Skye Gyngell’s London

The Australian chef was catapulted into the limelight in 2011 when Petersham Nurseries Café, where she was head chef, won a Michelin star. She opened Spring restaurant last October

Image: Matt Munro

“After a week of late nights at the restaurant, I like to lie in until around 9.30am on Saturdays. The first thing I do is make coffee using a Bialetti, a traditional Italian stove pot. Some complain about the taste, but I like it. Then I’ll make a juice in my NutriBullet, which sets me up for the day. I’m very bad at eating properly because I’m constantly tasting food at work.

I’ll walk Luna, my bichon frisé terrier-cross, before driving to Spa Terminus in Bermondsey, a great food market tucked under some disused railway tunnels. I never shop at supermarkets and buy fresh food twice a week. My first stop is Kappacasein Dairy – a rarity in London as its produce is made on nearby Maltby Street – where I’ll buy a slice of Bermondsey Frier cheese and some butter.

Then it’s to Fern Verrow, a Herefordshire biodynamic farm that brings its best produce to London on Saturdays, and to The London Honey Company for a delicious runny borage or a late-spring one called Isle of Purbeck.

I might then drive to Tate Modern. The Turbine Hall is one of my favourite places in the world – I love the vast industrialised space. I also adore Fitzrovia’s intimate Woolff Gallery, which recently had a show by ceramic sculptor Valeria Nascimento, whose work we have at the restaurant.

I’ll meet my daughters – Holly, 25, and Evie, 17 – for a late lunch at the Rose Bakery in Dover Street Market. We’ll eat big beautiful salads – tuna and butterbean or lentil and sweet potato – washed down with green tea. We’ll then head to the jewellery department to try on rings by Alexandra Jeffords, and to Céline, where I recently bought a grey cashmere jumper I wear the whole time.


Afterwards we’ll nip home to Shepherd’s Bush to pick up Luna and drive to Hyde Park for a walk around the Serpentine. I did the same circuit every Saturday with my father when he was sick and he loved it, so I’ve kept it up. It’s a nice time with the girls; we really talk.

In the evening I might meet friends at Sufi, a great Iranian place on Askew Road. I love informal restaurants and sharing food so we usually have meze – and always the excellent smoky aubergine dip.

I don’t go to bed until around 1am; I’m used to restaurant hours and can’t get to sleep much earlier. I love reading but my ultimate luxury is a box set. At the moment I’m very into Nordic noir like The Killing; I actively enjoy feeling terrified and it never stops me sleeping.

On Sunday I’ll go to a mid-morning pilates class at TenPilates in Chiswick. It’s the only exercise I take all week so it’s sort of pointless, but I really enjoy it. Then I’ll drive over to Columbia Road Flower Market, where Holly lives. We’ll have coffee and some banana bread at Lily Vanilli and go to the market to pick up huge bunches of dahlias for £10. We’ll also drop into the amazing Nelly Duff gallery where I have my eye on the silkscreen animal prints by Dave White. I’ll leave Holly and drive to Violet Cakes [pictured] on Wilton Way for a cinnamon bun – as I said, chefs don’t eat properly – before heading to Julie Nails in Notting Hill for a pedicure. I wear trainers all day in the kitchen so I like to have pretty nails when the shoes come off at home.

My favourite Sunday night is to have an early dinner with friends at Barshu, a Sichuan restaurant in Soho. We’ll eat boiled beef slices in an extremely spicy sauce before heading to a film.


I’ll be in bed by 10.30pm and will spend an hour writing to-do lists. It’s a ritual that makes me feel as prepared as possible for the week ahead.”

See also