Marylebone Journal issue 96

Page 1


The perfect way to start your Sunday: listen to an hour of world-class classical music followed by a cup of coffee or a glass of sherry. 11.30 TICKETSAM FROM £14 Coffee or a glass of sherry included with your Sunday Morning Concerts

The chief executive of Sunspel on surviving crises, avoiding the ‘heritage’ tag, and ensuring that sustainability is about substance not marketing ANATOMY OF 54


A DESIGN Huw Evans, designer and product developer for The Conran Shop, on a wooden chair that evolved from a student project

MY PERFECT 64 DAY Corin Mellor of David Mellor describes his perfect Marylebone day


Marylebone Village

Publisher LSC Publishing Editor Mark Riddaway

Cover: Adriana Cavita, by Lucy Richards

Owned and supported by The Howard de Walden Estate 23 Queen Anne Street, W1G 9DL 020 7580 3163

The founder of Step Change Studios on dance, disability and the vital importance of making exercise and the arts more inclusive A MEXICAN 20 WAVE The Journal meets Adriana Cavita to discuss Mexico’s extraordinary culinary culture, and drops in on Matthias Ingelmann at KOL’s Mezcalaria to explore the country’s unique spirits THE DIFFERENCE 33 MAKERS

Advertising sales Donna Earrey 020 7401 2772

Design and art direction Em-Project Limited

Portman Marylebone

Marylebone Journal

The Portman Estate 40 Portman Square, W1H 6LT 020 7563 1400

Events, exhibitions, film, music, shopping, talks, theatre and walks IN PROFILE: 14 RASHMI BECKER

Fiona Hollis, head of communications at City Harvest London A CLOSER 36


Contributers Jean-Paul Aubin-Parvu Ellie VielCharlotteOrlandoClareCostiganFinneyGiliPeirce-GregoryRichardson

LOOK Food, style, home, wellbeing and healthcare Q&A: 36 MARCELLO BERNARDI

The co-owner of The Italian Greyhound on accessibility, evolution and the liberating power of being cut from non-traditional cloth Q&A: 44 NICHOLAS BROOKE

AUTUMN TRUNK SHOW 15 – 24 September by appointment onlyLondon, W1H 1QB

UNTIL 19 SEPTEMBER IRI MARUKI & TOSHIKO AKAMATSU: HIROSHIMA Daiwa Anglo-Japanese Foundation 13-14 Cornwall Terrace, NW1 4QP 1. 1.2. Sean WigmoreShibe,Hall 2. Toshiko Akamatsu, Daiwa FoundationJapaneseAnglo8EVENT–21SEPTEMBER




20TALKSEPTEMBER, 7pm SABRINA GHAYOUR Daunt Books 83 Marylebone High Street, W1U 4QW Sabrina Ghayour, author of recipe books including Persiana, Bazaar and Simply, talks to lifestyle and interiors journalist Jessica Salter about her latest work, Persiana Everyday – a collection of beautiful Persian dishes that are quick to cook and based on easy-to-find ingredients.

SEAN SHIBE Wigmore Hall 36 Wigmore Street, W1U 2BP

Hailing from Scotland, Sean Shibe is one of the foremost guitarists of his generation, whose recordings earned two Gramophone Awards in three years. For this concert, he will be performing a typically varied set, including works by Agustín Barrios Mangoré, Josquin des Prez and Manuel de Falla. EXHIBITION Artists Iri Maruki and Toshiko Akamatsu both made anguished visits to Hiroshima in the days after the obliteration of the city, in search of relatives and friends. In the decades that followed, they sought to reflect the city’s trauma in a series of powerful painted panels. This exhibition displays drawings and archival materials from the pair’s work.

OPEN HOUSE FESTIVAL 2022 The Open House Festival, in which some of London’s most interesting or important buildings are opened up to the public, returns in September. Among the atthe(RIBA)InstituteheadquartersparticipantsMarylebonearetheimpressiveoftheRoyalofBritishArchitectsonPortlandPlace,andWhich?magazineoffices2MaryleboneRoad.




21SHOPPINGSEPTEMBER NIWAKI ANNIVERSARY EVENT 38NiwakiChiltern Street, W1U 7QL Japanese toolmakers Niwaki are celebrating a year of trading on Chiltern Street. The day sees the launch of a new workwear collection. There will be sake and snacks, live demonstrations of tree pruning, Ikebana flower arranging and tool care, and the first 250 attendees will be given a special limited-edition gift.

The London Design Festival returns in September. Among the local highlights, Little Greene’s showroom will be unveiling Forest, a new collection of paints and wallpapers that reflect the natural world, and hosting a Mood Board workshop for anyone seeking to create an engaging environment in their home. To mark the 60-year anniversary of its 620 Chair Programme, Vitsœ will be displaying items from its archive, plus early photography by Ingeborg Rams. Jo Malone London, meanwhile, will be opening the doors of its Marylebone Townhouse to showcase an exhibition by multidisciplinary artist Martyn Thompson.


Elisa Shua Dusapin, a young French novelist whose works are published by Daunt Books Publishing, talks to fellow writer Tice Cin about her new book, The Pachinko Parlour, an exploration of identity and otherness, unspoken histories, and being lonely even among family.

1. 2.

FROM 23 SEPTEMBER MOONAGE DAYDREAM Regent Street Cinema 307 Regent Street, W1B 2HW

29FOODSEPTEMBER, 12pm FOOD MARKET AT 55 BAKER STREET Baker Street Quarter Partnership

Architect Charles Holland and visual artist Di Mainstone explore the power relations embedded within the layout of our domestic spaces, highlighting moments when the architectural plan has challenged or changed the conventions of domestic life. 6. FILM

66RIBAPortland Place, W1B 1AD

From Oscar-nominated filmmaker Brett Morgen, director of Cobain: Montage of Heck, and featuring never-before-seen concert footage, Moonage Daydream illuminates the enigmatic legacy of David Bowie.



The imposing Marylebone Town Hall became the go-to destination for celebrity couples to tie the knot. The Baker Street Quarter Partnership invites you to step inside this vast edifice, view the photographs and visit the rooms where many famous names got hitched. 5.

Mezzo-soprano Sarah Connolly introduces the London premiere of a new work by Mark-Anthony Turnage, Songs of Sleep and Regret. Accompanied by pianist Joseph Middleton, she will also be performing songs from the Second Viennese School, as well as Chausson’s rapturous cycle Poème de l’amour et de la mer.




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.



1. Niwaki Anniversary Event 2. Radical Rooms, RIBA 3. Little FestivalLondonGreene,Design 4. Moonage Daydream, Regent CinemaStreet 5. Dame HallConnolly,SarahWigmore 6. Wind, Water & Wood, jaggedart

DAME SARAH CONNOLLY Wigmore Hall 36 Wigmore Street, W1U 2BP

WIND, WATER & WOOD 28AjaggedartDevonshire Street, W1G 6PS Incorporating dandelion fibres, stones, grasses and pigments, terracotta and wood, this evocative collection of works from a large and diverse cast of jaggedart’s regular artists is firmly rooted in the materials, colours and sensations of the natural world.

The Baker Street Quarter’s food market in the covered atrium of 55 Baker Street gathers together a small but diverse range of street food, including kebabs from Berlin Doner, Caribbean flavours from Rummanco, and fresh pasta from Homemade Passion.

Don’t expect a documentary; expect an audio-visual space odyssey.

12MUSICOCTOBER, 7.30pm APARTMENT HOUSE Wigmore Hall 36 Wigmore Street, W1U 2BP




1. Garden Beside the World by Helen Tabor, GalleryThompson’s 2. Atelier Archmixing, RIBA 3. Stephen Greif and Dame Siân Phillips, The Hellenic Centre 4. Inspiring Walt Disney, The Wallace Collection 5. Apartment House, Wigmore Hall 6. Not Quite Dusk, London by Peter Thompson’sWileman,Gallery

9MUSICOCTOBER, 12pm BACH IN LEIPZIG Royal Academy of Music Marylebone Road, NW1 5HT Peter Whelan, artistic director of the Irish Baroque Orchestra and Marsyas Ensemble, directs a programme that illustrates the wide instrumental and emotional range of Bach’s Leipzig cantatas, including the Du Hirte Israel, höre, and Darzu ist erschienen der Sohn Gottes, which vividly depicts the Devil as a serpent.

66RIBAPortland Place, W1B 1AD The Practice Space at 66 Portland Place showcases recent works by architecture practices around the globe. This exhibition looks at Atelier Archmixing in Shanghai, a studio that experiments with, researches and reflects on China’s rapid urbanisation and growth.

The acclaimed Apartment House ensemble presents a typically inventive set, including new works by Lithuanian composer Juta Pranulyte and the Irish-born, Huddersfieldbased Scott McLaughlin, as well as Oliver Leith’s Grinding Bust Turning and Jack Sheen’s Solo for Cello and Audio.

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 18thcentury French artworks for their source material.


The Wallace Collection Manchester Square, W1U 3BN

Led by violinist Hugo Ticciati, the Swedish O/Modernt ensemble aims to heighten awareness of musical connections that span times and cultures. This concert explores the wide influence on the Western classical canon of Hungarian folk music, while also delving into the latter’s sources.



In a play written and directed by David Stuttard, Dame Siân Phillips and Stephen Greif give voice to the different responses of male and female figures in classical Greek literature as they experience love, desire and hate. 2. 4. 22MUSICOCTOBER, 7.30pm LUDLOW ENGLISH SONG DAY: STILL ALIVE & FRYING BACON Wigmore Hall 36 Wigmore Street, W1U 2BP

As part of a day-long tie-in with the English Song Weekend at Ludlow, Robert Murray (tenor), James Atkinson (baritone) and Iain Burnside (piano) are joined by readers Katy Hamilton, Donald Macleod and Ian Skelly to present some of the songs and writings of the composer Gerald Finzi.

This seasonal showcase features a richly varied selection of paintings, drawings and mixed media artworks by familiar and fresh talents, from Tony de Wolf’s photographic still-life paintings, to Matthew Draper’s serene pastel renderings of London at twilight, to Patsy McArthur’s evocative charcoal drawings of swimmers and dancers.


UNTIL 8 OCTOBER THE AUTUMN PICTURE SHOW Thompson’s Gallery 3 Seymour Place, W1H 5AZ 6.



The Hellenic Centre 16-18 Paddington Street, W1U 5AS


By then, it’s all gone, and it never repeats itself. It’s one moment in time.

Her question was always: “Why are you taking that? You’ve only got eight shots, so why that one?” Although I use a digital camera now, there has always been that sense of economy to my approach.

Q: That sounds like an approach more typical of analogue photography than digital?

A: It helps that they’re concentrating so very hard on what they’re doing. Royal Marines firing automatic rifles,

Q: You must need the people you’re shooting to be comfortable with your presence but not distracted by it. How do you go about that?

A: It is. When I was a child, I started on a brand-new 127 with eight shots per film. My mother had to buy new film whenever I finished one, and also pay for developing the one I’d done.

I get to where I want to be, take two or three shots, then go away again, so there’s not a vast amount of clicking going on. I’m also not one for looking at the back of the camera after every shot – I’ll worry about what’s on it later.

Q: You started out as a street photographer. How does that translate into your documentary work?

A: I think of what I do now as being applied street photography. The street photographer’s trick is to anticipate that something is about to happen. I’m often behind the camera, thinking: “Just get on with it. I know what you’re going to do; just do it so I can take a photograph!” When it happens, I’m ready for it, as opposed to: “Goodness me, this is good, where’s the button?”

JONASCHRISTOPHERQ&A: The ofbehind-the-scenesphotographerdocumentaryonhischronicleWigmoreHall


Interview: Mark Riddaway Images: Christopher Jonas or a policeman with a dog in the street confronting a crowd, musicians rehearsing their instruments: because they’re so good at what they do, they’re all completely immersed in their work. I don’t want any change to what they’re doing, so I try to be as unobtrusive as possible. I’m not the kind of photographer who shoots 100 shots and hopes that one comes out. I work out the scene that I’m looking for. I walk up very slowly and quietly.

