Marylebone Journal issue 95

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Marylebone Journal Marylebone Village Instagram: @marylebonevillage Twitter: @MaryleboneVllge Portman Marylebone Instagram: @portmanmarylebone Publisher LSC Publishing Editor Mark Riddaway Advertising sales Donna Earrey 020 7401 2772 Contributers Ellie Costigan Clare Finney Orlando Gili Jackie Modlinger Viel Richardson Design and art direction Em-Project Limited Owned and supported by The Howard de Walden Estate 23 Queen Anne Street, W1G 9DL 020 7580 3163 The Portman Estate 40 Portman Square, W1H 6LT 020 7563 1400


Events, exhibitions, film, music, shopping, talks, theatre and walks



Food, style, home, wellbeing and healthcare


The artistic director of Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre on getting through Covid, appealing to wider audiences, and the unrepeatable experience of a theatre performance



Lauren Bravo, author of How To Break Up With Fast Fashion, provides a confused shopper’s guide to sustainable fabrics


Jason Sugrue, director of coaching at Greenhouse Sports




The executive chef of Lina Stores on the changes in London’s Italian food culture, and why pasta al’arrabiata would be her final meal of choice







The founder of Wyse London on her French and English heritage and the fleeting nature of fashion

Rachel Wythe-Moran and Simon Watkins of Labour and Wait on the bib apron that defines their brand

Katie and Giancarlo Caldesi describe their perfect Marylebone day


Association of Anaesthetists Heritage Centre

Catching Breath Wednesday 22 June 2022, 18:00 - 19:30 Workshop | 12+ | Zoom

Heritage Events



In person: Standard: £12.00 Concession (student, disabled, job seeker): £9.00

In this workshop, artist Jayne Wilton will explore the notions of the containment of breath in art history, and you will have the opportunity to make your own breath visible using bubbles tinted with tea or coffee. Now more than ever, we need to take care of our mental health and wellbeing, and so Jayne will also guide you through mindful breathing processes and the expressive qualities of the breath. Book tickets

Last minute booking rates apply (see event page for details). *Spaces limited to 15*

The History of Women’s Pain Management and Gender Bias in Medicine Online: Standard: £5.00 Thursday 11 August 2022, 18:00 - 19:00 Workshop | Age 16-29 | Zoom

Concession (student, disabled, job seeker): £3.75

In this workshop, Medical Herstory offers a historical perspective into how gender bias influences health experiences and medical care, with a focus on women’s pain (including childbirth). Through patient experience case studies, interactive trivia, and group discussions, we will address the implicit and institutional biases that have historically influenced women’s experiences of seeking and receiving care, and explore how to overcome these barriers. The workshop will include discussions on racism, sexism, medical dismissal and discrimination. Book tickets

Locating the Association of Anaesthetists in Doctoropolis Thursday 29 September 2022, 18:00 - 19:30 Talk | Adult | Hybrid: 21 Portland Place/Zoom

Last minute booking rates apply (see event page for details). First 20 bookings - 20% discount code HF2B003

In person: Standard: £15 Concession (student, disabled, job seeker): £11:25 Online: Standard: £5 Concession (student, disabled, job seeker): £3.75

In this talk, art and architectural historian Ann-Marie Akehurst will discuss the many homes of the Association of Anaesthetists since their establishment in 1932. Intertwined with histories of the expansion of early modern London and the rise of the medical professions, she will explore some of the decision making behind the choice of location for the Association, from Lincoln’s Inn Fields to 21 Portland Place, and set that within the context of why certain areas of London were considered more desirable by medical institutions.

Last minute booking rates apply (see event page for details). First 20 bookings - 20% discount code HF2B004 Book tickets

Visit us The Anaesthesia Heritage Centre on Portland Place tells the remarkable story of anaesthesia, from its first public demonstration in 1846, to the founding of anaesthesia as we know it today. The Heritage Centre is open Monday to Friday 10:00 – 16:00. It is free to enter.



1. John Craxton, The Hellenic Centre 2. Mary Bevan, Wigmore Hall

MUSIC 18 JUNE, 7.30pm APARTMENT HOUSE Wigmore Hall 36 Wigmore Street, W1U 2BP

MUSIC 16 – 19 JUNE THE LIGHT IN THE PIAZZA Royal Academy of Music Marylebone Road, NW1 5HT

The Apartment House ensemble presents a programme of smaller pieces by the American composerJohn Cage, including A Room (1943), String Quartet (1949-50), The Seasons (a 1947 ballet for piano) and Branches (1976), the instruments for which are pods, cacti and other plant materials.

Based on the Broadway adaptation of an Elizabeth Spencer novella, Royal Academy Musical Theatre Company’s production of The Light in the Piazza tells the story of a wealthy American woman, her developmentally disabled daughter, and an intense romance in the Tuscan countryside.


TALK 16 JUNE, 7pm JOHN CRAXTON: A GREEK SOUL The Hellenic Centre 16-18 Paddington Street, W1U 5AS Ian Collins talks about the remarkable life of the 20th century English painter John Craxton, who spent much of his career living and working in Greece. The talk includes a virtual tour of an exhibition at the Benaki Museum in Athens.



To mark World Refugee Day, this lieder programme explores the theme of exile in works by Schubert, Schumann, Fauré, Rachmaninov and Duparc. Performers include tenor Ian Bostridge, soprano Mary Bevan (pictured) and pianist Malcolm Martineau, with poetry readings by Sir Simon Russell Beale. 20 JUNE, 7.30pm HOMELANDS Royal Academy of Music Marylebone Road, NW1 5HT




1. Saturday film screening 2. Sunday fayre

18 JUNE As is now traditional, the festival starts on the evening of Saturday 18 June with an al fresco film screening in Paddington Street Gardens. As the sun goes down, the audience will settle into comfortable deckchairs to enjoy Bohemian Rhapsody, which tells the epic tale of the rise of Queen from pub band to stadium rock behemoths. The film features a bravura performance from Rami Malek, who won an Oscar for his portrayal of Freddie Mercury. The Marylebone Hotel will host a pop-up bar with a suitably sophisticated drinks menu, including a Mercury Negroni created for the occasion, consisting of Italicus Rosolio di Bergamotto liqueur, Tanqueray gin and Suze liqueur. 19 JUNE Sunday 19 June sees the festival spill out onto the streets of Marylebone Village, with many of the roads closed to traffic for the day to accommodate stalls, stages, fairground rides and thousands of very happy people. As always, there will be a dizzying line-up of live music, dance, food and drink, crafts, sports and children’s activities. New to this year’s programme is a dog show run by the Mr and Mrs Small canine cafe. Visit the Marylebone Village website for timings and details. The event is fully funded by The Howard de Walden Estate, and all money raised on the day through the festival bar, tombola, collection buckets and various fundraising activities from participating retailers will go to Greenhouse Sports, a Marylebone-based charity whose goal it is to change young lives through sport (see p.31).




1. Julian Siegel, Royal Academy of Music 2. Alina Ibragimova, Wigmore Hall 3. Hélio Oiticica, Lisson Gallery 4. Rodney Graham, Lisson Gallery




Curated by Ann Gallagher, this exhibition of works by Hélio Oiticica, one of the most innovative Brazilian artists of the 20th century, includes early painted compositions, three-dimensional pieces, film and an intense, multi-sensorial, interactive installation, Nas quebradas (1979).


UNTIL 25 JUNE HÉLIO OITICICA Lisson Gallery 27 Bell Street, NW1 5BY

WALK 30 JUNE, 6pm LGBT+ HISTORY IN MARYLEBONE Baker Street Quarter Partnership To celebrate the 50th anniversary of Pride Month, Mark Conroy leads a guided walk exploring the lives of some of the prominent LGBT+ people of Marylebone’s rich history, from rock stars and writers to royalty, and the many local places to which they were connected. The walk starts from 55 Baker Street. MUSIC 27 – 29 JUNE SUMMER PIANO FESTIVAL Royal Academy of Music Marylebone Road, NW1 5HT

MUSIC 24 JUNE, 8pm ACADEMY BIG BAND WITH JULIAN SIEGEL Royal Academy of Music Marylebone Road, NW1 5HT The Royal Academy of Music’s Big Band, directed by Nick Smart, presents music by saxophonist Julian Siegel, a jazz professor at the Academy, one of the pre-eminent figures on the European contemporary scene, and an inspiration to younger musicians.

Curated by Joanna MacGregor, the Royal Academy of Music’s head of piano, this three-day festival offers a packed programme of piano performances and masterclasses, including film improvisation, bold premieres, Bach’s keyboard works and music from America.

EXHIBITION UNTIL 25 JUNE RODNEY GRAHAM Lisson Gallery 67 Lisson Street, NW1 5DA

MUSIC 1 JULY, 7pm ALINA IBRAGIMOVA Wigmore Hall 36 Wigmore Street, W1U 2BP

For his 13th show at the Lisson Gallery, Rodney Graham, best known for his conceptual practice as a photographer and installation artist, turns to a self-reflexive mode of painting, re-incorporating or stitching together motifs from his past works to create a harmonic, graphic outcome.

Violinist Alina Ibragimova performs a solo recital that covers music from the 17th to the 20th centuries, from Heinrich Biber’s afterpiece to his collection of Rosary or Mystery Sonatas, written in 1676, to one of Luciano Berio’s solo works from exactly 300 years later.




MUSIC 10 JULY, 7.30pm AILISH TYNAN & JAMES BAILLIEU Wigmore Hall 36 Wigmore Street, W1U 2BP


Popular soprano recitalist Ailish Tynan and her equally admired pianist partner James Baillieu present a programme mostly in German, including works from Grieg, Schubert and Strauss, but taking in Reynaldo Hahn’s 1901 collection of six songs in Venetian dialect.

EXHIBITION UNTIL 2 JULY CORNISH ART Thompson’s Gallery 3 Seymour Place, W1H 5AZ With its roiling waves, windswept expanses, jagged cliffs and glimmering harbours, Cornwall has captivated artists for centuries. This exhibition surveys such a swath of media, from oil, acrylic and watercolour paintings to pastel drawings, mixed media collages, bronze sculptures and ceramics. MUSIC 7 – 10 JULY MERRILY WE ROLL ALONG Royal Academy of Music Marylebone Road, NW1 5HT Royal Academy Musical Theatre Company performs Stephen Sondheim’s semiautobiographical musical, which, beginning in the present and moving backwards through time, traces the lives of wealthy, jaded composer Franklin Shepard and his two estranged friends.


1. Ailish Tynan, Wigmore Hall 2. Courtney Bowman in Legally Blonde, Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre 3. Elias String Quartet, Wigmore Hall 4. Daisuke Kosugi, Daiwa AngloJapanese Foundation 5. Mythos: Ragnarok, The Cockpit 6. Ensemble Marsyas, Wigmore Hall

EXHIBITION UNTIL 14 JULY DAISUKE KOSUGI: SOMEWHAT INFREQUENTLY Daiwa Anglo-Japanese Foundation 13-14 Cornwall Terrace, NW1 4QP Japanese video artist Daisuke Kosugi showcases two recent works: A False Weight (2019) and All The Goes Before Forget (2021). Kosugi aims to utilise moving images in a way that distorts our sense of time and forces us to question our memories.





Fashion merchandising major Elle Woods (Courtney Bowman) and her boyfriend Warner (Alistair Toovey) have the perfect relationship – until Warner heads to law school. Dumped, Elle embarks on a drastic plan to win him back. Along the way, she learns there’s much more to love – and to Elle Woods – than meets the eye.



WORKSHOP 18 – 19 JULY IMAGINING ARCHITECTURE: MODEL-MAKING MASTERCLASS RIBA 66 Portland Place, W1B 1AD Model-maker Ellie Sampson leads a two-day 3D-modelling masterclass. On day one, learn the fundamentals of architectural model-making in paper and card. On day two, visit the Wallace Collection’s Walt Disney exhibition to inspire the development of your models.

