Marylebone Journal issue 92

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MARYLEBONE JOURNAL

P.36 SANTIAGO LASTRA, THE HEAD CHEF AT KOL, ON COOKING MEXICAN FOOD WITH BRITISH INGREDIENTS, WORKING WITH RENÉ REDZEPI, AND THE POWER OF FOOD TO BRING JOY P.20 THE MARYLEBONE RETAILERS WHOSE COMMITMENT TO SUSTAINABILITY GOES FAR BEYOND MERE PR P.44 CHARLIE CASELY-HAYFORD ON SHARP SUITS, SLOW FASHION, AND CONTINUING HIS FATHER’S LEGACY

ISSUE NO.92 BROUGHT TO YOU BY THE HOWARD DE WALDEN ESTATE AND THE PORTMAN ESTATE.


HOPE MONTESSORI SCHOOL Admin@HopeMontessoriSchool.com +44 (0) 7919 84 48 53 HopeMontessoriSchool.com


MARYLEBONE JOURNAL ISSUE NO.92 BROUGHT TO YOU BY THE HOWARD DE WALDEN ESTATE AND THE PORTMAN ESTATE. Cover: Santiago Lastra of KOL by Haydon Perrior

Marylebone Journal marylebonejournal.com Instagram: @marylebonejrnl Twitter: @MaryleboneJrnl Marylebone Village marylebonevillage.com Instagram: @marylebonevillage Twitter: @MaryleboneVllge Portman Marylebone portmanmarylebone.com Instagram: @portmanmarylebone Publisher LSC Publishing lscpublishing.com Editor Mark Riddaway mark@lscpublishing.com Advertising sales Donna Earrey 020 7401 2772 donna@lscpublishing.com Contributers Jean-Paul Aubin-Parvu Lauren Bravo Ellie Costigan Clare Finney Orlando Gili Viel Richardson Design and art direction Em-Project Limited mike@em-project.com Owned and supported by The Howard de Walden Estate 23 Queen Anne Street, W1G 9DL 020 7580 3163 hdwe.co.uk annette.shiel@hdwe.co.uk The Portman Estate 40 Portman Square, W1H 6LT 020 7563 1400 portmanestate.co.uk rebecca.eckles@portmanestate.co.uk

HAPPENINGS 2 A CLOSER IN MARYLEBONE LOOK

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

IN PROFILE: JEREMY KING

Food, style, home, wellbeing and healthcare

Q&A: 36 12 SANTIAGO LASTRA

The CEO of the restaurant group behind Fischer’s talks about COVID-19, the art of the neighbourhood restaurant, and how he ditched a place at Cambridge on the roll of a dice

THE COMMITMENTS

The chef behind KOL restaurant on cooking Mexican food with British ingredients, working with René Redzepi, and the power of food to bring joy

Q&A: 44 CHARLIE 20 CASELY-HAYFORD

The Journal speaks to three Marylebone retailers whose commitment to sustainability goes far beyond mere PR

The co-founder of Casely-Hayford on sharp suits, slow fashion, and continuing his father’s legacy in the family business

SETTING THE THE DIFFERENCE 31 SCENE MAKERS Corin Mellor, CEO of

Andrew Mederick, head of youth services at the Fourth Feathers Youth & Community Centre

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David Mellor, on the art of laying the table

RISE OF THE MACHINES

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Professor Prokar Dasgupta of The London Clinic on robotic surgery, innovation and the search for synergy 1 — MARYLEBONE JOURNAL / ISSUE NO. 92


HAPPENINGS IN MARYLEBONE →

HAPPENINGS IN MARYLEBONE EVENTS EXHIBITIONS FILM MUSIC SHOPPING TALKS THEATRE WALKS

EXHIBITION UNTIL 13 NOVEMBER MIRREN KESSLING: ARCHIVE OF UNREAL OBJECTS Cube Gallery 16 Crawford Street, W1H 1BS cube-gallery.co.uk Mirren Kessling presents a new body of 10 large ink drawings of highly elaborate bejewelled objects, excessive in their ornamentation and size, developed through her reassembling and re-imagining of historical images. 1.

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MUSIC 4 NOVEMBER, 7.30pm JESS GILLAM (SAXOPHONE), ZEYNEP ÖZSUCA (PIANO) Wigmore Hall 36 Wigmore Street, W1U 2BP wigmore-hall.org.uk

EVENT

Leading British saxophonist Jess Gillam is joined by Turkish pianist Zeynep Özsuca for a programme that features arrangements of a Benjamin Britten solo oboe suite, a 1994 work by Graham Fitkin, and a genre-straddling piece by Ayanna Witter-Johnson. MUSIC 8 NOVEMBER, 7.30pm TAKÁCS QUARTET Wigmore Hall 36 Wigmore Street, W1U 2BP wigmore-hall.org.uk The Takács Quartet, founded in 1975 in Budapest but now resident at the University of Colorado, perform two masterpieces of Viennese classicism from Haydn and Beethoven, together with Leoš Janáček’s deeply felt ‘Intimate Letters’.

After missing out last year, the Christmas lights in Marylebone Village will once again be given their traditional celebrity switchon 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 live music, Santa’s grotto, fairground rides, stalls, and a charity tombola raising money for the mental health charity Mind Brent, Wandsworth & Westminster. More than 50 retailers and restaurants will be offering promotions, experiences, gifts and special menus throughout the day, including Paul Smith, Dinny Hall, Agnés b, Joseph Cheaney & Sons, The Conran Shop, Fresh, Koibird, Mejuri, Home Marylebone, Ottolenghi and 108 Brasserie. Check the Marylebone Village website for a full list of participants. 10 NOVEMBER, 3-7pm Merry Marylebone Christmas Lights & Shopping Event Marylebone Village marylebonevillage.com

MUSIC 12 NOVEMBER, 8pm ACADEMY BIG BAND WITH JASON YARDE Royal Academy of Music Marylebone Road, NW1 5HT ram.ac.uk Composer and saxophonist Jason Yarde, who works across a variety of styles, including jazz, classical, hip hop, R&B, reggae and soul, joins with Academy Big Band for a concert featuring several of his compositions for jazz orchestra. 2 — MARYLEBONE JOURNAL / ISSUE NO. 92

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HAPPENINGS IN MARYLEBONE →

1. Jason Yarde, Royal Academy of Music 2. Relic for the Elements by Mirren Kessling, Cube Gallery 3. Marylebone High Street by Stems & Stoops (@stemsandstoops) 4. Ultimos Dias by Alexandre Arrechea, SoShiro 5. Artists at the Preview by Janet Sobel, Gallery of Everything

EXHIBITION

A collection of works from 16 female artists and makers of the 20th century. Covering a range of disciplines, they are linked by a common commitment to their craft and a refusal to adapt to the white male art world of their time. Featured artists include Janet Sobel Hilma af Klint, Judith Scott, Jann Haworth, Unica Zürn, Eva Švankmajerová, Mary Barnes and Niki de Saint Phalle. UNTIL 14 NOVEMBER JANET SOBEL AND THE 20TH CENTURY WOMEN Gallery of Everything 4 Chiltern Street, W1U 7PS gallevery.com

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EXHIBITION UNTIL 13 NOVEMBER ALEXANDRE ARRECHEA: LAYERS: PART TWO SoShiro 23 Welbeck Street, W1G 8DZ soshiro.co Cuban artist Alexandre Arrechea presents a series of 21 watercolours that reimagine amphitheatres as elaborate structures with no centre stage or point of focus, five of which have been turned into 3D-printed sculptures by Shiro Muchiri. THEATRE 3 – 14 NOVEMBER EMMELINE The Cockpit Gateforth Street, NW8 8EH thecockpit.co.uk Theatre Lab Company’s new production tells the story of Emmeline Pankhurst, inspirational leader of the British suffrage movement, exploring the tensions that arose between her and her daughter Sylvia on the level of militancy demanded of the struggle. 3 — MARYLEBONE JOURNAL / ISSUE NO. 92

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WALK 18 NOVEMBER, 6-8pm MARYLEBONE WINE AND PUB TOUR Baker Street Quarter Partnership bakerstreetq.co.uk A free walking tour of some of Marylebone’s many amazing pubs and bars, led by Blue Badge guide Mark Conroy. Along the way, you’ll get to taste some fantastic cocktails, meet knowledgeable wine experts and enjoy a sip or two of real ale.

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Jeremy King, CEO of the restaurant group behind Fischer’s, talks about COVID-19, the art of creating a neighbourhood restaurant, and how he ditched a place at Cambridge on the roll of a dice


HAPPENINGS IN MARYLEBONE →

THEATRE 23 – 24 NOVEMBER CLEAN! The Cockpit Gateforth Street, NW8 8EH thecockpit.co.uk Winner of the Outstanding Theatre Award at Brighton Fringe 2021, Clean! is a rousing feminist musical that tells the stories of seven women from the same area of Brighton through different eras since the 1870s, exploring themes of hardship, suffrage, sexuality – and laundry.

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EXHIBITION UNTIL 20 NOVEMBER NICK BRANDT: THE DAY MAY BREAK Atlas Gallery 49 Dorset Street, W1U 7NF atlasgallery.com From five wildlife sanctuaries and conservation projects in Zimbabwe and Kenya, photographer Nick Brandt portrays people and animals impacted by environmental destruction, surrounded by shrouds of artificial fog that hint at a world fading from view. 4 — MARYLEBONE JOURNAL / ISSUE NO. 92

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MUSIC 21 NOVEMBER, 11.30am BRAIMAH KANNEH-MASON (VIOLIN), SHEKU KANNEH-MASON (CELLO), JENEBA KANNEH-MASON (PIANO) Wigmore Hall 36 Wigmore Street, W1U 2BP wigmore-hall.org.uk Three of Nottingham’s six extraordinarily musical Kanneh-Mason siblings come together for a programme of music by Mendelssohn.

