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London Calling

By now, my dear friends, you surely know I am an avid traveller. However, I have never thought of myself as one to give travel advice. Certainly, I’ll recommend a few hotels, bars, museums, sights and restaurants to friends who ask, but I’m a designer first and foremost, not a travel agent. And yet, a conversation just last week made me ponder about all the little hidden alcoves, side street spots and unknown views I’ve experienced… surely I should share?

And so I have for your viewing pleasure, a brief account of my favourite locations throughout London.

Hotel: The Rosewood

The first stop is a luxurious hotel that knows how to please. At The Rosewood they know how to welcome you in style - you begin by walking through a carriage archway into an Edwardian courtyard before you arrive at the grand building itself. Inside, there’s Cuban mahogany, the very rare Swedish Green and Statuary marble, a sweeping Renaissance-style staircase… it’s simply breathtaking.

Now, I haven’t even started on the impeccable service, the dining room, the spa, the fitness suite,  and the lavish Rivolta Carmignani Italian Linen… and I’m always a fan of having my own personal Nespresso coffee machine so easily acessable!

Out and about: Portobello Antiques Market

Now it may seem at odds with all the luxury of the Rosewood, but I can’t help myself. There’s something fascinating about darting in amongst the crowd of a market, rifling through antique treasures, finding the perfect little treasure to take home with you.

The British do antiques like no other (after all, they have so much more history than us). At the Portobello Antiques Market on Saturdays you’ll find all manner of jewelry, instruments, china, war memorabilia, books, photographs, fur and furniture (my one true love!) If you’re a discerning picker these markets are for you.

Shopping: All Saints

I stumbled upon this fascinating store purely by chance as I wandered along Regent Street one afternoon. The fashion is very forward and quite particular. A little bit steampunk, a little bit rock n’ roll, the clothes are all about grungy, distressed style - and not a bright colour to be seen! However, I respect a designer who does not compromise on their style for the sake of popularity.


Yet it was the interior design itself that really drew my attention. Cotton reels, looms and old sewing machines are scattered across the floorboards or line the bare brick  walls.

Bags hung on cogs, shirts lay folded on printing presses, and jewelry was presented from beneath large bell jars. Regardless of whether it’s your style, I implore you to take a stroll through All Saints and take in the daring aesthetics.

So what do you think? Should I quit the designer life and become a travel agent after all?

1 Comment

Susanne Gilmour
Susanne Gilmour

September 02, 2014

Thank you for showing parts of London I haven’t seen even though I lived there in the mid nineties. Can you believe I’ve never been to the Portobello market? I’m going in January and will definitely be checking out the places you have shown. It’s a fantastic city!

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