Sandra Choi’s perfect weekend in London

The UK-born designer began her career as the teenage protégé of her uncle Jimmy Choo, and two decades later became creative director of the company he founded

Sandra Choi, creative director of Jimmy Choo
Sandra Choi, creative director of Jimmy Choo | Image: Chris Floyd

After a hectic week, my weekends are always about family time and soaking up everything that is going on in London. Our favourite place to go on Saturday morning is Brompton Cross for breakfast at Aubaine, which has the best breads and jams. I like to have a big breakfast, but the waiter will nearly always put my eggs and bacon in front of my husband Tamburlaine and give his croissant to me, so we have to switch. From there we drift into The Conran Shop – my husband is an artist, and I like to see what the design world is buying into. 

I love having a look around the Serpentine Galleries, where there’s always an interesting exhibition – last year’s show of works by Hilma af Klint, a little-known Swedish pioneer of modern abstract art, was one of my favourites. The installations are very child-friendly and it’s a good place for my daughters Phoenix, six, and Cyan, three, to let off steam. Then we squeeze into the bookshop, which always gets jam-packed. It has so many art and culture magazines I’ve never heard of but I get real pleasure flicking through them. 

We often eat Chinese food for lunch, either at Hakkasan or the Royal China Club, where I always bump into friends. My children love it and it’s a good way for them to understand a bit of Chinese culture. They love dim sum and the fun of eating seaweed or crispy duck, when they can get their hands dirty.

Antiques shopping is something we do a lot of – we go to Church Street and visit Alfies and other dealers, including James Worrall and Les Couilles du Chien. I love art deco but not the angular, sharp designs – I prefer the softer, elongated lines when it crossed with art nouveau, and florals interwined with metal. I am also a regular at Howe on Pimlico Road, where we buy textiles and sofas, which Christopher Howe makes to order. 


If we’ve got our act together we might go out for dinner on Saturday night, especially for the Italian food at Chucs – I’ll have the vitello tonnato and the excellent zucchini fritti. We both love cooking and I am quite inquisitive: if I’m eating something in a restaurant I want to know how to make it, whether it’s Mark Hix’s seabass sashimi or the king crab egg pudding at Nobu

We also enjoy having friends over on Saturday night or for Sunday lunch, in which case we’ll shop for food on Chelsea Green – it’s like a marketplace in the middle of Chelsea and a nice spot to pick up all your bits and pieces. There’s Andreas, a grocery store and possibly the most expensive shop in London, Jago the butcher and The Chelsea Fishmonger. I’m very traditional with Sunday lunch – we have roast chicken or beef with all the veg and Yorkshire pudding.

After lunch we’ll go for a good walk in Battersea Park, which is steps from our house, and stroll along the south side of the river. When I first arrived in London I always said to myself that I wanted to live near the Albert Bridge, so it’s quite a landmark for us. It’s also my gateway – when I cross to the south side I am home, when I cross it the other way it’s going into my professional life, so it’s very symbolic to me.

If we want a Sunday culture fix we’ll go to the Tate Modern – every floor shows you something different, and there are lots of great workshops for children. In the evening I get ready to go back to reality, organising school uniforms and catching up on chores, then later on we’ll settle down to watch a great historical drama, like War and Peace. 


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