The Aesthete: Daniel Hopwood talks personal taste

Daniel Hopwood is a champion of British crafts, whose interiors combine sleek modernism with relaxed warmth

Daniel Hopwood at home in London
Daniel Hopwood at home in London | Image: Andy Donohoe

My personal style signifier is my 1960s Longineswatch, which was my father’s. I always used to tease him that it would be mine one day, and he eventually gave it to me as a Christmas present. longines.com.

The last thing I bought and loved was a late-19th-century Venetian bombe commode – it’s Sophia Loren in furniture form. My flat is sleek and modern and this adds something different. pamono.com.

Vespa GTS SuperSport 300 ABS, £5,399
Vespa GTS SuperSport 300 ABS, £5,399

And the thing I’m eyeing next is a scooter. I’ve had them before – and had them stolen before – but I’m like a moth to a flame. There’s a tiny little Vespa I fancy – it doesn’t look like much, but it’s 300cc and goes like a Ferrari. I always go to R Agius on London’s Edgware Road, the oldest scooter shop in the country. £5,399; 363 Edgware Road, London W2 (020-7723 0995; ragius.piaggiogroup.co.uk).

The last meal that truly impressed me was at a restaurant in the south of France called L’Artémise. It’s in an old farmhouse on the side of a gorge. You turn up and they ask, “Is there anything you don’t like?” And that’s it. Then they just let the chef perform. Last time I went I had turbot with chorizo and grapefruit. The place is magic. Chemin de la Fontaine, 30700 Uzès (+334-6663 9414; lartemise.com).

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A recent “find” is a young French antiques dealer in Fulham called Dorian Caffot de Fawes. He has a tiny shop that specialises in furniture from the early 20th century to the 1950s, and you can just go in there and buy blindly from him – it’s all perfect. 313 Lillie Road, London SW6 (020-7386 9386; dorian-antiques.com).

The last item of clothing I added to my wardrobe was a navy blue suit from Edward Sexton. He was one of the big fashion tailors in the 1970s, working with people like The Rolling Stones and David Bowie, and his clothes are very slick with some slight art deco references – the trousers are higher, the collars are bigger. I wanted a suit that would make people think, “God, you’re well dressed”, but without being ostentatious. 26 Beauchamp Place, London SW3 (020‑7838 0007; edwardsexton.co.uk).

Hopwood’s vintage Longines watch
Hopwood’s vintage Longines watch | Image: Andy Donohoe

My favourite room in my house is my kitchen-lounge-diner – my flat is all one room really. This main space is a bit like a winter garden; it has a bay window with a great view and the sun pouring in. The bay has a gilded-stainless-steel ceiling to add a warm glow at night and is also where my dining table is. I placed a comfortable, sofa-like banquette around it, making it sociable and not just for eating.

The grooming staple I’m never without is Czech & Speake No 88 cologne, which combines a rich muskiness with some spicy highlights. People always ask me what it is. I also go to Santa Maria Novella pharmacy for Tabacco Toscano, an amazing shaving cream made in Florence. Czech & Speake No 88, £100 for 100ml EDC; czechandspeakefragrance.com. Santa Maria Novella Tabacco Toscano shaving cream, £45 for 220ml; Piccadilly Arcade, London SW1 (020-7493 1975; smnovella.it).

L’Artémise restaurant, set in an old farmhouse in the south of France
L’Artémise restaurant, set in an old farmhouse in the south of France

The last music I downloaded was Michael Kiwanuka’s album Love & Hate. In the age of Spotify it’s the first time in ages I’ve done that old-fashioned thing of actually listening to a record in full. It’s very souly, but gritty and rocky as well. It has a real edge to it. michaelkiwanuka.com.

The best gift I’ve given recently was a cooking masterclass at Claridge’s to learn how to do Sunday roast. Learning how to make a roast there – that’s perfection, isn’t it? It was for my partner because we want to do more entertaining at home, both in London and at our house in France – our neighbours there love it when we cook for them. £250; Brook Street, London W1 (020-7409 6232; claridges.co.uk).

Hopwood’s bronze sculpture of a dancer by Edgar Degas
Hopwood’s bronze sculpture of a dancer by Edgar Degas | Image: Andy Donohoe

And the best one I’ve received recently was a bronze sculpture of a dancer by Degas. It was from my partner’s mother and has been passed down her family, so it was very moving to have it handed on to me.

My favourite websites and apps include Pinterest, which I use with clients: I get them to collect images on it to help me learn about their taste. I also use Citymapper a lot, which is the best thing for getting around. It helps you integrate walking into your journeys, instead of just sitting on the Tube all the time. I also use the Apple Health app to count my steps and walk further now because of it.

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