Q: You recently spent several months photographing behind the scenes at Wigmore Hall. Your previous work has seen you spending time embedded with soldiers, scientists, students and police officers. What is the common thread that links your projects?

A: I do the everyday. I photograph other people as they go about their work. It’s all unposed. It’s all ambient light, no flash. One camera, one fixed-length lens, no zoom, no tripod, no clutter. It’s just me, quietly photographing their world as I see it. Out of that comes a documentary of the everyday.

This joint exhibition charts the trajectories of contemporary painters Aldo Balding and Lewis Hazelwood-Horner, debuting new and unseen pictures by both artists. While their artistic styles are quite distinct, both share an eye for the small wonders of everyday life.

A: Oh yes. It was such a pleasure to spend so much time hearing the most glorious music. It’s quite distracting at times. I had to stop myself humming the tune or the harmony to myself, which was much more distracting to the artists than anything I was doing with the camera!

A: The amount of physical effort that goes into putting a concert on. There are two pianos, and they live below the stage – a newer one and an older one – and getting those set up is a tough job. There was one classical pianist who, when he sat down, said: “Oh God, I’ve ordered the wrong one, can you change it?” That meant taking the legs off the piano, taking off the pedal insulation, taking up these big, heavy floor plates, lifting it all below the floor, putting the floor back, taking up another part of the floor, and getting the other piano up. It was half an hour of hard physical work, using their own muscle, when they probably had loads of other prep to do. But they just did it. There was no: “Why can’t you just play with the one you’ve ordered?” Nothing was too much trouble.

A: I was very struck by the life they lead. They’ll be leaving the Wigmore Hall at the end of a concert in the evening, and the following day they’re travelling somewhere in Europe. The day after that they’re performing, and the following day they’re travelling, and the day after that they’re performing. It never ends. As a result, the abiding movable scenery in the Wigmore Hall green room is a bag from the Pret a Manger on the corner. They live on Pret baguettes and sandwiches and cups of coffee.Beyond their skill, I was struck by the absolute friendliness of IwellwhattheirTheysocooperative,,theyweresosowelcoming,immediatelyfriendly.werecomfortableinownskins,knewthattheydidtheydidveryandassumedthatwhatdidIdidwelltoo.

ALDO BALDING & HAZELWOOD-HORNERLEWIS Thompson’s Gallery 3 Seymour Place, W1H 5AZ


Q: Are you somebody who loves music?

The Academy continues its creative partnership with The Juilliard School in New York with a concert of 20th-century works, including pieces by Delage, Stravinsky and Knussen, conducted by world-renowned soprano Barbara Hannigan.

1. Barbara Hannigan, Royal Academy of Music


Q: Was there anything about the work at Wigmore Hall that particularly surprised you?

Q: What did you make of the musicians as you watched them work?






The GateforthCockpitStreet, NW8 8EH

Presented by The Cockpit and the Burning Coal Theatre Company, Lanford Wilson’s Pulitzer Prizewinning 1980 play introduces us to Matt Friedman and Sally Talley, who come together, for better or for worse, in a gazebo on a Missouri riverbank in 1944. An unconventional romance, told in real time. 3.




5. Merry

22 SEPTEMBER – 29 OCTOBER GARRETT BRADLEY: SAFE Lisson Gallery 67 Lisson Street, NW1 5DA

The Hellenic Centre marks the centenary of the awful burning of the city of Smyrna with two IoannaandPavlosKyriakos,featuringregion’straditionswesterntheaSongsfollowedWedlock.Annaandrefugees,withinterviewspiecepowerfulMinorPromise:2pm,performances.evocativeAtwatchTheAnAsiaStory,aspokeninspiredbyconductedAsiaMinorwrittenperformedbyConomos-Thisisat5pmbyofAsiaMinor,concertcelebratingsynthesisofandeasterninthemusic,violinistguitaristMelassanturplayerRiga.


1. Safe by GalleryBradley,GarrettLisson Talley’s Folly, The Cockpit Olga de Amaral, Lisson Gallery Novus HallQuartet,StringWigmore ChristmasMaryleboneLights


EXHIBITION For her focusesrelationships,lookedAKAitsexteriorwomen’soverlapexploreofsecondpresentsGarrettartistLissonexhibitionfirstwithGallery,andfilmmakerBradleySafe,theinatrilogyshortfilmsthatthenuancedbetweeninteriorandlives.Whilepredecessor(2019)toexteriorSafeoninnerlife.


NOVUS STRING QUARTET Wigmore Hall 36 Wigmore Street, W1U 2BP Formed at the Korean National University for the Arts in 2007, acclaimed for the drama and warmth of their performances and currently enjoying a spell as Artists in Residence at Wigmore Hall, Novus String Quartet presents a compelling set of works by Berg, Brahms and Mozart.





Colombian artist Olga de Amaral presents her first solo London show for almost a decade, incorporating materials such as Japanese paper, gesso, linen, gold leaf and platinum into several significant, largescale works. Look out too for Luz Blanca (1969/1992/2010), a cascade of layered polyurethane.

MERRY MARYLEBONE CHRISTMAS LIGHTS & SHOPPING EVENT Marylebone Village Marylebone Village’s Christmas season kicks off with the traditional celebrity switch-on moment: the centrepiece of a whole day of festive activities and offers. Marylebone High Street and much of the surrounding area will be pedestrianised to make way for the usual live music, children’s activities, stalls, and charity fundraising on behalf of Mind Brent, Wandsworth & Westminster. Dozens of retailers and restaurants will be offering promotions, experiences, gifts and special menus.

The Hellenic Centre 16-18 Paddington Street, W1U 5AS




ROYAL ACADEMY OPERA: THE RAKE’S PROGRESS Royal Academy of Music Marylebone Road, NW1 5HT Conducted by Trevor Pinnock and directed by Frederic WakeWalker, Royal Academy Opera students perform Stravinsky’s only English language opera – a work inspired by William Hogarth’s engravings and with lyrical input from the poet WH 7EXHIBITIONAuden.OCTOBER–26



THE BLACK TRIANGLE Atlas Gallery 49 Dorset Street, W1U 7NF Named after photographer Armet Francis’s descriptor of the deep historic connections that link people of colour in the Americas and Caribbean, Europe and Africa, this powerful exhibition presents images from the fight against racist ideologies and policies on three continents.

THE LOST KING The Wallace Collection Manchester Square, W1U 3BN 2. P.14→ Rashmi Becker of Step Change Studios on dance, disability and the vital importance of making exercise and the arts more inclusive 1. 22MUSIC–25

JO TAYLOR: LIBERATE Thompson’s Gallery 3 Seymour Place, W1H 5AZ

EXHIBITION Since the 16th century, King Richard III (1452-85) has been portrayed in aboutforthcomingcreatedtheopportunitywillYorkistperceptionshaveWallacekeydisplaynuanced.thecharacterisations,withofandvillain,filmtheatre,literature,artandasanarch-ausurperamurdererchildren,butasallsuchvividtruthisfarmoreThisfreeexploreshowobjectsatTheCollectioninfluencedoftheking.VisitorsalsogetthetoviewreplicaarmourforthefilmRichardIII.

Jo Taylor, who honed her skill as a painter of animals during an artist’s residency at the University of Liverpool’s department of veterinary science, presents a series of equestrian paintings notable for their dynamism, power and expression as well as their technical accuracy.

Voila! Europe, The Cockpit’s multilingual theatre festival, is celebrating its 10th year. A packed programme of crosscultural, audiences.infromtalentedperformancescross-disciplinarybringstogetherindependentartistsalloverthecontinent,searchofadventurous 4.3.




12 — MARYLEBONE JOURNAL / ISSUE NO. 96 1. Voila! Europe, The Cockpit 2. The Lost King, The CollectionWallace 3. Jo Thompson’sTaylor, Gallery 4. First Notting Hill Street Party 1968 by Charlie Phillips, Atlas Gallery

The GateforthCockpitStreet, NW8 8EH

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14 — MARYLEBONE JOURNAL / ISSUE NO. 96 The founder of Step Change Studios on dance, disability and the vital importance of making exercise and the arts more inclusive Interview: Mark Riddaway Images: Dani Campion, John Trigg, Stephen Wright, Activity Alliance BECKERRASHMIINPROFILE IN PROFILE: RASHMI BECKER

Rashmi now has an MBE, a place on the board of Sport England, and the platform needed to push for changes to the way that sport and leisure providers around the country serve people with disabilities.

It all began with a “Dragon’s Den-style pitch”, says Rashmi Becker, founder of Step Change Studios – a pitch that involved something of far greater value than that show’s roll call of waterless egg cookers and treadmills for dogs. It was a presentation delivered at speed but gestated over many years. Rashmi, a long-time resident of Marylebone, had built a career working as a social policy expert, first in Whitehall then in Brussels, before returning to London to work in social care. “During that time, I became aware of the value of sport, physical activity and the arts – music, dance, movement – for disabled people, particularly people with autism, which was the space I was working in,” she explains.


Five years later, Step Change Studios has run dozens of programmes in Westminster, giving hundreds of people with disabilities the chance to experience moments of dynamic movement and glorious self-expression: wheelchair dance programmes; a Strictly-inspired dance competition; programmes for youth groups; programmes for older people with dementia. Currently, every Sunday afternoon at Seymour Leisure Centre in Marylebone, visually impaired adults gather for ballroom and Latin dance classes.

Q: Where do you think your drive to widen access to dance comes from?

A: As a child, I was very active. I was a very serious ice skater, so I used to train every day.

A trained exercise and dance teacher, Rashmi started volunteering in local care settings, putting on dance sessions for residents, which proved hugely popular. “A lot of places were saying: ‘Can we do this regularly?’ So I started calling up dance halls and dance teachers, but the buildings weren’t accessible, or they felt that having disabled people in their sessions would slow them down, or they didn’t feel confident in teaching them. It became obvious that there was very little provision available.”

It was then, through pure serendipity, that Rashmi read about a competition for a public grant being offered by a consortium of dance organisations including Sadler’s Wells, English National Ballet and East London Dance. “I pitched the idea for Step Change Studios – a dance organisation that supports disabled people – and I was successful. It was a tiny amount of money, but when you have an idea and people have confidence in that idea, that’s all you need. At the time, I thought it would be part-time, the odd project here or there, the odd Sunday class. Then it just snowballed.”

A: Our physical and mental health is so closely linked to being active. If you’re disabled, you’re twice as likely to be inactive. Seven in 10 disabled people want to be more active, but there are lots of barriers. What I think dance does, firstly, is transcend language boundaries – you can be non-verbal, but still express yourself. It can help manage anxiety, it can help with communication, it can help with confidence and connections, health and wellbeing. Sport comes with rules and kit, and all sorts of cultures and subcultures, which for a lot of people can be quite offputting, but dance is different. We find that one of the things people are nervous about is how they’re going to look. They don’t want to look silly. They want to fit in. But dance is such a diverse type of activity, everyone can enjoy it. We meet people that have different challenges and different assets and abilities. We look at what they can do, and we work to their own potential.

Q: What more can be done to ensure that people with disabilities can access dance and exercise classes beyond the specialist ones that you provide?

Q: What other barriers do people with disabilities come up against when trying to access mainstream venues?

Rashmi Becker and Paralympian Will Bayley at the Dance Westminster competition

By the time I was three and a half, I was on the ice, and I trained every day until I was about 18, 19, very seriously, competing around the country. I started dancing to help my skating be more artistic. So much of my personality and my resilience and determination comes from that training: dealing with competition, dealing with the psychological aspect of sport. I learned so much from that time, especially around diversity and inclusion. Everywhere I went, I was usually the only female South Asian in those spaces. My mum has a picture of me doing ballet at around five years old, and I’m the little kid on the end. You can see from my face that I didn’t quite feel like I fitted.