1. Fatuma, Ali and Bupa, Kenya 2020 by Nick Brandt, Atlas Gallery 2. Anneleen Lenaerts, Royal Academy of Music 3. Plymouth by Mhairi McGregor, Thompson’s Gallery 4. Portman Square Gardens Christmas lights

MUSIC 25 NOVEMBER, 7.30pm ANNELEEN LENAERTS: VIENNA STORIES Royal Academy of Music Marylebone Road, NW1 5HT ram.ac.uk To celebrate the release of her new album, Vienna Stories, which celebrates her life in the Austrian capital, Academy visiting professor Anneleen Lenaerts performs an intimate evening concert of Viennese operatic fantasies arranged for harp.


HAPPENINGS IN MARYLEBONE →

EXHIBITION 10 – 27 NOVEMBER MHAIRI MCGREGOR: EVERYWHERE YOU WANT TO BE Thompson’s Gallery 3 Seymour Place, W1H 5AZ thompsonsgallery.co.uk Scottish painter Mhairi McGregor, known for her bright, highly abstracted, contemporary Colourist landscape paintings, presents an impressive new body of oils in a solo exhibition.

MUSIC 26 NOVEMBER, 1pm SIDE BY SIDE: ONE EQUAL MUSIC Royal Academy of Music Marylebone Road, NW1 5HT ram.ac.uk

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Brass ensemble Septura joins Academy students to present a counterfactual history in which Clara Schumann has equal billing alongside two of her more celebrated male contemporaries – Mendelssohn and Clara’s husband Robert.

SHOPPING

This Christmas, Portman Square Garden will transform into a magical winter garden. Visitors will be able to browse a selection of Christmas gifts from a range of independent brands who will be popping up over the three-day event. Some of Portman Marylebone’s favourite restaurants and bars will be joining them in the garden, offering guests the chance to try new Christmas menus and enjoy festive favourites. Visitors can grab a bite to eat, enjoy an obligatory glass of mulled wine and settle in for a programme of festive performances, workshops and masterclasses. MARYLEBONE WINTER GARDEN 1 – 3 DECEMBER, 12-8pm Portman Marylebone & Baker Street Quarter Partnership Portman Square Garden Portmanmarylebone.com

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WALK 2 DECEMBER, 6-7pm CHRISTMAS LIGHTS WALK Baker Street Quarter Partnership bakerstreetq.co.uk A free guided tour of four sitespecific light installations, each of which illuminates an aspect of the area’s rich history: the famous Baker Street Bazaar, the Marylebone pleasure gardens, Lady Montagu’s blue stocking parties, and the Sherlock Holmes stories.

P.44→

Charlie Casely-Hayford, the co-founder of Casely-Hayford, on sharp suits, slow fashion, and continuing his father’s legacy in the family business

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HAPPENINGS IN MARYLEBONE →

Q&A: NATASHA LEMOS

The co-curator of The Hellenic Centre’s new exhibition on a famous collection of paintings from the Greek War of Independence, part of a wider celebration of the bicentenary of the revolution

In 1821, a series of revolts broke out around Greece, aimed at ending the Ottoman Empire’s 400-year rule. After years of insurgency, and some messy internal fighting between opposing rebel groups, the tide was turned by the intervention of Britain, France and Russia, whose collective muscle led to the declaration in 1830 of an independent Greek state under their protection. Two years later, this was recognised by the Turkish sultan. To mark the bicentenary of the start of the War of Independence, The Hellenic Centre is exhibiting 12 iconic lithographs of scenes from the conflict, which were commissioned and vividly captioned by one of its heroes, General Yannis Makriyannis. Q: What was the origin of these paintings? A: During the war, they were lots of disputes between different warlords and the provisional government. After the war, Makriyannis decided to write his own version of events. What is interesting is that he was illiterate. He taught himself to write phonetically, ignoring proper spelling, enough that he could record his story in his own words. Later, he decided to also depict this in images. Q: Who created them? A: Initially Makriyannis wanted

a western painter to produce scenes from the war, but he was not happy with the results. Instead, he commissioned a man from Sparta, an icon painter called Demetrios Zographos. Other than some wall paintings in Laconia that bear his signature, we don’t know much about him. His style was very naïve and distinctly Greek, based on the Byzantine technique, which has no perspective. The materials he used, wood and tempera, were very traditional for icon painters. But Zographos was also a warrior, which is probably what appealed to Makriyannis. In the captions, Makriyannis points out once or twice that the painter is fighting in the scene. Between 1836 and 1839, Zographos created 25 paintings. With help from his two sons, he made four copies of the full set, which Makriyannis presented to the king of the new Greek state, King Otto, and to diplomats from the three protecting powers, Britain, France and Russia as gifts to their sovereign. Q: What happened to the paintings presented to Britain? A: Queen Victoria’s set is in the Royal Collection at Windsor. There is a letter written by the British minister in Athens, Sir Edward Lyons, to Lord Palmerston. He referred to Makriyannis as a “rough, uneducated but gallant soldier, and a good patriot” and told him that he was sending the paintings back to England on a war ship. Makriyannis wanted to “lay them at the feet of the respective sovereigns as offerings of his devotion and gratitude”. Lyons warned: “They may be required to be looked over for there are some descriptions of impaling and other scenes which may not be desirable to bring under Her Majesty’s view.” Q: Do we know what happened to the other sets? A: We know nothing about the Russian and French ones. The set

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HAPPENINGS IN MARYLEBONE →

which was given to King Otto was taken back by Makriyannis because he wanted to follow the practice of the time by having it lithographed. He entrusted it to an artist, who took the paintings and disappeared. Everybody soon forgot about them, and about Makriyannis’s writings. We hear nothing about his memoirs until 1901 when they were rediscovered in a terrible state. They were published for the first time in 1907, but didn’t attract much attention. Then in 1909, Joannes Gennadius, a Greek diplomat in London and a collector of Greek literature and art, saw that some pictures of the war of independence were being auctioned in Rome. They were almost certainly the set stolen from Makriyannis. He acquired them, and they are now in the Gennadius Library in Athens. In 1921, on the centenary of the war, Gennadius commissioned a photographer, Frédéric Boissonnas, to create 140 hand-coloured collotypes of the paintings. The collection we are showing is one of these. Q: How are they considered now? A: The Boissonnas copies sparked the interest of Greek modernists, who discovered Makriyannis’s writings. The poet Giorgos Seferis announced that, along with Papadiamantis, Makriyannis was the best Greek prose writer, which is quite a statement, particularly about a man who was illiterate until late in his life. People started looking differently at Makriyannis’s use of natural spoken Greek language. It is now considered of great importance. The paintings too began to be admired. Now, they are an important part of Greek culture. I was born and brought up in Greece, and they were something we all knew. 1821 VISIONS OF FREEDOM UNTIL 30TH MARCH The Helenic Centre 16-18 Paddington Street, W1U 5AS helleniccentre.org

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2. 1. Siege of the Acropolis by Demetrios Zographos, The Hellenic Centre 2. Solomon’s Knot, Wigmore Hall 3. Hurry Up, We are Dreaming by Rui Matsunaga, Daiwa Anglo-Japanese Foundation

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EXHIBITION

Rui Matsunaga’s colourful etchings of mythic scenes bring to life the belief system known as animism, which contends that animals, plants and objects all possess their own distinct spiritual essence. UNTIL 26th NOVEMBER RUI MATSUNAGA: THE MYTH OF SURVIVAL Daiwa Anglo-Japanese Foundation 13-14 Cornwall Terrace, NW1 4QP dajf.org.uk

EXHIBITION UNTIL 17 DECEMBER TREASURES OF THE RSM The Royal Society of Medicine Library 1 Wimpole Street, W1G 0AE rsm.ac.uk/the-library A free exhibition of medical treasures, including the earliest printed textbook for midwives, William Harvey’s exceptionally rare De Motu Cordis (1628), and items signed by Charles Darwin, Queen Victoria and Florence Nightingale. MUSIC 20 DECEMBER, 7.30pm SOLOMON’S KNOT Wigmore Hall 36 Wigmore Street, W1U 2BP wigmore-hall.org.uk Four cantatas from Bach’s Christmas Oratorio, performed by the adventurous Solomon’s Knot, a Londonbased collective who’ve made a name for their powerful interpretations of pre-1800 repertoire, played without a conductor and mainly from memory.


HAPPENINGS IN MARYLEBONE →

MUSIC 18 DECEMBER, 7pm DUNEDIN CONSORT Wigmore Hall 36 Wigmore Street, W1U 2BP wigmore-hall.org.uk The highly dynamic Scottish Baroque ensemble Dunedin Consort return to Wigmore Hall with a proper Saturday night crowd-pleaser: their highly enjoyable, critically acclaimed production of Handel’s Messiah: a true Christmas favourite.

1. Joanna Pousette Dart, Lisson Gallery 2. Faith Mask by Anton Smit, Thompson’s Gallery 3. To Have and to Hold by Hennie Niemann, Thompson’s Gallery 4. Forlorn by Ruan Huisaman, Thompson’s Gallery

EXHIBITION

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EXHIBITION 16 NOVEMBER – 22 JANUARY JOANNA POUSETTE-DART Lisson Gallery 67 Lisson Street, NW1 5DA lissongallery.com American artist Joanna Pousette-Dart’s paintings are notable for their dynamic shaped canvases and their melding of formal and poetic concerns, taking inspiration from Islamic, Mozarabic, Catalonian, Chinese, Mayan and American Indian art, as well as the landscape itself.

Paintings and sculpture from an array of South Africa’s top artistic talents, including Anton Smit, Hennie Niemann and Ruan Huisaman. A portion of proceeds go to Ubuntu Pathways, a charity working with children in the country’s Gqeberha township. 1 – 24 DECEMBER SOUTH AFRICAN ART Thompson’s Gallery 3 Seymour Place, W1H 5AZ thompsonsgallery.co.uk

EXHIBITION UNTIL 12 FEBRUARY VERITY-JANE KEEFE: LIVED IN ARCHITECTURE – BECONTREE ESTATE AT 100 RIBA Architecture Gallery 66 Portland Place, W1B 1AD architecture.com

SHOP

As part of a series of activities marking the centenary of the ground-breaking Becontree Estate in east London, VerityJane Keefe presents artworks that respond to the estate and illuminate the impact of political decision-making.

