HOW TO LIVE FOREVER The super rich who will pay anything for immortality
Plum Sykes Rocking out in Nashville and Bollinger’s secret stash
Sean Combs on politics, therapy and America’s race problem
contents 5 Ferrell laughs and fabulous watches in CAPITAL GAINS 6 Summer city rules in UPFRONT 8 Our MOST WANTED is Michael Kors’ Mia crossbody bag 11 Yes ma’am, it’s Sam Cam in FLASHBULB COVER Puff Daddy photographed by Diego Uchitel. Styled by Derek Roche. Paul Smith blazer, £350 (paulsmith.com). DRIES VAN NOTEN shirt, £285, at brownsfashion.com. Sunglasses, Puff Daddy’s own, with vintage jewellery
12 He’s the PUFF DADDY of them all 21 Charming prints and wordy woollies in STYLE NOTES 22 The science of staying FOREVER YOUNG
FASHION GOES EAST: sultry summerwear you need 33 Scrubbing up well in BEAUTY 35 GRACE & FLAVOUR is underwhelmed by Dinings SW3 37 A platter of chicken and bulgar salad in TART 39 Pass the BOLLy, sweetie 41 ESCAPE to Nashville 42 Plum Sykes’ MY LONDON 26
With thanks to @JaguarUKPR and the Jaguar XJ for providing our transport during London Fashion Week Men’s
Here are the ES team’s top five moments from London Fashion Week Men’s
ktz ‘The Lord of the Flies inspired show from KTZ — all in-yourface khaki attitude — was a razorsharp reflection of 2017’s combative zeitgeist.’ Nick Howells, deputy chief sub editor
st james ‘I love an English gent… so this classic look from the St James show was a real winner for me.’ Natalie Salmon, social media editor
craig green ‘Craig Green’s patchworked ponchos, collaged with tropical beach scenes and palm trees, will be sure to jump the gender divide when they land in store.’ Katrina Israel, fashion features director
bobby abley ‘The Bobby Abley show was amazing. I’m still not over the fact that a Teletubby walked the catwalk – just a little reminder of my childhood.’ Eniola Dare, fashion assistant
topman ‘Topman’s Transition exhibition featured films projected on to linen drapes, live music and atmospheric lighting. It was a great way to round off a day at the shows.’ Sophie Paxton, merchandise editor
Visit us online: standard.co.uk/esmagazine • Follow us:
Editor Laura Weir Deputy editor Anna van Praagh Features director Alice-Azania Jarvis Acting art director Wendy Tee Fashion director Nicky Yates Fashion features director Katrina Israel Commissioning editor Dipal Acharya Beauty editor Katie Service Associate features editor Hamish MacBain Features writer Frankie McCoy Lifestyle assistant Lily Worcester
Acting art editor Andy Taylor Art editor Jessica Landon Picture editor Helen Gibson Picture desk assistant Clara Dorrington Social media editor Natalie Salmon Office administrator/editor’s PA Niamh O’Keeffe
Merchandise editor Sophie Paxton Fashion editor Jenny Kennedy Fashion assistant Eniola Dare Chief sub editor Matt Hryciw Deputy chief sub editor Nick Howells
Contributing editors Lucy Carr-Ellison, Tony Chambers, James Corden, Hermione Eyre, Richard Godwin, Daisy Hoppen, Jemima Jones, Anthony Kendal, David Lane, Annabel Rivkin, Teo van den Broeke, Hikari Yokoyama Group client strategy director Deborah Rosenegk Head of magazines Christina Irvine
ES Magazine is published weekly and is available only with the London Evening Standard. ES Magazine is published by Evening Standard Ltd, Northcliffe House, 2 Derry Street, Kensington, London W8 5TT. ES is printed web offset by Wyndeham Bicester. Paper supplied by Perlen Paper AG. Colour transparencies or any other material submitted to ES Magazine are sent at owner’s risk. Neither Evening Standard Ltd nor their agents accept any liability for loss or damage. © Evening Standard Ltd 2016. Reproduction in whole or part of any contents of ES Magazine without prior permission of the editor is strictly prohibited
30.06.17 es magazine
capital gains What to do in London
by FRANKIE M c COY
Will Ferrell stars alongside Amy Poehler in The House, about a couple who start an illegal casino to fund their daughter through college. The world might be in chaos, but there’s always a Will Ferrell film to make you laugh yourself better. Out 30 June
Painting the town
London Art Week is all about showing off the capital’s serious art cred. There are 40 galleries and three auction houses involved, plus exclusive tours of the Groucho’s private art collection and art-themed whisky tasting. 30 June to 7 July (londonartweek.co.uk)
Alamy; Norman Wilkinson; illustration by Jonathan Calugi @ Machas
Shaking up Shakespeare
If anyone can cure your A-level induced fear of Shakespeare’s The Tempest, it’s the magnificent Simon Russell Beale, who plays Prospero in the RSC’s visually spectacular production at the Barbican. Tickets from £10. 30 June to 18 August (barbican.org.uk)
Getting crafty is the perfect antidote to tech fatigue. If you’re looking for a niche practical use of your time, try the Idler Academy’s taxidermy classes, where you’ll learn to stuff ’n’ stitch. Good stuff. Tickets £95. 1 July (idler.co.uk)
last chance: Tatler’s English Roses exhibition of
photographs featuring the most blushingly elegant toffs at Saatchi Gallery closes on 2 July. (saatchigallery.com)
Who would have thought that exercising in the sky was a thing? Let the glorious views distract you from the burn of a hardcore Barry’s Bootcamp session at these specialedition classes, where 45-minute workouts take place in the London Eye’s glass pods and proceeds go to charity. Tickets £60. 1 July (barrysbootcamp.com)
Deep-fried chicken that’s good for you? You better believe it, as maestro Chick ‘n’ Sours launches healthy takeaway concept Chik’n, with free-range birds and some seriously delicioussounding breakfast muffins. Opens 6 July (chikn.com)
Moonlight Thames: Tower Bridge by Norman Wilkinson
Watch this space
Calling all time travellers! Check out Harrods’ Re-Editions exhibition of some of the world’s finest watches, from Vacheron Constantin to Hublot. Free entry. 30 June to 24 July (harrods.com)
look ahead: There’s a festival in Victoria Park nearly every week: gird yourself for the double whammy weekend of Lovebox, 14-15 July, and Citadel, 16 July. (loveboxfestival.com; citadelfestival.com)
30.06.17 es magazine
upfront Laura Craik on wearisome weather talk, Kyle couture and online shopping fails
don’t like to complain, but it’s a bit too hot, isn’t it?’ said someone in the coffee queue. ‘I mean, I like the sun, but this is such a dry yet sticky heat, with hardly any cloud cover and barely any wind. Last night I—’ ‘Don’t be that person,’ interrupted the barista, with the air of a man who had to spend the next eight hours steaming milk for 547 other grumpy, sweaty Londoners who think a detailed analysis of the heat passes for scintillating conversation. Everyone is regaling everyone they encounter, whether stranger or friend, with blow-by-blow accounts of how they took a bag of frozen chips to bed/are thinking of shaving off their beard/bought a desk fan but found it too loud to sleep with/burnt their left ear/sat on a Tube seat that was literally wet/like it hot but not this hot. Which begs the question: how hot would you like it? No, really, tell us, and we’ll make a deal with God. He’s not got much on at the moment: I’m sure He can spare the time to provide you with your own personalised microclimate comprised of balmy sunshine with a gentle breeze that allows you to barbecue in comfort while wearing your new Gap shorts. Maybe something around 21C? Would that work? Great. Now be quiet forever. Yes, it has been hot. Yes, London in high summer can be sweaty, stinky and challenging during the evening commute. But there are beer gardens and street food markets and sundresses reduced to £24.99 at H&M. And soon it will be less hot, then nippy, then cold, and we’ll be moaning about the new patio furniture being rained upon, and the injustice of having to wear a jumper in July. That’s the thing about the weather. It changes. As for the sunshine: enjoy it while it lasts. This is Britain, and it won’t.
