SUMMER 2013 YOUR HOME, YOUR LONDON FROM DOUGLAS & GORDON
THE BRIGHT YOUNG THINGS ISSUE
NORTH Edition summer 2013
THE Bright Young Things ISSUE All hail London’s dazzlingly precocious talent
the largest selection of the best London properties to buy and rent from Douglas & Gordon
Is there anything Olivia Grant can’t do?
Finding true potential is our speciality douglasandgordon.com/refurbishment
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REGULARS 6 EDITOR’S PICK 9 CAPITAL LETTER 10 THE LONDONER 34 STREET FOCUS 194 CLOSE UP FASHION & BEAUTY 15 TREND REPORT Earning our fashion
stripes, plus boys cut a dash in creams and candies
19 DESIGNER NOTES Three of the hottest young designers to watch
21 BEAUTY HOT LIST Strong shades pack
a beauty punch this season
CULTURE 22 EVENTS GUIDE Summer’s sorted with our guide to its sporting and cultural highlights
28 FIRST CITY London has always been a
trailblazer. Here’s our pick of the city’s “firsts” 40 CULTURAL NOTES A life in music with Spector frontman Fred Macpherson
FEATURES 24 GRANTED AN AUDIENCE Actress,
singer, dancer, writer – the talented Olivia Grant
30 BEAUTIFUL AND DAMNED
PHOTOGRAPHS CLOCKWISE FROM TOP: ADAM FUSSELL; DESIGN SURGERY; MARCO WALKER: MORTEN ODDING; CATWALKING.COM
Rise and demise: the 1920s Bright Young People
FOOD 36 REVIEWS The best Japanese restaurants 38 FOOD NEWS Bite-size news nuggets 39 RECIPE Polpetto’s Florence Knight rustles up clams and cannellini beans
INTERIORS 42 HOME STORY Lisa Moylett gets rural
and rustic in Shepherd’s Bush 46 DESIGN NEWS The coolest outdoor chairs for summer, plus brilliant blues 48 WALLS Three prestigious properties for sale and to let through Douglas & Gordon
D&G NEWS 60 COUNTRY TRACKS The London
Office’s affiliation with D&G makes moving to the country simple 62 HAPPILY EVER AFTER A fairy tale take on advertising 64 LIGHTS, CAMERA, ACTION D&G’s film challenge to Ravensbourne students
THE BRIGHTEST AND BEST In the capital, we are frequently reminded of the hot young talent in our midst. Lists of “30 under 30” abound, charting the inexorable rise of those precocious stars in the ascendant who – barely out of short trousers – have achieved things many of us would be proud to lay claim to over the course of long lives. As an agency full of youthful, bright and sparky talent, we at Douglas & Gordon are celebrating those exceptional talents that have been nurtured in the Big Smoke (rather than carping enviously at their prodigious gifts), and as such, we’ve devoted this issue to the city’s Bright Young Things. Our cover girl Olivia Grant epitomises such stellar brilliance. Having first trained as a ballet dancer, she flirted with opera and law, and then, after studying at Oxford, was snapped up by Matthew Vaughn to appear in Stautrsd . This spring sees her return both to our screens and the dreaming spires in Eneduoavr , a prequel to Inpsector morse , alongside Shaun Evans and Roger Allam. Alexander Larman meets a very down-to-earth rising star on page 24. Elsewhere, we talk style dos and don’ts with Jonathan Bailey, page 17, who recently graced our screens in Brouacdhr and this summer appears alongside Rory Kinnear in Ot helo at The National Theatre. A clue: never take to the dance floor in a too-restrictive suit while wearing cartoon underwear. Fred Macpherson has, meanwhile, cut a dash through the charts over the past year as frontman of the much-lauded Spector, attracting comparisons with Jarvis Cocker, Brandon Flowers and many more besides. We talk to him on page 40 about his musical influences and ultimate heroes. We also chat to the Young Georgians, page 12, headed up by the charming Oliver Gerrish who has corralled an ever-expanding group of architecture enthusiasts, including dandy-about-town Henry Conway, to lavish praise and appreciation upon this most elegant period in British aesthetic history. All this plus Florence Knight, the absurdly talented 26-year-old head chef at Russell Norman’s Polpetto, who guides us through her recipe for ultra-summery, ultra-simple clams and cannellini beans on page 39. Meanwhile, on page 194, Charlie Gilkes of Barts, Maggie’s and Bunga Bunga tells us why drinking and dining out is all about theatre these days. And finally, don’t miss our eye-poppingly bright and beautiful guide to accessorising both yourself and your home this summer, page 6 – or words of wisdom from the inimitable Percival the Parakeet, page 10. I do hope you enjoy this issue of Br dige – and the coming of the long-awaited summer.
Nancy Alsop , Editor
This issue’s BRIDGE cover of Olivia Grant was photographed by Adam Fussell. Lace chiffon dress by Alberta Ferretti.
YOUR HOME, YOUR LONDON FROM DOUGLAS & GORDON
THe BrIGHT YOuNG THINGs Issue
SOUTH EdiTiOn summer 2013
THE BrigHT Young THings issuE All hail London’s dazzlingly precocious talent
the largest selection of the best london properties to buy and rent from douglas & gordon SOUTH EDITION 0.FC SOUTH FINAL.indd 1
is THErE anYTHing oLivia granT can’T do?
Renaissance Woman 22/04/2013 14:59
EDITORIAL Editor Nancy Alsop Creative director Cat Howard Designer Edward Webb Sub editor Camilla Cary-Elwes Editorial assistant Iska Lupton Editorial director Laura Roechert Contributors Adam Fussell,
Michael Gray, Hope Lawrie, Maeve Hosea, Digby Warde-Aldam, Marco Walker, Morten Odding, James Hulme, Alexander Larman, Georgina Luck, Design Surgery, Base Studios Print Xpedient Print Services For D&G George Franks & Olivia Quarrelle D&G brand consultants Ideas Factory
PUBLISHING CEO/publisher Tim Lovell Finance Manager Jordan Buchanan Digital Creative Matt Flynn Published by Matchbox Publishing Ltd, 10 Barley Mow Passage, London W4 4PH Tel 020 3056 6860 firstname.lastname@example.org www.matchboxpublishing.com © Matchbox Publishing Ltd 2013 The views expressed in this magazine are not necessarily
the views of Douglas & Gordon or Matchbox Publishing. The contents of this magazine are fully protected by copyright and may not be reproduced without permission.
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style vs substance
Vile bodies or bright young things? Digby Warde-Aldam on the scenesters of today versus their 1920s forEbears
Historical memory works in strange ways. Although we like to think our society places more importance on merit and ingenuity, it’s actually often something other than achievement that catches the imagination. We collectively recall figures whose claims to immortality are somewhat less than respectable, while the true pioneers languish in obscurity. Don’t believe me? You try and name the individual who invented the computer chip. So far, so arbitrary, but certainly the apparent randomness of our memories is a fascinating quirk, and I rather like this seemingly scattergun approach to fame – and, indeed, infamy. Take, for instance, the Bright Young Things of the 1920s. They became one of the most mythologised motley youth groups in British history, purely – it could be argued – on the strength of having spent the era in a wellattired alcoholic fug. Would it be grandiose to term theirs a “movement”? Certainly some of its more ambitious members painted searing – and at times scathing – portraits of their generation via highly attuned and often archly acid pens, but for all the Waughs and Mitfords there are scores of others who simply revelled in the wild abandon of both the age and their louche-living set. And what’s not to like? If sharp style coupled with reckless indulgence were still a reliable conduit to fame, I’d be tempted to blow my savings on booze and Margaret Howell so I could make it into Who’s Who before the decade was out. Sadly for me though, being posh and drunk no longer seems a guarantee of posthumous
style-icon status. Although the ever more pantomimic Simon Cowell has repeatedly shown us it is possible to become famous (albeit usually briefly) by doing next to nothing not very well, you need slightly more robust credentials to class yourself as a Bright Young Thing these days. While being intoxicated and nicely turnedout can’t hurt (see James Bond), it does help if you’re actually good at something – and preferably something a bit more glamorous than, say, reciting bus timetables. Which, come to think of it, pretty much rules me out of the equation. No, the Bright Young Things of today do the sort of things that tend to be associated with talent – that most potent of words. Honestly, come the next apocalypse scare, do you really imagine you’ll remember wots’isface from Made in Chelsea over Lena Dunham? Should you answer yes, you’re either an outspoken clairvoyant or, more likely, watching the wrong TV shows. La justice, enfin! This is great, obviously, and I’m first to champion creativity and the notion of fame for actually doing something, even if it does all too nearly nullify my earlier theory that merit has little to do with posterity. As for me? As I cast about wildly for my own latent gifts (those timetables notwithstanding), I’m content to channel the spirit of our fast-living friends. So I’ll see you on the other side of this crate of supermarket gin – not quite the Château Lafite Rothschild enjoyed by those from whom I’m taking inspiration, but I reckon it might leave less of a stain on those nice clothes I was on about. BRIdGE MAGAZINE 9
â€œIt is even rumoured that we were set free from cramped confinement by jimi hendrix on carnaby streetâ€?
