for a tipple (British for cocktail) and chatted up the charming bearded bartender Rob.  He mixed me one of the best Sazerac’s I’ve ever had (his secret: equal parts rye and cognac) and Steve raved about his martini.  We swooned over the white candlelit interior, the blue tiled open kitchen, and metal-decked teal and wood bar.

While I was drawn to eating right at the bar (a favorite thing of mine), they miraculously had an open table for the 5-course dinner to be served in the beautiful main dining room.  The dining room is set like an audience in front of the stage of the kitchen, which is open and has a strong backdrop of blue tile.  The otherwise simple interior decor is comforting and allows the food to take the spotlight.

There are three ways you can dine here: 1) à la carte at the bar,  2) a 5-course tasting menu (£55),  or 3) an extended 10-course tasting menu (£95).  The menus can be done vegetarian style, served with or without wine pairings (+£45).  During the daytime they also offer an excellent 3-course lunch (£35).

At the beginning of the meal we were served finger-food snacks which included a bite of boneless buttermilk fried chicken seasoned with pine salt and served in a bed of pine-needle branches, a tiny beetroot tart, and a skewered white wood-pigeon sausage with a dollop of mustard.  We had to limit ourselves from eating the entire loaf of their house-baked sourdough bread and homemade butter they brought by round after round.  The five courses that followed were seasonal, fresh, presented with care, and simply delicious. I normally avoid mackerel, but theirs was clean and paired with elements that cut through the fish and enhanced the seasonal flavors.  The most incredible course to me was the duck, which was presented alongside a confit for sipping.  Yes, a waiter came by the table with a beautiful decanter full of warm duck confit, and we watched as he rinsed two stemmed wine glasses with a bit of fino sherry (he explained it was the perfect compliment to the broth), then filled them part way with the confit.  We sipped this between bites of the duck – it was something so unique!   We chose to do the wine pairings (could not resist – thank goodness they were manageable pours) and were so happy. They included an off-dry German riesling for the mackerel, a favorite rioja of ours from Lopez de Heredia for the duck, and a fizzy sweet Asti to accompany dessert.

Before we departed, we were given assorted sweets including a homemade chocolate bar (I’m saving this to eat later!) and two liquid-filled gray candies.  The candies came with a tiny note printed on cream paper:

This is our ode to a great drink and a great man. 
We love Fernet Branca and we love Fergus
Henderson, Trevor Gulliver and St John.

Dr. Henderson
(Recipe taken from Nose to Tail)

Here is a cure for any over indulgence taught to me 
by my wise father. 

2 parts Fernet Branca
1 part Crème de Menthe

Mix together and drink. Do not be put off by the colour.
Be careful, this is so effective you can find yourself
turning to its miraculous powers with increasing
regularity. Do not let the cure become the cause. 

 

Indeed, the grey candy shells housed this delicious hangover cure.  Jenna and I are longtime fans of the cult Fernet liquor, so we are at risk of the cure becoming the cause, but if you are not familiar it can best be described as medicinal.  I can attest that the day after downing a Sazerac and nearly 500ml of wine, I felt fabulous!  I highly recommend you check out this lovely restaurant – I know I will return.

The Clove Club
Shoreditch Town Hall
380 Old Street, London EC1V 9LT

 

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Clove Club London

Featured image by hoxtown.com.

First two images courtesy of Design Week UK.

Bottom two images by Videndae.

Neighborhood Watch: South Kensington

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They say London is a city of villages, and I fully agree.  South Kensington, where I have been a resident all of four months, certainly has the look and feel of a village.  There are many French here, something I noticed during our move-in when a parade of little girls marched by on their way to school dressed exactly like the storybook character Madeline!  The Lycée Français is located around the corner, as are so many lush gardens, cobblestone mews, world-class museums, elegant hotels, and foreign embassies.