board has very often featured him,’ said Balenciaga designer Demna Gvasalia after the show. Which got me wondering: will a SATC, Trey MacDougal-inspired collection be far behind? Whatever the charms of Agent Cooper, Kyle will always be Charlotte’s impotent husband to me. And Bunny will always be one of the most brilliantly grotesque mother-in-laws ever invented.
COOPER MAN Proof that the celebrity front row isn’t over: Kyle MacLachlan at Balenciaga. While some may have tired of seeing Kris Jenner/Olivia Kyle MacLachlan and Palermo/some wife Desiree Gruber random influencer at Balenciaga MacLachlan in giant sunglasses and and Kristin Davis in a seasonally inappropriate fur coat, SATC; below, MacLachlan’s appearance at Balenciaga’s Twin Peaks menswear show had everyone in a tizzy. ‘Agent Cooper!’ they swooned, which is understandable, since MacLachlan is currently starring in Twin Peaks again, and was dressed almost in character. ‘Kyle and his work have been inspirational to me. My mood
BIG, CLICKING MISTAKES Shopping online is a minefield that never gets less trepidatious despite its increasing popularity (the average online weekly spend grew 22 per cent from 2015 to 2016). We’ve all done it: accidentally bought a giant jar of beetroot and been forced to eat beetroot for the rest of our days even though we don’t even like it much, and are freaked out by the way it turns everything pink. When it comes to buying clothes and accessories, though, the size dysmorphia issue is extra vexatious. A quick straw poll of friends reveals the worst offenders this summer: triangle bikinis that wouldn’t even cover the nips of a five-year-old, and chandelier earrings the size of chandeliers. Always check the dimensions, people. Always check the dimensions.
es magazine 30.06.17
From left, Rita Ora, Edie Campbell and Pixie Lott brave the London heat
Crowds on the sun-baked South Bank
“Soon we’ll be moaning about the patio furniture being rained upon and the injustice of having to wear a jumper in July”
Obsessed Calvin Klein’s new scent, inspired by Obsession and featuring unseen Kate Moss shots from the original 1993 campaign. Available from 1 July
Josh Shinner; Getty; Fame Flynet; Alamy, LMK
The Throne No one much fancies it, according to Prince Harry in a recent interview. Can’t blame them, frankly
THE most WANTED
whitewash: Pure lines and minimalist fastenings make Michael Kors’ crossbody the ultimate palette cleanser MICHAEL KORS Mia crossbody, £1,030 (michaelkors.co.uk)
es magazine 30.06.17
PHOTOGRAPH BY john gribben STYLED BY sophie paxton
FLASHBULB! Party pictures from around town by FRANKIE McCOY photographs by james peltekian
Charlotte Olympia Dellal
Jonathan Yeo Laura Bailey
Alex Eagle Rory Bremner
White queens Mayfair
The Chess Club was an Aperol spritz-sipping oasis of cool for the Alex Eagle x Isa Arfen summer lunch, where guests included Ella Hunt, fresh from killing the undead in her zombie movie musical, and Charlotte Olympia toting a watermelon wicker Quentin Jones bag for extra cool.
Thomas Heatherwick Ellie Bamber
Midsummer musing Kensington
A sweltering solstice for the V&A’s summer party. A peckish Edie Campbell queue-barged the buffet for a slice of salmon en croute and Jack O’Connell, straight from Cat on a Hot Tin Roof rehearsals, kept trying to strip down to his polo shirt and was forced to re-jacket for photos, while Baz Luhrmann missed out on champagne after turning up late.
Sophie Kennedy Clark
Ella Hunt Tiphaine de Lussy
Elizabeth Hurley Lady Violet and Lady Alice Manners Victoria Pendleton and Scott Gardner
Lady Kitty Spencer
Lily Cole Lara Stone
Sir Elton John
Polo excess Egham
Ponies and champagne at Guards Polo Club for the Cartier Queen’s Cup, where Lara Stone, Lily Cole and Jessica Hart were more interested in the maroon-uniformed Cartier models than the match. After the horseplay, down came the marquee for a disco, soundtracked by Mark Ronson and a surprise performance from Skepta. What a good sport.
Emma McQuiston Sarah Ann Macklin
GO TO eveningstandard.co.uk / ESMAGAZINE FOR MORE PARTY PICTURES
John Kerry Jay Jopling
Sweet Charity Old Windsor
Skepta Ella Purnell
Vanessa Bradford Kerry
Sir Elton John and David Furnish didn’t disappoint guests at their annual black-tie benefit for the Elton John Aids Foundation in partnership with Bulgari at their Windsor bolthole. Although no actual tiaras were spotted, there was plenty of celeb sparkle with pals Elizabeth Hurley, Erin O’Connor and Tamara Mellon on the glittering guestlist. Diamond geezer David Walliams performed his MC duties with pizzazz while Sir Elton serenaded the crowd with music legend Joan Baez.
30.06.17 es magazine 11
GUCCI sunglasses, £250, at matches fashion.com. Necklace and scarf, Puff Daddy’s own
puff love He’s hip-hop royalty, a cultural icon and a legendary party boy, but Sean Combs is now more focused on his family and his activism than he is on anything else. Charlotte Edwardes meets a changed man with a big plan PhotographS BY Diego Uchitel stylED BY Derek Roche
o the first thing I see as I sit down in Puff Daddy’s hotel suite is a massive spliff, the size of a carrot, in an ashtray on the coffee table in front of me. Puff ignores it. The waiter ignores it as he shows me a selection of tea in an open briefcase (only Puff’s tea could be offered like a deal going down). A spliff, I’m thinking. It’s not the most controversial thing to find in the hotel sitting room of Puff Daddy (or P Diddy, Diddy or Sean Combs, depending at what stage of his multi-million-dollar rapper-promoter-producer-recordcompany-exec-actor career you first encountered him). He has been arrested in the past for firearms offences. And anyway doesn’t the rapper who founded Bad Boy Records in 1993 have an image to maintain? I’m calling him Puff because although in his words he is ‘quad-polar’ (‘four different personalities’), it’s his favourite moniker right now — ‘and that’s the space I’m in’. For the uninitiated (there can’t be many, given he has more than 12 million followers on Twitter, including Barack Obama), Puff Daddy is the music mogul recognised for making hip-hop mainstream; his single ‘I’ll Be Missing You’ has been watched close to 100 million times on YouTube, he has three Grammys and earns as much as £100m a year from diversifying his brand into everything from vodka (Cîroc is 50 per cent him, 50 per cent Diageo) to clothes (Sean John) to fragrances (Unforgivable) and a television network (Revolt).
