Where the best place for date night?
Primeur in Stoke Newington is a real favourite: the food is sublime, the staff beyond friendly and they chalk your names onto the tables in a candlelit converted 1920s car mechanics garage. I’ve had some lovely dates in Andrew Edmunds in Soho, and also have a soft spot for Pizarro on Bermondsey Street - site of my first date with my now fiancé.
Which restaurant has the best interiors?
The interiors of the recently opened seafood restaurant Neptune in Bloomsbury are amazing. Think a gleaming curved oyster bar, creamy peach walls and Art Deco banquettes. I love Spring too – it’s probably the prettiest dining room in London.
Which bar do you always return to and what do you order?
Around Christmas time I have a soft spot for Claridge’s and all its festive finery for a treat. My favourite cocktail is a White Lady, although nothing beats a glass of champagne. My more regular haunt is the Holly Bush pub in Hampstead where my tipple is a large glass of Sauvignon Blanc.
What was the last incredible meal you had?
Mere on Charlotte Street in London blew my socks off – everything was exquisite. Monica Galetti (of Masterchef fame) is beyond talented in the kitchen.
What’s your favourite dish from a London restaurant?
Basically I am a dumpling fiend. From Yauatcha to Leung’s Legend in Chinatown, if they’ve got good dim sum I will be an immediate fan.
What’s the best restaurant and bar for a girls’ night-out?
The Laughing Heart in Hackney, then down the road to Shoreditch for drinks.
Where do you go for Sunday lunch?
The Wells in Hampstead (preceded by a walk on the Heath to work up an appetite.)
Where do you go for great Asian food?
For Indian food, I love Gunpowder near Spitalfields Market or Trishna in Marylebone.
And when you need something comforting?
A hangover pizza with anchovies, olives and capers at Pizza Express.
What’s been a great recent discovery?
Imad’s Supper Club. I went in the summer and loved it. Amazing for big groups of friends and discovering more about Syrian cuisine. They have a festive pop-up with Choose Love at the moment at 39 Great Marlborough Street. It is a fabulous night out.
Where would you take a client to impress them?
Can’t go wrong with Milk and Honey in Soho. Gordon’s on Villiers Street is a famous journo haunt so always quite fun at a certain time of day (read, when it’s not too crowded).
Most romantic restaurant?
Where’s the best place for brunch in London?
Ginger and White on England’s Lane. I used to live around the corner and I miss it every Sunday morning.
Is there anywhere you haven’t tried yet, but are itching to?
Brat in Shoreditch. I made a reservation weeks in advance then came down with flu and had to cancel. I have heard glowing reports about their potatoes.
Where do you go if you want to go dancing?
A wedding. Or Glastonbury.
What’s your must-book event of 2019?
Spice Girls tickets.
Elsewhere, what’s the coolest boutique hotel you’ve stayed in?
I stayed last summer at the San Giorgio in Mykonos. It was so chic, a white-washed haven away from the party scene and the pool snacks were to die for.
And if there was one hotel in the world you would happily move in to, what would it be?
Blanket Bay near Queenstown, New Zealand.
Where are the best places to stay, eat, drink, shop in Paris?
I go to Paris a lot for work and usually stay in the first arrondissement because I need to be central. Hotel Therese is a charming little hotel, reasonably priced (which is saying something for Paris) where lots of fashion editors tend to stay. I always stop off at Gas Bijoux for earrings and Takara for delicious non-French food. If I end up with a night off (which is rare) ending up at Raspoutine after one too many drinks is always hilarious, if only for the people watching.
And what about New York?
I lived in New York for four years and it still feels like a second home to me. I stay at the Bowery, if I can, when I visit but also like the Marlton and the Wythe (otherwise for work its always NYT accommodation up in Times Square). I tend not to shop but I normally swing by Intermix or have a potter in the boutiques that dot the Lower East Side. Little Owl was always a favourite haunt for dinner, as was Red Farm (for the PacMan dumplings) and Kiki’s for amazing Greek food. In Williamsburg, I like Samurai Mama for Japanese and in Bushwick, Roberta’s Pizza is still worth the hike. If you want a great dive bar, ForgetMeNot is the best Bloody Mary in town.
