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Chic feasts & cool cocktails


It’s your year to




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JANUARY 2018 £4.30


EDITOR’S LETTER CLOCKWISE FROM LEFT: Best beauty buys on page 97; Molly Rosen now, and with editor Sarah back in 2003; cover star Nicole Kidman


THE YEAR OF THE WOMAN When I was 24, I moved to New York, started working for a teen magazine called YM and had my first girl crush. Molly Rosen, an editor’s PA, was a hipster with poker-straight blonde hair and Marc Jacobs flats. She was also whipsmart, funny, provocative, and lived on bean salad and chain smoked. I was utterly enthralled. For two years we were inseparable: she took me to East Village dive bars and for brunch with her grandparents in Chicago – I brought her back to England and introduced her to fish and chips and the white cliffs of Dover. Then we fell out (a fraught argument over friendship and fiancés – hers – in Bed, Bath & Beyond) and didn’t talk for almost a decade. When we reunited, via email in 2012, we were both newly married and pregnant with our first daughters. Molly had quit journalism and launched a cult wedding brand called Stone Fox Bride. She was still as smart, sage and entertaining as before, but somehow more pacific with it – as if life had softened her edges. This month she launches her first book, Love, Lust, And

Wedding Planning For The Wild At Heart, so I asked her to share some of her inimitable wisdom on page 58. I hope you find her as irresistibly on point as I do. Elsewhere, we are celebrating more brilliant women, such as our cover star Nicole Kidman, who reminisces with Jane Mulkerrins on her stellar year on page 44, and Jodie Foster, who discusses politics and motherhood with Stefanie Rafanelli on page 52. In The Year Women Fought Back on page 67, Gina Miller reflects on the impact of Brexit, and Christina Lamb shares her experiences of the refugee crisis, while Anna Bonet highlights the women who continue to fight against inequality and have changed history in the process. On our cover we promise it’s Your Year to Shine. As we celebrate the end of 2017 (with myriad gorgeous ideas in our party entertaining special and 50 best beauty buys of the year), I feel hopeful and excited for 2018. As Molly says, “Get a handle on the life you want and go get it.” I couldn’t think of a better mantra to see in the New Year.

Executive editor SARAH TOMCZAK

THIS MONTH I HAVE BEEN: SHOPPING at the Sézane pop-up store on South Molton Street in London (is it wrong to buy all your own Christmas presents?!); HIBERNATING under my Aessai Fairtrade knitted blanket (; RELISTENING to my favourite Here’s The Thing with

Alec Baldwin podcasts (Sarah Jessica Parker, Molly Ringwald and Grace Coddington); BAKING up a storm for every festive gathering; BUYING the Red Beauty Box for all my friends (order yours on page 112), INSTAGRAMMING @STatRedMag

See our great SUBSCRIBER OFFER on page 72


86 34

52 22

CONTENTS January 2018



21 Practical magic Pack it all in with Chanel’s bucket bag 22 Easy glamour Elevate the cosiest of jumpers, jackets and track pants with luxe touches 29 Join the dots Add a spot of magic with polka dots 31 Home comforts Perfect your down time with soft separates, easy denim and cashmere 34 The big reveal Red’s Sarah Bailey unveils a stylish yet poignant Dress Of The Year for Dior 39 Fashion news


85 Midnight calling Own the night with blues and jewels


86 Into the blue Inky hues with a dusting of shimmer make the most modern party pieces


41 The Insta family Escapee guinea pigs are just one barrier to our columnist’s money shot 43 Whatever happened to the Christmas round-robin? Nina Stibbe mourns the decline of the printed festive newsletter 44 Nicole Kidman: her career-defining year The actress reflects on her year of Emmy awards, turning 50 and finding true happiness in family life 52 The accidental icon From child star to trailblazing director, Jodie Foster means business

58 17 things I learnt in 2017: A survival guide for tough times Molly Rosen Guy offers her no-BS pearls of wisdom for success in 2018 62 The Goode guy From Downton to The Good Wife, it’s all plain sailing for Matthew Goode 66 Join us for Red x How to start your wellness business Don’t miss our Smart Session with the cream of health’s power players 67 The year women fought back We meet the women leading the rebellion against 2017’s injustices 74 “I cured my relationship fears at a tantra retreat” Marianne Power on how she conquered her intimacy issues 76 Facing the music Natasha Lunn listens in on satire don Armando Iannucci’s latest project




97 178 My favourite thing For cookery stalwart Mary Berry, it’s her diamond engagement ring


97 50 new beauty icons: luxe hair oils & hair heroes Plus the finest unisex perfumes, cult blushers and the best balm cleansers – 2017: the year of the hero product 108 Get Jen’s glow Serums, toners and DIY blow-drys – Jennifer Aniston shares her secrets 112 The Red Beauty Box Hand-picked products for winter 115 Beauty notebook

143 Mix it up Bring some pizzazz to your barware


145 Making memories Go in search of adventure with the most indelible trips of 2017


155 Wake up & stretch Balance your body for the day ahead 156 How to be perfectly imperfect Sarah Knight on why 2018 should be your year to embrace getting it wrong


160 The art of mindful drinking Allow yourself the freedom to enjoy alcohol with Rosamund Dean’s advice 164 10 ways to win the cold war Give sniffles and shivers the boot with these immune-boosting tips 166 The trigger effect For Sonya Patel Ellis, living with a phobia has meant embracing the fear 168 Ask Philippa Our agony aunt tackles your issues

OFFERS 27 Exclusive subscriber offers 72 Great reasons to subscribe to Red 83 Gift ideas from £27.99


117 Set the bar high Our guide to perfect platters and delicious drinks for the festive season 118 Chic feasts Delight in John Whaite’s simple recipes, ideal for festive entertaining 126 Made for sharing Serve up in style with marble platters and rustic tableware 127 The gift of giving What to take for the host? Fret no more with these striking suggestions 132 The ‘no-cook’ party feast Lucy Carr-Ellison reveals her top tips for a party without the pressure 135 Dressed to impress Adorn your table in gold and blush 136 Cool cocktails Forget the fizz and jazz up your tipples with these fresh new ideas


9 Editor’s letter 19 Say it, write it, share it 79 Reads Romola Garai shares her favourite books, plus the hottest reads of 2017 and David Walliams discusses his new children’s book 177 Stars THIS MONTH’S COVERS Photographs Trunk Archive. Recreate Nicole’s look using Foundation Primer, Flawless Fusion Foundation in Crème, Secret Camouflage in SC-1, Secret Concealer in 1, Eye Art Artists Palette in Espresso Bean Eye Shadow, Caviar Eye Stick Eye Colour in Cobblestone and Cocoa, Tight Line Cake Eye Liner in Black Ebony, Long Lash Mascara, Sketch & Intensify in Ash, Crème Cheek Colour in Canyon, Lip Liner in Hazelnut Tea, Velour Lip Lovers in Embrace, all Laura Mercier. Subscribe to Red to receive the limited-edition covers (above, right); see page 72 for details.


Contributors January 2018


Shares her thoughts on Brexit, on page 67

Best things in life? ● My children’s hugs and laughter ● Sitting on top of a hill I’ve climbed ● Seeing sadness change to hope in somebody’s eyes The thing I’m most looking forward to in 2018 is… People hurting less. GOW TANAKA

GROUP EDITORIAL DIRECTOR SARAH BAILEY EXECUTIVE EDITOR SARAH TOMCZAK Personal Assistant to Group Editorial Director Jodie Dunworth Editorial enquiries (020 7439 5131)

GROUP EDITORIAL PRODUCTION Workflow Director Carly Levy Group Managing Editor Ingrid Eames Chief Sub-Editor Clay Johnson Acting Chief Sub-Editor Samantha de Haas Deputy Chief Sub-Editors Francesca Cotton, Gwen Mostyn, Vicky Deacon

ART Creative Director Philippa Williams Deputy Art Director Tom Shone Art Editors Andrew Pye, Lisa Collins Senior Designers Abby Wiltshire, Jenna Plumb Designer Aasawari Bapat Kale

PICTURES Picture Director Beverley Croucher

Styles the hair for the fashion shoot, on page 86

Best things in life? ● Coming to London ● Making things ● Travelling ● Raw egg on rice The thing I’m most looking forward to in 2018 is… Launching my brand of hair combs. MARIANNE POWER

Visits a conscious sensuality retreat, on page 74

Best things in life? ● Coffee ● Long walks ● Windows ● Crashing waves on a winter day The thing I’m most looking forward to in 2018 is… My first book being published. Red is a member of the Independent Press Standards Organisation (which regulates the UK’s magazine and newspaper industry). We abide by the Editors’ Code Of Practice and are committed to upholding the highest standards of journalism. If you think that we have not met those standards and want to make a complaint, please contact or visit If we are unable to resolve your complaint, or if you would like more information about IPSO or the Editors’ Code, contact IPSO on 0300 123 2220 or visit


FEATURES @RedMagDaily Features Editor Natasha Lunn Features Writers Cyan Turan, Ella Dove Features Assistant Arielle Tchiprout Features Intern Anna Bonet

ENTERTAINMENT Group Celebrity Director, Hearst Lifestyle Gaby Huddart Entertainment Director Rosamund Dean Acting Entertainment Director Scarlett Russell

FASHION @RedFashionTeam Group Fashion Director Oonagh Brennan Executive Fashion & Beauty Director Kim Parker Fashion & Beauty Bookings Director Karina Dial Fashion Director-At-Large Nicola Rose Fashion Director Amanda Marcantonio Deputy Fashion Editor Jo Atkinson Shopping Editor Sophie Hooper Fashion Assistant Gabriella Minchella Fashion Intern Charlotte Weaver

BEAUTY @RedBeautyTeam Group Beauty Director Eve Cameron Beauty Director Annabel Meggeson Beauty Editor-At-Large Rosie Green Beauty Editors Alexandra Friend, Gillian Davies Acting Beauty Editor Sabine Wiesel Beauty Writer Rebecca Hull HEALTH Health Director Julie Powell

LIVING Homes & Gardens Content Director Pip McCormac Homes Editor Carolyn Bailey Homes & Gardens Assistant James Cunningham Group Food Direction Alison Walker

REDONLINE.CO.UK Acting Digital Editor Roanna Day Fashion & Beauty Writer Sarah Ilston

CONTRIBUTING EDITORS Brigid Moss, Mouchette Bell, Deborah Brett, Viv Groskop, Skye Gyngell, Sali Hughes, Caroline Issa, India Knight, David Loftus, Marina O’Loughlin, Sarra Manning, Sarfraz Manzoor, Evyan Metzner, Thomasina Miers, Philippa Perry, Kate Spicer, Alexandra Stedman, Steph Stevens, Stephanie Theobald, Sharon Walker, Frances Wasem

CHIEF BRAND OFFICER, LIFESTYLE & HOMES SHARON DOUGLAS Personal Assistant to Chief Brand Officer Helen Hart Brand Development Director, Lifestyle & Homes Alistair Wood



Managing Director, Beauty Jacqui Cave Managing Director, Fashion & Luxury Jacqueline Euwe Managing Director, Fitness & Health Alun Williams Director of Endorsements & Food Laura Cohen Director of Homes Julia Goodwin Director of Travel Denise Degroot Director of Motors Jim Chaudry Client Director, Personal Finance Jacquie Duckworth Client Direct Director, Fashion & Beauty Emma Barnes

Chief Agency Officer Jane Wolfson Executive Assistant to Chief Agency Officer Tanya Stewart (020 7439 5532) Enquiries: Luxury Director – Agency, Print Lee Bailey (020 7312 4149) Group Head, Digital Crystal S Malachias (020 7439 5520) Head of Business Management Lucy Porter (020 7439 5276) Business Manager Katie Frampton (020 7439 5371) Hearst Direct Manager, Classified Lucy Penny (020 3728 6247)



Director of Events & Sponsorship, Hearst Live Victoria Archbold Events Executive, Hearst Live Jenni Whale (020 7312 4190) Events Executive, Hearst Live Alice Watson (020 7312 2587)


Marketing & Circulation Director Reid Holland Head of Consumer Sales & Marketing James Hill Head of Marketing Promotions Charlotte Cunliffe Head of Subscriptions Karen Sharp Digital Marketing Director Seema Kumari

Managing Director, Business Services Judith Secombe Licensing Manager Josie Lahey-James



Director of Communications Lisa Quinn Head of PR Fay Jennings Journalist Enquiries

Production Manager Pavel Pachovsky (020 7439 5619) Ad Production Controller Carl Latter (020 7439 5402)

HEARST UK PRESIDENT & CEO JAMES WILDMAN Chief Finance Officer/Chief Operating Officer Claire Blunt Chief Operations Director Clare Gorman Chief Digital Officer Paul Cassar Chief Strategy Officer Robert Ffitch HR Director Surinder Simmons

Hearst UK, the trading name of The National Magazine Company Limited, 72 Broadwick Street, London W1F 9EP

HEARST INTERNATIONAL Senior Vice President/Chief Financial Officer & General Manager Simon Horne Senior Vice President/International Publishing Director Jeannette V Chang Senior Vice President/Editorial Director Kim St Clair Bodden


SAY IT, WRITE IT, SHARE IT If you have any news or views you’d like to see covered, we’d love to hear from you

TRICKY QUESTIONS In our November issue, Lindsey Kelk questioned why we feel the need to probe women about the intimate details of their lives, and how insensitive this can often be. For reader Jennie Longthorne, the piece reminded her of the years she spent struggling with infertility. “I’m a very open person,” she wrote to us in an email, “but sometimes simply saying the words ‘I can’t get pregnant’ out loud was just too painful.” But she’s trying to turn this experience into something positive. “Now that we have been blessed

with two beautiful children, I try to talk more openly about our struggle, just in case someone hears and knows they’re not alone,” she wrote. “Thank you, Lindsey, for reminding us that we need to choose our words more carefully.”

RED SOCIAL @edit.armoire

@lottietaylor1 Night-time reading and @RedMagDaily @RosieGreenBQ always makes me laugh while nodding away in agreement #windsocks #thighgap #actionplans!


@hybredbecky In bed with tea and @RedMagDaily #saturday #relaxing

@kelly_Rich Great to read @RedMagDaily as always! This is the first issue where the cover, and every fashion story, was shot by a woman! #DayoftheGirl BE PART OF THE RED COMMUNITY Follow us on Instagram @redmagazine 89k followers Tweet us @RedMagDaily 103k followers

Also in the issue, we ran a piece on Brené Brown’s book Braving The Wilderness, looking at her work on how we can find a sense of true belonging. “What a positive start to the day!” wrote Stephanie Cooper, after reading the article. “We need to belong and, as Brené says, ‘believe in love and connection across difference to change everything’.” While we loved sharing Brené’s story, we have since realised our headline did not accurately reflect her research or her work. Loneliness is a universal, normal human experience and no one is capable of ridding themselves of it permanently.

Our mail of the month wins an Elemis goodie bag of anti-ageing skincare, worth £130. With the Pro-Collagen Marine Mask (50ml) and Pro-Collagen Marine Cream (50ml), you can say hello to soft and supple skin. This month’s star letter prize goes to Jennie Longthorne, mentioned above. Write to: Red, 33 Broadwick Street, London W1F 0DQ Email:


@gloriouswellness Like us on Facebook at Red Magazine 158k likes Follow our pins at Red Magazine 808k followers Read more at

Join Red, Ella Mills aka Deliciously Ella, Lauren Armes, business coach and founder of Welltodo, and Tania Boler, CEO of health and lifestyle brand Elvie, for a practical workshop on how to get your wellness brand off the ground. When? 6.30-8.30pm, 25th January Where? 6th @ Soho, 33 Broadwick Street, London W1F 0DQ How much? £30, plus booking fee (includes a drink and goodie bag) How to book?

Red’s awards Best Practical Guide To Fragrance (Kim Parker) Jasmine Awards 2016 Jasmine Soundbite: Magazines (Annabel Meggeson) Jasmine Awards 2015 Best Monthly Consumer Magazine Journalist & Journalist of the Year (Annabel Meggeson) Johnson & Johnson Skincare Journalism Awards 2014 JANUARY 2018 REDONLINE.CO.UK 19



Practical MAGIC Urban warriors take note: the cross-body bag shows no signs of going away any time soon. Indeed, these utilitarian accessories are still big news, so it’s definitely worth investing in a smart sack that allows you to go to hands-free as you battle through work, weekends and, well, life. That said, practical can still be uber-chic – just look at Chanel’s newest bucket bag, inspired by Grecian goddess gowns and in a perfect pastel blue that will be everywhere come spring. Heaven on earth (and especially in rush hour). 



Bag, £2,735; Rouge Allure Ink Matte Liquid Lip Colour in Lost, £28; sunglasses, £320; Le Vernis Culte Nail Colour in New Down, £20; Rouge Coco Ultra Hydrating Lip Colour in Daylight, £28; bangles, £565 each, all Chanel

For our edit of new-season accessories, visit REDONLINE.CO.UK JANUARY 2018 REDONLINE.CO.UK 21



THE CABLE KNIT Pick an embellished piece and layer over a sumptuous silk skirt or trousers to transform this weekend staple into something fabulous.

Marilyn works her knit in Let’s Make Love

Bag, £449, Coccinelle at

Skirt, £59, And/Or at John Lewis

Jumper, £49.99, Zara Ring, £269.46, Jacquie Aiche at

Jumper, £239, Maje


Clip art

Swarovski’s beautiful crystal letters are designed to clip on to Stuart Weitzman’s opulent satin slippers and mules so you can step out in (your own) style this party season.

Earrings, £4.99, Stradivarius

Shoes, £370; clips, £125 each, both Stuart Weitzman Skirt, £675, Nili Lotan at


Jacket, £109.95, Gap

Trousers, £29.99, Zara

STYLE Shoes, £74.95, Massimo Dutti

Shirt, £14.99, H&M

Bag, £100, La Double J Editions at

Style tip

Don’t be afraid to clash your prints and polka dots. More is more. Skirt, £22.99, New Look


Jenna Lyons

Pair this easy cover-up with a statement maxi skirt and OTT earrings – the high/low mix will take it from ‘school run’ to ‘swish’ in an instant. Glitter and colourful accessories will up the luxe.

Jacket, £69.95, Gap

Skirt, £79, Monsoon

Jacket, £250, J Crew

Jeans, £40, River Island

Earrings, £290, Marni at Net-aporter. com

Earrings, £58, Anthropologie

Bag, £315, Kate Spade New York

Top, £275, Christopher Kane at »

Shoes, £455, Pierre Hardy at JANUARY 2018 REDONLINE.CO.UK 23

STYLE NARS Audacious Lipstick in Louise, £26 at Liberty

THE TRACK PANTS Athletic-inspired trousers do double duty as a chic alternative to traditional tuxedo pants when worn with a silky blouse and artfully mis-matched jacket. Add some eclectic jewellery for a party-ready look that will go the distance.

Earrings, £72, Jenny Bird

Necklace, £145, Lucy Williams x Missoma

Trousers, £115, Tommy x Gigi at

Shirt, £39.50, Autograph at Marks & Spencer

Donna Wallace

Shoes, £139, Kurt Geiger Jacket, £115, Arket

Jacket, £180, Boden

Top, £315, Iro at Net-aporter. com Shirt, £199.95, Scotch & Soda

Trousers, £349, Whistles

Bag, £1,400, Marni

Earrings, £65, J Crew

Trousers, £272, Koral

Jacket, £179, The White Company

Watch, £1,480, Rado

Boots, £400, Dorateymur

Ring, £153, Gabriela Artigas at

Bag, £45, Marks & Spencer »

Lisa Hahnbück

Shoes, £95, Uterque


Clarins Joli Rouge Brillant lipstick in Pink Praline, £20

Bag, £339, Mcm at


Step out in style

From buckles and bows to glitter and jewels, these shoes were made for dancing. It’s time to unleash your inner Cinderella… £615, Claudia Schiffer for Aquazzura

Treat this casual all-in-one as you would a smart jumpsuit and elevate it with ’70s-inspired heels and a faux-fur chubby. Or, slip on a cord blazer and some pointed party shoes to take it into more sophisticated territory.

Bianca Jagger rocks a jumpsuit at Studio 54

Belt, around £103, B-Low The Belt at

Style tip

Choose dark denim to keep on the right side of smart.

£188, Intropia

STAR BUY £175, Russell & Bromley

Jumpsuit, £380, Alexa Chung

£388, Agl

Dior A/W17

Blazer, £79.99, Mango

Jacket, £39.99, H&M

Shoes, £295, LK Bennett


Necklace, £205, Chloé at Matches

£34.99, H&M

£148, Sam Edelman at John Lewis 


Bracelet, around £100, Laura Lombardi




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Join the DOTS Looking to cheer up your winter wardrobe? Nothing’s more playful than a polka dot, as seen all over the catwalks from Armani to Zimmermann. Slip on some spotty heels to liven up a tailored suit or let Loewe’s Warhol-esque purse bring some pattern play to a faithful rollneck and jeans. If nothing else, tie Marc Jacobs’ silky scarf to your handbag for a spot of instant joy. 


Pouch, £115, Comme des Garçons at Bag, £1,625, Loewe at Scarf, £90, Marc Jacobs at Shoes, £795, Attico at Browns





SOFT TOUCHES Staying in? Good choice. Even if it’s just the sofa and Netflix, wrap yourself in the softest fabrics and turn the lights down low. It’s what wintry nights were made for.

Pendant, £450 (without chain), Annoushka

Pyjama top, £160, Asceno

Pyjama bottoms, £150, Asceno

Dress, around £190, Sleeper

Eye mask, £218, Morgan Lane at T-shirt, £65, Être Cécile

Pyjama set, £59, Mint Velvet Robe, £175, Desmond & Dempsey

Love letters

We love British knitwear brand Hades’ playful new collection of alphabet jumpers. Handmade from super-soft lamb’s wool in Hawick, in the Scottish Borders (where Chanel sources its cashmere), and produced in a range of cheery shades, they’re a brilliant gift idea for someone you love – or yourself, for that matter.

Jumpers, £160 each,

Hand cream, £19, Aesop

Candle, £45, Bella Freud »


Take winter inspiration for your wardrobe from Love Story Earrings, £28, Finery

Jumper, £235, Kate Spade New York Scarf, £350, Stella McCartney at Harvey Nichols

Hat, £39, Hobbs


If you venture out, choose chunky knits, widelegged jeans and a sprinkling of tartan. Take your inspiration from Love Story and after-party dressing becomes a walk in the park.

Jeans, £120,And/Or at John Lewis

Coat, £390.37, Twinset at Amazon Fashion Keyrings, £16 each, Anthropologie

Jacket, £120, White Stuff

Jumper, £59, & Other Stories

Boots, £99.99, Zara

Bag, £49.99, Mango

Ear cuff, £350, Hirotaka at Phone case, £235, Gucci at 32 REDONLINE.CO.UK JANUARY 2018

STYLE Necklace, £18, Estella Bartlett

Boots, £470, Montcler at

Bags of style

Covetable yet still roomy enough for all your weekendaway essentials, the latest holdalls are wonderfully pretty and practical.

Jumper, £130, Charli x Alexa Coe

Jacket, £79, Warehouse £550, Bally Trousers, £420, Tory Burch

Ssssuper cool!

Bracelet, £190, Sophie by Sophie

British label Charli has collaborated with illustrator Alexa Coe to create four beautiful limited-edition cashmere sweaters. Now for the hard part – choosing which one to buy. Trousers, £19.99, Reserved

£995, Mcm

Hat, £70, Fenty x Puma at Selfridges


£26, Topshop

Trainers, £155, Russell & Bromley Jumper, £35,

£95, Hunter 

For more winter fashion, go to REDONLINE.CO.UK


THE BIG REVEAL When she was asked to choose the Dress of the Year 2017 for Bath Fashion Museum, Red’s editorial director, Sarah Bailey, picked something with as much cultural significance as style prestige Photography AMELIA TROUBRIDGE Maria Grazia Chiuri photograph BRIGITTE LACOMB 34 REDONLINE.CO.UK JANUARY 2018


Rosemary Harden of the Bath Fashion Museum, Red’s Sarah Bailey and Sydney Finch, Dior press and PR director

CLOCKWISE, FROM RIGHT: Rosemary carefully fits the look on the stand – the slogan T-shirt was key in Sarah’s choice; Classic Dior; Sarah watches as the look is fitted

How to choose the Dress of the Year? That was the puzzle Iain R Webb and Rosemary Harden of the Dior Bar jacket; a garment designed to take at the Bath Fashion Museum set me a few months back the modern woman of purpose anywhere. And when when they invited me to be this year’s selector in their I looked back at 2017 through the prism of history Dress of the Year series. Redoubtable fashion historians, and politics, the Women’s March in Washington on both Harden (museum manager) and Webb (consultant) 21st January 2017 seemed to me to be the key defining were quick to remind that hemlines were, of course, only moment, which somehow made Chiuri’s collection the half of it. A well-chosen Dress of the Year is a even more relevant. An empowering slogan T-shirt particular lens through which we view our world, both – and a sharp jacket, of course! right for its time and helping to define our time. Pressure Whether protesting against the misogyny of Trump (as my kids might say), much! or speaking out about the predatory practice of the As I cast my mind back through significant frock Hollywood casting couch in the unfolding Weinstein moments of past months, I kept coming back to the scandal, 2017 was a year when women felt the necessity, appointment of Maria Grazia Chiuri at Christian Dior and obligation, to stand up and be counted. in July 2016. As the first female creative director in the Happily, Harden and Webb were approving of my history of the house, I’d admired the choice (“a key piece from a key point vigour with which she started in the house’s history”). For Harden, “2017 was a year challenging the conversation around the Dior ensemble of tailored twill when WOMEN felt women and creativity from the jacket, gauzy ruffled skirt and slogan the necessity, and get-go. Her social media campaign tee had a particular resonance for the #thewomenbehindthedress obligation, to STAND UP museum. As she explained, Doris – championing the petites mains in Langley Moore, founder of Bath and be counted” the Dior atelier before we even saw Fashion Museum and mover and any of her own designs – was utterly brilliant, moving shaker extraordinaire, had persuaded Margot Fonteyn, and completely on point. her friend and the renowned ballerina, to donate many of When I watched her first collection for S/S17 on the her own Dior pieces, including the pinched-waist Bar suit runway in Paris, it was – again – utterly uncompromising from Christian Dior’s 1947 New Look collection, which in its message. I loved the resolute strength of the models will be shown alongside 2017’s Dress of the Year. in their fencing tabards, flat boots, diaphanous ball The Dress of the Year was another brainchild of Langley skirts, big pants and logo T-shirts emblazoned with Moore. Today it tells a story of fashion and history that is Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s call to arms ‘We Should both as individual as its selectors and their choices; and All Be Feminists’. All this and a beautiful interpretation also a fascinating, evolving narrative telling the »


CLOCKWISE, FROM FAR LEFT: The Dior ‘Bar’ suit; Chiuri’s sketch; Dior’s first female creative director herself; the boxer boots that complete the outfit

story of society, aesthetics and the emancipation of women. Some of Harden’s particular favourites over the years include the choices of Isabella Blow (in typical expansive style, the late fashion director chose seven dresses: “She used to ring me up and say, ‘I’ve chosen another one!’”), and Tamsin Blanchard, who, with true perspicacity, chose Alexander McQueen’s bumster trousers from the legendary Highland Rape collection. Oh yes, several ‘Dress’ of the Year selections have been trousers, as Harden is proud to point out. Today, looking at Fonteyn’s Bar jacket from 1947 next to Chiuri’s 2017 interpretation is an illuminating juxtaposition – 70 years in the history of women’s lives, 70 years in the house of Dior. The first jacket so much more curvaceous, yet “girded-in”, as Harden puts it; the latter, with a sense of give and aerodynamic ease. Harden, who has now put on her curatorial gloves, places the knee-high boxer boots that accompany the Dress of the Year 2017 into position, and we muse on the exhilarating sense of femininity and strength in Chiuri’s ensemble. “It’s about being able to be decorative, yet empowered; both comfortable and safe in that etiquette of being appropriately dressed,” says Harden. “But it’s for yourself, it’s for ourselves, it’s not anybody else writing our narrative.” Quite so. We should all be feminists.