Style was always a big part of the Puff Daddy theatre. He and former girlfriend Jennifer Lopez were 1990s hiphop royalty. Standard Puff attire might include draped fur, diamonds, several layers of gold, round-the-clock shades and a Zino Platinum Scepter cigar. Also crucial was Cristal by the magnum, private jets, pool parties and posses of bikinied, arse-wagging women. His White Parties were legendary. But for all the Flash Harry lifestyle, the undercurrent of Nineties rap was dangerous as hell — distilled in the killing of his best friend, Christopher Wallace aka The Notorious BIG or Biggie, in an East Coast/West Coast dispute that also saw the murder of Tupac Shakur. Puff has now relived in Technicolor this and the story of his record company for the film Can’t Stop Won’t Stop: A Bad Boy Story, about a commemorative gig he put on for Biggie last year, calling all the Nineties rap artists to put on one last collaboration. Today, in his London hotel room he is trying to acclimatise to his ‘heavy’ jet lag, and the ‘heat’. Marvin Gaye’s ‘Got To Give It Up’ is whooping and popping from a speaker. He sits down, he gets up, he paces (‘keep talking, I’m going to try and answer this from here’). He strips off his sweatshirt, asks for more AC, asks for a candle (Cire Trudon), asks for the windows to be closed then opened. ‘I’m just trying to get my vibe right,’ he says when he finally settles. My own vibe is important to him, too, so he kindly
30.06.17 es magazine 13
offers me Earl Grey in a bone china teacup because ‘I didn’t know if you was missing tea time so I just wanted to be prepared’, he adds as he pours. ‘I’m gonna be mom.’ I’m keen to know how in 2017 a 47-year-old Puff differs from his former bad-boy self, and this is what I learn: he is ‘spiritual’, he meditates (‘I’m just starting to deal with a lot of grief I had in my life’), he does therapy (‘Everybody needs somebody to talk to’) and he has memorised James Baldwin and conquered his insomnia. Even conflict he deals with calmly as opposed to physically assaulting people — in 2007 he was accused of punching someone in a Hollywood nightclub shouting: ‘I’ll smack flames out your ass.’ ‘I’ve failed [in the past], I know,’ he says now. ‘But I’m a work in progress.’ Much (but not all) of the braggadocio has been dumped in favour of insights such as ‘One thing I learned at an older age — because I’m very controlling — was the only thing I could control was myself, and to lead by example.’
amily is his ‘biggest success story,’ he says. He has six children: Justin (about to go to Harvard), mothered by Misa Hylton-Brim; Christian (who works at Bad Boy) and twin girls D’lila Star and Jesse James, by Kim Porter, whose son Quincy he brought up as his own; plus another daughter, Chance, by ex-lover Sarah Chapman. He moved all three baby mamas and offspring to LA (where he lives with his R&B singer girlfriend, Cassie), ‘to keep the family tight’. Later he says his own desire to be a committed and present father was informed by the absence he felt as a result of his own father, Melvin, being shot dead aged 33 when he was two. His film is gripping, not least for details such as Puff having his own ‘candy room’. There are also contradictions: montages of him with women, speedboats, cars and guns, then earnest monologues on how the media has portrayed him incorrectly as ‘a gangster’ and ‘a cad’ when he was just ‘a young black man with a dream to be successful’. He says the 1990s, when gang warfare was being whipped up so fanatically between the rappers in LA (centred around Death Row Records) and those in New York (around Bad Boy), felt ‘very stressful, very dangerous’: ‘Everyone was in a war zone, and if you wasn’t a soldier…’ he shakes his head. ‘It was so big, so global, so crazy. I’ve never seen anything like that happen. The whole world split and everyone had to choose a side.’ Puff and his sister were brought up by his mother, Janice, and grandmother, a formidable double act. He says they ‘stepped up’ to play ‘the man’s role’. ‘Like my first fight,’ he says. ‘My grandmother told me to go to the store to get cigarettes. So I went and there was this bully that told me to give up the money. I was scared, so I just gave him the money and went home. Then my mother became my father,’ he says. She sent him back to the store and told him not to return until he had both money and cigarettes. He did. ‘I was maybe like seven years old. I owe so much to the women that raised me as a father.’ Aged just 12, Puff worked as a newspaper delivery boy, followed by busboy, lavatory attendant and doorman. His work ethic was strong in part because his mother worked four jobs and his attitude was, ‘I wanna work six jobs if
“I’m just starting to deal with a lot of grief I had in my life. Everybody needs somebody to talk to” she’s working four.’ Similarly, his drive to be rich came from ‘the look of embarrassment on her face sometimes when she couldn’t provide for me the right way. That fuelled the fire in me, but not in a negative way. Not in a “Woe is me, I’m poor.” No.’ After school he won a place at Howard University in Washington, DC, and then went on to intern at Uptown Records where he hustled like crazy and ended up producing big acts such as Mary J Blige. I ask, with such strong female role models, why he was happy to reign so long in a rap world where lyrics and videos are so inherently misogynist? ‘My lyrics?’ he says, surprised. ‘There are some cuss words, but I don’t go down the road of being abusive.’ He
ALEXANDER McQUEEN shirt, £545, at mrporter.com. RAYBAN sunglasses, £125 (ray-ban.com). Bracelet, vintage
DOLCE & GABBANA silk suit, £3,040; shirt, £396 (dolcegabbana.it). RAY-BAN sunglasses, £125 (ray-ban.com)
ask what he thinks about Trump — whom he knew from the 1990s New York party scene — and he sidesteps the question saying: ‘My concern right now is that politics hasn’t addressed any of our issues. I don’t care what’s going on with the Russians; I care about what is going on in our inner-city communities. And if they are not speaking out [for them] then I don’t have the time to waste. I have to get busy and do my part to save my people.’ He says he’s fed up with not seeing practical change and now believes the problem is far deeper than surface politics: he believes America is an inherently racist place because of its history. ‘It all dates back to things people don’t want to deal with, which is slavery and a perception people have that we are less than human. ‘We’re still at the bottom of the pole after all these years. Even after having a black President. But you know that’s really going to stop now. Nobody wants to live like that no more and nobody is going to be allowing their children to get killed. And everybody is going to respect that. Should children get killed? No. No matter what is going on.’ This is borne out regularly with the shooting of young black men by police. ‘To this day, the perception and treatment of the African American man and woman is a human-rights crime. Just like killing people, to starve
“Me doing something for politicians isn’t a priority. Me opening up my own school in Harlem, that is”
says he tries to address the issue — ‘It’s something I am focused on as a person with cultural influence. It’s a cliché. There’s still some of that in hip-hop, but I would say it was 75 per cent less than it was.’ Today his ‘platform’ is education, children and women of colour. ‘And the best way is by leading by example and showing that generation that our queens are important.’ Puff was for a long time a voice in US politics. In
2004 he ran the Vote or Die campaign, urging people, particularly from poor black neighbourhoods, to get out and vote in order to change their lives. Today he seems to be disillusioned with the establishment and instead, like his friend Jay Z, is attempting to affect change on a grass roots level. He has not had contact with Obama since he left office, he says, and has given up being a ‘political junkie’. ‘Galvanising people to vote isn’t top of my priority list. Me doing something for politicians isn’t a priority. Me opening up my own school in Harlem, that is; me starting a scholarship fund at my alma mater; giving black colleges that are losing funding a million dollars, those are my priorities.’