UNTIL 2 JULY LEGALLY BLONDE Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre Regent’s Park, NW1 4NU THEATRE 17 JULY, 6.30pm MYTHOS: RAGNAROK The Cockpit Gateforth Street, NW8 8EH Produced and presented by The Guild, Mythos: Ragnarok uses a blend of intimate theatre, live story-telling and ritualistic combat to tell the story of the rise and fall of the Nordic cosmos, drawn from classic Norse myths and presented in a raw, kinetic and highly inventive new form. 7 — MARYLEBONE JOURNAL / ISSUE NO. 95

MUSIC 17 JULY, 11.30am ELIAS STRING QUARTET & ROBERT PLANE Wigmore Hall 36 Wigmore Street, W1U 2BP


The Elias Quartet’s recordings range from the Viennese classics through the Romantics to the contemporary. Here, they perform Joseph Haydn’s String Quartet in G Op 54 No 1, before being joined by clarinettist Robert Plane for Arthur Bliss’s Clarinet Quintet F20.

Described by The Irish Times as “as exciting a live wire as Ireland has produced in the world of period performance”, Peter Whelan leads the Ensemble Marsyas in an all-Bach programme that also features Paula Murrihy, a leading Irish soloist.



The founder and artistic director of the Marylebone Music Festival on royal connections, rediscovering lost scores, and why the festival is about so much more than music

Q: What was the idea behind the Marylebone Music Festival? A: I started the festival in 2016 because we have so many beautiful venues, such as James’s Spanish Place, the Wallace Collection, Wigmore Hall and the Royal Academy of Music, and I wanted to celebrate them. When I found out that Marylebone once had pleasure gardens, I thought that it would be wonderful to revive that idea in the form of a music festival. The Marylebone pleasure gardens were a major attraction from 1737 until 1777. Handel would visit them – though he apparently arrived with an armed guard. Dukes, countesses and various royals were also regular visitors, so they were a major event. Q: How have the pleasure gardens influenced the modern festival? A: While the Marylebone pleasure gardens were not as high profile as those of Vauxhall and Chelsea, we were famous for having our own orchestra, Red Wine and Plum Cake.


I loved the idea that Marylebone had its own orchestra, so we’ve brought that back. The festival has its own orchestra, the Orion Symphony Orchestra, who perform here every year. Back then, the Duke of Devonshire would open the Pleasure Gardens season. I like that ritual element, so we always have the Lord Mayor of Westminster here to open the festivities, and HRH Princess Michael of Kent is the official patron of our orchestra. We also always have a royal band performing at the festival. For several years it was the Household Cavalry, now it’s the Welsh Guards. I like that it recalls the history of royal patronage of the pleasure gardens. Though, unlike today, I’m not sure they were always here for the most innocent of pursuits! Q: Will we be able to hear any of the music associated with the gardens? A: Yes, and this is very exciting, because that’s not always been the case. During research about the pleasure gardens, in a book called The Eighteenth-Century Pleasure Gardens of Marylebone by Mollie Sands, I discovered the scores to four contemporary songs, complete with musical arrangements. We had them arranged by Simon Nathan, a wonderful composer, and recorded at the Air-Edel studios in their pure form. It’s a string quartet with a female singer, performed exactly as written. Then a dear friend of mine called Mats Lindström, a composer, conductor and phenomenal cellist, asked if he could do a new orchestration of one of the songs, called Polly of the Plain. He orchestrated it for a full orchestra and a singer. Last year we performed the full orchestral version with the renowned tenor Nicky Spence. In the middle of an opera evening featuring composers like Puccini and Mozart, he got up and sang Polly of the Plain with the orchestra. The way he interacted with the audience was amazing, teaching them the chorus


and getting them to sing along. He would ad lib and improvise jokes. The atmosphere was magical. It was how performances would have been in that less restrained, more boisterous time. I find it beautiful that these 18thcentury popular songs are having this new journey, and modern audiences are now falling in love with them. Q: What are the other aims of the festival? A: One is to raise money for the West London Mission in Seymour Place. They do amazing work running a diverse series of projects helping to transform the lives of people who find themselves in difficult circumstances. Another is to expose as many people as we can to the beauty of music. The sponsorship we get allows us to keep ticket prices reasonable and sometimes scrap them altogether. We do Peter and the Wolf, and we’re able to invite the schools in for free. As a musician, I believe it’s extremely important that children have access to music, especially now, as so many people have had their horizons limited by the pandemic. We need to open as many doors for children as possible, and we can do that with the arts. That’s something that I hold very dear. Q: Where will the performances take place? A: All the performances will take place in a marquee in Manchester Square, which will be transformed into a covered, well-ventilated concert venue. This was actually inspired by our experience of Covid, when we couldn’t be inside. The atmosphere was wonderful, so we have continued it this year. Families can come with their children, enjoy the garden and be part of the concert. It’s a great way for people who haven’t been to a formal concert to experience the joy of live music. 23 – 26 JUNE Marylebone Music Festival 9 — MARYLEBONE JOURNAL / ISSUE NO. 95

1. St Marylebone Festival 2. Moon Q&A: Space Rocks in association with ESA, Regent Street Cinema



Organised by St Marylebone Parish Church as part of its Changing Lives community project, the St Marylebone Festival is a celebration of the area’s creativity, with stories told through music, dance and drama. This year’s schedule has a distinctly South American flavour, including tango lessons, a night of tango-inspired music led by Royal Academy of Music head of piano Joanna MacGregor, a screening of Evita (starring former Marylebone resident Madonna), and a festival finale in which director Gavin Roberts leads members of the church choir and a rollcall of South American musicians on a journey through the music, dance and poetry of Argentina, Peru, Venezuela and Chile. Other events in this hugely varied programme celebrate the lives and local connections of Ralph Vaughan Williams, Charles Dickens, Florence Nightingale and the Wesley family. 17 – 22 JULY ST MARYLEBONE FESTIVAL St Marylebone Parish Church Marylebone Road, NW1 5LT

FILM 24 JULY, 3pm MOON Q&A: SPACE ROCKS IN ASSOCIATION WITH ESA Regent Street Cinema 307 Regent Street, W1B 2HW A special screening of Duncan Jones’s understated sci-fi masterpiece Moon (2009), starring Sam Rockwell as troubled astronaut Sam Bell. The event includes an in-person Q&A with the film’s conceptual designer and head of graphic design, Gavin Rothery.



MUSIC 26 JULY, 7.30pm ERIC LU Wigmore Hall 36 Wigmore Street, W1U 2BP The 24-year-old AmericanChinese pianist Eric Lu – winner of the Leeds International Piano Competition in 2018, BBC Proms debutant in 2019 and recipient of a coveted Avery Fisher Career Grant in 2021 – performs a programme of pieces by Bach, Brahms, Chopin and R Schumann.

1. Stephanie Campos, Thompson’s Gallery 2. T he Camden Fringe, The Cockpit


EXHIBITION UNTIL 12 AUGUST MEDICINE AND LITERATURE Royal Society of Medicine Library 1 Wimpole Street, W1G 0AE

Thompson’s programme for promising young artists presents the painting talent of Stephanie Campos. Prior to the exhibition, watch Campos completing canvases for the show in her ‘live action painting’ residency in the White Box space at Nobu Portman Square.

This exhibition in the RSM library explores medical themes in the works of writers such as Shakespeare and Shelley and tells the stories of those who swapped the world of medicine for literature, including Sir Henry Thompson, Michael Crichton and Anton Chekhov.


THEATRE 1 – 21 AUGUST THE CAMDEN FRINGE 2022 The Cockpit Gateforth Street, NW8 8EH


The Camden Fringe offers performers from a wide range of disciplines, including drama, comedy, dance and poetry, the chance to present new material in a festival setting, without the time and money needed to take a show to Edinburgh. The Cockpit will, as always, be one of the main venues for the festival.

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1. Antonio Calderara, Lisson Gallery 2. Summer in the Square, Portman Square Garden 3. Prime Unison, The Cockpit 4. 101 Dalmatians, Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre 5. Inspiring Walt Disney, The Wallace Collection 6. Antigone, Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre



EXHIBITION 5 JULY – 20 AUGUST CHRISTOPHER LE BRUN Lisson Gallery 27 Bell Street, NW1 5BY Christopher Le Brun presents an exhibition of highly ambitious modular compositions, ranging from singular pieces through to large, complex canvases, triptychs and multi-partite paintings, accompanied by a suite of acrylics on paper that explore some of the key motifs of the large-scale oils. EXHIBITION 5 JULY – 20 AUGUST ANTONIO CALDERARA Lisson Gallery 67 Lisson Street, NW1 5DA Italian artist Antonio Calderara started out as a resolutely figurative painter of self-portraits, landscapes and still-lifes, before journeying gradually towards abstraction. This exhibition explores his representational works from the 1950s and charts his trajectory towards flattening and simplification. BALLET 22 – 27 AUGUST PRIME UNISON The Cockpit Gateforth Street, NW8 8EH Capital Ballet supports new and emerging dancers and choreographers from diverse backgrounds, who are pushing the boundaries of classical ballet. Over the course of a week, following a month-long intensive workshop programme, the company will be presenting a series of world premieres. 12 — MARYLEBONE JOURNAL / ISSUE NO. 95




Throughout the summer, Portman Square Garden is being opened up for a series of events that offer the opportunity to spend time in one of the area’s most beautiful settings, enjoy a drink from an outdoor bar, pick up a picnic or a hot lunch from a collection of street food vendors and book a workshop or wellbeing activity. 22 June, 12-8pm 5 – 10 July, 12-8pm 17 August, 12-8pm 6 September, 12-8pm SUMMER IN THE SQUARE Baker Street Quarter Partnership

When Cruella de Vil (Kate Fleetwood) sets her sights on a new dalmatian fur coat, there’s trouble ahead for Pongo, Perdi and their litter of puppies. Based on the classic story (written by Marylebone resident Dodie Smith and set in Regent’s Park), this new musical adaptation is packed with impressive puppetry. 12 JULY – 28 AUGUST 101 DALMATIANS Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre Regent’s Park, NW1 4NU


MUSIC 18 JUNE – 18 SEPTEMBER REGENT’S PARK MUSIC FESTIVAL Through the summer, the Regent’s Park Band Stand will be hosting a series of free outdoor concerts every Sunday afternoon (12.30-5.30pm), featuring brass bands, concert bands, jazz bands and choirs, large and small. This year’s programme also includes a regular Saturday afternoon jazz showcase at the Broadwalk (2-4pm).



THEATRE 3 – 24 SEPTEMBER ANTIGONE Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre Regent’s Park, NW1 4NU Inua Ellams presents a blistering retelling of Sophocles’ tragic drama. Antigone, daughter of Oedipus, sets out on a mission to secure a proper burial for her brother Polynices, whose corpse has been left to rot by his enemy Creon, King of Thebes. As is the way of Greek epics, nothing goes well. EXHIBITION UNTIL 16 OCTOBER INSPIRING WALT DISNEY: THE ANIMATION OF FRENCH DECORATIVE ARTS The Wallace Collection Manchester Square, W1U 3BN The Wallace Collection’s latest blockbuster exhibition explores Walt Disney’s personal fascination with France, and how his studio’s illustrators have continued to look to 18th-century French artworks for their source material.


Timothy Sheader, artistic director of the Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre, on getting through Covid, appealing to wider audiences, and the ephemeral, unrepeatable experience of a theatre performance




TIMOTHY SHEADER The artistic director of Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre on getting through Covid, appealing to wider audiences, and the ephemeral, unrepeatable experience of an outdoor performance Interview: Clare Finney Images: David Jensen, Feast Creative







“Each night is unique. It may be colder or hotter or damper and the quality of light will be different. Last night has gone. It was ephemeral. It’s not a carbon copy, and tomorrow won’t be either, and those who are present live in it together.”