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SHOPPING

On Wednesdays in the build up to Christmas, enjoy independent shopping on the twinkly, tree-lined Chiltern Street. Pick up a winter warmer from Monocle Cafe or Chiltern Street Deli and get in the spirit as you’re serenaded by a carol singing choir. 24 NOVEMBER, 8 DECEMBER, 15 DECEMBER, 22 DECEMBER, 5-7pm CHILTERN STREET CHRISTMAS Portman Marylebone portmanmarylebone.com 3. 8 — MARYLEBONE JOURNAL / ISSUE NO. 92


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THE COMMITMENTS

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THE COMMITMENTS HAPPENINGS IN MARYLEBONE →

EXHIBITION

Anyone who has visited The Wallace Collection – and most people who haven’t – will already be aware of the painting known as The Laughing Cavalier, probably the gallery’s most famous permanent exhibit. Painted by the Dutch portraitist Frans Hals, who spent his life capturing on canvas the 17th-century bourgeoisie of his hometown of Haarlem, it is justifiably loved for the louche handsomeness, amused eyes and fancy threads of its nameless sitter (who isn’t actually laughing). Now, in this small but significant exhibition, our elaborately moustachioed friend can be seen alongside a selection of the artist’s other notable portraits of lone males. The paintings are presented on a single brightly coloured wall, sufficiently spaced out that each can hold the attention, but together providing the sense of an informal gathering. A party attended only by men – and mainly wealthy, middle-aged white men in near-identical monochrome clothing – but with enough personality on show to make you want to stick around. The portraits, which range in their conception from the beginning of Hals’ career in the 1610s right up to the end of his life in 1666, suggest that while the artist’s technique evolved across the decades, what never changed was his personal warmth, his feel for people, and his facility for making his subjects’ lengthy posing seem relaxed, natural and fleeting. The artist, who was never particularly successful in his own lifetime or in the centuries following his death, came to be much admired by 19th century Impressionist artists, most notably Manet, who took inspiration from the lively, unpolished finish of his paintings, with their smears, spots, visible brushstrokes and large patches of colour. Van Gogh, too, was a fan. He revered Hals as “a colourist among the colourists” and was impressed by just how many shades of black – 27 by his estimate – his fellow Dutchman was able to summon up. This exhibition shows very clearly how powerful Hals’ brushwork and use of colour could be. Most of all, though, it shows that, through the painter’s great empathy and humanity, a dozen long-dead men of Haarlem can be right there with you in the room.

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UNTIL 30 JANUARY FRANS HALS: THE MALE PORTRAIT The Wallace Collection Manchester Square, W1U 3BN wallacecollection.org

2. 1. The Laughing Cavalier by Frans Halls 2. Portrait of Tieleman Roosterman by Frans Hals 3. Pathway by Kalpesh Lathigra, RIBA First Floor Gallery

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EXHIBITION UNTIL 12 FEBRUARY KALPESH LATHIGRA: THE TREE OF A MAN NAMED BEOHHA – BECONTREE NOW RIBA First Floor Gallery 66 Portland Place, W1B 1AD architecture.com As part of a series of activities marking the centenary of the ground-breaking Becontree Estate in east London, local photographer Kalpesh Lathigra presents a nuanced study of its architecture as it appears today.


IN PROFILE: JEREMY KING

IN PROFILE

JEREMY KING

The CEO of the restaurant group behind Fischer’s talks about COVID-19, the art of creating a neighbourhood restaurant, and how he ditched a place at Cambridge on the roll of a dice Interview: Clare Finney

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IN PROFILE: JEREMY KING

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IN PROFILE: JEREMY KING

To my mind, there are four restauranteurs without whom London’s current restaurant scene would be unimaginable: Peter Gordon, Yotam Ottolenghi and – in one neat package – Chris Corbin and Jeremy King. Ottolenghi needs no explanation; Peter Gordon’s influence continues to ripple across ROKA, Caravane, Oklava and many others; and Corbin and King, through their Corbin & King restaurant group, are the powerhouses behind The Wolseley, The Delaunay, Colbert, Brasserie Zédel, Soutine, Bellanger and our very own Fischer’s. Key to Corbin & King’s success has been the pair’s feel for neighbourhood restaurants; restaurants you just rock up at, at any time, for any occasion; restaurants which are “part of the community,” says Jeremy King, “because that is the role of restaurants.” Fisher’s is a consummate example. From the moment the Mittel-European inspired restaurant opened in 2014, it has felt like it’s always been there. Its mahogany panels, green marble accents and comfort-led menu carry a certain sense of timelessness “I think it’s on account of our creating a restaurant for that specific community – not just disdainfully plopping a concept down without understanding the area,” says Jeremy. Throughout the pandemic, Jeremy has been a composed but passionate spokesperson on behalf of his industry, leading the charge for furlough payments to reflect service charge and lending his voice to a campaign for a minister of hospitality to be appointed. His hope is that after 18 months of closures and disruption, diners and staff alike have a newfound appreciation for each other. That regulars supported Fischer’s throughout the lockdowns with vouchers, delivery orders and even donations to top up furlough money was testament to the special place it occupies in the hearts of the local people. “The love and support we have received from our regular customers has been very gratifying indeed.” Q: You entered the world of restaurants after a brief stint in merchant banking – a well-trodden path among people in their 30s and 40s, but less so for 20-somethings. What happened? A: I went into merchant banking because I didn’t want to go to university. I thought, why wait three years to get on the career ladder, I’ll start now and get a lead on my contemporaries. The only problem was I didn’t enjoy the work, and in 1973 they didn’t pay trainees very well. So I got a job in a wine bar – something of a new phenomenon back then – to supplement my income, applied for university again and got a place at Cambridge nine months hence. At that time – the heyday of the King’s Road – working at the wine bar was hugely interesting. By the time my matriculation papers came through in

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May, I was in two minds. I’d recently read a novel called The Dice Man, about a man who determines his life decisions through rolling dice – it was a cult book back then. Throwing dice was something my friends and I had taken to doing to choose which restaurant we wanted to go to on a night out. I decided that a certain combination of dice – a six and a six, say – would mean that if I got a managership role at the wine bar or somewhere similar, I would give up my place at university. I rolled the dice, got that combination and – remarkably, given how young I was – got the managership. So I stayed. Q: You seem quintessentially English, your restaurants inherently European, yet your first serious job in hospitality was at the casual American restaurant Joe Allen. How did you end up there? A: After the wine bar I worked in a French restaurant in Battersea and was miserable again. Meanwhile, Joe Allen had opened and had quickly become one of our favourite places to dine. Chatting to the manager there, John Maxwell – a brilliant man, a Rhodes Scholar and a Harvard graduate – I told him I was looking for a new profession and he offered me a job. I said: “I love Joe Allen, but it isn’t me at all. A proper Englishman working in a casual American restaurant – it doesn’t make sense.” He told me I should forget that; that the experience would teach me how to run a big restaurant. It was while working there that I got to know Chris Corbin, who was the manager at Langan’s Brasserie at the time, and that the idea for Le Caprice was born. Q: Le Caprice was a big success. Why was that? A: The reason Le Caprice, and then The Ivy which we acquired in 1990, was so innovative was that it was egalitarian. It was more like a New York restaurant in style, in that you could order a starter as a main, or just have a couple of starters. It was smart and casual. It attracted young people and old. At that time, class structures of England were being broken down in restaurants more than anywhere else and, after a shaky start, people started to understand Le Caprice – I think in part because then, as now, we worked in a different way to other restauranteurs. Other restaurants look at customers as a source of profit; we look at them as an opportunity to give someone a good time. If you do that, you make money anyway. Q: Do you think being a Londoner yourself helps you create good London restaurants? A: Funnily enough, I don’t actually think of myself as a Londoner, even though I came to London nearly 50 years ago. I grew up in the Home Counties and went to school in Sussex, so I have never been quite sure where I belong.


IN PROFILE: JEREMY KING

“I think it’s on account of our creating a restaurant for that specific community – not just disdainfully plopping a concept down without understanding the area.”

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IN PROFILE: JEREMY KING

My nature is to feel like a tiny bit of an outsider – and I think that helps, actually. A good restaurant should serve as a catalyst, whether it’s a date, a business meeting, a gathering of friends or family. People make them into what they want. Q: All your restaurants – The Wolseley, The Delaunay, Colbert, Soutine, Bellanger, Brasserie Zedel and Fischer’s – are very distinctive architecturally. How do you know a building is going to work as a restaurant? A: People often ask what makes for a successful restaurant – whether it’s the location, the building, the décor, the chef and so on – and I always say that there is just something about really good spaces. You just know it is going to work when you walk in. It’s analogous to walking into a house you are looking to buy or rent: you walk in and you just get the feeling that you are going to live there. I got that feeling when I walked into the site that became Fischer’s, which had been a car showroom and then a vegetarian restaurant, but it wasn’t available at the time. We were about to commit to somewhere else when it suddenly became available again. The building also decides what the restaurant will be. A lot of restaurateurs make the mistake of imposing an idea on a building as opposed to working with it. When I approached our investor for the money for Fischer’s, they said: “Oh good, are you going to do another Colbert?” I said: “Absolutely not. I don’t know what it will be yet, but that is not how we work. We do not do chain restaurants.” Only once I’d won that argument did I set about trying to work out what it would be. Q: How did you end up with an early 20th century Viennese café concept? A: What I learned from doing Colbert after The Wolseley was that smaller, local restaurants need stories. They are part of the heart and soul of the restaurant. Walking

Above: Chocolate & Grand Marnier dobos Right: Lamb & mint sausages with potato salad, caramelised onions & sauerkraut 16 — MARYLEBONE JOURNAL / ISSUE NO. 92

“What I learned from doing Colbert after The Wolseley was that smaller, local restaurants need stories. They are part of the heart and soul of the restaurant.”


IN PROFILE: JEREMY KING

“We are a historically competitive and jealous industry. Since the pandemic there has been greater solidarity than I have ever seen before – in part thanks to the new generation of chefs and restaurateurs coming up.”