I also have an older brother who has severe autism and learning disabilities. He was born at a time, in the late 1960s, when there was very little knowledge of autism. People used terms like ‘refrigerator mother’ – the mother was blamed for being uncaring and unemotional – and there weren’t the resources or support you get now, which still aren’t enough! Because he’s non-verbal, we used to interact a lot through sounds, through music and movement. We’ve got old black and white footage of us moving together – that’s a happy memory I’ll always have.

“For me, it’s about shifting the mindset so that people who commission shows, people who provide funding, teachers, choreographers, dancers, all work in a more inclusive way and recognise the breadth of talent that’s out there.”

A: We need professionals who understand how they can adapt their spaces and their teaching to make them more welcoming. Leisure centres offer all sorts of classes. The question is: are there small adaptations you can make to how you present your classes and how you engage people that can make them more inclusive? Do you have capacity to maybe run one specialist programme that enables more people to benefit from your expertise? The will is usually there, but it comes down to confidence and competence. I was trained as a spin instructor. You’re taught how to adapt your class if someone’s pregnant, or older, or really unfit. Particularly in a beginners’ class, people aren’t all at the same level, so you adapt your delivery based on your clients. Why shouldn’t that extend to cover someone with a sensory, mental or physical disability? One in five people in the country are disabled but they’re still treated as an afterthought.

A: Someone was mentioning the other day that they’ve got a nice new building and it’s accessible because it has a lift. And I just took a breath and talked to them about how people often think ‘accessible’ means a ramp or a lift, when really it’s about the whole user experience. How do people get to your building? What is your communication like? How inclusive are the classes you offer? It’s every single aspect: the booking, the parking, the pricing, the signage. Here’s an example: we use different spaces around Westminster, and we went to a venue where the protocol is that everyone has to sign in. Of course, our

Q: What is it about dance that makes it so beneficial?

A: Often barriers and discrimination come in more than one form: ethnicity, gender, age, as well as disability. I’d been involved with a lot of blind organisations and became aware that they weren’t very diverse. They wanted to be more diverse in terms of ethnicity, but we didn’t know how. We managed to secure a grant with Vision Foundation for a project that was all about engaging blind people from a South Asian background. We created over 100 online audio and video sessions during the pandemic, in four different languages: English, Bengali, Gujurati and Hindi. Then, coming out of the pandemic, we ran some pilot programmes in different parts of London where there are large Asian

17 — MARYLEBONE JOURNAL / ISSUE NO. 96 IN PROFILE: RASHMI BECKER > blind participants couldn’t sign in. It was a slightly strange conversation: “Is there another way? Can I just do it for them?” But that was the process, and it was very difficult to get past that point. That’s a really silly, simple example but it’s often silly things like that that get in the way. One of the things that we’ve been talking to the sector about is that a lot of the processes that are now in place, like booking systems moving online or venues becoming cashless and so on, end up excluding a lot of people.

The need to book ahead of time can be a problem. A lot of disabled people are reliant on a carer, or their ability to take part might depend on how they’re feeling that particular morning. If you’re in a care setting, you might not have a credit card or access to the internet. My brother loves swimming and I wanted to be able to take him to the local pool, but all their systems prohibited it. What I found is that when I engaged with the general manager of the leisure centre, they realised and they adapted, but it’s just not something they had thought about.

Q: One of your programmes – Dance Dosti – was created specifically for blind people from South Asian communities. What was your thinking there?

Fairy Tales at Sadler’s Wells, produced by Step Change Studios

A: With Covid, one of the positive things was, because so much went online, disabled people who weren’t necessarily able to access things due to the logistics of travel were suddenly able to benefit. At Step Change Studios, we weren’t doing any online delivery pre-Covid, but we’ve kept it going because it’s hugely popular. Our most popular session is a Saturday session online. People join in at home with their families or their carers. You can have people in different parts of the country all in one place.

Q: Has the shift to online services brought any positives?

IN PROFILE: RASHMI BECKER 18 — MARYLEBONE JOURNAL / ISSUE NO. 96 Students competing in the Dance Westminster competition

a Dance Dosti class for blind people of South Asian heritage Far right: Dance Dosti participants perform on stage Right: a class for young people with disabilities, which takes place every Sunday


Q: There’s a video of your Dance Dosti participants completing their programme by performing on stage. Is that an important aspect of your work?

Q: You’re not disabled and nor are many of your volunteers. How do you ensure that the specific needs of your clients are properly understood?

A: When you’re creating a programme, you talk to the people you’re creating it for. We can’t possibly know everything and get everything right. So, when we start a programme, we constantly say to people: “Tell us what’s working and tell us what’s not.” When we first started working with people with visual impairments, they told us: “It really helps when you wear darker clothing,” because a lot of people can see shades and shapes, for example. We think, right, noted. If you’re running a class, you should have a sense of the physical challenges but also what the worries are, all those psychological concerns that people might have.

A: It’s interesting, because as we started to become more successful, there was an external expectation that we’d grow our reach and become national. But I really love the community aspect and I think you would lose that. I’m really involved in the Westminster community and the Marylebone community and that gives you a real sense of value and purpose. I don’t want to franchise. Instead, I think we can have influence more broadly in the sector. Because Dance Dosti was so successful, I was asked if I could deliver it in Birmingham. And what I said was: “Actually, I’d rather work with teachers based in Birmingham and train them so that they can deliver it, and then it’s sustainable.”

communities. It has really helped us understand that combination of culture and disability, and the changes we needed to make to enable people to feel comfortable.

It’s amazing when you start looking at the world from that perspective. We were monitoring how the Dance Dosti programme was doing and we asked questions to one of the volunteers. She said: “It’s changed my awareness, because it would never have dawned on me before to describe a room.” With people with sight loss, if we’re in a new space or someone is new, we describe the room we’re in, and we describe ourselves. One of the things they find frustrating is that you might be talking to them, then you move on to talk to someone else, but they don’t know you’ve left, so they’ll still be talking. You just need to say: “I’m leaving now.” Those things become more automatic, but when you’re new to it, it wouldn’t necessarily cross your mind.

Q: As well as your community classes, you’ve produced professional dance performances at Sadler’s Wells, featuring disabled performers. Was that always part of the plan?

A: Yes. When I made the original Dragon’s Den-type pitch, one of the things I talked about was producing a professional production. I had met a lot of professional or semi-professional disabled dancers who told me they didn’t really have opportunities to showcase their abilities. I was able, eventually, to persuade Sadler’s Wells to support us in producing a show there – the international home of dance. They’d never done anything like it. It was a ballroom, Latin-inspired inclusive dance show, with 20 dancers. Half were disabled. Disabled and non-disabled dancers, all performing together. Sadler’s really liked what we did and invited us to produce another show. People were blown away by the talent they saw. For me, it’s about shifting that mindset so that people who commission shows, people who provide funding, teachers, choreographers, dancers, all work in a more inclusive way and recognise the breadth of talent that’s out there.

Q: Does having those disabled dancers at Sadler’s Wells – or on Strictly Come Dancing on television – have a positive effect on participation at a grassroots level?

A: That’s a common assumption, but it doesn’t always stand up. I think a lot of that comes back down to what I was saying before about your local experience. You might see this amazing thing on the TV or at the theatre, but if you then can’t book your local swimming pool or dance class because it’s not accessible… How many barriers are you going to try and overcome before you just give up?



Q: Currently your work is almost entirely London based. Do you see yourself taking Step Change Studios further afield?

A: It really is. You always have to get the measure right, though. If we start a programme and straight away I say: “Right, you’re going to go on stage and perform,” some people would be absolutely petrified. But I think that having that goal – and this might be the competitive skater in me from days gone by – gives you something to aim for. Depending on the group, it may just be them in their own dance studio at the end of the programme doing something for themselves. Or maybe having a few friends along. But for Dance Dosti I knew the venue we were using had a theatre and I thought it would be lovely if they could perform there. I’ve been doing this for a while, and I know how rewarding people find it, however nervous and apprehensive they were. When the performance is finished, some of them will be in tears, because they’re so proud of what they’ve done and how far they’ve come.


With Cavita opening on the same line of latitude as KOL, just a few hundred metres apart, Marylebone is now home to some of the most exciting Mexican food and drink in the UK. To celebrate, the Journal meets Adriana Cavita to discuss Mexico’s extraordinary culinary culture, and drops in on Matthias Ingelmann at KOL’s Mezcalaria to explore the country’s unique spirits




“There were around 100 languages in Mexico; now there are 50 or 60. Losing a language means losing part of the culture. It’s the same with food.” Adriana Cavita


In the early 2000s, a delegation from Mexico approached the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) with an unprecedented request: that their country’s cuisine be added to the agency’s list of the ‘intangible cultural heritage’ of humanity.

After years of studying gastronomy at university and on the ground in Mexico, then working with such luminaries as Ferran Adrià in Spain and Enrique Olvera in Mexico, there is a sense of homecoming to the white drapes, brightly coloured ornaments, and her blue chef’s outfit, hand embroidered with her name, and a strip of pink flowers. For Adriana, Mexico’s diverse cuisine is like its languages: prolific, beautiful and under threat from an increasingly globalised and homogenised world.


Cavita the restaurant has been open a mere couple of months – yet Cavita the chef seems entirely at ease.

Though UNESCO already recognised some rare or unique foods and cooking techniques from around the world, it had yet to deem an entire cuisine as worthy of the status and protection such an inclusion would afford. The Mexicans made an unusual case. They argued that Mexico’s corn, beans, chillies, vanilla and cocoa and the many and ancient ways in which they are grown, prepared and eaten represent “a complex cultural system of agricultural practices, traditions and symbolism imbued with religious meaning and steeped in ritual”. In July 2010, their wish was granted. Mexican cuisine was deemed sufficiently diverse, historic and embedded in the nation’s community and culture to receive UNESCO status as a Masterpiece of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity. In theory, this means the UN is committed to protecting and preserving Mexico’s culinary traditions for posterity. Yet in practice, the most important preservers of a cuisine are not global organisations, but people: the farmers, producers, traders, cooks and chefs who keep techniques and ingredients alive by farming, producing, trading and cooking them for their communities, day after day. Two such Mexicans are in Marylebone: the first, Santiago Lastra, opened his restaurant KOL in 2020 and quickly earned a Michelin star. The second, Adriana Cavita, opened her eponymous restaurant on Wigmore Street earlier this year. She smiles patiently when I remark on their both being in Marylebone – a remark which quickly betrays my naivety: I’ve never remarked upon the number of Italian restaurants in Marylebone, and Italy is seven times smaller than Mexico. “There aren’t many Mexican restaurants in the UK –and Santiago cooks so differently to me, with a different view and feel. It is such a diverse food culture,” she says. If Marylebone can sustain a dozen Italian restaurants, it can certainly sustain two chefs cooking a cuisine that varies so much between and within regions. Mexican food, Adriana says, would take a lifetime to come to know. We catch up in Cavita’s low-lit dining room which is slung with hanging ferns and lampshades like white moths. The aroma of charcoal, slowly braising beans and maize tortilla dough wafts over from the open kitchen, where her team are calmly starting to prep for dinner.