A conversation with Maria Grazia Chiuri for Red magazine SB: I am so honoured that you have accepted the nomination for Dress of the Year at Bath Fashion Museum. Your first collection was utterly uncompromising in its message. A year on, how do you view that collection? MGC: First collections are always the ones you remember most. It was important to lay the groundwork, and I wanted to send a message that conveyed my interpretation of the House rules and my own personal vision of femininity. It was an incredible experience, from the first time I delved into the archive right through to execution, which was done in perfect harmony with the Dior ateliers. My work was that of a curator: pairing projects, skills and ideas to give shape to a collection capable of communicating a point of view. I think the collection got people thinking, and that was precisely my intention. I have no regrets.

Did you worry slogan T-shirts on the runway might be too disruptive or provocative? In a world like ours, whoever is in a position to reach a large audience has the responsibility to use that power to

STYLE make people think. You have to fight for what you believe in, even if that means pushing the limits of the familiar. A T-shirt, because it’s so basic, is the easiest way to display ideas. I’m glad that so many women saw my T-shirt as a way to claim their own role in society, to make their voice heard. It’s also quite an awakening for fashion, and what you can do with fashion. The white T-shirt, in all its simplicity, is an extraordinary tool.

When the museum asked me to make my selection for the Dress of the Year 2017, I thought of January’s Women’s March in Washington. One year on, how do you feel about that mass mobilisation of women? What have we achieved?

complexity. I think women are learning to accept all the facets of their own character, without denying those that are often judged as negative and end up defining women as the weaker sex. We can be both strong and delicate, sensitive and decisive, without having to choose. My vision of feminism is inclusive, which is why I envision a fashion that can respond to the most diverse needs and desires: technical, versatile clothes coupled with the most extraordinary objects, unique in craftsmanship and value. I like navigating between different registers and tones; the tension that is created when you make unexpected pairings is incredibly profound and productive. I think the real goal of femininity is to find a way to listen to your heart and mind, achieving a balance that shows how much thought, reflection and hard work goes into every gesture.

For me, it’s important that the younger generations pay attention, and I think the march in Washington and those that followed – from London to my very own Rome – are proof positive of how women, as a global community, are beginning to realise that they are on the same team. It’s a widespread feeling, not linked to any profession or practice, but more essentially something that is in the air, a sort of zeitgeist. It’s up to each one of us to interpret this atmosphere, and I did it through clothing, and the images I can create through clothing, which only become relevant if they get out there. When people start talking “I think the collection about them, then they truly become got people THINKING, icons of emancipation and equality.

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie – whose words are on your T-shirt – was in the audience at your Cruise show in Los Angeles. Have you two become friends?

and that was my INTENTION. I have no regrets”


I work a lot with words. I like to see where they take me, how they shape my thinking and contribute to building my imagination. When I read Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, I understood that her words only needed a fresh forum to amplify them, spread them around and reach as many eyes – and minds – as possible. When I decided to use the title of her talk as a slogan, it wasn’t a question of appropriation as much as conveying a message through the means that I’m most comfortable with: fashion. I have a profound rapport with Chimamanda, rooted in shared ideas and a common commitment.

Your collections feel exceptionally relevant to modern women – the play on high/low (exquisite embroideries paired with street references like slogan T-shirts), shoes you can walk/march/navigate the world in, etc. Can you sum up your vision of modern womanhood in 2018? For me, feminism today is more than a condition, it’s an awareness of a complexity, and a love for this

You are an extraordinary, inspiring woman, not just as the creative director of Christian Dior, but as a woman who wants to change the world. Which women inspire you? I have a great curiosity, and I am inspired by the stories of women who have used their own lives to set the wheels of change in motion. Not only revolutionary women and activists in the open and direct sense, but also figures from Georgia O’Keeffe to Niki de Saint Phalle, who moved in the margins of culture, art and literature.

If you were asked to choose your defining moment of 2017, what would it be?

I don’t see one, two or even three events that set the tone for 2017, but I see, rather, a chain of events made up of actions and reactions. I think that, overall, 2017 was a year of awakenings. For women, certainly, but, in general, also for anyone who thought that their opinion didn’t count. Recent political events are a clear wake-up call that showed us how every opinion, every vote, every thought truly counts. My hope is that this awakening is followed by action that gets all people, in all their diversity, moving. A global jump-start to jolt society into thinking of the future as a place we are all responsible for, through our actions. Actions that must be in tune with the heart and mind.  The Dress of the Year will be on display at the Fashion This interview has been shortened for space. To read a longer version, Museum Bath from 1 December 2017 to please go to 1 January 2019



Jason Wu S/S18


Jane Birkin rocking the silk scarf with Serge Gainsbourg

There’s some debate as to whether it was the American socialite Gloria Vanderbilt or fashion doyenne Diana Vreeland who first proclaimed “pink is the new black” in the ’60s. Whoever it was, one look at Instagram, and at our homes and wardrobes, proves the saying is as true today as it was 50 years ago. Our current crush on pink has even filtered through to watches as there’s a plethora of new rosy-faced designs by everyone from Gucci to Swatch. And, like last year’s vogue for rose-gold jewellery, this is one trend that could be considered a new classic. “We based the pink of our Metro watch [right] on one from our archives, proving pink has serious lasting power,” says Nicola Andreatta of Tiffany & Co. Good news, as judging from next season’s fashion shows, we’re going to be feeling flush for a while yet.



D&G’s Christmas takeover at Harrods





Watch, POA, Tiffany & Co

Scarf, £9.50, Marks & Spencer

Spotted everywhere at the recent fashion shows (literally – on bags, on belts, even on shoes), the jaunty silk scarf has made a return – and we’re loving it. Tie one on bandana style (try under Scarf, your shirt collar or on your £90, Marc wrist, à la Jane Birkin) for an Jacobs instant way to add a dash of ’60s chic to your look.

Puppy lovers, rejoice – 2018 is the Chinese Year of the Dog, so what better excuse to wear our hearts (and their cute faces) on our sleeves? Brora and Chinti & Parker have beautiful canine-inspired sweaters out now and, until the end of February, Hoop n Loop will stitch a picture of your own dog on to a tee, with 30% of the proceeds going to amazing animal charity Wild At Heart Xxx, Xx Foundation. Sweater, £395, Brora T-shirt, from £110, Hoop n Loop


Sunglasses, £950

Dolce & Gabbana’s Christmas grotto

Phone case, When I was little, no £285 Christmas trip to London was ever complete without a marshmallow-nosed gawp at Harrods’ stunning window display. This year, the store is collaborating with the emperors of opulence, Dolce Card holder, & Gabbana, on £155, all Dolce a festive takeover, & Gabbana Xxx, Xxx so expect even more at Harrods fabulousness, like an Italian Christmas market, glittery present ideas For more of the and, yes, some hottest fashion updates, visit bonkers-brilliant window dressing.  REDONLINE.CO.UK

Sweater, £325, Chinti & Parker JANUARY 2018 REDONLINE.CO.UK 39



The Insta family Our columnist is embracing social media. If only the other Greens would get on board, too



shoved it behind the kettle/toaster. (NB A bit of leftover quiche is nothing to my friend’s incident. She posted a pic of her two angelic children on the sofa, but failed to realise she was visible, fully starkers, in the mirror’s reflection.) “Mummy, it says ‘Storage full.’” I snatch the phone. That, my sweet, is because there is 25GB taken up by guinea pig photos. I want to bang my head against the island. But I don’t because it would make my hair look flat.

perplexed: “Um okay.” Context: this man is to photography what The Donald is to diplomacy. To him a crop grows in fields, a filter is for Douwe Egberts and a good angle is an unobstructed view of the match. He takes a picture. I check it. One side of my face is almost entirely obscured by a sinister black shadow. Either I’ve got one crappy aura or something’s awry. DING. INCOMING BRAINWAVE. My mum is next door! After a lengthy investigation, I identify the problem: Insta Mum! I try to suppress the memories from my youth, his horrific faux-leather case (Don’t. Even) has where she would faff around with the disposable camera partially slipped over the camera. for so long that both my hairsprayed vertical fringe and “Can you try again?” AM sighs. The waitress comes fragile teenage ego would wilt. (NB When picking up over then, seeing we are mid-photoshoot, backs off. said photos from Boots, they inevitably came with an Mortification levels now similar to time my nude error sticker on them and were, quite often, just black.) bodysuit unpopped under a sheer party dress, The pics aren’t great. Hours lost so far: 2.5. Hmmpf. displaying my muffage to tout le monde. I analyse my reasons for social media-ing. I ask to see the pictures. I am cut off at the Yin: Communicating directly with like-minded forehead, sport a rictus grin and look about 107. women, sharing my beauty knowledge, “Maybe slightly from above, and from a few inspiring and being inspired, feeling the different angles,” I plead. All of them are crap. “I am CUT camaraderie of the online community! “I think they look alright,” says AM. off at the Yang: Vanity and self-aggrandisement?? And refuses to take any more. FOREHEAD, I get over myself and ask a trainer at This is hard work. Turns out Rosie the gym to snap my workout. This is HW takes 100 pics before getting the sport a RICTUS next-level embarrassing for me, but for perfect one. And this from a woman grin and look him, because he’s sub 25, perfectly normal. who is a gene-pool lottery winner. about 107” I get some followers (out of single We try a Boomerang video thingy. digits – yay). Some of whom are I look manic but presentable. Yesssss! strange men called things like Error code. It didn’t save. Despair. Hotboi and Rob69-er. Back home I turn to the kids. I bribe At this stage I’m not being picky. them with nutritionally devoid foodstuffs. Then Carol Decker of T’Pau fame “Can you take a picture of Mummy throws some shade on one of my in her new dress?” Blank faces. articles on Twitter. (My friend K: While I primp and preen, multiple “How very dare she? Have deleted photographs are taken of the escapee China In Your Hand from guinea pigs (who have yet to learn karaoke playlist in solidarity.”) that side on, arms out, chin down will As a result, I get two new make them look altogether better). followers. Elation! One shot is taken. I look Join the conversation (Party emojis.) Oh, disappointing. Plus you can see the on Instagram no wait… Hotboi detritus of lunch in the background, @LifesRosie or on just left.  even though I had painstakingly Twitter @RosieGreenBQ



Whatever happened to the Christmas round-robin? The traditional family newsletter has fallen out of favour, but author Nina Stibbe mourns its departure


ACCORDING TO WIKIPEDIA, A ROUND-ROBIN IS A LETTER, typically included with a Christmas card and

and the egocentricity of the sender, I defend them, despite agreeing with all of the above. Of course bad news is sent to multiple recipients at the end of the year, in which airbrushed – it’s Christmas! In the most skilful of musings, the writer describes their latest news. I include the above the writer balances bad news with good (“The roof fell in definition because some people might not know what just before the wedding, so we postponed. Lucky really, a round-robin is, now that social media has made them because Tom was getting cold feet and broke it off”). And pretty much extinct. And while I’m fine with the demise of isn’t banal detail the point of a round-robin? They weren’t the Christmas card (even my mother admits to sending her meant to be enigmatic or poetic. Maybe because I’m a festive wishes via Facebook), I have writer, the joy of the round-robin is in a confession: I do miss the round-robin. A round-robin the banal detail. I’m the person turning can help recreate In their heyday, when I still went home the page, hoping for more information some festive magic for the holidays in the ’80s and ’90s, about Sue and Ravi’s holiday, which was Christmas letters were an efficient way “planned for Sri Lanka but turned into of sharing news. You had a printer – why Tokyo and then, because of an issue not run off multiple copies of a document with Ravi’s leg, became Athens”. detailing your recent achievements and Regarding the charge of boasting bung it in with your Christmas cards? and egocentricity – be fair! We were You were splashing out on second-class encouraged to talk ourselves up back stamps anyway. Even if you didn’t have then. Self-deprecation hadn’t come into the inclination to send one yourself, fashion yet. Round-robins were expected receiving one could be good for morale. to be cram-packed with good works and Round-robins used to be how we found liberal good deeds (like this: “It turned out how our cousins and second cousins out we’d saved an entire Dutch village had done in their exams or sports from flooding… just by turning off a “There’s tournaments and what their parents had tap!”, sent by a cousin of my mother’s). something been to see at Stratford. For me personally, ONCE, I ATTEMPTED A ROUNDround-robins provided welcome LUXURIOUS, reassurance that even though no one liked almost vintage, ROBIN OF MY OWN. It was meant to be hilarious and included my attempts to our family very much, we hadn’t been about SENDING teach a friend to drive. But when the time entirely forgotten. There were people on a Christmas came to send it, the friend had miraculously both sides of my family whom I only ever passed her test and subsequently driven over knew via their round-robin. I had an aunt letter” some allotments and demolished a shed. In the who’d worn trousers for her own wedding, liked end, she insisted I didn’t send it for legal reasons. whippets and got hives if she ate cheese. I knew a lot In truth, like most of us, I’m more comfortable reaching about her but would have been at a loss to pick her out of an out to friends with an emoji-filled text. But I wonder if it’s identity parade (unless she’d been eating cheese, of course). time to recreate some of the magic. I find there’s something Much fun was made of these letters. The reading out of luxurious, almost vintage, about sending a Christmas letter “We had a smashing time in Venice, in spite of Celia’s – or long message inside a card – to the people who need to throat”, in Uncle Bodger’s voice was all part of the roundbe reached. It’s true, not everyone is going to want to hear robin experience. Though, some people, like my mother, about your new puppy/job/holiday but the right people might slip into an angry, drunken rant about a sender will and, for everyone else, there’s always Instagram.  bragging about twins at Oxbridge and a pilot’s licence. An Almost Perfect Christmas by Nina Stibbe Although critics might scorn round-robins for (Viking, £9.99) airbrushing bad news, excruciating levels of banal detail,


The year of Nicole In the past 12 months, with a 50th birthday, a double Emmy win and an Oscar nomination to celebrate, Nicole Kidman is riding an all-time career high. But she’s just as happy growing roses at home as she is walking the red carpet with Reese. Jane Mulkerrins finds out more about her incredible year »







nce upon a time – shockingly not so long ago – an actress past the age of 40 was considered firmly over the hill in Hollywood years. No matter the glories of a glittering career in her twenties or thirties, once she crossed into her fifth decade, in the youth-obsessed film industry, the roles dried up and disappeared under the baking Californian sun. And while that same industry has been in meltdown in recent weeks, over allegations of widespread sexual harassment and misogyny, one positive note can, perhaps, be sounded: there are signs that ageism, at least, no longer has such a powerful hold. Over the past 12 months, Nicole Kidman has celebrated both her 50th birthday and an all-time career high, with a double-Emmy win (for the critically acclaimed and enormously popular mini-series Big Little Lies), an Oscar nomination (for Lion), and becoming the toast of Cannes, with four productions premiering at the historic festival (the TV drama Top Of The Lake: China Girl and films The Beguiled, The Killing of a Sacred Deer, and How To Talk To Girls At Parties). After 35 years in front of the camera, the Australian actress has pulled off a spectacular second act and is indisputably at the top of her game. “It blows my mind, actually, because it’s all so unexpected,” she admits, down the phone from Nashville, Tennessee, where she lives with her husband of 11 years, the musician Keith Urban, and their two daughters, Sunday, 9, and six-year-old Faith. “And it means more now. I’m so much more appreciative than I was about success in my twenties. Because of the rollercoaster life I’ve had, with ups and downs and contrasts, I know more of what life deals you at different times.” She laughs – a hearty, slightly hiccupy, selfaware laugh. “But it’s also important not to be attached to the success. That’s the kiss of death.” She recently admitted that when she won the Oscar, for her performance as Virginia Woolf in The Hours in 2002, “I was not in a great place in my life.” And that’s what’s different, and most gratifying, about Kidman’s incredible 2017: she’s had the year of her life, professionally, while also being, very obviously, deeply fulfilled on a personal

level too (witness the frequent public displays of affection with Urban at awards ceremonies for evidence). It’s a happy, harmonious balance that has, in the past, eluded Kidman. After her very public divorce from Tom Cruise in 2001, after 11 years of marriage, she threw herself into her career, abandoning her personal life almost completely. “I just jammed work in, playing one character after another – that became my whole life,” she recalls. “I’m sure people do that in all areas of work, and it feels good at the time. But then I realised, ah, this is not the thing that is going to sustain me for the next 50 years.” She met fellow Australian Urban in January 2005 at G’Day LA, an event celebrating Australians in the US, and they married a year later. “There was an enormous attraction initially, and we got engaged after three months and then we got married really quickly, but we didn’t really know each other,” she says, candidly. “We really only got to know each other after we were married.” It’s lucky, I venture, that things have gone so well, then. “Yeah, yeah,” she enthuses, laughing. “But I think that meeting at a certain age makes a difference. And I trust my gut instinct. From the first minute I met him, there was a feeling of, ahh, okay, somehow I’ve met home. And he had the same feeling. That was all we had, but that was the essence of what we worked from.” Though today distance and schedules demand that we must speak on the phone, Kidman and I have met in person twice before, most recently in January, a few weeks before the US premiere of Big Little Lies, which she produced with co-star Reese Witherspoon. The pair

“IT’S IMPORTANT NOT TO BE ATTACHED TO SUCCESS. THAT’S THE KISS OF DEATH” bought the rights to the book on which it was based and brought it to screen themselves. “It was born out of two women going, hey, where are the roles? The really cool roles? True Detective was all male-driven; where’s the female-driven limited series of the same quality?” Kidman says. The show became instant water-cooler conversation, in large part thanks to Kidman’s performance as Celeste Wright, a wealthy former lawyer and mother of twins who seemingly has it all, but behind closed doors is the victim of vicious and disturbing domestic violence at the hands of her husband, played by Alexander Skarsgård. The role resonated with audiences perhaps more than any Kidman has previously played. “I’ve never had a character that’s reached out and connected with so many people,” she agrees. “My sister »


and I have talked about it, because she has people come up to her wanting to talk about it, too. So many women have experienced it, or have a friend that’s going through it, or have felt that way at times – it’s astounding.” The actress has spoken openly about the toll filming such physically and emotionally destructive scenes took on her. Many of the bruises audiences saw were real. “And it affected me in a deep way,” she has said. “When I would go home, I would feel ashamed, and that’s the same emotions and the same feelings that Celeste was having.” Her willingness to explore the darkest reaches of domestic violence displays an apparent and impressive fearlessness, though that’s a word Kidman counters as soon as I utter it. “Oh, there’s an enormous amount of fear,’ she cries. ‘It’s just whether I can overcome the fear or push through it. But I probably don’t think of consequences. I don’t play things out. I like to jump off the cliff,” she says. “I just say to myself: ‘What is the worst that can happen?’ So people don’t like it, so I fall flat on my face – that’s okay.” For alongside blockbusters such as Days of Thunder, Moulin Rouge and The Hours, Kidman has always – and increasingly so in recent times – chosen more risky and

can’t we? And there’s a wisdom that comes with it, definitely,” she adds. “There’s an equilibrium that you don’t have when you’re younger.” Though Kidman has spent the past year firmly in the limelight, on the roundabout of red carpets and awards ceremonies, what she calls her ‘real life’ is a bucolicsounding existence in Nashville, where she grows roses, does the school run and is learning to play golf. Her daughters with Urban both have southern accents, she tells me. The day after we speak, she will be helping out at their school Halloween party. “It’s an easier lifestyle – smaller town, slower pace, which I prefer,” she says. “It takes work, because you have to travel more for your career, but it’s worth it.” The previous night, she wrapped filming in Atlanta on Boy Erased, the real-life story of a teenage boy (played by Lucas Hedges) who is outed to his parents and pressured into ‘conversion therapy’ to ‘cure’ him of his homosexuality. Kidman plays his mother, Russell Crowe his father, and, neatly completing an Australian hat trick, the film is written and directed by Joel Edgerton. Before that, she was on Queensland’s Gold Coast, with Malaysian-Australian director, James Wan, filming next year’s superhero flick Aquaman, starring Jason Momoa and Amber Heard. Kidman plays Queen Atlanna. “I needed some irreverent fun after The Killing Of A Sacred Deer and The Beguiled,” she reasons. “But a lot of the choices I make are based on not being the lead, so I’m not on location for too long,” she continues. And when she must travel, the family moves as a pack. “The kids don’t like the separation, so we just keep it together. And Keith is a touring musician – they’re used to being on the road. He’s willing to travel and make it work.” Her daughters, however, have their limits. There was talk of bringing Photograph 51, the play in which Kidman starred in the West End in 2015 – and for which she won best actress at the London Evening Standard Theatre Awards – to Broadway this year. But, having spent months on location with their mother in Tasmania for Lion, then Monterey, California, for Big Little Lies, Sunday and Faith said no. “It was one of the greatest experiences of my life, doing that play in London,” sighs Kidman. “And I would have loved to take it to Broadway. But the girls wanted to go home, and I make choices for my family – I have to.” I ask whether the choices she makes as a mother now are different to the ones she made 20 years ago, when Connor and Isabella, the children she shares with Cruise, were small. “I just didn’t have the same career when they were little,” she says. “I was in a much different place. I was very much more a wife, and I was very young. I didn’t have the same push-pull; I didn’t have the choices that I have now.” »

“THERE’S AN EQUILIBRIUM WITH AGE YOU DON’T HAVE WHEN YOU’RE YOUNGER” risqué projects too, such as Eyes Wide Shut, Dogville, Rabbit Hole and The Paperboy, in which she played a woman who swaps sexually explicit letters with a death-row inmate, and which involved her urinating on Zac Efron in one particular scene. She is an actress unafraid to go there. It is this self-confessed lack of thought for the consequences that also led to her posing, this summer, for a scorchingly hot shoot for the cover of Love magazine. “I was like, ‘Ohhh, what was I thinking?’ I was walking down the street in Nashville in a red swimsuit and a cowboy hat.” She laughs heartily again – the sound of a woman with no regrets over the resulting images. “But hey, it felt good,” she purrs. The magazine dropped a month before Kidman turned 50, an occasion which she celebrated quietly in the Bahamas, with her family, doing “nothing much, swimming in the ocean. I don’t need an enormous amount of attention – I just need my family, and a gentle, peaceful day – that’s fun for me.” “I believe in embracing it,” she says of the milestone birthday. “And not moving away from it or denying it, but blurring the lines on it. Men get to do that, so why




MAIN: Kidman at the Cannes Film Festival RIGHT: With “little sister” Reese Witherspoon

ABOVE: In The Killing Of The Sacred Deer LEFT: In Lion

Nicole, a year in pictures

ABOVE: In Big Little Lies with Shailene Woodley and Reese Witherspoon BELOW: With husband Keith Urban

ABOVE: With the cast of Big Little Lies at 2017’s Emmys BELOW: As Julia in Top Of The Lake: China Girl


RED WOMAN There is, of course, an elephant in the room – or, rather, on the line – throughout our conversation, in the form of Harvey Weinstein, with whom Kidman worked on The Hours and Lion, as well as Cold Mountain, and who has been at the centre of the storm about sexual assault and harassment in Hollywood. She has already released a statement, saying: “I support and applaud all women, and these women, who speak out against any abuse and misuse of power – be it domestic violence or sexual harassment in the workforce. We need to eradicate this behaviour.” Having more women as producers, is, I venture, one way in which the industry can begin to address the misuse of, and disparity in, power, and help eradicate such behaviour. And Kidman is also committed to working with female directors (who are still wildly under-represented, making up less than 10% of directors in the film industry) as often as possible. “How do you change that? You actually get behind them and you go: this is where I’m going to put my support and my power. Those statements are strong statements to me,” Kidman says. Her next project, Destroyer, a true-crime thriller, in which she stars as an LAPD detective, will be directed by Karyn Kusama. And she is signed on for the next film from Rebecca Miller (daughter of Arthur Miller and wife of Daniel Day-Lewis). “Big Little Lies, season two, if we do it, will be directed by a woman,” she also confirms. Certainly, Witherspoon and Kidman are both keen for a second instalment, not least to have the chance to collaborate again. Their friendship was forged, in true showbiz style, when they bought beach houses next door to one another in the Bahamas. “Like, actually next-door neighbours,” stresses Kidman. “I’m on my balcony, and I’m like: ‘Hi, baby!’” “We have so much in common. We both started work really young, and both our mothers were nurses, and we’ve had similar experiences at different times of our lives – I see her as a little sister,” she says, fondly. After the unprecedented success of the show they brought into existence, does Kidman feel a level of selfdeterminism in her career now?

“Any actor will tell you that as much as we’d love to say we’re in control of our own destiny, we’re not,” she sighs. “So much of our time is still spent asking: are they interested in me? And most of the time, your agent will say no. You learn about rejection early, and it’s personal, and it hurts,” she freely admits. Does it ever get any easier, I ask. “Only if your life is fuller,” Kidman replies. As we say goodbye, I take this as a tacit yes; Kidman’s ‘real life’ is full to bursting right now. 




