The Aesthete: Sara Prentice talks personal taste

The jewellery maven, who previously designed for Graff, Cartier and Fabergé, has brought a modern vibrancy to Garrard during her tenure as creative director

Sara Prentice at home near Maidstone
Sara Prentice at home near Maidstone | Image: Ana Cuba

My personal style signifier is my single-stone diamond pendant. I won the stone in a jewellery design competition in my first job at Cartier and set it myself. I recently adapted it to the Garrard style with a diamond-and-dot motif, so it now represents my past and present. garrard.com.

The last thing I bought and loved was an upcycled console table from Country Furniture Barn, made from the 2m-long tailgate of a vintage truck. It’s retro, cool and unique. countryfurniturebarn.co.uk.

The seafront at Whitstable, Kent
The seafront at Whitstable, Kent | Image: Getty Images

And the thing I’m eyeing next is a cast-iron Mon Empire freestanding bath with no feet. We are slowly renovating our house – an old barn near Maidstone, which is about 200 years old – combining modern and traditional design, and the bathrooms are my next project. From £2,395; hurlinghambaths.co.uk.

The last items of clothing I added to my wardrobe were Levi’s Slimming Skinny jeans. Being 6ft tall, finding jeans long enough to fit – and fit well – is truly challenging, so I have stockpiled six pairs of these in case they are discontinued. £85; levi.com.

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The one artist whose work I would collect if I could is Henrik Immanuel Wigström – specifically the beautiful and highly detailed standalone animal carvings made of hardstones such as chalcedony and jasper. They featured on his work at Fabergé, where he was one of two main workmasters at the turn of the 20th century. I particularly like the agate pigs.

The best gift I’ve received recently is a pair of black Mulberry biker boots from the autumn/winter collection that my husband Lance gave me to replace the Tommy Hilfiger wellington boots that he jet-washed, removing all the lacquer. I was really quite cross about it. mulberry.com.

From left: her Levi’s jeans, £85. Mac eyebrow pencil, £15.50. And her Mulberry biker boots
From left: her Levi’s jeans, £85. Mac eyebrow pencil, £15.50. And her Mulberry biker boots | Image: Ana Cuba

The beauty staple I’m never without is a Mac eyebrow pencil in Lingering. It’s fine enough to use to draw hairline strokes, but also adds fullness – and it lasts the day. £15.50; maccosmetics.co.uk.

The best book I’ve read in the past year is I See You by Clare Mackintosh. It’s about a stalker on the London Underground following people who commute along the same route every day. In our business you have to be very careful to secrete priceless jewellery in plastic bags or tucked in your pocket, and you have to mix up your routes, which I think is why I related to it.

Relais de l’Entrecôte in Paris
Relais de l’Entrecôte in Paris | Image: Alamy

If I didn’t live near London, the city I would live in is Paris, where I spent six months when I started working at Cartier, aged 22. I love the buzzing vibe at Relais de l’Entrecôte, which has a very small menu, and the creamy sauce accompanying the steak is divine – the recipe is a closely guarded secret, but I think it has tarragon in it. I love visiting the Musée d’Orsay for art; the Sacré-Coeur for the beauty and for the surrounding markets; and Zut!, an interiors store that specialises in repurposed industrial objects, such as mine carts reborn as coffee tables. Musée d’Orsay, 1 Rue de la Légion d’Honneur, 75007 (+331-4049 4814; musee-orsay.fr). Relais de l’Entrecôte, 15 Rue Marbeuf, 75008 (+331-4952 0717; relaisentrecote.fr). Sacré-Coeur, 35 Rue du Chevalier de la Barre, 75018 (+331-5341 8900; sacre-coeur-montmartre.com). Zut!, 9 Rue Ravignan, 75018 (+331-4259 6968; antiquites-industrielles.com).

The site that inspires me is the seafront at Whitstable, where it’s calm and breezy. I go there early in the morning to clear my head before starting work on a new collection. The process of designing an entire collection takes about three months from conception to being ready to go to the workshop in Bond Street – but it all starts with a long walk.

Prentice’s self-set diamond pendant
Prentice’s self-set diamond pendant | Image: Ana Cuba

The last meal that truly impressed me was one I made myself for 50 guests. I made four versions – meat, gluten-free, dairy-free and vegetarian varieties – of Nigella Lawson’s beef and aubergine fatteh. I was pretty happy that every plate was cleaned.

My favourite websites and apps are Vinterior.co for vintage upcycled furniture, and Pinterest.co.uk for home decorating. I also find it a great source of inspiration for work, and I save images of hand poses, because we are always looking for new ways to display jewellery.

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