The Aesthete: Suzy Hoodless talks more personal taste

The interior designer, stylist and art director concludes her list of likes with Iris Apfel, spicy harissa and London’s Portobello

Suzy Hoodless at home in London
Suzy Hoodless at home in London | Image: Toby Coulson

My style icon is the American interior designer Iris Apfel. She is eccentric and elegant and forthright in her personal style. It’s rare to find someone who is not affected by anyone or anything but her own beliefs. 

The one artist whose work I would collect if I could is Tom Hammick, who tends to paint people in landscapes. His work has an interesting energy – it’s restful and gentle – and I also love his use of colour. Flowers Gallery, 21 Cork Street, London W1 (020-7439 7766; flowersgallery.com).

Iris Apfel
Iris Apfel | Image: Getty Images

The last item of clothing I added to my wardrobe was a Tiger Camo shirt by Bay Garnett from MiH Jeans. I like clothes I can dress up or down, and this boxy, heavy cotton-twill shirt works with everything. £225; mih-jeans.com.

In my fridge you’ll always find spicy, fragrant harissa from the halal butcher-cum-Moroccan delicatessen Le Maroc on the Golborne Road; fresh, slow-reared beef from Emmerdale Farm in Suffolk; and my own chipotle en adobo, made to a Thomasina Miers’ recipe. Emmerdale Farm Shop, Westleton Road, Darsham, Saxmundham, Suffolk IP17 3BP (01728-668 648; emmerdalefarmshop.co.uk). Le Maroc, 94 Golborne Road, London W10 (020-8968 9783). thomasinamiers.com.

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My favourite room in my house is the kitchen. It’s very industrial-looking and I loved the process of resolving the ergonomics so that it functions like a machine.

The person I rely on for my wellbeing is complementary therapist Tinya Yang who is like a physio and life coach rolled into one. I go to her when my bones are twinging and always come away feeling recharged. 07854-112 781; tinyayang@hotmail.com.

Garden, 2017, by Tom Hammick
Garden, 2017, by Tom Hammick | Image: Tom Hammick, courtesy of Flowers Gallery, London and New York, all rights reserved Bridgeman Images, 2017

If I had to limit my shopping to one neighbourhood in one city, I’d choose Portobello, my home neighbourhood in west London. It is such a diverse, culturally vibrant place with a real sense of community and great food. I buy all my fruit and veg from Alan and Lin’s market stall because everything they sell is really fresh. Native & Co is a wonderful Japanese and Taiwanese homeware shop selling functional things like kitchen brooms and bamboo baskets that are so exquisite I buy them to hang on the wall. Les Couilles du Chien is another favourite for antiques and decorative pieces: the founder, Jerome Dodd, has an eye for the unusual – you never know what you’ll find. Les Couilles du Chien, 65 Golborne Road, W10 (020-8968 0099; lescouillesduchien.com). Native & Co, 116 Kensington Park Rd, W11 (020-7243 0418; nativeandco.com).

The best souvenir I’ve brought home recently is a silver water jug I found in a shop in Marrakech: it was from the city’s legendary La Mamounia Hotel before it was redesigned. 

Hoodless’s Bay Garnett Tiger Camo shirt, £225, from MiH Jeans
Hoodless’s Bay Garnett Tiger Camo shirt, £225, from MiH Jeans | Image: Toby Coulson

The last music I downloaded was a playlist by Dan Lywood and Ben Bridgewater, the discerning DJs behind Playlister. I love the energy of everything they put together, from disco to electronica. playlister.fm.

The best book I’ve read in the past year was Leopard at the Door by Jennifer McVeigh. It’s a brilliant novel about Kenya. She captures the landscape and light of the country so well that you feel you are there. 

Native & Co in Portobello, London
Native & Co in Portobello, London

The best gift I’ve given recently was an oak and brass bench by Another Country. It was a birthday present for my husband – he likes clean, uncomplicated design and this is a perfectly proportioned piece of contemporary craft. £995; 18 Crawford Street, London W1 (020-7486 3251; anothercountry.com).

And the best gift I’ve received recently was a birthday party. My husband hired an amazing chef called Aimée Hirsch, who made Thai beef salad with papaya, crispy tomato and a ginger-lime dressing. She brought a bartender who served everyone in such a personal way that we all felt as though we had our own butler. 07854-481 193; aimeehirsch.com.

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If I weren’t doing what I do, I would work at the River Café. I adore cooking but I wouldn’t want to work in a hot, sweaty basement. The River Café kitchen is part of the restaurant – and who wouldn’t want to work with Ruth Rogers? Thames Wharf, Rainville Road, London W6 (020-7386 4200; rivercafe.co.uk).

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