THE ACCIDENTAL ICON She’s gone from child prodigy to ground-breaking actress, trailblazing director and multiple Oscar winner, yet Jodie Foster couldn’t be more unassuming. She meets Stephanie Rafanelli to talk fame, politics and motherhood »



“I don’t think I would have been an ACTOR had I not been THROWN into it at the age of three. It’s just not my PERSONALITY”



odie Foster looks a little out of place. She is making notes at a table by the window of a grand hotel suite in Kensington, a four-poster bed next to her; nearby sits a cake spread that even Marie Antoinette would consider excessive. Petite in a navy cashmere sweater, with a practical ponytail and owlish horn rims, she could be mistaken for a professor or human rights lawyer. Foster is adept in the art of camouflaging herself in a kind of studied ordinariness. It’s her intelligence that hijacks you first. She has a bullet-train mind that’s always several kilometres ahead. “I don’t think I would have been an actor had I not been thrown into it at the age of three. It’s just not my personality,” she says, her voice contralto and brittle. “Maybe that’s what’s made my work interesting. But it’s been really cruel and hard to be an actor.” In 1976, tomboyish and precociously astute, she appeared in five films in which she played young girls thrust into adulthood, including Tallulah in Bugsy Malone and teen prostitute Iris in Martin Scorsese’s Taxi Driver. They were among the most iconic roles of the ’70s. By 14, she had been nominated for an Oscar, won two BAFTAs, been interviewed by Andy Warhol and had presented Saturday Night Live. It is astounding she never went off the rails and into rehab like so many child stars. One senses that this is down to her sheer personal grit. The bunker-thick walls she has built around her private life are part of her strategy for survival. It’s one reason that she’s commanded respect throughout a provocative career that has seen her win two Oscars, three Golden Globes and four BAFTAs. “It’s hard for me to live with myself as the idea of celebrity,” she says. “It makes me feel like I’m in a reality show. So I think I’ve neurotically gone in the other direction. I was raised in the public eye, so you have two options: you guard [your privacy] or you let it be for sale.” FOSTER IS VERY LIKEABLE AND NO-NONSENSE

– far from the wary characters she has played. Most famous of her solitary, traumatised female roles are the gang-rape victim of The Accused and Clarice Starling in The Silence Of The Lambs. In the ’90s, the name Jodie Foster became a synonym for Hollywood power player. She opened her own production company, Egg, in 1992, producing and directing movies 20 years before most actors. She made her directorial debut with Little Man Tate in 1991 at just 28, which chronicled the loneliness of a child genius. “I think a director’s journey is all about therapy,” she laughs. “On your first movie, you learn more about your psyche than anything else.” Now 55, she’s still processing more than half a century in the spotlight, and has a gallows humour about it all. “When I direct movies, I feel like every character is me. It all gets processed through me – my favourite subject,” she smiles. “I’m well-adjusted enough about the tragedies in my life »


“I think a director’s journey is all about THERAPY. On your first movie, you learn more about your PSYCHE than anything else”



ICON that I just can’t take them that seriously. I can’t just wallow and be like, ‘My mother was mean to me,’” she wails in a child’s voice. “I have to cut it with a little cynical humour.” CLOCKWISE, FROM RIGHT: IN RECENT YEARS, SHE’S Foster alongside DIRECTED SMALLER TV wife Alexandra PROJECTS, most recently, Hedison; an episode of Netflix’s Black as Tallulah in Mirror – Charlie Brooker’s Bugsy Malone; dystopian satire on the with her mother, Brandy technological age, which returns for a fourth series this month. Foster is taking a break from the editing suite in London when we meet. Her episode revolves around a woman who, having lost her daughter in the park, implants a device which lets her monitor her child’s experiences on a tablet. I ask if it’s about a mother not only controlling her daughter, but living vicariously through her. Foster, who was born in LA and is the youngest of four children, was managed from the age of three by her mother, Brandy – a former Hollywood publicist – after landing an audition for an advert. “My mum was a single parent, and even though I had brothers and sisters, they were all gone because they were so much older,” says Foster. “So my life with her, we were a couple. Every movie I made until I was old enough to make those decisions was about her obsessions. So it’s that idea of two symbiotic women: you can’t tell where one starts and the other one ends.” It reminds me of the 1976 film Freaky Friday, in which a mother (Barbara Harris) and her daughter (Foster) switch bodies. The dark subject matter seems a lot for a young psyche to take on. “I understood more than I knew when I was little,” says Foster. “Little Man Tate is about how I was raised as being a prodigy of sorts. But I was prodigious at human behaviour: I would watch an adult come into a room [and think], ‘That one is manipulating that one.’ I was always calculating what other people were doing.” It was an instinct honed at home. She implies a need to sometimes parent her own mother when she became emotional: “I had to take care of my mum and there were times that I had to figure out how to calm her down.” Foster went to Yale in 1980 to study English, which she loved. “I was surrounded by people my own age for the first time in my life. It was my little utopia, because I got to believe I was like everybody else.” But it was also traumatic. Foster was stalked by John Hinckley Jr, who became obsessed with her after watching Taxi Driver, and who subsequently shot Ronald Reagan

to impress her. She was hounded by the press, received death threats and has since infamously been involved in other stories relating to obsessed fans. No wonder she’s protective of her life, guarding the privacy of her partnership with Cydney Bernard, the co-mother of sons Charlie, 18, and Kit, 16. (Foster and Bernard split in 2008 after 15 years together. She is now married to photographer Alexandra Hedison.) Still, she says, she is not an overbearing parent. “My childhood was the perfect training ground for [drawing strict boundaries] because I had to keep my mum at bay or she would just take over everything… I said to Charlie, ‘When you go to college, let’s just say you don’t go to a single class and you fail everything. That’s your problem. It’s not my problem. I’m still going to love you when you end up working at [US pet-food store] Petco.’” She laughs at how children of alpha women or “grafters” (she chuckles at the British term) tend to go the other way, fully admitting that she’s totally devoted to her sons. She tells me that they were shocked at Donald Trump being elected US President, and attended the global Women’s March together in January in LA. “I’ve never seen people of my generation be so patriotic, because we were finally reminded of what America stands for – us.” And in February, Foster made another rare political appearance to speak at the United Voice Rally against Trump’s proposed immigration laws.



the number of projects she took on and focused on directing, which proved an unexpected emotional challenge. “I was raised having all my self-worth being based on what people wrote or said about me,” she says. “Hugh Grant once said that celebrity is like having a steroid shot. In the mirror, you look like you have these big muscles. Then, when you make a decision not to have steroids, you don’t recognise that person in the mirror any more. You see your real self as somehow weak.” She shrugs. “It takes a little suffering to accept yourself as a real person, and change the parts that were etched on you by your strange upbringing. [But] this is who I am.”  Black Mirror returns to Netflix later this month


“It takes a little suffering to ACCEPT yourself as a real PERSON”



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2017 kicked my ass – I turned 40, a dear friend died, my dad got sick, there was madness in my marriage. The road I was walking took a sharp, sharp turn and I suddenly found myself at a crossroads, alone, in the deep, dark woods with nothing but equal parts fear and faith that I would somehow find my way. Thank god for friends, family and the magic of the universe that came to my rescue at just the right time; who knows, I might have been devoured by wolves otherwise. Twelve months and tons of tears, sweat and self-help books later, I am still around (and stronger than ever) to tell the tale. Here are some nuggets of wisdom I picked up along the way.


If you’re unsure what your next move should be, refer to the canon of classic children’s books and films for foresight. The Velveteen Rabbit: “Once you are real you can’t become unreal again. It lasts for always.” The Lorax: “Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better.” A Wrinkle In Time: “Believing takes practice.” Alice’s Adventures In Wonderland: “Sometimes, I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.” Glinda the Good Witch from The Wizard

Of Oz: “You’ve always had the power my dear, you just had to learn it for yourself.”


Chasing pleasure expecting happiness is like going to the hardware store for milk. They are two totally different things. Pleasure is fast and fun – the bowl of ice cream, the midnight Net-a-porter binge buy, the one-night stand. Happiness, though, is slow and rote. It’s the book you’ve been writing for five years, the house you’ve been building one brick at a time, the headstand you practised for a decade before getting it right. Pleasure versus happiness is the difference between spending your time and investing it. Pleasure fades; happiness lasts. The quick fix versus the long and winding road. Pleasure goes nowhere; happiness will take you where you want to go.



a st.”

hen life throws you a curve ball (or three), it’s all too easy to lose your way. Here, Stone Fox Bride founder and author Molly Rosen Guy shares the 17 pearls of hard-won wisdom that she acquired in 2017, to help guide you through the tough, tough times. Do make your own coffee. Don’t chase pleasure. And, sometimes, know that the best thing to do is do nothing at all.


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h a nk n i t b t e d e , t g a h n g u d i l t urn off t he yo y. n e a d h f or t hree t hing at s t hat b ro u g h t y o u j o y t h oon Bitching and moaning about

5 6

If you have time to think about these things, then you have too much time on your hands: does bone broth have calories; Botox or boob job; Kylie or Kendall; cabernet or rosé; Maldives or Mallorca; avocado toast or almond latte; your ex’s Instagram; do these jeans make my bum look fat? All that pure, sweet energy you pour into vanity and tabloids is best spent taking action against racism, Islamophobia, anti-Semitism, xenophobia, homophobia, transphobia, misogyny, policy changes that harm immigrant families, legislation that denies women reproductive rights…




When your husband hands you a plate full of crumbs and insists it’s a feast, tell him to fuck off. You will not be the woman who wastes her life mistaking allure for love. Get a handle on what you want and go get it. “You can have what you ask for,” says the poet Diane di Prima. “Ask for everything.”


Let others have their obstacles; offering to help can often be harmful. There are big rocks in all our roads for a reason.



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the girl who got where she is because of her affluent family is foolish. Success has little to do with what comes your way and everything to do with how you handle it. Dwell in possibility, believe in abundance – there is enough of everything for everyone.




Impressive: meeting a potential client with a head full of research on who they are, what they’ve done and where you want to take them. Unimpressive: meeting a potential client with a head full of air and empty promises, no idea where their business has been or where they want to go.

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When it comes to work, your dad’s dorky line you used to scoff at now seems quite sensible: “You must circulate to percolate.” When it all comes crashing down one day, remember that time you interviewed Diane von Furstenberg for a magazine in the summer of 2003. How the two of you sat at a big wooden table with a bowl of red apples between you, and how, mid-interview, she took your hand and looked in your eyes and said: Today is the first day of the rest of your life.


In the end, no one will care what shoes you wore, where you spent Saturday night, how many times you pressed snooze. In short: less me, more we. They will note if you showed up at the hospital, sent a thank-you card, did the dishes post-dinner. Did you shut the fuck up and listen for once – so they felt safe, so they felt seen?


When brushing your teeth at the mirror in the morning, don’t pay heed to baggy eyes and saggy tits. Instead, ask: What kind of day do I want to create? What am I crippled by? What am I going to do about it? Pray for diligence, discovery, renewal, recovery – then pat on that pretty pink blush and go get ’em.  Stone Fox Bride: Love, Lust, And Wedding Planning For The Wild At Heart (Spiegel & Grau, available on Amazon)


Ea c h nigh t he t w m




From Downton Abbey to The Good Wife (not to mention a Hollywood film career, a perfect family life and famous mates), actor Matthew Goode has had it pretty good. And with a starring role in the new series of Netflix’s The Crown, things are about to get even better, says Viv Groskop Photography AUSTIN HARGRAVE


espite his extremely caddish good looks, I find myself wanting to dislike Matthew Goode intensely. You see, he’s just a bit too good to be true. He has the perfect life. The pick of film and TV roles. Best mates with ‘Ben’ (Cumberbatch) and Jamie Dornan. A gorgeous wife, Sophie, and three kids. A luxurious country pile in Surrey. (Okay, I’m only guessing it’s luxurious. He hasn’t actually invited me round yet.) Really, he should be incredibly annoying. However, it turns out that he’s the opposite. Completely, almost ludicrously, charming. And funny, entertaining company.


As much as you want to hate him, you just can’t. I can see why ‘Ben’ and Jamie want to hang out with him. Already well known for roles in The Imitation Game (alongside ‘Ben’), Match Point, A Single Man, The Good Wife and Downton Abbey, Goode is about to hit the even bigger time with a star turn in The Crown, the Netflix phenomenon. He’s playing Antony Armstrong-Jones – Lord Snowdon – the aristocratic society photographer who had an ill-fated, stormy 18-year marriage to Princess Margaret (played spiritedly by Vanessa Kirby). He got the call just before last Christmas. It later turned out the director (Ben Caron) had directed »



Cumberbatch in Sherlock, and also went to school with Although Goode comes across as old-school posh (and Goode’s sister (of course he did). “Ben [the director] is many of the parts that have most captured our attention extremely passionate and funny, and he gave me this channel this part of him), he says he had a fairly ordinary huge folder of stuff about Snowdon. I didn’t know a huge upbringing. “My mother was a divorcée with three kids amount about Snowdon, although obviously I knew who when she met my father in a folk music club. He was a he was. I decided to jump into it… with some trepidation geologist and she was a nurse. She did have a huge as I was a fan of the first series. But, more than most passion for the theatre, though, and ran The Campion actors, I’ve had experience of jumping into successful Players – the local amateur dramatics group. She series. It can give you the willies. But Ben gave me the involved me from a young age. I always thought that confidence that I could pull it off.” actors were an incredibly fun bunch, and smart with it.”  His performance is very, ahem, watchable, driving It may not have been the most thespy of backgrounds, around the back streets of London with Princess but I suspect when you look like Goode, things just sort Margaret on his motorbike. Goode says he wasn’t of land in your lap. His mother’s best friend happened to intimidated by playing a real-life know Stephen Daldry (the director character, but it was unnerving that of Billy Elliot and The Hours). He “I never IMAGINED Snowdon died just as they started mentions in passing that he was filming. “In the first film I ever chatting to Nicole Kidman about that I would be an did, The Imitation Game, I was this recently. As you do. But despite ACTOR. I was just playing the writer Hugh Alexander. the am-dram experience, he says: trying to put off But when you’re playing Lord “I never imagined that I would be Snowdon… He’s a well-known public an actor. I was just trying to put GETTING a job” figure and there are still many people off getting a job. When I went to who can remember how he sounded, study drama, a friend of mine, how he acted. You don’t want your performance to Garry Crystal [an actor turned documentary maker], become an impression, though, you’re trying to find their got into Webber Douglas [a London drama school] and essence. That’s what Claire [Foy, as the Queen], Matt I thought, ‘I should give that a crack.’”  [Smith, as Prince Philip] and Vanessa [Kirby, as Princess ALTHOUGH HE HAS WORKED STEADILY Margaret] have all managed to do so brilliantly.” THROUGHOUT HIS CAREER, it was his role as He loved “zipping in and around Buckingham Palace” Lady Mary’s fast-car-driving love interest in Downton on the bike, and the fact that the shoot was in the UK so that he could be with his family. And he loved Snowdon’s Abbey that really brought him to people’s attention. “I had asked to be part of it a few years before, but it look. “I remember when I was working with Tom Ford hadn’t worked out.” (Interesting. I could see him in [on A Single Man, alongside Colin Firth], he was very the role Dan Stevens took, and eventually abandoned, enamoured with Snowdon and his sense of style. having his character written out when the series became Snowdon was pretty modern and interesting and dressed unexpectedly popular and kept being recommissioned.) rather wonderfully. The costumes I had… I thought they “Then I happened to be doing a job with Michelle were quite flash.” Dockery [Lady Mary] and we had a laugh. She said, A LOT OF PEOPLE EXPECT GOODE TO BE BASED IN ‘Would you like to come and marry me in Downton?’ LOS ANGELES but he says he would hate to leave the I love her so much and I thought what a brilliant giggle UK. So The Crown is perfect for him. “I’m very much that would be.” You see what I mean? These things based here. I have three children and a lovely wife and just happen to him. I just don’t like being away from them. Of course, needs Downton Abbey was a job he loved as it was 45 minutes must occasionally. But I’m very lucky. I’ve been able to from his front door. Clearly, family matters. “It’s not mix work and family.” He grew up in the Cornish easy,” he says, when I mention the challenges of juggling countryside and feels as if he has come back to his roots, family and career. “But I’m very blessed to have an just in a different part of the country. “I do miss Cornwall amazing wife who encourages me to get out of the house. a bit. It’s one of the reasons it has been nice to retreat You do feel a bit bad about being away. And I haven’t outside of London and be in a rural area. I grew up in a taken certain jobs when they’ve said, ‘We need you here farming community. I adored it and had a fantastic for six months.’ I think it’s fine to say, ‘I don’t feel the childhood. Then I lived in cities from the age of 18, first need to do that.’ I feel like family is a great litmus test in Birmingham, studying drama at university, then in against a script. If you feel like the work is going to take London. It’s been so nice to wake up and see some fields you away from your family, it had better be worth it.” in the morning. And the air quality is better.” See? He is What’s the secret of a happy marriage? “A good cellar. Somewhere you can store wine. And not being in each even nice enough to care about air quality.  



PROFILE other’s pockets the whole time. You have to have something for yourself. I’ve always had a hobby. When the kids go to school, I go fishing. Sophie used to ride a lot when she was a child and she recently got back into that. So we have a bit of fun on the side,” he laughs. Mostly their life is happily boring, he adds, “We stay in and have friends round.” He is a box-set and Netflix binger, and has recently got heavily into the Jason Bateman series Ozark. He is also a big fan of golf, which is apparently a good way to meet Jamie Dornan. I may have to take it up. “My major passion is the Dunhill Links.” You’re losing me a bit here, Goode, but go on. “I was invited to play the European tour event this year at St Andrews with Jamie Dornan and that was joyous.” Yes, that bit of it is joyous. “My dream is to get to a four handicap like I had when I was 16. Now it’s seven. But, as Jamie says, ‘I’ve never actually seen you play to that handicap.’” (For anyone who doesn’t know about golf, this is a pretty damn good handicap. If you get to zero, you’re a pro.)

CLOCKWISE, FROM RIGHT: In Downton Abbey; with wife Sophie; in The Good Wife with Julianna Margulies; in The Imitation Game with mate ‘Ben’

actor hasn’t taken. My ambition is to work with great scripts and great directors.” He pauses. “But “I’m aiming for HE CLEARLY THINKS IT’S I hate talking about it. It makes LONGEVITY. Just IMPORTANT TO HAVE OTHER me sound like an arse.” as long as I can THINGS IN HIS LIFE BESIDES No, it doesn’t. It makes him pay the mortgage, ACTING. I wonder if The Crown will sound like a normal person who just change his profile completely and wants to do well. A normal person I’m HAPPY” propel him to a level where he won’t in an incredibly attractive package be able to play so much golf. “Any who is very good at portraying time you’re in something that big, it can’t harm you,” he rather delightful aristocrats. says, “but I’m hardly Benedict [Cumberbatch]. I’m very Even if he claims that’s all a bit of an accident. “I’m lucky. I’ve had some sort of niche. I’m not sure what it is. not a ‘port out, starboard home’ sort of guy,” he shrugs, With Benedict, you can point to Sherlock as the part referring to the expression that supposedly gave rise to when people went ‘wow’ and now he’s riding very high. the word ‘posh’ (referring to people who could afford God bless him for it, he’s a good friend. I’m aiming for to go on cruises), “but it has turned out to be my bread longevity. Just as long as I can pay the mortgage, I’m and butter.” Long may he feast on it.  The Crown Season 2 is available on Netflix happy. You can be as ambitious as you want but you’re from 8th December very lucky if something lands in your lap that a bigger




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Have you ever dreamt of starting your own wellness brand? Make 2018 the year you finally do it with this very special Smart Session featuring three health industry power players. This motivational evening workshop will be delivered in three sections: SEED Refine your idea with Ella Mills, aka Deliciously Ella STRATEGY Create your brand with Lauren Armes, business coach and founder of Welltodo SCALE Set your new business on the path to success with Tania Boler, co-founder and CEO of British health and lifestyle brand Elvie. Whether you want to set up a side hustle or carve out a whole new career in health and wellbeing, this is one event you don’t want to miss.

When? 6.30-8.30pm, 25th January Where? 6th @ Soho, 33 Broadwick Street, London W1F 0DQ How much? £30, plus booking fee (price includes a welcome drink and exclusive Red goodie bag) How to book?


INSPIRATION There are many stories for which 2017 will be remembered – the ongoing Brexit battle, Donald Trump’s first months in the White House, the devastating loss of life as a result of the Grenfell Tower fire. But amid the often depressing headlines, there were formidable women who spoke out, joined forces, fought back against inequality and made history in the process. Here are their inspiring tales »

The year


‘People feel empowered to behave in ways that are unacceptable’


In June 2016, Gina Miller successfully challenged the Government’s plan to invoke Article 50 without consulting MPs. This year, she launched the Best For Britain campaign to elect pro-EU MPs and forced the Conservatives to gain parliamentary authorisation for their £1bn DUP deal. Cyan Turan meets the trailblazer

uick and uncomplicated. That was how the country expected Brexit to play out. But, because politicians over-promised and nobody explained how complex it would be, and how long it would take, people are angry and feel empowered to behave in an unacceptable way. been led to believe I am. I find it easy to react calmly and I’m still being abused – online and offline – as much as only get upset when my children are threatened. It’s better I ever was. Some people seem to think Brexit isn’t going to change their minds than to shout back. In fact, this year, well because of me and I’ve become a conduit for their some former abusers contacted me to apologise. That hatred, responsible for a lot of things I have nothing to means so much, because it shows opinions are changing. do with. I never knew I was so powerful. Despite the negativity, my higher profile allowed me to This year has been difficult; I walk on eggshells, have amplify my voice in 2017, and I’ve had huge successes. police protection, and can’t take my three children to the When Theresa May called the election, I was terrified park for fear of someone being abusive to me in front of her predicted majority would erode our democracy, them. One evening I was on my way to the cinema so I started the campaign Best For Britain with with two of them when a man recognised me and shouted, ‘It’s the Brexit bitch and “My dream is the aim of denting her majority, supporting anti-hard-Brexit candidates and urging her monkeys!’ I felt sad and horrified, a different EU young people and women to vote. May is but I hear terrible stories from others, membership. still in power but we achieved those goals. too. One German mother told me her son When she proposed the Conservatives’ was tipped out of his wheelchair while BRITAIN £1bn deal with the Democratic Unionist speaking German to her in Bristol. I refuse needn’t be ‘in’ Party (DUP), I returned to court, fighting to believe that’s what Britain is. I deal with or ‘out’” for the payment to be approved by parliament, abuse by reminding myself that the person and I won. I also worked with the Crown they’re abusing isn’t me, it’s the person they’ve


INSPIRATION Prosecution Service to change social-media policy; now, online and offline abuse will be treated equally. After each challenge, I vow to not get involved again – but I will continue to act if the Government oversteps the mark and undermines our laws. Until someone takes the baton from me, I have no choice. I work full-time, run a foundation and have kids, so I campaign in my ‘spare’ time. Next year, I have to start caring for myself. I survive on four hours’ sleep a night; even my son tells me I look exhausted. This year, I’ve been disappointed by politicians from all parties, because they haven’t been telling the public the truth. When we leave the EU, the money for infrastructure changes will come from the NHS, education and social care budgets, but no one is admitting it. My next battle is on the horizon: leaving the EU with any deal or no deal requires an Act of Parliament. If the Government doesn’t allow a vote, I’ll launch another legal challenge, but right now, there’s no plan for no deal. What will we do when the clock runs out and planes can’t land, food can’t travel and medicines can’t enter the country? So far, 2018 isn’t looking hopeful. But with innovative, brave politicians, willing to work cross-party, that could change. My dream is a different EU membership. Britain needn’t be ‘in’ or ‘out’; we could pioneer a tiered system. I get hundreds of letters from people telling me they live in fear, but see what I’m doing and feel hopeful. One girl sent me a drawing of a superhero emblem and the words ‘Go Gina!’, which I pinned above my desk. She wrote, ‘When you appeared, my mum stopped crying.’ Stories like that make it all worthwhile.”

FEMALES COMING FIRST Cressida Dick became the first woman to take charge as commissioner of the Metropolitan Police.

Lady Brenda Hale was named president of the supreme court, the UK’s first female top judge.

Preet Gill became the first female Sikh MP when she won the seat for Birmingham Edgbaston in June’s election.

In January, Paula Nickolds landed the role of John Lewis’s managing director – the first female boss in the company’s 153-year history.

Pride and progress With 2017 seeing a number of female firsts, Anna Bonet reflects on how women have made serious headway More women in Westminster? Yes please. As well as a record number of female MPs appointed in June’s snap election, this September, awardwinning designer Gillian Wearing (top) unveiled her sculpture of the suffragist leader Millicent Fawcett, which will be the first female statue in Parliament Square as of February 2018. In September, the new polymer £10 note featuring Jane Austen came into circulation. The prolific 19th-century novelist, whom we have to thank for Pride and Prejudice, is the first female writer to ever appear on one of our bank notes.

In July, the BBC announced that the next Doctor Who will be a woman. Peter Capaldi’s successor, Jodie Whittaker (above), will take on the part this Christmas – and, after a string of 12 men in the role, it’s about time, too. Saudi Arabia announced that women will be allowed to drive in the country. To the joy of feminists across the globe, King Salman issued the decree in September, to be implemented by June 2018. The fact that it has taken so long to rethink imprisoning women for driving is hard to grasp – but better late than never. »


NEVER FORGET Finding the courage


n Gillian Wearing’s new statue of Millicent Fawcett, the suffragist holds a placard that reads, “Courage calls to courage everywhere.” Although this is a quote from a speech she made more than 100 years ago, the words resonate now more than ever. The US election didn’t work out the way many women had hoped, to say the least. But there’s one good thing to come out of it: it seems to have inspired a new era of female resistance that has “WOMEN gathered momentum over the past year. If have stood anything, 2017 has been the time that women have really stood up across the globe to call out up across the abuse, challenge misogyny and fight back. It globe to call out started with the Women’s March in January, ABUSE and where more than five million people globally misogyny” demonstrated against the election of a president who, for many, is the embodiment of sexism. Later in the year, Ariana Grande remained defiant after she and her young fans were targeted in the Manchester Arena attack because of an ideology that seeks to oppress women. Grande refused to be intimidated and, rather than hiding away in the aftermath of the atrocity, she stood up and made something truly special out of it with the One Love concert. Meanwhile, in August, Taylor Swift fought and won a court case against a DJ who had groped her, taking action on behalf of all women who have faced unwanted advances. It turns out there are lots of us – outpourings of women came after journalists Megan Twohey and Jodi Kantor broke the story of Harvey Weinstein’s history of harassment. #Metoo, said millions of women worldwide, from Hollywood actresses to next-door neighbours, showing how powerful it can be when women pull together. In Fawcett’s words, courage leads to courage.

WONDER WOMEN Wonder Woman, which came out in June in the UK, was the first female superhero film to be directed by a woman, Patty Jenkins (right). It was a huge commercial and critical success, set to pave the way for more female directors at the helm of major productions.


Khadija Saye, a young Gambian-British artist, was on the cusp of recognition when she lost her life in London’s Grenfell Tower fire. After years of creating art while studying and holding down a job as a care worker, her moment had finally come: the day before she died, Saye met an influential gallery director who was seriously impressed. In June, her work went on display in the Tate Britain, both in celebration of her life and in memory of all the Grenfell Tower victims. While she wasn’t able to continue making her art, her legacy remains as inspiration for young women like her around the world.



