Kiki McDonough’s perfect weekend in London

The Chelsea-based fine jewellery designer is known for her unusual combinations of kaleidoscopic gemstones and last year celebrated 30 years in the business

Kiki McDonough in the Paul Hamlyn Hall at London’s Royal Opera House
Kiki McDonough in the Paul Hamlyn Hall at London’s Royal Opera House | Image: Rick Pushinsky

“The first 15 minutes of Saturday morning are spent just lying in bed, thinking how lovely it is not to wake to the alarm clock and to be able to enjoy some peace and quiet. Both my boys – William, 24, and Edward, 22 – are living at home at the moment. William works at Bear Grylls Survival Academy and Edward, who has just left university, recently started at Ernst & Young. It means I have a lot of food shopping to do on Saturday morning, as the fridge is always empty by the weekend. I head across the bridge to the Fine Food Market in Duke of York Square, and go straight to the Regina Food stand, which has the best pecorino. I’ll wander round the market to see what else takes my fancy and then cross the King’s Road to pop into John Sandoe Books. This place is a treasure trove. I go in looking for a specific book and come out an hour later with three. It’s also great for coffee-table books for gifts.

Afterwards, I might get a blowdry by Judit at Sejour – I have very short hair and she is especially good at cutting and styling it. Or I’ll whizz down the King’s Road to Casa Manolo, a Spanish shop that sells the most delicious Ibérico ham. Then it’s time for a bit of “retail research”, mainly on Sloane Street, and trying desperately – but usually failing – to keep out of my favourite shop, Prada. I love to see how shops entice people in, how things are set out, what carpet they choose, what music they play, how the sales staff act. On my way home I stop off at Gail’s in Battersea Square to buy San Francisco sourdough from its amazing selection of breads.

I’ll meet girlfriends for lunch at Lucio’s on the Fulham Road. I’ve known Lucio for a long time, along with his wife and son, and he’s always so welcoming. I usually choose the ribollita; it’s delicious. In the afternoon, I love to go to the National Portrait Gallery – there’s always something there I want to see.


After a full Saturday, the only thing that would tempt me out in the evening is the ballet, especially at the Royal Opera House, where I’ll make a beeline for the shop to buy DVDs. I adore the ballet – I’m a patron of the Royal Opera House and support the London Children’s Ballet and the New English Ballet Theatre. When I was younger I would queue for hours for tickets and was once lucky enough to get a couple of returns to see Margot Fonteyn and Rudolf Nureyev in Romeo and Juliet. It cost me a whole week’s wages but was incredible.

Sunday will be far more leisurely. In the morning I’ll nestle down on the sofa and take my time reading the newspapers. I always cook Sunday lunch, a traditional roast from Jago Butchers on Elystan Street. For dessert, it might be one of the amazing cakes from L’Eto Caffè; I dash there after listening to Desert Island Discs and always choose something with chocolate.

After lunch we will watch football: one of my sons is a Chelsea supporter, while I and my other son are both Liverpool fans – we all take it pretty seriously. Sometimes I’ll decide to go for a walk in Battersea Park; if I do, I’ll record the football and watch Match of the Day later.


Early evening on Sunday is a very peaceful time for me and I’ll think about my next collection, dreaming up colour combinations. Because I’m so relaxed, I find myself quite inspired. Even if I’ve spent the weekend out of town with friends, I’m always back home by 6pm. I love Sunday nights and treasure this downtime for myself before my hectic week begins.”

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