Flat hunting in London was a challenge with our two dogs in tow.  My incredulous pleas “but they’re tiny Yorkshire terriers – they belong here!” didn’t help any in our initial search in the East; newer-construction head leases rendered dog-friendly inventory null. Our real estate agents suggested we look West, where we’d find older Victorian flats we could rent directly from the owners who might be more amenable to dogs.  Our dilemma was a total blessing in disguise because it led us directly to South Kensington – a friendly, well kept, and historical neighborhood where we are finding it quite easy to live.  Let me show you around.

Neighborhood scenes just off Gloucester Rd.

Neighborhood scenes just off Gloucester Rd.

Kensington Gardens
Central London, west of Hyde Park
SW10 9UG

“A fine place to exercise your dogs,” my neighbor informed me. Nearly every morning we start along the flower walk (a sure squirrel sighting, and my favorite for its perfumed air and quiet).  We traverse up through the orangerie to the round pond where Gus and Lola chase geese and sometimes cool off in the water.  Evenings and weekends all four of us will visit with a picnic.

Gus and the Kensington Gardens flower walk.

Gus and the Kensington Gardens flower walk.

Canopy overhead during a picnic in the lush Kensington Gardens orangerie.

Canopy overhead during a picnic in the lush Kensington Gardens orangerie.

Kynance Mews and Veterinary Clinic
8 Kynance Mews
SW7 4QP

Gus and Lola’s caring vet is located just inside the mews gates off Gloucester Rd. It is a cobblestone stretch of mews homes (which used to be horse stables that served the nearby Victorian mansions).  Kynance neighbors plant potted flowers and vegetables, and  the short passage is lush and glorious.

Kynance Mews Veterinary Clinic, the esteemed practice of Dr. Keith Butt and team.

Kynance Mews Veterinary Clinic, the esteemed practice of Dr. Keith Butt and team.

Queen’s Gate Gardens
Located at the intersection of Queen’s Gate Gardens and Gloucester Rd
SW7 5LY

This is the private garden located just in front of our flat. Families bring their young children here to play and read, picnic and enjoy nature. We feel so lucky to have easy access to this beautiful plot.

Queen's Gate Gardens, the private Victorian-style garden square that I call home.

Queen’s Gate Gardens, the private Victorian-style garden square that I call home.

Brompton Food Market 
33 Thurloe Pl
SW7 2HQ

When I’m not in a rush, I’ll visit Brompton to stock up on special pantry items, organic fresh produce from local farms, high-quality cheese and carefully selected alcohol & wine.  In the back there is a secret garden (as advertised on the blue sign out front) with many tables and chairs set up for noshing on fare from the take-away deli counter.

Brompton Food Market, a high quality provisioner with fresh produce, pantry items, and a secret garden.

Brompton Food Market, a high quality provisioner with fresh produce, pantry items, and a secret garden.

Fernandez and Wells
8 Exhibition Road
SW7 2HF

Purveyors of small bites and coffee; F&W is so boutiquey feeling that you would never guess it’s a chain.  This morning I ordered their “stumpy,” which is a flat white but with less milk – my new favorite thing.  Head here for a tapas-style dinner knocked back with a glass of Montillado sherry.

Fernandez & Wells: go for the flat white or stumpy, and stay for the small plates.

Fernandez & Wells: go for the flat white or stumpy, and stay for the small plates.

Victoria & Albert Museum
Cromwell Road (just east of Exhibition Road)
SW7 2RL

“Interesting, beautiful, free.” I especially appreciate the view of the crowned top that you can see from further west on Cromwell road.  Their museum store is well known, and they are neighbors with the Brompton Oratory church.

Recognizable by its architectural crown, V&A is "interesting, beautiful, and free."

Recognizable by its architectural crown, V&A is “interesting, beautiful, and free.”

The Natural History Museum
Cromwell Rd (due east of Queen’s Gate)
SW7 5BD

Wonderful for both children and adults, this playful museum is massive and has a west-facing garden.  Walking by, you notice the slate and sand colored brick facade which glows most beautifully at sunset.

View of the NHM via the garden.

View of the NHM via the garden.