“We haven’t really talked about Regent’s Park,” Timothy Sheader observes, at minute 54 of our hourlong interview. He’s right. I panic. We’ve covered inclusivity, the cost-of-living crisis, the ephemerality of theatre, anti-racism, the pandemic – everything, in fact, but the defining feature of the theatre in which we’re sitting. Were he a less generous interviewee, a less passionate person, a less articulate ambassador for live performance, he might have suggested I fire some questions over by email, which he may or may not have found time to answer – this being a mere three days before the season opens. Timothy, however, is none of these things, and in the five minutes we have left launches into one of the most poetic, powerful tributes to Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre you’ll ever read. Let us start, however, at the beginning – or rather, the new beginning, which is the first season that the Open Air Theatre will see ‘post pandemic’. The pandemic continues, of course, but it is no longer wreaking quite so much havoc on an industry that, more than any other, depends on a lot of people being together in a confined space. In this respect, the Open Air Theatre self-evidently had an advantage, and between lockdowns was one of the first theatres to be able to open and stage socially distanced productions. “We lost the first show entirely and had to close for 10 days during the second, which was socially distanced, because of the team getting Covid,” Timothy recalls, but they did lead the charge, and – with Jesus Christ Superstar in the late summer of 2020, and Carousel and Romeo and Juliet in 2021 – paved the way for London’s other theatres to turn the lights back on. Now, two years and two months after the world as we knew it ended, they are back to whatever ‘normal’ you believe this is. The bar is open. People are sitting side by side, craning excitedly in to hear the performers. Next week Timothy will start rehearsals for 101 Dalmatians, the puppet-lead (think more War Horse than Punch and Judy) performance of which has been in the pipeline since 2019. “This new world is tough – for all sectors, but for ours especially,” he sighs, “and the audience numbers are not back to where they were by any stretch of the imagination.” A lot has happened since Timothy sent his staff home and locked the heavy iron gates of the theatre in March 2020: a pandemic, but also seismic shifts in everything from gender and race politics to our attitudes towards office work. When it comes to making art for this new age, it’s not just Covid that theatres have to contend with. “When I see a performance here or at other theatres, I think, I know what it cost you. This has been created under really difficult conditions – and the fact that so much of it is still so great gives me hope.”



Q: This season, Legally Blonde, 101 Dalmatians and Antigone take to the stage at the Open Air Theatre. How has the pandemic shaped your programme? A: Firstly, joy. People want joy. Legally Blonde is there to make people smile. 101 Dalmatians is full of fun and joy. Antigone isn’t joyful, to say the least – but it is a response to another seismic shift in society, which is the murder of George Floyd, and all that has come of that. The politics of it have become very relevant to the world we are experiencing now. It’s been commissioned for years, but it became very clear last year that we have to get that play and its playwright, Inua Ellams, on stage. Q: How challenging has it been keeping a play in production for two years longer than planned? A: We’re not used to it. We’re not painters. We make something, then it’s gone and we move onto the next thing. That’s why I don’t really like digital theatre; I want theatre to be made for the time, not for film. I don’t want to see it in 10 years’ time, because it was made for now. Since the pandemic, we’ve changed and the world has changed, which has made it difficult to keep working on the same project – particularly when, in the case of 101 Dalmatians, we didn’t know when it would be staged. People say to us: “Oh, it must be brilliant now because you worked on it for so long” – but we put it on the backburner. We didn’t work on it for large swathes of time because we were creatively stifled. We’re excited to be returning to it again. Q: Why do you think audience numbers still aren’t what they were pre-pandemic? A: It’s not Covid fear anymore. Firstly, people have got out of the habit of booking and going to the theatre. Secondly, there is the issue of money. There’s the reality of that utility bill hitting your doorstep, as mine did last week, and having literally doubled. Thirdly, our audiences aren’t really tourists or people who come in from out of town at the weekend. They’re office workers who come here after work – and people aren’t in the office five days a week anymore. They come in for two days, and sometimes they don’t know what those days will be, so everything is last minute and groups can’t get together so easily. We will hopefully pick up with last-minute sales but booking in advance isn’t what it used to be. Q: Some people reported being incredibly creative during the lockdowns, while others found quite the reverse. Which camp were you in? A: I didn’t feel creative at all – but I did feel very privileged to be in a job, running a company, so my energies were put into lobbying, keeping the company


“What we have got here is the flipside of that on-demand, multi-channel screening service. You have to make an effort to come. You have to pay for it, and you have to be present. When you’re here you see that human need to gather and experience something together.”

alive and financially solvent, trying to support freelance artists, trying to navigate how we might get back to being open, being part of a bigger conversation with governments and stakeholders about the rules that would entail. There were peaks and troughs. There were days when we felt really successful and energetic, and there were days when we didn’t know how we could ever come out the other side, and then we felt slothful. We are social gatherers by nature, yet there were times when it was hard to imagine how we could ever get back to that. Q: How have the broader movements in society – culture wars, identity politics, anti-racism and so on – influenced the theatre scene? A: I think we are on a precipice. There is a lot changing for theatre, and I think we are starting to question the way we do things in a more robust way. It will take time, but the sands are shifting. There are more voices being heard, different people making and leading work, and that will change the narrative. It is challenging to affect that change, because you’re trying to shift something that has been how it’s been for many years, but the change is happening. The light is coming through, and it’s more than a crack; it’s an entire window, and it’s changing the


way we look, who is allowed to look, and what we see in the reflection. I’d say it is shifting fast – but then, I am saying that as a privileged white man. Q: How do you balance those changes, and the need to appeal to wider audiences, with the demands of more traditional theatre goers? A: We have to be inclusive. We want to tell a plethora of stories through lived experience. It’s not about pushing anyone aside, it’s about making room. I feel responsible for making space for other people’s voices, so they can go to the theatre and see themselves and the specifics of their experiences. Maybe those traditionalists can go to the theatre and not see themselves reflected back but still have a great time experiencing the universality of the story, rather than the specifics they’re used to. Theatre is a living artform and its practitioners are interpretative artists. That is why Shakespeare survived – because of interpretation – and that is what I’m trying to do. If you want to see the thing you have seen before, and have always seen, just as it was, that’s fine. It’s not what we’re doing, but there’s no value judgment. If you don’t like the cover version of a song, you can always go back to the original record. Those people who want something more traditional will always be able to find it easily enough. Q: Why has it taken so long for this shift to come about? A: There has always been a quest to make art as accessible as possible, because we know it’s a beneficial thing for society. Why now? Well, we know it was the murder of George Floyd, but there were many other people before him, so it has to be the pandemic in part. Many of us have come out of it looking to interact with each other in a more progressive way. It isn’t about being passive and asking people to watch art. It is about inviting people to make and participate and ask robust questions. The dictate of the Arts Council has changed too: if you are a funded organisation, it can’t just be rhetoric; you have to prove inclusivity is happening. Q: One genre that seems to be particularly divisive is musical theatre. Why do you think that binary continues to exist between people who love musicals and those who profess to not like them at all? A: Those people have always been there. Even people who work in musicals will say: “I don’t want it to feel like a musical.” But there are as many types of musical as there are plays, operas and poems, and it’s just about finding one that’s suitable for you. if that’s Mamma Mia on a Friday night, good for you. If that’s a radical, provocative revival of Oklahoma at the Young Vic, good for you. They are two very different things that both happen to have


music in them. When this year’s Tonys were announced, the different styles and content of the new musicals nominated was wild and exciting. I think the binary between people who love musicals and people who ‘hate’ them continues to exist because the bigger, louder, more expensive productions – productions that are very skilled and contribute toward the ecology of London as a tourist destination, let’s not forget – take the oxygen, so people think that’s all that musical theatre is. But I think that’s changing. The sector, which has traditionally been snotty about musical theatre, is giving it a bit more credit, and other people are choosing to validate the form. Q: What has struck you most upon returning to Regent’s Park? A: The audience. The fact that they came back shows we need theatre and shows the resilience of theatre despite those existential challenges. Netflix, subscription TV, films – they were the artforms that got us through the lockdowns. But what we have got here is the flipside of that on-demand, multi-channel screening service: you have to make an effort to come. You have to get here, you have to pay for it, and you have to be present. The commitment is so much bigger, yet when you’re here you see that human need to gather and experience something together, with – and I am going to say something unfashionable now – some rules. Those rules don’t need to be restrictive. They do absolutely need to be inclusive; but there is a social contract which there perhaps isn’t at home, around choosing to see and hear the same story together. That we continue to want to honour that in a world that is fracturing all over the place and being lived through tablets and phones shows a sense of human connection that I don’t ever want to go away. I think being in a park outside only adds to that sense of connection, because we can see each other; because it is utterly live, tonight, and the weather will only be that weather tonight. Even tomorrow, when your friends experience this same story at this same time, it will be different because they may be colder or hotter or damper and the quality of light will be different because the season will have shifted a single day. Last night has gone. It was ephemeral. It’s not a carbon copy, and tomorrow won’t be either. Each night is unique, and those who are present are present and live in it together. It reminds us we are social beings, and that we joined a social contract long ago that we are mercifully still a part of. REGENT’S PARK OPEN AIR THEATRE Regent’s Park, NW1 4NU




An organic cotton field in Adana, Turkey

Lauren Bravo, author of How To Break Up With Fast Fashion, provides a confused shopper’s guide to sustainable fabrics




Which eco-friendly fabrics are weaving a more sustainable future, and which are pure PR spin? Responsible shopping in 2022 can often feel like a vocabulary test. Do you know your EcoVero from your eco no-no? Is flax an ethical flex? Should ‘100% cotton’ leave us breathing easy, or sweating in shame? As the climate crisis becomes more urgent than ever, fashion brands are keen to flaunt their material values – but as shoppers, it can be hard to see the wood for the trees. First, it’s important to note that fabric alone can’t fix the problem. Until brands stop flooding the market with thousands of new products per week, no amount of recycled polyester is going to turn the tide. Still, fabric does have a big part to play in fashioning a greener future. An estimated 62% of the world’s clothes are made from synthetics – mostly polyester, but also nylon, acrylic, polypropylene and elastane; all plastic by another name. Plastic derived from fossil fuel, which pollutes our waterways and can take hundreds of years to break down in the earth. And while ‘natural’ fibres have long been billed as the good guys, the truth is far knottier. Cotton may be biodegradable, but it’s also responsible for mass deforestation, soil degradation, pollution through toxic pesticides and wasting huge volumes of water. Viscose, meanwhile, is a popular ‘plant-based’ fibre made from wood pulp… which uses a raft of hazardous chemicals to turn it into silky-smooth fabric. So near, and yet so far. The good news is that fashion is cleaning up its act with a combination of innovation (apple leather shoes, anyone?) and re-evaluation (suddenly linen has never looked so cool) – and many Marylebone brands are cottoning on quick. Want an outfit that feels gentle on your conscience, too? Here’s a beginner’s guide. EcoVero Cheaper than silk, slinkier than polyester, viscose – also known as rayon – has been a fashion favourite for more than a century. But though technically biodegradable, the vast majority of modern viscose is energy intensive, chemically laden and highly harmful to workers and the environment. An estimated 30 per cent is made with wood pulp taken from endangered and ancient forests.


Enter EcoVero, which is viscose done right. Made from certified renewable wood sources, it emits around half the carbon of conventional viscose and re-uses nearly all the chemicals that would otherwise be dumped into water supplies. You’ll find it looking chic on the rails at Sessùn, where many of the brand’s viscose garments are currently certified. Further up the high street, Sirplus’s ceramic print EcoVero cuban shirt also makes good use of the fabric. TENCEL Lyocell Another cellulose fabric, TENCEL is fast becoming the darling of the slow fashion world. Made in a closed-loop system that recaptures and reuses more than 99 per cent of the solvents required for its production, TENCEL also uses significantly less water and energy than standard viscose and decomposes within three months in landfill. Though not in your wardrobe, thankfully. Prized for its cool, slinky qualities, TENCEL works well as a breathable upgrade on polyester, or a vegan alternative to silk and wool. Hamilton + Hare uses it to make especially strokeable pyjamas, and it’s even used by Allbirds to top its ‘Tree’ trainers – alongside responsiblysourced Brazilian sugarcane in the brand’s patented SweetFoam soles. Organic cotton It’s the world’s most popular natural fibre, used as a marker of comfort and quality in everything from bed sheets to beachwear. But as mentioned, cotton is far from a fluffy innocent – thirsty, pesticide heavy and riddled with humanitarian issues, from child labour to farmer exploitation, ‘100% cotton’ isn’t the sustainable brag it’s often thought to be. Organic cotton is the kosher choice, grown without harmful pesticides in a way that minimises


“For too long, hemp was shorthand for a certain type of crunchy, granola-toting tree-hugger. But now that ethical fashion has gone mainstream, it’s time to re-evaluate the fibre.”