percival, the rose-ringed parakeet, on rubbing feathers with a guitar legend and icons of the silver screen
WORDS NANCY ALSOP PHOTOGRAPH © GETTY.COM
WINGED WONDER Percival the parakeet, Kensington Gardens “‘Who’s a pretty boy then?’ Well, my dear, one does so hate to boast (too, too vulgar) but when this enquiry comes tripping off the lips of seemingly every other passerby, it would be churlish not to concede that one is in possession of a certain je ne sais quoi. It’s the emerald plumes, so I’m told (‘So jolly! Such exoticism!’ as the cry goes out around west London’s keenest twitchers), that both enchant and distinguish the parakeet as the most decorative on the English avian spectrum of pulchritude. “The robins with their red breasts, and the blue tits with their azure markings are, of course, charm itself, but set against our vivid peregrine good looks, how can the native be expected to compete? The common garden bullfinch, the diminutive sparrow et al... all are sweet English roses, but oh! how their soft and sweet prettiness dulls when outdazzled by our impossibly fine emerald plumage. Crueller parakeets among us quip that they are green with envy but, of course, that is the very last thing they are, poor colourless loves. “Ah, but how kind one’s human admirers are, offering little tidbits here, words of soft encouragement there... it is enough to turn a humble bird’s head. “But, you see, my set has long become accustomed to the awe and wonder afforded us, not only on account of the gods having smiled so beneficently upon our looks (for which, merci mon dieu), but because we are, it would seem, something of a mystery in this pocket of town we call our own. “Legend abounds as to our hallowed presence along the treelined boulevards of west London (where else but the stately avenues of Kensington Gardens would do for our perching posts? The royals are
so appreciative of splendour). It is even rumoured that we were first set free from a vile-sounding cramped confinement on Carnaby Street by one Mr Hendrix. He’s a musician of note I am told, though I confess his thunderous and discordant noise seems frightful to my ears, accustomed as I am to my own more mellifluous melodies (though I did once catch an impertinent child describe my harmonious lullaby as a ‘squawk’. The beast was on the receiving end of a small – but very definite – peck on the nose for such outrageous impudence). “My own preferred thesis is that we, as many believe, fled the Isleworth set of The African Queen in 1951 where we had, no doubt, been cast in a starring role to lend a bona fide flavour of exoticism to the motion picture. And who, after all, could blame us for voting with our wings when billed second to Humphrey Bogart and Katharine Hepburn? What are Hollywood stardom, costume departments and thespian antics to our finery and splendid feathers of emerald? “The genealogists among us say that we originated in the foothills of the Himalayas, where long sultry summers give way to forbidding and perishing winters (worse even, I am given to understand, than a chilly January on the Serpentine. I shudder at the unhappy thought). “Luckily, there is a great sea fog of oblivion between then and there and here and now – and not, I hasten to add, simply for one’s self. How would the sweet promenaders of Kensington et environs cope through the interminable and dreary winters with not so much as a glimpse of one to cheer and warm with thoughts of summer and frivolity? They do simply flock to us, and it is just too touching to think how we should be missed...” BRIdGE MAGAZINE 11
meet the young Georgians â€“ led by Oliver Gerrish and sophie edmonds â€“ who delight in all things 18th-century
“when the Georgian group was established, a high order of upper-crust Insouciance reigned”
WORDS JAMES HULME PHOTOGRAPH MARCO WALKER
WORDS JAMES HULME PHOTOGRAPH MARCO WALKER
BLAST FROM THE PAST The Young Georgians, Fitzroy Square On a crisp morning the drawing room on the piano nobile overlooking Fitzroy Square resounds with laughter. Seven friends clamber into silk hose, saucy bodices and dandies’ jabots – historical garb approximating our 21st-century idea of 18th-century fashions. The group then composes itself to be photographed under Reynolds’ famous portrayal of that notorious figure, Lady Worsley, in her brazen scarlet riding habit. “It’s undeniably escapism,” says the Young Georgians’ chairman Oliver Gerrish, dapperly dressed in a tailcoat rivalling that of the portrait over the chimney piece. “The idea is to bring light-hearted appreciation to a period that defined itself by fun and extravagance.” The group is an offshoot of the parent conservation charity that, since the 1930s, has been championing Georgian architecture. Gerrish re-established the younger membership circle in 2002 to corral like-minded admirers of all things 18th-century. But while he describes himself as a self-trained architectural historian, it would be folly to assume the group was a coalition of fusty historians. Humour, not pedantry, is the esprit de corps behind their visits to historical sites and gatherings at Six Fitzroy Square for music and dancing. Gerrish, whose day job is as a countertenor, has his own take on the Group’s distinguished ancestry: “When it was established it was a very social set – people like John Betjeman rubbed shoulders with Nancy Mitford, so a high order of upper-crust
insouciance reigned”. The serious undertow which binds the group is its ongoing education in art and architecture from 1700 to 1840. Members’ tours range from those of grand piles like Renishaw Hall (seat of the literary Sitwell clan) to meticulously restored Soho town houses. Their appetite for the authentic, and an extensive contacts list, often takes them to places inaccessible to the public gaze, adding to the appeal of membership, which now numbers more than 350. At our shoot, most of the mirthful dialogue is innuendo around the various props employed. Fop-abouttown Henry Conway makes the most of the opportunity afforded by a random twig he is delighted to have identified as pussy willow. Sophie Edmonds, a driving force behind the movement, betrays her day job credentials as a performer and event planner in the arch manner in which she doles out tea from an urn. Edmonds and Gerrish reach the height of their powers at their Townhouse Parties, where themes have included royalist, anarchist and hellfire. The latter’s passion for historic architecture has already brimmed over into television appearances, and he makes no secret of his ambition to do more presenting; it seems only a matter of time. A new generation of informed counter-cultural English amateurs steps up to the plate. georgiangroup.org.uk; follow Oliver’s blog at archmusicman.blogspot.co.uk
BRIdGE MAGAZINE 13
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BRIdGE MAGAZINE 15
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STYLE TALk with... Jonathan Bailey
PHOTOGRAPH CHARLIE GRAY
The Broadchurch actor on Speedos vs trunks, rigorous dance moves and exposing his cartoon pants Sharp tailoring or slouchy casuals? I’m a slouchy casuals man at heart. Sandals or pumps? A full-bodied sandal is a 50th birthday present so until then I’ll most likely pull out the pumps.
Speedos or trunks? Speedos in the gym pool only. Speedos in public or at a pool party is, and should be, recognised as anti-social behaviour. Beachwear or BAFTAwear? Beachwear, every time.
Fashion triumph? An oversized Culture Club-style jacket. Fashion disaster? The time I wore a D&G suit and split the crotch on the dance floor. I was wearing cartoon pants underneath.
How’s the summer shaping up? Really well! I have two festivals and a half marathon in the diary, plus I’ll be in Othello at the National Theatre from April. I may even sneak in a holiday. BRIdGE MAGAZINE 17
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Fashion FORwaRd From tribal jewellery to bold arm candy... three young designers to watch
POPPY SEXTON-WAINwRIGHT and Lauren Skerritt It is hard to believe it’s just four years since this clever duo met at university. It was there that they first recognised in one another a simpatico approach to design and, more specifically, lingerie. They initially put their instant rapport to use as part of a college marketing assignment, judiciously registering the name of their then theoretical business along the way. And thus Beautiful Bottoms was born. That the brand, which officially launched during the
WORDS IMOGEN THORNTON
Equestrian style dominates at Danielle Foster
girls’ finals, is now stocked in Selfridges, Fenwicks and Anthropologie is testament to their drive, and the fact that it was a long-held aspiration; Skerritt dreamt as a child of owning a lingerie business, as was evidenced when she uncovered a diary in which she’d outlined her earlier ambitions. For 2013, the pair have added beach loungewear to the covetable collection. We say: Delicate fabrics, arresting prints. They say: “We’re inspired by a mixture of nature, retro print archives and travel.” Buy: beautifulbottoms.com
Beautiful Bottoms combines pretty shapes with bold prints
Danielle foster No sooner had ex-model Danielle Foster graduated from the London College of Fashion than she was asked to produce five bags for Charlie Le Mindu’s SS11 show. It’s been onwards and upwards ever since, with further collaborations in the pipeline with Charlie May for her AW13 collection. We say: The stuff of instant obsession, her bags draw inspiration from the 1940s and, more curiously, equestrian bridle wear. She says: “My style is relaxed, monotone and I’d like to think there is an element of elegance.” Buy: daniellefoster.co.uk fiona paxton For Fiona Paxton, the fashion gene reared its head early. “From the age of seven I kept scrap books of my favourite catwalk reports.” Armed with a surfeit of references, she began her training in textiles before an experimentation with jewellery saw her change direction. It’s a move the fashion elite has rejoiced ever since; Kate Moss and Rihanna, among others, are fans. Paxton’s SS13 collection is inspired by cloud-watching and features iridescent stones and laser-cut metals. We say: A compelling mélange of the tribal and contemporary. She says: “Bjork’s fusion of fantasy and modernity has been a big influence.” Buy: fionapaxton.com
Fiona Paxton’s artful fusion of the delicate and the bold
BRIdGE MAGAZINE 19
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Spa spotlight: Two of the best facials RIVER WELLBEING SPA Hotel Rafayel, SW11 What: Elemis bespoke facial. 60 mins. Treatment: The ultimate combatant of dried-out skin. A rehydrating rose petal cleanser and a ginseng towel prepare the skin deliciously for a papaya enzyme peel. A vitamin-C mask and pro-collagen marine cream then nourish and plump. Results: Perfectly refreshed peachy skin. Book it: 020 7801 3610; hotelrafayel.com
USHVANI Cadogan Gardens, SW3 What: Signature facial. 90 mins. Treatment: Inspired by Asian healing techniques, a sweet-smelling emulsion prepares the skin for a rehydrating layer of coconut and kemiri butter. An hibiscus and rice scrub invigorates, then an hibiscus and kemiri mask is applied. Results: Radiant glow, defined cheekbones. Book it: 020 7730 2888; ushvani.com BRIdGE MAGAZINE 21
From the centenary of a horticultural institution to the retrospective of a musical legend, here’s our round-up of the hottest summer tickets
20/21 INTERNATIONAL ART FAIR, ROYAL COLLEGE OF ART 9-12 MAY 20-21intartfair.com Get an eyeful of eclectic works of art hailing from across the globe, and from the past two centuries, at the crucible of creative talent that is the RCA. Now in its seventh year, expect a miscellany of Matisse and Miró, Blake and Braque, Hockney and Hirst, alongside pieces from emerging talents. Prices range from a few hundred pounds to many thousands. Admission £8.
