“I lived in Paris for over 20 years and never saw myself leaving, but my husband Rambert and I have been in the West Village for a year now and managed to get everything in our apartment that you take for granted in Paris – floor-to-ceiling windows, parquet floors, fireplaces, mouldings. We struck lucky.
At weekends I get up around 7.30am and just hang out and read. You won’t find me in Soul Cycle but Rambert and I have started taking invigorating walks along the Hudson. We go right down to Tribeca and past the World Trade Center.
I’m not much of a breakfast person but sometimes we’ll meet friends for brunch just around the corner from home at Cafe Cluny. At night it can be quite noisy but at breakfast it’s very calm. I nearly always have the sliced avocado on gluten-free toast – I don’t follow a gluten-free diet but this bread is delicious.
We’ll wander up to the flea market on 25th Street. It’s a very different experience to the markets in Paris – it all feels new and unfamiliar and without fail I’ll find a nice little thing to buy. There’s also a very good vintage dealer called Marlene Wetherell at the antiques centre across the road. She always has a great selection.
I love John Derian and spend a small fortune there on Astier de Villatte cups and plates. Every Christmas or birthday Rambert’s sister gives me one of their mugs – they always have such great motifs and designs – so there’s quite an eclectic collection forming. At Christmas the whole store takes on a new energy and life and sells great decorations.
De Vera is another favourite place for browsing. It sells jewellery designed and made by the owner using Greek and Roman intaglios, and there’s a really beautiful selection of objects displayed almost like a museum. The other day I was talking to Marc Jacobs – whose office is nearby – and he says he’ll go in and buy something and take it home and think, ‘Why doesn’t this look the way it did in the shop?’ Because there were five other amazing things next to it. He says he’s been known to go back and buy a few more to get the effect.
In the evening we might have dinner with friends at EN Japanese Brasserie. It has this huge central counter and there is always an amazing floral installation and stacks of beautiful bowls that you only ever seem to find in Japan. I’ll start with edamame and then perhaps a steak, because I love the way the Japanese cook meat. They have very good ice cream too – sesame, green tea, ginger.
We often have visitors at weekends, so we’ll end up doing quite touristy things on Sunday like walking in Central Park. I love the Metropolitan and Guggenheim museums and as they’re so close you can visit both in an afternoon and see a range of exhibitions. I’ve also recently discovered the Merchant’s House in the East Village – one of the oldest houses in New York that’s kept pretty much as it was in the 19th century when it belonged to a trading family. It’s nothing fancy but gives an insight into how New York once was.
We’ll eat something at Dover Street Market. When we were in Paris the Rose Bakery was our Saturday haunt so I love coming here; the menu is exactly the same and everything tastes the same too – I have no idea how they do it.
Then I’ll pop into Strand Books, which stocks new and vintage titles and is great for pottering. When I moved from Paris I shipped 140 crates of books over. Sorting them all out is still on my weekend to-do list.
The Waverly Inn is just across the road from us and it’s a great place for Sunday nights, especially in winter because it’s dark and cosy and they have a fire lit. It does a good chicken pot pie. The most I will do when we get home is look at a schedule for the week ahead.”