> Superfoods salad with broccoli, avocado & kale

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IN PROFILE: JEREMY KING

around what would become Fischer’s, I was transported back to the 1930s and the notion that this could be a sort of Mitteleuropean, Viennese-style place came to mind. There is a restaurant in Vienna called Zum Schwarzen Kameel – The Black Camel – and it is my sort of restaurant: it has a real sense of identity. I am a great believer that a restaurant’s design shouldn’t shout for attention. It should be discreet, but it should withstand scrutiny. Each one of our restaurants is the result of masses of detail and research, from the narrative to the design detail, the paintings on the walls. But we don’t tell anybody beyond the staff, really. The idea is that customers just feel it when they walk in. Ironically, on the family and friends’ night we had when we opened Fischer’s, an old customer came in and started asking our general manager about the genesis of the restaurant. The man said, you should read Jeremy’s essay on this, which he wrote for the staff – and by the time I got around to his table, he was crying. The story I’d told is that of Otto and Maria Fischer, one Jewish, the other Catholic, escaping Vienna before the war. Most immigrants to London in the 1930s ended up either in Whitechapel or north-west London, so I’d had this couple settle in Marylebone and open a restaurant here. It so happened that the story I’d made up was the story of this customer’s grandfather, who had escaped Vienna in the 1930s and set up a restaurant on the Finchley Road called Old Vienna. Q: Though Fischer’s opened its doors 2014, it is such an established part of Marylebone that it feels like it’s been here forever. How have you managed to integrate into the community so seamlessly? A: We let it happen organically. We got involved with the church school, the Summer Festival, the Christmas Lights. It didn’t make any money, but it was good to be part of the community and I think that is the role of restaurants. Customers often say of Colbert and of Fischer’s that they feel like the restaurant has always been there – that they can’t remember what was there before it. I think that’s on account of our creating a restaurant for that specific community, not just disdainfully plopping a concept down without understanding the area, and also of our having a low staff turnover. When you go into a restaurant you’ve got a good chance of knowing the staff and them knowing you, that makes all the difference. We all want to walk into a restaurant and be greeted by name. We all want someone to know what it is that we drink. Q: What are the most significant challenges you’ve faced as a result of COVID-19?

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A: We’ve been fortunate enough to work with some excellent landlords, including The Howard de Walden Estate, so the biggest challenge we’ve faced has been in taking care of the people we work with. Eighty per cent of our staff are from Europe. They’re young, they’re uncertain about their income and housing situation, and they’re marooned in a foreign country with a home secretary who is outspoken in her belief that they are unskilled workers who contribute nothing. It was immensely brave of them to stay and not run home, and our priority when lockdown was announced was to take care of them. This was made easier by their positivity and the support of our customers. In the first month or so we launched an appeal for people to buy vouchers to the restaurants and 50 per cent of that went to boost the staff’s furlough money. Under the scheme, they were only getting 40 per cent of the payroll, because it didn’t account for service. Q: What lessons do you think will be learned from the COVID years? A: We are a historically competitive and jealous industry. Since the pandemic there has been greater solidarity than I have ever seen before – in part thanks to the new generation of chefs and restaurateurs coming up, who are fundamentally different in their approach. A good example of this solidarity in action is Seat at the Table, the campaign spearheaded by Robin Hutson to get a minister for hospitality, which has been widely supported and shared. Sadly, more recently, there has been a lot of unscrupulous behaviour seen in the search for staff and some restaurateurs have ‘poached’ blatantly. A lot of restaurateurs talk about the fact that they’re more efficient now than they would have been if they’d carried on in the same way as they were pre-pandemic. What is really important is that the cycle of escalating rents is broken. Previously, most landlords – those that are not the family estates like Howard de Walden – would put a site on the market and along would come a chain which would push up rents to the point where independents could no longer afford to be there. The hope is that the next generation of independents will find it easier to get high street sites. The other main positive that has come out of COVID is that I think customers will appreciate restaurants more, and restaurants will appreciate customers more. There has been a lot of complacency – arrogance, even – on both sides in the past, but when we reopened there was just such an outpouring of love and support. Fischer’s 50 Marylebone High Street, W1U 5HN 020 7466 5501 fischers.co.uk


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THE COMMITMENTS

Words: Clare Finney, Ellie Costigan, Viel Richardson

These days, every brand has a ‘sustainability statement’, but only a few put as much stock in action as they do in words. Thankfully, Marylebone is becoming a haven for such doers. The Journal speaks to three retailers whose sense of responsibility goes far beyond PR

THE COMMITMENTS


THE COMMITMENTS

> Embellished craft jacket, £695 Astrid slub, £275 Black yarrow jean, £324 21 — MARYLEBONE JOURNAL / ISSUE NO. 92


THE COMMITMENTS

THE ZERO WASTE FASHION BRAND “The whole thing about fashion is that we shouldn’t be making anything more, full stop,” says Caroline Smithson: a fashion designer whose CV reads like a rollcall of the world’s leading fashion houses: Celine, Alexander McQueen, Chloé, Calvin Klein, to name but a handful. It was under this seemingly incongruous premise that she set up Ssōne, “a contemporary womenswear brand rooted in craft and committed to conscious progress”. At Ssōne, sustainability is not just an add-on but “the modus operandi of the business”, Smithson tells me: something as tightly woven into its philosophy as the recycled plastic yarns used in some of the fabrics. The business is zero waste. “Everything we buy, we use. If we can’t do that, we don’t buy it,” says Caroline. She and her team design with a view to ensuring their clothes last as long as possible; they plant a tree for every package they ship (in sustainable packaging, naturally). And where they can, they seek to reuse materials already in circulation: dead stock materials and vintage fabrics. There is a subset of the fashion world that is, Caroline continues, doing exciting, progressive things right now. “It’s innovative, and it’s going back to basics; to the time before the industry started eating itself.” Yet fashion is also, as she says, undeniably gorging on its own bloated corpus: in 2020 each person on average was sending 1.7kg of fashion waste to landfill, and that’s just consumers. “Big fashion houses have such a huge budget for development, the waste potential is enormous. They’ll start making something, decide against it and that line will be binned and shredded.” Many premium brands would also rather destroy surplus stock than discount it, for fear of cheapening their reputation. It was Caroline’s knowledge of such practices, together with the discovery that pollution levels in her local area of Hackney were twice the legal limit, that finally prompted her to take the leap away from the big brands and into sustainable fashion. “I had to think what I could do to help alleviate these issues, and this is the only way I’d been trained. It’s harder for bigger companies to turn around and unpick what they have been doing for decades, but from the moment we started setting up, everything – packaging, shipping, fabric – was sustainable. We never had to shift.” Indeed, part of the problem with these big fashion houses is just that: their size. “Being sustainable isn’t always scalable,” Caroline observes. “Using up dead stock

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POETRY THE COMMITMENTS IN MOTION

> Nadia coat, £795 Season skirt, £375

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THE COMMITMENTS

fabric means using up deficit – which means the pieces we are making are really limited editions. We’re not turning out roll after roll of fabric that ends up being left on a shelf before being sent to landfill – and we try to be sustainable as employers, too.” Employment is, after all, another thorny issue for big fashion, with exploitation of workers rife both overseas and here in Britain. Each week brings fresh horror stories of poverty wages, gruelling hours and dangerous working conditions, everywhere from Leicester to Lahore to Los Angeles. “We want our employees to feel valued, and that they are growing. We are led by artisans: we find a craft we’d like to use, and we build a collection around that. Where we can, we work with cooperatives and women’s groups.” Examples include rugs from an artisan-owned cooperative in Morocco; handknits from a collective in Peru dedicated to supporting single mothers; embroidery and other needlework being outsourced to a social enterprise scheme in east London that trains long-term unemployed women from all backgrounds to work in the textile industry. Sustainable employment is “mental and physical as well as financial,” Caroline points out simply. These artisans create no more than they can physically produce within reasonable working hours, with training and holidays. “Because we are led by artisans, that means we fit to their timescales. It is a lovely way to work.” A quick rifle through Ssōne’s catalogue reveals elegant shapes, beautiful shades and extraordinary embroidery. These are clothes for all women and all seasons; yet they are also distinctive. How does she do it, I wonder? “We design simply. We tend to stay away from prints and shapes that are visibly of a particular ‘season’. Things become more utilitarian if you don’t have the seasonal sleeve.” If a garment comes to the end of its shelf-life – that is, if it’s not selling sufficiently well – they reinvent it. “We take it back off the shop floor and maybe replace the sleeve, recut it or redye it” – using natural dyes made from weeds or kitchen waste, chemical dyes being intensely polluting. It’s how clothes have been dyed and revived at home throughout history; only now there is “more and more technology to support natural dyes, which makes it easier,” says Smithson. Ssōne is doing what sustainable fashion at its finest does best: “Partnering the new and the old together. Concocting a new recipe.”

“We design simply,” she says. “We tend to stay away from prints and shapes that are visibly of a particular season. Things become more utilitarian if you don’t have the seasonal sleeve.” Caroline Smithson, Ssōne

SSŌNE 17 Chiltern Street, W1U 7PQ ssone.com Top: White Moon gown, £850 Bottom: Balance dress, £475; Oak A-line skirt, £275 24 — MARYLEBONE JOURNAL / ISSUE NO. 92


THE COMMITMENTS

The shoe manufacturer that refuses to compromise Since 2016, Allbirds has been showing that a pair of trainers can be comfortable, affordable and stylish without a high price being paid either by the planet or the people employed to make them. The uppers of the brand’s signature shoes are made from merino wool or FSC-certified eucalyptus, the sole from renewable sugarcane instead of petrol. “There is a carbon impact, which we can work to measure and reduce through innovation, and whatever pollution is left we need to pay for through carbon offsetting,” says Sandeep Verma, the brand’s chief commercial officer. “That’s our philosophy: to measure, reduce and offset. We produce about 10kg of carbon per pair of Allbirds, while a typical pair of shoes might be more like 30kg of carbon. But we tax ourselves on that 10kg, so we’re incentivised to treat it as a cost item” ALLBIRDS 46 Marylebone High Street, W1U 5HQ allbirds.co.uk The womenswear designer who puts sustainability first Founded in London and recently arrived on Marylebone High Street, Isabel Manns’ eponymous womenswear brand is another in which sustainability is stitched into every part of the process. Many of Isabel’s clothes are reversible, essentially creating two outfits from each purchase. She produces seasonless collections, each designed to complement the last. The clothes are designed in a way that minimises waste, manufactured in England using fabrics derived from eco-friendly sources, then packaged using 100 per cent recyclable packaging. Any leftover fabric is used to make scarfs, pocket scarfs and face masks. ISABEL MANNS 103 Marylebone High Street, W1U 4RJ isabelmanns.com