30.06.17 es magazine 17
With Donald and Melania Trump in 2005
With his children Christian, and from left, D’lila Star, Chance and Jessie James and his mother, Janice At this year’s Met Gala with girlfriend Cassie Ventura
GUCCI jacket, POA (gucci.com). Hat, vintage. Necklace, his own
Getty Images; Rex Features
Make-up by Lucia Rodriguez. Hair by Marcus Hatch. Sitting editor: Jenny Kennedy. With thanks to Ralph Pucci showroom in Los Angeles (+1 310 360 9707)
and not educate people, to keep people suppressed and not give them human rights is a crime. ‘And [this situation] changes the mental state of the African American community. It gives you PTSD. You have a place where you have no education, where you could be killed. As parents you’re trying to think of a way out of this, it’s a dire state of emergency, and there’s just no help coming. So my thing is we can’t wait for no help. We have to save our communities and save ourselves. These are things that fuel me.’ He says there’s no point in these communities depending on government. His first campaign is in education: Black Excellence. ‘We have to get to loving ourselves and being accountable for ourselves and not relying on the government. It’s time we give up on them and take care of ourselves, and support the businesses and our communities; to support each other. ‘Like people think because you get 10 of us — like Obama, Oprah, LeBron, me — everything’s okay. But we can count, you know. There are millions of blacks in America. We just want to be treated fairly.’ He points out that he is one of the only black owners of a TV network. ‘That kind of really shows you how unfair the playing field is. Out of 1,000 channels there’s only one that somebody black owns.’ I ask if this makes him angry but he insists not. ‘Right now I’m just filled with love and I come back to any hater angle with love. I’m watching what comes off my mouth, out my tongue. Watching what I do now. That’s the only way I can keep sane and wrap my head around everything that is going on in the world. I have to kind of remove myself from things that make me angry because it won’t help me be my best. I’m in a good place.’ Actually I realise when I look back on my notes that he doesn’t swear once, not even ‘damn’. His voice is mellow and slow and he has a poetic turn of phrase. For
Puff with ex-girlfriend Jennifer Lopez in 2000
Puff Daddy and Jay Z, right, and with The Notorious BIG in 1997, left
instance he described the The Notorious BIG’s work ‘like rap physics’. When I ask how he unwinds, he says, ‘Well just taking some time off… travelling around the world, eating some good food — just disconnecting for a minute. Because right now in this age everything is so overwhelming. It won’t just take your brain it will take your soul. And I won’t permit it to take my soul.’
“People think because you get 10 of us — like Obama, Oprah, LeBron, me — everything’s okay” Three things he assures me are little changed from the Nineties. He still goes by private jet (in one photo he’s boarding in slides and socks), and he still goes on his ‘boat’. And yeah, he still parties. Most notably in Ibiza with an English crowd that includes Nellee Hooper and Lucas White and stays up all night — ‘I have the record,’ he says, ‘of 72 hours.’ ‘Wow,’ I say. How often does he do that? He smirks. ‘Maybe twice a year.’ Does trouble follow him any less? Perhaps. Currently it’s a not very gangsterish dispute with his former chef, who complained at allegedly being asked to bring food to Puff immediately after he’d had sex (among other things). Puff says his official line on this is, ‘I have no comment to make on this ridiculousness.’ ‘Can’t Stop, Won’t Stop: A Bad Boy Story’ is available on Apple Music now and on iTunes from 7 July
Puff with Paris Hilton and Kim Kardashian at his 2006 White Party
Above, Puff interviews Barack Obama; left, with with Ventura in LA last year
30.06.17 es magazine 19
style notes What we love now EDITED by KATRINA ISRAEL
Over the rainbow
Hermès’ colour blocked Olympe sandals are a sartorial winner whether paired with plain separates or prints. £520 (hermes.com)
BORGO DE NOR dress, £765, at net-a-porter.com
In search of a summer frock that’s effortless BORGO DE NOR to wear but still makes dress, £675, at an entrance? Look no net-a-porter.com further than the punchy prints and versatile silhouettes of new London brand Borgo De Nor. Cofounders Carmen Borgonovo and Joana de Noronha hail from both the styling and sales sides of the fashion industry, making their feminine crêpe de chine dresses as flattering as they are fun.
J BRAND X BELLA FREUD jumper, £280, at jbrandjeans.com
LA jean giant J Brand has teamed up with Bella Freud on its latest capsule collection, which reworks the Londoner’s signature slogan sweaters with 1970s-inspired denim.
InSTARglam Barcelona-based Rubén Ortiz and Katty Schiebeck’s well-travelled feed is quite simply
LIBERTY tote, £195 (liberty.co.uk)
zocalo chic tote, £85 (zocalo chic.com)
CHANAEL K tote, £65, at mprojectstore.com
Totes amaze CHRISTOPHER KANE tote, £695 (christopher kane.com)
Illustration by Jonathan Calugi @ Machas
Follow us at @eveningstandardmagazine
These multitasking shoppers are ideal for both work and play, happily accommodating your laptop as comfortably as those summer beach essentials.
Burberry’s mesmerising made-to-order capes, debuted at February’s fashion show finale, have been travelling the globe as part of the house’s The Cape Reimagined exhibition (right). It’s now back in town at Masterpiece London at the Royal Hospital Chelsea. To 5 July (masterpiecefair.com)
PRADA tote, £1,460 (prada.com)
CÉLINE tote, £1,200 (020 8629 0350)
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infinity and beyond The super-rich are ploughing billions into treatments to keep them young — forever. Emily Hill investigates the booming immortality industry and asks if one day money might not just buy you the best things in life, but life itself
magine a world in which you’re 90 years old and nowhere near middle-aged. An app on your phone has hacked your DNA code, so you know exactly when to go to the doctor to receive gene therapy to prevent all the diseases you don’t yet have. A microchip in your skin sends out a signal if you’re at risk of developing a wrinkle — so you step out of the sun and hotfoot it to your dermatologist. Every evening you sync your brain-mapping device with The Cloud, so even if you were caught up in a fatal accident you’d still be able to cheat death — every detail of your life would simply be downloaded to one of the perfect silicon versions you’d had made of yourself, ensuring you last until at least your 1,000th birthday. This may sound like science fiction but it could be your fate — provided you can afford it. If current research develops into medicine, in the London of the future the super-rich won’t simply be able to buy the best things in life, they’ll be able to buy life itself by transforming themselves into a bioengineered super-race, capable of living, if not forever, then for vastly longer than the current UK life expectancy of 81 years.