LANA DEL REY, HAMMERSMITH APOLLO 19 MAY hammersmithapollo.com Music’s most polarising star disembarks at Hammersmith as part of her European tour. The film-noir-loving, self-styled modern-day Nancy Sinatra is here to promote the Paradise edition of her Born to Die album. Wave lighters along to Video Games or just try and catch a glimpse of the famous pout. £27.50.
RHS CHELSEA CENTENARY CONCERT, THE ROYAL HOSPITAL 24 MAY rhs.org.uk The RHS Chelsea Flower Show and Opera Holland Park – two legendary bastions of local culture – come together to mark 100 years of the annual horticultural institution, which is, for many, the highlight of the social calendar. Fittingly, the performance will focus on the floral, so expect to be delighted by The Flower Duet from Delibes’ Lakmé and The Flower Song from Carmen, alongside old favourites from Puccini, Verdi and Bizet. £59 for RHS members; £65 for non.
CHELSEA FRINGE, VARIOUS VENUES 18 May - 9 JUNE chelseafringe.com The Chelsea Fringe is back for its second year to spread the horticultural love. The festival will celebrate a plethora of gardening initiatives, from community projects to guerilla planting.
CHARLESTON MASTERCLASSES, CLARIDGE’S 13 MAY Book at firstname.lastname@example.org Feather boas, sequined headbands and drop-waist dresses at the ready: Claridge’s legendary ballroom opens its elegant doors to fledgling flappers poised to be schooled in the fine art of the Charleston. Under the expert tutelage of The Bees’ Knees dance instructors, neophytes will channel the Jazz Age via the dance’s brilliantly named steps, including the bunny hop, the scarecrow and the fish tail. £125 per person.
BNP PARIBAS TENNIS CLASSIC, HURLINGHAM CLUB 18-22 JUNE bnpparibastennisclassic.com Strawberries and cream? Check. Champagne? Check. Exquisitely manicured lawn, plus world-class tennis players? Check and check. Soak up BNP Paribas’ exclusive garden party atmosphere – without any of Wimbledon’s tiresome queues. VIP packages start at £259 per person.
Photographs Bill Childish_Setting 0ff II_2008; Jean Miro_Consacre aux Ceramiques Monumentales; Swan Lake image © Patrick Baldwin; Album cover shoot for Aladdin Sane, Design by Brian Duffy and Celia Philo, make up by Pierre La Roche, 1973, © Duffy Archive
MINT POLO IN THE PARK, HURLINGHAM CLUB 7-9 JUNE polointheparklondon.com Britain’s former polo HQ will resound with thundering hooves as the world’s finest players converge for the fifth year running. Expect tiki bars and Pimm’s buses – quite the most quintessentially English way to kick off summer. Admission £25. MILES FOR MISSING PEOPLE, CLAPHAM COMMON 25 MAY missingpeople.org.uk Dust down your dormant running shoes and join the hordes on Clapham Common for the 20th annual 10km run in aid of Missing People, a charity which helps recover those who have disappeared and provides support to the families and friends left behind.
SWAN LAKE IN-THEROUND, ROYAL ALBERT HALL 12-23 JUNE royalalberthall.com; ballet.org.uk “Oooh” and “aaah” at the English National Ballet’s most exquisite production, as Derek Deane’s Swan Lake in-the-round comes to The Royal Albert Hall. The lavish spectacular will feature 120 dancers all pirouetting picturesquely along to Tchaikovsky’s famous score, which will be played by 80 musicians. From £10.
THE SUN WALK, BATTERSEA PARK 30 JUNe walkthewalk.org Live music, circus shows, dancing and delicious grub in a parkland setting… this cocktail of activity would befit any summer festival. But in addition to the entertainment, Battersea Park also plays host to the Sun Walk, a series of fun events to raise money for the fight against breast cancer. Participants are encouraged to don brightly coloured bras, and can sign up for the 5km or 10km events, or – for the truly intrepid – a half-marathon.
DAVID BOWIE IS, V&A UNTIL 11 AUGUST vam.ac.uk No performer is more enigmatic than David Bowie. His refusal to be pigeonholed is almost as legendary as the music itself, but now, after four decades, we can begin to explore the mind of the great chameleon. The V&A hosts the first retrospective of his work, taking in his myriad artistic collaborations, iconic outfits, album sleeve artwork and live performances. Find all of his guises – Thin White Duke, Ziggy Stardust et al – under one roof.
MOTCOMB STREET PARTY 26 JUNE motcombstreetparty.co.uk The Motcomb Street Traders Association knows how to throw a summer party. Expect to be dazzled by DJs and street entertainers, win auction prizes donated by local traders and boutiques, and enjoy all the food and drink you can shake a stick at. Even better, the street party has a philanthropic cause at heart, with money raised being distributed among worthy charities, including, this year, The Household Cavalry Foundation.