The Ampersand Hotel
10 Harrington Rd
SW7 3ER

Although I have not spent a night here myself, the Ampersand comes highly recommended and I can attest that its restaurant Apero is a great spot for brunch.

Looking for a place to rest your head and heart in south kens? Ampersand boutique hotel is it.

Looking for a place to rest your head and heart in south kens? Ampersand boutique hotel is it.

Aux Merveilleux de Fred
88 Old Brompton Rd
SW7 3LQ

“The marvelous things that Fred makes…” Inside this bakery are many pieces of heaven. The classic merveilleux are tiny cakelike confections made of layers of merengue, but I go for the chocolat cramiques which are essentially brioche with flecks of dark chocolate.  I panicked when they closed for 2 weeks in August (how French!) but thankfully it was only for summer holiday. I have to be careful else I would eat here every day, they’re completely addicting.

Peeking into the marvellous French bakery. Is that Fred?!

Peeking into the marvellous French bakery. Is that Fred?!

The chocolat cramiques (soft brioche) are irresistable.

The chocolat cramiques (soft brioche) are irresistable.

La Bottega Italian Delicaffè
97 Old Brompton Road
SW7 3LD

My favorite place to bring the dogs and sit outdoors for a cappuccino and a quick sandwich.  Indoors the main staple is a giant deli counter with prepared foods and ready-to-grill sandwiches (prosciutto + arugula, mozzarella + tomato, etc.)  Meanwhile you will enjoy fabulous people watching (so international!)

La Bottega, a delicaffe run by Italians who do breakfast and lunch right.

La Bottega, a delicaffe run by Italians who do breakfast and lunch right.

The Hereford Arms
127 Gloucester Road
SW7 4TE

Our local watering hole, with “five star ales.” According to the pub, Sir James Barrie, author of Peter Pan, lived a few doors down on Gloucester Road.

The Hereford Arms.

The Hereford Arms.

Date Night: The Electric Cinema

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Despite its fame, the Electric Cinema still feels like a marvelous secret hidden in plain view on Portobello Road.  Hands down the best date-night spot in London, the historic 65-seat cinema is more than a place to catch a flick.  Order up a delicious burger and a bottle of wine, sink into a deep leather armchair and rest your heels on the cushioned ottoman. Feeling that trace of autumn in the London air? Reach for that cashmere blanket stowed inside the ottoman drawer. You can even reserve a sofa or a double bed for unparalleled movie-going comfort!  There is nothing like it…

Currently under lease by the Soho House Group, this unique affair is not limited to the cinema alone; they also run the neighboring Electric Diner and Electric House.  Originally built in 1911, the theatre space has survived two world wars and has donned many faces in its lifetime.  We were fascinated to read about its rich history that they’ve carefully kept alive. You feel it in the air.

Movie Programming includes a thoughtful mix of new releases, classics, and cult films.  We always book online and tickets start from 18GBP depending on your seat of choice. Peruse their smart website and you’ll find Electric also hosts special events such as Edible Cinema where “taste, aroma and texture [are used to] heighten the viewer’s sensory experience of the film.” Parents take note, Electric also has a Kids Club that screens family-friendly shows.

Doors open about 10 minutes before the featured screening time; this is when you queue up at the in-cinema bar and fill your wooden tray with gourmet food + bevs.  Our menu favorites include the pea and mint dip + croutons, the single cheeseburger, honey fried chicken, raw vegetables salad, and the “good” bottle of red.  Also on offer is bubbly in the form of champagne, prosecco or draught beer, plus a full espresso bar to keep you from snoring through lulls (you know who you are). If you have a sweet tooth like me, grab a mini-popcorn box from the boxoffice teller and for 3.50GBP you can chock it full of penny candy from the old-timey “pick ‘n mix” sweets display.

In the words of one-time owner Martin Davis, “The Electric is special and the most wonderful environment to see cinema in London.”  Follow my lead, and you might just score that second date.