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The science of turning back the clock has never been more advanced. In Boston, a drug capable of reversing half a lifetime of ageing in mice is about to be tested on humans in a medical trial monitored by Nasa. NMN is a compound found naturally in broccoli which boosts levels of NAD, a protein involved in energy production that depletes as we get older. Professor David Sinclair, who headed up the initial research at Australia’s University of New South Wales, doses himself with 500mg daily, and claims that he has already become more youthful. According to blood tests analysing the state of the 48year-old’s cells, prior to taking the pills Sinclair was in the same physical shape as a 57-year-old, but now he’s ‘31.4’. Meanwhile, Hollywood stars looking for the elixir of youth might want to keep a close eye on developments at Newcastle University where last February Professor Mark BirchMachin identified, for the first time, the mitochondrial complex which depletes over time, causing skin to age. Mitochondria are the battery packs that power our cells — so if we want to slow down ageing we need to keep them topped up; doing so would be transformative for our appearance. In the future, Birch-Machin believes, we’ll not only be taking pills and applying cosmetics, we’ll
have implants in our skin. ‘Implants will tell us the state of it — how well our batteries are doing, how many free radicals, and will inform us how we are doing with our lifestyle,’ he says. ‘You can store it, log it, have that linked to your healthcare package.’ Such medical discoveries are being translated into treatment at an unprecedented rate. The day after the results of Birch-
Trunk Archive/Miles Aldridge
Machin’s study were published in The New York Times, his department was contacted by nine companies hoping to turn his research into revolutionary pharmaceuticals. In 2009, Elizabeth Blackburn, a professor of biology and physiology at the University of California, won a Nobel Prize for her work on telomeres, the protective tips on our chromosomes that break down as we get older, leaving us prone
to age-related diseases. Blackburn discovered an enzyme called telomerase that can stop the shortening of telomeres by adding DNA — like a plastic tip fixing the end of a fraying shoelace. Today, rich Californians now use telomeres therapy to prolong the life of their pets. Last year, in Monterey, California, the start-up Ambrosia (founded by Dr Jesse
K armazin, a DC -based physician) began trialling the effect of blood transfusions, p u mp i n g b lo o d f r o m teenagers into older patients, follow i ng stud ies that found that blood plasma from young mice can rejuvenate old mice, improving their memory, cognition and physical activity. Dr Richard Siow, who heads up the Age Research department at King’s College London, believes we may be soon reach a significant point in anti-ageing research because of the massive amounts of money allocated by governments and charities worldwide in the hope of making a breakthrough. Indeed, according to a survey by Transparency Market Research, by 2019 the antiageing market will be worth £151 billion worldwide. ‘Life expectancy in many countries has already increased from 65-68 all the way through to 70, 80, 85 because people are now surviving heart disease, strokes and cancer,’ points out Siow, who has been study i ng a nti- a gei ng compounds found in Indian spices and tea. ‘We are now redefining what ageing means. How can we extend that period of health so we’re not a burden?’ It is in Silicon Valley, however, that the really radical advances seem likely to be made. Freshly minted internet tycoons appear willing to pay any price to prolong their lives and a critical mass of geeks is working furiously towards understanding our biology at an unprecedented rate. Take Dmitry Itskov, the Russian billionaire
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“we’re entering into ‘them’ and ‘us’ territory… where only the very, very rich can sustain the maintenance required to look after their enhancements” And then there’s PayPal founder (and Donald Trump supporter) Peter Thiel, who has a net worth of £2.1 billion and has reportedly invested in start-up Unity Biotechnology — which aims to develop drugs that ‘make many debilitating consequences of ageing as uncommon as polio’. Thiel has also offered funding to individual researchers, such as Aubrey de Grey, the
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says Dr Jack Kreindler, medical director at the Centre for Health & Human Performance in Harley Street. ‘If people embark on really sophisticated, targeted therapies to repair damage to their cells... I think we’re definitely entering into “them” and “us” territory.’ As projected in Homo Deus, the best-selling book of Israeli academic Yuval Noah Harari, Kreindler adds, we could witness ‘a schism in humanity where we have some people so bioengineered that only the very, very rich can sustain the amount of maintenance required to look after their enhancements, while others simply can’t afford to do anything but be natural.’
evertheless, the quest to overcome mortality continues apace. Last year, at a TEDx symposium Kreindler convened at the Science Museum, Daisy Robinton, a post-doctoral scientist at Harvard University, put forward the theory that ageing should be considered ‘a disease in itself.’ She described the excitement in the medical community at the discovery of CRISPR/Cas9, a protein that seems to allow us to target and delete genetic mutations in our DNA. ‘Gene editing provides an opportunity to not only cure genetic disease but also to prevent diseases from ever coming into being,’ Robinton claimed. ‘To treat our susceptibilities before they ever transform into symptoms.’ If this theory became fact, dying of old age might one day seem as outmoded as being felled by one of the mass killers of the past for which we get vaccinated. Aubrey If gene editing on this scale is de Grey possible, Kreindler says we have to ask: ‘Can your cells become immortal, can they live forever?’ At the Centre for Health & Human Performance, treatments may still be firmly rooted in the 21st century, focused as they are on helping athletes optimise their f itness and celebrities such as David Walliams complete gruelling challenges for Sport Relief. But Kreindler is clearly in awe of what the latest medical advances might mean for the future of the human race. ‘I don’t believe this should be only for the very rich,’ he says. ‘If you’re Peter going to do things, don’t Thiel just do it for the billionaires, do it for the billions.’
Getty; Rex; Alamy
founder of the life-extension non-profit 2045 Initiative, who is paying scientists to map the human brain so our minds can be decanted into a computer and either downloaded to a robot body or synced with a hologram. Or Joon Yun, a physician and hedge fund manager who insisted at an anti-ageing symposium of the California elite in March that ageing is simply a programming error encoded in our DNA. ‘If something is encoded, you can crack the code,’ he told an audience which, according to The New Yorker, included multi-billionaire Google cofounder Sergey Brin and Goldie Hawn. ‘Thermodynamically, there should be no reason we can’t defer entropy indefinitely. We can end ageing forever.’