BRIdGE MAGAZINE 23
If Olivia Grant wasn’t so likeable, she’d be enviable. Regarded as one of the most versatile and talented actresses of her generation, she’s also been signed by the Storm model agency and is a regular face in many of the world’s most glamorous fashion and lifestyle magazines. Some of which, she’s just confided, she writes for as well. But before it looks as if she’s going to be one of those annoyingly talented polymaths, there’s a simple explanation as to why the Oxford-educated English graduate moonlights as a columnist for InStyle et al. “My journalism originally came about from wanting to thank people – designers or others who had helped me – and whether it’s travel or fashion, I find it a way of talking about interesting experiences that I’m fortunate enough to have had.” In that self-deprecating statement you have the essence of Olivia Grant. Rather than signing up to the self-aggrandising “celeb” code of journalism where every ghost-written word is an empty piece of propaganda, her intent is to act as a conduit to thank those who’ve aided her in what’s proving to be a remarkable career. It’s hard to think of many others who would be so willing to subsume their egos, but then Grant isn’t like her peers. In demand on both sides of the Atlantic, she has managed to nevertheless remain modest in a business which tends to see its stars become anything but. We meet in a Kensal Green photography studio, where Grant is being shot for this magazine. A complete pro, she arrives sans entourage, and, when we break for a chat, she’s a warm and articulate interviewee, despite having been at the studio for hours. She has just appeared in the first episode of the new series of the
Granted an audience She’s an Oxford gra duate, opera singer
model, columnist and actress – and thoroughly nice to
, bal let dancer,
boot. watch out Holly wood, here comes olivia gran t, says
alexa nder larma n
PHOTOGRAPHS ADAM FUSSELL HAIR AND MAKE-UP MICHAEL GRAY STYLIST HOPE LAWRIE OLIVIA WEARS BLACK CHIFFON DRESS BY NINA RICCI; PALE PINK LACE DRESS BY DOLCE AND GABBANA
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Inspector Morse prequel, Endeavour, in which she plays the “likeable” Helen Cartwright, who’s linked to the murder victim. She describes it as “a tremendously fun whodunit… It was such an honour to work with two actors of the calibre of Shaun Evans [as the young Morse] and Roger Allam [as his superior DI Fred Thursday]. They approached each episode very much as a film, which really fed into the whole process.” It was also a chance for Grant to revisit Oxford, her university city, where the series was filmed, and which was a formative place: “I still remember my reviews from the Oxford student papers. They were such a big deal at the time.” She turned up to read English, wanting ultimately to be an opera singer, and only started acting to meet people. One thing led to another. The alternative was to be a barrister, but, as she puts it, “my English tutor once asked me, ‘Do you have any actual interest in law?’ and I had to say no, realising I’d answered that particular question!” Oxford has produced a number of Britain’s most exciting young actors of late – her contemporaries included Alice Eve, Harry Lloyd and Felicity Jones – and she claims that “it’s amazing for actors, all the more so because nobody actually studies drama there, it’s all done by the students themselves.” Grant’s first break came shortly after she left university, when she was cast in the bigbudget fantasy film Stardust. “I had to audition as a boy in a woman’s body, which went well, and then I was offered the part. One of my costars gave me a copy of Ulysses on set, and said ‘Read this instead! Don’t be an actor!’” Thankfully, she ignored his advice, and rose to prominence as the compassionate aristocrat, Lady Adelaide, in Lark Rise to Candleford. Her Pre-Raphaelite looks and upper-crust voice have seen her cast as gentry ever since – something she’s perfectly happy about. “I like to do transformative things, and walking into other worlds is always fun. I don’t worry
about being typecast, I’m just pleased to be working, and it’s nice to get more and more varied roles.” She pauses and grins. “Plus, as a lady, you get all the best costumes!” Since then, Grant’s appeared in everything from Poirot (“David Suchet’s an inspiration – and much smaller than you think!”) to the Rhys Ifans-starring Howard Marks biography Mr Nice. She’s not afraid to admit that her major influences growing up were Merchant Ivory films, specifically A Room with a View – something that once got her into trouble with a casting director. “She said, ‘If you’re going for that Helena Bonham Carter vibe, my advice would be, don’t!’ So I left feeling rubbish, but I’ve spent the past five years doing period drama, so I guess that proves people can be wrong about these things!” She’s admirably clear-sighted about working in a notoriously fickle industry. “It’s an honour to get cast in anything, especially in America. Our traditions of acting are really different. Over here, most actors start slightly older, and do more theatre. Over there, they’re scarily young and can’t really get involved in the theatre world, because there isn’t one apart from in New York.” Not that she’s complaining, especially given the American love of British period drama. “They love Downton in the States. It’s ridiculous! They’re really respectful of costume drama, which is great because, comparatively, our budgets are far lower than theirs.” Next up are a couple of films, romantic drama Copenhagen and psychological thriller Gozo (“I keep getting sent scripts that are named after places”), but she’s got a surprising wish for the future. “What I’d really like is to do a show in which I hold a gun and run a lot. I used to dance so I try and keep physically fit, and it would be brilliant to use that in a role.” Olivia Grant: actress, writer, renaissance woman – and the next Sigourney Weaver, if she has her way. Judging by her career to date, I wouldn’t bet against it.
BRIDGE MAGAZINE 27
From gas lamps to public loos – london’s streets abound with historical precedents
1. First urban underground In 1863, the Metropolitan Railway between Paddington and Farringdon became the world’s first urban underground passenger railway.
4. First traffic lights The Industrial Revolution threw London’s streets into chaos. As a result, the city’s first set of traffic lights appeared in 1868 off Parliament Square.
2. First electric telegraph In 1816, Francis Ronalds built the first telegraph in Hammersmith to send messages. Though the Admiralty rejected it as unnecessary at the time, Ronalds was knighted in 1870.
5. First television In 1925, John Logie Baird first showed moving silhouette images on television at Selfridges.
3. First gas works Founded in 1812, the first-ever works at Great Peter Street supplied gas to Westminster. By 1815 it had 200 miles of piping in place. Today, there are still 1,600 gas lamps in central London. 28
by the Motor Traction Company between Kensington and Victoria in 1899. 8. First petrol-powered cabs Petrol-powered cabs were introduced in 1903. By 1907, the fitting of taximeters was compulsory as cabs became known as “taxicabs.”
6. First London marathon Chris Brasher championed the London Marathon in 1981, when more than 7,000 runners started from Greenwich Park.
9. First fingerprinting at UCL In an 1888 paper, Francis Galton, founder of UCL’s Galton Laboratory, created a model of fingerprint analysis which is still used in forensic science today.
7. First London bus The first bus to have a petrol engine was run
10. First Movie The first moving pictures developed on celluloid
film were made in Hyde Park in 1889 by William Friese Greene, a British inventor.
on Fleet Street in 1702. The Daily Courant was published by Edward Mallet, surviving until 1735.
11. First red telephone box Beneath the entrance arch at the Royal Academy is the 1929 prototype red telephone box, Sir Giles Gilbert Scott’s triumphant entry into a Royal Fine Art Commission competition.
14. Mozart composes first symphony Mozart was eight when he first came to London to perform. 180 Ebury Street marks the spot where he composed his first symphony in 1764.
12. First coffee house London’s first coffee house opened in 1652 in Cornhill. The proprietor was Pasqua Rosée, a servant of Daniel Edwards who imported coffee. 13. First daily newspaper The first London daily newspaper originated
15. First public loo The first on-street convenience was a “gents” at 95 Fleet Street, which opened in February 1852. 16. First tea shop In 1702, Thomas Twining opened a tea shop on the Strand when tea was first imported to England, whereupon it became all the rage in high society.
17. First logo The tube’s world-famous logo, the “roundel”, first appeared in 1908. 18. First tube escalator In 1911, the first moving staircase was demonstrated at Earl’s Court station. There were two escalators which linked the Piccadilly Line platforms with those of the District Line. 19. First sandwich The first record of the word “sandwich” appeared in author Edward Gibbon’s journal in 1762. Gibbon recorded his surprise at seeing the noblemen at The Cocoa Tree, Pall Mall, supping on sandwiches and strong punch. BRIdGe MAGAZINE 29
Society photographer Cecil Beaton on the other side of the lens
beautiful & damned PHOTOGRAPHS CORBIS; GETTY
As the 1920s roared on, there emerged a set of irreverent and witty louche-living aristocrats and party people known as the bright young people. Nancy Alsop charts their rise to infamy â€“ and their decline
FEATURE American actress and bonne vivante Tallulah Bankhead
In the summer of 1929, the residents of Rutland Gate would, upon peering down through their elegant sash windows, have been aghast. For in the street below, a motley crew of mostly twentysomethings had begun to assemble in varying states of disarray, lured to this pocket of South Kensington for one of Rosemary Sanders’ parties. While this tableau might have been an all-too-familiar feature of what we have retrospectively come to term as the “roaring twenties”, more unusual was the mode of transport by which the revellers arrived. They came in prams and baby carriages, and their dress, far from couture, was more befitting of the nursery. What the neighbours would not have glimpsed – no doubt to their eternal relief – was that once out of gaze, the merrymakers were provided with an assortment of dolls and bottles, props to be frolicked with inside adultsized playpens, while the nursery beakers contained not so much milk as gin. So far, so fetish, but this was not, contrary to appearances, a gathering of oddballs on the fringes of society. The party was attended by such well-known scene-dwellers as the actress Brenda Dean Paul, along with some of the best-connected and most louche-living aristocrats of this, the Jazz Age. For this was the notorious Second Childhood Party, and the determinedly frivolous set of attendees were, as they were labelled by the incredulous yet transfixed press at the time, the Bright Young People. But if the Second Childhood Party attracted disapproval, it was hardly the first of its kind to do so. If anything, the quickly bored Bright Young People (in whose studiedly flippant parlance, much was deemed “too, too tiresome”) saw it as marking a decline in the ingenuity of their legendary japes. Its attendees considered it an asininely deliberate attempt at the kind of
Flapper on the cover of Life in 1926
