“I’m an early-morning person, even at the weekend. My lovely yoga teacher arrives around 6.30am and we’ll spend an hour or so practising in my bedroom or the garden. Then I’ll have breakfast with my husband, Richard, preferably outside. After that we’ll head off to Notting Hill’s wonderful little farmers’ market to buy fresh vegetables, fruit, cheese and flowers. It’s a hidden secret, tucked away in a car park behind the Tube station. Then I’ll drop into my King’s Road store, which I love to check out on Saturdays; I like seeing who comes in. I’ll make straight for our cappuccino bar. I have a house in Tuscany, and I’ve become very fussy about the way it’s made and served.
If we go to a gallery, it might be a big show at the Royal Academy, like the David Hockney exhibition, which I adored. Or it could be a smaller one, such as last autumn’s William Tillyer show of new work at the Bernard Jacobson Gallery, where I really admired the British artist’s beautiful watercolours. Another favourite is Alan Cristea, where I have seen wonderful shows by Gillian Ayres and Howard Hodgkin. I love their bold, colourful, painterly canvases – but just as important is the feeling and sensitivity that comes through. It touches my heart.
Often, we’ll then have a late lunch at Clarke’s, where the food is delicious but never heavy. Or we’ll go to Dock Kitchen, where Stevie Parle’s delicious Lebanese-inspired starters are a real joy. On the way home we might drop into Flow Gallery, which has really lovely glass, ceramics, jewellery and textiles, or The Spice Shop, to stock up.
In the evening we often go to the opera or theatre with friends. I’m a big Robert Carsen fan and enjoyed his wonderful production of Dialogues des Carmélites at the Royal Opera House. We also recently saw Noël Coward’s timeless and very amusing Relative Values at the Harold Pinter Theatre, starring my great friend Patricia Hodge, and Marianne Elliott’s impressive and innovative production of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time. The brilliant acting really lets you into that young boy’s mind. We’ll usually have a snack after a performance, often at Joe Allen or The Delaunay, and I’ll get to bed by midnight.
Sunday starts around 6.30am again, this time with a walk before breakfast with our retriever, Maizey, in Holland Park or Kensington Gardens. Late morning we’ll often visit Marylebone Village, where there’s another brilliant farmer’s market as well as my favourite shop, Mouki Mou, with its ever-changing clothes and jewellery. I don’t like shopping for shopping’s sake, although browsing Dover Street Market is always a pleasure. Afterwards, we might have a late lunch at The River Café, which never disappoints. Or we’ll go home and have a crab salad or Italian-style antipasti in the garden.
Sunday afternoon is very relaxed but it’s a good time to garden or clear up indoors. I find this helps get my thoughts in order. The same goes for cooking – I like the discipline of tidying up after each preparation stage. In the evening we might go to a film. I like beautifully shot movies such as The Grand Budapest Hotel and The Railway Man. Afterwards we’ll have a simple supper – spaghetti vongole or vignarola [Italian spring vegetable stew], or I’ll make a fresh pea soup and grill some little soles. I usually listen to music while cooking. It could be an opera by Wagner, Puccini or Verdi, or something classical by Strauss, Brahms or Chopin. I love going to bed early on Sundays; no later than 10pm is spot-on for me.”