Chelsea-born, Cambridge and Californiabased gerontologist who ploughed the £11 million he inherited from his artist mother, Cordelia, into founding the Strategies for Engineered Negligible Senescence Research Foundation in Mountain View, which promotes the use of rejuvenation biotechnology in anti-ageing research. Of course, the best known element of the ‘immortality industry’ is cryogenic freezing. Despite its reputation as the last resort of wealthy cranks, it remains in business; at the Alcor cryonics facility in Arizona, 149 corpses have already been preserved in liquid nitrogen at a temperature of minus 196°C since it was founded in 1972. Worldwide there are thousands of people signed up for cryogenics services, including Alcor’s 28 clients in the UK. The service doesn’t come cheap (full-body freezing costs £165,000, while having your head cut off and frozen is around £60,000) but it has some impressivesounding clients, including de Grey and Dr Anders Sandberg, research fellow at Oxford University’s Future of Humanity Institute. ‘It’s a gamble but it’s still much better than being dead,’ says Sandberg. He envisages a world in which the brain is paramount, so when his is revived it could be transformed into a sort of computer programme containing all of his memories of life on earth. ‘If you actually exist as software you have a lot of options. I do enjoy having a physical body but why have just one when you could have lots of different ones?’ Of course, if such experiments do come to fruition, they could have far reaching implications for our society. Already, a rapidly ageing p opu lation is pla ci ng enormous stress on healthcare and pension systems worldwide. De Grey sees the problem of overpopulation being cured by a dwindling birth-rate. But he says little about the impact this would have on the young. Then there’s the question of whether we will one day be living in a world def i ned by g api ng d ifferences in life expectancy — where the ‘haves’ live for 10 times longer than the ‘have nots’. ‘Mortality Daisy has been the great Robinton equaliser from beggars to kings to emperors,’
PREEN dress, £1,485 (preenbythornton bregazzi.com). PANDORA rings, left hand, £75; right hand £65 (pandora.net)
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N A I S D U N I MM Diaphanous dresses, sunshine tones and silken separates to wear all day long — this summer’s fashion forecast is looking hot, hot, hot
Photographs BY Lauretta Suter stylED BY Sophie Paxton
SIES MARJAN jacket, £1,200; trousers, £560, at Selfridges (0800 123 400). MARNI shoes, £560 (020 7245 9520). PANDORA earrings, £80 (pandora.net). ALIGHIERI necklace, £310 (alighieri.co.uk)
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Above, Emilio Pucci hat, POA (emiliopucci.com). Lemaire dress, £450, at net-aporter.com. Jenny Sweetnam Luna hoops, £162 (jennysweetnam.com) Right, CÉLINE dress, £1,800 (020 7491 8200). PANDORA rings, from £70 each (pandora.net)
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ROSIE ASSOULIN dress, £4,234, at bysymphony.com. ZOHRA RAHMAN earrings, £470 (zohrarahman.com)
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VALENTINO dress, £3,280 (020 7647 2520). MARNI shoes, £560 (020 7245 9520). ALIGHIERI hair tie, £195 (alighieri.co.uk). JESSIE HARRIS earrings, £150 (jessieharris.co.uk) Make-up and hair by Kristina Ralph Andrews at Saint Luke using Nars. Fashion assistant: Eniola Dare. Photographer’s assistant: Laura Cammarata. Model: Charlotte Hayes at Select Model Management. Production by Neem Tree. With thanks to Jaipur Marriot hotel (marriott.com)
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beauty by katie service
Pink paper by GF Smith
These mighty exfoliators will vanquish dry skin and keep legs seriously smooth all summer long
ELEMIS Frangipani Monoi Salt Glow, £37 (elemis.com). FRANK BODY Creamy Face Scrub, £15.95 (frankbody.com). BY TERRY Cellularose Dual Exfoliation Scrub, £49, at spacenk.com. JO MALONE Lime Basil & Mandarin Shower Scrub, £30, at johnlewis.com
PHOTOGRAPH BY William Bunce STYLED BY lily worcester
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grace & flavour Grace Dent finds the Japanese cuisine at Dinings SW3 a bit fishy
“We ate £50 worth of unappetising offerings staged dramatically in boxes like a ‘Game of Thrones’ set”
Jonny Cochrane; illustration by Jonathan Calugi @ Machas
n reflection, we should have gone to Daphne’s in Chelsea. Who doesn’t like Daphne’s? Savages and simpletons, that’s who. It was the warmest night of the year. I should have elected that we pick at a plate of burrata with datterini in the spiritual home of sunset orange chinos. I love Daphne’s as the cocktails are theatrical and the ambience warm. I like that they resolutely call me Miss Dent and feign ignorance that although I age, my boyfriends curiously do not. That, is service. Instead, I’d promised the editor I’d go to Dinings SW3, a recently opened conceptual sushi restaurant in a Grade 1-listed building. Dinings’ concept is, apparently, ‘pushing the boundaries of Japanese cuisine’, which it clearly is doing by serving organic salt marsh lamb with sun-dried tomatoes and, in the process, pushing everyone with working taste buds somewhere else. The clientele on the night were those befuddled Western cash-rich holiday-twat sorts, dispatched by concierges to places like this. It was a menu where one can whip through £200 in no time at all, to a naff Euro-dance backing track, barely troubling one’s stomach lining. It attracts trophy wives who spend dinner perusing messages from their tennis instructors while their children pick at tiny Wagyu burgers. That said, it was nearly deserted when we arrived at 7pm. The bar was empty, a few guests were downstairs and there were none upstairs. This didn’t prevent the staff from interrupting us during our aperitif twice, looming to chivvy us to the table. ‘It’s a table-turning thing,’ one of them said, sweeping their hand at a big empty room.
dinings SW3 Walton House, Walton Street, Chelsea, SW3 (dinings.co.uk)
Wagyu beef burger
Chilli garlic black cod
Nasu miso aubergine
Toro fatty tuna tar-tar chip £8.50
Native lobster tar-tar chip
Chef’s appetiser selection £49.10
Chant des Vignes jurancon sec £38
£10 £21.95 £184.55
Moments like this cause me to invoke one of my top restaurant critic role models; the angry velociraptor from Jurassic Park who arrives during the Jell-O course and attempts to eat two children. ‘Of course it is,’ I said. Thank God I was with my friend Josh, who is an excellent, patient dining companion. He took over the reins as they passed us ornate menus with spindly writing offering at least 80 florid dishes. These included freshwater eel and pan-fried foie gras sushi roll, and four pieces of hay-seared toro tataki topped with dashiflavoured foie gras mousse and kizami wasabi for a bargain £18.95. ‘Just order things,’ I said, ‘before they kick us out. It’s already quarter past eight.’ We began with tar-tar chips (Japanese for tiny tasteless taco) topped with room-temperature toro fatty tuna and jalapeño mayonnaise, then two with native lobster, equally warm and bushtucker challenge-ish. It’s the sort of food that puts one off eating. We perused the lengthy sashimi selection, featuring six types of blue fin tuna, turbot, Santa Barbara shrimp, uzaku-style eel and so on. ‘Let’s get the chef to choose,’ I decided. Within 15 minutes we were presented with £50 worth of unappetising offerings staged dramatically in wooden boxes like a Game of Thrones set prop. There were two large scallops with taramo sauce, which were admittedly pretty. A langoustine had been halved and Josper grill-tormented until it had no discernable texture before plainly awful things arrived, like weird turds of seared Wagyu beef tataki with porcini ponzu, or annoyances of Scottish salmon ‘zuke style’ with onion soy jam. This was triumphantly terrible food. We moved on to nasu miso grilled aubergine with sweet miso, which was half an aubergine so sweet my back teeth stung, slung on to a plate without fanfare, then bizarre chunks of inedible watery tofu in an uma-dashi sauce. By this point we were both slightly hysterical, completely famished and so began the war of attrition to get the bill. ‘You’re going to be really horrible, aren’t you?’ asked Josh. ‘Oh, I’ll make it sound better than it was,’ I said, ‘because if I told the truth, no one would believe me.’ We then went to Daphne’s. And it was lovely.