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THE CARBON NEUTRAL RESTAURANT “I hate to say this but, dining out in restaurants is not the most sustainable way of eating,” says Ravinder Bhogal, chef-owner of Jikoni. It’s a statement that is rarely uttered aloud by anyone in the hospitality industry, but Ravinder has never been a person to shy away from hard truths. “For a small business, it’s traditionally been very expensive and very complicated to reduce your carbon footprint. But climate change is a very real thing, so we just have to get on board.” This year, Jikoni became the first restaurant in the UK to be certified carbon neutral: an impressive feat for a notoriously carbon-intensive business. It’s been a three-year journey, beginning with Ravinder’s discovery of Climate Neutral: a non-profit organisation that can estimate a business’s carbon footprint by aggregating data from companies of a similar size in the same sector across Europe. “They add 20 per cent on to that, just to be sure, and then they advise you how to reduce it.” Some of it can be offset through “high quality carbon offset projects, such as cardamom forest planting in south Asia,” Ravinder continues. “They all are vetted, so you know your money is going to something genuinely positive.” The rest of the work involved significant operational changes. Two years ago, Jikoni switched all its energy supplies to renewable sources. More recently, the restaurant changed its waste management policies. “Due to our cooking style and culture, we cook with very low food wastage. However, we’ve done a full review and started to reduce our waste output more significantly,” Ravinder explains. “Our waste partner is building an electric waste collection fleet and they’ve got great recycling procedures – there’s zero to landfill. All nonrecyclable waste is sent to create green energy.” Jikoni typically puts vegetables front and centre on the menu, and any meat that is used is carefully sourced. “We’ve partnered with a biodynamic farm called Waltham Place, which is about 45 minutes away from the restaurant. They use low intervention methods, really looking after the land and caring about the whole system,” she continues. “It’s incredibly fresh, beautiful produce: our last delivery was harvested on Wednesday and arrived with us on Thursday.” But there are trade-offs. As a ‘no borders kitchen’, one that takes influences from across the globe – from Britain to south Asia to east Africa – it’s not always possible to source key ingredients quite so locally. But local doesn’t always mean low carbon: a plant grown out of season in

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THE COMMITMENTS

Burrata with Waltham Place beetroots, coconut, cashews & curry leaf oil 26 — MARYLEBONE JOURNAL / ISSUE NO. 92


THE COMMITMENTS

Sustainability doesn’t just mean caring about the planet; it means looking after the people involved in getting the food to your plate – and disposing of it afterwards. “This is how we should be judging restaurants: it’s not just about the food, it’s the whole picture. How you treat your guests, how you treat your team. All these things count.” Ravinder Bhogal, Jikoni

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THE COMMITMENTS

Britain in a heated polytunnel might well have a larger footprint than one grown in the sunshine hundreds of miles away and then transported to the UK. And there are other considerations too. “You can’t shut your eyes to the people elsewhere who might need your trade and support,” Ravinder says, impassioned. You may remember the controversy some years ago surrounding Kenyan green beans – a subject Ravinder has explored extensively and cares about deeply. “For me it’s a very personal thing. I was born in Kenya. My grandfather was a farmer. I’ve done a lot of work in Kenya with farmers and agriculture. The ‘green bean dollar’ has had a huge impact. It has progressed communities so much economically,” she explains. What’s more, Ravinder reminds me, there isn’t a special airline that brings green beans over: “They come here as cargo on passenger flights. So, if you’re fine about taking a jolly holiday to the Masai Mara but you won’t buy a Kenyan green bean, it’s actually very hypocritical. I think you really have to do your research.” Seemingly, when it comes to sustainability, Ravinder really has – in every regard. While many restaurants were taking a step back in the sustainability stakes during lockdown (understandably, given the need to find means to stay afloat), Jikoni was instead doubling down. “When everyone had that time off over the pandemic, it really gave us a chance as restaurateurs to sit and think: how do we make the world better? How do we create better working environments? Can we reimagine what hospitality should be about?” That meant not just the restaurant’s environmental credentials, but how she and her staff live and work. “The hours that chefs sometimes have to work are completely unsustainable. We always closed on Sunday and Monday evenings, but now we’ve gone one step further and have decided to completely close on a Monday and Tuesday,” she continues. “We feel people deserve two days off together. You can switch off and have a proper rest. It’s important.” Indeed, sustainability in the truest sense of the word doesn’t just mean caring about the planet; it means looking after the people involved in getting the food to your plate – and disposing of it afterwards. “This is how we should be judging restaurants: it’s not just about the food, it’s the whole picture. How you treat your guests, how you treat your team. All these things count,” says Ravinder. “The restaurant is part of the community, it’s part of a larger ecosystem. If you’ve got a healthy restaurant, you’ve got a healthier community.” JIKONI 19-21 Blandford Street, W1U 3DH jikonilondon.com

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Top: Smoked pomegranate quail with roasted muscat grapes, freekeh with figs & walnuts Left: Friggitelli peppers with cow’s heart tomatoes & tempered buttermilk

THE RESPONSIBLY DESIGNED RETAIL SPACE “The concept of responsible retail design is built around the idea of making high street shops more sustainable,” says Doortje van der Lee, who runs the retail expansion department of the Dutch eyewear company Ace & Tate. In the context of a retail space, sustainability has two distinct but interlinked meanings, both of which are of pressing concern to the brand. The first relates to the environmental costs that accrue from construction, maintenance, stocking and staffing. “The act of selling products and services from a physical premises offers many benefits for the customer and the retailer, but it can be quite a high-impact process in environmental terms,” continues Doortje. The second meaning relates to the long-term viability of the retail offering. A shop that proves economically unsustainable not only damages the business but means that the environmental impact of its creation – however much it’s mitigated – has been for nothing. “Our physical stores are currently very successful, but we need to look ahead and see what challenges the future might bring.


THE COMMITMENTS

We were already having these conversations internally when the pandemic happened and, of course, that changed everything. We have really had to think, what will the future of retail be for us?” Retailers have always had to deal with a degree of uncertainty – retail spending is particularly prone to an economy’s ill winds – but the pandemic has shown that nobody really knows with any certainty what tomorrow is going to look like. “Often the traditional way to deal with an unseen turn of events was to throw resources at the problem, but increasingly this is not seen as a viable approach to business.” From a retail expansion perspective, says Doortje, flexibility is key. This starts with a need for more flexible real estate deals – the traditional contracts which would tie a company to the premises for at least five years look increasingly constrained – and requires a similarly flexible approach to store design. “I think adaptation will be one of the most important design concepts for us, and it is pushing us to create flexible and modular premises,” Doorjte explains. “We want sites that are aesthetically pleasing to visit and work in but are also functional and have a lower environmental impact than our older stores.” By designing and building modular structures that use sustainable construction methods and are highly adaptable, Ace & Tate aims to create physical stores that fit with the brand’s stated intention to be a net zero business, while also being able to react to sudden changes

in the future retail landscape. “Two key takeaways from the concept are that it lowers the environmental impact of our retail operation, but it also creates a more flexible company, which is equally important,” Doorjte explains. The design of the new store in Marylebone has marked a major step in the brand’s journey. Ace & Tate initially built a trial store at its head office. “Once we thought ‘this is what we want to continue with’, we launched the store in Marylebone,” Doorjte reveals. “However, this sustainable journey is always evolving and developing so I would say that for us Marylebone was the finish line for that first stage of our development. We knew that we had a concept that we were ready to present to the consumer. But it will keep developing as we go.” In one of Ace & Tate’s older stores, a significant amount of time, money and resources would have gone into crafting the space into a beautiful white box in which to showcase products and services. The new design paradigm is based on the idea that doing nothing is better than doing something unsustainable. Future shop designers, it was decided, would work with what they found. The new stores, like the one in Marylebone, are much more transparent about the history of the spaces they occupy. “It was quite a radical change for us, because we value quality. We have an aesthetic we want to achieve. Our design brief was to be bold in execution. Ace & Tate does not shy away from bright colours or making big statements. Instead of trying to cover existing structures with a grid ceiling or with furniture, let’s own them. So, think about a mural on a wall. Or highlighting architectural elements with specific colours. If there’s a pipe there, give it a colour so it can be there and look cool. I think our customers will still recognise us as Ace & Tate, but without the stucco ceiling.” The challenge for the architects and designers was made harder by the store being built at the height of the lockdown restrictions, meaning the Dutch team could not travel to London to oversee its progress. But seeing the result, Doorjte can’t hide her approval. “I’m not sure if many customers really examine shop design, but it’s definitely something they feel,” she says with a smile. “Looking around the shop you see a more honest use of materials some of which are recycled, but the quality and range of our offerings have not changed. This is a really exciting time for us – the Marylebone High Street premises is the first of a new style of shops which will make Ace & Tate one the most sustainable high street brands.” ACE & TATE 39 Marylebone High Street, W1U 4QQ aceandtate.com

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FOR BEAUTIFUL LIVING

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THE DIFFERENCE MAKERS

THE DIFFERENCE MAKERS Introducing the people behind Marylebone’s vital charities and community organisations: Andrew Mederick, head of youth services, Fourth Feathers Youth & Community Centre Interview: Jean-Paul Aubin-Parvu Portraits: Orlando Gili My parents emigrated from St Lucia in the latefifties, early-sixties, and I was the middle one of five children born here in the UK. I spent my early years in Paddington, then my family moved to Lisson Green Estate when I started secondary school in 1975. You often hear people talk fondly about being able to leave their doors open when they were young, and how everybody knew each other, and that was very much the environment I grew up in. There were lots of older young people who we looked up to because they were very mature and actually quite responsible. They kind of kept you in check. And it was very much a community – everybody would say hello to one another, and all the children would play together outside during the summer. 31 — MARYLEBONE JOURNAL / ISSUE NO. 92

Those are my sweetest memories of growing up on the estate. I started attending the Fourth Feathers youth club when my family moved to Lisson Green. Back then, the youth club was across the road from where the centre is now. That was where you’d meet other young people, particularly in the winter when it was cold and wet outside. In those days, the youth club had a pool table, arcade games and a trampoline. The place was quite run down but the atmosphere was the important thing. We used to play loads of pool. I wasn’t actually that good a player, but I’d always come up smelling of roses. I’d manage to fluke it against the best player in the club and then lose to someone who was terrible. There were various summer holiday projects for children from low-income families. From when I was still at primary school, my two sisters and I would have the opportunity to go away for two weeks in the summer to stay with families or go into big dormitories with other young people. That was absolutely fantastic. Most of it was in Somerset and based around farming and farms. And funnily enough as a youth worker nowadays I still have this affinity for Somerset. During my late teens, two friends and I got to know the outreach worker on the estate, who asked if we’d run sessions for the young people who wanted an alternative to the youth club environment. So we did, and that was paid work for a short period. My actual career in youth


THE DIFFERENCE MAKERS

When I first started youth work a colleague said to me: “Andrew, you’ll never get rich doing this job but you will be enriched.” And that’s what I get out of it.