Poetry V-neck top made from hemp and organic cotton




“If, as the mantra goes, the most sustainable garment is the one already in your wardrobe, then it stands to reason the most sustainable fabric is one that’s already been used.” Ssōne Laurent patchwork blouse made from dead-stock fabrics from previous collections






environmental impact and treats farmers fairly. In particular, look out for cotton certified by the Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS), which assesses the processing, manufacturing, packaging, labelling, trading and distribution of clothes and guarantees a minimum of 70 per cent organic fibres. You’ll find GOTS-certified cotton in some of the jeans at Me + Em, t-shirts at Claudie Pierlot, big-collared blouses at Maje, and an entire collection of items at Suzannah London. Bamboo Fast-growing, self-regenerating and easy to grow with no pesticides, bamboo has sky-high potential as a sustainable fabric. In recent years it’s become a popular choice for socks, underwear, soft furnishings and luxury fashion too. “Bamboo is my all-time favourite fabric now,” says designer Isabel Manns, whose Marylebone boutique features reversible dresses made from silk bamboo, which gives a premium sheen to the soft plant fibre. But not all bamboo is created equal. In fact, lots of bamboo fabric is made using the same chemically-intensive process as viscose – so the emperor’s new clothes might be less ethical than he thinks. To be sure of its credentials, look for Monocel-branded bamboo, which is made using the same closed-loop lyocell system as TENCEL. Fruit leather Sure, leather is – in theory – a natural product, while ‘vegan leather’ is often just plastic with delusions of grandeur. But with global demand for luxe leather goods so high that it’s now considered a co-product, not a by-product, of the meat industry, industrial methods of treating and tanning leather are far from sustainable. Luckily there’s a smorgasbord of new, non-pleathery options reaching the market, including numerous veggie leathers made from items you might find in your fridge. Perhaps the most widespread so far is Piñatex, made from pineapple leaves – but there’s also Tômtex (made from used coffee grounds), corn leather (made from corn husks), Apple Skin (you guessed it) and Mylo (made from mycelium, the root-like structure of mushrooms), which Stella McCartney used to reimagine her cult Falabella



Sessùn Lee Han long dress made from EcoVero viscose


“EcoVero is viscose done right. Made from certified renewable wood sources, it emits around half the carbon of conventional viscose.”




bag. These fabrics are all in their infancy and most aren’t fully biodegradable yet, but they’re an exciting taste of fashion’s crueltyfree future. Recycled polyester Fast becoming the high street’s getout-of-criticism-free card, recycled polyester (or ‘rPET’) is made by melting down plastic waste, such as water bottles and fishing nets, and spinning it into new fibre which uses 59 per cent less energy to make than virgin polyester, reducing CO2 emissions by over a third. But it isn’t a silver bullet solution. Many argue that rPET is kidding consumers that plastic waste is fine because ‘it can all be recycled’ (in reality, less than 10 per cent ever is). Recycled polyester is often combined with virgin fibres to make it stronger, and it’s common for brands to advertise collections as ‘recycled’ when only a tiny percentage of the garment actually is. One final catch: recycled polyester is still synthetic, meaning that microplastic particles are still shed into Allbirds our waterways each time it’s Tree trainers, washed – and into the soil topped with TENCEL via landfill, too. Plastic? Still not so fantastic. We’d vote for recycled viscose instead. Linen One of the oldest known fibres on earth, linen remains a very cool customer. Spun from the lowmaintenance, versatile flax plant, linen requires a fraction of the water that cotton does and when undyed, it’s completely biodegradable. Thanks to its breathable, moisturewicking properties, it’s long been a staple in holiday wardrobes – but come rain or shine, you’ll find linen on many of Marylebone’s rails,


from laidback resortwear at Luca Faloni to classic menswear at Grey Flannel and William Crabtree & Sons, to fashion-forward tailoring at Theory and Toast. Just look out for the GOTS certification to guarantee no harmful dyes or pesticides have found their way into the supply chain. Hemp For too long, hemp was a punchline in the sustainability conversation; shorthand for a certain type of crunchy, granola-toting treehugger. But now that ethical fashion has gone mainstream, it’s time to re-evaluate the fibre. Densely growing, naturally pest-repellent and needing only a quarter of the water that cotton demands, marijuana’s ‘sober cousin’ makes a highly sustainable choice – and it’s durable too, perfect for hip utility styles like the canvas jackets at Toast, or Poetry’s veritable sonnet of hemp and organic cotton-blend shirts, tees and trousers. “We started using hemp not because it was good for the planet, if I’m honest, but because it’s a lovely fabric and it makes nice clothes,” says Poetry founder Luke Dashper. “That’s been my starting point: what makes beautiful clothes?” And finally… salvage If, as the mantra goes, the most sustainable garment is the one already in your wardrobe, then it stands to reason the most sustainable fabric is one that’s already been used. While textile recycling might still be in its infancy, upcycling is an art as old as clothing itself, and the fashion world is full of young designers using heritage techniques to breathe new life into grandma’s curtains. Head to Koibird for Magpie Vintage, a label of completely one-off pieces made from salvaged vintage textiles such as tablecloths and crochet blankets, and check out Ssōne’s recycled range, which turns a pick ’n’ mix of deadstock fabrics into stunning contemporary patchwork. Or resurrect old garments with a little help from the British Invisible Mending Service on Thayer Street or the Alterations Boutique on New Quebec Street, who can repair rips, tears and moth holes until they’re as good as new. Some might even say better.

Independently Independently Marylebone InIn Marylebone

Join us for


18 JUNE Sun


FILM NIGHT Outdoor cinema – Bohemian Rhapsody Live music, food stalls and festival bar hosted by 108 Brasserie. Tickets on sale now!

Street party Live tennis screening, entertainment & music, food, drink & shopping stalls, sports & wellness activities, children’s zone, ferris wheel & rides, farmers’ market and community dog show. Special guest appearance!

Visit for more information MaryleboneVillage



This is a charitable event organised and funded by The Howard de Walden Estate in aid of Greenhouse Sports


THE DIFFERENCE MAKERS Introducing the people behind Marylebone’s vital charities and community organisations: Jason Sugrue, director of coaching at Greenhouse Sports Interview: Mark Riddaway Portraits: Orlando Gili

Greenhouse Sports is a ‘sports for development’ charity. In practice, that means we use sport to improve young people’s life skills and provide them with opportunities. We work with schools in areas with high levels of income deprivation, mostly in inner-city London. We put a fulltime coach into each school to provide extra-curricular activities for any student who wants to take part. Together with the schools, we identify young people who might benefit from more targetted help, on or off the court, then coach those individuals more intensively. This 31 — MARYLEBONE JOURNAL / ISSUE NO. 95

means you’ve got someone who’s looking closely at the whole child, getting to know everything about them, and using sport to help them improve. We also deliver a sports programme for people of all ages through the Greenhouse Centre, our community sports centre here in Marylebone. Our five main sports are table tennis, basketball, tennis, volleyball and cricket. But it’s not really about the specific sport, it’s about the coaches. We try to find coaches who are not only at the forefront of their sport (many are ex-internationals) but are also really committed to developing young people. We look for people who can relate to the young people they’re working with. That’s so important – kids are smart; they know straight away whether someone is genuinely interested in them. We’ve been going for 20 years now and the evidence of our impact is very strong. Every year a young person in our programme will attend school an average of eight days more than a classmate who isn’t. That alone has a massive effect on their grades. We see an improvement in so many aspects of their lives: academic performance, attitude, sense of community. We worked with Bath University to set up a framework known as STEP, which has four strands of development – social, thinking, emotional and physical – and we regularly assess our impact in each of those areas. Kids often think it’s cool to look like you have talent, to appear to be effortlessly good at something. But sport isn’t


“I would class myself as a Greenhouse kid. I’m London born and bred, my upbringing was quite tough, and table tennis completely changed my life.”



GREENHOUSE CENTRE like that. In sport, the most important Tennis for Kids. I started The Greenhouse Centre, a deconsecrated church talent you can have is the capacity for working for the charity, on Bell Street in Marylebone, is both the charity’s hard work. If you work hard, if you which then merged with headquarters and a vital community asset. For really stick at something, you develop several years, it has been delivering sports Greenhouse Sports. programmes to thousands of people in an area confidence and resilience, you learn Now, the things that my old that, for all its wealth, also contains high levels to cope with setbacks. You realise table tennis club gave me – of deprivation. Young people in the community that some days you have to dip low in those opportunities, that are well served by the centre, which provides a order to jump high. That’s what sport raft of after-school activities, but adults of all sense of community – I’m ages are also able to use the facilities – recently, teaches you. You have to be on time, able to pass on to another the charity has placed a particular focus on you have to be respectful of other generation. As director increasing female participation. Sadly, the people, you have to train properly, you of coaching, I take an Greenhouse Centre has had to be temporarily have to be honest, you have to give 100 closed due to the discovery of safety issues in overview of our provision parts of the roof. Repair work is underway, but per cent – and those are qualities that and the pathways through it is both time-consuming and very expensive. can set you up for life. it. I also work with the The charity is currently in the process of raising I would class myself as a coaches, sharing good funds to get this important Marylebone institution Greenhouse kid. I’m London born functioning again. Visit the website to donate. practice. I’m still directly and bred, my upbringing was quite mentoring a few kids who tough, and table tennis completely have some extra difficulties changed my life. My stepdad, going on in their lives. Buxton, played table tennis for I think that’s important – Jamaica, but he left the sport behind coaching is something you when he came over to England and have to keep practising in met my mum, who’d come here from order to stay relevant. Ireland. They were both still very young – late teens. We There are so many examples of how Greenhouse lived in Ladbroke Grove, not a million miles from here, Sports changes lives, but there’s one that sticks in my and money was always tight. They started a business mind. It was my first day with the kids at what was a really together, a cleaning company, and one of their contracts challenging school. I was walking back up to the car was at Willesden High School. Buxton was walking along park to pick up some balls from my car when I saw this the corridor one day when a guy passed him with a box of altercation between a couple of kids. I stepped in and bats and a couple of nets, and they started chatting. That stopped it. After I’d collected the balls, I saw one of the guy was Jon Kaufman, a legend in London table tennis. boys was on his phone, visibly upset. I’m trying to talk Jon and Buxton started a club together, called Progress him down when a car pulls up, screeching its tyres, and Table Tennis Club, which became this hotbed for kids this big guy gets out, bristling with anger. It’s the boy’s from inner-city London who wouldn’t normally play table older brother – it was him on the phone – and he’s here tennis. It was the most multicultural table tennis club in to confront the other kid. I managed to stop him, calmed history, and it went on to become the best table tennis him down, and said: “I’ll look after your brother, I’ll club in the country. That was where I first picked up a bat. speak to the school about what’s happening, but whatever When I was 12, Buxton was murdered. It was a really you’re about to do right now is not going to help anybody. traumatic time, but without the table tennis club, it You could end up getting your brother excluded before would have been even more difficult. I was able to he’s even started the school year.” channel my inner anger into the sport. I had a place to I went to the headteacher, we had a chat, and that go. A community. An environment I felt safe in. I don’t young person stayed with me for the whole day. We know how my mum found the money, but she made sure I played a bit of table tennis. And we carried on playing could always get to competitions and play to a decent level, table tennis. Five years later he was the head boy of the and I got quite good, very, very quickly. I had offers to go school, with top marks in his GCSEs. His brothers had all professional in the German Bundesliga, but I chose to gone to the school, always in trouble, grades always quite play in slightly weaker leagues so that I could be here to low. This boy’s experience changed the family’s whole support my family. I did various jobs alongside my table relationship with the school. His younger brother ended tennis – I’d do a nine-to-five, train in the evening, and up with good grades as well. I often think back to that then play in Germany or Sweden or Belgium on the fight in the playground and how differently things could weekends. I became British men’s champion. At one point have turned out for him. Table tennis changed that boy’s I was the highest ranked non-professional table tennis life, like it changed mine. player in the world. GREENHOUSE SPORTS I started doing some private coaching while I was 35 Cosway Street, still playing, to earn some extra money, and that’s how I NW1 5NS met Alan Sherwood, who founded a charity called Table 33 — MARYLEBONE JOURNAL / ISSUE NO. 95


