July 28 2014
My personal style signifier is a beautiful 7.1ct diamond ring. I spotted the stone in an engagement ring at Grays Antiques Market. I had never seen a cut like it, and asked the dealer Andre Kaae to create a very heavy, plain setting, which he did perfectly. 1-7 Davies Mews, London W1 (020-7629 1200; www.graysantiques.com).
The last things I bought and loved were two bespoke pieces of glossy black crocodile luggage, lined in my signature violet, from Araldi 1930, a wonderful, privately owned leather-goods company in Milan. Piazza Della Spiga 30, 20121 Milan (+3902-783 474; www.araldi.com).
And the thing I’m eyeing next is a fabulous diamond and emerald watch from Dhamani in Dubai. I decided at the time that it was a little too much, even for me, but I am still thinking about it. +9714-434 0214; www.dhamani.com.
The last meal that truly impressed me was the stinging-nettle risotto at the Garden Restaurant in The Dolder Grand Hotel in Zurich. I loved it so much I had it for lunch on both days of my stay, and would return in a heartbeat for more. Kurhausstrasse 65, 8032 Zurich (+4144-456 6000; www.thedoldergrand.com).
The best souvenir I’ve brought home is a 1920s pochoir stencil of a highly stylised harlequin, given to me by my friend Roger Dew, an antiques dealer who lives in New York. It looks at me from a wall near my bed and always makes me smile.
An object I would never part with is a diamond bangle that my partner Peter gave me when I was 18. I have never taken it off.
The people I rely on for personal grooming and wellbeing are Christopher Jones on the City Road, who has always cut my hair and gets it just right, and Dr Fredrik Andersson, my lovely dentist on Harley Street, who always makes me laugh in the chair. Dr Fredrik Andersson, 22 Harley Street, London W1 (020-7580 0744; www.dentalstudio22.com). Touch Hairdressing, 291 City Road, London EC1 (020‑7251 6465; www.touchhairdressing.com).
The last music I downloaded was the German tenor Jonas Kaufmann performing in Verdi’s Requiem. His voice is wonderful and very strong, but he manages to express tenderness and an unexpected fragility.
The last accessory I added to my wardrobe was a pair of black silk Christian Louboutin slippers, intricately embroidered with gold flowers. £1,095; www.christianlouboutin.com.
The books on my bedside table are Lucia Revived, in which Richard Ellis has brought the characters from EF Benson’s Mapp & Lucia back to life – in my view, the world is all the better for it – and always a book of poems by WB Yeats. My favourite is He Wishes for the Cloths of Heaven.
In my fridge you’ll always find, in London, lots of Laurent-Perrier Ultra Brut, which I adore for its dryness. I never cook, so I store bottles of it in the unused oven. In Brighton, I have South Downs butter and Clarence Court Burford Brown eggs for eggs and soldiers. www.laurent-perrier.com.
A recent “find” is Jean Rousseau, which makes the finest leather goods. I have a crocodile iPad cover and a bespoke crocodile case for my Ray‑Ban sunglasses, because the one they came in was so ugly. iPad cover, £750; 8 Piccadilly Arcade, London SW1 (020-7629 3963; www.jean-rousseau.com).
An unforgettable place I’ve travelled to in the past year is Portofino. I have lived by the sea all my life, but the water there shimmered like nothing I had ever seen before.
The artists whose work I would collect if I could are Sonia Delaunay, whose vibrant pieces I have loved for most of my life, and the British painter Harvey Daniels, a lifelong friend who sadly died last year.
My favourite website is Tajan. Peter and I collect decorative arts from the 1920s and 1930s, and I adore scrolling through this French auction house’s lots – I never know what I want until I see it. www.tajan.com.