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THE DIFFERENCE MAKERS

work started in 1984. I spent about 15 years working at the North Paddington Youth Club, during which time I studied for formal qualifications. Then in 2002, I applied for the role of assistant senior youth worker here at The Fourth Feathers Youth & Community Centre and two years later became the senior youth worker. The reason I chose youth work kind of goes back to my childhood. I was around youth workers, people who really had an interest and an ability to engage with young people. I guess they had an effect on me. The Fourth Feathers Youth & Community Centre has a growing membership of 560 children and young people. We offer a five-days-a-week programme. Monday evenings are for girls and young women, Thursday evenings are for juniors, Tuesdays and Fridays are open access and on Wednesday evenings we offer music studio and the noncontact boxing club. We also run an after-school club most afternoons during the week. There are a wide range of activities to choose from, be it arts and crafts, cookery, sports outside in the playground, including football, tennis and basketball, and recreational games such as pool. We have a dance studio upstairs, a music studio and an IT room to do schoolwork, get support with homework, socialise and use the IT facilities for gaming. There’s a big TV screen and so you can do things like karaoke and Tik Tok, which is very popular at the moment. We also offer residential trips, school holiday programmes, volunteering opportunities and accreditation. Last summer we started a traineeship where young people can actually be paid to work at Feathers for a period of time to gain skills for the future. I am now head of youth services for the Fourth Feathers Youth & Community Centre, so these days my role is more strategic. Having said that, to really understand the work and the needs of both the staff and the young people, you have to be involved in the frontline work in some capacity. For example, I am a qualified instructor in archery, weightlifting, non-contact boxing and rowing. The impact of COVID was a rude awakening. Lots of services went online, and to a youth worker who is used to face-to-face contact, going online was something totally new. That was a big wake-up call. We had to 33 — MARYLEBONE JOURNAL / ISSUE NO. 92

upgrade our IT infrastructure because nobody had really heard of Zoom. We didn’t have any accounts for online conferencing services. And if our services moved online what would happen to those young people without access to the internet? So we decided to make family activity packs which we delivered to them. We wanted to ensure that young people weren’t just spending time online – assuming they had access to it – and that families were interacting with the activities we were providing. We wanted a physical social interaction with family rather than just promoting being online. It’s been great to get out there and to meet families and to know that people are okay. And later on, through the Young Westminster Foundation and Vodaphone, we were able to begin giving out laptops to young people. During the summer holidays, we were out running activities in the local parks. We were able to get funding to provide food for the young people. The food came from a local cafe run by a former member of the youth club. Continuing to function throughout the pandemic has been our priority. If we aren’t doing anything for the young people then who else will? Who will provide services? We have had to look at the gaps in services and work with key partners to make sure that we reach as many young people as possible. That has been really good. Young people come to Fourth Feathers every day and take the activities for granted, so you could really see the impact that the closure had on them. Many of these young people go into hibernation – nobody sees them – and it takes a while for them to come out again. And you can see the joy that the club brings to them. It allows them to meet lots of other young people. We provide challenges, so they learn and get stretched, but fundamentally it’s about getting young people to build relationships with one other. We would be interested in hearing from anyone who wants to support us in terms of donations, fundraising and the offer of skills. We are looking for people who can remember what it’s like to be a young person growing up. We would encourage them to look on our website and social media pages to see the work that’s been taking place, to give them a real insight into the wide range of activities that young people participate in and the work that we’re doing. When I first started youth work a colleague said to me: “Andrew, you’ll never get rich doing this job but you will be enriched.” And that’s what I get out of it. I get enriched. I feel that I’m doing something of value. FOURTH FEATHERS YOUTH & COMMUNITY CENTRE 12 Rossmore Road, NW1 6NX fourthfeathers.co.uk


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A CLOSER LOOK FOOD

A CLOSER LOOK FOOD » 36 STYLE » 44 HOME » 54 WELLBEING » 62 HEALTHCARE » 64

STYLE » 44

Q&A

Charlie Casely-Hayford of Casely-Hayford on slow fashion, London style tribes and continuing his father’s legacy in the family business HOME » 56

GIFT GUIDE

A roundup of Christmas gifts from Marylebone’s amazing shops HEALTHCARE » 64

RISE OF THE MACHINES

Mr Senthil Nathan of The London Clinic on robotic surgery and its growing role in the treatment of prostate cancer

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Q&A: SANTIAGO LASTRA

The chef behind the acclaimed KOL restaurant on cooking Mexican food with British ingredients, working with René Redzepi, and the power of food to bring joy Interview: Clare Finney Images: Haydon Perrior, HDG Photography


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Q: You describe your food at KOL as “Mexican soul, British ingredients”. You don’t even use limes or avocados. How have you managed that? A: Mexico is such a big country; it’s 7,000km long, and the weather and the landscape change from one region to another. What links it is not geography or climate, but people: the people that make the food, and the approach they have culturally. We don’t have the best economy, we aren’t the most organised people, but if you go to Mexico City at lunchtime, you will see office workers emerging out onto the streets, flicking their

“I believe hospitality has healing properties. To have a meeting with someone is one thing, but to have a meal with them is something else; it adds another layer of connection.”

tie over their shoulder and eating tacos with tears in their eyes because they are so excited about it. We live to eat; and if you live to eat, you need to eat amazing food. If it’s not super delicious, there is no point. What I wanted to do was imagine that the UK is an island that is part of Mexico; to take the Mexican approach and create Mexican flavours with British ingredients. We bring dry ingredients from Mexico – corn, chilli and chocolate – but all the fresh ingredients are from the UK. Instead of mango, we use butternut squash, cooked to a certain temperature and then blended. Instead of limes we use kombucha, or fermented gooseberries or, at this time of year, unripe pears. Instead of avocados we use Scottish pine oil and pistachios to make a sort of guacamole. These are flavours which seem Mexican, but are unique to here. Q: How did you come to be a chef? A: I didn’t always know I wanted to be a chef. I was working in an Italian restaurant, which I enjoyed, but I didn’t know for sure it was what I wanted with my life. Then at 15, I lost my father and my grandmother within the same month. It was very sad, and I didn’t go to school for two or three weeks – but I did go to the restaurant. I felt safe there. I brought food home for my mum and brother, and then I cooked for them, and in that moment, we were happy. It wasn’t that we didn’t care, but we were excited about something that we were sharing and enjoying, and I thought, if we can be happy in this really sad moment, just by me making this food, then this is what I want to do forever. I believe hospitality has healing properties. To have a meeting with someone is one thing, but to have a meal with them is something else; it adds another layer of connection. Q: In 2017, you led René Redzepi’s Noma in Mexico project. How did that come about? A: I was living in Russia, in St

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Petersburg, working for a restaurant group that wanted me to create a special Mexican menu. I was just in the middle of demonstrating the menu to the chefs when I got a Facebook message from Rosio Sánchez, then head of pastry at Noma, asking if I was in Copenhagen and free to meet. I didn’t understand why she was messaging – she had never messaged before – but I told her, yes, I was in Copenhagen. I finished my work and flew straight to Denmark the following day. I’d met René before, at events and conferences, but it’s like a priest meeting the Pope: you never think

he’ll remember you. It turned out he did remember me, though. He is a machine – he remembers everything. We started chatting, he told me what they wanted to do in Mexico, and asked if I wanted to be project manager. It would mean going to Mexico, organising research trips and finding ingredients from the whole country. It sounded amazing, but the thing was, I didn’t know anything about Mexico. I hadn’t been there for five years and I knew nothing about the country beyond the beach where I grew up. He said: “It’s fine. We will discover Mexico together.”

Q: What did the job involve? A: We took 16 flights in 14 days. I contacted authors, chefs, farmers, producers. René would say: “I need this fruit or that vegetable,” and I would have to find people who could grow it. When we finally came to the first tasting, there were 200 or 300 ingredients involved, and I’d had to find them all. The pop up lasted 10 days, and I lost 10 kilos and my girlfriend, but it was incredible. There were 40,000 people on the waiting list. People flew over from Japan just to eat there. It was life changing for me in terms of understanding what

FOOD PHILOSOPHY

THE ITALIANS

Massimo Lopez, owner of The Italians, on the beauty of simple food, the importance of knowing your producers, and why he no longer has to take two suitcases with him when he heads back to Italy Interview: Ellie Costigan

The buffalo mozzarella, which we get in every week, comes from the same producer that supplies Massimo Bottura in Modena – one of Italy’s greatest chefs. We are dealing with some top people.

The Italians is very Italian: there’s no crazy stuff, it’s very simple. There’s no messing around with food and with ingredients. If you order a plate of prosciutto, you’re going to get a plate of prosciutto. But it’s the best prosciutto you can buy.

I lived in Australia for 10 years and it changed the way that I look at customer service. Australians are big on hospitality. You need to make people feel special. If I walk into a place and they don’t say good morning to me, I will go somewhere else.

The first thing I do when I look for a product is see how the producer works. If it’s olive oil, I want to see whether they handpick the olives from the trees. The same with cheese. Formaggi d’alpeggio is more expensive because it’s made with the milk of 20 cows that have been eating grass, instead of milk from whoknows-where. It makes a difference.