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FOOD » 39


Francis Zahar of Za’ta on family recipes and why eating well should be a right not a luxury STYLE » 44


Designer Marielle Wyse on her French and English heritage, the importance of being comfortable, and the fleeting nature of fashion HOME » 54


Rachel Wythe-Moran and Simon Watkins of Labour and Wait on the bib apron that defines their brand




The executive chef at the new Lina Stores on growing up on an Umbrian farm, the welcome changes in London’s Italian food culture, and why pasta al’arrabiata would be her final meal of choice Interview: Ellie Costigan Images: Rebecca Hope

The Lina Stores deli on Brewer Street has been nourishing Londoners with authentic Italian produce for seven decades. It was set up by a “formidable” lady from Genova in 1944, and her name – after which the store is named – has been inscribed across the iconic green and white candy-striped canopy since. The first Lina Stores restaurant opened on Greek Street in 2018, and was an immediate success. Three more restaurants have opened since then – most recently in Marylebone. Q: Tell us about your background. Where does your interest in food come from? A: My mum was a chef, so I grew up in a restaurant. We had a farm in Umbria with animals and organic vegetables. We were producing all our ingredients for the restaurant, so I got to know how to look after produce from seed. I was out in the greenhouse all the time, tending the garden, fighting with porcupines! The part I found tough was killing the animals, but on the other hand, I knew they’d had a great life. They were free to roam, in a beautiful part of the world. They were raised – and killed – respectfully, and it was explained to me that it is part of the 37 — MARYLEBONE JOURNAL / ISSUE NO. 95

process. It really creates a connection between you and nature and with everything that helps you live. When you grow your own produce, it also gives you respect for Mother Nature. You understand that she is stronger than us. She decides! I was constantly in the kitchen – by the time I was 10 years old, I could make homemade pasta with a rolling pin. It was just in my blood. When it came to my career, there were no other options for me, so it was easy to take over the restaurant from my mum. In 2000, I got married and took over the family business. It was a very sustainable place, with just five little apartments and a maximum of 25 seats in the restaurant. My menu was based on fresh food. I’d wake up in the morning, gather the produce of the day and create dishes. I had to be really inventive: sometimes guests would stay for two weeks, and you had to change the menu every day – you can’t feed people the same thing the whole time. I did this for 17 years, more or less. Q: How did you come to be involved with Lina Stores? A: Before moving back to Italy to take over the business, I lived in London for a time. I was desperate to find Italian ingredients, but back then it was almost impossible to get proper Italian food here. There were some good Italian restaurants, but they were very expensive. Working as a waiter, I couldn’t afford them. Even there, the way pasta was presented was not really Italian: loads of sauce and usually pre-prepared pasta. At some point I started going to the Lina Stores deli in Soho. It was the only way I could eat Italian food here – by cooking it myself using their products. It made me feel at home, feel more secure. I remember a lot of friends would come to Lina Stores just to have a sandwich, the panino with mortadella, because it was impossible to find mortadella anywhere else. That’s the good thing about Lina: it brings typical products that tell the story of the people in Italy.



The Italian food scene in London has totally changed since then. There are many pasta restaurants in London now, which as a restauranteur makes you want to do better, do your research, bring the best Italian produce here. The competition has taken everything to a higher level. Q: How did the first Lina Stores restaurant come about? A: When I was living here, I got friendly with the team at the deli – like Italians do! The manager Marina and I became friends. Even after I moved back to Italy, I was visiting a


lot because my sister lived in London. When I decided to sell the family restaurant, Marina said: “Why don’t we do something together?” We started to develop the project slowly. We wanted to get the menu right and to find the right place. It was not easy to find a place in Soho. We were super happy to find the space on Greek Street: it’s cute, small and romantic. We opened in May 2018 and it was a big success – I was not expecting it to be this huge. We were a strong team, plus the deli already had a strong reputation. We were cooking in the basement of the deli and bringing the food to the


“I try to bring passion. It’s important to understand why you’re doing this job. When you work, you work for a team, not just for the salary at the end of the month. It’s part of your life”

restaurant with a bike, so we had to really coordinate, but it worked. Because it did really well, we opened a second restaurant in King’s Cross in November 2019. After that, Covid hit and we were just trying to keep afloat, like all restaurants! We started selling produce and meal kits online and it worked well, so we survived. We opened in the City in 2021. While it is a bigger company now, there is still this family feeling between us – we try to keep that as much as we can. When I do the training, I try to bring that passion. It’s important to understand why you’re doing this job. When you work,

you work for a team, not just for the salary at the end of the month. It’s part of your life. Q: Now you have a striking new restaurant in Marylebone. A: The new site is on Wigmore Street and it’s very beautiful. There’s a big bar downstairs and on the ground floor we have a huge open kitchen, with all the dining tables. All our restaurants have an open kitchen and I think that’s important. You can see the process – that the pasta’s fresh. Also, it’s a nice way for the chefs to be involved in the restaurant, because > you’re not stuck in the kitchens just



Francis Zahar, founder of the Lebanese fast-food restaurant Za’ta, on family recipes, the engineering challenges of cooking from scratch, and why eating well should be a right not a luxury

I am Lebanese, but I worked for most of my life as a mechanical engineer in Kuwait. I was a contractor on some huge projects. The last one was an opera house – a very complicated project, worth $22 billion, completed in a very short time. That pushed me to the edge. After it was finished, I decided to stop contracting and do something I really like. In my family, we like to eat. Food was always a major part of our lives. My mother was a good cook, so everyone came to us to eat. The whole day was centred around food: cooking, eating, preparing for tomorrow. Having a sandwich, getting a delivery – that would be forbidden. A crime. Za’ta is a new concept in eating. It is Lebanese home cooking, made from scratch, but in a fast-food way. The food is simple

and healthy, delivered quickly at a very pocket-friendly price. True food does not need to be expensive. People have a right to eat well; it’s not a luxury. The food here is all from my mother’s recipes. When I got married, my wife didn’t really know how to cook, so whenever I went to my mother’s place I would ask her about a dish and write down her instructions. I still have all those recipes. I never keep papers, but I kept those notes. It is complicated to cook from scratch at a large scale and be consistent. But I am an engineer – I love the challenge. We wash the rice nine times before cooking it, to remove the starch, just like my mother did. We do it by hand, but one day I will build a machine to do this. I would like to build sensors that mean when the onions are perfectly browned, the fire will stop. I am a mechanically oriented guy. We have 50 dishes here, which is so much for a fast-food restaurant. It would be much easier to just make sandwiches with mayo, but that wouldn’t make me happy. Our menu is about 70 per cent vegetarian, 40 per cent vegan, but by nature not because it’s trendy. In Lebanon, where there is so much sun, beautiful vegetables are the basis of our food. We don’t use much spice, so


you can really taste the produce. Rice is a very important dish in my family. It is necessary to make it so it isn’t sticky, so every grain is separate. Rather than just cook one big 20 kilo batch, we cook it fresh every two hours, so we have proper rice to go with our stews. I’m very strict in that respect. Some ingredients we bring from Lebanon – pine nuts, for example – but tomatoes, garlic, potatoes, parsley, you have all these things here, so we source them here. The approach of the mezze, with lots of small dishes to share, is something people really enjoy. A sandwich is the same from the beginning to the end, but with a mezze every bite can be different. Our plan was to have 100 Za’ta restaurants. This is the first. The pandemic has maybe changed that plan, but we still have ideas for how we will grow As well as Za’ta here, I have a very nice bar-restaurant in Havana. A beautiful threestorey building in the old city. For me, it’s not really a business, even though I invested my money – I just love Havana. I go every two months. ZA’TA 55 Baker Street, W1U 7EW



working, working, working, like a factory. You can see people’s faces and their reactions as they eat. When I’m here, I actually live in Marylebone and it’s a really lovely area. It’s very alive. My first stop is always La Fromagerie – it’s the best – and the farmers’ market is one of my favourite places in the world. Q: Tell us about the menu. A: The menu is more or less the same in all the restaurants, though we adjust it depending on the kitchen – the Greek Street restaurant doesn’t serve mains from the grill, for example. In Marylebone the kitchen is big enough to do that and there will be more stuff to ‘grab and go’ – cakes, antipasti, salads. It caters to everyone, from families who come in with kids to meetings for work. We have very traditional dishes that we twist a bit for a Londoner’s taste. In the beginning I was really fighting a lot for tradition. I kept saying: “No, in Italia we do it like this!” But while tradition is important, you also need to match the taste of the people who are eating the food. For example, if you go to Rome, the famous carciofi alla giudìa is a whole artichoke, deep fried. But in London, if you just present a huge artichoke that you have to eat by hand, no dressing, no mayo, nothing, not many people will understand. So, in the restaurant we serve it with aioli. Q: Are dishes particular to any region or do you take inspiration from across Italy? A: The menu is balanced to give an overview of Italian cuisine. If you go through the menu, every single thing comes from a different area or region. We go from the north, with the tagliolini al tartufo from Piedmont, to the very south. The nduja, for example, is Calabrian. Dishes from the north tend to be more based on dairy, very buttery. In the south, it’s more fresh produce – vegetables like aubergine, courgette, peppers – and a lot of durum wheat, which tends to be 40 — MARYLEBONE JOURNAL / ISSUE NO. 95

used to make dry pasta. Sometimes we try to mix the influences of different parts of Italy in the same dish. There are also dishes that we only sometimes put on the menu. The pici alla norcina, for example, which is a sauce of sausage and porcini mushrooms, is a typical Umbrian thing. The polpetta di melanzane is another. It wasn’t on the menu for a few months because aubergines were out of season. That recipe actually comes from the mother of somebody I had a past relationship with. It’s the only thing I kept! She was from Sicily, so she taught me the real, authentic way to prepare the aubergine. You peel it in stripes, like a zebra, keeping half the skin. Q: What’s your favourite dish? A: When people ask me what my last meal would be, I always say the pasta with tomato sauce, pasta al’arrabiata, because I love this dish. It’s just olive oil, tomato, garlic and chilli, but it’s done in a specific way. You have to reduce the sauce to make it thick, and you really need to be skilful to get the right consistency. The timing and the heat that you use make a big difference. It’s sweet and full of taste. LINA STORES 68 Wigmore Street, W1U 2SD


Karan Gokani, director of Hoppers, on an indulgent snack or side dish The background Since we opened our first branch of Hoppers in 2015, in Soho, people have always referred to us as a Sri Lankan restaurant, but there is as much south Indian as Sri Lankan in the restaurant’s heritage. From the very beginning, as well as the more Sri Lankan hoppers, we have also served dosas – thin, crisp, south Indian pancakes made from a fermented batter of lentils and rice. Initially, we offered two styles, a plain dosa and a podi dosa (lined with a chilli spice blend that packs a real punch), but somewhere down the line a chilli cheese dosa started making an appearance as a special. When we opened at Kings Cross, we decided to make it permanent on that menu, and then, because it proved so popular, we started making it across all the restaurants. The inspiration The idea came from a snack I grew up eating, called chilli cheese toast: toasted bread topped with green chillies, cheddar and stretchy mozzarella, popped under the grill so it all melts nicely. The technique It’s very simple. It’s made like a toastie with mozzarella, cheddar and green chilli, plus the spice mix we use in the podi dosa. The purpose People love the chilli cheese dosa as a snack on its own, or as an indulgent side eaten alongside curries and chutneys. Today I think if I was to choose one dish, I would always go for the chilli cheese dosa. That combination of green chillies and cheese is magical. HOPPERS 77 Wigmore Street, W1U 1QE




Emre Gunes, Emre Gunes, general manager of 108 Brasserie & Bar, on an English sparkling wine that gives its competitors from across the Channel a run for their money Interview: Viel Richardson

