November 30 2010
My personal style signifier is my ballet pumps. I wear them all the time, as I’m on my feet most of the day. I’ve got them in red, pink, navy, orange, blue lacy and black patent; my favourites are from Prada. And I always wear one of my own pendants; they’re so versatile and go with any neckline. Prada, 43-45 Sloane Street, London SW1 (020-7235 0008). Kiki McDonough, 12 Symons Street, London SW3 (020-7730 3323; www.kiki.co.uk).
The last thing I bought and loved was my Mini Cooper S John Cooper Works. It’s a fantastic car with a souped-up engine that goes like the clappers. Mine is in dark grey – very city chic. It really is the nippiest thing. www.mini.co.uk.
And the thing I’m eyeing next is an iPad. It would be such a great tool to carry round; I could get my whole collection on it. And I could watch movies on the train. www.apple.com/uk/ipad.
An unforgettable place I’ve travelled to in the past year is Reethi Rah in the Maldives, an island resort with private villas. It’s the most amazing place – so peaceful and secluded, and the service is phenomenal. After 10 days I had forgotten who I was; absolute relaxation, mental and physical. www.oneandonlyresorts.com.
And the best souvenir I’ve brought home is a stone that I found on holiday in Southwold when I was a child. It’s creamy with red lines going through it, so we call it the “raspberry ripple stone”, after the awful ice cream we used to eat. I keep it on a shelf in my bedroom.
The people I rely on for grooming and style are Philippa Chance, who gives the best tension-easing massages, and Myha Tran, the best manicurist in London. It’s important that my nails look good, as people are always looking at my jewellery. She does a wonderful hand massage and a very pretty French polish. Myha Tran, 07769-723 083. Philippa Chance, 07738-424 420.
A recent “find” is a shop called Just Campagne in St Tropez, which sells the most beautiful bags. I bought a purple shoulder bag with a simple tassel and loop to fasten (I can’t stand bags with flaps and locks that are complicated to open). It’s so pretty, I’ve already had loads of compliments about it. Le Grand Passage, 5 Rue Allard, St Tropez (+334-9497 3991; www.justcampagne.com).
The one artist whose work I would collect if I could is Howard J Morgan. His portraits in oil are quite superb. If you like “photographic” portraits, he is not the artist for you; but what he does so brilliantly is to capture the essence of the person. www.howard-morgan.co.uk.
The last music I downloaded was the score of La Fille Mal Gardée by Ferdinand Herold. It’s such a jolly, colourful ballet – you always come out of it in a good mood – and the music has the same effect.
The books on my bedside table are Somerset Maugham’s short stories, which I find moving, funny and sad; and Lynda La Plante’s Silent Scream. I’m so busy in my life that my attention span has shortened, but Lynda La Plante always grabs me.
In my fridge you’ll always find meat – especially, in the autumn, partridge, pheasant and game (luckily, my two sons are also fans). And a coffee sponge cake. I get them from village fêtes or cake sales or M&S – preferably without the walnuts.
The best gift I’ve given recently was a Nespresso coffee machine, to the fantastic girls at work. They were spending a fortune on cappuccinos and lattes, so I bought them a proper espresso maker with all the gizmos. www.nespresso.com.
And the best one I’ve received recently was, coincidentally, from the girls at work. They got me a voucher for a hot stone massage at Urban Retreat at Harrods. It was blissful, and so sweet of them. 87-135 Brompton Road, London SW1 (020-7893 8333; harrods.urbanretreat.co.uk).
My favourite websites are Matches Fashion – it has such a good selection. I recently bought a coat from it, which saved me trooping round 50 shops. Google Maps is brilliant; instant directions. Lastly, YouTube. It’s wonderful that I can sit and watch Margot Fonteyn dancing in my lunch break. www.matchesfashion.com. maps.google.com. www.youtube.com.