‘No one leaves their home unless they have no choice’ using tear gas on families, and traffickers cramming refugees into patched dinghies and selling life jackets that didn’t float. But I also saw volunteers bringing food, drink, clothes and phone chargers. I’ll never forget the old widows on Lesbos, whose own cupboards were bare, As a foreign correspondent, turning out on to the beaches with tea, biscuits and hugs. Christina Lamb has reported No one leaves their home unless they have no choice. on wars and genocides, but the Seeing politicians use words like ‘swarm’ and ‘plague’ made me determined to show that refugees are not just migrant crisis has left the deepest numbers; everyone has a story. Imagine abandoning impression on her heart. She everything you ever worked for, everyone you know, and taking your children on a boat you know might capsize. opens our eyes to the tragedy… It’s a dangerous journey for able-bodied people, so I was he first Syrian refugee I met in Europe was astonished to meet a girl in a wheelchair who was being Dr Ayman Mostafa, a surgeon from Aleppo. pushed across Europe by her sister. Her name was Nujeen He had lost his wife and three-year-old and she was fluent in English, which she told me she learned daughter when their smuggler’s boat capsized by watching American soaps while trapped in a fifth-floor en route to Italy. His phone was full of pictures flat in Aleppo. Despite being bumped around, she had of them, which he couldn’t bear to look at. a huge smile and made me laugh by telling me ‘It would be like looking at the sun,’ he she was disappointed European food didn’t “Politicians told me. ‘It would burn my eyes.’ Meeting look like it did on MasterChef. use terms like Ayman made me look differently at the It’s people like Nujeen who make my sea. Until then, I’d thought of the job worthwhile. In the old days, at the ‘SWARM’, but Mediterranean as somewhere for end of an assignment, I’d just go on to the refugees are holidays and fun. Now I looked out, next story. Now, with WhatsApp, we stay MORE than just in touch. One of the people who messages picturing him in the water calling a number” ‘Fatima!’ and ‘Joud!’ over and over, and it me is Tuba, a 16-year-old Afghan girl seemed so treacherous. His story also brought whose family had to flee because the Taliban home that the refugee crisis is about people. Back threatened to kill her for learning English. We met in Aleppo, he told me, they’d had a nice house with pet in Greece, where they are stranded. rabbits – like someone who might live next door to me. When she saw the piece I had written, When refugees started flooding into Europe in 2015, along with her photo, she messaged, I thought, at last, people would take notice and do ‘What difference does it make?’ something. But as more than a million refugees flooded Sadly, she has a point. All I can do is into the EU, it became a major crisis. Governments failed keep writing, and hope that it will.”  Christina Lamb is chief foreign to deal with them, even though the number that arrived correspondent at The Sunday Times that year was less than 0.2% of the EU’s population. and author of The Girl From Aleppo: Following the refugee trail as a journalist for The Nujeen’s Escape From War To Sunday Times, I saw the best and worst of humanity. Freedom (William Collins, £16.99) I watched governments erecting fences, border guards






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Sexual healing INTIMAC Y

An ‘intimacy, relationship and tantra’ retreat sounded like former Catholic schoolgirl Marianne Power’s worst nightmare. But, she says, it turned out to be revelatory


or years I’ve had a stress dream that involves me running around a department store with no trousers on. In this dream I’m going up and down escalators trying to find a way out, while tugging down the shirt I’m wearing in hope I can cover my knickers. Two weeks ago I experienced a new variation of the dream. This time my bottom half was covered but I was wondering around topless while strangers looked at me. I wasn’t in a department store, though, I was in a large house in Sussex and this wasn’t a dream – this nightmare was real and in the form of a week-long tantra retreat, where I endured one of the most challenging and rewarding experiences of my life. When I was invited to attend a week-long workshop by tantric expert Jan Day, my first thought was: “No way”. I am a former Catholic schoolgirl – and not the fun, naughty kind but the repressed ‘everything is a sin’


kind. Men, sex and intimacy are huge issues for me. I didn’t have my first boyfriend until my late twenties and while I’ve had relationships through my thirties, they have usually been short lived. Even at 40, intimacy terrifies me. And so, my second thought was: “Do it”. I booked it and spent the next four weeks in a state of low-grade panic, wondering what the hell was going to happen. Was I going to walk around naked and have to have sex with strangers? What would my mother say if she knew? By the time I arrived at Florence House in Seaford, Sussex, I was so scared, I couldn’t eat the veggie curry awaiting us. Instead, I looked at my fellow students – who ranged from their thirties to sixties, some in couples, most of us single – and tried to figure out if they were all perverts. They didn’t seem to be but there were two men wearing necklaces. I caught myself judging and realised this is what I do: I always find



reasons to keep men away, whether it’s something they’re wearing or the sound of their voice. I’ve been known to ditch guys because they use emojis. It was just fear talking. And fear continued to shout at me all week. The workshop began with some sober dancing. The aim was to get into our bodies but I felt stiff, awkward and self-conscious without two bottles of wine to loosen me up.

I said “no” followed by “goodbye” to signal the end of the encounter. He looked a bit hurt but it felt so empowering to look after myself in this way. Day says that we are not doing anybody any favours by staying in situations that we do not want to be in – you are holding them back from being with someone who wants to be with them. I realised how dishonest I’ve been in relationships by not speaking truthfully and openly. THEN WE WERE INVITED TO WALK AROUND THE In both romantic relationships and friendships, I feel ROOM AND LOOK AT EACH OTHER. It is hard to that I need to be everything that person wants without overstate just how frightening I found this prospect. paying any attention to how I’m feeling. As a result, A man with huge brown eyes walked towards me I give too much, get exhausted, shut down and run away. and I willed myself not to run away, even though I was Ultimately I find it easier to avoid relationships altogether. desperate to. I felt embarrassed by how scared I was It’s such a cliché but communication really is everything. and I didn’t want him to see how vulnerable I felt. After each exercise we had to share how it had been for I made myself look back until he walked away, us and even though that felt awkward at first, it got easier. which felt like hours later (it was probably seconds). It was surprising to find out that often people were not After that the week unfolded in a blur of more eyethinking what I thought they were. While I thought I’d hurt contact, dancing, meditating, talking, breathing the man I rejected, he told me he admired me for and touch. Each exercise seemed to embody being so clear and that it made him feel better “It was a fears and behaviour I had in the outside about approaching me in later exercises revelation to world. In early touching exercises, we because he knew I would not do anything divided into groups of three or four and I didn’t want to. In essence, he was thinking REALISE I had could invite others to touch us either on the CONTROL, that the opposite to what I had imagined. hand, arm, hair or body. Though we were I could go as slow AS THE WEEK WENT ON AND I GREW constantly told by Day that we must only as I wanted” STRONGER IN MY ABILITY TO SAY “NO”, do what felt right to us – including saying I started to feel safer and my body began we wanted no touch at all – I kept pushing to open up to pleasure – simple, sensual and myself to let people touch me even though I didn’t sexual. In the breaks we ran to the nearby beach and want it, for fear that people would think I was a prude. swam in cold, choppy waters, laughing and splashing like Then when we were invited to remove some clothing. children. In the evenings we’d pile on the sofa and chairs Even though I didn’t want to, I did. As soon as I took off together, giggling and hugging each other and it felt so my top, I felt exposed and embarrassed. I told myself to natural. We talked about loneliness and the lack of touch “just get through it” and “stop being a wimp” but then that many of us had in our lives. With friends, physical I realised that this is always how I treat myself – making contact is usually limited to pecks on the cheeks, and with myself do things I don’t want to do for fear of what the opposite sex all contact had to be a prelude to sex. others might think. But I looked around and saw that But here we touched each other just to be connected. while some people were happy with no clothes on, Nothing more was demanded. It was open, innocent and others had stayed fully dressed and that was totally fine. beautiful. In one of the meditation exercises I found myself It turned out the biggest lesson was the opposite of what crying as I visualised my normal life as me locked in a I thought it would be – it wasn’t about pushing myself, it cold, damp room cut off from the warmth of love. I could was about saying “no” and setting boundaries. It was a see that I kept myself in a glass cage in order to keep revelation to realise I had control, that I could go as slow as myself safe, but in doing so I was not fully alive. I wanted. I finally heard what Day had been repeating all With each day I was coming out of the cage and the week: I never have to do anything I don’t want to do and feeling of love in the room grew. People started to say that that the most important thing was to “honour yourself”. I looked different. The hair that was scraped up in a bun In one exercise I repeatedly said “no” to any touching. was let loose. My eyes looked huge and I moved differently. I thought people would be annoyed at me but all I was And it wasn’t just me – by the end of the week we had all ever greeted by was kind eyes. Being able to say “no” blossomed. It was as if who we really were was shining felt thrilling. Then, as I got braver, I allowed a man to out of us. All our masks had dropped and it was beautiful. stroke my face. We were told to say “yes” if we liked the On the final evening, as a storm whipped up outside, contact and though I did, I felt embarrassed about saying we danced. This time, instead of being embarrassed, I was it. Showing pleasure felt dirty and wrong. I saw just how moving freely. I felt sexy, feminine, natural and free. Three strongly the years of Catholic conditioning live in me. weeks since coming home, I haven’t stopped dancing.  Then he moved to touch my waist and I no longer liked it. Instead of suffering the touch for fear of being rude,



Facing the MUSIC King of satire Armando Iannucci is the mastermind who brought us Alan Partridge and Selina Meyer. But, as Natasha Lunn discovers, it’s classical music that has won his heart


rmando Iannucci has probably made you laugh, whether you know it or not. He is the mind behind The Thick Of It’s pantomime politics and sweary director of communications Malcolm Tucker, who once referred to the posh opposition as “Shitehead Revisited” and accused a minister of having “a face like Dot Cotton licking piss off a nettle”. As well as picking up an Oscar nomination for spin-off film In The Loop, Iannucci also created the Emmy award-winning Veep, which follows the highs and lows (but mostly lows) of US vice president Selina Meyer. And who could forget Alan Partridge, the failed television presenter from Norwich, a man so full of complexity and pathos that you loathe him one moment and pity him the next? Quite simply, Iannucci, 54 and with an OBE, is one of the greatest comic writers of our time. As much as the Scottish satirist’s shows are funny, they are revelatory – they open our eyes to politicians’ childish U-turns, to the small errors that erupt like volcanoes when morals are swept aside in the pursuit of power. But now that truth has become more farcical than


fiction, thanks to Brexit and Trump, where does that lead a satirist like Iannucci? To classical music, it seems. Given we’re meeting today in a café off Regent Street to discuss Hear Me Out, Iannucci’s book about his love of the genre, it’s fitting that he arrives with large headphones hanging around his neck (he listened to Shostakovich on the walk here). Since he’s deep in a press tour for his much-lauded film The Death Of Stalin, I’d forgive him for having interview fatigue, but he answers my questions with gentle enthusiasm. “ABSOLUTELY, EXACTLY” OR “YES, YES, YES,” he often

adds. He speaks softly and is a little fidgety, but also warm, waving his hands excitedly when conversation turns to his book. It is a charming celebration of classical music – a mix of columns and easy-to-read essays about the potency of Mahler, Bach and Schumann. He rejoices in music’s depth (“How can anything so complex be so utterly pure and beautiful?”) while debunking the myth that it’s intellectually inaccessible. In fact, he makes it visceral. He writes, “It’s the most earthy, physical thing.



Horn players empty their instruments of spit. Violinists fret at snapping strings. Pianists moan and shiver and crouch and sniff loudly at the slow bits.” Though known for his comedy, Iannucci describes classical music as “the single most inspiring, most moving, most magical thread running through my whole cultural experience”. It’s a love affair that began aged 13 – when a teacher played an old vinyl recording of Holst – and continued as he borrowed classical music records from the local library in Glasgow, where he grew up. While some teens pretend to like the same music as their friends to fit in, Iannucci had little interest in “talking about the latest Bowie album”. He admits, “It always felt like I was at the fringes.” Is that how he learnt to be such a keen observer of life? “It’s also tied in with being an Italian in Scotland and a Scot in England, and then going off to be a Brit in the US – there’s always a sense of being slightly on the outside.” He pauses, dropping a few crumbs of shortbread on to his slightly crumpled shirt. “But also on the inside as well. Kind of part of the in-crowd but also outside it.”


believes it would be dangerous to satirise him. “It makes him safe if you turn him into a cuddly cartoon.” Does he pity or despair of politicians? “More pity. Because the most sympathetic people are the elected officials. At least they’re trying to achieve something. These poor people have come in with noble intentions and before you know it, they’re having to say things they don’t mean.” The main issue with politicians, he thinks, is that they often haven’t had a career outside politics, so their attitude to policy is “slightly abstract”. He points to news of a six-week waiting time for Universal Credit: “They don’t understand how people can’t afford to have nothing for six weeks.” This empathy underpins much of Iannucci’s work, and while he has never tried to influence votes, he does want to show us where things aren’t working. Though he says he’d never go into politics, he was inspired to stand up for what he believes in by his Italian father, who as a young man in Naples wrote for an anti-fascist and anti-Mussolini newspaper. For now, Iannucci is leaving satire behind THE MUSIC HE DISCUSSES IN and developing a David Copperfield HEAR ME OUT IS OFTEN production for BBC Films. He has always PASSIONATE, so I wonder if he’s a been a Dickens fan because he “takes on romantic. “Kind of. It’s important to the whole of society – poverty, education, show true feelings for people. I mean, bureaucracy – yet also manages to draw I proposed to my wife in Paris really human stories.” overlooking Notre Dame!” His wife What Iannucci’s characters share, I think, Rachael, a speech therapist he met is that they’re not being true to who they while studying at Oxford, is the more really are. They lie and blag to fake it until practical of the two of them (“She they make it – except they never really do. gets satisfaction out of DIY, whereas Iannucci is the opposite: incredibly I just get relief that it’s over!”). They successful and happy in his own Iannucci have three children and have been skin. But while he tends to be celebrating married for 27 years, so I’m interested “calm and phlegmatic”, he admits his double to know what he has learnt about Emmy win for to fretting inwardly. Perhaps that’s sustaining long-term love. “It’s where classical music comes in – Veep in 2015 good that there are interests you it’s his form of mindfulness. “It’s can share, but also lots you have about being able to stop and home in separately. Rachael’s more into design, “CLASSICAL music is on one thing.” He likes the settling architecture and painting – I don’t of it. the most INSPIRING, stillness have the intense reaction to it that she To some, though, classical music can most MAGICAL thread seem inaccessible. How would he make has. And she doesn’t quite have the reaction to music that I get. I think its case? “It can be dramatic, exciting running through my that’s good, as you’re encouraging the cultural experience” and energising. It elicits an emotional other to get more out of it.” response. A lot of people decide in So love is about fostering individuality? “Absolutely. advance not to engage with it and this book is really a plea You have to have your own life and interests, otherwise to give it a listen.” And you know what? I do. There is you get sick of the sight of each other.” As for his kids, something quietly passionate and persuasive about Iannucci they are beginning to find him funny – his youngest, that makes you want to listen to him too. He is both an Carmella, 15, has started watching his comedy The Day outsider and an insider, the razor-sharp satirist who Today. “They hit a certain age and decide they want to skewers politicians, and also the unassuming, kind man look at my back catalogue. You suddenly feel you’re sitting in front of me, thoughtfully praising Strauss’s Four on trial for two weeks as they assess this body of work. Last Songs. In either role, he doesn’t miss a beat.  Hear Me Out by Armando Iannucci (Little, Brown, I seem to have passed with my eldest two. My youngest £14.99) is out now thinks she’s enjoying it. She likes the fact it’s just bonkers.”



Edited by CYAN TURAN

C Maya Thurman-Hawke and Jonah Hauer-King as Jo and Laurie

A little TALE

oming-of-age stories don’t come more timeless than Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women, which has resonated with readers since it was first published nearly 150 years ago. Now, the tale of the beloved March sisters has been adapted by the BBC into a three-part drama. While its last TV incarnation in 1994 starred Claire Danes, Winona Ryder and Kirsten Dunst, this time around Emily Watson plays the girls’ mother and a quartet of new actors take the roles of sisters Jo (Maya Thurman-Hawke, daughter of Uma Thurman and Ethan Hawke), Meg (Willa Fitzgerald), Beth (Annes Elwy) and Amy (Kathryn Newton). A gorgeous visual feast made for curling up in front of on dark, December nights. » Little Women airs on BBC One in December


THE BEST BOOKS OF 2017 Sarra Manning remembers the reads she’s loved this year

Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman (HarperCollins, £12.99) I (and so many others) fell hard for the oddball charms of the unlikely heroine, Eleanor Oliphant, in this beautiful and heartwarming debut that will be turned into a film by Reese Witherspoon. Its author, Gail Honeyman, recounts her stellar year on the opposite page.

Behind Her Eyes by Sarah Pinborough (HarperCollins, £12.99) The most cunning thriller of the year. Not one but two almighty twists at the end will have your heart pounding and your skin crawling. The People At Number 9 by Felicity Everett (HQ, £12.99) A great domestic suspense novel where villains Gav and Lou are the kind of free-spirited and free-loading neighbours we all love to hate.

Oh My God, What A Complete Aisling by Emer McLysaght and Sarah Breen (Gill Books, £12.99) The funniest, loveliest book. It’s impossible not to fall in love with Aisling.

A Dangerous Crossing by Rachel Rhys (Transworld, £12.99) Set on a luxury liner sailing to Australia in 1939, this harks back to the golden age of crime novels. Think Highsmith on the high seas.


All Grown Up by Jami Attenberg (Serpent’s Tail, £12.99) We at Red loved All Grown Up, about the emotionally stagnant 39-year-old Andrea. A novel full of truths big and small, and keenly observed moments – one for your keeper shelves. He Said/She Said by Erin Kelly (Hodder & Stoughton, £12.99) In 1999 at a music festival during an eclipse, Laura and her boyfriend Kit witness an apparent rape. Fifteen years later, they’re both still haunted by the events of that night. It’s no surprise that the TV rights to this compulsive thriller have been snapped up by Steven Spielberg. The Break by Marian Keyes (Michael Joseph, £20) Marian Keyes returns with an absorbing novel about Amy and her husband, who wants to take a marriage sabbatical. Full of darkness and light, this is Keyes at her classic and most brilliant best. I Am, I Am, I Am by Maggie O’Farrell (Tinder Press, £18.99) My favourite non-fiction book was Maggie O’Farrell’s, which chronicles her “seventeen brushes with death”. I Am, I Am, I Am is a bruising, heartbreaking, life-affirming memoir. Gather The Daughters by Jennie Melamed (Tinder Press, £18.99) This dystopian debut novel, set on an isolated island where a small patriarchal community has created a new home after an apocalypse, felt very of the moment.




My LIFE in books: Romola Garai As she takes the lead in the BBC’s adaptation of Jessie Burton’s The Miniaturist, the actress reveals the books that have shaped her life


Little House In The Big Woods by Laura Ingalls Wilder. It’s the first novel I can remember reading on my own, without help. The characters built their house from logs, and had to tap them for maple syrup. The idea of putting a tap into a tree and maple syrup coming out was magic to seven-year-old me. It’s an incredibly sensual, evocative book. MY FAVOURITE LINE FROM A BOOK IS… “That roar which lies on

the other side of silence.” It’s part of a longer quote from George Eliot’s Middlemarch. When I read that quote my heart stopped. To me, it describes exactly the experience of being conscious – aware of misery and joy – but having to ignore it all in order to exist. THE BOOK I MOST RELATE TO IS… Beyond Black by Hilary Mantel.

It’s about a medium who tours uninspiring British towns trying to help people communicate with the dead. But what speaks to me is the book’s depiction of suburban Britain: new-build estates, run-down shopping centres and Premier Inns. A lot of it is set in the West Country, where I grew up, and it reminded me of my upbringing. Rural life has been stripped of its poetry, and the book brilliantly describes that.


When I read Hanya Yanagihara’s A Little Life, I cried a lot. Ultimately, it’s about male camaraderie and friendship and how necessary it is. THE BOOK I THINK EVERYONE SHOULD READ IS… You could take

any person, of any culture, of any age, and they would like Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens. It’s about such essential things: poverty, finding kindness in unexpected places. It’s a fable that transcends place. MY FAVOURITE EVER BOOK IS…

A short novella, Foe by J M Coetzee. It’s Robinson Crusoe retold from the point of view of a female character in 17th-century London, who tries to find Daniel Foe to tell him the true story about his own book! It’s about racial politics and how novels warp history. I’ve read it four times. THE BOOK THAT GOT ME THROUGH A DIFFICULT TIME WAS… The Diary Of A Provincial

Lady by E M Delafield – a spoof diary of a ’50s suburban housewife. Every time I have a blue day, I reach for it. It reminds me that being a woman is a timeless struggle. The Miniaturist will air on BBC One in December

WHAT A DIFFERENCE A YEAR MAKES Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine was the biggest-selling hardback debut of 2017, shifting 100,000 copies since it was published in May. Its author, Gail Honeyman, describes a whirlwind year


loved writing stories when I was a child, but stopped after I left school. One day, I’d think, when the time is right, I’ll try to write a novel. That day never seemed to come. The approach of my 40th birthday finally helped me to realise that there would never be a right time, that I could find the time, somehow – early mornings before work, lunch breaks, late at night – if I really wanted to. I decided to stop daydreaming about writing and actually write. Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine was the end result, and this past year has been a time of ‘firsts’ – the first time I held a copy of my book, the first time I signed one, the first time I saw it in a bookshop window. As a debut author, I’ve learnt a lot, both about being published and also about myself, and have had the privilege of meeting and working with some very talented people along the way. There have been many unexpected joys, one of which was discovering the incredible generosity and support of other writers, booksellers, librarians, reviewers, bloggers and, of course, readers. I’ve been astonished and delighted by this, and am very grateful. Right now, I am back writing, working on a new book. When I reflect on the past year, it’s impossible to choose a single moment that encapsulates the experience: one that shows what it feels like when a daydream becomes reality. »



You want stories to be uplifting, but as much as there are good things in life, there are bad things, too. Being sad is part of life, so I don’t think you need to run away from those things. Lots of kids say to me, “Why did Gangsta Granny have to die at the end?” But death is part of life, and I wanted to reflect that. WHAT MADE YOU WANT TO WRITE ABOUT FATHERHOOD?

I wanted to write a story about a child whose parent goes to prison because I imagine that is an incredibly painful experience. I suppose I also wanted to write about a relationship between a


I was blown away by Jacqueline Wilson’s Tracy Beaker and the complex issues Tracy deals with. She keeps saying that her mum’s going to come and visit her, and you know it’s not going to happen – oh my God, I was heartbroken. WHAT’S YOUR WRITING PROCESS LIKE?

I quite like just being alone with my thoughts. That’s when you start to enter into the world of the book. When you’re writing, I liken it to trying to remember a film you’ve never seen, when nothing’s been made yet. You’re constantly trying to visualise everything that happens, so it really helps if your mind is clear of other thoughts.

“I quite like just being alone “

with my thoughts father and son because it’s what I’m thinking about, being a dad. When you’re a parent, you sort of have another childhood because you’re doing loads of stuff you wouldn’t normally do – like going to Legoland. You take the children, but you have a great time, too. WHICH PARTS DID YOU ENJOY WRITING?

I’m pleased that I’ve got a same-sex marriage in the book. My best friend is gay, and my son and lots of other kids went to his wedding. I thought: what a brilliant thing. I can’t imagine these kids are going to have prejudices because it’s just normal for them to be around samesex couples. And there’s no reason why it shouldn’t be in a book in a natural way.


No, because you’re with these characters and they become like friends. They become real to you and you feel like you’re channelling rather than authoring them. WHY DO YOU THINK SO MANY CHILDREN LOVE YOUR STORIES?

When I was a kid I wanted to see the grown-up movies. Similarly, books have to feel a bit forbidden. You’ve got to assume children want something more advanced than their years. Bad Dad by David Walliams (HarperCollins Children’s Books, £12.99)

A GALAXY OF HER OWN Follow the small steps and giant leaps of womankind in space through the illustrations and evocative words of Libby Jackson, formerly of NASA and now programme manager at the UK Space Agency. Featuring stories of female astronauts, space scientists and engineers – from Helen Sharman to Eileen Collins – this book will inspire women of all ages. A Galaxy Of Her Own: Amazing Stories Of Women In Space by Libby Jackson (Century, £16.99) 



Over 12.5 million children across the world have fallen in love with David Walliams’ stories. As his latest book, Bad Dad, hits shelves, Natasha Lunn finds out why


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For instant throwon-and-go party chic, think textured and tonal from top to toe. Layering Red Valentino’s plush woolly coat over a softly ruffled dress keeps the single colour palette sophisticated Fur coat, £3,995, Red Valentino. Polyester dress, £330, Three Floor. Mixedmetal earrings (just seen), £14, Urban Outfitters. Suede shoes, £470, Aquazzura

Daytime separates reimagined in luxurious fabrics make for perfectly relaxed eveningwear – think velvet dungarees, a sequin knitted top and a blazer that sparkles like a starstudded midnight sky Silk blazer, £365; velvet dungarees, £315, both Sandro. Knitted sequin top, £69.95, Gap. Polyblend earrings, £12.99, H&M. Suede shoes, £475, Tabitha Simmons

Who says a jumpsuit is just for work? Max Mara’s navy one-piece makes for an easy-breezy go-to for elegant day-to-night dressing. Just add sky-high fringed wedges and you’re ready to shake the night away Velvet blazer, £298, J Crew. Triacetate and poly-mix jumpsuit, £515; viscose and elastane-mix top (just seen), £210, both Max Mara. Mixed-metal earrings, £12, Urban Outfitters. Patent metallic bag, £22, Oasis. Rings (from left): Sterling silver and sapphire stone; sterling silver and champagne stone, £169 each; gold and yellow stone, £329, all Carat. Crêpe satin shoes, £3,095, Christian Louboutin JANUARY 2018 REDONLINE.CO.UK 89

Give winter nights the cold shoulder with rich, Prussian blue velvet, and boldly go with fistfuls of statement cocktail rings and oversized feathered earrings. A slick of navy liner will add that touch of devil-may-care Velvet top, £337; velvet trousers (just seen), £422, both Tibi. Feather earrings, £498, Oscar de la Renta at Rings, as before


Jazz up the mood with indigo tones in stripes and clashing florals. An embellished jacket and skyscraper heels up the ante to dizzy heights – more is definitely more Velvet jacket, £264, Intropia. Silk shirt, £289, Diane Von Furstenberg. Cotton skirt, £885, Michael Kors. Glass bead earrings, £323, Oscar de la Renta at Satin shoes, £650, Sophia Webster

Add a little soft-focus magic to masculine tuxedo trousers with sparkly lurex and a throw-on shearling coat for an outfit that feels as good as it looks Polyester coat, £350, Ba&sh. Lurex top, £350, Carven. Polyester-mix trousers, £98, Boden. Gold-plated stone earrings, £58, J Crew. Satin shoes, £435, Tabitha Simmons

Pack a punch with Joseph’s sleek tuxe blazer in the darkest, most brooding of tones. Slip on over a sequin top and luxe velvet trousers and get ready to hit the floor Mohair blazer, £545, Joseph at Fenwick of Bond Street. Sequin top, £49, & Other Stories. Velour trousers, £29.95, Gap


Tip the scales from cosy to cool with a midnight-toned structured blazer. Ermanno Scervino’s oversized jumper adds the right amount of glitz for after-dark glamour Wool coat, £790, Goat. Wool jumper, £2,620, Ermanno Scervino


Reach for the stars with Dodo Bar Or’s exquisitely decorated minidress. With a high neck and short hemline, it’s a perfect study in partywear proportions. Add a pair of studded flats to keep things grounded Polyester tulle dress, £1,075, Dodo Bar Or. Suede shoes, £565, Aquazzura Model Emily Butcher at Next Model Management London. Hair Gow Tanaka, using Kiehl’s. Make-up Karina Constantine, using Chanel Le Lift Skin-Recovery Sleep Mask. Nails Charly Avenell, using L’Oréal. Stylist’s assistant Gabriella Minchella. Set design Michelle Lester. Location thanks to Spring Studios







And the year belonged to… From beautiful balm cleansers to an under-the-radar perfume that gained cult status, this was the year of the quietly brilliant breakthrough product. Fifty of them, in fact. Turn the page for Red’s favourite beauty offerings of the past 12 months, then enter our competition to win them all » Words ANNABEL MEGGESON Photography BENOIT AUDUREAU


…liquid lips Modern, matte, effortless – the newest innovation in lips continued to impress us well into 2017. (Pro tip: keep your lips well hydrated and you’ll always be able to pull off one of these.)

BEST NUDE Charlotte Tilbury Hollywood Lips (shown here in Best Actress), £24 Just what a liquid lip should be: easy to apply and in a great choice of wearable nude shades.

BEST BRIGHT YSL Tatouage Couture Matte Stain (shown here in Rouge Tatouage), £29 An easy-to-build formula, available in flattering shades that are playful and vibrant, but never overwhelming.

…wellbeing (for our skin and the environment) The boundaries between beauty and wellness became further blurred, yielding a spectrum of beautiful products.