Words: Clare Finney Images: Lucy Richards, David Cotsworth


“There were around 100 languages in Mexico; now there are 50 or 60. They’re going down, partly because young people are not interested, because the world is so much more open. Yet losing a language means losing part of a culture,” she says. “The same with food.” It needs to be spoken to survive. “I feel a lot of love for these recipes, because so much creativity has gone into them over the years, and if we don’t share those ways of seeing or creating, the creativity goes down. The more uniform the world


25 — MARYLEBONE JOURNAL / ISSUE NO. 96 > A MEXICAN WAVE is, the less creative,” she argues. Thus, while every one of her dishes has her own layer of ingenuity, it is rooted in the land and culture from which it “Whatcame.Iam trying to do here is show the recipes I learned there,” she says: at university, but more importantly during her travels through the small rural towns of Mexico. “It takes a lot of time, the research. For example, I lived with a Oaxacan woman for eight months, cooking different recipes just from that area. And if you go to another area, you really need to do the same.” Everywhere you go the ingredients are slightly different. Londoners might feel spoiled now that we can get seven types of Mexican chilli, but in Mexico itself there are hundreds, each of which vary not just according to variety, but the soil and climate they’re grown in – the ‘terroir’ if you will. The same is true of pulses, herbs, limes and maize. “In each area I go to, I try to understand, why this ingredient? Why not another? It’s difficult to recreate Mexican food because the ingredients are very local. The flavour is connected to theAdriana’ssoil.” grandmother had a business selling ‘antojitos’ – street snacks – and would mill and knead corn for the masa dough each morning. That corn was grown by her grandfather on the family farm, and she has strong childhood memories of being in his fields and appreciating how plants and animals grow. The latter rooted Adriana’s cooking in the soil; the former, in ancestral techniques and the connection she feels, when kneading masa dough now, to many Mexican women who came before her. “When you are in Cavita, I hope you think you are in the house of a mother or grandmother,” she tells me. As far as possible, Adriana cooks how she wants her guests to eat: using all of


A MEXICAN WAVE their senses and using their hands. Now Adriana, like her grandma before her, makes masa each morning, for the tamales, tetelas tostadas and tacos which come laden with – at the time of writing –pig’s head and salsa verde; smoked mushroom with blue corn, red adobo and goat curd; or slow-cooked beef shin with crispy cheese and guajillo. When I eat at Cavita later that evening, I am presented with her famed tuna tostada, flecked with sesame seeds, ginger and soy sauce. Where possible – that is, affordable and sustainable – Adriana buys her ingredients from Mexico, from small-scale growers and producers whose businesses are increasingly at risk from Chinese imports. “They are growing chillies in China, and selling them cheaply in Mexico,” she explains. “The producers in Mexico are really struggling with that.” Yet she is not averse to drawing upon other ingredients to recreate the taste of her homeland, if they are more readily accessible and better quality than those she can import.

“I’d say my cooking is 50:50 tradition and creativity,” she says. “The root is always proper Mexican food, but I need to be creative with the ingredients I find, because I know that some of the ingredients we’d use in Mexico aren’t going to be as tasty here.” Again, this goes back to the soil: any tomatillos, avocadoes or limes you can find in the UK are likely to have been grown in Spanish soil. “They are not bad, they just don’t have as strong a flavour. Fresh herbs are almost impossible,” she continues – and yet it is from these challenges that her creativity is born. “I often substitute when cooking, with ingredients which are here and are seasonal: collard greens instead of banana or corn leaves to wrap the tamales in, for example.” British goat’s curd stands in for Mexican cheese, all the seafood is caught off British shores – and yet when creatively combined with her array of dried Mexican ingredients, it is possible for her “to reach the flavours and the feeling,” she explains. “A big part of my cuisine now is dried.” Dried Mexican herbs and spices, dried avocado leaf, dried chillies and maize in many hues: these are the stems that root her dishes in Mexico, in whatever region has inspired them. Shipped over in bulk to reduce the carbon footprint of transport, these are the ingredients that allow Adriana to support rural communities at home, while at the same time championing British produce; that enable her to bring us the flavours of Mexico without great cost to the earth. Cavita is traditional. At no point during the four courses of our meal did I feel I was eating anywhere other than a Mexican restaurant.

“Once I wanted to do something like a foam, similar to what I did at El Bulli, and I found somewhere in Mexico where they made a cacao foam, hundreds of years ago. The more you explore, the more you find inspiration. I travel and I discover, and I find new things – and then I can do what I want, because the roots are there.” She stiches good quality ingredients – be they British, Spanish or Mexican – into a Mexican fabric, and it works because it is rooted in research, experience, family and emotion. She takes this remarkable example of intangible cultural heritage, and she makes it vividly, delectably tangible.

CAVITA 56-60 Wigmore Street, W1U 2RZ

“In each area I go to, I try to understand, why this ingredient? Why not another? It’s difficult to recreate Mexican food, because the ingredients are all so local. The flavour is connected to the Adrianasoil.”Cavita

There is a sense, conveyed as much by the surroundings as by the food, of being cared for and fed by a generous, if refined, ‘abuela’, the Mexican word for grandma. Yet any tradition needs to grow and adapt if it’s to remain relevant; if it’s to continue to resonate with the people it’s meant to serve. Food is no exception. Like language, it needs to grow and evolve to survive.SoAdriana employs creativity in the context of her tradition, finding new ways of creating old dishes, and applying old techniques to new ingredients. If she wants to ‘invent’ something, she will research it first, to see if there’s anywhere in Mexico it has been done before.


The production of mezcal, a drink that by law can only be made in nine Mexican states, begins with the starchy flesh of the piña being roasted in an underground fire pit for anything from a few hours to a few days. “That’s the first way to get flavour into the drink,” says Matthias. “The smokiness of the spirit comes from the cooking process, but it all depends how close the agave is to the fire, what type of wood is being burned. Is there anything between the agave and the fire? How is the pit constructed? Is it completely covered? There is always smoke involved, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that every mezcal is super smoky. It could be very light, very floral, very elegant. In some, you can barely taste the smoke.” After roasting, the piña is crushed, usually with a tahona – a massive stone wheel, drawn by a donkey, horse or ox – or a wooden mallet, before being mashed. “You take all this mash, put it into the tank and add local water on top. You don’t add any yeast, you just wait until it starts fermenting. It is open, spontaneous fermentation. Depending on the region, the weather, whatever you’re doing around it, you have different yeasts and different flavours.” The fermented juice is distilled in either copper or clay, or a copper-clay combination. “Clay adds a lot of texture, a bit of familiar WAVE

Images: Eleonora Boscarelli, Rebecca Dickson


other distilled drinks. “Like wine, the beauty of it is in its inconsistency, the opposite to every other spirit,” says Matthias. “Because of the terroir, because of the spontaneous fermentation, every vintage is different. Sometimes you get a batch from one producer, and then you get the next batch the next year and it has a similar signature but it’s completely different at the same time. That makes it so interesting to work with.”

Agave is a plant from the asparagus family, native to the hotter and more arid regions of the Americas. There are dozens of varieties, ranging wildly in size, shape, colour and – ultimately –flavour. “So agave tobalá, for example, is really rich, agave madre cuishe is much more mineral, agave espadín is light and fruity...” Each one comes topped with a crown of spiky leaves whose appearance leads to the plant often being referred to, understandably but incorrectly, as a cactus. Beneath those leaves, submerged in the ground, is a large, fibrous heart, known as a ‘piña’, which looks a bit like a pineapple (or, in some pictures, like a frightened armadillo).

Words: Mark Riddaway

Mexican spirit

It’s an obvious question with a less obvious answer: so, Matthias Ingelmann, head bartender at the much-garlanded KOL Mezcaleria and one of London’s foremost cheerleaders for Mexican spirits, how often have you been to Mexico? “Never,” comes the reply, accompanied by a wry smile. “It’s quite funny, really.” Funny, but, on reflection, far from unbefitting. KOL, the Michelin-starred Mexican restaurant that opened to such acclaim in 2020 (then closed again, then opened again, to the Covid drumbeat) is a place where boundaries are constantly broken. Upstairs, Santiago Lastra creates extraordinary food which comes steeped in Mexican culinary culture but leans heavily on seasonal British ingredients. Down in the atmospheric basement bar, agave-based drinks are treated with that same blend of love and irreverence by a young German whose feet have never touched Mexican soil. This is no bad thing. For a start, it means that Matthias approaches Mexican spirits with the exuberant, shiny-eyed evangelism of the bornagain convert. Through reading, listening and endless tasting, he has developed a knowledge of mezcal and other agave drinks that – while far from exhaustive, as he is quick to point out is both large and growing. “A lot of Mexican guys work here,” Matthias jokes, “and the only thing they know better than I do now is how to pronounce all the names of the Mexican states!”

In building his knowledge, the Covid lockdowns that disrupted KOL’s launch proved something of a blessing. “Lockdown gave us a chance to really question what we do,” he explains. “Most bars for a good reason have only one mezcal, maybe two. But there are so many different agaves from different states, from different producers, using different production methods Suddenly this whole world opens up. I spent all that time deep in the world of mezcal.”


And what a wide world it is. Mezcal, a spirit made from the juices of the agave plant, is, in some respects, closer in character to wine than to

29 — MARYLEBONE JOURNAL / ISSUE NO. 96 A MEXICAN WAVE Matthias Ingelmann Kol Mezcaleria >

At the bar, a kaleidoscopic selection of these agave drinks is served straight or used in a small but perfectly formed and ever-evolving cocktail list, which was named Cocktail List of the Year at the recent National Restaurant Awards. One half of the list offers agave cocktails, the other half provides a parallel sensory experience to each of these drinks but uses more familiar spirits. Many of these are Mexican: whisky from Oaxaca, rum from Puebla, gin from The Yucatán. This approach – one in which discovery and experimentation are encouraged, but not forced – reflects Matthias’s evolution as a bartender. After making his first tentative steps into bartending while a student in the beautiful medieval town of Bamberg in Bavaria (“I discovered cocktails through making them,” he explains), Matthias’s vocation has seen him travel far and wide, applying his craft in numerous countries. “In general, the work is still the same wherever you are – it’s about making sure that people have a good time,” he says, “but hospitality is a great chance to see other cultures, see how other people behave, how they drink, eat and interact with each other.” His cocktail-making technique and understanding of flavour extraction were enhanced in the high-concept confines of Untitled in Dalston, east London: “Very drink focused, very flavour focussed, very simple and minimalistic in a way, but very complex in what happens behind the scenes.” His more populist instincts were honed in Paris at Les Grands Verres, the busy bar-restaurant of the Palais de Tokyo art museum, where he learned how to “make complicated things sound approachable, and how to change what you do to make sure it sells. It doesn’t make sense to push what you think is a great idea if people don’t want it. You have to listen and look. You have to see what works and then play around with that.” KOL brought him back to London, the draw being partly the team (“amazing people, amazing energy”) and partly the concept: “The chance to dive deep into the world of agave spirits, and collaborate with the kitchen, working with really small producers and local, seasonal produce, a lot of it foraged, stuff other people have never heard about. Santiago loves mezcal. He’s really interested in what we do, and works very closely with us. He gets a ton of crazy ingredients every week, and he’s like: ‘Have you tasted this? Have you tasted that?’” This collaboration with the kitchen has resulted in an evolving range of ‘antojitos’ (‘little cravings’) – Santiago’s typically inventive take on Mexican street food – designed to complement the Mezcalaria’s drinks menu. Matthias in turn provides mezcal pairings to match the menu upstairs. The effectiveness of these combinations highlights another similarity between mezcal and wine: their harmonious relationship with food. “Mezcal is all about community,” says Matthias. “You eat with your family. You have a bottle of mezcal on the table and you sip it with lunch.” Eating and drinking like a Mexican means connecting with history and tradition, with the land and the seasons, and – most importantly – with the other people at your table. The beauty of KOL is that you don’t have to fly to Mexico to do so. After all, Matthias Ingelmann never has.

“We try to focus on agave spirits that are made by single producers, where you can really taste the signature of the Matthiasmezcalero.”Ingelmann

30 — MARYLEBONE JOURNAL / ISSUE NO. 96 A MEXICAN WAVE earthiness.” Although some producers are now experimenting with barrel-aged spirits, traditionally any ageing would take place in the bottle, rounding out some of the flavours rather than significantly altering them.

KOL MEZCALERIA 9 Seymour Street, W1H 7BA

While some mezcal is now produced on an industrial scale, the landscape remains dotted with tiny, family-run distilleries that work by hand to produce small batches of highly distinctive drinks that are closely tied to the local environment. These are the spirits that Matthias has fallen in love with. “We try to focus on agave spirits that are made by single producers, where you can really taste the signature of the mezcalero. You can trace it to the source, to the agave, the production method, the name of the mezcalero, the name of the village. That’s our approach to agave.”