parties which had previously defined their movement. It was on precisely 26 July 1924 that the set made its debut in the eyes of The Daily Mail and its readers. The paper’s headline announced them unambiguously with the words: “Midnight chase in London. 50 motorcars. The Bright Young People”; they were thence set to be near permanently present within its pages for the next few years. The group that came into startling focus on this day in 1924 was a band of young society people who, up until then, would have been habitués of the more formal coming-out balls. Now they ran amok on the streets of the capital in a sort of drunken treasure hunt, which culminated in breakfast at Norfolk House, St James’s. The heady mélange of celebrity – including the American star Tallulah Bankhead – with glamorous aristocrats made for the stuff of instant legend, particularly amid the landscape BRIdGE MAGAZINE 31
Stephen Tennant, “the last professional beauty”
of doom and depression that had followed the First World War. Their shingled hair, ebullience, fast-living, defining irreverence, pursuit of hedonism for its own sake and unmistakable clipped patter provided a source of prurient horror and fascination in equal measure. Among their many antics over the years, was the orchestration of a fake art exhibition by an hitherto unknown (and entirely spurious) talent. It featured pastiches of Picassos designed to tease those pseuds whose earnest reverence for the genre made the Bright Young Things howl with laughter (it should be noted that Winston Churchill dismissed the show as “a lot of bloody rubbish”). There was an Impersonation Party in Brook Street, to which many of the Bright Young Things came dressed as one another – testament to their now towering infamy. And, perhaps most fabled of all, was the Bath and Bottle Party of 1928, for which guests were issued with an invitation from Mrs Plunkett Greene, Miss Ponsonby, Mr Edward Gathorne-Hardy and Mr Brian Howard. This requested the pleasure of their guests’ company at 11pm at St George’s Swimming Baths, Buckingham Palace Road on 13 July, with the instruction to: “Please wear a bathing suit and bring a bath towel and a bottle.” Reports of this faintly scandalous night in the following day’s papers were of wild abandon, cocktails and brazen misbehaviour, involving dancing in little more than underwear to live bands while heavily under the influence of alcohol. It was, in all its flagrant glory, considered the apotheosis of the Bright Young Person’s party. So who was this high-born band of revellers that came to symbolise a decade of decadence? Chief among them was the effete Stephen Tennant, a beautiful and androgynous figure, whose aestheticism, it seems, was in evidence from the age of just four, when, upon running through the family’s Wiltshire estate, he stopped in his tracks to admire “the blossom of a pansy”. This predilection for pleasure afforded by the exquisite never left him – his hair was frequently dusted with gold, his face adorned with full make-up. He was, in the words of Osbert Sitwell, “the last professional beauty”. It is no great leap then, to imagine how Tennant came to inspire two effeminate literary creations penned by his contemporaries and friends Nancy Mitford and Evelyn Waugh. For the former he provided the material for the ever-enchanting, ever self-absorbed and unabashedly vain Cedric Hampton in Love in a Cold Climate, while for the latter, he was the blueprint for the almost dangerously among their charming Sebastian Flyte in Brideshead Revisited. antics was the That Tennant’s orchestration vocation was the pursuit of a fake art of beauty is reinforced exhibition by by the fact that when a new, entirely not found decorated to spurious, perfection at parties, his fragility routinely forced talent 32
him to stay in bed, sometimes for a month at a time. young man who frequented the parties but journalist who affected to be a Bright Young Thing, This spelled a frustrating time for Siegfried remained on the group’s periphery. But while attending the myriad of parties, while nipping off Sassoon, with whom he conducted an affair he partook, he was also prolific. Rather than to the telephone at intervals to report on them for through the 1920s and 1930s. The First World spend his days waiting for the next BYT stunt, his newspaper column. While it may have earned War poet and pacifist was in equal parts Waugh used his time to write, drawing on the him a certain mistrust by his peers (though they intoxicated by this graceful butterfly of a man, extraordinary figures of the social circle as were often simply too intoxicated to notice), this while reviling his set for their blind frivolity inspiration, his detachment adding to his ability early work ethic stood him in good stead for his later career as chairman of the Labour against the growing seriousness of the political to see it for what it was. As mentioned, Stephen party, and crossword setter backdrop. The older man’s innate puritanism Tennant provided him with the ingredients at Private Eye. saw him entreat the younger to absent himself for Sebastian Flyte and Brian Howard The anomalous from the circus of inane revelry and his starring for Anthony Blanche, while the Mitfords meanwhile, role in the gossip pages – a task which proved quickly penned Vile Bodies is though high born, futile. In the face of such disapproval, Tennant seen as the definitive account there never conformed dropped Sassoon abruptly. of those heady years. existed those to anything in their Central also to the action was the lives, not even ever-present Elizabeth Ponsonby, bright young the frequently daughter of Labour MP Arthur people who doomed trajectory Ponsonby and his wife Dorothea, didn’t fail to of the Bright both of whose diaries and letters notice the music Young aristocratic attest to the overwhelming and, had stopped Thing. Nancy was a at times, hopeless concern they keen observer of all felt for their much-loved child’s aspects of life (family, welfare. Elizabeth lived beyond parties, la vie française) her means always, worked as an and scribbled it all down actress occasionally and, towards for the delight of her readers, the end of her life, as a nightclub before finally absenting herself hostess. Her general attitude to life and living in Paris. In the meantime, was to derive as much hedonistic her sister Diana spent the 1930s pleasure from it as possible, while lunching with Hitler and rallying all the time being subsidised for her husband Oswald Mosley, by her father’s modest income. the leader of the British Union of Famous essentially for going to Fascists; consequently she spent parties, she is said to have been much of the war in prison. the life and soul of these frequent For some, the movement was gatherings, her tragedy lying in the a springboard for success and fact that she couldn’t acknowledge for others its excesses spelled when the party was over. Married destruction. But, like the brightest and divorced, the subject of many of shining stars, its light had to column inches, the once ebullient eventually dwindle and 1929 but later penniless Elizabeth marked the beginning of the descended into alcoholism, a end. By the 1930s, those who had condition which proved fatal moved on were those who would when she died before reaching be its survivors, while those who her fortieth birthday, a sort of insisted on continuing the revelry cautionary tale of what it is to try found their once exquisite selves and hang on to the brightness of dimmed and ultimately dying. youth while blindly shunning life’s Evelyn Waugh Were they all bright? Certainly more serious repercussions. they were young, but brightness Meanwhile, the Eton- and can only be ascribed to a handful. Oxford-educated poet Brian Upon which note, we leave the Howard, who was notable for his last word to the irrefutably bright quick temper, licentiousness and the absence of an actual body of work, also fell Cecil Beaton, meanwhile, spent his youth Waugh, who recalls the days of the media circus into alcoholism, eventually committing suicide longing to be taken up as a Bright Young Thing, in Vile Bodies: “…Masked parties, Savage over the accidental death of a lover. The and was beside himself with delight when parties, Victorian parties, Greek parties, Russian actress and it-girl Brenda Dean Paul’s fate too the invitations to country estates rolled in. But parties, Circus parties, parties where one had to was sealed the first time she was introduced to while the names of many whose summons so dress as somebody else, almost naked parties morphine, succumbing eventually as she did to thrilled him now languish in obscurity, Beaton’s in St John’s Wood, parties in flats and studios and a full-blown heroin addiction. is celebrated, with V&A exhibitions devoted to houses and ships and hotels and nightclubs, in There existed, however, those Bright Young him decades after his death. The photographer windmills and swimming baths, tea parties at People who didn’t fail to notice that the music realised, after all, that while parties were a delight, school where one ate muffins and meringues and had stopped with the onset of the 1930s. they were also a way of making connections. tinned crab, parties at Oxford where one drank Interestingly, the more serious-minded of the The consummate networker, Beaton outgrew brown sherry and smoked Turkish cigarettes, set tended to be those who never felt entirely the frolics and set his eyes on America, where dull dances in London and comic dances in part of it, whose backgrounds were inescapably he made his name at Vogue. Back on British turf Scotland and disgusting dances in Paris – all the succession and repetition of massed humanity… middle-class rather than aristocratic. Evelyn he practically became the court snapper. Waugh, for example, was a hard-drinking Another outsider was Tom Driberg, the Those vile bodies.” BRIdGE MAGAZINE 33
Chelsea Green The small green that’s big on community spirit
Pristine Vespas sit gleaming in an orderly row, and dotted all around are glamazons in sunglasses, nonchalantly sipping coffee while their miniature dogs wait devotedly, eager for a morsel of discarded biscotti. But, contrary to the tableau, this isn’t a chic piazza in one of Rome’s more elegant quarters, but an idyllic pocket of Chelsea, off the King’s Road (2, 5). Postcard-pretty Chelsea Green is where the cognoscenti sashay for groceries – not to mention accessories – and to shoot the breeze with their neighbours and the many veteran shop keepers who dominate its edges. All of which makes this repository of tucked-away treasures one of the finest places to idle away a summer’s day. Start the morning at the Art Nouveau entrance to the Michelin Building, where 34
you’ll find one of London’s most exquisite flower stalls, presided over by father and son Jonathan and Max, with help from freelance florists (on the day we visited, Penny Philpopps, a flower arranger and piano teacher), who are happy to advise on the best blooms, or even dress your home (4 & 12). Armed with the perfect posy, duck into the Conran Shop, where manager Jeff Heading works with Terence Conran’s son Jasper to ensure that it is an ever-changing and always-surprising place, full of design inspiration (6). Think everything from Matthew Hilton’s impossibly angular furniture to 1950s-reminiscent Vespas… Next, weighed down by your goodies (we defy you to resist), it’s time to join the coiffed beauties on Chelsea Green proper for a
caffeine hit. The Pie Man (thepieman.co.uk), which this year celebrates its 30th birthday, is laden with all manner of temptations (7 & 14). Shelves groan under the weight of jars of spiced hedgerow jelly, Brixton honey and, most nostalgically of all, satisfyingly saccharine sugar mice. Meanwhile, sausages on the grill are just the thing to start the day, along with a delicious cappuccino. The sartorially minded should make for Fleur B (fleurb.co.uk) next, where the focus is on British craftsmanship (9). As well as the likes of Lara Bohinc, the store stocks its own eponymous label – printed in Macclesfield and made up in Wimbledon. The focus is on clothes that are easy to wear and quick to shop for; that the owner is a working mother is fully evident from her style choices.