B E S T F O R B AT H Kind Natured Coconut & Passionflower Bath Soak, £4.99 We love this affordable, eco-conscious range’s bath and body products. This new soak allows the pleasure of bubbles without drying out skin. 98 REDONLINE.CO.UK JANUARY 2018

BEST BULLET Bourjois Rouge Velvet The Lipstick (shown here in Brunette and Hip Hip Pink), £6.99 Still wedded to the bullet? This much-lauded lipstick has the best bits of a liquid: creamy, easy and rich.

BEST FOR BODY Aurelia Firm And Replenish Body Serum, £48 Rich in the brand’s signature probiotics (great for skin as well as the gut), this non-sticky serum has a wonderful scent and makes skin feel exquisitely soft.

BEST FOR HOME Sisley Campagne Scented Candle, £53 An elegant yet intense interpretation of that classic cut grass/ countryside smell, this was the one we all wanted in our homes this year.

BEST FOR THE ENVIRONMENT Garnier Skinactive Naturals Nourishing Botanical Gel Wash with Honey Flower, £3.49 Garnier’s improved environmentally conscious range is feelgood all round – particularly this skinsoftening wash.

BEST FOR SHOWER Elemis Life Elixirs Fortitude Bath & Shower Oil, £55 The new Life Elixirs range harnesses the power of aromatherapy to enhance daily beauty rituals. This warm, herby blend was a favourite.


…foundations forging ahead

BEST MEDIUM COVERAGE It Cosmetics Your Skin But Better CC Cream, £30 This made its creator millions for good reason – while some found it heavy, foundation lovers adored its innovative formula for the blendability and glowy, natural-looking coverage.

As one of the most popular purchasing categories, there are always great new formulations in the offing. These were the ones we wore most.

BEST F ULL COVERAGE Bare Minerals Bare Pro Performance Wear Liquid Foundation, £29 Available in an impressive 30 shades, this smooth, buildable formula offers naturallooking coverage that lasts and lasts.

BEST DEWY COVERAGE Clinique Even Better Glow Foundation, £27 Imperceptible, glowy, light – you’ll forget you’re wearing this lightweight foundation.

BEST FOR EYES Trish McEvoy Instant Eye Lift, £40 A blendable, buildable concealer that firms the under-eye area and makes you look instantly fresh.

…concealers coming into their own Targeted coverage got so good we often found ourselves forgoing foundation – which was ideal, considering one of this year’s biggest looks was barely-there chic.

BEST ON-THE-GO Revlon Youth FX Fill + Blur Concealer, £11.99 Easy to use around eyes without overwhelming the delicate skin.

BEST ALL-ROUNDER Nars Soft Matte Complete Concealer, £24 Putty-like and malleable, you could perfect your whole face with one of these versatile concealers, available in 16 skin-true shades. »

…masterful mascaras We reckon this make-up staple has reached ultimate brilliance (until next year, that is).

BEST INNOVATOR Dior Diorshow Pump ’n’ Volume Mascara, £25.50 The squeezy tube meant mascara stayed soft and the brush fully loaded until the very last swipe. The formula provided the full-fat lashes we’ve come to expect from Dior. BEST HIGH STREET Max Factor The Crown Mascara, £10.99 Another unusually shaped wand, but one that genuinely delivered. It was easy to grab every last lash from the root, then go back and enhance the ends. The result was lovely, fluttery lashes that lasted well.

…and one stand-out brow product BEST FOR EYEBROW S Eyeko Brow Game Strong, £18 The perfect wax-powder hybrid plus a built-in brush made for easy application and definition that looked like nature’s work.

BEST ALL-ROUNDER Urban Decay Troublemaker, £19.50 The one you kept spotting in people’s make-up bags – lengthening and saturating, while still comfortable, and a non-smudger.


…vitamin C (again) Last year tipped the wink to vitamin C, but 2017 saw evermore effective iterations of this guaranteed dullness reverser.

BEST BOOST Clinique Fresh Pressed Boosters, £58 for 4 Great for mixing into our favourite moisturiser whenever skin was looking tired or dull; we especially appreciated the technology and packaging that allowed the vitamin C to stay fresh until needed. BEST EVERYDAY Dr Dennis Gross C+ Vitamin C Serum, £72 Two or three drops every morning earned us compliments for the rest of the day, even when not wearing make-up.

BEST OVERNIGHTER DCL C Scape Hi Potency Night Booster 30, £108 This tingly lotion drip-feeds skin vitamin C overnight and “transformed” one tester’s skin.

…new-ish shades for nails Nudes, off-reds and muted, earthy colours were on the menu this year; one collection had them all…

BEST NAIL POLISH Nailberry Oxygenated Nail Lacquer (shown here in, from left, Serenity, Spiritual, No Regrets, Romance), £14.50 each Chic with a twist, we couldn’t ask more from these luxe, glossy shades. »


…smart hair solutions From whisper-light shampoos to mist-on detanglers that made conditioners feel clunky, this was a year of good new ideas for hair.

BEST CLEANSER Charles Worthington Micellar Shampoo, £5.99 This super-gentle shampoo meant hair could be washed every day without its condition being compromised.

BEST STYLING PRODUCT Redken No Blow Dry, £15.50 If you have any kind of wavy or curly hair and want to enhance texture and save time, this was the product. Hair air-dries with definition and no crunchiness. Bossy (shown here) works for very thick hair, but we loved Airy for more finer hair types.

BEST ROUTINE CHANGER Christophe Robin Hydrating Leave-In Mist With Aloe Vera, £31.50 Top 2017 tip: ditch conditioner. Applied post-shampoo, this detangler gave better texture and just as much smoothness and shine.

BEST MASK Percy & Reed Overnight Hair Mask, £20 We loved how easy this was to use – just smooth in to dry hair before bed – and the payoff was notable: it left locks smoother and more lustrous once washed out in the morning.

BEST FREE-FROM Pureology Clean Volume Shampoo, £16.50 and Conditioner, £20.50 Fine hair rejoice – a free-from formula that still lathers and makes hair feel bouncy and clean, never lank or weighed down.

…up-luxed face oils Whether you love them or hate them, these one-stop skincare gems gained significant traction in the market and caused much of this year’s beauty buzz.

BEST LUXURY Guerlain Abeille Royale Youth Watery Oil, £92 Oil newcomers loved this lightweight, honey-based oil that sinks easily into skin, leaving it feeling soft and supple.

BEST NATURAL Vanderohe No 1 Nourishing Face Serum, £88 A restorative blend of the highest quality cold-pressed and essential oils, this was adored by all skin types.

BEST REFORMULATION Elizabeth Arden Advanced Ceramide Capsules, £66 for 60 This fatty acid-rich serum-oil hydrates and nourishes in one easy dose. Ideal for travelling.


…modern romance Contouring finally took a back seat as the catwalk showed us blush was a prettier and easier way to add dimension and warmth to skin.

BEST POWDER BLUSH Nars Blush in Bumpy Ride, £24 Lightweight powder + suits-all shade = a practically foolproof blush.

BEST CREAM BLUSH Glossier Cloud Paint (shown here in Beam and Puff), £14.50 Gave cheeks a natural, longlasting flush. Take your cue from product creator Emily Weiss and mix different shades to create your perfect ‘cloud’. »


…the cleansecleanse protocol BEST CLEANSING WASH Shiseido Waso Gentle Cleansing Gel, £24 Perfect for use after a balm, this gave us the satisfaction of a face wash but the soft, luxe formula didn’t strip skin. The pretty, tactile packaging is a boon.

We had the memo already – double cleansing heralds skin that’s not just beautifully clean but beautifully cared for; this year saw companies take that brief and excel.

BEST CLEANSING DUO L’Occitane Divine Cleansing Balm, £34, and Divine Foaming Cleansing Cream, £28 Luxurious, effective, natural… the silky, subtly scented balm and gentle wash ticked all the boxes – beautifully.

B E S T R E- I S S U E Pestle & Mortar Erase Balm Cleanser, £34, and Renew Illuminating Lightweight Gel Cleanser, £34 Launched as a pair but now available individually, these covetable cleansers can be mixed with your other favourites, though the price tag-defying textures and results might mean you want both.

…hand cream Surprising, yes, but something that’s normally a bit of a basic took up a surprising amount of bandwidth on the beauty desk. We especially loved:

BEST EVERYDAY Ameliorate Intensive Hand Treatment, £15 “It works.” That was the bottom line when it came to feedback about this efficacious hand cream that made a genuine difference to skin.


BEST LUXE Chanel Crème Le Main, £45 The uniquely lightweight formulation made this ideal for hand-cream debutants who normally don’t have the patience for it to absorb.

BEST NICHE Byredo Rose Hand and Nail Cream, £44 With its neat, sweet tube and uplifting fragrance, one of these in your bag could just make you feel all is well in the world.


…gender-free fragrance Atelier Cologne Café Tuberosa, £160 for 200ml This bitter-sweet fragrance pulls off the unusual interplay of tuberose, coffee and citrus with aplomb.

Is anyone thinking male/female when it comes to scents any more? When quality, passion and innovation are put at the forefront, everyone wants to wear them.

Jo Malone English Oak And Hazelnut Cologne, £88 for 100ml Earthy, spicy and astringent, this is a complex cologne that had us enchanted by its evocation of childhood walks.

Hèrmes Twilly EDP, £47 for 30ml Feminine at first, but notes of ginger and sandalwood keep it open to interpretation, along with its playful vestment of silk scarf and bowler hat.

Sarah Jessica Parker Stash EDP, £40 for 50ml Always on the money, our favourite New Yorker created her first unisex perfume – a woody, vetiver-laced scent – and joyfully dubbed it “a fragrance for humans”.

Diptyque Vetyverio EDP, £64 for 50ml Probably the most coveted perfume of the year, this lingering creamy, smoky scent proved irresistible to everyone who encountered it. »



BEST EYE MASK No 7 Gel Eye Mask, £15 Eye masks certainly had their Instagram moment this year – the way they sit in half moons under the eye is very snappable. These delivered on price and efficacy – the eye area looked smoother, hydrated and definitely refreshed.

…the best of the rest From an it-just-works eye cream to innovative body care, these products were in a league of their own.

BEST TAN St Tropez Gradual Tan Plus Sculpt and Glow, £18 A foolproof faux tan formula with welcome added extras. One tester deemed this “the best gradual tan to date”.

BEST MATTIFIER Murad MattEffect Blotting Perfector, £32 This cushion compact absorbs sebum, not water, so there’s no dryness or tightness. Testers loved the pleasantly cooling feel, too.

BEST EYE CREAM Olay Eyes Ultimate Eye Cream, £24.99 From the subtle correcting tint to the silky, peptidepacked formula, here’s an eye cream that does everything you need, leaving the area smooth and refreshed. 







BEST TIME-S AVER Sanctuary Spa Wet Skin Moisture Miracle, £8 A practical product that does what it says on the tube – top-to-toe moisturisation with minimal effort.



Jen’s GLOW Ditch the sun, curb sugar and slather on serum, says Jennifer Aniston. Scarlett Russell takes beauty notes


ow do you begin a piece about Jennifer Aniston? I could start by listing her career achievements: she is one of Hollywood’s highest-paid actresses and spent a decade playing one-sixth of the most popular cast ever to appear on television. Then there’s her celebrity: at 48, she’s one of the mostphotographed women in the world, her personal life garnering as much fascination as her professional one. Today, though, I’m talking to Aniston about her lifestyle. Because who doesn’t want to know what the definitive California golden girl puts into her body and on her skin?

SHE CALLS ME AT 9AM LA TIME, FROM HER HOME IN BEL AIR. She has already been up for hours. “My morning

has been quite lovely, except we have a monstrosity of a home being built next door,” she starts. “Which is like a lot of ‘ga ga ga ga’ [she imitates a drilling sound], starting at 7am!” The ‘we’ Aniston is referring to is her and her husband of two years, the actor and screenwriter Justin Theroux (most recently seen in The Leftovers and one of the main voices for the new Lego movie). “It’s one way of making sure I get out of bed, anyway,” she adds. Once she’s up, it’s into the shower, “then I use my moisturising lotion all over when I’m still damp. It’s a great boost of hydration, especially while your skin is warm.” Aniston uses Aveeno – she’s the face of the skincare brand known for its soothing colloidal oatmeal-based moisturisers and lotions. She tells me she’s increasingly


“I’m trying not to sit in the SUN like I used to. It’s about KEEPING your skin HEALTHY”

BEAUTY aware of using natural products, and adopting a healthier approach to her diet. “I’m definitely strict about what goes into my body. I got rid of Sweet’N Low, Splenda... all those things we thought were good for us when we were getting rid of sugar. The thing that still needs to go is my Coffee-Mate creamer, but that’s my last guilty pleasure.” I want to ask if it’s her or Theroux who does the bulk of the cooking in their household, but suspect it’s the latter when she says, “I would love to really learn how to cook and prepare beautiful meals, I just don’t have the time.” She does, however, have one trick up her sleeve. “We call them cuppa eggs and they’re these little poached eggs. I put them in a to-go cup. I’m really good at quick, on-the-go types of food.”

best... Anistoninspired products

The actress’s bathroom cabinet could look something like this Dr Hauschka Regenerating Serum, £56 Aniston is said to like the Dr Hauschka range, and this is a bestseller



“a toner and some simple serums and some sort of a face cream. I slather on more of that in winter.” Does LA have winter? Aniston laughs. “I know, it drops a few degrees and we’re like, ‘Start the fires!’ There’s a difference in humidity and I notice my skin change, so I add more moisturiser in the colder months. In summer I usually don’t even use a face cream. It’s too much oil [for the heat].” She’s a big fan of serums year-round, though, and also swears by Aveeno’s SPF products. She keeps them “in my car, my purse, in my bathroom, by the pool, by my bedside.” She adds with a chuckle, “For the last six years I’ve been on sun probation.” The actress has often been photographed sunning herself by a pool in Mexico’s Cabo San Lucas, her yoga-honed body deeply bronzed, thanks to her Mediterranean roots (her father, actor John Aniston, is Greek). “I’m trying not to sit in the sun like I used to,” she sighs. “It’s not about ageing, as such, it’s more about keeping your skin healthy.” And what of that famous hair? First, it was ‘The Rachel’, a bed of layers trademarked from her character in the first two series of Friends, which she said recently “is never coming back”. She then became synonymous with luxuriously glossy, poker-straight hair. She says she always regrets a bob and has settled into a signature look that’s long, blonde and expensive-looking. “I love a blow-dry and have become pretty good at doing it myself. I let it dry naturally for a bit, then use my hands and only go in with my brushes when it’s almost dry.” She took a break this year from both making movies and her beloved exercise. “This has been my year of injuries. I screwed up my back a bit. But I’m getting back into it now. There’s a treadmill workout I do that’s just interval [training] for about 40 minutes and then I go into the gym and work out with my trainer. Then I do The Class, which is a whole other new thing that has become an obsession of mine. It’s a mind, body, soul sort of experience. And I do a combination of all kinds of yoga, mixed in with a little barre.”

Aveeno Daily Moisturizing Lotion, £7.35 The one Aniston gives to all her friends. Can be used on the face, too Mario Badescu Aloe Vera Toner, £15.50 This toner is full of natural ingredients

Balmain Paris Hair Couture Spa Brush, £40 Paddle brushes make light work of a simple DIY blow-dry

Aveeno Daily Moisturizing Yogurt Body Wash, £7.82 Aveeno’s newest range features lotions as well as this body wash

Heavens. But then you don’t look like Aniston by sitting around. Not that she would: she’s spent 2017 developing projects through her company Echo Films, as well as a television project with Reese Witherspoon. Expect one hell of a return in 2018: she’s filming a comedy musical, Dumplin’, and will star in a Liane Moriarty adaptation, What Alice Forgot. “I love what I’ve got on my plate at the moment,” she says. “It’s great, exciting, creative work. I can’t wait.” Neither can we.  Jennifer Aniston is the global brand ambassador for Aveeno


J F Lazartigue Soy Milk Strengthening Shampoo From a time-tested brand that’s much loved by beauty insiders, this gentle shampoo can be used every day without drying out hair. Its protein-rich formula is especially suited to delicate hair that needs a little TLC.


Argan+ Moroccan Spice Oil Infused Body Wash This cleansing gel is infused with skin-softening vitamin E and features an uplifting blend of ginger, pepper and cinnamon, making it the perfect addition to your winter beauty cabinet.


THE PERFECT GIFT OR TREAT THIS WINTER Chosen for you by Red’s beauty director, Annabel Meggeson, £152 worth of amazing products for ONLY £35

Balmi Super Cube Lip Balm in Mint Balmi’s moisturerich formula soothes and protects lips, while the conical applicator makes it easy to apply.


e’ve teamed up with Latest In Beauty for the second time to bring you an even better version of Red’s Beauty Box. This time the inspiration was a collection to see you beautifully and cosily through autumn/winter, but all 15 of the amazing products (nine of which are full size) have stood the test of time, and make a covetable, feelgood, look-good treat, whether for yourself or friends and family.

Kneipp Mineral Bath Salt in Balancing Lavender Kneipp makes some of the most therapeutic bath products, and this sachet of salts is the perfect addition to an end-of-day soak.

Jurlique Rose Moisture Plus Moisturising Cleanser This cleanser is popular for good reason – the creamy texture means you can really work it in, so skin feels stimulated; it dissolves dirt and leaves skin soft. Olverum Bath Oil This luxurious blend contains all the best oils, from warming eucalyptus to soothing geranium, and you only need half a capful per bath. As well as smelling wonderful it leaves skin soft and hydrated.


Soigné Nail Polish in Betteraves Rouge Red is the colour for A/W 17. This deep, sultry shade is the perfect accompaniment to your new-season wardrobe.

Margaret Dabbs Glass Nail File Nails are short this season, which means cuticle oil and a great nail file is all you need to keep your tips in shape. This glass file seals the keratin layers at the edge of the nail, preventing chipping.

BEAUTY The White Company Seychelles Hand & Nail Cream Cold weather and central heating are bad news for hands, but this tube makes light work of parched skin, leaving it soft, not at all sticky and lightly scented.

Sanctuary Spa Purifying Charcoal Bubble Sheet Mask The black shade and the way it bubbles on skin add some fun to your routine, but what we really love about this mask is the way it leaves skin feeling cleaner and brighter, but without the tightness of some cleansing products.

Dr Organic Rose Otto Facial Serum Renowned for its skin-supporting properties, rose otto oil has been used for centuries to keep skin clear and smooth. The addition of other high-quality oils, including calendula and jojoba, make this a hard-working anti-ager. The White Company Orange Grove Scented Candle Nothing says me-time quicker than lighting a candle. Orange Grove provides a juicy burst of sunshine at this chilly time of year.


Caudalie Vinoperfect Radiance Serum With summer a distant memory, now’s the time to tackle any pigmentation or dark spots, and Caudalie’s serum, with its high doses of antioxidants, will help brighten up your complexion.



ONLY £35 + Free P&P

Charles Worthington Moisture Seal Hair Healer Leave-in Conditioner For softer, smoother hair, run this oil-rich formula through the ends after you’ve washed it. It’s also great at protecting hair from heat when you’re styling.

Lipstick Queen Nothing But The Nudes Lipstick The rich texture of this lipstick delivers the perfect amount of pigment, with just the right level of sheen, for an effortlessly chic look. You will be sent one of three universally flattering shades.


No subscription to Latest In Beauty necessary. Offer available in the UK only, excluding the Channel Islands. For full terms & conditions visit



“We love our avocado, acai and quinoa, but don’t forget the skin-boosting superfoods that grow right here in the UK. Artichokes, linseeds, broccoli, pumpkin and oats are hugely nutritious and don’t need flying in.” Kim Pearson, nutritionist

Brock Collection A/W 17




Party-time palettes

Elizabeth Arden’s new at-counter facial is 15 minutes of intense massage using a super-stimulating roller that helps tighten and brighten skin. At £15, this could be an ideal quick fix for end-of-day complexions that still have an evening out to face.



It feels like Shiseido’s Waso range is having a moment. One friend, who knows her tinted moisturisers, says the Color Smart Day Moisturizer, (£32), is “SO good”. I love the Gentle Cleansing Gel (£24), while a colleague praises the Soft & Cushy Polisher (£24), for its gentle exfoliation.


Eyes bright: Bobbi Brown Caviar & Rubies Eyeshadow Palette, £56

Finishing touch: By Terry Preciosity Flashlight Dual Compact, £48

Brand love


It was beauty tips à go-go when Red invited Pixiwoo – beauty vlogging sisters Sam and Nic Chapman – to give a make-up masterclass during our SMART WOMEN WEEK. The three-concealer tip for under eyes sounded onerous, but it’s brilliant. The main thing being that illuminating Touche Éclat-style concealers should never be used on the whole area. Hear, hear. Instead, blend just a thin line of the stuff along the eye socket, where skin is most sunken and needs that bounce of light. Next, blend a creamy CONCEALER from the inner corner out, to provide natural-looking coverage (the girls mentioned Laura Mercier This month Secret Concealer, £21), then finish I have been… by patting on something hydrating RECOMMENDING to keep complexion dewy, not dry. Benefit The (They used NATURA BISSE Porefessional Pearl The Cure Sheer Eye, £100, but Primer, £26, to those who clear balm also works.) I’ve been like a bit of mattifying; copying Sam’s new way of doing KEEPING Kapuluan Coconut Oil, £15, to lips, too: “Just lip liner with balm hand for hydration on top.” Plus, she’s obsessed with top-ups (that smell is the new Dr Gross Alpha Beta good enough to eat); Universal Daily Peel (£15 for five). “It makes an instant, visible WONDERING if there’s a word for when you look difference to skin.” Sold.  five years older overnight.



Edited by PIP McCORMAC



The festive entertaining season is here, and having fun is something we take very seriously at Red. But because being the host with the most doesn’t always leave time for you to enjoy yourself, we’ve compiled 19 pages of the savviest shortcuts to ensure a joyful event all round. From cocktail recipes and sharing platters to table dressing essentials – all requiring minimum fuss – the party starts now. 



JOY ON every plate Come together and enjoy John Whaiteâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s no-fuss party favourites Photography NASSIMA ROTHACKER

A showstopping cheeseboard has never been easier 118 REDONLINE.CO.UK JANUARY 2018



athering together your favourite people to share good food and conversation is one of life’s pleasures but, says food writer John Whaite, informality is the key. He prefers platters laden with bite-size morsels, which are easy to assemble, and encourages everyone to dig in. Prepare ahead as much as possible and be realistic about how much you want to achieve – supplement crowdpleasing, home-made offerings with a beautifully curated cheeseboard, leaving you more time to enjoy the evening, away from the kitchen.

THE CHEESEBOARD Creating an impressive cheeseboard is simple. Just pick four or five cheeses of contrasting strengths and textures, and arrange with other delightful treats. The cheeses I always choose are Saint Agur or Roquefort, fairly strong and salty blues; Creamy Lancashire, a firm cheese, with a slightly crumbly creaminess; Époisses de Bourgogne, strong, slightly salty; and Chaource, which has a softness similar to Brie. When it comes to accompaniments, small, perfumed figs are a must, as are radishes and cornichon gherkins. Nuts are essential: sometimes pecans, sometimes walnuts, but mostly I like the sweet, toasted almond-extract flavour of Marcona almonds. And if my cheeseboard doesn’t contain charcuterie, I’m not happy; I like prosciutto, bresaola and a peppery sausage-style slice. Baby gem lettuce, black grapes and pear slices add colour, texture and refreshing variety. Sometimes I’ll serve great hunks of sourdough, or sometimes crackers – I like the Peter’s Yard Selection Box: the charcoal and rye sourdough crispbreads are the best.

Handful of Thai basil, finely chopped Lime wedges, to serve


When something is as small as this, the flavour must be intense – strong enough to make up for the wee portion size. The sauce in this recipe uses some powerful ingredients, but with the sweet flesh of the grilled prawns, its sticky kick is welcome.

1 Divide prawns between four wooden kebab sticks ready for dipping. Put the garlic, sriracha, soy, fish sauce, honey, lime juice and some of the chopped basil into a saucepan and mix together. Bring the mixture to the boil, stirring, and allow it to bubble and reduce by half. 2 Heat a large, dry frying pan over a high heat until very hot. While the pan heats, spread half the sauce over a small plate and set aside. Dip the skewered prawns into the remaining sauce or paint each one with sauce using a small pastry brush. 3 Fry the sauce-slicked prawn skewers in the pan for a minute per side, until the flesh is cooked through. Place the skewers on top of the sauce on the plate. Scatter over the remaining Thai basil and serve with lime wedges. »

MAKES: 4 PREPARATION TIME: 15 minutes COOKING TIME: 10 minutes ●

● ● ● ● ● ●

16 large, uncooked king prawns, peeled and de-veined 3 garlic cloves, minced 4 tbsp sriracha (hot chilli sauce) 1 tbsp light soy sauce 2 tsp fish sauce 4 tbsp runny honey 2 tbsp lime juice


To serve: ● Coriander leaves, roughly chopped ● 1 spring onion, very finely sliced

PORK POTSTICKER DUMPLINGS Potstickers are dumplings with crispy bases. They are fried briefly before and after steaming, which gives them their characteristic golden-brown bottoms.

MAKES: 16 PREPARATION TIME: 35 minutes, plus resting time COOKING TIME: 6 minutes For the dough: 100g high-gluten dumpling flour (or strong white bread flour would work) For the filling: ● 175g pork mince ● 1 spring onion, finely sliced ● 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda ● 1/2 tsp cornflour ● 2 tsp light soy sauce ● 2 tsp dark soy sauce ● 1 tsp toasted sesame oil ● Pinch of fine sea salt ● 1/2 tsp white pepper ● Sunflower oil, for greasing and frying For the sauce: ● 3 tbsp dark soy sauce ● 2 tbsp finely chopped red chilli or pre-chopped chilli from a jar ● 2 tbsp toasted sesame oil ●


1 For the dough, mix the flour with approximately 50ml of boiling water using a cutlery knife until you have a firm but soft dough – you may need to add a little more water if it’s dry, but this shouldn’t be wet or sticky. Knead for about two minutes, until smooth, then form into a ball. Cover with greased clingfilm and set aside to rest for about 20 minutes. 2 Stir together all of the filling ingredients in a bowl until evenly mixed. 3 Divide the dough into 16 equal portions. Lightly flour the worktop and roll out each portion to form a disc about 8cm in diameter. 4 Take a heaped teaspoon of the filling and put into the centre of each disc. Seal – you can twist the dough into little ‘money parcels’, which is easier, or pleat them: fold the dough over the filling to create a semi circle shape. Pinch the edge to seal, then pleat. Store uncooked dumplings on a well-greased tray covered with a clean, damp cloth – you don’t want them drying out. 5 Heat a little oil in a lidded frying pan over a medium-high heat. When the oil is hot, add the dumplings and fry until golden brown on the bottom – about two minutes. Pour in 50ml of water and cover with a lid. Steam, without lifting the lid, for three minutes, then uncover the pan and fry for a further minute to crisp up the bottom of the dumplings. 6 For the sauce, simply mix together the soy, chilli and sesame oil, and pour it into a shallow bowl. Place the dumplings around the sauce and scatter over the coriander and spring onion.