The charity was founded in 2014 by two former New Yorkers, Laura and Steve Winningham. Steve and Laura had both been involved in food rescue in New York.

Steve and Laura were both in the investment banking world, so they started talking to their City contacts about what they were doing. People started to say: “Rather than

When they moved to London, they realised that there was nothing like that over here, even though there was definitely a need. They heard there were shops getting rid of food at the end of the day, so they borrowed a van and started going round to the backs of supermarkets and convincing store managers to give them the food rather than putting it into the dumpsters.

Introducing the people behind Marylebone’s vital charities and community organisations: Fiona Hollis, head of communications at City Harvest London

Interview: Jean-Paul Aubin-Parvu Orlando Gili

Whole Foods on Kensington High Street was the first shop they had an agreement with. They would load up the van with all this perfectly good food at the end of its shelf life and drive it straight round to charities who were receiving people from the streets who needed food.

City Harvest London is a surplus food redistribution charity that delivers nutritious food to more than 350 charities across London. We collect food that would otherwise go to waste, from right across the food industry, and make sure that it gets to people who either can’t afford or can’t access food themselves.

I’d fund a van if you want.” And it went from there, it just grew organically. City Harvest London started from really humble beginnings. For the first three years they just collected the food and distributed it out immediately. Then, in 2017, they got their first depot on Acton Industrial Park, a smaller unit than the one we’re in now. I joined the charity in May 2019. A friend of mine had told me that City Harvest were looking for somebody and so I read up about their work and was really moved by what they did. There was a video on the website that made me cry. It really touched me. I had never worked for a charity before. This was the first time in my entire life that I felt like I had to work at this place, no matter what. Just after I joined, we announced that we’d delivered enough food to make six million meals. Then by May 2021, I believe, we’d hit 25 million meals. Now we’re at just over 35 million. This isn’t really anything to celebrate. The fact that we even exist isn’t good, because it means, first of all, that there’s all this perfectly good, nutritious, healthy food being wasted that would just go to landfill. It also shows the depth of food poverty in this country. Before the pandemic the figures were that one in four people will face food poverty. Then during lockdown many people lost their jobs and we saw a huge increase in the numbers of people relying on food banks and food parcels. Everybody knows a cost-of-living crisis is coming, inflation is soaring, and people will soon be defaulting on mortgages with the interest rate rise. It’s not just affecting the usual suspects: it will be people with full-time jobs who are trying to make ends meet.

City Harvest London receives surplus food deliveries from across the food industry, including farms, manufacturers, wholesalers, retailers, caterers and events. Our warehouse team takes in the deliveries, sorts through the food, checks dates and grades it all, taking out anything that’s maybe not so good. Once the food has been carefully sorted and separated, it is loaded onto trays, which are placed on skates and sent down the


bowling-alley-style fridge-loading corridors. At the other end of the fridges is where our team load the vans. We have 15 vans at our Acton depot and another three over at our strategic satellite site in New Spitalfields Market.Wedeliver free food to more than 350 charities, including homeless shelters, soup kitchens, community centres, food banks, children’s programmes, schools, centres for the elderly, refugee centres and refuges for women experiencing domestic violence. We always get the right food to the right people at the right time. We cater to 53 vegetarian and vegan charities and similarly we deliver halal food to mosques and kosher food to synagogues for their big community meals and food parcels. As head of communications my role really is focussed on explaining to people our value and the social impact that we have. We don’t charge anything to anybody and exist purely on grants and donations, so we need to constantly be telling our story. What we do is kind of a nobrainer. There’s too much waste within the food industry – everybody working in the food industry knows it, and it keeps them up at night. We provide them with a simple, sustainable solution: “We’ll take it off your hands for free. You don’t even have to pay to get rid of it.” We’re saving the food companies money and stress. Part of my job is about communicating that to them. My role also involves communicating with companies that might wish to sponsor a van, for example.

34 — MARYLEBONE JOURNAL / ISSUE NO. 96 having to borrow a van, why don’t you have your own?

Just before the pandemic we were receiving and redistributing around 30 tonnes of food a week. But when lockdown hit, the restaurants and hospitality industry suddenly had all this food that they couldn’t do anything with. We had too much food to fit in our depot and needed to upscale. Our very kind landlords had some free units and gave us another depot to store ambient stock. Then last year we moved into a bigger depot, going from 6,000 to 13,000 square feet. When we moved in, we looked around thinking, it’s like a football field in here, how are we going to fill this? But we’ve now outgrown it and are looking at another depot.

Every day I wake up and feel proud that I’m doing something that matters. I think that’s priceless. If someone had told me 10 years ago that I’d be doing this, I wouldn’t have believed them. And I wouldn’t have believed that I could feel this happy doing something. It’s incredible. I also know that everyone who works here feels exactly the same. People who come here to volunteer are blown away. They can’t believe it. I guess it comes back to that primal instinct to feed people. People are going to eat who otherwise would have gone to bed hungry. That’s the beauty of City Harvest.


The equation is that for every pound we receive in sponsorship, we can deliver four free meals. We all muck in together at the depot. If they suddenly receive a huge delivery, for example, then it’s all hands to the pump. Everyone goes down, puts on a high-vis, rolls up their sleeves and works together to get the food sorted and out the door. There’s a great team spirit, which is lovely. We also all do warehouse shifts. Last Monday I was out on a van with a driver delivering food. That’s a key part of our ethos, I guess.

“There’s too much waste within the food industry – everybody working in the industry knows it. We provide them with a simple,solution.”sustainable


36 — MARYLEBONE JOURNAL / ISSUE NO. 96 LOOKCLOSERA FOOD » 36 STYLE » 44 HOME » WELLBEING54 » 57 HEALTHCARE » 60 FOOD » 39 NEW Fergus Henderson and Trevor Gulliver bring St. JOHN to Marylebone STYLE » 44 Q&A Nicholas Brooke, CEO of Sunspel, on surviving crises, avoiding the ‘heritage’ tag, and ensuring that sustainability is about substance not marketing HOME » 54 ANATOMY OF A DESIGN Huw Evans, designer and product developer for The Conran Shop, on a wooden chair that evolved from his student project A CLOSER LOOK FOOD


A: I am incredibly proud of Bernardi’s, and it paved the way for what we’re doing now. In many ways, this is just perfecting what our

A: When we reopened, we wanted to have a more casual appeal – and the name is something that can drive that. Having it built into the name that this is a fun and casual place you can go to for a few mischievous drinks does a lot of the heavy lifting – our surname couldn’t do that. I am quite motivated by the idea of a pub with an Italian menu. Everyone says you shouldn’t toy with the idea of a pub, but then pub

Earning a degree of permanency in the community has been a slow burn.

Q: With that in mind, were you not nervous about rebranding?

Q: What have you learned in the course of seven years running a restaurant in the same location?

Q: Is that partly why you chose the name The Italian Greyhound – to reinforce its kinship to a pub?

38 — MARYLEBONE JOURNAL / ISSUE NO. 96 offering already was and building on our vision of accessibility. We’ve pivoted to reinforce the casual drinking side, but our overall vision hasn’t been compromised at all. My experiences as a creator and a designer have taught me that relaunching is something that sometimes happens when you are forced to; for us, the pandemic was an incentive to look at the brand afresh. After five years, Bernardi’s needed some TLC. That led to us thinking about the look and feel – but the reason we’ve been around since 2015 is because we haven’t lived or died by the chefs who have come in and out.

A: Remaining humble. I am humbled by the fact we could reopen post pandemic. A lot of people didn’t or couldn’t. It was a very testing time. We realised we had developed a very loyal following, and it was humbling to have their support.

At our home in Jordan, we always had a big olive tree. I grew up next to an olive tree. Here, we are growing a real olive tree in the shop. It is a symbol of peace and resilience. It’s always been important to me to make cakes that taste good and look good. I always look back at home-baked cakes, something that’s more organic with less sugar. My concept is to bring a sense of home to this new home of mine.

I am originally Palestinian but grew up between Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Lebanon. That helped me understand that there are certain dishes from around that part of the world that are similar in concept but differ in the way they’re made.

I graduated as an art student from the American University of Beirut, and after that I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do, but I was always inspired by food.

The inspiration started in the Levant, but my heart is very much tethered to London. We are trying to merge the two –that’s what blossomed into T by Tamara.

menus have been Thai or French or a number of different cuisines without people batting an eyelid.

Q: You are half Italian, you grew up in Australia and you’ve spent most of your adult life in London. How do these multiple influences translate into the restaurant and menu?

While I was in Jordan, my dream was always to come to London and open a bakery here.

In the Levant, we welcome people with food. If you go to someone’s house and don’t eat something, you aren’t respecting their home. When you’re a kid, you think, “Why do I have to eat this?” but then when you grow up you understand that it’s an important part of the culture.


I get so inspired by different cultures, and I always like to bring something back with me. I want people to experience that here. It’s important to me for people to just have a good time, come here for a good meal, good dessert or even a good cup of coffee, and just get to know each other.

It is really important to me that we extend the olive branch in Marylebone. We want to work with local suppliers and get involved in the Marylebone farmers’ market. Our long-term goal is to build the educational side of the business by collaborating with Le Cordon Bleu, maybe bringing students in for internships.

A: Sabrina Gidda – one of our first chefs and still a good friend of ours – once described our restaurant as the United Colors of Benneton, and it’s a good description. We’re all cut from a slightly non-traditional cloth.

The menu here is inspired by the Levant. We make Levantine cakes and different types of fatteh, an authentic Arabic salad. We use traditional ingredients like cardamom, rose water and olive oil, but in a modern way that any person would enjoy.

I really want this business to be innovative, in so many aspects.

“We’re all cut from a slightly non-traditional cloth. My brother and I are gay. Our dad’s family comes from Venezia, but we were born in Australia. Our pasta chef, Ernie, is Filipino, and Rob Hirst, our business partner, isn’t Italian either.”

I came to London and did a few courses with Le Cordon Bleu where I studied pastry, and that’s when my passion started. I knew that this was the path I wanted to take. I wanted to take my background and add that to the kitchen. My canvas was my cake, and that’s where I drew my inspiration. After studying in London, I went home to Jordan and ran a home-based business there for almost four years. It was great.



My brother and I are gay. Our dad’s family comes from Venezia, but we were born in Australia. Our pasta chef, Ernie, is Filipino, and Rob Hirst, our business partner, isn’t Italian either. I like that we’re not traditional. Hospitality is at its best when it’s a melting pot: our dishes are traditional classics that people know and love, but they aren’t regionally bound. We work creatively, in a way that isn’t sterile or like a tick-box exercise, and I think being cut from a non-traditional cloth helps us do that.


Tamara Al Saadi, founder of T by Tamara, the new Levantine bakery and deli on Seymour Place, on welcoming people with food, combining art with baking, and growing an olive tree in her shop

I want to introduce people to the idea of what the Levant is and inspire them to experience that part of the world. I want to explain to them about the different flavours that we use in our food, and the way that sharing food together is so important to our culture.

I have always liked working in the kitchen. My mum is a great cook, and I grew up beside her in the kitchen, making cakes and desserts as well as savoury food.

T BY TAMARA 17 Seymour Place, W1H 5BF


Patricia Michelson, founder of La Fromagerie, on why a wine from a little-known appellation proved to be the perfect house red for her business

Interview: Viel Richardson Domaine Le Roc has been in the Ribes family since 1974. JeanLuc, his brother Frédéric and Frédéric’s wife Cathy produce red wines that are truly authentic, fruity with medium-to-soft tannins and a lively kick of pepper to the finish. There is a natural richness and concentration to the grapes from the combination of old vines and the site’s position. Le Roc is situated in a tiny appellation called Fronton, north of Toulouse. The estate is planted on three gently sloping terraces beside the river Tarn. The banks of the Tarn have particularly poor gravel soils, so vines grown in this area are forced to dig deeper for nutrients and establish a stronger root system. This allows the roots to stay cool in the hot summers but stay warm when the temperature drops.