The restored theatre with its original 20th century arch surrounding the screen.

The restored interior of the small theatre, with its original arch surrounding the screen.

The "pick 'n mix" candy bar.  It's a slippery slope.

The “pick ‘n mix” candy bar. It’s a slippery slope.

The beautifully tiled entranceway.

The beautifully tiled entranceway.

 

Post-theatre scene: exit onto historic Portobello road at sunset.

Post-theatre scene: exit onto historic Portobello road at sunset.

Electric Cinema
191 Portobello Road
Notting Hill, London
W11 2ED
Box Office Tel: +44 020 7908 9696

Neighborhood Watch: Marylebone, London

The backstreets of Marylebone.

Since moving to London three months ago, I have slowly been working my way through its colorful neighborhoods. Getting a good sense of each area takes at least a full day on foot, allotting time for wandering missteps which often lead to the best discoveries. There are so many interesting ‘hoods to check out but early in the game I fell for the very French neighborhood of Marylebone.   Below are our Videndae-visited and approved places to spend your day and dollar in this fabulous enclave.

Provisions

Orrery Epicerie – A perfect place to start your day in Marylebone, right at the north end of the high street.  This small French bakery and cafe occupies a pie-slice corner building across from a school, and has a few tables outdoors for people watching.  Its light breakfast and lunch offerings include wonderful baked goods, quiche, seasonal salads and beverages.  In addition there is a pantry and small grocer with specialty items you might want to check out.

Orrery Epicerie
55 Marylebone High Street
London W1U 5RB

The Natural Kitchen – Fresh produce, dry pantry items, home decor and deli in one, the Natural Kitchen is a great stop for a mid-day shopping break.  The standout is the deli which offers a wide range of freshly prepared salads, sandwiches, and inventive hot & cold dishes for eat in or take away.  By way of beverages they make fabulous coffee and delicious juices.  My last visit concluded in a take-away order of a flat white, a beet + fennel salad, and a pint of in-season raspberries to eat around the corner inside Paddington Gardens.

The Natural Kitchen Marylebone
77/79 Marylebone High Street
London W1U 5JX

La Fromagerie – This incredible shop is much more than just cheese, but if you care about cheese there is no better place to go.  The showcase cheese room is visible from the street and segregated by a glass door from the rest of the shop.  Here the kind and knowledgable staff will guide you through myriad offerings and cut you a taste of your selections.  The cheese room features a cheese maturing cellar (on-site affinage) and more wheels and wedges of cow’s, sheep and goat’s cheese than one can imagine.  The store also features an artfully-arranged selection of fresh seasonal produce, interesting high-quality dry goods (oils, condiments, pastas, etc), tableware, books, a kitchen + cafe.  We stop in every time we visit the area, and we are dying to score tickets for their Monday night dinner series in September!

La Fromagerie Cafe
2-6 Moxon Street
London W1U 4EW

Rococo Chocolates – A jewel box of a shop lined with a beautifully tiled floor, Rococo is filled with the best crafted chocolates London has to offer. Each bar is crafted of premium chocolate (the darker the better, we say!) and finished in hand-painted paper wrapping.  Their mini bee bars (20g each) are the perfect souvenir or gift – especially the  rose, violet, and jasmine dark floral chocolates that are made with perfume-grade essential oils.   Their classical-sized artisan bars (70g each) are addictive.  We recommend their Sea Salt Organic Milk Chocolate, or if you are a purist you must try the Valrhona Grand Cru No.1: Manjari.

Rococo Chocolate Shop
3 Moxon Street
London W1U 5HG

Pampering

Vaishaly – Simple, natural, effective skincare for life.  I have never had a better facial for the value – this is the best I’ve found versus elsewhere in NYC, LA, Europe or Asia. Every therapist here has at least 10 years of experience and was hand-picked by Vaishaly herself.  Vaishaly’s philosophy is “less is more,” so you won’t leave here being pressured to purchase the clinic’s creams.  Instead the entire experience is fresh, personal, practical, beautifying and educational. You will leave relaxed, wear less makeup, and understand how to better care for your skin at home.  Also worth a mention is their eyebrow threading + tinting services, all which aim to achieve the most natural look and shape possible.  I book once every two months or so, and next month I’ve got my husband coming with me!