LIVING SCANDI SALMON PIZZA This is, in relative terms, a fairly wholesome, well-balanced pizza with a curiously refreshing flavour. The idea of Scandinavian food, for me, conjures images of lighter flavour combinations – that’s what this is all about.

MAKES: 6 slices PREPARATION TIME: 30 minutes, plus rising time COOKING TIME: 10 minutes For the dough: ● 120g strong white bread flour, plus extra for dusting ● 30g spelt flour ● 5g fast-action yeast ● 3g fine sea salt For the topping: ● 150g full-fat cream cheese ● 3 anchovies from a can or jar, roughly chopped ● 1 tbsp chopped chives

“A WHOLESOME, well-balanced PIZZA with a curiously REFRESHING flavour”

1 tbsp chopped fresh dill fronds, plus extra to serve ● Zest of 1/2 unwaxed lemon ● 1 tsp coarse black pepper ● 140g skinless salmon fillets, diced For the pickled cucumber: ● Juice of 1 lemon ● 1 tbsp cider vinegar ● 1 tbsp caster sugar ● 1 tsp fennel seeds ● 1 tbsp nonpareil capers ● 1/2 cucumber, very thinly sliced in to rounds ●

1 For the dough, put all the ingredients in a mixing bowl with 90ml of water and bring together, either with a wooden spoon or your hands, into a scraggy mass – you can also do this in a mixer fitted with a dough hook. Once the dough starts to come together, knead until very soft and elastic. Put the dough into a greased bowl, cover with clingfilm and leave to rise until doubled in size. 2 Meanwhile combine all the ingredients for the topping, except the salmon, until well mixed. 3 For the pickled cucumber, stir together the lemon juice, vinegar and sugar in a small bowl and add the fennel seeds, capers and cucumber slices. Mix well and leave to infuse. 4 Preheat the oven to 240°C/gas mark 9 and place a baking sheet or pizza stone into the oven to get hot. 5 Once the dough has doubled in size, dust a second baking sheet liberally with flour and roll out the dough to a disc about 23cm in diameter. Check the disc of dough isn’t stuck down to the baking sheet (give the sheet a quick jerk back and forward to ensure the disc moves freely on the flour). Spread the cream cheese mixture over the dough and scatter over the diced salmon. Slide the pizza off the cold baking sheet and on to the hot baking sheet in the oven. Bake for seven to 10 minutes until both base and salmon are cooked through. Scatter the pickled cucumber over the pizza just before serving. »


KOREAN BARBECUE POPCORN CHICKEN I think the secret to any fried chicken is garlic salt. As important is the batter – this version uses vodka and crushed crackers, which ensure a crispiness that is almost beyond belief.

SERVES: 4 PREPARATION TIME: 35 minutes COOKING TIME: 25 minutes For the barbecue sauce: • 40g unsalted butter


• • • • •

2 banana shallots, finely chopped 2 garlic cloves, minced 3 tbsp dark brown sugar 2 tbsp cider vinegar 3 tbsp gochujang (Korean chilli paste) • 100g tomato ketchup • 50ml apple juice • 1 tbsp light soy sauce • 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce For the batter: • 80g cornflour • 40g Jacob’s Cream Crackers, bashed to fine crumbs • 40g self-raising flour

LIVING 1 1/2 tsp garlic salt 220ml sparkling water ● 50ml vodka For the chicken: ● Sunflower oil, for deep-frying ● 75g cornflour ● 1/2 tsp garlic salt ● 1kg chicken breasts, cut into 2cm cubes To serve: ● 2 spring onions, finely sliced ● 2 tbsp white sesame seeds (optional) ● ●

1 First, make the barbecue sauce. Heat a saucepan over a medium-high heat and add the butter. As soon as it melts, add the shallots and fry, stirring occasionally, until softened but uncoloured. Add the garlic, sugar and vinegar and stir until well mixed, then add the remaining sauce ingredients and stir to combine. Bring to the boil, then remove from the heat and keep warm until needed. 2 For the batter, put the cornflour, cracker crumbs and flour into a mixing bowl along with the garlic salt and toss to combine well. Mix the water and vodka in a jug, then slowly pour the liquid into the dry ingredients while whisking constantly – it’s easier to get any lumps out while the batter is still a thick paste. Don’t add all of the liquid in one go – you want this to be a fairly loose batter, but not extremely watery. Set aside. 3 For the chicken, heat the oil in a deep-fat fryer to 180°C. Put the cornflour and garlic salt on to a plate and mix together. Toss the chicken in the cornflour mix, then dip some of the pieces in batter mixture. Fry for a few minutes until golden brown and very crispy – work in batches to avoid overcrowding the fryer. Transfer the chicken to a plate lined with kitchen paper to blot off the excess oil and keep warm while you cook the rest. 4 If the barbecue sauce has gone cold, quickly reheat it, and serve in a bowl with the fried chicken pieces piled around it. Finish by scattering over the spring onion slices and sesame seeds, if using.


omit that step; though if you’re pressed for time you could use a sachet of ready-cooked rice.

I like to think of these as an Eastern fajita, with the lettuce forming a lighter, refreshing version of the tortilla wrap. The crispy rice adds a wonderful texture, so I wouldn’t

SERVES: 4–6 PREPARATION TIME: 25 minutes, plus marinating time COOKING TIME: 20 minutes ●

600g beef skirt steak »


3 baby gem lettuces 2 tbsp sunflower oil ● 3 garlic cloves, finely sliced ● 30g fresh ginger, grated ● 1 large red chilli, finely chopped ● 60ml light soy sauce ● 3 tbsp hoisin sauce ● 60g dark brown muscovado sugar ● 6 spring onions, chopped into 2cm pieces For the marinade: ● 3 tbsp Shaoxing rice wine (or dry sherry) ● 3 tbsp cornflour ● 2 tbsp light soy sauce ● 1/4 tsp bicarbonate of soda For the crispy rice: ● 2 tbsp sunflower oil ● 250g cold, cooked rice ● 50g toasted sesame seeds ● Red chillies, sliced, to serve ● ●

1 Slice the steak into 1cm-thick strips, cutting against the grain of the meat. Mix together the marinade ingredients, add the beef and leave to marinate at room temperature for 30 minutes. 2 For the crispy rice, heat the oil in a large frying pan on a lowmedium heat. Add the rice to the pan and press down flat so it evenly coats the bottom of the pan. Leave the rice to cook, undisturbed, for five to eight minutes until a golden crust starts to form on the base. Then you can start to move the rice around, frying gently until it is golden and crispy throughout. Mix in the sesame seeds and some salt and set aside. 3 Separate the lettuce leaves – these form your individual ‘cups’ – give them a quick rinse if they’re at all grubby, then pat dry with kitchen paper. 4 When you’re ready to cook the beef, heat the oil in a large frying pan or wok until smoking – you must get the oil violently hot for a stir-fry, otherwise the meat will just become watery and tough. Brown the beef in the oil in batches – it will only take seconds to brown if the oil is hot enough. Use a slotted


“An Eastern FAJITA, with the lettuce forming a lighter, REFRESHING version of the TORTILLA” spoon to remove the beef and set aside on a plate. In the same hot oil fry the garlic, ginger and chilli for one minute until they start to brown, then add the soy, hoisin, sugar, and 60ml of water, stirring well to dissolve the sugar. Bring to the boil and boil until the mix has reduced and become syrupy – about three or four minutes. Return the beef to the pan and add the spring onions. Cook over a high heat for a further two minutes, ensuring the beef is evenly coated in the rich sticky sauce. Remove from the heat. 5 Assemble your lettuce cups by filling each with the sticky beef and spring onions and top with crispy sesame rice.

SAFFRON POACHED PEAR AND PISTACHIO TORTES This is an Eastern take on the classic pear frangipane tart. The pears are first poached in saffron syrup to give them a bright golden colour and gentle flavour, and pistachios are used instead of almonds. Ground pistachios are hard to come by, so I grind my own – just use a coffee grinder or a NutriBullet if you have one.

MAKES: 4 PREPARATION TIME: 30 minutes COOKING TIME: 55 minutes For the poached pears: ● 600g caster sugar ● Generous pinch of saffron strands ● 2 small Comice pears, peeled and cored, stalks intact For the pistachio torte: ● 70g ground pistachios

60g unsalted butter, softened 60g light brown muscovado sugar ● 1 large egg To finish: ● 4 tbsp apricot jam ● Pearl sugar, to sprinkle ● Chopped pistachios, to sprinkle ● ●

1 First, poach the pears. Put the sugar, 600ml of water and saffron into a saucepan and bring to the boil. Once the syrup is boiling, reduce to a brisk simmer and carefully drop in the pears. Cover the pan with a cartouche – a disc of baking paper with a small hole cut out from the centre. This will keep the pears submerged, so long as the cartouche is touching the surface of the syrup and has a little syrup on top to weigh it down. Poach the pears until they are easily pierced with a knife, but retain their shape – a good 15 to 20 minutes should do it. 2 Preheat the oven to 200°C/ gas mark 6. Grease four 9cm diameter fluted tart tins that are 2cm deep, and line the bases with baking paper. 3 For the pistachio torte, beat the ingredients together to a fairly smooth batter and divide between the prepared tins as evenly as possible. Cut each pear in half, trying as best you can to cut through the stalk, then fan each half – cut small slices from top to bottom, leaving a little flesh uncut at the top (the stalk end), enabling you to fan the slices open. Place each fanned pear half on top of a torte. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes until dark and crusty on top. 4 Meanwhile, heat the apricot jam and one tablespoon of water in a small pan until you have a runny glaze – if there are lumps of pulp, pass it through a fine sieve. Glaze each torte liberally as soon as they come out of the oven, then sprinkle over some pearl sugar and chopped pistachios.  Recipes taken from Comfort by John Whaite (Kyle Books, £19.99)

LIVING Saffron poached pear and pistachio tortes


LIVING Serving board, £28.95, Decorators

Platter, £69.95,

Serving dish, £35, Denby Napkins, £12.50 each, The Conran Shop


Made for

Cheese knife, £16.50, David Mellor


Bowls, £10.95 for a set of two,

Rustic bowls, marble platters and wooden boards mean the more, the merrier

Marble board, £32.95,

Bowl, £60, Pip Hartle at Toast

Plates, £10 each, Arran St East at

Bowl, £5.50, Design Vintage

Bowl, £8, Nom Living

Cake stand, £25, Habitat 



Serving board, £32,


Bird feeder, £16, Yellow Octopus

Succulent bowl, £24, Sweetpea & Willow


Sense And Sensibility by Jane Austen (A Great Read, £9.70)


Rose Petal & Prosecco Jam, £10, Fortnum & Mason

Treasure oil, £19, 1001 Remedies


ne evening, not so long ago, I was due to meet a friend for a gossipy dinner à deux when I received The Text. She had a better offer: a dinner party chez Nikki Tibbles, of Wild At Heart floristry fame. All was not lost, however, for I was invited, too. I was excited; then the worry set in. What on earth do you take someone like that as a hostess gift? As a guest, gifting is a conundrum. Flowers were once standard, but as Lucy Hume, associate editor of etiquette guide Debrett’s points out, stems will mean your host has to “arrange them in a vase when they will already be busy preparing food or greeting other people”. Wine seems unwise, too – we know what we like and tend to stick to it; turning up with a random bottle seems a bit student party BYOB. Scented candles are lovely but the good ones are expensive, and that seemingly leaves little else. The trick? Try to think personally – either something you know the host will like specifically, or that will remind them of you. For Nikki, also the founder of Wild At Heart Foundation, a charity dedicated to helping animals in need around the world, I snapped up some biodegradable dog-poo bags. True, they’re not for everyone, so I’ve asked some tastemakers what they would suggest and have included some ideas of my own. For the record, Nikki could not have been more effervescently appreciative because, she told me, they were meaningful. And we all know it’s the thought that counts.

Salsa bowl, £11.50, Petersham Nurseries

Bottle opener, £19, Joanna Wood

SOLANGE AZAGURY- PA RTRIDGE, jewellery designer “I take a bowl or vase, something solid rather than ephemeral. I pop into an antique or junk shop. It costs the same as flowers but is more memorable.” J E N N Y H A LP E RN P RI N C E, CEO of Halpern PR and founder of Access Aspiration for Mayors Fund for London “Personalisation shows you thought about it, such as cakes that spell the host’s name. Also, potted plants last longer than flowers.” N I K K I T I B B LE S, florist and founder of Wild At Heart and the Wild At Heart Card Foundation “I like to take something game, home-made, such as chutney or jam.” £10, The JA N E A DA M S, founder of Author School Interiors “One of my favourite things to Of Life take to health-fanatic friends is a jar of bee pollen; for others I might bake a fruit loaf and give it with some loose-leaf tea.” TA N YA LI N G, illustrator “Lately I’ve been taking a pineapple because it looks sculptural, and always seems to cause delight. It’s also a sign of friendship.” S U S A N B E N D E R , stylist “I usually bring a food item I’m sure everyone will like. Olive oil in beautiful packaging always goes down well.” ALISON LOEHNIS, president of Net-A-Porter Group Washing “If the host is a reader then I love to give up liquid, a book – the staff recommendations at £10, Tom Daunt Books are always spot on.” Dixon at FAYE M C LEO D, visual creative Liberty director of Louis Vuitton “The School Of Life’s 100 Questions Find our best festive card game gets conversations going.”  canapé recipes at REDONLINE.CO.UK

Candles, £35 for six, Matilda Goad



What could be better than a baked chocolate treat? One with an extra-gooey surprise in the middleâ&#x20AC;¦


PEANUT BUTTER LAVA POTS Dig through the baked crust to find melted coffee-flavoured chocolate with a nutty twist

SERVES: 8 READY IN: 40 minutes PRICE PER SERVING: 46p ● ● ●

115g butter 100g dark brown sugar 100g dark chocolate

● ● ● ● ●

50ml strong coffee 2 eggs 70g self-raising flour 20g cocoa powder 4 tbsp peanut butter

1 Preheat the oven to 180°C/160°C fan/gas mark 4. Put the butter, brown sugar, chocolate and coffee into a pan. Heat gently for three to four minutes, stirring constantly, until melted and glossy. Transfer to a bowl and leave to cool for 10 minutes.

2 Add the eggs to the slightly cooled mixture and beat in. Stir through the flour and cocoa powder. 3 Divide three-quarters of the chocolate batter between four ramekins. Add one tablespoon of peanut butter to each, then top with the remaining batter. 4 Bake for 12-13 minutes, until the tops are risen and cracked but a skewer inserted comes out covered in batter. Each pot serves two as an indulgent treat. »


NUTELLA CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES Soft, chewy biscuits with a gooey Nutella centre – heaven!

MAKES: 12 READY IN: 50 minutes, plus cooling PRICE PER SERVING: 21p ● ● ● ● ● ●

125g softened butter 110g soft light brown sugar 1 egg 230g self-raising flour 100g dark chocolate chips 6 tsp Nutella

1 Preheat the oven to 180°C/ 160°C fan/gas mark 4. Line two

baking trays with baking paper. 2 Blitz the butter and sugar in a food processor or beat well by hand until light and fluffy. Add the egg to the mixture and blitz or beat until smooth, then fold in the flour. Stir in the chocolate chips. 3 Divide the dough into 12. Take a piece and flatten in your hand. Put half a teaspoon of Nutella in the centre, bring the sides up and pinch closed. Put on a baking tray, and flatten slightly. Repeat with the

remaining dough, leaving at least 5cm between each cookie. Put in the freezer for 20 minutes to help the cookies keep their shape. 4 Bake for 10-12 minutes until just firm on top. Leave for one to two minutes on the trays, then carefully transfer to a wire rack to cool. These can be stored in an airtight container for up to three days.

RASPBERRY MELTING-MIDDLE PUDDINGS Dark chocolate and tangy berries make a dessert dream team

SERVES: 8 READY IN: 40 minutes PRICE PER SERVING: 80p ● ●

● ● ● ● ●

2 tbsp cocoa powder 115g butter, plus extra for greasing 90g caster sugar 100g dark chocolate 150g raspberries 2 eggs 70g self-raising flour

1 Grease four individual pudding moulds with butter. Tip the cocoa powder into the first mould, then rotate it at an angle until the inside is evenly covered in cocoa. Pour the excess into the next mould and repeat until all four moulds are lined. 2 Preheat the oven to 180°C/ 160°C fan/gas mark 4. Put the

butter, caster sugar and dark chocolate in a pan on a very low heat for three to four minutes, until the chocolate has melted and the mixture is glossy. Transfer to a bowl and leave for 10 minutes to cool. 3 Meanwhile, roughly chop a quarter of the raspberries and set aside. 4 Add the eggs to the slightly cooled chocolate mixture and, using an electric hand whisk, beat for three to four minutes. Gently fold in the flour. 5 Divide three-quarters of the mixture between the moulds, then add one teaspoon of chopped raspberries into the centre of each. Top up each mould with the remaining chocolate. 6 Bake for 12 minutes, until the tops of the puddings are dry and just firm, but a skewer inserted comes out covered in batter.

Selected stores only, subject to availability. Minimum spend will apply online. 40p bag charge and delivery charge may apply online

7 Cool in the moulds slightly, then use a knife to gently release the edges. Turn out onto plates and garnish with the remaining raspberries – each pudding serves two as an indulgent treat.

FREE MAGAZINE IN STORE NOW Find easy family recipes, interior ideas, style inspiration and much more…


The ‘no-cook’ party feast Do you relish a soirée, but not the stress? Lucy Carr-Ellison, co-founder of caterers to the stars Tart London, celebrates the art of chic, simple eats


arty planning invariably starts with an overexcited conversation with friends over a glass of something delicious. Before you know it, everyone from your best friend to your boss’s cousin’s new boyfriend has been invited to the event. But after the initial thrills, it dawns on you that you have to actually throw said party. You wistfully think that you’d rather be invited to someone else’s party of the year. If you have a healthy budget and time, then putting on a lavish party with vintage Champagne and a banquet of food is magnificent, but for most of us this is not an option (especially at this time of year). Tart London’s co-founder, Jemima Jones, and I frequently organise memorable parties with minimal budgets and time – and you can, too. The best parties are thrown by laid-back hosts; there’s nothing worse than a party with a stressed-out host chained to the kitchen, and we’re not all natural cooks. You also want to enjoy the night. How? By keeping the food and drink simple and easy.


Three of my favourite bruschettas


FIRST, DECIDE ON A THEME. We tend to go down the Italian route for pared-back, high-quality produce; think a hunk of cheese, charcuterie, bowls of juicy olives (try the Nocellara variety) and plates of colourful bruschetta á la River Café. Pick up a few sourdough loaves and choose three bruschetta flavours – making sure each is different in colour and texture – and prep toppings in advance. It could be as simple as a good-quality olive tapenade that you already have in the cupboard. If you have cash to splash, Natoora ( does wonderful cured meats, cheeses and vegetables. But Mexican is our big favourite right

now – the tasty flavours and punchy colours are perfect for a party. Our all-time favourite to make is tostadas: be creative with toppings. We love chopping up raw tuna and serving it with mango salsa and spicy mayo made from blitzed ancho chillies and lime. Or buy a less commonly used cut of meat, such as beef cheeks, and slow cook them with spices until they fall apart (okay, this is supposed to be ‘no cook’, but this is just popping a dish in the oven for a few hours). Serve with tomato salsa and crumbled feta. Of course, you can steer clear of the kitchen and still dazzle with your spread. Choose an unexpected takeaway, such as dim sum, or an authentic Indian; decant Keralan spicy fish curry, tarka dahl, garlic naans, lamb rogan josh, spinach and basmati rice into colourful sharing bowls. For drinks, mix up one knockout cocktail, and buy wine from Ohsomm ( – you can personalise your bottles at no extra cost. Neglect aesthetics at your peril. Mix random crockery, glasses, different Thinly slice sourdough, griddle on coloured fabrics and candles – and, both sides, drizzle with goodquality olive oil and a pinch of sea if you have time, go to a flower salt, then top with the following: market. Simple white flowers in small glasses dotted down the table 1) Crab, sliced fennel, look beautiful. Pick greenery from lemon zest, chilli and basil your garden, too: Jemima and 2) Tomato and chilli chutney (or I recently used overgrown ivy from any good chutney you’ve got in a client’s garden to create beautiful the fridge), avocado, goats’ table decorations speckled with fairy cheese, pine nuts and a drizzle lights. Don’t forget to curate a playlist. of olive oil Put music on half an hour before 3) Rocket, buffalo mozzarella, roasted red grapes (roast them in guests arrive, open a decent bottle a hot oven with a dash of olive oil and have a great pair of heels on – by and some thyme for 15 minutes), the time your guests arrive, you’ll be chilli, basil and truffle oil in flying spirits. And always leave the washing up for the next day. 


Placemat, £14; napkin, £10, both Chilewich. Plate, £15; bowl, £12; cutlery, £120 for a 24-piece set, all A by Amara. Napkin ring, £50 for two, Joanna Buchanan. Baubles, from a selection. All items available at

Bauble, £2.50, Homebase Bar tray, £39.50, Marks & Spencer

Napkins, £16 for four, John Lewis

Serving spoons, £36, Anthropologie


Cutlery, £24.99 for a 16-piece set, Argos

Dressed to IMPRESS

Tumbler, £7.99, Zara Home

Burnished gold and a hint of blush ensure your festive table is full of lustre and joy

Wine glass, £7.99, Zara Home

Candle holder, £19.95, The Hambledon at Trouva. com Bowl, £12, A by Amara at


Tray, £48, House Doctor at

Tealight holders, £18 for three, Debenhams

Vase, £75, Habitat

Tray, £25, Next  Runner, £35, Marks & Spencer

Find the best easy dinner party recipes at REDONLINE.CO.UK


Be bold and try a glass of something different


COCKTAIL HOUR Step away from the Prosecco and give your party some festive ï¬&#x201A;air with these exciting new blends Photographs PAUL WINCH-FURNESS




erve a selection of long drinks (gentler on your guests than their shorter counterparts) and mix unexpected flavours such as Pimm’s and ginger ale, or garnish with bay leaves and frozen berries. These recipes from Fever-Tree: The Art Of Mixing are guaranteed to get every recipient into a celebratory mood.

RUBY WINTER CUP (left) This cocktail is a wintry version of a Pimm’s Cup. It’s really simple, and the warmth of the ginger ale helps to add a seasonal element to the drink. We use Ron Zacapa, which is a premium rum from Guatemala. The quality of the rum is all-important, as this is the key ingredient in the cocktail.

SERVES 1 40ml dark rum 4tsp Pimm’s No. 1 Cup ● 120ml ginger ale To garnish ● Choose from cinnamon, star anise, mint leaves, cloves, orange zest, redcurrants, icing sugar ● ●

Pour all the ingredients into a wine glass over ice cubes. Garnish lavishly with seasonal winter ingredients.

QUIYAYA Party essentials

Tell guests if it’s glamorous or informal so they can dress the part DRINKS Allow 1-2 drinks per person per hour and bear in mind the length of the party. Provide mocktails for drivers and friends who don’t drink. GLASSES You can hire glasses from supermarkets and off-licences. CANAPÉS Cater accordingly by allowing 4-5 canapés each for a two-hour gathering and 10 per head for a longer party.

The idea behind this cocktail came from Chile. From the Atacama Desert in the north of the country, to the vast expanse of Patagonia in the south, the indigenous plants and flowers have helped to shape its cuisine and can be found in many dishes and drinks. Here, ulmo honey, Chilean papaya and the malva leaf create a unique drink that really epitomises Chile. Of course, there’s also a good splash of pisco.


70ml Pisco Waqar D.O.

● ● ●

● ● ●

20ml ulmo or other honey 20ml fresh papaya juice 200ml elderflower tonic water To garnish: 1 malva leaf, or any edible decorative leaf (optional) 1 star anise Fresh ginger slice Chilean papaya slice, or regular papaya

Pour the ingredients into a rocks glass (short tumbler) filled with ice cubes. Stir gently, then garnish with an edible leaf, if using, star anise, fresh ginger and a papaya slice. »


DUCKY SPRITZ Vodka and lemon are natural partners, while the sauvignon blanc and elderflower tonic add sweetness and lightness.

SERVES 1 ● ● ● ●

● ●

50ml vodka 20ml fresh lemon juice 50ml sauvignon blanc Elderflower tonic water, to top up To garnish: Lemon and orange slices Assorted berries

Pour the ingredients in order into a large Burgundy glass over ice. Garnish with citrus slices or berries – or both.

BEES JEEVES, BEES! (far right) This gin cocktail is light, but still heavy enough to feel like a real drink.

SERVES 1 ● ● ● ●

● ●

20ml set natural honey 2tsp hot water 30ml fresh lemon juice 2tsp green or yellow Chartreuse 40ml gin 1 dash of Angostura orange bitters Sicilian lemonade, to top up

Stir the honey with the hot water until completely dissolved. Pour all the ingredients, except the lemonade, into a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake, then strain into a highball glass filled with ice cubes. Top up with the lemonade.


LIVING DESIRE LAMP The base for this cocktail is vodka with added lemon juice and St-Germain – the lemon juice adds a sour note and the elderflower liqueur picks up the floral flavour.

SERVES 1 ● ● ●

50ml vodka 200ml elderflower tonic water 15ml fresh lemon juice

5ml St-Germain elderflower liqueur To garnish: Lemon verbena sprig or a twist of lemon peel

Shake all the ingredients in a cocktail shaker. Strain into a tall glass over ice and garnish with a sprig of lemon verbena or a twist of lemon peel. »


FALSO SPRITZ This is a take on the classic Venetian cocktail called the Spritz. It’s been adapted to include some typical ingredients from Peru, the star being Pisco Torontel – the brandy produced from the Torontel grape.


● ●

● ●

45ml Pisco Torontel, or other pisco 30ml Aperol 45ml fresh grapefruit juice Elderflower tonic water, to top up To garnish: Basil sprig Twist of grapefruit peel

Pour all the ingredients, except the tonic water, into a chilled tumbler, or highball glass, over ice. Top up with the tonic water to taste and garnish with a basil sprig and twist of grapefruit peel.



EL BURRO CATALAN This version of the classic Moscow Mule has been given a Catalan twist. Sherry gives it a lovely dry finish, while the spice in the ginger beer wakes up and readies the palate.

SERVES 1 ● ● ● ● ● ● ●

● ●

50ml vodka 25ml Manzanilla sherry 1tbsp cranberry juice 1tbsp natural cane sugar 1tbsp fresh lemon juice 2 dashes of Angostura bitters 75ml ginger beer To garnish: Twist of lemon peel Dried or fresh cranberries

Pour all the ingredients, except the ginger beer, into a cocktail shaker and shake. Double-strain into a copper mug over crushed ice, then add the ginger beer and top up with pebble ice cubes or more crushed ice. Twist the lemon peel over the drink to release the oils. Add two short straws and garnish with skewered cranberries wrapped with the expressed lemon peel.

GINGER FIZZ This cocktail has a distinct ginger flavour – its inspiration comes from the classic Singapore Sling.