The food culture in the UK has changed dramatically in the time I’ve been here. When I came here in 1997, you couldn’t find proper pasta, you had to wait for your parents to send you a box. You’d go to Italy with two suitcases, one with two t-shirts in and the other to fill with parmesan, pasta and tomato sauce. Today, London is the best city in the world. You can eat whatever you want, at whatever time.

Most of our staff are Italian. We also do a lot of staff training: we used to have 10 trips a year where I would send a couple of people for 39 — MARYLEBONE JOURNAL / ISSUE NO. 92

four or five days to different regions of Italy to experience what we do. It gives you a totally different perspective when you’ve met the owner, their family. You can tell the customers that story.

THE ITALIANS 27b Devonshire Street, W1G 6PW theitalians.co.uk

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we have in Mexico, and Noma’s approach: not Noma’s food, so much as the way it creates communities and showcases the quality of a culture and its cuisine. Q: You’ve recently opened your downstairs Mezcaleria. Was that always the plan? A: It was always the plan, but opening both the restaurant and the bar at the same time was too challenging, so we staggered them. Of course, the opening wasn’t supposed to be quite as staggered as it ended up being! The Mezcaleria has its own personality, but we wanted it to be in harmony with the restaurant’s ethos, so we work with the bar team to create cocktails with British ingredients. Our guests can discover all these agave spirits and experience British seasonality. In general, even in Mexico, people don’t really know much about agave spirits. Most people think mezcal is just smoky tequila, but it’s so much more than that. There’s such diversity among the agave plants, and that diversity is why mezcal is so great as a drink. We’ve also recently launched the KOL chef’s table, which is in a private dining space below the restaurant. The idea is to offer an experience akin to dining in an Oaxacan home. Through an extended tasting menu, you gain a personal insight into our kitchen and the story behind our food. Q: Almost as soon as KOL had finally opened its doors in October 2020, you had to shut them again, when the second lockdown hit. What effect did that experience have on you? A: It was very difficult. When you open your first restaurant, you prepare for everything – or at least you try – but no one tells you to prepare for a pandemic. That said, most restaurants, when they open, don’t have time to stop and reflect, but we did. Throughout that seven months of being closed, when it was grey and gloomy and cold, I kept reminding myself of something a customer had said to me when we opened in October: that eating at KOL had made them feel like they’d been on holiday; that they’d escaped, for a while. That became part of the concept. We realised that we wanted to represent Mexico and Mexican culture and British ingredients and seasonality and all those things, but above all of that, we wanted to represent happiness. In a world that isn’t happy, we wanted to give our guests the happiest experience they could have. KOL 9 Seymour Street, W1H 7BA kolrestaurant.com 40 — MARYLEBONE JOURNAL / ISSUE NO. 92


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ANATOMY OF A DISH

OTTOLENGHI’S CHARGRILLED BROCCOLI WITH CHILLI AND GARLIC

Calvin Von Niebel, executive chef of Ottolenghi, on one of the restaurant’s enduring classics In a nutshell For me, the beauty of the chargrilled broccoli with chilli and garlic dish is that it is just that: broccoli, chilli and garlic. It is surprisingly difficult to come up with a dish with just three ingredients that transforms into something more and yet is still very much itself. The inspiration The dish has a lot of history: our co-founder Sami Tamimi first introduced it, having made it in a restaurant in Tel Aviv where he worked before coming to Britain, and it has been on all the Ottolenghi menus since the beginning. The other day he mentioned to me that he had been making chargrilled broccoli with chilli and garlic for well over 20 years. The purpose It doesn’t have any gluten or wheat, and it’s dairy free, so it suits nearly everybody – and you can have it with nearly everything: fish, meat, or another vegetable. We sell cold cut salmon on the counter, and it goes beautifully with that or with a fresh grain salad. We have one at the moment where we mix different grains with chickpeas and a salsa verde. The technique To make it we fry slices of chilli and garlic on a low heat in oil, until they are crispy and the oil takes on the flavour of the garlic and the heat of the chilli. Then we chargrill the broccoli, which is definitely a Middle Eastern hallmark. If you blanched or steamed the broccoli it wouldn’t be the same. Once the broccoli is cooked, we douse it in the chilli garlic oil, seasoned with Maldon salt, and stir the fried chilli and garlic through it. We use a blend of vegetable oil and extra virgin olive oil for frying the garlic and chilli, because if we just used olive oil it would burn and taste acrid. We make sure we toss it well before serving so it has time to marinade. The secret What I love about this dish is that you can taste each one of the ingredients it represents: the char of the broccoli, the fried garlic and chilli, the crunch of Maldon salt crystals. It has real clarity of flavour, yet it also elevates this very humble British ingredient, the broccoli, into something a bit exotic and very Ottolenghi. OTTOLENGHI 63-65 Marylebone Lane, W1U 2RA ottolenghi.co.uk 41 — MARYLEBONE JOURNAL / ISSUE NO. 92

A GLASS APART

Anja Breit, sommelier turned purchasing manager at Philglas & Swiggot, on the ongoing evolution of malbec Interview: Viel Richardson

Most things go through trends and fashions over time, and this is certainly true of wines. From my personal experience, Argentinian malbec is a good example of this evolution of tastes. Ten years ago, malbecs from Argentina were easy to spot in blind tastings because they had a style very different from those produced in Europe. The Argentinian wines were full bodied and rich with a dark fruit profile, the dominant notes being dark plum and blueberry. When you looked at them in the glass, there was almost a magenta colour around the rim. On the palate these wines were silky smooth with round, polished tannins. It was that richness of flavour that made the pairing of Argentina malbecs and steak so popular – a match made in heaven – and I think this is still the taste profile most customers connect with malbec. They had this rich, plush style partly because of the local climate. The levels of sun exposure meant the vineyards could be comparatively warm even at quite high altitudes. In the past few years, though, the style of some malbecs from Argentina has changed. One reason for this shift has been the emergence of smaller independent producers who have chosen to take a different approach from the giant companies that have dominated Argentinian production in the past. These

new producers are exploring their own methods, creating wines that are a bit more elegant, with more structure from the tannins and less fruit. You can still find the traditional profiles, but the range has grown. Some producers have explored producing wines from vineyards at even higher elevations where the temperatures are cooler. Some are also using new oak barrels, which add different layers of complexity – notes like bay leaf are appearing in their wines. This wider range of profiles is being reflected in the Argentinian wine we now offer. At the same time there has also been a shift in France. The most famous region for French malbec is Cahors in the southwest of the country. Traditionally malbecs from here were more structured, with more pronounced tannins. They still had a dark fruit profile but not nearly as rich as the Argentine malbecs. But now with climate warming, things are changing. At the moment we sell a Cahors malbec from Clos La Coutale which differs from the more traditional style – it is definitely plusher, more rounded, less angular, but still with the essential elegance of the region. It might sound like the malbecs of France and Argentina are converging in taste, but the different terroirs still produce unique characteristics. The newer malbecs still retain the style’s essential character. This is still a plush, full-bodied wine. When it comes to pairing them with food, I would still go for darker, richer flavours: things like roast vegetables dishes with flavours of caramel or smoke. And of course they still go beautifully with steak. PHILGLAS & SWIGGOT 22 New Quebec Street, W1H 7SB philglas-swiggot.com


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THE MENU

Where to go for an exceptional spread of Christmas food and drink There are many good reasons to shop for your Christmas food at Marylebone’s specialist independent food shops. Firstly, there’s the satisfaction of supporting small businesses rather than relying purely on the same industrial food behemoths. Secondly, there’s the social pleasure of dealing directly with people who care passionately about what they sell and know everything about it. But most importantly, there’s the sheer quality of the produce. If ever there’s a time to insist upon the best of the best, it’s Christmas, and that’s what you’ll find here. La Petite Poissonnerie In Britain, we tend to focus most of our attention on the meat orgy of Christmas Day, but in most of the rest of Europe, the fasting dinner on Christmas Eve – a meal traditionally based around fish – is afforded just as much importance, if not more. It’s

a tradition that’s well worth borrowing: a light but tasty dish of fresh seafood is exactly what you need to prepare you for the next day’s onslaught of sausage meat, brandy butter and Quality Street. Head to the fishmonger’s counter at La Petite Poissonnerie for the beautifully displayed catch of the day, or maybe some oysters, prawns or gravadlax. lapetitepoissonnerie.com The Ginger Pig People who think turkey is bland have just never eaten the right turkey. The Ginger Pig sources its birds from Botterills, a free-range poultry farm in Leicestershire, whose heritage Bronze turkeys are reared on a natural diet of homegrown wheat and vegetable protein, plus whatever grass and grubs they peck at out on the estate. Grown slowly and treated with care, the turkeys develop a deep flavour and decent fat covering, which renders during cooking to make for a really succulent roast. thegingerpig.co.uk Seymour Store At Christmas, it’s easy for the attention to be drawn to the grand piles of protein at the centre of the table. The truth is, though, that we neglect the veg at our peril. An organic

carrot grown outdoors in good soil, harvested at the optimal point and sold to you with its coiffure of feathery, flavourpacked leaves still intact can more than hold its own. So too a pile of similarly well-tendedto brussels sprouts or dark, ferrous winter greens, tossed in olive oil or bacon fat. New to Seymour Place, Seymour Store has beautiful displays of seasonal organic vegetables that cry out for pride of place on a plate. seymourstore.slerp.com La Fromagerie Our perfect Christmas Day cheeseboard demands quality rather than quantity: a blue, a cheddar and something a bit soft and creamy. La Fromagerie, where the quality is unrelenting, is the perfect place to start. We’re going to start with the Colston Bassett Stilton, a gentle, buttery blue cheese with delicate veining. Then we’ll add a generous hunk of Isle of Mull Cheddar, made using milk from cattle who graze on land overlooking the Atlantic and mash from the local whisky distillery, which gives it an extra kick. We’ll finish with a French brie de Meaux or, to keep it British, a Baron Bigod from Suffolk: made in the same style, using the very freshest of raw milk from the farm’s herd of Montbéliarde cows. lafromagerie.co.uk Le Vieux Comptoir To wash all that down, head to Le Vieux Comptoir, where all the wines are sourced directly from French winemakers by the highly knowledgeable and equally charming Laurent. Obviously – obviously! – you’ll be wanting some champagne. Given it might be opened before the sun is fully over the yardarm, try something in the blanc de blancs style: zesty and light on its feet. For turkey with all those rich trimmings, red usually works. The best wine for you will be the one recommended by Laurent and his team to meet your specific tastes, but we’ll be seeking out a pinot noir: full of sumptuous red fruit flavours, but with a gentle savouriness that won’t overwhelm the white meat of the bird. levieuxcomptoir.co.uk