Have you travelled anywhere recently you absolutely loved and where is on your wish list to go next?
I have just come back from Kyoto in Japan and it was so spectacular. We visited so many shrines and temples shrouded in stunning autumn leaves and foliage. I stayed in a charming little ryokan, Mugen, which had the kindest staff and a secret bar. Monk restaurant on Philosopher’s Walk is another must, as is a wander along the Pontocho bars by the river.
Next up on the wish list: St Petersburg for a city break and Kenya for an adventure.
Where’s best for a beach holiday?
I am half Kiwi so was rather spoilt in my youth by sweeping white beaches and big blue waves with barely another soul in sight. I have spent many a happy Christmas at the beaches of Waiheke Island in New Zealand – a festive walk and swim along Onetangi Bay is the best possible start to the day.
And city break - where do you stay?
I recently went to Budapest, which was fabulous. Try Brody House – charming, affordable and right in the centre of town. I would 100 percent go back.
Where’s the best hotel for a UK staycation?
I haven’t been yet but Thyme in Burford, Oxfordshire, looks absolutely amazing. I am also a fan of renting a little National Trust cottage for the weekend – they can be very affordable and you can find yourself in the most unexpected and enchanting of places.
Where do you go if you are in need of a health kick?
I need to get better at going on health kicks.
What about fitness in general? Do you have a favourite gym?
Aren’t gyms a thing of the past? The switch in London from gym memberships to (often overpriced) workout classes in recent years has been enormous. Count me as part of that tribe.
Favourite workout class?
Psycle Mortimer Street. I try to go three times per week. Veronique is a dream instructor and really kicks my butt. Recently I’ve also started getting into Barrecorre. It generates pain in muscles I never even knew existed.
Who does the best healthy lunch?
If it’s a desk lunch I love a Poke bowl from Ahi Poke just off Charlotte Street which isn’t far from the New York Times offices.
Which is your favourite department store?
In London it has to be Selfridges. Every time. Their buying team is just the best.
Where’s great for shopping gifts?
I’m a bit obsessed with Motley London – a new jewellery label that creates collaborations with the world’s best independent designers at affordable prices. My A-team will be getting a lot of Sian Evans Bubble hoops in their stockings this Christmas.
Who does the best facial in London?
I go to Fern Skin Clinic in Belsize Park, North London. It’s a Kiwi-owned place and the treatments are absolutely superb. I am a devotee - turning 30 made me pay a lot more attention to my skin. When I’m in need of a quick fix I am also a big fan of Dr. Jart hydration masks. Dr. Jart is a cult South Korean brand, the products are very reasonably priced and amazingly you can find it on ASOS! It’s like giving your skin a long delicious drink of water and you really do glow afterwards.
Where do you get your nails done?
I love Ruuby, the mobile beauty app. I used to live in New York and got very used to nail bars that were open all hours of day and night. So the convenience of someone coming directly to your home while you sit in your pajamas has been a lifesaver.
What about hair?
DryBy near Oxford Circus is my go-to blow dry spot if I have a work or social event and need an extra shot of confidence. I go for the “Rome”: the higher the hair, the closer to heaven, and all that.
And the best spa?
I’m not really a spa person in London to be honest. No time, and prefer to properly relax when I can on holiday.
Do you have a favourite museum or gallery?
Where do you go when you want to watch a film?
I love Everyman cinemas. At the one in Hampstead they bring you delicious burgers direct to your seat from Spielburgers next door.
And finally, where do you shop online?
The usual suspects: Net-a-Porter and MatchesFashion.com and I love the edit of The Modist, Soru Jewellery, and Jennifer Behr for sparkly things. As well as Motley London for jewellery – I'm on my fourth pair of earrings in as many months!
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