Vaishaly
51 Paddington Street
London W1U 4HR

Margaret Dabbs Foot Clinic + Nail Spa – This is another one to book ahead.  When I first stumbled upon Margaret Dabbs clinic, I thought how brilliant she was for combining a medical-grade foot clinic and a nail salon. Staffed with specialist trained podiatrists as well as nail technicians, this team can tackle everything from a polished manicure to acupuncture and reflexology. The interior is clean and spa-like, and her signature pedicure is curiously performed on a dry foot to ensure “exceptionally long lasting results” that I attest to. The menu includes mani-pedis, waxing, acupuncture, reflexology, massage, detox and kinesiology.

Margaret Dabbs
7 New Cavendish Street
London W1G 8UU


Dropping Coin

There are so many lovely boutiques along Marylebone High Street, it’s a wonderful place to spend a day shopping.  Start at the intersection of Marylebone High Street and Beaumont Street.  Enjoy a breakfast at Orrery.  Walking south along the high street, pop into our favorite skincare and scent houses Diptyque, Aesop, and Le Labo.  Continuing south, you’ll pass the Natural Kitchen, Ash, the famous Daunt Books,  and the haute-couturier Matches.  Make a left onto Moxton Street to find food destinations Rococo and La Fromagerie before looping back onto the high street to continue south again.  Stop by the Kooples, Sandro, Whistles and even Theory.  Take a left at the corner of Bulstrode Street and visit the organic cosmetics and skin care mecca Being Content beauty + wellbeing.

Backtrack north along Marylebone High Street (also called Thayer here) at the intersection of George Street. Take a left onto George Street, where you will quickly run into the miniature Monocle shop – wonderful for thoughtful gifts and worldly finds.  Walk along George street for one block, then take a right onto Manchester street, a left onto Blandford, then a quick right onto Chiltern Street.  The stretch along Chiltern between Blandford and Dorset is one of the most incredible shopping and eating areas in Marylebone!  Here you’ll be charmed by the men’s store Trunk Clothiers, have a bite at Monocle Cafe, and peer into the star-studded garden at Chiltern Firehouse (but you’ll need a reservation for lunch or dinner – we hear it’s such a hotspot, local neighbors are outraged by the hovering paparazzi!)  Continuing north on Chiltern, stop into Cire Trvdon for luxe candles, and don’t miss Trunk LABS (accessories and travel-themed brother store to Trunk Clothier) before catching a taxi home.

Fuel up with breakfast at Orrery Epicerie before shopping along Marylebone High Street.

Fuel up with breakfast at Orrery Epicerie before shopping along Marylebone High Street.

Shopping along Chiltern Street in Marylebone, Trunk LABS is a must-see.

Shopping along Chiltern Street in Marylebone, Trunk LABS is a must-see.

Stop for a bite at Monocle, or visit the miniature Monocle sister store on George Street just off Marylebone High Street.

Stop for a bite at Monocle, or visit the miniature Monocle sister store on George Street just off Marylebone High Street.

Shout Out

I’d like to give a big shout out to three tastemakers I would follow to the ends of the earth: Guided by Cereal, Hotels We Love and GOOP. GOOP is the lifestyle company developed by the very knowledgable Gwyneth Paltrow. It was through the GOOP newsletter and app that I have found some of my most trusted spots around London. Hotels We Love is a new resource of mine that I’ve been referencing when exploring new Euro cities, and its by-the-hour Play suggestions are spot on!  Guided by Cereal is the new-ish travel site associated with the print magazine Cereal (based from Bath in the UK), whose photography and research keep us engaged and well informed.  We love the sleek design and their guides are incredible.  I have been so impressed with these three finds, I highly recommend you give them a look!