LA FROMAGERIE 2-6 Moxon Street, W1U 4EW

I was introduced to Le Roc by members of my staff in the very early days of La Fromagerie and immediately loved them. They encompassed something that was not overly refined, an ethos that had a real heartbeat to it. You could sense where these wines came from. The food from that area is very robust, with cassoulets, bean stews and other rich, slow-cooked dishes. You always have cheese with a meal. You can taste that in these wines. We stock several wonderful Le Roc wines, both red and white, but chose Le Classique as our house wine because it perfectly embodies the spirit of La Fromagerie. It is a wine of its place, with a robust and fullbodied appeal for cheeseboards, charcuterie and the dishes we serve on the menu.

Jean-Luc is passionate about how the soil and vines work together in harmony. He has championed the ‘enherbement’ method, in which you allow grass to grow among the vines and sheep to graze there in the winter. This means you don’t have to use added fertiliser on the vines, while the grass helps improve the underlying soil structure. The soil and climate give the wine very distinct flavours. It has an almost old-fashioned style, terroir-driven, with notes of dark and red fruits, liquorice, violets, pepper and woodland earth. While Jean-Luc’s wines are very individual, you can certainly taste the wider region in them. Very little filtration, if any, brings the true expression of the wine to the glass.


The inspiration This dish, the brainchild of founder Karam Sethi, was created to show off a really fresh, flavoursome fish without completely taking over the taste of the bream – combining both bold and delicate flavours. His recipe, which is still followed in exactly the same way, has been a signature at Trishna since the restaurant opened back in 2008.

TRISHNA 15-17 Blandford Street, W1U 3DG


Sajeev Nair, executive chef of Trishna, on one of the restaurant’s signature dishes

The preparation I use a boneless fillet of wild black bream with the skin on, so it remains succulent when cooked. This is marinated in a ginger and garlic paste, with a squeeze of lemon juice to finish it off. I make a smooth paste of coriander leaves, green chilli, baby spinach, a spoonful of Greek yoghurt and lemon. The paste is evenly distributed over the bream and cooked over charcoal in the tandoor for four to five minutes. It’s then served with gently smoked tomato kachumber, made from chargrilled vine tomatoes, which are pureed and mixed with chilli, ginger, coriander and cherry tomatoes.

In a nutshell The hariyali bream is one of the most popular and oldest dishes on the Trishna menu. The beauty of the dish lies within its simplicity. It’s made with very few ingredients, and loaded with fresh, fragrant herbs, instead of the stereotypical powdered spices used in many restaurants.


The purpose This fresh, vibrant-looking dish is liked by many regulars at Trishna. It is a completely gluten-free and nut-free dish, making it a perfect addition to most tables, and can also be made dairy free when removing the Greek yogurt from the green paste.



St. JOHN Marylebone Fergus Henderson and Trevor Gulliver will open the latest outpost of one of London’s most cherished and influential food institutions, St. JOHN, on Marylebone Lane this October.

The pair set up the original St. JOHN restaurant in Smithfield in 1994. Their pared back, no-frills, nose-to-tail approach to cooking, and their belief that consuming the very finest food and drink should be fun rather than pretentious and po-faced, revolutionised the London restaurant scene. Its impact can be seen internationally, not least through the successes of generations of St. JOHN’s alumni, who have gone on to open acclaimed restaurants of their own, from Padella, to Lyle’s, to the Marksman.

St. JOHN Marylebone, an all-day restaurant, will be a wine-led space that evolves as the hours pass. In the morning, enjoy breads from the St. JOHN bakery in Bermondsey, or some gently spiced granola with yoghurt and poached fruit. By mid-morning, doughnuts will be paired with champagne, then at lunch a selection of small plates will appear on the dailychanging blackboard. At dinner, additional specials will be added to the list. The menu is overseen by Fergus and chef-director Jonathan Woolway, informed by the excellent wine list and an emphasis on the seasonal and local, pulling from the classic St. JOHN repertoire but with touches all its own.


Trevor says: “We’re inspired by the bars of Paris and Florence, which are all things to all people at all moments through every day – coffee and wine, tartines and threecourse meals, babies and bankers. Each St. JOHN sings with its own voice, dictated by the environment and community in which it finds itself. This new addition to the family will provide a rolling feast of many parts, with ample good wine, as you would expect.”

ST. JOHN MARYLEBONE 98 Marylebone Lane, W1U 2JE

The chief executive of Sunspel on surviving crises, avoiding the ‘heritage’ tag, and ensuring that sustainability is about substance not marketing Interview: Ellie Costigan

Q: Your background is in law. How did you come to be CEO of Sunspel?

Ours is a forward-looking Britain, not a backward-looking one. It’s important that we are not seen as a British heritage brand – that’s something I always wanted to avoid.

Q: Since you took the reins 15 years ago, you’ve expanded the range considerably. How have you managed to push Sunspel forward while maintaining the values at its heart?

A: My slightly eccentric theory is that it’s because Japan and Britain are both islands that are roughly the same size, off big continents. We have that island mentality. We’ve both got monarchies, we’ve both got long histories. I think there’s a really strong similarity. They really like British things. They also really appreciate quality, in a way that we have lost to some extent. They appreciate how something is made and why that leads to quality – the craft that goes into creating something that’s very high quality – and they seek that LOOK STYLE


A: I tried a number of different things before I discovered Sunspel. I already knew the brand – I’d definitely worn the boxer shorts when I was young – but I came to it because my wife’s aunt’s companion owned it. He was 81 and still going into the factory but he had Parkinson’s, so he wasn’t that well. My aunt was keen that he sell Sunspel and enjoy some retirement and I was quite interested in doing my own thing, so I went up to the factory to meet him. It was this amazing time warp: nothing had changed since the 1970s. They still had an almost post-war mentality that everything needed to be made with extreme care, to last, from beautiful fabric. They were making clothes for really top designers, while doing their own brand in Japan. I thought, this is an amazing business and it deserves saving. That’s really what attracted me to it. I thought: this is a huge opportunity.

Q: Sunspel is a self-described ‘British’ brand. What does that mean in practice? A: That’s something I spend a lot of time thinking about. I think all brands come from a culture. Apple is very clearly an American brand, for example. For me, you have to represent bits of the culture that are relevant to you and for us, it is the factory, it is Long Eaton – that’s the community we come from. But equally, it’s today’s culture. Culture means people. That comes across in the people we use in our photo shoots, the people who work in our stores.

It’s not what Sunspel has ever been; it’s always been rather innovative. We invented all these fabrics. We made some of the earliest t-shirts. We introduced the boxer short: Sunspel was made famous by a Levi’s advert in the eighties, in which Nick Kamen took his jeans off in a laundrette and was wearing a pair of our boxers underneath. Nobody wore boxer shorts then and suddenly, overnight, boxer shorts became all the rage.

Sunspel was the only boxer short brand. So, I always felt it needed to be a contemporary brand.

A: The first thing, which is really important, is we’ve never closed the factory. It is the heart of the brand. We’ve also taken the same care that went into creating our t-shirts and underwear and applied it to everything else. It always starts with the raw material. To get our t-shirts to feel the way they do, we specify the staple of the cotton, how the cotton is spun, how it’s knitted. We have used that same approach with pretty much everything we’ve done. When we create a new product, we ask ourselves: is this as good as our t-shirt? And the answer is inevitably no, initially, but we continually improve it. Although we’ve developed, we’ve done it very slowly. We’re building something for the long term.

Q: It’s interesting that, as an inherently British brand, the other place you have outposts is in Japan. Why does Sunspel resonate there?




46 — MARYLEBONE JOURNAL / ISSUE NO. 96 out, whether it’s food or clothes or anything else. The other thing they really like is finding something that not many other people know about, and we have always been slightly below the radar.

Q: Another way Sunspel has been ahead of the curve is in its approach to sustainability. Is that deliberate? A: It’s completely wrong to make conversations around sustainability about marketing – “We’re doing this because it reflects us as a brand” –because what you’re doing then is encouraging people to buy more stuff, which makes no sense at all. I hate the term sustainability, but we’ve always been environmentally and ethically responsible. We know where our cotton is grown. We don’t use

A: We’ve always offered a core product that’s very relevant and we’ve always been quite nimble in our ability to adapt. For example, if you look back at the thirties, we were focused on producing the most luxurious underwear. When World War II broke out, the business changed to being all about utility underwear made for the troops. It wasn’t luxury – people couldn’t afford luxury. We were able to adapt, possibly because what we were doing was quite simple. We were very badly affected by Covid. Our stores had to close, our wholesalers were badly hit. I was very worried about the business. But we already had quite a strong online presence, which again I think reflects that innovative thinking – we were quick to think about the importance of building a brand online. Also, what we make is for everyday life. We make really high-quality everyday essentials, and that was just what people wanted.

We’ve never made clothes for a formal office, but our stuff is casual and comfortable and looks quite smart. We do drawstring trousers, for example, that you can work from home in and be comfortable, but they look smart enough that you can nip out afterwards.

Q: Sunspel survived two world wars, the Depression, Covid – what makes it so resilient?


COX & POWER 10-12 Chiltern Street, W1U 7PX delight in making a piece of jewellery for someone and seeing them fall in love with it – especially when you work it through from start to finish and take that journey together.

I met our founders, Vicki Cox and Tony Power, in my firstever job when I left college, and we became friends. At the time, they were working together on a collection of platinum gold jewellery. It was different from the quite bling pieces around at the time, as it was quite minimal. That appealed to my own sensibility.

Many are family owned, they’re all in Europe, Portugal, Italy, Scotland or England. We are a sensible choice from that perspective, though we are always looking at how we can improve.


Interview: Charlotte

“The most important thing from a sustainability perspective is not only making things to last, but ensuring consumers wanting to look after them by making something that’s precious in their eyes.” NO. 96 polyester. We make things in factories that we visit and know incredibly well, and they are all similar to our own factory, in terms of that attitude.


I’ve been making jewellery for as long as I’ve been able to use my hands. I have a vivid memory of being about three or four years old, playing with popper beads – you could pull the beads apart and put them back together, making different things with them. I absolutely loved them. It was on a night-school jewellery course that I started to really fall in love with the processes and craftmanship. After that, I ended up on an art foundation course, which was a complete indulgence – being able to have materials at your fingertips and explore loads of different disciplines – but despite my intention of trying something different, it took me back into jewellery. Jewellery has its own emotional significance and symbolism. There is a real had this lovely space with lots of natural light, and the architects were able to open up the back of the shop to reveal the workshop. It fascinates people when they know their pieces are made in-house. We’ve been on a journey to source more responsibly and find out what the impacts are, not only for us but for the mining communities. Since 2012, we’ve been licensees for Fairtrade and Fairmined gold. What makes our work unique is the detail, the particular way we finish off a piece, the way we treat those fine edges that someone else might not even notice. We might pick a gemstone because the colours are a little indefinable. It’s not pink or orange, it’s somewhere in between, or it’s got a fire that you just can’t identify.

A: There are four areas you need to look at: water degradation, soil erosion, chemical use and labour. Finding cotton that is high quality and as sustainable as it can be is difficult. Supply chains are very opaque. Far more organic cotton is sold than is grown. Frankly, often you don’t know where low-quality cotton comes from, because it’s a huge industry and it all gets mixed up. We spent a lot of time thinking about this. The cotton for our t-shirts comes from a single farm in California. They use run-off water from the Rockys, rather than surface water – so taking it out of a river – or even worse, ground water. They are also regulated and limited in how much water they can use and in terms of their chemical use. They rotate their crop, changing their crops from season to season to improve soil health, which isn’t always the case elsewhere. So that gives us comfort

My favourite piece would be our Seascape earrings because they so perfectly express our own design inspirations. We have this double influence of the coast and the sea, and then being in the heart of London, where life is very much in your face. With extreme skill and experience you can control the way the metal moves. If you watch a jeweller or silversmith, you’ll see the physical engagement of their hands and muscles as they work, and that’s what forms each piece. Our London Forge collection really represents that idea. They are hammered and handforged, so each piece is unique, with its own personality. Most of the techniques we use are very traditional. A jeweller from hundreds of years ago would be familiar with the methods we use today. One of the things that attracted us to Chiltern Street was that the businesses here are all doing their own thing. They all have their own atmosphere, motivation, and style. They each have something individual. We’re the same. We all love our own disciplines, but we all share the same values.