SERVES 1 ● ● ● ● ●

● ●

50ml gin 2tsp cherry liqueur 30ml fresh lime juice 60ml pineapple juice 50ml ginger beer To garnish: Fresh ginger fan Fresh cherry

Add all the ingredients, except the ginger beer, to a cocktail shaker. Fill it with ice cubes and shake vigorously. Add the ginger beer to the shaker and stir. Strain the drink into a tall glass and add crushed ice. To garnish, skewer 4 slices of ginger on a cocktail stick and spread the slices into a fan shape. Add a fresh cherry.  Recipes taken from Fever-Tree: The Art Of Mixing (Mitchell Beazley, £15)


LIVING Corkscrew (part of a set), £25, Kelly Hoppen Umbrellas, £11 for 40,

Kitsch umbrellas are back – and so Instagramable

Plate, £6.99, H&M

Cocktail glasses, £40 for a set of four, LSA International

Ice scoop, £30, Julia Knight at

Mixing glass, £14.40,

Drink stirrer, £3.50, West Elm


Cocktail shaker, £85, Soho Home

Mix it UP

Shake up your party cocktails with these stylish buys for the bar Wine glass, £3.50, Sainsbury’s Home


Glass, £6, Zara Home Flute, £2, Talking tables. Ice bucket, £179, Michael Aram

Champagne bucket, £95, The White Company  Straws, £4.95,

Tongs, £16.50, Robert Welch at John Lewis





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MAKING memories Some trips are so extraordinarily transformative, they stay with you forever. These are our most cherished travels from 2017 »

Mount Fuji has long been a magnet for those in search of tranquillity


Best for adventure JAPAN


Sarah at the torii gate on the island of Miyajima (above); Mount Fuji (below); the 16th-century Himeji Castle (right)

ome trips will always be more than the sum of their parts. Although it must be said that the parts that made up this particular adventure travelling through Japan with my eldest son – from the sublime beauty of Kyoto to the Blade Runneresque sensory overload of Tokyo – were pretty damn fine indeed. Harry, my 10-year-old, and I have long dreamt of visiting Japan – our shared love of Studio Ghibli movies, my fierce passion for Comme des Garçons and his Pokémon obsession have all fuelled the desire. But, as with all the best life-changing travel, what we actually experienced was much more inspiring, more genuinely ‘other’ than anything we might have imagined... We are drowsy with jet lag (London to Osaka, by way of Dubai, is quite the haul) when we are launched into the first leg of our adventure, quite literally. A zigzagging boat ride along the Hozu River to the Arashiyama/Sagano area west of Kyoto is our initiation into the vast, majestic Japanese landscape. Kyoto is the cultural heart of Japan and we are here to visit the zen Buddhist Tenryuji temple and take in the hushed majesty of Arashiyama’s bamboo groves. It is July and the air is heavy and damp with steamy humidity. Despite the heat, many of the Japanese tourists are dressed in traditional flowersplashed kimonos and bandage-tight obi belts, gliding about like extras in Memoirs Of A Geisha. The thrum of the city’s downtown has its own enticing and unfamiliar pleasures, with labyrinthine corridors of cool retail


and cafés. Hidden in the vast malls beneath Kyoto station, we marvel at a bookstore with shelves upon shelves dedicated to cat magazines amid the Manga comics, and exquisite patisserie shops with perfectly dressed women taking matcha tea and nibbling Mont Blanc pastries. Off the main shopping street Shijo, we browse the pungent stalls of the covered Nishiki Market (octopus lollipop, anyone?). Nearby in Wak Japan, a traditional timbered house where travellers can sample a Japanese tea ceremony, Harry participates in a cooking lesson, learning to master obanzai, the traditional (almost vegetarian) home-style cuisine of Kyoto. As he stirs a spoonful of sweet mirin into his omelette mixture, the notion of ‘eating the seasons’ is explained (ginger rice for summer months, mushroom rice for autumn). “Itadakimasu,” (the equivalent of grace). Although my natural travel default is to wander, this is the joy of an organised tour. Almost every beat of our adventure is cleverly curated to pack in the big wow experiences, including a samurai sword lesson in costume, no less. And to give full credit to our kind and knowledgeable guide Ayaka, there is somehow always time to pause and contemplate and feel the distance travelled. Luggage packed and sent ahead by bullet train to Hiroshima, we stop off at Himeji to see the famous 16th-century white castle. Reputed to be the most beautiful in all Japan, it looks like an eagle. My stomach clenches a little as we approach Hiroshima – how will I feel looking at the ruined skeleton of the Atomic Bomb Dome that withstood the nuclear bomb blast of 1945? In fact, visiting the Peace Memorial Museum and Park, where school children lay wreaths of paper cranes, is as serene as it is moving, and it stays in our thoughts on the rest of our trek. My favourite day trip is to the island of Miyajima in Hiroshima Bay. A giant torii gate in vivid vermilion ‘floats’ in the sea, announcing that this is, as some believe quite literally,

Sarah with son Harry after a samurai sword lesson; in the magnificent bamboo groves of Arashiyama


the island of the gods. Densely populated with exquisite shrines and wild-roaming deer that steal sandwiches – all shrouded in mist – the atmosphere is unexpected and otherworldly. Amid the yammer of tourist emporia, we find a pared-back coffee shop, straight out of the pages of Monocle magazine, serving drip coffee and one menu item only: gorgeously wrapped, light-as-air choux buns filled with cream, lightly scented with orange. Food of the gods indeed. Another day, another bullet train, this time to Hakone mountains, land of volcanic lakes, forest-bathing and – on a clear day – views of Mount Fuji. The dazzling natural beauty and proximity to Tokyo mean this has been a haven for the stressed-out and those seeking serenity for decades. We hike along the old Hakone road, where Samurai once marched from Kyoto to Tokyo, trying not to slip on the wraith-like tree roots; the summer humidity and volcanic fumes render the event slightly hallucinatory. In our guest house, there are traditional futons, tatami mats and paper screens, and the dress code is yukata robes. Harry and I get to stew in the on-site onsens (natural hot springs). Mood: total chill-out. From the calm of the countryside (by bullet train once more) to the sensory assault of Tokyo, where as many as 2,500 people traverse the road at Shibuya crossing at one time (gliding by each other as if in some futuristic ballet); where the Asahi beer company has a skyscraper in

the shape of a beer glass (designed by Philippe Starck, of course); where you can have a cup of matcha tea and a bolt of superfast wi-fi in an owl café (yes, in the company of actual owls). There are Lost In Translation pinch-me moments aplenty, but like any vast city, Tokyo is full of contrasts and contradictions. We have to grip hands through the chaos of the Harajuku district (think Carnaby Street to the power of 1,000, with pink-haired teenage girls in mini kilts everywhere). But then the laid-back Yanesen neighbourhood where Harry and I take a calligraphy class feels positively village-like by comparison. From the designer shopping streets of Aoyama (the Prada Herzog & de Meuron building is a must), we drift into the zen garden of the Nezu Museum (a 1941 modernist architectural gem housing a collection of ancient Japanese artefacts). It is dizzying, dazzling and almost impossible to digest. On our last night, a slight earthquake tremor rocks our hotel room (it’s normal, apparently). Awake, I wander to the hotel coin laundry (again, it’s normal; the humidity means everyone is constantly doing laundry), where I meet an American mum who has saved up to take her teenage son on a similar trek to ours. It’s not cheap, we agree, but as a once-in-alifetime adventure with a companion whose imagination is already ignited by Japanese culture, it is more rewarding than either of us could have hoped. And now, weeks later, I’m still processing the magical otherness of the experience. Harry has scrapbooked some of the photos of our adventures, and as I leaf through the pages, I wonder: was that really us? Did we slip through a paper screen into the land of floating dreams? SARAH BAILEY »

Vibrant Tokyo; Harry turns his hand to calligraphy; one of Miyajima’s myriad shrines (below)

Trip notes

From £4,099pp for a 13-day Group Adventure, including all flights, hotels, transfers and Japan Railpass;




Villa Koutami offers spectacular views (top); sun-soaked decks and alfresco dining at the club

n leaving Zakynthos Airport, head north for about 40 kilometres, then turn right, says the handwritten map, sent out to every guest at The Peligoni Club. Unnerving in its simplicity – the kind of map you might scrawl for a friend on the back of an envelope – it is, in fact, bang on. And this casual missive sets the tone for the next seven days. Peligoni is a holiday clubhouse of sorts. Hugging the rocks on the northern coast of the island of Zakynthos, it’s a beautiful jumble of bars, sundecks and eating spots, all built and painted by the staff at the start of each summer season in their signature shades of brilliant white, ‘Armani beige’, and cornflower blue (chosen because it fades softly in the Greek sun). Alongside these you’ll find a swimming pool, spa, crèche and kids’ club. Guests stay in Peligoni-approved villas in the nearby hills and coastline, and are encouraged to visit the club as much or as little as they want. Our villa, Koutami, is a new addition, enthusiastically recommended to us as it’s ‘great for kids’ (we’ve brought friends along, so between us have four of them aged between two and seven). They’re right – although our newly built pad might not have as much Greek charm and architectural quirkiness as some of the other villas I’ve drooled over on the resort’s website, it’s brilliantly set up for young families, with a baby pool attached to the main one, a swing in the garden and buckets and spades. It also has stunning view across the hills and down to the ocean, and already has our order from the local deli stacked in the fridge by the time we arrive. But back to Peligoni, which is impossible to resist (it’s boggling to me that anyone would choose not to come here every day). It has Insta-perfect décor – from the giant day beds shaded with rattan canopies to the

tiered beach café with ocean views – with olive trees, bougainvillea and lemon bushes tucked in between. Yet it also manages to exude a super-low-key, sandy feet, easy breezy mentality. You can roll up for bacon and avocado on toast if you didn’t make it for breakfast in your villa; there’s a blackboard listing the ever-changing activities of the day; you can borrow a paddleboard without signing up in advance; and weekly barbecues are a family affair of giant Greek salads and griddled lamb chops. In the midst of all this, there’s the Peligoni Kids Club – run by London entertainers Sharky & George – and this is perhaps the jewel in the resort’s crown. Kids can drop in and collect a wristband, stay for a few hours and then find their parents (staff are on hand to track down sunbathing adults). But the crew running the clubhouse are so wonderful, fun and filled with adventure that it’s us dragging the kids away. With pizza parties, water fights and treasure hunts on a real pirate ship, every day offers something more exciting than the last. And for our littlest, who has just turned two, so isn’t quite old enough to join the high jinks, there’s a crèche with one-on-one childcare and lots of sun-dappled outside space to toddle about in. There is so much on offer at Peligoni, from sunset hikes in the hills to a visit to the nearby shipwreck at Navagio beach or a trip on the Odyssey, a vintage wooden yacht captained by Ben, the eldest son of the ‘Peligoni’ family. We do – and love – it all. I’ve never been on a holiday before that so perfectly caters to every member of our family, or one that leaves us so happy. On our last day, I ask my five-year-old, Coco – who’s wearing an oversize Peligoni staff T-shirt, gifted to her by one of the Sharky & George team, over her skinny brown legs – what she thought of our stay. “Epic,” she answers. I couldn’t agree more. SARAH TOMCZAK

Trip notes

Sarah (below left) with family and friends; Coco sporting the Peglioni Club T-shirt

From £3,000, based on 10 sharing, for a one-week stay at Villa Koutami;, 0208 740 3001. Club membership costs from £980, based on a family of four in high season. Flights from London Stansted to Zakynthos cost from £136pp return with Easyjet;

ESCAPES Laid-back luxury rules at the Peligoni Club, which bills itself as “a barefootstyle boutique beach club”

WHAT TO PACK Bikini, £250, Eres at Shorts, £500, Chloé at

Sandals, £140, Mephisto Top, £16 Next Earrings, £125, Atelier Swarovski by Christopher Kane

Jeans, £165, Madewell at

Watch, £47.50, Swatch

Sandals, £60, Geox »



Blakes’ façade hints at the grandeur beyond, which includes the courtyard garden designed by Matthew Williamson (below)

Tucked away in a leafy nook of London’s South Kensington, Blakes – one of the world’s original boutique hotels – is the capital’s chicest secret bolthole, an esoteric escape for those truly in the know. The vision of interiors guru Anouska Hempel, Blakes was created in 1978 and has oozed easy glamour and warm hospitality ever since. There are 45 rooms, but the real gem is the first-floor restaurant. All black walls, gold accents and a roaring fireplace, it’s the place for long, languorous dinners on winter nights. The food is contemporary and Mediterraneaninfluenced – black cod with courgette flower and miso, whole wild sea bass for two, and lobster paccheri pasta with cherry tomatoes and garlic all feature on the menu – and desserts are made for sharing (caramel and coconut soufflé for four, anyone?). After dinner, head downstairs to Blakes Below, where drinks flow, the lights are low and in-house DJs spin the decks. CYAN TURAN

Trip notes

From £363 per night for a double room;



Best for bed and breakfast THE NED, CITY OF LONDON Standing in the middle of The Ned’s cavernous vaulted ground floor can feel like being at the centre of the universe. Or at least at the very heart of the London scene right now. A partnership between Soho House and Sydell Group, it’s a bank-turned-hotel/members’ club/spa/zeitgeist. It’s grand and beautiful, the décor as if #InteriorsInspo has come to life. The vibe is English country house (velvet armchairs, stone floors) meets New York glamour (gilt, polish, class). It holds – deep breath – nine restaurants, one rooftop terrace with views of St Paul’s and the City, two pools (one on that roof), a huge gym, a Cowshed spa and 252 bedrooms straddling 12 sophisticated floors. As with anything brushed with the Soho House association, the design is spot-on. My ‘Cosy bedroom’ was small but perfectly formed – a high bed with puffed-up pillows by Tielle Love Luxury, walnut and plaid, brass and wall lights. But food is key here, too – breakfast highlights include the Californianinspired Malibu Kitchen, with its satisfying smoothies and bulging Buddha bowls, and Millie’s Lounge, a British-style brasserie serving avocado as plump as my bed was with pillows. Book a room at The Ned and you can be down in The Vault bar as long as you like, swim in the pool, hear some live jazz, spot London’s most party-pageready people. It’s hard not to feel like you’ve made it when you book into The Ned. It’s that sort of place. PIP MCCORMAC

Trip notes

From £290 per room per night, including breakfast;

The Ned, once a Midland Bank, offers magnificent City views and grand interiors

Best for tea THE MARYLEBONE, MARYLEBONE Black truffle sausage rolls, smoked salmon on Guinness bread, peanut butter brownies with caramel and praline dulce de leche mousse. This is not just afternoon tea – this is The Marylebone afternoon tea. In fact, the only thing it shares with more conventional offerings is the warm buttermilk scones, served with Devonshire clotted cream and homemade jam. Yet where other boutique hotels might stray too far into the experimental, The Elegant Marylebone’s superpower is that its afternoon tea tea – just like its décor – is both classic at The and modern. Marylebone; When you happen upon this spot, in an the enchanted Courtyard (top Edwardian townhouse behind the bustle of and below) Oxford Street, you’ll enter 108 Pantry via its own front door and chequerboard tiled steps. Inside, the walls are pistachio, ruby and turmeric, velvet banquettes hug the edges and the marble countertop is piled high with homemade treats. If you explore a little farther (or have a big party to accommodate), you’ll find the Rooms – a series of interconnecting spaces with a private members’ club feel, where you can while away the entire afternoon. Our favourite spot, however, is The Courtyard, which has a retractable roof for sunny days (and an open fire for grey ones) and ivy on the walls. It’s a magical spot to take friends or family, or just treat yourself. SARAH TOMCZAK »

Trip notes

Afternoon tea from £32 per person; Doylecollection. com/hotels/the-marylebone-hotel



The hotel’s vibrant exterior (above); the pool ‘by the light of the moon’ (below)

open-plan kitchen and dining area so we can stay in and cook. Not that we wanted to, though. The food at the Owl and the Pussycat is fresh and delicious and not to be missed, from Sri Lankan favourites like coconut sambal curry to European-influenced dishes (and I was close to selling my soul for another scoop of their coconut ice cream). Every sundown, an antipasti table is set up for guests to help themselves, while laid-back but attentive staff serve the local signature cocktail – Arak sours. One morning, head chef Anthony D’Costa, who trained under Gordon Ramsay, takes us on an inspiring tour of the local food markets where he sources most of the ingredients for the kitchen. Back at the hotel, he transforms them into a mouthwatering meal that includes deep-fried lotus roots and spiced mango salad with wilted ginger-infused greens. The stay recharged my batteries to 100%. I had arrived in Sri Lanka after two months travelling around India. Being forced to slow down, with little to think about other than food and SPF, I was able to take stock of my adventures and let their mind-opening, soul-nourishing effects sink in. LAUREN T FRANKS 

Trip notes

From £235 for a double room, including breakfast; Direct flights from London Heathrow to Colombo with SriLankan Airlines; The hotel is 2.5 hours by car from Colombo; private transfers can be arranged.


Ocean views; local dishes and drinks star on the menu; the beach shack (below)



hen we arrive at the Owl and the Pussycat on a balmy 30-degree Tuesday in March and see the peaceful pool set against a turquoise-sea backdrop and flanked by an open-air dining area, my best friend and I know we’ve come to the right place to relax. Everything we need to wind down is easily within reach of the small but exquisite plot on the south coast of the island, with sunrise yoga sessions on the lawn and a massage area overlooking the beach. If we need respite from the sun, we can head indoors to the drawing room for a pedicure, browse the library or watch the hotel’s only TV. But the emphasis here is really on what goes on outside. The 17-suite boutique hotel is made up of four brightly painted blocks, with flowers cascading down the walls, set around a lush garden; at the centre lies a warm saltwater pool that glows with twinkling lights at night. The Owl And The Pussy-cat theme runs throughout the hotel in decorative touches, and each room takes its name from a line in Edward Lear’s poem. Our room, Hand in Hand – a huge ground-floor suite with two seated terraces looking out over the pool area – is full of Anthropologie-esque details, such as colourful graphic floor tiles, quilted bed throws and handmade wicker baskets for laundry and knick-knacks. There are postcards in the room, laid out ready to write, books on Sri Lankan architecture and a lemongrass room spray in the bathroom that I still covet. The overall feel is unpretentious, quirky and the right kind of homely. There’s even an


Kick back and enjoy the poolside luxury of the Owl And The Pussycat, with its graphic ï¬&#x201A;oor tiles and wicker chairs




STEP 1 Lift your left leg up, knee locked, and stretch your right arm forward, palm facing in, elbow locked, arm level with your head. Hold for 45 seconds and repeat on the other side. EXERCISE

STE P 2 From all fours, bend your left knee in and bring your head to your knee while you exhale.

WAKE UP & stretch How to kick-start your body each morning – no coffee required

Bring purpose to the start of your day with a spinal balance. Founder of Fierce Grace Yoga Studio, Michele Pernetta, says, “It will help tone your abs, buttocks and pelvic floor muscles, strengthen your back and improve balance.” 


STEP 3 Inhale while you stretch your leg back and up, arch your spine and look up. Exhale, tuck and round spine, head to knee. Repeat five times. To finish, lift your right arm and come back to the spine balance. Repeat for right leg.




HOW TO BE PERFECTLY IMPERFECT Don’t let perfection be the enemy of a healthy and happy 2018. Instead, anti-guru and bestselling author Sarah Knight suggests we make this the year to get stuff wrong


s a recovering perfectionist, I speak from a break – until your body stages a feverish, mucus-filled experience when I say: you need to cut revolt – is nobody’s idea of a joyeux Noël. yourself some slack. Or, someday, you’re Unfortunately, I didn’t take that lesson to heart until likely to ruin Christmas. much more recently. Barely a term into my first year of For a long time – more than 30 years, in fact – I pursued university, I got sick. It started as a common cold and perfection like storm chasers pursue tornadoes, heedless grew into a sinus infection. Despite my burning forehead of the risks to my own wellbeing. As illustrated by the and throbbing glands, I soldiered on, showing up for previous anecdote, this is an imperfect way to live. every class, doing all the reading and turning my papers It’s also pointless. in on time. I was convinced that if I pushed harder and First, because it’s so damn hard to achieve true longer and deeper into my own personal plague, I would perfection anyway. You can study, strive and develop emerge on the other side with perfect marks at one a goiter, an ulcer, a migraine, or a rosy ribbon of of the country’s premier universities, just like hives across your mid-section, but none of that I had at my tiny high school in my tiny necessarily ensures that you’ll manage to do “For a long home town. (That may have been the the thing you’re suffering for ‘perfectly’. time I pursued fever talking.) Did I get all of those perfect marks PERFECTION So I kept pushing. I set my alarm for I was after? Of course not. That was early morning and studied late into the never a realistic goal. Even an Olympic like storm night. And I got sicker and sicker. gymnast who dedicates their life to chasers PURSUE scoring a fabled perfect 10 is unlikely to Within a couple of weeks, I was flat on tornadoes” my back in my single dormitory bed with a get one. So where does that leave the rest golf ball-sized lump in my neck, my new of us? (Hive-ridden and self-flagellating with college friends stopping by with cheap orange juice a tube of cortisone cream, probably.) and worried looks in their eyes. I fell behind in my work This trend continued into my working life. As a book and saw those perfect marks slipping away, which helped editor, it was my job to find authors’ mistakes and neither my mental state nor my physical one. correct them. But I never found them all. Inevitably, a I went home for the holiday break, where I lay on my book I’d been slaving over for two or three years would back some more until I felt well enough to rejoin the arrive on the shelves, and the emails from well-meaning living. (My relatives had to pretend they weren’t looking readers who “just wanted to make sure we knew about at my neck bulge. It wasn’t pretty.) that typo on page 110” would arrive in my inbox. Each one felt like a gross personal failure, and added another hive to my growing collection. Beyond that, a yen for overachieving set me up for That convalescence taught me something far more a double burn when I underperformed. For every exam I valuable than I would glean from any textbook for the did manage to ace, or book I sent into the world mistakeremainder of my university career: clinging tightly to free, there were three more that left me lying awake at the highest standards and never, ever giving yourself night, cataloguing my failures like a farmer assessing »

Screw perfect


SELF a flock of substandard sheep. As I said before, that’s no way to live.

Alter expectations

You could be one of those women I mentioned, struggling not only to manage your own home and work life but the lives of your partner and kids. The emotional labour of parenting is hard enough without doing any of it ‘perfectly’. If you’re feeling overwhelmed (and, consequently, like a failure), the flaw in this scenario is not that you’re not up to the task(s); it’s that there are far too many of them for one person to realistically handle. And if the root cause is too many family members creating too many to-do items, use their numbers to your advantage and ask them to pitch in. Rather than martyr yourself to the cause, recruit reinforcements. (I mean, I folded laundry when I was seven years old; surely your kids can do it, too.)

Although I may be an extreme case of ‘natural-born’ perfectionist, we’re all under the same cultural attack, perpetuated by formidable outside forces like capitalism, the media and Instagram. Brides, for example, are subjected to constant pressure to achieve the perfect wedding, the perfect body or the perfect roast chicken to impress their in-laws. “Instead of But, inevitably, the florist will bungle the working toward order, the monthly bloat will win out and an IMPOSSIBLE the oven will be too hot. What then? standard, I’ll tell you what: disappointment, shame, anxiety and dry chicken. work toward And that outcome isn’t limited to HAPPINESS” once-in-a-lifetime pressures like weddings. Headlines touting ‘perfect’ abs and bikini Let’s say that you’re slightly obsessed with bodies are omnipresent. Women are confronted projecting a ‘perfect’ life on social media. It’s daily by advertisements showing ‘perfect’ families that understandable – being bombarded with filtered, seem to outpace their own in terms of tidiness, healthy cropped, cleverly captioned images of everybody else’s eating and hygiene. Even the challenge of finding the lives (including celebrities with personal trainers and ‘perfect’ gift for someone you love can feel like a make-up artists and nannies on call) is liable to create struggle rather than a fun afternoon of shopping. a complex in even the most easy-going Instagrammer. Whether in school, at work or in relationships, there But there are two sides to every aspirational coin: are no winners in the race toward perfection – just a lot perfect and relatable. If you care about amassing likes of people who did everything as best they could and still and followers, you stand to gather just as many – if not usually wish they’d achieved better results. more – by sharing, commiserating and joking about your And that’s mostly because society says they could imperfect life. Authenticity is charming! Plus, it’ll save have or should have done better. you time and energy agonising over the best angles. Well, short of moving to a deserted island with no Finally, perhaps you love to entertain but hate feeling wi-fi or phone signal, you’re unlikely to escape those deflated like a prematurely collapsed soufflé when your formidable outside forces I mentioned. Which means meals don’t match up to the light, fluffy, melt-in-theit’s up to you to break the cycle for yourself. mouth ideal? Don’t let that discourage you from hosting You can start by making 2018 your year of imperfection: supper parties in 2018. Embrace your strengths – even applauding your efforts instead of decrying your results; if it’s just one signature dish – and spend this year accepting yourself for who you are, not who you – or discovering the best pre-made desserts your local deli other people – think you’re supposed to be. And instead has to offer. The goal is to have fun and send your of working toward an impossible standard, work toward friends home sated. happiness. (Which is a better outcome anyway.) So what if you’re not much of a baker? The most delicious peanut butter cookie I’ve ever tasted comes wrapped in cellophane from a grocery store in Brooklyn. It may sound daunting but eschewing perfection and the Perfection is a myth. Chasing it will leave you depleted pressures thereof is actually fairly easy with a practice and, more often than not, disappointed. that I call ‘mental redecorating’ – which is basically feng Accepting your imperfections and working around shui with a side of ‘F**k that sh*t!’ them is a much more productive use of your time and Mental redecorating is all about identifying your flaws energy. And if you can ‘perfect’ that skill, you’ll be in and then refreshing the way you look at or deal with mighty good shape by the time next Christmas rolls them. Like its ancient Chinese cousin, it helps you take around. I know I will.  You Do You: how to be who you are and use what you’ve things that are working against you and reorient them so got to get what you want (Quercus, £12.99) they work for you – without much effort at all.