This is a wine that many people may have heard of but perhaps not yet tasted: Nyetimber Classic Cuvée. Produced in vineyards in Sussex, Hampshire and Kent, it is a wonderful English sparkling wine with real character and complexity, a wine that continues to win awards in blind tastings against its peers from all over the world. If this wine were made in the correct region of France, it would be called champagne – and a lot of people would be happy to pay champagne prices for it. There are several factors that make it such a good sparkling wine. To start with there is the geology. The nature of the soil in which the vines are grown is very similar to that of the Champagne region, just across the English Channel. The wine is produced using what some champagne producers call ‘the holy trinity’ of grapes: chardonnay, pinot noir and pinot meunier. Global warming is a real problem, but here in the south of England one of the consequences of the environment becoming warmer and drier is that the conditions for growing these grapes are becoming increasingly prevalent. Of course, the key factor in the quality of any wine is the skill of the maker. Nyetimber Classic Cuvée is produced using methods that stick very closely to those traditionally used when making champagne. While it would be cheaper and more efficient to do so, the grapes are not mechanically harvested. Everything is picked by hand. This allows the first assessment of the grapes’ quality to 42 — MARYLEBONE JOURNAL / ISSUE NO. 95



Granger & Co Opening in July, the fifth outpost of Granger & Co is set to bring Bill Granger’s sunny Australian style to 105 Marylebone High Street. The light, airy 85-seater restaurant will boast a double-height, sky-lit atrium designed with long-term collaborators, Sydney-based architects Jules Meacham and Bruce Nockles. The menu will exude the freshness and flavours for which Granger & Co’s dishes are known, inspired by Bill’s globe-spanning life: growing up in Melbourne, living in Sydney, travelling from Sicily to LA, Bangkok to Mexico, and opening restaurants in Tokyo and Seoul. This is, he says, the ideal location for a restaurant. “I spend half my time in Marylebone. It’s the perfect neighbourhood, with an embracing local feel.” GRANGER & CO

take place at the vine. The different grapes are processed separately before being blended to create the final wine. It is then bottled with added yeasts, where it undergoes a second fermentation which gives the wine its bubbles. This occurs naturally, rather than artificially carbonating the wines as some sparkling wine makers do. I believe Nyetimber Classic Cuvée, along with a lot of English wines, is still underestimated by the wider public. The best English sparkling wines are at 90 per cent of the level

reached by the very best French champagnes, and superior to many others on the market. This pairs beautifully with the British produce we serve here – dishes such as beetroot salad, seasonal green salads, or some Asian-inspired flavours. We will always have good champagnes on the menu, but this certainly deserves a place alongside them. 108 BRASSERIE & BAR 108 Marylebone Lane, W1U 2QE



The founder of Wyse London on her French and English heritage, the importance of being comfortable, and the fleeting nature of fashion Interview: Jackie Modlinger


When we meet at her Marylebone High Street store, Marielle Wyse, founder of the Wyse London fashion brand, is wearing a brass-buttoned Breton top with a discreet hint of a glint, paired with black flared pants and box-fresh white trainers. She could hardly look more Parisian if she tried. “I’ve got a French look on today,” she agrees. But this tells only half of her story. Marielle’s style is a melange of French and English, and so is her heritage, the legacy of her parents: French mother Michelle and English father Seymour. Marielle’s love of fashion was honed by Michelle, who arrived in the UK at the age of 19. “She had a really creative mind, and she passed that on to me,” says Marielle. “When we were children, she used to make all of our clothes. I loved making clothes with her; our heaven was being in a fabric store together. She just had style – one of those women who could make Primark look like Chanel. She was very put-together, in an effortless way.” Marielle came late to the fashion world, having cut her teeth at “the university of life”, as she puts it. “I went to Paris for a year and worked as a Girl Friday for an interior decorating company. I was the gofer. I took the dog for a walk a lot,” she recalls. Much of her career was spent in the media – model bookings for Elle magazine in the late 1980s, assisting a fashion photographer, working in TV. “I always loved clothes, from a very young age; I’ve got pictures of me and my mother in denim suits and clogs, but I didn’t turn my love of fashion into a business until much later in life,” she reflects. It was not until Marielle was nudging 50 that she made her first strides into designing knitwear, with a capsule collection of cashmere sweaters. Now, her eponymous label has grown into an inclusive generational brand, currently focussing on dresses in fresh summer stripes, ditsy prints, tuxedo jackets, soft tailoring, strong colours and lots of cool denim with turn-ups.

Q: Having started your brand online, what prompted you to open a physical store? A: I think it’s very hard to reproduce online the quality and the colours, so people really need to see in the flesh what the clothes are like. With a shop, you can do that. We don’t just sell navy jumpers and jeans – we sell beautiful prints, lovely fabrics, silk shirts, so it needs showcasing properly. Coming to the shop is really important for me. It gives me time to absorb a little bit. I’m working, but I’m also absorbing things: listening to the girls who work here, seeing the customers, hearing what they’ve got to say. I think being close to the customers is so important. Q: Who is the Wyse woman? A: Our customer is kind of a ‘forgotten woman’, maybe a little bit ‘second phase’, in the second or third chapter of her life, and she doesn’t really know where to shop. She’s a very smart lady, clever. She doesn’t like to be taken for a ride with fashion – she likes high quality, well-designed clothes, but fairly priced rather than overpriced. She’s incredibly stylish but she wants to wear the clothes, not have the clothes wear her. Q: What’s your design ethos? A: It’s all about feeling comfortable in your clothes – “bien dans sa peau”, as the French say. I know it’s a very unglamorous thing to say, but I think that the most important thing is to feel good. The first thing I say to anyone is: “Do you feel comfortable in that?” Because if you don’t, you won’t wear it. It’s like really highheeled shoes – some people don’t feel comfortable in really high-heeled shoes and they can’t really walk, and if you don’t feel comfortable and you can’t walk, I think that ruins an outfit! I think it’s all about ‘owning’ your look and just wearing little touches of fashion. Something I do say is that style is ageless, whereas fashion is very transitory. Some of the most stylish ladies I see are in their sixties,




seventies and eighties. I think they look amazing. They know exactly how to frame themselves. For me, dressing people like that is so rewarding. Q: How would you describe your personal style? A: It’s a blend of the French pareddown thing and English quirkiness. I’ve got two styles, one that is more English and one that’s a little bit more French. I love colour, but the right colour. I like tailoring. I’m fascinated by different styles. I like Chloé, Yves Saint Laurent, Gabriela Hearst, Loewe, they all do lovely things. But for me, I would rarely spend that kind of money on anything. I also 46 — MARYLEBONE JOURNAL / ISSUE NO. 95

find high street brands in many ways quite challenging – if I go into Zara, the colours are a bit unwearable. Someone on a magazine once called Wyse a “demi-luxe brand”, which I thought was a lovely way of putting it – we sit between two things, which I think is relevant to lots of people. Q: What are the key pieces in your wardrobe? A: The key pieces for me are a good trench coat, a good Crombie, a pair of flared jeans – all ours. And I love a tux jacket. We did one with velvet lapels – I love velvet lapels on tailoring. A nice shirt, a Breton top, that’s it really. The joy for me now is that I don’t have to




Freddie Elborne, founder and creative director of MONC, on the dark side of the eyewear industry, reducing his impact on the world and why customers have a right to the truth Interview: Clare Finney

I have always been obsessed with sunglasses. They complete an outfit. Yet they’re so generic: almost all the big brands are owned by one company, Luxotica, and the smaller ones tend to make cheap products catering for fast fashion. MONC was born out of my background as a designer at a creative agency. At one point I was pitching to a sunglasses brand, and realised there were no sunglasses out there that aligned with my passion for design and my commitment to traceability. I left that job, went freelance, and designed my first collection on the side. My first port of call when looking into manufacturing was Italy. That’s where most eyewear has been made, historically, so I thought that’d be where I’d find the quality and

heritage I was after. It was on that journey that I discovered more and more malpractice, dishonesty and waste.

important that it be low impact. We went for a by-product of the cotton harvesting process, called Cupro.

The skeletons in the closet of the fashion industry are coming out around traceability and ethics – but that isn’t happening in eyewear yet. I remember going into a small workshop making bioacetate frames, and seeing giant bales, like hay bales, of multicoloured acetate. That was their waste. The owner told me that they had to send 80 per cent of it to landfill or incinerators, because there’s nowhere it could be recycled.

We still have leather cases. No vegan leather is currently produced without plastic, and that doesn’t align with our commitment to circularity. Leather biodegrades naturally, whereas plastic sits in landfill for a long time. Our leather is sourced from a company that uses natural tanning techniques, ethically sourced animals and vegetal dye. We’ve also introduced recycled cases: leather offcuts are collected from tanneries in Italy and woven with natural latex.

You don’t buy sunglasses for other people; you buy them for yourself. In effect, when you buy sunglasses you are unwrapping a present to yourself. We want to deliver to you our ethos of honesty, minimal impact and quality of experience through design.

I wanted to make eyewear retail exciting, but I also thought about the store’s environmental impact. When we opened in October 2021, we

Knowledge is what makes you powerful as a consumer. I like knowing where things come from, so I can make purchasing decisions that align with my ethics and values. We believe customers have a right to the truth. MONC 21 Chiltern Street, W1U 7PH

For us, it’s all about biobased, upcycled or recycled materials. The frames are made with bio-acetate, which uses a plant-based plasticiser rather than petroleum. Glass is more easily recycled than plastic, so we use Italian glass lenses, made with methods that have been perfected over centuries. Then there’s the cleaning cloth; it’s always the first thing you lose, so it’s

buy from anybody else! To improve the design and to know what we’re missing, I have to wear our stuff. Q: So, are you your own role model? A: I like that question! I think I’m my own worst critic, but I certainly use myself to see if the clothes are right for the brand. I’m a real guinea pig for the label, because if I’m not comfortable in something I make, I certainly don’t want to give it to anybody else. That said, I am quite small, petite, size eight, so I have to be aware of different shapes and sizes. But I think the sign of a really good design is that it can suit lots of different body shapes. Like a good tux 47 — MARYLEBONE JOURNAL / ISSUE NO. 95

didn’t know whether we would survive two months, 12 months or beyond, so we designed the store in such a way that if we were to close, we’d leave no trace. Everything in the store comes from upcycled plastic or waste materials already in the world. If we had to leave, the furniture could be re-used in the home. We didn’t screw mirrors to the wall or even lay flooring.

jacket, for example – it really does suit a lot of shapes. Q: Where do you find inspiration for your designs? A: Just from people around me. I was in Paris recently and Paris is a wonderful feast for your eyes, just the colour and style everywhere, not just on people, but in architecture, shop design, everything, I find Paris totally inspirational. I’m not a slave to any of these people who tell me what’s going to be in fashion at any given point. For me, it’s about making nods to current tastes, offering little tweaks, rather than embracing every new trend that comes round the corner.

Q: Why Marylebone? A: Because it’s just such an ‘us’ high street. It’s a bit of a smart, intelligent high street if that makes sense. It’s got enough shops to keep you interested, but not too many to overdo it. It’s like a capsule high street, and I just love the feel of it. I go onto Oxford Street and just get straight onto the tube and away from it – the atmosphere really throws me. I go onto Bond Street, and it’s too exclusive. I think Marylebone has got something more inclusive about it, which I love. WYSE LONDON 95 Marylebone High Street, W1U 4RQ




Suzannah Crabb of Suzannah London on an elegant shirt dress The Regatta shirt dress is one of my favourites for this season. I absolutely love shirt dresses as they have such a nostalgic feeling about them. Ours give a good waist definition, have plenty of swirl-able volume in the skirt and always have side pockets! They have a 1950s reference within the silhouette, which makes them super feminine and flattering. The Regatta dress boasts a print of a beautiful British boating scene. The artwork was originally a finely drawn vintage wallpaper. We adapted the original design to create an all-over print, and freshened up the tones to make it clean and modern, with delicate pale pinks and greys. The art was then digitally printed in Italy onto Italian GOTS-certified organic cotton. The dress shirt is beautifully cut and immaculately made, with a contrast crisp white collar and placket, neat sleeves and a beautiful certified viscose lining in the skirt part. This garment is a perfect example of what we do at Suzannah London – we love to produce beautiful pieces that have a story about them, starting most often with a vintage reference. We produce garments that can be bought with a specific occasion in mind, but can be styled up for special events or played down with simpler styling. The Regatta dress is perfect for a special Jubilee garden party, Henley Regatta or Wimbledon, but it can also be pared down with a chic blazer and tan flats for summer in the office, or dressed up with chic kitten heels for drinks. SUZANNAH LONDON 3 New Quebec Street, W1H 7RE



8 8 M A R Y L E B O N E H I G H S T R E E T, L O N D O N W 1 W W W. C O L O G N E A N D C OT TO N . C O M

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Popular wisdom has it that you’re either a hat person or you’re not. Sartorial wisdom has it that if you think you’re the latter you’ve just not found the right hat yet – and where better to start your quest than Marylebone, where the number and variety of hats on offer is limited only by the number and variety of boutiques selling them – which is to say, there are loads. Of course, Marylebone has its fair share of extraordinary milliners making bespoke hats, and you’ll always find a home for your head in one of those. But if it’s a more everyday style you’re seeking, try these on for size.