From our early days, we wanted to bring the whole experience of craftmanship and goldsmithing to the client. We wanted to take away the separation of the shop space and the creative space and bring it all into one. When we moved to Chiltern Street, we



COX & POWER Sweeney, coowner of Cox & Power, on the emotional significance of jewellery, the physicality of jewellers, and the unity of the shop space and the space Peirce-

Gregory >

Q: How easy is it to source genuinely environmentally friendly cotton?

A CLOSER LOOK STYLE that the cotton that we are using is as good as it can be. On a one-to-10 scale, if 10 is sustainable, we are nine to nine-and-a-half.Wealsogetcotton from Turkey, a tiny little bit from India and some from Egypt. We are less clear on that supply chain, so we have done an audit of every single product. We are looking into the extent to which we can trace it and understand where it’s coming from. If we feel uncomfortable, we’re going to move it to America. It is more expensive – if you were making very cheap t-shirts, you wouldn’t do that – so it is all linked to the price of the product.

A: The most important thing from a sustainability perspective is not only making things that will last but ensuring consumers want to look after them by providing something that, in their eyes, is precious. The best example is our t-shirt. We make it using something called Supima cotton, which has a very long staple. We work with a very fine weighted filament, but the filaments are twisted over each other before they are spun into yarn, so they are incredibly strong and very fine at the same time. We put that through an extra process that makes it even smoother, then it is knitted in a way that’s going to make it robust.

Q: Importantly, you also make clothes that last.

Q: What are your plans for the future? A: You can look at a lot of brands that are really quite big now and ask the question, is there a fundamental reason that they should be around in 50 years’ time? I think we have a reason to continue to exist, but we need to ensure there’s a solid foundation for the long term. That does mean growing, but not for the sake of it.

The idea of rolling out 50 stores in five years is not going to happen. This is where the word sustainable makes sense: it’s sustainable growth. That’s what the word means.


The reason you often get a twist in a t-shirt is because when yarn is spun, the thread is twisted and that twist is introduced to the garment. If you’ve got a single-ply yarn of lower quality cotton, it will always twist. Also, the cheaper the cotton, the shorter the staple, the furrier the staple, and the more likely it’ll fall apart. This is fine if you’re the sort of company that wants to sell somebody a lot of stuff cheaply and then sell it to them again. We have a completely different mindset. For us, it’s more important that somebody buys something that goes into their wardrobe for a long time and becomes a real part of who they are.

SUNSPEL 13-15 Chiltern Street, W1U 7PG



&CRAFTART Clara Francis, co-founder of O Pioneers, on a limited-edition dress that gives new life to a traditional British craft

When O Pioneers was a mere grain of an idea, we sat down and wrote out a long list of our ultimate objectives and overriding philosophies. We set out what we dreamed O Pioneers could be: impeccably made, British manufactured, as local as possible ideally, unashamedly pretty, timeless pieces that will last a lifetime, all in heritage fabrics. We wanted our clothing to be worn day after day, not saved for best. We also knew we wanted to incorporate traditional British crafts into our collections. Britain has a huge and varied tradition of crafts in so many wonderful, fascinating mediums, many of which have historically been female led. Finding unusual, modern ways of incorporating these seemingly ‘outdated’ traditional crafts into our modern, cool-girl aesthetic was an overriding passion of ours. Last year we worked with world-renowned patchworker Jenni Smith to create our Jemima patchwork dress, and this season we are thrilled to have collaborated with the incredible embroidery artist Ellie Mac in creating our limited-edition Stella dress. We took elements of our celestial-inspired logo for the design, gave Ellie the leftover Liberty print pieces of fabric from previous collections, and asked her to create 40 embroidered blocks – each block being unlike any other. This would enable each dress to be its own unique piece of art. For the main body of the dress, we have chosen a new Liberty print incorporating a dreamy cloud design. We strive as a brand to create thoughtful, exquisite, unique items. Everything we do and make is considered and considerate to the planet around us and the people within it. We are the opposite of fast, disposable fashion. We want to create clothing that will enhance this world not destroy it. 76 Marylebone Lane, W1U 2PR

50 — MARYLEBONE JOURNAL / ISSUE NO. 96 A CLOSER LOOK STYLE CARDIGANSMEN’S You’re hot and you’re cold, you’re yes and you’re no – you need a cardigan, the goldilocks of the early it’syourDrapefree,it’shouse.sartorialquitemellowseasonthecanwardrobe.autumnalFewitemsprepareyouforvagariesofaofmistsandfruitfulnesssowellasthishalfwayDoitup,andajumper.Hangitandit’sashrug.itlooselyovershouldersandapowermove. THREE OF THE BEST 3.1.

3. FAIRISLE WAISTCOAT William Crabtree & Sons, £165

“The world’s finest knitwear,” runs the strapline of John Smedley. It’s a bold claim, but this cardigan supports it: a simple, deceptively stylish and slightly tailored v-neck, woven out of extra-fine merino wool. Works as well with a causal crew neck tee as it does a shirt. You could even add a waistcoat for extra elegance (and warmth).

JOTT JOTT, the French premium outerwear brand, is famed across the Channel for its colourful down jackets. Ultra-light but spectacularly effective, they offer a rare blend of functionality and creativity. Now, as the arrival of autumn makes such a jacket a particularly appealing prospect, JOTT is set to open its first British store on Marylebone High Street.


It’s not that we don’t love Brora’s turtleneck cashmere jumper. It’s just that the days that warrant the wearing of a cashmere turtleneck in London are numbered in autumn, when the mercury is as likely to hit 20C as 2C. Step forward Brora’s turtleneck cashmere cardigan; the breezier alternative, easily layered and quickly unzipped when the sun comes out. Like all Brora’s cashmere knits, it’s made in Scotland from high quality, ethically sourced cashmere.

JOTT 103 Marylebone High Street, W1U 4RP /en

2. BURLEY CARDIGAN John Smedley, £215


The first consolation prize for the waning of summer is autumn’s leaves, crackling underfoot and raining down from the trees in a flurry of fiery reds and burnt oranges. The second is knitwear such as this waistcoat from William Crabtree, which is similarly coloured and woven from Shetland wool by a smallscale Scottish supplier.



I started with the idea of taking a carpentry technique called curved cutting and applying it to solid hardwood, a process that I found really exciting. It took a few months to get a real understanding of what you can do with the material. The way different woods twist, splay, bend and react to different techniques and types of force is really exciting when you start really pushing the boundaries. The cone shape that underlies the visual appearance of the chair, which has been described as architectural, in a large part grew out of the limitations and possibilities of the materials.


are joined together at the base using connectors called ratchet rivets. The great thing about this method is that it doesn’t involve steam bending or lamination, both of which require quite high initial set-up investment. We then had to find a manufacturer for what is quite an intimidating design. The key was to clearly communicate what we needed, including 2D drawings, 3D models, sketches, even videos of the prototypes. We eventually found the right manufacturer in Portugal. We then had to make some final tweaks to the design to match their production processes. Many of these changes aren’t visible, but they mean the finished chair is exactly want we want.


The requirement I initially designed what has now become the Iris chair for my final-year project while studying design at university. But the real requirement took shape after I won The Conran Shop Design Award in 2019, and The Conran Shop decided to launch the chair as part of a range of furniture. This led to an entirely different set of design challenges, both in terms of updating the design itself, as there were compromises I’d had to make at university due to the available resources, and also designing something that would be commercially viable to produce. This turned out to be a wholly different process from creating the original university design. The inspiration The initial inspiration came from my experimentation with materials. I spent a lot of time in the workshops at university, and timber has always been a favourite material of mine. It’s quite easy to work with, incredibly versatile and it adds warmth to any design.

The materials We are launching the chair in European oak and American black walnut. They have lovely rich colours and stunning grain patterns. The individual slats need a little bit of flex and these woods have exactly what we needed. They’re also incredibly durable, easy to work with and we can source the wood from sustainable, well managed forests, which is key. The design uses two other materials. A lot of design development went into understanding how to connect the slats together in an elegant but effective way. The racket rivets we chose are made of nylon, and they bind the slats together extremely tightly. The third material is leather. The slats are countersunk into the subframe and held in place with a leather cord that binds the slatted construction in place. I designed a weaving pattern for this that is slightly more complex than the commonly used Danish cord weaving. What’s interesting is that when I initially chose leather for the binding, I did so very quickly, almost seeing it as a compromise. During the redevelopment I assumed there must be a better option out there, but after considering many different materials, I came full circle – leather turns out to be perfect for the job!


The process The first stage was revisiting my university design to address some of the compromises I’d originally made – for example, having a metal substructure. The new design has a more midcentury or Scandinavian style, is slightly larger, and has a wooden frame. The key thing was creating designs which would allow large-scale manufacture.

Huw Evans, designer and product developer for The Conran Shop, on the story behind a wooden chair that evolved from his student project Interview: Viel Richardson

The chair is comprised of many individual wooden slats that

The philosophy My ethos has always been OF A DESIGN

Q: What led you to create Anatome?



Interview: Charlotte Peirce-Gregory

these essences worked together, looking at the science and the emerging research to increase our understanding of each ingredient and its ability to transform your wellbeing. We started looking into aromachology, which is really a progression of aromatherapy and is focused on the quality and structure of scents that use botanical extracts. That’s what got me to the starting point of Anatome. We now use those botanicals to produce a wide range of products, including skincare, fragrances, oils and supplements.

Q: Increasingly, you’re offering services as well as products. Is that an important part of the brand?

A major focus of Anatome is sleep, and how your sleep can affect your mood, gut health, and overall emotional health. I think another thing that’s important to people who live in cities is to be more connected with the natural world. People aren’t often listening to the running water, trees, people at the park, instead they’re on their phones, in an Uber, going from building to building –and I don’t think that’s healthy. One >

Brendan Murdock, founder of Anatome, on reimagining the London apothecary, blending botanicals and reconnecting with nature

A: I studied law at university, and then when I left law, I opened a restaurant in Hoxton. At the time, I was really interested in the world of men’s grooming. Back in the 2000s there was this idea of redefining what men’s grooming could be. I saw an opportunity, found a space opposite my restaurant, and opened a barber’s shop.Iwas also fascinated by the idea of pharmacy and the apothecary, in using my knowledge of botanicals to help reimagine the London apothecary. We started with essential oils that blend individual essences and were very much focused on how

A: Services are super important. I think we started with nutrition appointments and then developed sleep appointments, and that’s something we are going to develop further because – consumers want to come to the shop and have those experiences. Also workshops where you can make oils and salts, and then outside of the shop being able to do yoga classes, which are fun and engaging.

Q: What are the core essentials that drive a healthy lifestyle?

A: Diet is important. I think a lot of the Londoners we see have great access to a good diet, but we are learning from our appointments that a lot of people here only eat well two or three times a week. There are issues with people ordering several takeaways a week or eating ready meals. Not everyone cooks fresh ingredients every night.


of the things we are trying to do is train people’s routines and rituals to enhance their life.









Q: Out of all your products, what is your favourite?

A: Yes, I think there has been a peak in certain areas, and there is certainly more understanding of good health. People want to keep their immune systems strong and to sleep better, so there is an increase in demand.


Q: What have been your biggest achievements with Anatome?





Q: Has demand for wellness pandemicincreasedproductssincethebegan?

A: I think we are creating a brand that is now beginning to get a bit of love and appreciation. We are seeing a returning customer rate of about 50 per cent. We launched a subscription service, which is now turning into a nice way of retaining customers. We are doing a few things well, we have a long road to be really successful, but I think a lot of the foundations we have put in place have been really strong. ANATOME 16 Chiltern Street, W1U 7PZ

A: Well, there are two: one is our sleep oil. Once you’ve used it, you can’t go to bed without it – you will be wanting that scent. I also love our face oil, which is enriched with avocado and seed grape extract to help with the ageing process.