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tart london Jemima Jones and Lucy Carr-Ellison throw together
a perfect summer lunch of chicken and bulgar salad
You say tomato: the Tart girls discover the freshest fruit in Mykonos
Jemima Jones (left) and Lucy Carr-Ellison
his dish has so much flavour and texture: nutty bulgar wheat, crispy kale, tangy fennel and smoky, charred chicken. Light enough for the humid summer months, it’s also a great way to liven up tired wintry produce. Pale hard tomatoes, for example, can be resuscitated to sweetness when slowly caramelised in the oven. The day before a big shoot, we like to roast a big batch. They’ll always come in handy as a final flourish to a dish, and if we have any juicy tomatoes left we’ll layer them on toast with goat’s cheese and chopped chilli. Adding a small amount of nutty grain to your salad — such as quinoa or couscous — is a great way to bulk it up into a hearty lunch or dinner. Bulgar wheat is a particularly easy way to add that bulk, as it’s very quick to make, has a lovely texture and absorbs the flavour of whatever you mix it with beautifully. We also like to serve this topped with a bit of crumbled feta — feel free to experiment with your favourite cheese. Even better, this dish is easily prepared in advance and served at room temperature, so just pile it up on a big serving platter and let your dinner guests help themselves.
chicken and bulgar salad
Olive oil Juice of ½ orange 2 tbsp harissa 2 tbsp maple syrup 1 tsp dried oregano 1 tsp ground cumin 1 tsp smoked paprika Zest and juice of 1 lemon 2 boneless chicken thighs 4 large plum tomatoes, halved 2 generous pinches of saffron 1 tbsp brown sugar 100g bulgar wheat 300ml stock (vegetable or chicken) 2 big handfuls of kale, washed and roughly chopped 1 fennel bulb, thinly sliced 30g sliced almonds, toasted ½ red chilli, deseeded and finely sliced Small bunch of dill, roughly chopped Small bunch of coriander, leaves roughly chopped
Preheat oven to 180C. In a large bowl, mix a glug of olive oil with the orange juice, 1 tbsp harissa, 1 tbsp maple syrup, the oregano, cumin, paprika, zest and a squeeze of lemon juice. Add the chicken thighs, turning to coat. Marinate for 30 minutes. Put your tomatoes face up on a lined baking tray. In a separate bowl, mix 1 tbsp olive oil, 1 tbsp harissa, 1 tbsp maple syrup and 1 pinch of saffron. Season and spoon over your tomatoes. Sprinkle a little brown sugar over each half and place in the oven for 40 minutes. Put the bulgar wheat and stock in a large pot with another pinch of saffron and a squeeze of lemon juice. Simmer for 10-15 minutes until tender, remove from heat, leaving the lid on. Put the kale on a baking tray, sprinkle with olive oil, salt and pepper and add to the oven with the tomatoes for the final 10 minutes. Heat a griddle pan over a high heat and add the chicken. Leave in place for 3-5 minutes without moving so you get deep charred lines, then turn over. Once cooked, remove and slice. Build your salad on a large serving dish: bulgar wheat and kale first, then tomatoes and fennel, and finally the chicken. Scatter over the toasted almonds, chillies, dill and coriander. Quickly mix together the dressing ingredients and spoon over the top, then finish with a dollop of yoghurt.
For the dressing 1 tsp harissa 1 tbsp olive oil Squeeze of lemon juice 1 tsp balsamic vinegar 1 tsp maple syrup
Yoghurt, to serve
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One hell of a cellar: Madame Bollinger’s House
welcome to bollywood The discovery of a secret cache of 187-year-old wine prompted Bollinger to embark on an epic journey of restoration. Douglas Blyde travels to France for a taste of history
Michel Jolyot; Alamy; Jonny Cochrane; glassware available at waterford.co.uk
ellarmaster Gilles Descôtes turns free the porcini-shaped cork from the 80-year-old magnum of Bollinger La Grande Année. ‘C’est parfait!’ he whispers. The effervescence of the pour settles in a broad glass, fanning out like a peacock’s tail. The Bollinger vineyards; Flavours interlace: beurre noisette cellarmaster Gilles Descôtes, right; 007 is and coconut segue into a semblance poured a glass of of red wine-poached pear with a Bollinger, above brief whiff of Gentleman’s Relish, culminating in a direct, long-lived citrus-zest-pepped finale. We are standing in Galerie 1829, one of two wine libraries opened by Bollinger last year to showcase its heritage. Dimly lit by a copper glow, it lies at the heart of the grande marque’s caves, where miles of subterranean streets run close to the actual streets of sleepy seeming Aÿ in north-eastern France. As the corks pop on the summer party season in London, the cool hush of our surrounds couldn’t feel further away. Yet the story of this place is a remarkable one, and has captured the attention of the drinks Rare Bollinger discoveries world. Seven years ago, given the unenviable task of clearing away a few rows of empty bottles from a musty, chalky corner, an intern found a cache pop star of hundreds of bottles dating back as far as 1830 — likely deliberately concealed from the queen vic’s drink Bollinger has had regal thirsty German army. Before this find, their connotations since most recent vintage was from 1921. Queen Victoria awarded This astonishing discovery prompted the it a royal warrant in 1884; it was also the house to embark upon a vast restoration project pour at Charles and under the watchful eye of Descôtes; 4,000 Diana’s wedding. bottles from different cellars were successfully bubbly with curry restored over three years. Around us are some of According to cellarmaster these — those dating from 1830 to 1921 are Gilles Descôtes, bubbly goes well with Indian food. Bollinger’s crown jewels. Given that the champagne Descôtes and I cradle in our glasses was bee thinkers crafted from grapes ripened then plucked in 1937 As well as producing a still red wine, La Côte aux Enfants, — the year of the Queen Mother’s coronation and Bollinger also harvests honey David Hockney’s birth — it tastes remarkably from 25 hives. sprightly, complex and complete.
