Destinations | Perfect Weekend

Lulu Guinness’s West London

Lulu Guinness’s distinctive handbags and accessories are sold worldwide and have also been exhibited at Sotheby’s and in the V&A Museum’s permanent collection.

March 03 2011
Hilary Whitney

“I listen to as much Radio 4 as I can – I particularly like Saturday Live – with as many cups of coffee as it takes, usually about three, before I’m disturbed. At some point my daughters, Tara, 19, and Maddy, 14, will come in to discuss what they’re up to that day. I have a ridiculously large bed, about 8ft by 8ft, with lots of cushions so that people can sit at the end and chat to me. The dog, a West Highland Terrier called Woffle, will probably come up too.

I think I dress quite casually at the weekends – I realise it’s not everyone’s idea of casual but if I don’t wear make-up I’m bound to bump into a fashion editor, so I try to make an effort and put some red lipstick on. I usually wear an old crêpe-de-chine dress – I’ve got about 11 of them, all cut the same way, from Legacy in New York – and I’ll always wear heels unless I’m walking the dog.

After breakfast, which will probably be soda bread or fruit, I’ll do errands. I’ve lived in the same area of west London for over 20 years, so I like to catch up with all the local shopkeepers. I’ll go to Tavola, a tiny little Italian deli owned by Alastair Little, which has the most delicious ham and pasta, and do what I call an enjoyable shop, as opposed to a trolley shop. Then I’ll go to the newsagent’s and get the papers – the FT, and the Telegraph for the crossword – which I’ll dip into over the weekend.

I’ll probably take the girls for lunch at Pizza Express. Pizza Express features very large in my life. We used to see Solange Azagury-Partridge having lunch there with her family every weekend for about 10 years, so we saw each other’s children grow up. One of my favourite places, Video City, is next door so I might pop in afterwards. It’s great because as well as the latest releases, it has old movies, documentaries, world cinema. I’ve got quite an extensive video collection myself – and I mean videos, not DVDs. The other day we watched Abigail’s Party because I thought it was about time the girls saw it. I particularly like independent English films, such as An Education, and I love Hitchcock and film noir.

Then I might wander around Selfridges or see what’s going on in Chamberlayne Road in Kensal Rise, which has some fantastic shops such as Howie & Belle (pictured), a vintage boutique that sells everything from antique furniture to tea dresses.

If I go out in the evening, it will be to have a low-key supper with friends. There are also a couple of restaurants I like – The Dock Kitchen, which runs set-menu supper clubs inspired by the season or an author or a place – and Inaho, which probably serves the best sushi in the world, although it’s very small, so you can’t go there if you mind people overhearing your conversation. However, I’m more likely to stay at home. About two years ago I surrendered the sitting room to the girls, so our house is very popular with their friends. I don’t mind at all; in fact I really enjoy talking to them, but I usually go up to my bedroom. I have a lot of books, which I look at if I’m researching a collection, and that’s where I watch TV. I’m catching up with Mad Men, but I’m not above watching The X Factor, and I really got into Strictly Come Dancing towards the end of the last series.

On Sunday I always take the dog to Hyde Park and then I might go to Julie’s in Holland Park for a roast lunch. An absolute treat would be to spend the afternoon at either Tate Modern or the V&A – in an ideal world I’d live at the V&A. In the evening I’ll potter about quietly, making sure homework is done. I’ve only got about four years left of the girls being around so much, and I really want to make the most of it. With an early start the next day, I like to be in bed by 10pm. I’ll finish reading the papers and eventually drift off to sleep, listening to my beloved radio.”

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