2. 3. 1. MIX UP CHECK FISHERMAN HAT PAUL SMITH, £85 ‘Mix up’ is an understatement. Designed in a fisherman style, this hat contains check wool from surplus tailoring fabrics, plus twill trims and toggles. Needless to say, noted classicist Paul Smith is not the only designer with a hand in its creation, the result of his collaboration with London-based designer Priya Ahluwali. It’ll serve you as well on a fishing trip as it will on the streets of Shoreditch. 2. RACE KIT HAT LULULEMON, £45 Passersby won’t miss you in this luminous, ultralight hat, but you will miss the rain and the blinding sunshine – and all without compromising on your ability to stay cool, thanks to its perforation and sweat-wicking fabric. A perfect hat for moving in style, or indeed not moving at all. 3. MÜHLBAUER WALTER COTTON CANVAS BUCKET HAT TRUNK CLOTHIERS, £145 This unlined, narrow-brimmed canvas hat will keep you cool in every sense of the word – and it will last too, being spun from a robust cotton canvas that will age gracefully as you travel the world. 51 — MARYLEBONE JOURNAL / ISSUE NO. 95


Bobbies Chic French footwear and leather goods brand Bobbies is due to open its first UK store on Marylebone High Street this July. Founded in 2010, Bobbies combines Parisian design with traditional Portuguese craftsmanship, using leathers sourced from European tanneries that are either LWG certified, or in the process of being certified.





Luis Hernandez, lead designer at Lewis & Co, on how to love your home office Interview: Lauren Baino


Q: How did your approach to designing home offices change during the pandemic? A: Aesthetically it didn’t change much, but the focus became far more about comfort and relaxation than it had been previously. The move to working from home was not something the majority of people chose for themselves, and for most of us, it was a real challenge to create a productive work environment amid all that stress. One thing I began prioritising was uplifting scents in the form of diffusers and candles, working with clients to choose a note profile that made them feel at ease. As with all aspects of design, this has to be personal.

Q: Now that flexible working is here to stay, what more can we do to distinguish the office space from the rest of the home? A: I always recommend that home offices are kept as neutral and light as possible. Psychologically, a light wall colour will help to keep the space energising and conducive to productivity. Brighter or darker colours can elicit different moods, so if you have these throughout your home, the shift in colour scheme when entering your office space can help your mind disconnect from the stressors and distractions of your home life. I also encourage a theme of simplicity and order in the office


from natural light – and provide a reminder of the outside world when you’re chained to your desk! Reorganising the room will also allow you to be mindful of what remains visible behind you during virtual meetings. If you have the space, I would recommend installing a folding screen between the two areas, as it works to separate the two parts of your life and can also eliminate the need to reorganise the rest of the space. If this isn’t a possibility, a rug in the office space can have the same psychological effect. Also, make sure you have a lamp specifically for your desk area, and don’t rely solely on existing ceiling lights, as these may not distribute light appropriately in the new floor plan.

décor, with a few personal items to keep you grounded, but not so many that it becomes distracting. A bench is a great way to introduce some ‘secret storage’ into the space, which can also double as seating with the addition of a few throw pillows. Q: What is your advice for someone whose home office shares an existing space, like a spare bedroom or living room? A: You may need to reorganise the room as a whole, as opposed to simply inserting a desk and a chair where there’s space. Consider positioning the desk under a window wherever possible, to allow yourself to benefit 53 — MARYLEBONE JOURNAL / ISSUE NO. 95

“Consider positioning your desk under a window, to benefit from the natural light and provide a reminder of the outside world when you’re chained to your desk!”

Q: What are some often overlooked home office essentials? A: The first thing that comes to mind is a wall clock. These are frequently used in traditional offices, and function to keep you aware of when to take a break, when to eat and when to clock off. When working from home, these moments can very easily become absorbed into the existing rhythm of the household, but having a constant visual reminder of the time can help you develop a more structured work day. Also, a splash of greenery on the desk always helps – even if you’re not good with plants, a robust genus like a ficus will pay dividends in stress relief. Q: I only have time to change one thing in my home office. What should I choose? A: Definitely your office chair. When the shift to home working began, most clients co-opted chairs from elsewhere in the home, such as dining chairs or armchairs, but none of these are suitable long-term solutions. Invest in an elegant, comfortable desk chair – your back and your mind will thank you for it at the end of a stressful day. LEWIS & CO 54 Paddington Street, W1U 4HU




Rachel WytheMoran and Simon Watkins, founders of Labour and Wait, on an apron that has come to define their brand Interview: Viel Richardson


The requirement Simon Watkins: Initially we only designed the apron for us. When we opened the first Labour and Wait shop, it was Rachel and I behind the counter and we needed something protective to wear. We also wanted it to act like a kind of uniform when we were on duty. We wanted something very practical, hard wearing and functional. We were moving boxes around, unpacking crates, climbing ladders, that sort of thing, and we needed something practical to cover ourselves with while we worked. We also wanted something that would sit well next to the kind of things that we were selling, such as household products, tools for the kitchen and garden – practical things. It was actually Rachel who designed and made those first aprons, they were never intended to be for sale.

The inspiration Rachel Wythe-Moran: At that time, there wasn’t really anything like this around. There were lots of chef’s aprons, butcher’s aprons, that kind of thing, but not the exact style of apron we were looking for. We knew that the aesthetic of our business was harking back to shops of the past, both in the customer experience and the feel. We kept looking at these old photos of shops and the kind of apron we kept seeing in those images was precisely what we wanted. The shopkeepers would very often be wearing brown aprons. That colour was quite an important aspect of the design – there was something about the colour brown that really appealed to us. We knew that the final apron not only had to be brown, but a shade of brown that evoked the era we were taking inspiration

from. As hard as we looked, we couldn’t find what we wanted. So, after giving up on that, we decided to make our own. The process Rachel Wythe-Moran: The design has gone through a few iterations as we have used the aprons over time. That first bib apron was loosely based on a couple of aprons that I had made for myself before we had the shop. It was long, but it didn’t cover the chest area. It was along the lines of a waiter’s apron, but in our brown canvas. It also didn’t have any pockets. After a while we decided we needed something that had a pocket and also covered more of the body. That was when the essential bib apron we have today was born; it came out of our experiences wearing the aprons in the shop and was very much based in practicality. The



main pocket was added first and was large enough to hold a useful amount of stock or tools while you worked. It has a gusset which allows the pocket to be a bit wider, which is very useful. We later added the top pocket for smaller things like pens. With the neck ties, we fed them through the brass eyelets instead of attaching them permanently, as that made it easier for people to really get the best fit for themselves. I think we finally settled on this version of the design about two years after opening the shop. The materials Simon Watkins: First and foremost, our apron had to be made from a robust fabric, as it had to survive hard usage in the shop environment, and of course the colour had to be right. We always like to use UK suppliers whenever we can, and Rachel found the fabric – a cotton duck fabric – at a company called Russell and Chapple, who are actually an art supplies company. I think it’s a fabric that’s mainly used for theatre backdrops. Their shop was where Rachel had first bought the material for her prototypes and we still use them today. We wanted something hardwearing but also something that came across as a good, honest, workmanlike material. While there have been several iterations – and two other apron designs – we have always used the same cloth. The philosophy Simon Watkins: This apron is an object that fits in with the aesthetic of Labour and Wait and has been part of the company since day one. It represents who we are. Even now, when we make our own jeans, we use this cloth as the patch on the back. This material has come to represent the core idea of the company, and that has happened because of the popularity that this apron, which is now sold all over the world, has maintained over two decades. LABOUR AND WAIT 48 Dorset Street, W1U 7NE 55 — MARYLEBONE JOURNAL / ISSUE NO. 95







CARLOS MONTEIRO Alexander Technique Teacher The Alexander Technique throws the spotlight on unnecessary tension. Often, we are unaware of bad habits we develop in the way we use our bodies. This leads to all sorts of psycho-physical pain. These bad habits can cause shortness of breath, tight shoulders, painful lower back, tiredness, quick fits of temperament and accelerated heart rate, to name a few. During a session, through the teacher’s hands-on guidance and verbal instructions, we learn how to stop those habitual patterns of reactions. We can all learn how to deal with these habits and generate more freedom within ourselves. We can develop a bit more ease, a state of balance in our daily activities, and an increase in vitality and wellbeing. Please contact me for more information: Mobile (WhatsApp): +44 78 26 86 81 12 Email: Website: Address: 18 Hayes Place, NW1 6UA (5 minutes’ walk from Marylebone station)


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Owners, meanwhile, can enjoy fresh pastries and all manner of coffees, teas and cold drinks. I’m greeted by Obi, the house dog, a perky pomeranian, and his owner Adnan Mohammed, whose brainchild this venture is. Inevitably, it’s Obi who’s the starting point of our conversation. Obi, I learn, is a very lucky boy – a rescue puppy, who was abandoned, left in a box, under-nourished and with immune system issues. Adnan found him through a charity, adopted him at six weeks old and nursed him back to health. “He’s the first dog I’ve owned. I’d quit my job and just wanted to take some time out – that was around June 2018,” recalls Adnan, who has lived in Marylebone for more than 20 years. “Dogs have a very positive impact on our lives. The greatest thing is that they live in the moment and when you’re around them, you have no choice but to live in the moment too. That mindfulness – and unconditional love – gives you a sense of calmness.”


Adnan Mohammed of Mr and Mrs Small on small dogs, big life choices, and the importance of living in the moment Interview: Jackie Modlinger


It’s a Sunday morning and we’re having coffee at Mr and Mrs Small. Outside, children’s faces are pressed against the vitrine, enchanted by the dogs inside. Unlike in the song, though, the doggies in the window are not for sale. And this is no ordinary caff. Through the doors, dogs are running up and down between low tables, leather sofas, tub chairs and bar stools. Along the wall hang polaroids of regular canine clients, part of the Mr and Mrs Small family. Mr and Mrs Small offers small-dog day care and a grooming salon, with optional extras including a Regent’s Park walk, behavioural assessment and a special ‘Small’ massage.

Q: What inspired you to open a canine cafe? A: I was working for the Deutsche Verkehrs Bank and travelling the world. I spent some time in LA, which is a very dog-friendly place. I saw a lot of canine pet-care stores. What appealed to me was this day care concept, which made a big difference to people’s lives. Initially my interest was personal – how would I manage a dog with my working lifestyle? It’s a big thing when you turn up somewhere and you just don’t feel welcome because you’ve got a dog. I thought, how do I rectify this? I felt that it was the right time to create a centre where people, with or without dogs, are welcomed with open arms. Q: How did the name come about? A: Firstly, because I was sometimes responsible for a dog called Mr Small and secondly, our day care is focused on small dogs. Mixing small and large dogs is quite challenging, especially when they’re playing. It can be a recipe for unintentional injuries. Also, given the space we’ve got, it was




appropriate. Bigger dogs can come in too, absolutely – the only aspect of it that applies to smaller dogs is the day care. But the majority of dogs that live in or visit the area fall within our criteria. Q: What does your grooming service involve? A: Everything is geared towards the dogs’ wellbeing and happiness. We try to bond, get to know them, get a relationship going. We’re not a factory, so we like to space out appointments. Grooming can be a very traumatic experience for certain dogs, so we really try to spend time with them, getting to know the dogs, so that they leave the premises not only looking good, but more importantly, feeling happy. It is what Mr and Mrs Small stands for. Q: Tell us more about the cafe aspect. A: We’ve tried to create a relaxing environment, so that people don’t feel rushed. There’s no better thing for starting up a conversation than having a dog. Friendships develop here. A lot of our customers come through word of mouth: “I’ve found this hidden gem of a place to bring your dog and have a coffee.” Marylebone has a real community, which is hard to find in big cities. It really reminds me of my childhood, where everyone in the neighbourhood was familiar. MR AND MRS SMALL 31 New Cavendish Street, W1G 9TT 58 — MARYLEBONE JOURNAL / ISSUE NO. 95









We wish Her Majesty The Queen a happy Platinum Jubilee from all the staff at King Edward VII's Hospital

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Mr Ahmed Ibrahim, consultant neurosurgeon at The London Clinic, on advances in the treatment of scoliosis, an abnormal curvature of the spine Interview: Viel Richardson



we tell patients the diagnosis, they’re really surprised.

