The Aesthete: Lauren Cuthbertson talks personal taste

Lauren Cuthbertson, principal dancer with the Royal Ballet, looks forward to a festive panettone, matching monogrammed gifts and an old-school Christmas soundtrack. Portrait by Sophia Spring

Lauren Cuthbertson at The ROH
Lauren Cuthbertson at The ROH | Image: Sophia Spring

My personal style signifier is a pair of black Dr Martens boots. If I’m not in a pointe shoe, I’m wearing these. As a ballerina, I’m light on my feet and, with my posture, I can pull them off. I feel like they go with my personality. drmartens.com.

The last thing I bought and loved was an antique Fabergé pendant that I found at the Antique Jewellery Company in London. It’s a bright-blue enamel heart with solid gold stars and it struck my eye the minute I walked into the shop. antiquejewellerycompany.com.

Her Fabergé pendant
Her Fabergé pendant | Image: Sophia Spring

The thing I’d love for the festive season is a camel wool coat by Rejina Pyo. The holidays are all about wrapping up, and this beautiful coat with lovely button details will be an important piece of my winter wardrobe. Simone coat, £895; rejinapyo.com

A winter indulgence I would never forgo is a panettone from Carluccio’s. It’s my favourite seasonal indulgence – with coffee, toasted with butter, any way at all. Nothing says Christmas quite like it. carluccios.com.

Advertisement

An unforgettable place I’ve travelled to in the past year is St Petersburg, and specifically the Mariinsky Theatre. I was there last winter and walking over the frozen river and past the Winter Palace was mind-blowingly beautiful. The Mariinsky Theatre is a glittering jewel box, rich in history that seems to seep through the walls. mariinsky.ru

And the best souvenir I’ve brought home is dulce de leche from Buenos Aires. Sadly, I can’t remember where I got it, as I’ve just ditched the jar; there was only a spoonful left and it was delicious. 

Carluccio’s panettone
Carluccio’s panettone

The best festive gifts I’ve given were monogrammed Aspinal wallets for all my family. I quite like matching things. I pride myself on present-giving, and always try to pick things that will remind us of each other.aspinaloflondon.com.

And the best one I’ve received is an amazing early-20th-century print by the artist John Copley. I think gifts for the home are the most meaningful at this time of year.gerrishfineart.com.

The Winter Palace, St Petersburg
The Winter Palace, St Petersburg | Image: Getty Images

My seasonal playlist would have to include all the classics: Mariah Carey’s All I Want for Christmas, anything by the Andrews Sisters, Bing Crosby’s White Christmas… a mix is where it’s at for me.

I have a collection of bespoke scents. I work with a perfumer, Anastasia Brozler, to create a fragrance for every role I perform. I keep some in my dressing room and some at home. There are currently 28 little tester bottles in my dressing room.

Cuthbertson at The ROH
Cuthbertson at The ROH | Image: Sophia Spring

My favourite room in my house is my bedroom, because I’m obsessed with crisp white linen. This space counterbalances all the tulle and ribbons of my busy performance life. It’s uncluttered, apart from a few precious keepsakes on my bedside table.

The festive tradition I look forward to most is being with my family on Christmas Eve and all of us watching a movie and going to bed in matching new pyjamas. No matter where we are, this has always been the way. My last pair was lovely and simple, from The White Company. thewhitecompany.com.

Cuthbertson’s bespoke scents
Cuthbertson’s bespoke scents | Image: Sophia Spring

The tech gadget I couldn’t do without is my Sony Bluetooth headset. I use it for my barre work and to cancel out noise on aeroplanes. No matter where I am, I find music very comforting. £329; sony.co.uk

A recent “find” is the Palladian-style Wentworth Woodhouse in South Yorkshire. It’s a decrepit old stately home that is in the process of being restored; a magical place. It has the longest façade of any country house in England and the formal gardens are breathtaking. We got lost in endless corridors lined with red and pink satin walls. wentworthwoodhouse.org.uk.

The White Company silk pyjamas, £189
The White Company silk pyjamas, £189

The beauty staple I’m never without is La Prairie Anti-Ageing Day Cream. I first tried this rich, moisturising day cream at an airport and I’ve been hooked ever since. £192 for 50ml; laprairie.co.uk.