Bollinger’s signature opulent style, explains Descôtes, stems from the interaction between painstakingly made wine from ripe grapes and long-lived and therefore less tannic oak casks, as well as the slight breathing between wine and cork. The celebrated result has made the marque a form of pop cultural icon; tacked above wooden boards of antique tools in the toffee-scented cooperage, posters chart Bollinger’s appearance on TV and film, from The Living Daylights to, of course, Absolument Fabuleux. The library isn’t the only historical artefact that visitors can discover. Later, we return to the blinding sunshine then cross to a modestlooking walled vineyard. This, the Clos St-Jacques, is, it transpires, one of the world’s most notable survivor vineyards, having thrived free from the 19th-century pest phylloxera, which left North America hidden aboard the vine cuttings of British botanists and enervated most of Europe’s wholly unprepared vineyards. Ultra rare, Bollinger’s Vieilles Vignes Françaises cuvée from these vines typically fetches more than £600 a bottle. Meanwhile, the sitting room of Madame Bollinger’s House bears wooden panels crafted by another generation of coopers who needed tasks to busy themselves during the depression of 1920–21. There, instead of reciting grace before sitting for dinner in the jade-coloured dining room, Bollinger has the more exciting mantra of late great matriarch, Lily, who managed the family business for three decades. ‘I drink it when I’m happy and when I’m sad. Sometimes I drink it when I’m alone. When I have company I consider it obligatory. I trifle with it if I’m not hungry and drink it when I am. Otherwise, I never touch it — unless I’m thirsty…’
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Dive in: honky tonk bars in Nashville’s Lower Broadway
EDITED by dipal acharya Moonshine and biscuits at the Loveless Cafe
WHERE TO EAT
Tennessee is famous for its BBQ, and if you want the best, head to Jack’s in Lower Broadway. Order a ‘plate’ (BBQ meat served with two ‘vegetables’ — think mac’n’cheese and corn), take a seat and watch the cowboys go by. For traditional fried chicken, waffles and moonshine there is no other place to go than The Loveless Cafe. It’s a short drive outside of the city and you’ll find it serving good ol’ southern fare to bikers, cowboys and tourists alike.
Just your type: Hatch Show Print
country state of mind When it comes to the stuff of music legend, there’s no place on earth quite like Nashville. Helen Gibson dons her Stetson and makes for Tennessee’s headline act
BBQ fans should make for Jack’s
Grab a cup of cool at Barista Parlor
WHERE TO DRINK
Helen Gibson, Alamy, Getty Images
Honky tonks — the city’s trademark dive bars immortalised in songs by everyone from Hank Williams to the Stones — are the best places to drink. Head to Nashville’s Lower Broadway for the best: the strip is full of famous neon signs advertising boots, beer and BBQ, but most importantly some of the best live music venues in the world. Legends Corner, Robert’s Western World (below) and Tootsies Orchid Lounge are steeped in country music history, with names such as Willie Nelson a regular at the latter in the 1960s.
WHERE TO STAY
WHERE TO SHOP
Journey to east Nashville and you’ll find off-beat bars, cool coffee shops (Barista Parlor) and interesting boutiques, like Goodbuy Girls for the best selection of cowgirl boots and handmade clothing. If you still haven’t had enough music during your stay in Nashville, pay a visit to Fond Object Records for all your vinyl needs and Fanny’s House of Music to invest in a new Gibson guitar.
Opposite The Country Music Hall of Fame is the Hilton, a 10-floor hotel that keeps you central enough to walk everywhere (rooms from £204, hilton.com). All the staff are born and raised in Nashville or not far off — there’s nothing they don’t know about the city (fun fact: Little Richard lives on the ninth floor and can often be seen coming in and out in his black Cadillac). If you’re looking for something more boutique, check in to the Hutton (rooms from £176, huttonhotel.com), a short walk out from downtown, but a welcome break from the madness of Broadway.
WHAT TO SEE
Nashville is the birthplace of country music. Your first stop has to be The Country Music Hall of Fame to peruse memorabilia, from Elvis’ goldplated Cadillac to Johnny Cash’s boots and Dolly Parton’s handwritten lyrics to ‘Jolene’. But for a more in-depth look at the Man in Black, visit the Johnny Cash Museum (below), which takes you from his early years through to his death in Nashville in 2003. Another Nashville institution is Hatch Show Print: opened in 1879, it specialises in woodblock printing and has defined the style of showbiz posters in the city. Take a tour of the print rooms and you’ll learn the history of printing, the Hatch Show tradition and even be able to make a print or two of your own.
The lobby at The Hutton
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PLUM SYKES as told to Niamh o’keeffe
Home is..? A 1930s block in Bayswater, with my husband, Toby, and daughters, Ursula, 10, and Tess, 6. We’re one block from Hyde Park and the Diana Memorial Playground (below), so it doesn’t get much better.
What do you collect? Do animals count? I have quite a few birds at my house in the Cotswolds — three peacocks (above) and 14 guinea fowl. The guinea fowl are divine; so well behaved and they make the most amazing noise. Who do you call when you want to have fun? My friend Julie Janklow — she’s very rock’n’roll and absolutely hilarious, with a voice sort of like Minnie Mouse. Last time we met, we went to Kitty Fisher’s (below), which was so divine.
Favourite club? 5 Hertford Street in Mayfair (right). The interiors are so chic and it’s the only club in London I’ve ever joined where I’ve actually renewed my membership. The atmosphere is very cosy and it’s so glamorous. I’m also completely intrigued by the new Annabel’s — I’m dying to go there. Biggest extravagance? Cashmere sweaters for my children from Marie-Chantal.
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The novelist shops in the Burlington Arcade, heads to Kitty Fisher’s for a good time and loves the passion fruit and apricot jam at Ottolenghi Best thing a cabbie has ever said to you? As soon as a cabbie finds out that I work in fashion, they ask me if I knew Alexander McQueen, as he was the son of an East End cabbie. Most romantic thing someone’s done for you? The first time my husband picked me up from my flat, he arrived in this little opentop Audi and took me out for supper.
Last play you saw? Hedda Gabler with Ruth Wilson. My husband and I went to see it with Dominic West and his wife, Catherine. As Dominic stars with Ruth in The Affair, we wanted to go see her afterwards, but were told she didn’t have time as she was going on a date. She had no time for Dominic, her date was too important!
First thing you do when you come back to London? Have a hot chocolate and a delicious croissant with home-made passion fruit and apricot jam at Ottolenghi on Ledbury Road. If you could buy any London building, which would it be? I love the little houses on the top of Portobello Road. They are so adorable, all painted pink. Last album you bought? Whatever my children are listening to, so it’s Ed Sheeran or Katy Perry (left) every time. ‘Party Girls Die in Pearls’ by Plum Sykes (Bloomsbury, £14.99) is out now
Robert Fairer; Rex Features; Alamy
Favourite shops? I love Eres on Motcomb Street — once every four years I’ll buy an Eres swimsuit because they last so long. I also love Geox on King’s Road, which sells really classy sneakers in beautiful white leather; they are comfy and good quality. And the vintage Rolex shop in Burlington Arcade is really quite special.