Q: What is scoliosis? A: It’s an abnormal curvature of the spine. There are two types of scoliosis. The first occurs in childhood and is a structural problem: one side of the spine grows more than the other and this creates a curvature. This is called idiopathic or juvenile scoliosis and is treated by paediatric scoliosis surgeons. Then we have the degenerative type, which usually affects people above the age of 40. Q: What causes degenerative scoliosis? A: The spine has two components. The vertebrae are the structural components, like building blocks. As with any blocks, if you simply stack them, there’s no mobility. To be able to move your neck around, lean forward, get a range of movement, you need segmentation of those blocks. This is provided by the discs that separate the vertebrae. If there’s disease or trauma in either the vertebrae or the discs, it can cause a malalignment in the spine. Wear and tear can also cause the vertebrae or discs to degenerate in an asymmetrical way. The spine then starts to collapse on one side, which causes a domino effect and can lead to scoliosis. Q: How do you measure the level of severity? A: We use a scale called the COBBS angle. Anyone with a curvature of beyond 20 degrees is diagnosed with scoliosis. For some people, particularly with juvenile scoliosis, it can be what we call ‘static’. This is where it stays at a similar degree of curve and doesn’t really progress. In these cases, the curve stops progressing when the bones have matured. The adult version that develops through wear and tear or injury will almost always get worse with time. Q: How is it diagnosed? A: Generally, the idiopathic type is initially noticed by the parent who is caring for the child. They tend to be very attuned to anything 61 — MARYLEBONE JOURNAL / ISSUE NO. 95

Q: What are the symptoms? A: I deal with the degenerative type of scoliosis, and this tends to cause pain and dysfunction. In fact, this type of scoliosis is sometimes termed a ‘silent disability’, as the severity of pain and loss of movement function can leave people housebound. The reduction in activity can come at a severe cost to people’s health, causing cardiovascular problems, weight gain and general health issues. In juvenile cases, it can deform the ribcage and start to cause issues with breathing, which need to be treated promptly.

“This is an incredibly exciting time to be a neurosurgeon. New technology is only beginning to make an impact and it’s really exciting to think what we’ll be able to do in the future.” unusual. They tend to take the child to the doctor because they suspect something is not quite right. After that it is fairly simple to diagnose using x-rays. Some children with idiopathic scoliosis may require intervention early, while others may never need intervention, as it isn’t causing them function loss or aesthetic problems. With the degenerative type, the first sign is usually back pain. The diagnosis will come from an examination, confirmed with an x-ray that will tell you where the curvature is and whether there is a slipped disc or any other issue associated with the condition. With scoliosis, the curvature is from side to side, but your spine exists in three-dimensional space and sometimes you have a forward shift as well, which is called a kyphosis. Of course, the degree of curvature will vary between individuals. It usually occurs first in the lower spine and is not really visible. Sometimes when

Q: What causes the pain? A: There are generally two causes: muscular-skeletal and nerve damage. With muscular-skeletal issues, the curvature causes an imbalance in the way the muscles work when the patient stands and walks. This can cause pain in the joints and in the muscles themselves, and can go down to the buttock and potentially the legs as well. Nerve damage pain happens when the curvature causes compression of a nerve or nerves. There is a channel in the spine for each individual nerve. When there’s a curvature, that passage can be squashed on one side and the nerve can be crushed. The resulting pain can be severe and unrelenting because there’s no way to relieve the pressure. Q: Is there a non-surgical treatment route available? A: Physiotherapy and hydrotherapy with a focus on strengthening and balancing the muscles can be very effective. If the degree of scoliosis is at the lower end of the spectrum, or if the pressure on the nerves is reasonably low grade you can manage the symptoms. The next stage will be an injection that targets any of the compressed nerves and tries to relieve the symptoms as much as possible. But what we are doing there is localised pain relief, not a cure. >


Q: If surgery is needed, what is the nature of the procedure? A: The type of scoliosis dictates what you’re going to do. If you are trying to straighten the curve, you are either supporting or replacing vertebrae and putting in a structure to support the repair. If the issue is trapped nerves, you can undertake what’s called a ‘decompression’, where you remove part of the structure that’s compressing the nerve. This has got to be undertaken with careful consideration though, as it could make things worse. Q: Why is that? A: Because decompression involves removing bone to get to the area where the issue is. By doing so, you are potentially weakening that segment to the point where it could collapse more easily under pressure. This could actually accelerate the speed at which the curvature develops. If we’re going to do decompressions, they tend to be minimally invasive decompressions for patients who have a very targeted problem. The key is to be able to stop the pain with the smallest possible intervention. Q: Is it a complex operation? A: The procedure used to be an open surgery, meaning you would expose the spine. Nowadays we can carry out minimally invasive procedures, which are much better for the patient. Each vertebra is known as a ‘level’, and a scoliosis procedure tends to be multi-level, meaning we operate on several vertebrae or discs. When you have a curvature or a rotational misalignment, every vertebra will be on a different orientation, so the musculature will also be displaced, and potentially some organs will be too. This means that the orientation and the trajectory of your surgery will be different for every vertebra. This can increase the potential risk of injury to nearby nerves. Because of that, you need to operate with pinpoint accuracy. 62 — MARYLEBONE JOURNAL / ISSUE NO. 95

Q: Tell us about the ExcelciusGPS surgical robot. A: The ExcelciusGPS robotic surgical system is designed to treat spinal conditions. It allows me to guide the robotic arm to a precise area of the spine. There are a variety of surgical instruments that can be attached to the robotic arm, allowing me to carry out a range of procedures. This could include inserting screws into the spine, placing spinal implants or cutting away bone. The key thing is that while it is robotic, it is not autonomous – the surgeon still decides where to put the instrumentation and undertakes the actual surgical work. Q: What does a procedure look like? A: Before the procedure, everything will be planned out in detail and various aspects of it will be programmed into the system. If, for example, I’m inserting screws for structural support, the orientation and entry angle of those screws will be critical. If I’m removing bone, the tip of the instrument has to be in precisely the right place. As you can imagine, navigating through muscle tissue and around the spine itself is a very complex and time-consuming procedure. What I program into the robotic arm is the precise point that I want to work on and the exact orientation that I want the tip of the instrument to be at. What the robot then does is figure out the safest and most efficient way to get there. The speed aspect is important here, as the less time spent under anaesthetic the better. When I give the command, the robot navigates the instrument into place. I have a very clear view via high resolution screens of what is going on and at any time I can stop or change what the arm is doing. The accuracy of the whole procedure is extremely high, allowing me to operate more effectively and with greater confidence. Q: Does this increase the speed at which procedures take place?

A: For multi-level procedures, each level is a procedure in itself. Say we’re doing three levels of operation – I might need three screws in different orientations and trajectories for each vertebra. There could be eight or nine different screws that have to be placed with absolute accuracy. Using the robot, I can complete work on three levels of the spine in the time it would take to do one without it. Q: With these advanced techniques, can you fully cure scoliosis? A: With degenerative scoliosis, the spine will continue to wear, whether you operate or not, so you tend to do the minimum necessary to improve the patient’s condition without weakening the spine further. The aim is to ameliorate the symptoms, not fully correct the curve. While they are not ‘cured’, as a scoliosis does remain, you want the patient to be free of pain and able to get back to their life. It is different with an aesthetic operation, particularly for the idiopathic or the younger patients, where really they need the spine to be straight. The spine is usually more flexible at that age and can be straightened back to a very good degree. Again, the scoliosis may not be fully gone, but it can be reduced to a level where its impact on the patient’s life is significantly reduced or removed altogether. Q: What do you enjoy most about what you do? A: This is an incredibly exciting time to be a neurosurgeon. This technology is only beginning to make an impact and it’s really exciting to think what we’ll be able to do in the future. We are already seeing augmented-reality surgical systems being developed. It means we will be able to do so much more for the patients. That’s the exciting part. THE LONDON CLINIC 20 Devonshire Place, W1 G 6BW

ADVANCED TECHNOLOGY, ADVANCING YOUR RECOVERY At the London Clinic, we don’t just provide you with rapid access to healthcare – our pioneering use of robotic surgery in the fields of knee, spinal, prostate and cancer will speed up your recovery too. Robots provide our surgeons with greater vision, precision, and control, allowing them to perform keyhole surgery with less pain, less risk and shorter hospital stays. Enjoy rapid access to a quicker recovery.


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Below top: Caldesi in Marylebone Below bottom: Orrery Epicerie Opposite: VV Rouleaux

Katie and Giancarlo Caldesi, owners of the Caldesi in Marylebone Italian restaurant, describe their perfect Marylebone day

Culture Katie Caldesi: Wigmore Hall is just the best concert venue in the world. If we weren’t always so busy, we would go there more. Giancarlo Caldesi: We do manage to go to Daunt Books a lot, though; we absolutely love it there. We always get our travel books from Daunt, and I used to take the kids there all the time. They could sit down in the kids’ section and look through the books to see what they want before buying.

Interview: Clare Finney

Breakfast Katie Caldesi: Possibly I would get some delicious live yoghurt from La Fromagerie and then go to Blandford Stores to buy some fresh summer berries – they were open during lockdown, and it was wonderful to go and support them as often as we could. I would then mash the lot together with a fork. It’s wonderful, filling, and low-carb so perfect for me. Giancarlo Caldesi: I like to go up to the Orrery’s deli and enjoy their lovely pastries. A breath of fresh air Katie Caldesi: The St Marylebone churchyard is often overlooked as a public space, but going there in the summer and sitting on the benches is really lovely. You can relax and ponder, and I find it helps you a lot. I really like walking around Marylebone in general though. Because we have been here for so long – 24 years – I always meet someone I know. 64 — MARYLEBONE JOURNAL / ISSUE NO. 95

Giancarlo Caldesi: We like to use the New Cavendish Jewellers – near our end of Marylebone Lane – for repairs, and they often come to us for dinner. They are very friendly, and, just like us, they have been trading here in Marylebone for years.

Coffee Katie Caldesi: To be honest, my favourite coffee has to be our own coffee here at Caldesi in Marylebone. It’s Kimbo coffee, a Neapolitan brand. I am a really fussy coffee drinker, and our staff know exactly how I like it: I always have an americano with double cream. A new outfit Katie Caldesi: Sixty 6 is a little dress shop on Bulstrode Street, owned by a really nice, interesting lady who had a shop right at the top of the high street for many, many years. Her clothes are just lovely – they are all her own designs, too, so you won’t find them anywhere else – and she has been in Marylebone for such a long time. Shopping Katie Caldesi: I like Caroline Gardner for gifts, and I love VV Rouleaux. We actually use them quite often for decorations in the restaurant.

Drinks Katie Caldesi: We visited Purl recently and loved it. I’d love to go back there with the family. Giancarlo Caldesi: For me, 108 Bar. It makes Marylebone Lane look a bit like Paris, with the umbrellas out on the street. Eating out Katie Caldesi: I think we’d go to Fairuz, the Lebanese grill on Blandford Street, and take the family. The people there are really friendly, always remember us, and of course the food is totally different to what we do here. Eating in Katie Caldesi: My favourite day of the week has to be Sunday, mainly for the farmers’ market. We like to go there to buy proper, seasonal and local veg there, such as pumpkins, spring greens and the very best cherry tomatoes. I also go into La Fromagerie for ingredients, but also for inspiration – to simply see the produce all stacked up and think about what’s in season. CALDESI IN MARYLEBONE 118 Marylebone Lane, W1U 2QF


The Conran Shop Opposite top: La Brasseria Opposite bottom: Paddington Street Gardens


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