October 28 2011
“I travel so much – as does my husband, Benedict Cooper, who runs a media company – that my favourite place to spend the weekend is at home in London. I usually finish in my design studio at around 7pm on Friday and come straight home to spend time with my three-year-old daughter, Coco. We try to keep to one night out and one night in at the weekend, and Friday is our preferred night to go out. We usually go for dinner, to somewhere such as Hix, where I love the cod’s tongues – so light and delicious – or to The Groucho Club for cocktails; I like their espresso martini. Or we go where our friends want to go – there is always someone’s birthday to celebrate.
On Saturday morning, we wake up early with our daughter, around 7.30am, or if the nanny is there, we manage to sleep until 10am. All three of us have breakfast together in bed. I’ve lived in Marylebone since I first came to London in 1994, when it was quiet, with only charity shops, but now there’s so much we don’t need to leave the area.
We usually go to the High Street, grab a coffee from Paul and take Coco to the playground. After a midday snooze, we all set off for Mayfair for a late lunch, walking to Cecconi’s or The Wolseley, and this will be the main meal of the day. On the way, I might look at vintage jewellery in SJ Phillips, or the Burlington Arcade. I get inspiration from period jewellery, as some old pieces are very modern, especially designs from the 1940s or 1950s. Sometimes friends join us to eat, so we might not finish until around 5pm, but we’ll always try to leave time for some shopping. I love fashion; Alexander McQueen is a favourite, and I used to buy a lot of shoes but now I tend to wear my own designs.
Back at home, friends often pop in for tea or drinks, and then it’s time to put Coco to bed. Benedict and I settle down to catch up and spend some time together, which is increasingly rare. At the moment, we’re discussing our house renovations, so there are a lot of details to go through and decisions to make. We might watch a film, or read – I get through a lot of fiction, and buy a couple of books every weekend at Daunt Books in Marylebone High Street, which also has a good arts section.
On Sunday, there is a wonderful Farmers’ Market in Marylebone, with fresh vegetables, fruit, fish and meat. We usually meet friends for dim sum, either at the Royal China Club in Baker Street or the Princess Garden in North Audley Street. My favourite dish is prawn cheung fun. On the way, I stop off at a little shop in Blandford Street called Century, which sells quirky vintage furniture. I love collecting furniture, lamps and metal wall sculptures from the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s. My other favourite hunting ground is Alfies.
Our Sundays depend a lot on the season: in winter we stay indoors, go to galleries, exhibitions and museums; and in summer, we go to Regent’s Park – we love the secret garden there – or walk to Primrose Hill and meet friends for a drink in The Lansdowne, then sit in the park. We try to keep it varied. Sunday is also the time we scoot by the department stores – Selfridges or Harvey Nichols – where I check out the displays as part of my research. Benedict is great to go shopping with; he loves it, and has a great eye for fashion.
On Sunday evenings, I cook something light, usually fish; skate with capers, or sea bass with fennel and tomatoes. Then Benedict might do some work while I trawl eBay, searching for 20th-century lamps, furniture or the vintage sunglasses that I collect – I have hundreds of pairs. Finally, I’ll have a long bath before bed. And then it’s Monday, and the madness starts again.”