Chelsea Green is where the cognoscenti sashay for groceries – not to mention accessories
WORDS ROSE BATEMAN PHOTOGRAPHS ISKA LUPTON
After a Clark Kent-style transformation, nip in for a carrot cake at Finns of Chelsea Green (finnsofchelseagreen.com – 8), then tarry at Amaia (amaiakids.co.uk), where it is de rigueur to be found cooing over all the miniature outfits that roundly prove how the French are schooled in effortless chic from the cradle; diminutive T-bar shoes sit alongside confections of white and pink (1 & 10). For groceries, head to Andreas (andreasveg. co.uk). It’s been open just 10 months but is already such an established part of the Chelsea Green scene that the owners greet regulars like old friends (3). Artichokes, bunches of carrots, trugs of portobello mushrooms and intriguingly named veg like Agretti monks beard spill out on to the street, making even the least artistically inclined feel
inspired to reach for the brushes. Next, nip next door to The Chelsea Fishmonger, where the owner Rex Goldsmith (who quips: “I think my mum was expecting a Labrador”) is always waiting with ready chat (13). Here you can snap up lobster, caviar and a hearty helping of good old-fashioned charm from Rex, who has been at the shop’s helm for a decade. Aside from a stint as a fish ‘n‘ chip shop between the wars, the site has been a fishmonger since it was built in 1906. For an extra dose of history, dash across to Felt (felt-london.com), a diminutive boutique selling an eclectic array of jewels, from designer pieces to vintage, with price tags ranging from £10 to £5,000. All of this darting about is thirsty work, so make a beeline for The Markham Inn
(themarkhaminn.com – 11 & 15), where a cocktail will whet your appetite before a visit to fish restaurant Geales (geales.com), the second incarnation of the Notting Hill institution. Though a baby compared to its sister establishment, having opened in 2010, it is already just as much a neighbourhood favourite. Here you’ll find a sustainable menu (Geales only buys from small day boats), and a strong contingent of regulars. In the words of Ed Mead, director at D&G’s Chelsea office: “Chelsea Green is as charming now as 50 years ago. Fishmonger, green grocer, cobbler and it passes the milk and newspaper test. It has always been considered the area’s epicentre, and given that the sun shines into it and you can walk to Sloane Square easily, I can see why.” BRIDGE MAGAZINE 35
HOT SPOT IT’S A RUSTIC FAMILY AFFAIR OVER IN NOTTING HILL. DOUGLAS & GORDON STAFF ARE DULY IMPRESSED
The shed By Emma Charlesworth and Wendy Younge The Shed, Notting Hill’s most exciting new offering, is something of a family affair. Run on the premises by two Gladwin brothers (Richard in charge of front of house and Oliver manning the kitchen), there’s a third on a farm back in Sussex, which accounts for the provenance of most of the daily-changing produce (the focus here is on nose-to-tail cooking). Other food is grown by small suppliers or foraged on the farm, while wine (all of it excellent), hails from the family’s Nutbourne Vineyard, also in Sussex. In short, The Shed is as fresh as it gets. We were greeted by exceptionally friendly staff and taken to our table in a prime spot next to the kitchen, from where we could keep a beady eye on the cooking. The décor, meanwhile, is simple and rustic with tractor parts and barrels used as tables, contributing to the pervadingly relaxed atmosphere – just one of many reasons it’s so buzzy. After a wonderfully fragrant Sussex Reserve, we chose “mouthfuls” of pork 36
coating, are a must, especially alongside crackling with apple, venison sausage roll refreshing beetroot with walnuts and yogurt. and an exceptional plate of fennel seed salami Next for our delectation was pigeon with (from the Gladwin farm, naturally) that whetted butterleaf and Shed bacon – a dangerously our appetite for what was to come. moreish dish with hazelnut and port dressing The menu is divided into “slow” and “fast” – and beautifully rare-grilled lamb with cumin, cooking, the idea being that you order several red quinoa and cabbage. Goat’s of each and share. Dishes arrive cheese with hazelnut, honey as they are ready, so there’s a and thyme was, meanwhile, constant flow of food. First creamy, smooth, and salty up, was the restaurant’s the menu is yet sweet. signature lamb chips; these Perhaps the most tender shredded strips, divided into adventurous dish was the slow-cooked then fried “slow” and “fast” beef heart with straw chips with a crispy cooking, the idea that came on Richard’s being you order recommendation; advice several of each we were delighted to have and share followed. The heart was tender, flavoursome and did not make us at all squeamish – in fact, it was the highlight. The Magnum Vienetta parfait and buttermilk pannacotta with blood orange and crumble, were faultless. We’ll be back. If it’s too busy to get a table at dinner, do book for lunch – a meal here is not to be missed. The Shed, 122 Palace Gardens Terrace, W8 4RT; 020 7229 4024;
FOOD THREE OF THE BEST… JAPANESE RESTAURANTS YASHIN By Rachael Kennerley and Charlotte Perry On an unseasonably cold night – the kind that makes you yearn for a bowl of steamed pudding – we were dispatched for sushi. Incongruous as the fare was with the climate, we needn’t have worried, for the welcome at Yashin was warm enough to thaw us. We were shown to our stools at the bar (a prime spot to observe the chefs’ outstanding knife skills) which, combined with the neon sign on the wall, made us feel like we were in a New York diner. The illumiated legend declares the food “without soy sauce”; it’s all about the exceptional fish here. Surprise followed welcome surprise, as a surfeit of beautiful courses arrived – a highlight was tuna carpaccio with truffle-infused ponzu jelly, which left us near speechless with delight. If forced to pick a favourite, the monkfish nigiri topped with jalapeño was a triumph of flavour, while a miso cappuccino put a nice twist on the standard soup. Authentic yet original, soy sauce was indeed unnecessary. Yashin, 1A Argyll Road, W8 7DB; 020 7938 1536; yashinsushi.com
Tsunami By Lizzie Jones and Katie Fletcher
Tsunami is that rare thing: a Clapham institution that has remained as fresh as the day it opened. Having been shown to our booth – all comfy leather and romantic ambience – by the ultra-accommodating maître d’, we kicked off with a lychee mojito and an Aloha Vira, two potent yet exquisitely light cocktails. Refreshed, we ravenously eyed up the menu, which is largely intended for sharing. First came a trio of starters – grilled scallops with masago and a creamy spicy sauce, flambéed with whisky, served prettily in a flaming scallop shell; steamed snow crab shumai dumplings, and a tempura selection of lightly battered shrimp, squid, scallop and black cod – all executed to perfection. Mains were tender steamed seabass with sake and soy ponzu and a melt-in-the-mouth pan-fried duck breast served with green beans. We couldn’t resist the sushi, We couldn’t and were presented with an exquisite plate of resist the sushi & shrimp tempura rolls – devoured in minutes. were presented Tsunami, 5-7 Voltaire Road, SW4 6DQ; 020 7978 1610; tsunamirestaurant.co.uk with an exquisite
plate – devoured in minutes NOZOMI By Alexander Leschallas and Louise Verrall Nestled alongside beautiful boutiques in the heart of Beauchamp Place is the award-winning Nozomi. Split over three floors with a large glass atrium that lends it a vast sense of space, the restaurant exudes style, with its ambient lighting and minimal design. It was hard not to be tempted by everything on the mouthwatering menu, despite the eyewatering prices, but the waiter recommend we start with some spicy edamame – by far the most delicious either of us had ever tasted. Also not to be missed is the signature Nozomi roll – salmon, tuna, yellowtail, prawn, unagi and yuzu rolled with wasabi tobiko, oba leaf and sesame seeds. Everything from sushi and sashimi to chargrilled wagyu beef and black cod is on offer, as well as an enticing array of desserts. The wine list is also extensive and the fabulous cocktails beautifully presented – testament to the number of bar awards won. Our only disappointment was that on the Monday night we visited, several dishes were not available due to the ever-changing menu. Nozomi, 15 Beauchamp Place, SW3 1NQ; 020 7838 1500; nozomi.co.uk
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SWEETIE DARLING These colourful droplets are chewy, light, freerange and brought to you by the fabulous Meringue Girls. Whipping up crazy flavours for parties and picnics, this merry duo is making easy work of elevating the humble meringue to the height of cool. New flavours for summer include manuka honey, lavender, raspberry, G&T, champagne and piña colada. Then there’s a cookbook in the pipeline, photographed by David Loftus. These girls are on a sugar high.
