Victoria Siddall talks personal taste

Victoria Siddall is director of the Frieze art fairs that take place annually in London and New York

Victoria Siddall at home in London
Victoria Siddall at home in London | Image: Rick Pushinsky

My personal style signifier is a pair of stylish yet practical shoes, as I spend a lot of time walking around galleries and art fairs. I have a pair of black Céline brogues that I’m wearing a lot at the moment, and a pair of flat pale-pink slip-ons by Rupert Sanderson.

Some Prefer Nettles by Junichiro Tanizaki
Some Prefer Nettles by Junichiro Tanizaki | Image: Rick Pushinsky

The last thing I bought and loved was a very early George Grosz drawing [pictured] from 1914 at Frieze Masters. It means a lot to me because I once thought I would never be able to afford anything by him. It’s a drawing of a woman that at first glance is quite classical, but also has a strangeness and darkness to it that is very Grosz. David Nolan Gallery, 527 West 29th Street, New York, NY Galerie Daniel Blau, Maximilianstrasse 26, 80539 Munich


And the things I’m eyeing next are some beautiful lambswool blankets designed by Sanya Kantarovsky and Ella Kruglyanskaya from House of Voltaire, which commissions artists to make products. Both their blankets are bold in design – a similar style to their artworks – and the profits benefit the exhibition and education programmes of Studio Voltaire, a fantastic non-profit gallery in south London.

The Lotos Room at The Beaumont hotel
The Lotos Room at The Beaumont hotel

A recent “find” is Leila’s Shop in Shoreditch. For Christmas I was given a “ration book” voucher for this incredible grocery store, which sells amazing blood oranges, La Grotta ice cream – made in London by Kitty Travers – and wonderful olive oil in five‑litre tins. It’s the sort of place where you want to buy everything, and there’s a sister café next door. 15-17 Calvert Avenue, London E2 (020-7729 9789).

Siddall’s vintage Cartier gold, turquoise and lapis lazuli ring
Siddall’s vintage Cartier gold, turquoise and lapis lazuli ring | Image: Rick Pushinsky

The best book I’ve read in the past year is a short novel called Some Prefer Nettles [pictured] by Junichiro Tanizaki, which is a fascinating glimpse into 1920s Japan, but also a very intimate and moving account of a marriage and a family. I’m also currently midway through Elena Ferrante’s Neapolitan novels and finding them increasingly engaging and wonderful. Ferrante’s decision to shroud herself in mystery has made her as fascinating as her books.

Siddall’s calfskin Céline tote, about £1,100
Siddall’s calfskin Céline tote, about £1,100 | Image: Rick Pushinsky

The last meal that truly impressed me was dinner in the Lotos Room [pictured], a private dining area at The Beaumont hotel in London. Not only was the food fantastic – classic dishes done really well – but the place has the best possible atmosphere. Around the walls there are black and white photographs of women who, I was told by co-owner Jeremy King, were all involved in a scandal in some way; I thought this was great. And you can create your own ice-cream sundae from a menu of different flavours, sauces and toppings. Brown Hart Gardens, London W1 (020-7499 1001;


The best gift I’ve given recently was a Hans Wegner dining table to my partner. I bought it from Bruun Rasmussen, a Danish auction house. It’s a very beautiful thing, but also very practical. That’s the best kind of gift – something you can use every single day.

And the best one I’ve received recently was a vintage Cartier ring [pictured] from my partner on the birth of our daughter. It’s from the 1970s and shaped like two hot-air balloons in gold, turquoise and lapis lazuli. It was sourced from Duro Olowu, an amazing fashion designer with some incredible one-off pieces of vintage jewellery. 14 Masons Yard, London SW1 (020-7839 2387;

The last accessory I added to my wardrobe was a big, bright-green tote [pictured] by Céline. The shop assistant recommended that I buy the black one, but I went for the green anyway. It’s a fantastic colour and can fit everything in it, including a laptop. About £1,100;

My favourite websites or apps are Instagram, Spotify for music and the BBC for news. I also use Kiva, which allows you to help crowdfund small businesses in developing countries. It’s a great charitable enterprise.

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