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DEEP MEANINGFUL& Pereira from The London Clinic on how deep brain stimulation can improve the lives of patients with Parkinson’s disease and is showing real promise for treating other conditions

Interview: Viel Richardson

Mr Erlick


A: That depends on the disease. DBS does not cure Parkinson’s disease, the dopamine producing cells still degenerate and disappear, so slowly but surely the disease progresses. There is no current treatment that reliably restores these cells, but DBS is the best available treatment for improving symptoms and restoring quality of life. However, in nondegenerative conditions such as tremor, dystonia and chronic pain, it can restore normal firing of the neurons in the deep brain circuitry, so therefore can be said to treat the underlying condition. Having said that, controlling the symptoms alone has huge benefits for the patient, as movement disorders can be embarrassing and disabling.

I have had patients return to serious cycling, running, swimming, and more unusual hobbies like acting and shooting.

For chronic pain, DBS gives 50 per cent or better improvement in pain in two-thirds of patients. It also leads to a significant reduction in or complete removal of patients’ need for medications like morphine and dopamine, therefore reducing or removing completely the unpleasant side effects the patient has to endure.

A: We fix a special frame to the patient’s head during the procedure, as it has to stay absolutely still. Then using high-definition image guidance systems we follow a pre-planned route to place each electrode. Once the electrodes are placed in the brain, the wires carrying the current are fixed to the skull and run down to the pacemaker, which sits in the chest, via extension wires in the neck.

A: While there has been controversial evidence for early DBS treatment, with Parkinson’s I believe it is best done when the patient is at least four years into the disease. Too often I see patients who have been rushed into DBS treatment early and are later found to have another condition that mimics Parkinson’s but that sadly does not respond to DBS, meaning the patient has undergone quite intrusive treatment unnecessarily.

A: While we work within very strict procedural rules, there is room for some differences in approach. Unlike many neurosurgeons, I favour a minimally invasive approach. Many neurosurgeons make 15mm entry holes then cover them with plastic domes that look like bumps on the head. Some surgeons also shave shave the whole head. I make 3mm holes and I fix the leads with small titanium plates, so there are no visible bumps and I have to shave little or no hair. >

Q: So would you say that DBS treatment is about alleviating or controlling the symptoms of a chronic condition, as opposed to curing them?


A: There is good multi-centre randomised trial evidence for movement symptoms of Parkinson’s disease improving by 50 per cent. Improvements in tremor and dystonia can also be profound, with 80 per cent improvement being the norm.

Q: How standardised is the procedure?

Q: Can you explain the idea behind deep brain stimulation (DBS)?

Q: What types of condition are suitable for treatment by DBS?

Q: Are there some patients who are more suited to the treatment than others?

A: DBS is most established for treating Parkinson’s disease, where it improves slowness of movement or tremors. It can also improve tremors and other conditions such as cervical dystonia or wry neck. I also do the surgery for chronic pain in cases where all other treatments have failed. This pain can have many causes: surgery, trauma, cancer or many other things. DBS has also been approved in the United States to treat epilepsy and there is increasing good international evidence for its use in the treatment of depression, Tourette’s syndrome and obsessivecompulsive disorder. I might undertake DBS treatments for these conditions if an epilepsy neurologist or a psychiatrist with experience of DBS has referred the patient to me.

A: DBS is a treatment in which we deliver an electrical current from a specialised pacemaker to electrodes placed in specific structures deep in the brain through very thin wires. We use precisely controlled electrical currents to modify abnormal signals coming from misfiring neurons in deep circuits within the brain. The part of the brain where we place the electrodes will differ depending on the disorder being treated. Normally two leads are inserted in the brain, one in each hemisphere. We have to place the electrodes within 2mm of the target structures, which are themselves usually about 3mm in size. Once the electrodes are in place we switch on the pacemaker and program the levels of current it will deliver.

Q: Can patients be treated early for Parkinson’s?

Q: How effective can DBS be?

A: Those patients with Parkinson’s disease most suited to DBS may have too little movement, which becomes too much movement when dopamine medications are taken. Also, patients with tremor, stiffness and who might have affected sleep or pain can really benefit. Patients with dementia, balance problems and falling, or those who have had little response to dopamine medications, urinary and blood pressure problems are not helped as much. Most patients with tremors that have not responded to medications can be helped and many of those with dystonia (abnormal muscle tone and posture) can be helped if Botox and other treatments have not worked. As a last-resort treatment for neuropathic pain caused by injury to the nerves themselves, DBS has helped many patients.

Q: How do you achieve such precision?

A: The biggest challenge isn’t technical: the part of the procedure that is often done least well is ensuring effective communication with the patient about what they can hope to gain from DBS. Exploring and managing their expectations is paramount, especially in patients with complex, chronic disease. Technically, both the surgery and the programming of the current can be challenging. I find the surgery enjoyable because it is my craft, but putting floppy electrodes within 2mm of a target in the jelly-like structure of the brain does require skill and years of practice. Finally, nuanced programming of the stimulator can be challenging in patients with many complex symptoms. One could improve one symptom such as tremor but make the patient’s balance worse, for example. However, the great thing about DBS is it is reversible and can be switched off should the side effects be too much. It can also be fine-tuned – neuromodulated –over time to optimise the therapy for best results.

A: I have been doing DBS surgery for nearly two decades. In this time MRI imaging has increased hugely in its power and resolution, so the neurosurgeon’s ability to visualise deep brain structures has been vastly improved. This advance has led to a shift towards doing surgery with patients asleep rather than having to stimulate neurons and assess the results while the patient is awake. MRI has also enabled connecting fibres between the structures to be visualised. This is driving a whole school of research into how the brain controls movements, out of which we are developing better therapies.

A: A small risk of infection is inevitable with any implant and when it happens it can be a miserable ordeal for the patient. I would like to see this risk reduced to vanishingly small. For my patients, the risk of infection requiring a short course of antibiotics is about three per cent, and of needing whole system removal about one per cent. Antibiotic liners and powders may be helpful, but infection-risk reduction through continued incremental improvements in aspects of care before, during and after surgery is the aim. I’m extremely proud of the efforts my DBS teams do here and the benefits they bring to the patient.

A: Best practice for patients receiving DBS is an initial consultation during which the risks and benefits of the procedure are clearly explained to them. I then refer them to a movement disorders neurologist for evaluation. If they have Parkinson’s disease they will receive a dopamine challenge assessment. They then have an MRI brain scan to look for structural problems and plan any surgery. I would also arrange a neuropsychology assessment. If they have chronic pain, they would have a pain consultant evaluation. If they have a psychiatric disorder, they need to see a psychiatrist. There would then be a multi-disciplinary team discussion about their suitability for the surgery. Only after the outcome of all this is fed back to the patient can we proceed with surgery. This process can all be undertaken in as little as a couple of weeks, but it is always best done at the patient’s pace and around their own life events.

Q: What have been the significant advances in DBS in the last few years?

I implanted the first Chinese-made DBS in the UK recently, which has some extremely advanced features. These include directional electrodes that allow you to steer current towards desired structures and away from those that may cause side effects, and rechargeable pacemakers able to last a quarter of a century. They also include sensing stimulators that detect brainwaves and can alter their settings in response; remarkableanother.settingspatientremoteonstimulatorsaccelerometer-triggeredthataltersettingsbasedthepatient’smovement;andprogrammingwhereainonecountrycanhavetheiradjustedbyaclinicianinWeareseeingsomequiteabilitiesemerge.

Q: If you had a silver bullet, what one issue with the procedure would you seek to solve?

THE LONDON CLINIC 20 Devonshire Place, W1G 6BW


“I find the surgery enjoyable because it is my craft, but putting floppy electrodes within 2mm of a target in the jelly-like structure of the brain does require skill and years of practice.” CLOSER LOOK


Q: What is the treatment path of a patient who undergoes the DBS procedure?

Q: What are the most technically challenging aspects of the procedure?


The London Clinic, the UK’s largest independent charitable hospital, has been at the forefront of health technology since our inception in 1932. In the intervening years we have had some notable firsts – trialling robotic surgery in the UK, introducing the advanced 3T MRI scanner, and launching cutting-edge services using artificial intelligence to improve cancer detection. Call +44 (0)20 8108 9622 or visit to find out how we use technology to improve patient outcomes.



Corin Mellor, creative director of David Mellor, on his perfect Marylebone day

Breakfast My breakfast venue of choice used to be a greasy spoon, but I’ve moved on a bit to Delamina, the husband-andwife-owned Middle Eastern restaurant at the bottom of Marylebone Lane. My wife and I order the Pitta Paradise, which is soft pitta topped with mascarpone, honey, pistachios and fruit and then baked. I love that bottom end of Marylebone Lane now. It’s finally all gelled together. I’m pleased to see my friends Vitsœ have opened there too.

Coffee I normally go to Daylesford. It’s around the corner from our shop, and I really like it – particularly the little window booths. You need to be in a window booth to make the most of it. The coffee is good. I always have a latte, because I’m a bit old school

Interview: Clare Finney


Left: David Mellor Right: Penton’s Below top: Caldesi in Marylebone Below bottom: Delamina

A breath of fresh air Regent’s Parks is an obvious choice, but it is the most amazing space. It is right in the middle of inner London, but when you get there you’re in another world entirely. There’s a boating lake and ponds and swans – such a change from the hustle and bustle of the city. I also love that the Outer Circle has turned into a racing track; I went with my little boy on his bike and we got overtaken by 40 racing, Lycra-clad cyclists.

when it comes to coffee and I love milk. I often just pour myself a glass of milk at home. My wife thinks it’s mad. A new outfit It’s very rare that I buy a new outfit, but when I do I go to Paul Smith. I think it’s because he opened a shop opposite us in Covent Garden at exactly the same time as we opened there. We were building our store and he was building his store, and he made great friends with my father –in part because he’s a northerner too.

DAVID MELLOR 14 New Cavendish Street, W1G 8UW

Rococo art is not my favourite, I have to admit, but it is the most amazing building, with an amazing collection, and I quite like the exhibitions. They have one about the French decorative arts and their influence on animation, which sounds fun.

Pre-dinner drinks I occasionally go to the Golden Eagle on Marylebone Lane. It is bright red, tiny and unpretentious; just a basic, old fashioned London pub with a very good selection of beers.


Shopping Niwaki is a Japanese store on Chiltern Street which sells things you need – or perhaps things you don’t really need, like a beautiful mug or a perfect pair of garden shears. It is beautifully designed, all in douglas fir. It’s a tiny shop, but the Japanese are very good at doing things on a tiny scale, and all the tools are of wonderful quality and beautifully laid out. It is design, but not design that tries too hard; the design does the job. My other choice is Penton’s, the traditional ironmongers on Marylebone Lane. It is a shop that sells everything: you can get brass screws, Polyfilla or a scrubbing brush. I am a designer and a maker, and it is full of stuff for making things. Culture It’s got to be The Wallace Collection.

Dinner out I always go to the same place: Caldesi. When we were building the Marylebone shop I went there in the evenings for supper, and I always take the Marylebone staff there for Christmas. They love it. The Caldesis sell the best spaghetti carbonara I’ve ever eaten in my life. I’ve tried it all over, and it’s not a patch on theirs, even in Rome. I like the atmosphere, the décor, the Italian service; I just never get bored of it.

Eating in The Ginger Pig and La Fromagerie. It’s so easy because they’re right next door to each other. I’m a massive meat eater, and The Ginger Pig has an amazing selection of sausages (or pies, if I can’t be bothered to cook). Then next door they have amazing cheese at La Fromagerie, so you have the best of both worlds really.

As a result, I feel attached to the Paul Smith brand. I like his understated Englishness. On the rare occasions I wear a suit, I wear a Paul Smith suit.

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