“We live in a traditional apartment building on Manhattan’s Upper East Side with the classic awnings and a doorman who takes your bags before you’ve even climbed out of your taxi. I love the neighbourhood – we are right near the park and lots of great coffee shops.
First thing on a Saturday, I’ll go to Ballet Beautiful’s studio on East 75th for a private lesson. You hardly sweat and it’s a great, relaxing workout – the perfect start to the day. I heard about it through the Victoria’s Secret girls; they all do it before a fashion show, and I thought, “I want to look like Lily Aldridge!”
I’ll then go to The Mark, on East 77th and have breakfast – eggs and soldiers or a great avocado toast – in this beautiful Jacques Grange-designed room. The hotel has a proper old-world glamour about it – you really feel you are in New York. I try to give my sons, Elliott, 13, and Dylan, 11, the morning free, as they have an intense schedule at school, so after breakfast I get them and we head to The Met’s rooftop café and garden, which has phenomenal views over the city. Sometimes we see a show at the Costume Institute, but the boys love the permanent exhibitions of armour and things like that. Right across from The Met is Sheep Meadow, in Central Park, where they run and play football – and there’s an amazing lake for remote-controlled sailboats.
For lunch we’ll either go to Sant Ambroeus, which has pasta that the boys love – it’s quite a family place but also a real fashion hub, and I always bump into someone I know – or to Pearl Oyster Bar in the West Village, which serves the best spaghetti vongole I have ever eaten. It’s a wonderful old-school fish restaurant, and it’s hidden away, so it’s ideal when you want something less hectic.
Later, I’ll browse in a few stores. The Line, on Greene Street, is like walking into someone’s home where everything is for sale. There’s fashion and furniture, art and even bathroom products – I love those by Amayori, which are beautifully packaged. De Vera is another favourite; I can’t walk past. It has amazing curiosities and costume jewellery, and it always feels like you will find something totally unique: two of my best buys have been an antique cameo ring and a turquoise-and-shell bracelet. Everything is beautifully packaged too, and finished with a seal.
On Saturday evening I might see a movie. I’ve recently discovered Cinemas 1, 2 & 3 near our apartment, which has the most amazing La-Z-Boy-style chairs – we stock up on sweets and milkshakes at Dylan’s Candy Bar opposite first – and while we’re watching I feel like I am floating on a cloud.
On Sunday morning I love to go to Jack’s Wife Freda, an all-day bistro on Lafayette where you can sit outside and watch people go by – it has amazing healthy breakfasts and salads. Sometimes we go across to Brooklyn where the artist Dustin Yellin has this great non-profit arts foundation, Pioneer Works, where they hold talks and exhibitions. There is always something going on; it’s an extraordinary place, and we can just walk over the Brooklyn Bridge and hop in a taxi.
Depending on the boys’ homework, we might go to Shun Lee on the Upper West Side for dinner. I’ll have Peking duck, but really it’s all about the atmosphere – it’s all red with gold dragons. The photographer Theo Wenner had his 30th birthday there, which is how I discovered it, and I’ve made it a Sunday evening tradition. Or if we stay local, there’s a great rustic burger joint, JG Melon, a very old New York establishment with checked tablecloths and the best burgers. A wonderful way to end the weekend.”