Be authentic

Rethink your flaws




Forget abstinence and deprivation, mindfulness gives you the freedom to enjoy alcohol on your terms, says Rosamund Dean 160 REDONLINE.CO.UK JANUARY 2018



magine there was a product guaranteed to make you anxiety. Think of the real reason that daily glass happier, calmer and more confident. Not only that, it of wine has become a habit. will make you thinner and healthier, and give you We use alcohol to manage everything from social better skin. You’d buy it, right? You’d probably be anxiety to work stress. A glass of wine may have long prepared to pay quite a lot for it. Then imagine it been your anxiety off-switch because it slows down would actually save you money. If you drink more alcohol your brain, which in turn numbs negative thoughts. than you should (and British people drank an enamelBut regular drinking interferes with neurotransmitters dissolving 40 million litres of Prosecco in 2016), then the and lowers the level of serotonin in our brains, making magic solution is simply to drink a bit less. This is where the situation worse, which is why you wake up with mindful drinking – which is essentially training yourself raging ‘hangxiety’. to drink in moderation – comes in. “Alcohol is the socially acceptable coping mechanism,” I know what you’re thinking: “Yeah, but that’s says Laura Willoughby, co-founder of mindful drinking impossible with my social life/work culture/Tinder dates/ movement Club Soda. “When you use it to cope with stressful job/bonding with ‘mum friends’/appreciation of work or boredom or stress or bad relationships, the a cold G&T” (delete as appropriate). But between work hardest part of changing your drinking becomes the fact events and wine at home, and that you have to cope with all of cocktails with friends and Sundays in those things now.” “Alcohol is the the pub, you could easily be drinking The answer is, rather than numbing socially acceptable double the recommended limit of uncomfortable feelings with alcohol, MECHANISM to cope to acknowledge and accept them. 14 units a week, which is bad news for your body and mind. This is where mindfulness is key, with boredom You don’t have to give up drinking because it’s all about awareness. or stress or bad altogether, but wouldn’t it be great to Remember, mindful drinking is not RELATIONSHIPS” wake up clear-headed because you about deprivation. It’s about freedom. were able to resist that third glass of I say cheers to that. wine the night before? Moderation might sound PRACTISE MINDFUL LIVING deceptively simple, but it’s really far more complicated Any activity that requires focus and than abstinence because, after one or two drinks, your awareness is an act of mindfulness. Some willpower and decision-making skills go out the window. people enjoy reading, gardening, playing Lasting change is particularly challenging, since an instrument or doing one of those moderation requires constant awareness of your grown-up colouring books. Cooking a meal, having behaviour and decisions. One of the most common a bath or going for a run can all be mindful, as long reasons for drinking too much is doing so without really as you focus singularly on what you’re doing. thinking about it – accepting a glass of wine because Alternatively, you can simply look for moments each everyone else is having one, or pouring yourself a drink day to increase awareness. For instance, on the train, at home every night purely out of habit. take a few minutes to concentrate on your breath, rather MINDFUL DRINKING IS EXACTLY WHAT IT SOUNDS than idly scrolling through Facebook. Or when you’re LIKE. It’s the opposite of drinking without thinking. walking to the office, ditch your headphones and really Dr Sunjeev Kamboj, deputy director of the Clinical pay attention to how you’re feeling, noticing things like Psychopharmacology Unit at University College London tension in your shoulders. (UCL), oversaw a study that found just an 11-minute Living more mindfully might bring up difficult meditation recording helped heavy drinkers significantly emotions. You might notice the anxiety or the anger reduce their alcohol intake. “It’s encouraging that such a that you had been trying to suppress. But negative brief set of instructions can have a measurable effect on feelings are nothing to be afraid of. They’re part of life consumption,” says Kamboj. “Mindfulness can shift and ignoring them doesn’t make them go away – it people’s drinking habits and kick-start a process of simply makes them fester. Once you acknowledge change.” If meditation doesn’t work for you (indeed, whatever it is that’s making you feel anxious, you can I never felt I had the time – or the patience – to sit around confront it head-on and assess the situation rationally. and think about nothing), there are some other ways to It’s rarely as bad as you imagined. find your way to mindful drinking, outlined here. If the idea of being mindful makes you feel silly, Once you’ve got the hang of mindful awareness, then think of it in another way. Psychotherapist Tina you will be able to use it to identify the real reasons Gilbertson calls it ‘constructive wallowing’, and why you drink, making it easier to decide when to do so. weight-loss expert Louise Parker calls it ‘taking a brain Whether you’re a weekend binge drinker or a habitual nap’. Whatever you want to call it, simply becoming more daily drinker, at the root of almost all over-drinking is aware of your feelings makes step 2 significantly easier. »





Drinking mindfully equals better choices, says Rosamund

ways to distract yourself will help you break the habit of regularly opening a bottle of wine at home. And the more alcohol-free days you can clock up each week, the more you can choose to enjoy those occasions when you do drink.

Often, all it takes to rob a craving of its power is simply to acknowledge it. Like a soap bubble: as soon as you touch it, it pops. Paying mindful attention to your emotions can really DRINK help you avoid stressMINDFULLY drinking that white wine. And I’m not just Ask yourself, “Why do talking about alcohol. In I want a glass of wine?” fact, practising mindful Are you anxious, stressed, drinking with a drink bored, tired, angry or that isn’t alcohol is lonely? If so, you know hugely effective in that drinking won’t help. changing the way you Instead, once you’ve drink overall. Rohan acknowledged how you feel, Gunatillake, author of you can decide to talk to Modern Mindfulness, your partner/flatmate/mum suggests a ritualised about it, then go to bed early “Having ways to coffee meditation in which you with a good book or podcast. distract yourself will mindfully spend five minutes with Being aware of your feelings helps your drink. “Really notice your you choose the option where you help you break the coffee: the colour of it, the flavour, wake up refreshed, rather than the one HABIT of regularly the heat. Focus only on your coffee. where you drink the wine and fall opening a bottle of Make it special,” he says. “Doing this asleep in front of Gogglebox. There’s WINE at home” with a drink that isn’t alcohol takes nothing wrong with cravings, and you the pressure off, and then you’ll be can’t get rid of them, but you can imprinted when you do drink alcohol.” change the way you respond to them. It doesn’t have to be coffee – you can practise this with Of course, if you’re feeling festive and happy, then go for it! A clear way of looking at this is to decide if you’re going any soft drink. Then, when you do decide to have that alcoholic drink, you’ll be able to fully appreciate every sip to look back on this drink with joy or regret. If it’s joy, then and won’t mindlessly throw back more than you intended. have that drink – just be sure to enjoy it mindfully (more on that in step 4). If it’s regret, then you need something to MONITOR YOUR PROGRESS short-circuit that craving, which is where step 3 will help. Research has shown that monitoring habits PLAN SOME DRINK-FREE helps improve them. This is why people who DISTRACTIONS want to lose weight are advised to keep a food Once you’ve identified that you want to drink diary, or those who want to save money should to numb a negative emotion, then you can stop keep a record of their spending. “Monitoring or reflecting the craving with a distraction. “It’s what we call dealing on your drinking can encourage you to moderate it,” says with discomfort, or surfing the urge,” says Willoughby. David Crane of UCL’s Department of Behavioural “Your brain is like a petulant child. It will say, ‘I’ve had Science and Health. “Most people have a sense in their a hard day so I deserve it’, and another part of your brain mind of what an acceptable level of drinking is, and they will say, ‘But your goal is to be alcohol-free today’, and may be unconscious to that most of the time, so what it will escalate: ‘But I really want one!’ So you need to self-monitoring does is bring that to consciousness.” break that internal dialogue very quickly with a strategy.” Ultimately, it all comes back to awareness. Being It could be running around the block, having a bath or mindful of how much you’re drinking, and why, will a snack, calling a friend, watching a beauty tutorial on make better choices happen naturally.  Mindful Drinking: How Cutting Down Can Change Your YouTube, dancing around your kitchen to Carly Rae Life by Rosamund Dean is published on 28th December Jepsen (just me?)… Find what works for you and make (Trapeze, £12.99) a list that you can refer to when that craving hits. Having


WAYS 10 to win the HEALTH


It’s pretty much peak cold and flu season, but there are ways to put the shivering, aching misery on hold


veryone in the office has come down with it, and now you can feel the telltale cold-y signs: scratchy throat, bunged-up nose and throbbing head. It’s no secret that you need to drink plenty of fluids, keep warm and take painkillers, but there are countless other ways you can minimise the duration and severity of your symptoms – while protecting those around you, too. Welcome to your cold and flu survival guide. KEEP IT TO YOURSELF

Although you don’t have to go into complete quarantine (socially isolated people actually report worse cold symptoms), try to minimise physical contact with family and friends. Bed (or sofa) rest helps your body heal, but also keeps the virus trapped in one room, so make sure you have your own towel and even reserve your own spot on the sofa. Remember cough etiquette, too. Covering your mouth and nose blocks transmission of the flu virus, which otherwise hangs in the air, infecting people up to a metre away. Cough or sneeze into a tissue (or in an emergency, your elbow) then bin it and wash your hands. If someone you know goes down with flu, they’ll be infectious for around five days, 10 in the case of children. If you’re nursing a sick child, put their chin on your shoulder so you’re not in the line of fire when they cough. POP A PROBIOTIC

You may struggle to see the gut-cold connection but 70% of your immune system resides in the gut, so supporting this with good bacteria is essential. Take a good-quality daily live bacteria supplement, such as Bio-Kult, to aid healthy digestion and support your immune function. VITAMIN C IS YOUR FRIEND

Research has shown that taking a vitamin C supplement can shorten the duration of colds by


up to 8% (14% in children), as well as reduce their severity. Vitamin C gets washed out of the body very quickly, so a supplement helps maintain levels while you recover. DISINFECT, DISINFECT, DISINFECT!

The flu virus can survive for 24 hours on hard surfaces. Use antibacterial wipes and sprays on the areas you use frequently, such as your desk and telephone. If you go to meetings, try using your right hand for shaking and your left hand for any food on offer. Wash your hands whenever you can, or make your own hand sanitiser by adding a few drops of antimicrobial essential oils such as clove, sage, rosemary, cinnamon, thyme or oregano to aloe vera gel. You can store it in a mini plastic bottle and keep it in your handbag so you can top up before your morning commute. CHICKEN SOUP FOR THE SOUL

This cure-for-everything isn’t just a myth. Many of the ingredients are genuinely cold-busting, according to Dale Pinnock, author of Medicinal Cookery. Make sure you fill your soup with these health-boosting essentials: ● Chicken thighs. They contain protein – the building block of infectionfighting immune cells – plus zinc, which is proven to reduce the severity and length of colds. ● Garlic. “As garlic’s essential oils move through your respiratory tract, they mop up cold viruses and help to eliminate them,” explains Pinnock. This is because garlic contains the compound allicin, which has antibacterial and antiviral properties. ● Butternut squash. This hearty root vegetable is packed

SELF with anti-inflammatory beta-carotene, which can help to relieve a blocked nose. ● Shiitake mushrooms. “These have been used as a tonic for the immune system for centuries in Asia,” says Pinnock. This is because of their complex sugars, which can boost the body’s levels of white blood cells. ● Fresh green chillies. “These can work as a nasal decongestant,” says Pinnock. “They act as a mild irritant to the sensitive nasal membranes, helping to dislodge any thick mucus.”



Whether you take them in tablet form or add them to a mug of tea, herbs are great for the symptoms of cold and flu, according to medical herbalist Stephanie Caley. But do check they don’t interact with any prescribed drugs you are also taking. Try these: ● Echinacea. “It doesn’t have antiviral properties as such,” Caley explains, “but it stimulates an immune response and can raise the body’s white blood cell count, helping to fight off cold viruses.” Echinacea is best taken at the onset of a cold. ● Liquorice root. Its soothing and anti-inflammatory properties can help to relieve a sore throat. “This herb is also used as an expectorant, helping to expel mucus and calm a cough,” says Caley. ● Thyme. “This readily available herb can also help to calm a cough,” says Caley. ● Elderflower and elderberry. “The flowers help to get rid of catarrh and the berries are naturally rich in vitamin C,” Caley explains. Try Sambucol Black Elderberry Liquid Immuno Forte, £9.49 for 120ml, available at Boots. ● Ashwagandha. This is a favourite among herbalists for those recovering from illness, so it is best used after a cold. “It’s an adaptogen herb, which means it helps the body adapt to stressors and raises energy levels,” Caley

says. In Ayurveda, the powder is normally taken with milk to boost the herb’s health benefits. TRY AROMATHERAPY

Run a relaxing bath and add clearing, decongesting oils, or put a few drops on your tissues. “Choose eucalyptus oil for its antibacterial properties and lavender, which reduces inflammation and soreness,” suggests Margo Marrone, founder of The Organic Pharmacy. “Another good one is tea tree,” she says. “It is antifungal and antibacterial so is excellent for reducing sinus infections.” GET A FLU JAB

With worries that the current spike in Australian flu cases may be mirrored here, it makes sense to get vaccinated. If you’re not eligible for an NHS jab (over-65s, pregnant women or those with medical conditions that put them at risk), it costs just £12.99 at Boots. The vaccine will reduce your chance of getting flu by between 20% and 60%; it varies because the virus is constantly mutating. LOOK BUT DON’T TOUCH

Cold and flu viruses often sneak into the body through the eyes, nose and mouth, so avoid rubbing your eyes and try not to touch your face too much, particularly if you haven’t washed your hands. DOWN A WINTER SMOOTHIE

Smoothies aren’t just for the summer months – fill your blender with carrots, ginger, turmeric and a pinch of black pepper. Carrots are rich in beta-carotene, which the body turns into vitamin A, a powerful antioxidant that helps prevent infections, and carotenoids, which help protect cells and boost the immune system. Ginger is healing for the throat, while turmeric is a natural anti-inflammatory and black pepper is thought to increase the absorption of turmeric into the body.  Visit and Caleys for more info

IS IT A COLD OR THE FLU? Flu is just a bad cold, right? (And don’t even get us started on man flu.) The truth is they are different and flu is much more severe. “Similar symptoms do include a sore throat, a blocked or runny nose, sneezing, coughing and headaches,” explains NetDoctor pharmacist Rita Ghelani. “But flu can include a sudden fever, muscle aches and pains,

sweating and exhaustion.” If you’re in any doubt, take your temperature. It usually zooms to 38°C or more, which doesn’t happen with a heavy cold. And if you were all right yesterday, but today you couldn’t get out of bed to pick up a £20 note (the test doctors use) then it’s flu, and may require a visit to your GP. For more stay-well advice, visit




Living with misophonia – the intense fight-or-flight reaction to sensory triggers – has been fraught for Sonya Patel Ellis, but she’s determined to find the virtues within Photography CARMEL KING


t’s just after 6pm on a Friday night, somewhere around the beginning of 1998. I’m chained to the rhythm of rush hour at Charing Cross station – a naïve yet quietly ambitious, 24-year-old intern caught in a shoal of commuters, all itching to get home. But while my fellow travellers are searching for an unoccupied space, I’m surreptitiously scouring every inch of train for the ultimate enemy – chewing gum – and it’s evil compadre, the crisp packet. Just as I think I’m in the clear, ‘a chewer’ gets on, and to my horror the last dregs of battery power drain from my Walkman. With enviable insouciance, he begins to casually extract a sliver of putty-coloured Wrigley’s Spearmint from its arrowed packet. My heart begins to race. I tap frantically on the play button. The last few notes of The Verve’s Bitter Sweet Symphony whirr into the abyss. I’m trapped. The chewer then takes what seems like forever to unfurl the outer paper wrapper and inner shiny silver. The sound is deafening – to me at least – and I start to grimace. The minty smell is so strong that I’m literally holding my breath to stop inhaling its sickly vapours. The scent makes the sound and visions even louder. I can describe every detail of the chewer’s interactions with his gum, yet I’m not even looking at him. I have my right ear jammed against the cold white plastic moulding of the train, long hair covering my eyes and a well-trained finger pushed hard into my left ear as covertly as I can. I’m ‘seeing with my ears’, involuntarily visualising the moment that the chewer rolls his gum into a little ball;


the searing act of putting it into his mouth; the saliva kicking in; the sticky wad of chewing gum being moved from side to side by the action of his tongue. At this point my muscles have clenched to what feels like the point of no return. My shoulders have risen so high they’re literally attached to my ears. I can only imagine the chaos that my chakras are in. Internally I feel seismically out of control. Externally I’m doing everything I can to stay cool and not be found out. I’M TORN BETWEEN VISIONS OF JUMPING OUT OF THE WINDOW OR RIPPING THE GUM OUT OF THE POOR MAN’S MOUTH. Fortunately, neither of these

options is viable. An agonising 15 minutes later I arrive at Greenwich station, where a friend is waiting to hit the pub. “How was your journey,” she asks. “Bloody chewing-gum phobia,” I say with a well-practised laugh. Sharing the moment helps me wind back down. Humour gives me the chance to own my ‘phobia’ again. My daily existence has been peppered with such moments since my mid-teens, when my ‘chewing-gum phobia’ first kicked in – a typical onset age I have since found out. That’s 30 years of recurrent fight-or-flight induced by a range of sensory triggers: the crunch of apples; strange hands delving into crisp packets; spoons clacking on shiny cereal bowls; the dreaded monotony

SELF of a ticking clock; or the robotic swipe-tap of an iPhone – the surround-sound trigger of the decade.

my strange behaviour. She sent me a link to misophonia UK ( I cried for 24 hours straight. My ‘chewing-gum phobia’ was validated, my ‘attentionIT HAD ALSO TAKEN ITS TOLL ON MY NEAREST AND seeking’ (in this case at least) refuted. There was a DEAREST, especially some of my closest family and method to my ‘madness’. I was not alone. friends who, upsettingly, seemed to trigger some of my At some point during that game-changing day, I also strongest reactions. While preparing for the birth of my began to well up with an enormous sense of pride. I had first child, I was more anxious about the delivery survived to tell the tale. I had managed to keep room ticking clock and the endless stream of relationships intact, to become a writer, to “I was more gum-chewing nurses than I was about labour travel the world, share houses, have fun, ANXIOUS about marry a lovely man (one who didn’t chew pains or giving birth. Thank goodness, then, for the relaxing effect of gas and air the delivery room gum, obviously) and start a family. and my even keener urge to push. TICKING clock SINCE THEN, I HAVE DONE EXTENSIVE There was a watershed moment, than I was about RESEARCH, devouring the symptoms and however, the day that I learned that my triggers on support websites and forums, ‘phobia’ was an actual condition that came giving birth” and taken something different from experts with forums of fellow sufferers and several I have spoken to and their approaches – CBT, dedicated associations to misophonia. The term, relaxation techniques and even the possibility of first coined in 2000 by US professor Dr Pawel using hypnotherapy. I have realised that, rather than Jastreboff, translates as a ‘hatred of sound’. Today, attempting to isolate myself to avoid my misophonia Dr Tom Dozier, founder of the Misophonia Institute triggers, I sometimes need to embrace them. And ( suggests that it has come to when I feel more relaxed, thanks to physical exercise or encompass a range of triggers including sound, repetitive better sleep, I am more able to deal with my symptoms. movements and smell. I wholeheartedly agree. Ultimately, there is no cure yet for misophonia, but I have Unfortunately, I was a little late to the party and only found a way to live with my ‘phobia’ and, actually, owning happened upon misophonia in 2013 thanks to a chance my fear has made me a stronger person in the process. Google by my mum, still desperate to find a reason for

Living with misophonia – what has helped me through STAYING HEALTHY My


misophonia raged during my late teens and early twenties, probably due to burning the candle at both ends. At 44 years of age, it’s much better with a relatively healthier lifestyle. Running in nature brings me immense peace.

I make the most of helpful gadgets for my condition – you can try noisereduction headphones to white-noise machines. I still travel everywhere with my ‘Walkman’, albeit slightly updated for the times. Music stimulates those happy hormones.

RELAXING Dr Tom Dozier, founder of the Misophonia Institute, interprets misophonia as an involuntary physical reflex – muscle clenching for instance – to a range of sensory triggers that then set off an emotional response. Cycles of behaviour can then build up over many years. Relaxation techniques such as meditation and yoga can help.

Sukhbinder Kumar at Newcastle University, which proved that the neurological and emotional controls of people with misophonia are indeed going into overdrive. Keeping abreast of the latest research might lead you to the treatment you need. SPEAKING UP Sharing


I’m reading Dr Dozier’s book Understanding and Overcoming Misophonia: A Conditioned Aversive Reflex Disorder (2017) and have visited hypnotherapist Chris Pearson (Chrispearson. who has had some success treating misophonia. Future therapies may also stem from a 2017 study by Dr

can lighten your load. On rare occasions, I have asked if someone minds not chewing gum while we’re together. The response has always been positive. Most people want to help or are intrigued by the condition. If not, then you can politely walk away. ADDING HUMOUR

Not only does laughing

release feelgood endorphins, presenting your fears to others with a side order of humour can make it easier for people to sympathise. BEING GRATEFUL My

inner optimist can’t help thinking that – without a cure currently – it’s my responsibility to find the silver linings. Enhanced empathy, resilience and my own brand of dry, self-deprecating humour wouldn’t have been so honed if I hadn’t had to make light of a condition that’s pretty intangible for those who don’t suffer from it. Against all the odds, misophonia is helping to shape the person I am, hopefully for the better. 



A reader is worried about her son’s bizarre eating habits. Help him practise collaboration, says Philippa Perry, psychotherapist and Red’s agony aunt Photography CAMERON MCNEE

My four-year-old son is a bright little boy who has a weird relationship with food. He eats about 10 things – none of them meals – and refuses anything new, no matter whether it’s a food other children see as treats, or if there’s an incentive such as a reward sticker. I put something that is not part of his repertoire on his plate every meal time, but he often gets distressed until it is removed. The paediatric nutritionist who saw our son said he was healthy and growing, but I am at a loss to know how to help him eat in a more socially normal way. My husband, parents and I try to stay nonchalant in front of him, but actually we are anxious about his failure to progress in this area. Name and address withheld Your son is healthy and growing so this is good, but he is a faddy eater, and this is normal for kids. My own daughter went through a year of eating only raw cabbage, pastrami and crisps until she got very hungry

when we went abroad, and started to copy us eating mussels and oysters. These things tend to happen, especially if we not only act cool, but actually are cool about our children’s eccentric choices. As we mature, we all pick up skills: problem solving, an ability to deal with frustration and flexibility. Some we learn sooner, some later. Einstein did not speak until he was four, some of us are chattering away at one. Some kids pick up reading really quickly, I couldn’t read until I was 10. It seems your son is later than most – but not all – kids at learning flexibility around what he eats. I am not a fan of sticker charts. They are too much about a parent trying to control a child, and I know that when someone is manipulating me, I tend to get more stubborn. The important thing between you and your son is not his faddy diet, it is your relationship. This is


Do you have a question or a dilemma that Philippa can answer? It could be about your relationships, at work or home, your ambition, confidence or career, your partner or child, motherhood, siblings, parents or friends. Email her in confidence at therapy@redmagazine. Read all Philippa’s past columns at


a relationship that he will use for support his whole life, so put aside tactics and tricks, and think about your son’s eating as something to do with his relationships, rather than something wrong with him. When you’re a kid you have fewer choices than when you are an adult. Someone is controlling everything: big things like where you live and who with, and smaller things like bedtime. When kids don’t feel they have enough autonomy, they become more controlling to get equilibrium. About the only thing they can control is what they swallow. So rather than focusing on what he’s putting in his mouth, pull the focus right out, look at his whole life and where he could exercise more free will – when does he get to negotiate, collaborate and call the shots? – because we all need to feel that we are making a difference. He also needs role models showing flexibility and an ability to deal with frustration. Children learn more by what is done to them and aping others than being told what to do.  The other thing children need plenty of is being listened to. If he is trying to say something with the way he is eating, what do you think it might be? Can you put it into words for him? When we have words, we rely less on deeds to express ourselves.  If you have any problem with your son’s behaviour, be it eating or anything else, the way to solve it is through collaboration. The key thing is to define yourself, not your child. It is you who has a problem with it: he is fine with his choices. You need to say, “I have a problem with”, or “I am worried about”, rather than “You should...”, or “You need...”. I find it much easier when the speaker is defining themselves rather than trying to define me. Lastly, I would not try to medicalise this by giving it a diagnosis such as “eating disorder”. No, your son is just a bit slower on learning flexibility. He’ll get there. Just remember Einstein. 




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HOROSCOPES LEO 23rd Jul-23rd Aug


There’s a full moon eclipse in Leo so it’s time for you to do things differently. Move on, leave someone or something behind, change the scene, change the atmosphere – shake things up! This could be in your personal or professional life. Take charge and make the changes you know are needed before the universe does it for you.

Yasmin Boland reveals what’s in store for you this month Illustration KT SMAIL

CAPRICORN 22nd Dec-19th Jan It’s time to get serious about life. This month’s lunar eclipse straddles your money zones, so there’s financial change ahead. Good or bad? That depends on how smart you’ve been with cash lately…

VIRGO 24th Aug-22nd Sep Your challenge now and over the coming six months, should you choose to accept it, is to put as much energy into your daily life and ‘getting things done’ as you put into your personal life, where you find inner peace. Duties versus meditation; responsibilities versus the time out you need for your soul – those are the areas where you need balance.

AQUARIUS 20th Jan-18th Feb

TAURUS 20th Apr-20th May

LIBRA 23rd Sep-23rd Oct

The full moon eclipse at the end of January is in your love zone, so expect some kind of dramatic development when it comes to your most important relationship(s). Being single might seem like an easy option if your love life is tricky, but learning to maintain relationship harmony – despite the challenges – is also important!

All the energy you have been putting in at work won’t go to waste, that’s for sure. In fact, you’re set for a bumper year professionally, if you work hard (the rewards will come in 2019). However, what your chart is shouting out now is that you need to put energy into your personal life.

Watch your tongue! There is the potential for saying too much, either at home or with friends this month. Brash, mouthy and angry Mars is in your communications zone, while the eclipse lights up your friendship zone. All in all, you will need to work a little bit harder to keep that Libran charm coming! (It’s worth the effort.)

PISCES 19th Feb-20th Mar

GEMINI 21st May-21st Jun You might like to think about the way you’re expressing yourself. Is it doing your relationships harm or good? As angry Mars moves into your relationship zone and the eclipse triggers your communications zone, you have some lessons to learn about the old nugget, ‘It’s not what you say, it’s the way that you say it.’ This applies both personally and professionally.

SCORPIO 24th Oct-22nd Nov

It’s the right time of the year for you to lie a bit low. Take some time out and think about what you’ve been through in the past year. Then cast your mind to what you would like to achieve in the coming 12 months. You need to nurture yourself – body, mind and spirit – rather than focusing overly on your ‘duties’.

ARIES 21st Mar-19th Apr

CANCER 22nd Jun-22nd Jul

SAGITTARIUS 23rd Nov-21st Dec

What you need to know now is what you want. It’s that simple. Change is afoot, and for you it’s going to be something to do with a romance, a friend, a creative project and/or a child. Do be honest with yourself about how you’re feeling. Don’t make any rash moves – you probably won’t be able to undo them later.

No matter what is going on in your most important relationships, the vital thing is what you think of you. Even if someone has let you down or disappointed you, if they have made life tough or made you doubt yourself, remind yourself what is good about you (and learn any inherent lessons, too). Work on your self-esteem.

As Mars moves into your sign this month, you’re going to rediscover your fire. And, quite honestly, this is about the best thing that could happen to you, as you recover from the past two-plus years where you had nasty Saturn on your back. It’s time for you to remember your marvellous magnificence. 

As much as you have been somewhat addicted to focusing on your work, the eclipse this month is here to remind you that you also need to tend your home life. Success and all that it brings is seductive but you also need to invest some emotional energy into what really matters – the people you love, and who love you.




The cookery expert and TV presenter cherishes the diamond engagement ring given to her by her husband of 51 years


hen my husband, Paul, wanted to ask me to marry him, he’d invested all his money but had lost it all. He had nothing. He went to his mother – who we called Mop – and said, “I want to ask Mary to marry me and I don’t have anything to give her as a ring.” So she gave him her diamond earrings. He put them in a matchbox and proposed to me while we were in London’s Hyde Park. He rattled the box and said I could have them remade into something else. We had them made into a ring and here it is. My mother told me never to take off my engagement ring. The number of rings that have been left on the edges of washbasins! If a ring is grubby, you can just clean it in soapy water with a soft brush. I was told to clean it with gin, but actually I think I would rather drink the gin.


We married in 1966. It’s been a long time! We are very happily married. We celebrated our 50th anniversary two years ago and went to Positano in Italy for four days – it was very spoiling. I appreciate him enormously and tell him so, which is not reciprocated! But there we are. I don’t mind at all because he is very old fashioned. I think he is quite happy with his lot. My father told Paul never to go to bed on an argument. Otherwise one of us – and it will be me – will be awake all night. Paul will have gone to sleep, though. Also: never make big decisions in the evening. It is much better to discuss the whole situation and then again the next day to see how you feel. I think that’s very good advice.  Mary’s Household Tips & Tricks by Mary Berry (Michael Joseph, £20)


Photography DAVID GUBERT