DINNER FOR TWO Seasoned pioneer of modern cuisine, Rowley Leigh, has been inviting fellow chefs into his kitchen throughout the year for a series of one-off culinary collaborations. Each duo crafts a unique and mind-blowing menu, blending their cooking styles into one final creation for a room of lucky diners. Book tickets now for a summer date with Thomasina Miers or a fish feast with Rick Stein in November. lecafeanglais.co.uk
CONQUER THE COCOA Master of the milk, doyenne of the dark, Amelia Rope is a London chocolatier extraordinaire. She uses only the best-quality cocoa, and from the flamboyant packaging to the wacky flavours (try the pale rose, dark smoked cashew nut or lime and sea salt), it’s the stuff of the very sweetest dreams. ameliarope.com
SOFT TOUCH “Patchett’s makes perfect” is the hefty yet irrefutable claim made by this confectionery company fluffing up quite a storm with its gourmet marshmallows. Patchett’s stylish packaging and range of new flavours (from raspberry to English lavender) will be coming soon to a deli near you. patchettsconfectionery. co.uk
HERBIVORE This picket-fence indoor herb allotment is both practical and elegant. It comes with three pots, drainage trays, herb seeds and even cute herb scissors for trimming your crops. Good thymes. £29.99; chelseagardener.com 38
LOOK SHARP A vital companion for those who class themselves “grate” cooks. Get creative, treat your carrot like a pencil and turn out something truly beautiful. Karoto Peel and Sharpen by PA Design; £11.10; madeindesign.co.uk
WORDS ISKA LUPTON
FEAST YOUR EYES Spend your Sunday grazing and lazing at The Bulgari Hotel. And what could be a better digestif than a movie without moving? La Dolce Domenica brunch and movie experience involves a Bloody Mary or glass of prosecco, fresh fruit, artisan pastries, Italian cheeses and hams, followed by a sit down in the hotel’s state-of-the-art cinema to watch a new release or legendary classic. Every Sunday from 11am; £58pp; La Dolce Domenica, The Bulgari Hotel; 171 Knightsbridge, SW7 1DW; 020 7151 1025; bulgarihotels.com
big flavours on a little plate – a rustic seafood taster from polpetto’s head chef Florence knighT Florence Knight is rarely mentioned without some reference to her age (she’s just 26). But then, given that Russell Norman appointed her to run the show at the achingly cool Venetian bàcaro-inspired Polpetto back in 2010, and that she has both a cookery book and television work in the offing, it’s hardly surprising her precocious rise should have been duly noted, or that she should have been named one of Zagat’s “30 under 30” stars.
We can’t get enough of the ex-fashion student’s palpable enthusiasm, or her exquisite small plates, which have been the mainstay of her ascent through the culinary ranks. Take, for example, this exemplary clam, cannellini bean and wild garlic number; hearty and full of flavour, it sums up her approach to cooking, which is all about simple food that packs a serious taste punch. Summer on a (small) plate.
Ingredients (Serves 4) 500g clams One clove of garlic, peeled and sliced One red chilli, deseeded and diced 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil 1 x 400g tin of cannellini beans (drained and rinsed) 75ml of white wine A handful of wild garlic
Method 1. Place a large wide pan with a lid over a medium heat and pour in the oil. 2. As it warms up, add the garlic and chilli to the hot oil. Cook for a minute to infuse the oil. 3. Next, turn up the heat and add the clams before pouring over the white wine. Quickly place the lid on the pan and return to a medium heat for two minutes, shaking the pan occasionally. 4. Stir through the beans and let the pot simmer until they are warmed through. Fold through the wild garlic, popping the lid back on for a minute until the leaves have wilted a little and the last of the clams has opened.
WORDS NANCY ALSOP ILLUSTRATION GEORGINA LUCK
5. Discard clams that haven’t opened. To serve, divide the clams between shallow bowls and pour over a dribble of olive oil. Serve with crusty bread.
clams, cannellini beans and wild garlic BRIdGE MAGAZINE 39
MUs In IC lIFE
h Sp ect or f Fre r dM acp on t m a her son n,
Earliest music memory? In my parents’ car they had a cassette of the soundtrack of The Draughtsman’s Contract by Michael Nyman. They also had this 1980s synth pop compilation called Club for Heroes. We basically alternated between those for about five years. First single you ever bought? I didn’t get into buying singles until much later because even at a young age, the economics of singles just didn’t make sense to me. My music taste was mainly dictated by my older brother 40
who was buying stuff like Beatles’ tapes throughout the 1990s. I think the first album I got was Toploader’s Onka’s Big Moka on CD after hearing their version of Dancing in the Moonlight on a Jamie Oliver advert or something. Which is in no way embarrassing.
first band started when I was 15 or 16, and after our first rehearsal I remember telling my mother it was the most fun I’d ever had. I only became aware of the “living” element when I realised I’d been doing it for years and making nothing.
When did you realise you wanted to make music? I never connected making music and making a living until my early twenties. I think my
Album that changed your life? The album that took me from casual music listener to “music is my life” was The Strokes’ Is This It. I saw pictures of them and heard
their songs, and I thought: “This is what living really is”. It’s still one of my favourite albums. Like one’s formative sexual experiences, the relationships you have with the first albums you decide you like are invaluable and kind of impossible to repeat. Greatest influences? As lyricists and artists, Nick Cave and Tom Waits. The Strokes had a massive role in my musical upbringing so I will always owe a lot to them. These days I listen to Roxy Music a lot, but influences take years to settle in.
What song makes you instantly happy? Sunchyme by Dario G. It makes me laugh and suddenly life feels ridiculous. What do you play when you’re feeling blue? Frank Sinatra songs from his Capitol period, like Only the Lonely and No One Cares. It’s not very fashionable to like Sinatra but nobody’s ever done break-up songs like him. He can take one feeling and turn it into a hundred different songs. What songs most evoke your years growing up? There was a period in my teens when I’d get home and watch MTV2 for two hours straight. All the songs from that period, when Zane Lowe presented a show called Gonzo, really were the soundtrack to my life. Stuff like The Corals’ Dreaming of You, The Vines’ Get Free, The Strokes’ Someday, The Yeah Yeah Yeahs’ Maps… a lot of bands beginning with “The” basically. Most romantic song ever? Send in the Clowns by Stephen Sondheim is probably the most romantic song, in as much as romance generally equates to loss, confusion and a stubborn refusal to do the right thing. Sinatra, Judi Dench and The Tiger Lillies all do incredible versions.
PHOTOGRAPHS S_BUCKLEY; FEATUREFLASH; NORTHFOTO
Which songs do you enjoy performing to a big crowd? I like playing slower, more emotional songs to large groups and seeing how everyone can get affected and feel something together, tracks like Grim Reefer and Lay Low. And to a more intimate crowd? The faster, more lairy songs are fun. Stuff like Chevy Thunder and Twenty Nothing. Sweaty and intense. When did you realise Spector was destined for big things? Ha ha, I still haven’t. You’re often compared to Jarvis Cocker and The
Killers. Are there any parallels that you’d draw? I guess people compare me to Jarvis because I wear glasses, but he’s in a different league as a songwriter and frontman. The Killers makes sense because we’ve ripped them off quite a lot, especially their Sam’s Town era. I don’t know what I’d compare us to – I guess we sound much like the bands we listened to growing up. But now we’ve exorcised a lot of those spirits I don’t know how long that will last. Are comparisons ever useful? Comparisons are the only way music journalists can describe music, so they’re helpful in as far as they allow their readers to join the dots. I guess it’s like trying to describe colours – the easiest thing is to talk about them in relation to other colours. Though in reality that’s not a description at all. Proudest moment so far? Playing on Later with Jools Holland and at Coachella Festival were the absolute highlights, along with going to Japan for Summer Sonic. Who are you listening to now? In terms of new stuff I’m listening to a lot of Solange Knowles, Blood Orange, Sky Ferreira, Kendrick Lamar and Tame Impala. In terms of old stuff: Soft Cell, The Art of Noise, Peter Gabriel, Fabio Frizzi and Yes. Rising stars to watch this year? Swim Deep, Palma Violets and Haim obviously. Plus Gabriel Bruce, Luls, Peace, Splashh, Pale, Skaters and Jaws – all great bands/artists that I’m looking forward to hearing more from. Favourite Spector lyric? “We got so close that at times, you know I’d confuse your thoughts for mine” is one I like a lot at the moment. Ultimate musical heroes? Nick Cave, Tom Waits, Bryan Ferry, and Frank Sinatra.
