“I travel so much – to see my wife Thelma [Golden, The Studio Museum curator], who is based in New York, to Lagos to visit my father and to fabric factories in Italy – that when I’m home at the weekend I treasure just sleeping in my own bed and doing mundane things like laundry.
Even so, I head out early on Saturdays. I live in Ladbroke Grove, and while the area has gentrified since I moved here 17 years ago, it is still full of vendors I’ve known for years. I find it wonderfully reassuring that they are still here, selling high-quality things that never disappoint.
My first stop is either the Golborne Deli or Café O’Porto, for a galão – a milky style of coffee that doesn’t make me too hyper – and a toasted sandwich. Then I’ll wander through Golborne Road market, where I might find beautiful silver cutlery and pieces of mismatched Meissen porcelain. I always stop at Les Couilles du Chien – “The Dog’s Bollocks” – which has a fantastic array of midcentury items by designers such as Giò Ponti; and at Rellik, where I’ve found rare vintage Hermès pieces for Thelma. I’ll also visit Portobello Road’s Rainbow News, an old-school newsagent with all the best fashion and design magazines, before ending up at Charles Vernon-Hunt, which has exquisite books about African art and textiles, and rare and vintage catalogues – all beautifully curated. I have a serious book addiction.
By now I’m laden down, but I’ll make my way to Notting Hill Gate, to the farmers’ market. On the rare occasions that I’m home, I like to cook with good ingredients. My next stop is always Honest Jon’s Records, which sells a mix of funk, dub, jazz and reggae. The clientele is as eclectic as the music, and DJs come from all over the world to listen and learn.
After a lunch at home, I might take the bus to Mayfair for an afternoon at its galleries. David Zwirner and Hauser & Wirth are favourites, but I also love the David Hill space near my home, which puts on interesting exhibitions of under-the-radar contemporary photographers. I collect rare African textiles, so another stop is a tiny shop called Adire Textiles in Alfies Antique Market, which has an incredible collection of late-19th-century to late-20th-century west African pieces.
If Thelma is in town, we have an early supper with friends, either at The Wolseley – where I order the chopped chicken salad – or Ikoyi, a west African fusion restaurant in St James’s. It’s so nice to see this cuisine being done to such a high level.
My doctor once advised me to wake up, take note of where I am and relax – and on Sundays, I take this to extremes. I wake early, but lie in and watch a film – a Billy Wilder or a Visconti. I also call my dad: he’s 89 and it’s nice to start the day with his voice. Then I might visit Holland Park’s Kyoto Garden – a beautiful, zen place – before going for dim sum at Royal China on Queensway, a Sunday tradition. It’s also my museum day so, fully fed, I’ll go to the V&A – the jewellery collections and the Middle Eastern decorative arts rooms are highlights. By 5pm, I need a drink. Dukes Bar is my favourite for one of bar manager Alessandro Palazzi’s legendary martinis. If Thelma is in New York, I’ll call her while I’m making supper – a healthy take on a Nigerian dish. If she’s here, it’s a takeaway of grilled seabass from Fez Mangal near our home, listening to Steely Dan or Michelle Ngdecello, and by 10pm I’m in bed, ready to take on the week.”