If I weren’t doing what I do, I would be a detective. I love true crime. If not that, an interior designer or fashion buyer. 

La Prairie Anti-Ageing Day Cream, £192 for 50ml
La Prairie Anti-Ageing Day Cream, £192 for 50ml

The last item of clothing I added to my wardrobe was a Ganni wrap dress. I love the shape and fit, the print is fun and it’s versatile; I can dress it up or down with just a jumper or a polo. £400; ganni.com.

An object I would never part with is a ring my mother gave me for my 30th birthday. It was the first piece she bought with the money from her first job and it’s very special to me. It’s one of four gold rings that I’m never without.

Her Ganni wrap dress, £400
Her Ganni wrap dress, £400 | Image: Sophia Spring

My favourite apps are Mr & Mrs Smith, a great reference point for hotels around the world; Insight Timer, a meditation app; and Lime, for renting scooters wherever I travel. I also like Honeywell for remotely controlling the temperature of my home. 

My style icon is Iris Apfel. She shows that the older you are, the more fabulous you can look. Her bold clothing and jewellery make her a true individual.

Her style icon, Iris Apfel
Her style icon, Iris Apfel | Image: Getty Images

The last music I downloaded was by Jeremy Dutcher, a Canadian tenor and composer. He is an indigenous performer, and his album Wolastoqiyik Lintuwakonawa includes wonderful traditional Maliseet songs.

The last meal that truly impressed me was at Orasay in Notting Hill. I’m a fan of chef Jackson Boxer’s cuisine. He fuses all kinds of amazing flavours: burrata with figs and pine kernels or Dorset clams with nduja and lime. The quality of the ingredients and the slightly Scandi feel of the space make for a memorable night. orasay.london.

Seafood at Orasay in London
Seafood at Orasay in London

If I had to limit my festive shopping to one neighbourhood in one city, I’d choose central London for the variety. Liberty is simply the best all decked out, and a great place for gifts. I like to stock up on sweets at Fortnum & Mason. I get simple brown paper and tags for wrapping parcels at the post office, but go to VV Rouleaux for fancy ribbon – a different colour for each family member’s gifts. fortnumandmason.com. libertylondon.com. vvrouleaux.com.

My beauty and wellbeing gurus include Andrew Ferguson at The Notting Hill Osteopathic Practice and Sarah Bradden for cosmetic acupuncture. I go to both every two months, no matter how I am feeling, because they keep me strong and supple. Sarah’s techniques are very holistic and they help with imbalances and impurities in the skin. I’m also in the process of transitioning from brunette to blonde and Mads-Sune Lund at Josh Wood in Holland Park is helping. joshwoodcolour.com. nottinghillosteopaths.co.uk. Sarah Bradden Cosmetic Acupuncture at Harvey Nichols, harveynichols.com

Sweets at Fortnum & Mason
Sweets at Fortnum & Mason

The podcast I’m listening to is the episode of Desert Island Discs with Jacqueline Du Pré, the virtuoso cellist. It includes everything from Franz Schubert’s String Quintet in C Major to Mozart’s La bella tua Zerlina non può from Don Giovanni. Spectacular.

The one artist whose work I would collect if I could is Marc Chagall. I particularly love the ceiling paintings at the Palais Garnier opera house and his stained-glass windows at the Art Institute of Chicago, but I find his work, in any medium, open, inspiring and atmospheric.

Advertisement

In my fridge at this time of year you’ll always find champagne and cheese. I love a good cheddar studded with cranberries and all the relishes and chutneys that are available now, and the caramelised onion chutney from the farmers’ market in Kew.

The best book I’ve read in the past year is Speaking for Themselves: The Personal Letters of Winston and Clementine Churchill. These personal missives between Churchill and his wife taught me a great deal about the man and about history, as told from a very personal perspective.

Lauren dances the role of Princess Aurora in Sleeping Beauty at select performances until January 16, including that day’s ROH Live Cinema production (roh.org.uk).

See also

Advertisement
Loading