sounD Bites With Tim Roupell, author of Business book “Bread and Butter” and SME mentor I was fortunate to have a hippy older brother. A large part of my life-long love of music has been influenced by him. I once asked him who he rated as the best guitarist and he immediately came up with Irish blues guitarist, Rory Gallagher. My first concert was seeing him, and I was hooked. Some people should be better known. In the early 1980s you’d hear Ry Cooder blasting out of almost every bar. He later found fame with the Buena Vista Social Club, but his earlier albums Bop Till You Drop and Borderline are brilliant. Check out his hairs-on-the-back-ofyour-neck guitar playing on the song How Can a Poor Man Stand Such Times and Live. The Stone Roses’ 1989 debut is one of the few classic albums of recent times. When the band were recording I am the Resurrection they kept playing after the end of the song, and the second half of the final version is a constant joy. Not everything was better in the old days. There’s plenty of brilliant music being made now. The buzz name on everyone’s lips is Jake Bugg. He’s only about 12 (well, 18 to be accurate) but has the most amazing talent. Listen to his voice soar on Two Fingers from his self-titled album. Some songs creep up on you. All I Want and Perfect World from Kodaline’s eponymous debut EP are both lovely songs and worth sticking with after their slow starts. You can’t beat great, raw energy with a really catchy chorus. Palma Violets is just the band for this with their single Best of Friends. For something different, try Public Service Broadcasting. They take samples from old public information films and mix them with electronic music. It shouldn’t work, but it does. Listen to Spitfire from their EP The War Room. BRIdGE MAGAZINE 41
tHe Green o H Use
LITERARY AGENT LISA MOYLETT OPENS THE DOOR TO HER RURAL RETREAT IN THE HEART OF SHEPHERD’S BUSH
“One of the advantages of being married to a car salesman is that he is totally at home in the auction room,” laughs literary agent Lisa Moylett, whose Shepherd’s Bush home – where she lives with her husband, three sons and dog Mya – is testament both to his haggling skills and their combined unerring eye. The spoils of their habitual outings to Lots Road and further afield to the maison ventes in France are evidenced at every turn, alongside a gloriously eclectic array of Irish art, much of which came from Lisa’s collector mother-inlaw. The vintage furnishings, meanwhile – all flowered upholstery and soft green painted walls – lend a sense of faded grandeur to the house, as well as an uncanny impression of a rural idyll, quite in spite of the urban setting. “I love the fact that this house feels like a country house and yet is right in the middle of the city,” enthuses Moylett, who moved her
family here eight years ago, attracted both by the affordable price and the prospect of a project. “Our third son had just been born. We were living in a three-bedroomed house and I think I just panicked for more space. It turned out to be a hell of a project though – even the builders found there was more work involved than they had anticipated.” The house has certainly come a long way since they bought it, the previous owners having divided its four storeys into numerous bedsits. Moylett, however, remained undeterred. “When I viewed it, I knew instantly it was the right place. The wide hallway, generous proportions and sheer size were all perfect. But it was hard to see exactly
what we were buying, because so many of the features had been boarded up.” Happily, the plethora of hardboard masked a multitude of design treasures. The extensive renovations revealed not only delicate cornicing but original fireplaces, room dividers, shutters and even banisters – all intact. “I think the only thing we had to replace were the fireplace grates and we didn’t have to look very
“When I viewed it, I knew instantly it was the right place, But it was hard to see what we were buying because so many features had been boarded up”
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far for replacements. Some builders rang our bell one day with a whole load of grates in the back of their van.” If there’s a certain serendipity about this, it seems providence is something of a recurring theme when it comes to this house. “The layout reminded me of a beautiful house in Little Venice that I knew as a child,” recalls Moylett, for whom the place clearly taps into former and formative happy memories. Meanwhile, downstairs a large kitchen leads to a courtyard at the front of the house and a garden to the back. “Because the kitchen was such a large room, I didn’t see the need for fitted units,” notes Moylett. Indeed, the bespoke wooden units, open shelves, Lacanche oven and painted armoires bear testament to the sagacity of such a choice, redolent of France as they are, where the couple also own a home. But while Moylett is a committed Francophile, she also has a penchant for the exotic; the influence of her upbringing in Africa and the Middle East is clear from the strong colours and rich fabrics used throughout. The sumptuous master bedroom in particular has plush drapes, a sage green chaise longue, wall hangings and silk bedspreads, all of which speak of heady hotter climes. “I absolutely love colour,” says Moylett. “When we first decorated the house, it was entirely calico white, but it didn’t really work. So later I thought I’d be very bold and choose what I thought were wildly different colours. It was only when they were up that I realised they were all really just a variation on the theme of green.” It makes sense that Moylett should have an eye for colour, having trained first as a student of stained glass at Chelsea Art School, before setting up a photographic and illustration agency. Today she runs her own literary agency, working from a room which overlooks the garden – making her’s surely one of the most exquisite offices in London. 44
WORDS Emma Marshall / Narratives PHOTOGRAPHS Verity Welstead / Narratives
“I thought I’d be very bold and choose what I thought were wildly different colours. it was only when they were up that I realised they were all really just a variation on the theme of green”
Cape West multicoloured garden chair, £930; gomodern.co.uk
Gloster Dansk lounge chair, £1,199; chelseagardener.com
Panton junior tangerine chair, £130; conranshop.co.uk
Brazil chair by Daniel Widrig, price on application; dsigndot.com
Pod hanging seat, £1,099; chelseagardener.com
Bold chair by Moustache, £468; placesandspaces.com
sitting pretty Keep your cool with our pick of the most stylish garden seats
De La Warr pavilion chair by BarberOsgerby, price on application; establishedandsons.com
Acapulco chair by OK Design, £343; madeindesign.co.uk
Husk H2 outdoor armchair by B&B Italia, £1,545; bebitalia.it
Bring a neutral home to life with the most elemental of primary colours BLUE LAGOON Saraille Wallpaper, £185; rockettstgeorge.co.uk
GO DOTTY Dot glass, £28; jonathanadler. com
TIDY TRIO Geometric desk tidy, £12; rockettstgeorge.co.uk
BIRD’S THE WORD Blue ibis, £289; iittala.com
CUNNING design Fox cushion, £72.50; scp.co.uk
SMOKE SCREEN Blue crystal ashtray, £175; davidlinley.com
LOVE TRIANGLE Geometric triangles blue cushion, £26; hunkydoryhome.co.uk
NAUTICAL BUT NICE Viola bench, £899; darlingsofchelsea.co.uk WHISKED AWAY Kitchen Kong whisk, £12.95; follyhome.co.uk
SKATE OFF Penny Original 22” in blue white, £79.99; pennyskateboardsonline.co.uk
SOUND OFF ZHP-005 headphones in light blue, £44.99; conranshop.co.uk
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This low-built townhouse â€“ a former hangout of the founders of Private Eye â€“ is a lesson in understated elegance combined with slick gadgetry
“It’s a peaceful place, which is something that I really cherish”
When retired lawyer Sandra Rosignoli first walked into 18 Draycott Avenue, it had been untouched by the hand of builders and decorators since the 1950s. “It was kind of extraordinary”, she recalls. “There were cartoons all over the walls, and little scribbled height charts as a relic of the growing children who had once lived here. The cartoons were of things like the Chelsea pensioners. It was rather charming, though in huge need of modernisation.” Remnants of familial life aside, the walls of this house – a former Victorian cottage bombed and rebuilt in the 1940s – had also been privy to much political badinage; having once been the hangout of the founders of Private Eye, scribbled murals of a more political persuasion joined those more childish daubs. That was until 18 months ago, when Rosignoli snapped up the property which, though characterful, had been sadly
neglected (the carpets were 60 years old) and was in dire need of an interior vision and some long-lost love. “I spent a year doing it up,” explains Rosignoli, whose unerring eye is evident throughout the property’s four levels, all of which are laid with über-smart walnut flooring. There are, certainly, no half-measures here. “We dug into the garden to get an extra bedroom and also raised the ceiling of the basement by about a metre, so you don’t get the sense that you are underground.” Indeed, the expansive basement is home to a huge television room – gadget aficionados eat your hearts out – and constitutes Rosignoli’s favourite part of the renovated house (“it is a bit of a stunner”). But then there’s plenty to choose from in the showstopping stakes. First there’s the light-filled and generously BRIdGE MAGAZINE 49
doing up homes over 20 years, since I was 24 – though not necessarily always as development projects.” The personal touch is certainly in evidence here, and there is a pervading sense that this was a labour of love, as opposed to a more detached development. It helps, too, that Rosignoli is passionate about the area: “It’s a peaceful place, which is something that I really cherish. It’s a great location – you can pop across the road to the fishmonger, the cake shop and everything you could ever want is there on Sloane Avenue and Chelsea Green. Plus, on Walton Street, Jak’s is the perfect place for the younger set to have a drink.” If they can tear themselves away from cocktail hour on the terrace, that is… “It’s a secret house. What you see on the outside isn’t what you get on the inside.” Ed Mead, D&G Director, Chelsea office.
PHOTOGRAPHS MORTEN ODDING
sized drawing room-come-dining room, which leads out through French doors on to an enclosed patio – the perfect spot for a summer sundowner. Then there’s the bright and breezy kitchen, with its architecturally asymmetric breakfast bar and Gaggenau appliances. It also has marble bathrooms and five bedrooms – two of which are en-suite, and one of which houses a freestanding egg-shaped beauty of a bath. “The décor is fairly low-key,” says Rosignoli modestly. “It was important to us that it should be glamorous but practical and retain its character while being a little more neutral in tone than its previous incarnation. Plus, I am obsessed with storage – you can never have enough, so there are cupboards everywhere possible.” That the renovation of this house is a triumph of form and function – that hallowed pairing – bears testament to the fact that Rosignoli is no novice, having “derived a lot of joy from
£4,500,000 freehold; Draycott Avenue, SW3 Contact Chelsea Office 020 7225 1225
“We raised the ceiling of the basement by a metre, so you don’t sense that you are underground”
BRIdGE MAGAZINE 51
Published on Sep 10, 2013
YOUR HOME, YOUR LONDON FROM DOUGLAS & GORDON -SUMMER 2013 THE BRIGHT YOUNG THINGS ISSUE All hail London’s dazzlingly precocious talent in...