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NEW NEW ARRIVAL

So French Café + Épicerie This new Seymour Place shop and cafe describes itself perfectly. It’s just so French. The cafe is, as you’d expect, the place to come for freshly baked viennoiseries, pain perdu, a croque monsieur and lashings of coffee, while the shop sells high quality regional specialties sourced from all over France. SO FRENCH CAFÉ + ÉPICERIE 21 Seymour Place, W1H 5BH sofrench.co.uk

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Q&A: CHARLIE CASELYHAYFORD

The co-founder of Casely-Hayford on sharp suits, slow fashion, and continuing his father’s legacy in the family business Interview: Lauren Bravo Portrait: Rory van Millingen

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Q: Just what is it about the power of a sharp suit? Can good tailoring affect us psychologically? A: Very much so. A lot of people liken a well-cut suit to body armour. I think the confidence comes from something fitting you so well, and the fact that you’re part of the design process; it’s a collaboration between the tailoring house and the client. This gives the clothing a greater currency than the average garment in your wardrobe. Throwaway culture is so abundant now, clothing has been devalued within people’s lives and garments aren’t things that we hold onto for years and years, or pass down. But tailoring is different. There’s an amazing energy around each suit when you pull it out of your wardrobe in the morning. Q: Do you wear a suit every day? A: I do most days, but I wear it very relaxed. I wear it like I would wear a tracksuit, with a t-shirt and trainers. There are all these old-world ideas of what a suit has to be, and they’re not applicable to a lot of people. What we have always tried to do is cater to the individual, rather than enforcing a specific code. Q: Lots of us are now ‘business on top, sweatpants on the bottom’. Do we need a revival of old-fashioned glamour, or are traditional dress codes dead? A: I’m into the high/low mix, but I also think there are moments when dressing up makes you feel good about yourself, and that shouldn’t be forgotten. If you get too comfortable in your loungewear, it can have an impact on your state of mind. It’s a positive thing, mentally, to make a bit more effort and create that separation between home and work... even if it’s just for a Zoom call. Q: You’ve dressed an incredible rollcall of stars for the red carpet. Who have been your careerdefining clients? A: It’s not necessarily about people being famous. On a personal level, 45 — MARYLEBONE JOURNAL / ISSUE NO. 92

I get just as much joy – if not more – from cutting someone a suit for their wedding day. It means that we’re a small part of the happiest day of someone’s life, and that really resonates with me. We also have a strong connection with the music industry. It’s an integral part of the brand. What’s nice is that we’ve often dressed artists at quite pivotal moments, such as James Blake winning his first Grammy, The xx winning the Mercury Prize, or Sam Smith getting his first Brit Award. All of those figures were taking that next big step in their career, and it’s a real privilege to be part of that. Q: Casely-Hayford is a family affair, and you come from a pretty incredible family. What was it like growing up in such a creative household? A: My dad [pioneering designer Joe Casely-Hayford OBE] met my mum, Maria Stevens, at Central Saint Martins when they were 19, and they worked together running his label until he passed away two and a half years ago. My sister and I spent a lot of time in their studios as kids, surrounded by clothes, going to runway shows – it was a pretty insane childhood in retrospect, but to us it was just normality. One time, Princess Diana turned up to my dad’s London Fashion Week show, and my sister and I got bumped from the front row to the second. That was quite an eye-opener. Q: You were only 22 when you and he created the Casely-Hayford label together. How did your styles influence each other? A: There’s always the assumption that I brought the youthful element to the table, but actually it was the other way round! My dad was always the one pushing the boundaries. That was just who he was. He was incredibly engaged with culture, always willing to learn and unlearn. A lot of the design process was about a father and son experiencing

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that you meet a couple who have worked together every single day since they met. So I hear a lot of my dad through my mum, which is wonderful, and of course I hear her own voice as well. I feel more like a torchbearer, carrying on this family legacy to the next generation. It’s certainly not a lonely journey. Q: The Casely-Hayford label started out in Dover Street Market and then moved to Chiltern Street. What made you choose Marylebone? A: We like the community, and the neighbourhood feeling that is quite unique to Marylebone. You don’t get that same sense of togetherness in Mayfair. There’s a real sophisticated intelligence in the people who live and work in the area, and the Marylebone man and woman are very much aligned with the Casely-Hayford man and woman. It just felt very natural. I still can’t think of anywhere else we would have wanted to open our first store.

the same thing from different perspectives. The brand is about duality; it’s a concept that has resonated with my family for generations. My great-grandfather [lawyer and journalist JE Casely Hayford] would wear traditional kente cloth when he studied at Cambridge, then he would go back to Ghana and wear Savile Row suits. That idea of double consciousness runs through our brand, and also through our family history. Q: Do you still hear your dad’s voice when you’re designing? A: Oh yes. My mum and my dad were like a single entity; it’s rare 46 — MARYLEBONE JOURNAL / ISSUE NO. 92

Q: Your wife, interior designer Sophie Ashby, designed the store. Does it feel like an extension of your home? A: Yes, we pretty much designed it around that idea. Often when I go into luxury stores or tailoring houses, they’re quite austere and intimidating. We just wanted to create the warmest environment that we could, and emulating our apartment was the natural way to make someone feel relaxed. The store is very small, but the intimacy is part of its charm. And everything is for sale – the furniture, the artwork, not just the clothing. Q: So we’re allowed to pop in just for a browse? A: Absolutely! We once had a client – who wasn’t even a client yet – come in, sit downstairs in the fitting room and read a book for half an hour. Then he left without buying anything. It was a wonderful moment.


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STYLE PHILOSOPHY

TRACEY NEULS

Tracey Neuls, the designer behind the eponymous shoe brand, on her approach to creating strikingly original footwear Interview: Ellie Costigan A lot of companies look at the trends, at the catwalks, and say to their factories: “Can you copy this?” That’s not for us. When I start designing, I think of myself as a sponge: everything I have accumulated goes into that design. Maybe it’s a shape, maybe it’s a building. It’s very honest and natural. I am never one to be inspired by another brand. What I strive for is emotional attachment. I’m not saying I’m an artist, but when you choose a piece of art you don’t choose it for a season or for a year; you choose it because you fall in love with it. It is a relationship. We should have more of that with objects, I think. The fashion industry has become a very difficult arena to play in. We have a whole generation of consumers trained to expect huge discounts. How can consumers understand the

Q: Sustainability is one of the most crucial topics of conversation happening in fashion just now. How do we best counter the speed and excesses of the industry? A: There’s a lot of waste in terms of excess stock, both on the high street and at a luxury level. You’re second-guessing your customer and committing to these huge orders, and then there are piles and piles of clothes at the end of each season and everything is on sale all the time. It’s a model that doesn’t work on a number of levels, not least for the environment, and it’s the antithesis of what we do. A lot of our pieces are made to order, we don’t make much 47 — MARYLEBONE JOURNAL / ISSUE NO. 92

value of something if looks are changing every three months, and clothes are being constantly discounted? These days everyone wears trainers everywhere – but back when I was developing the brand, you’d wear a pair of shoes to get to work, then your work shoes, then another pair for after-work drinks. I thought, this is ridiculous. It should be okay to have a pair of shoes that you love that take you through the day. I do think some women feel different in heels. But if you have a fantastic pair of original shoes, you can get all those feelings of elegance and sophistication that heels bring, without being uncomfortable. I am sure there are women out there who can walk in heels all day long, but it’s not good for you and there has to be an alternative for those who don’t want to. We do design heels, but never more than 55mm. Comfort is an underrated word. It doesn’t have to mean ugly. Fashion writers are constantly creating new ways to avoid saying ‘comfort’, as if it’s a dirty word – but why shouldn’t you feel comfortable in your skin? The big question for me is one of design. Is this original? Is this beautiful? A shoe can

of each style, we respond to the client base, we work with small artisans, and when we need more, we make more. We use a lot of deadstock fabrics too. It’s impossible to scale that kind of thinking up to the size of the big guys, and that’s where the problem lies. But we’re not trying to take over the world. I’m happy where I am. Q: What’s next on the CaselyHayford to-do list? A: We’re trying to build the idea of modern personal tailoring. The word ‘tailoring’ is often associated with formal suiting – but just because you’ve decided to save up and invest in a bespoke garment, why does

and should be beautifully designed. The reason we display our shoes by hanging them is to give a sense of movement. It also means you get to see more than the top view. Sometimes there is so much bling and clutter on the top of the shoe it hides the craftsmanship – or, in many instances, the lack of it. We are proud of what our producers create with their hands, of the design lines of the shoes, and we want to show that off. Our leather is sourced from small tanneries in Italy. They literally know the names of their cows. It is so important, from a sustainability point of view, to know where your leather comes from – but it affects the quality too. You can see the scars on cheap leather. It is often glazed with tonnes of colour, but that never quite disguises what is underneath. There are strong parallels between food and fashion. I think of myself as the Brat of footwear. When I go out to eat, I want something that tastes good, is beautiful and honest. I don’t want something all dressed up and fancy. TRACEY NEULS 29 Marylebone Lane, W1U 2NQ traceyneuls.com

that mean it needs to be a suit? Why can’t it be a bomber jacket, or a jumpsuit, or a trench coat? Something casual. We’re opening up that market in quite a unique way, with a more relaxed offering alongside our suits. And we’re getting amazing reactions from clients. To be able to have a range of pieces created in collaboration with you is an exciting way of building your wardrobe – and more sustainable too. You value your clothing more if you’ve been a part of its creation. CASELY-HAYFORD 3 Chiltern Street, W1U 7PB casely-hayford.com


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THE LOOK

THE OBSERVER

Bryan Conway of Tiger of Sweden on a collection informed by observation

Our new collection started with observations: my observations, and those of my design team. Part of what’s happened in the world – one of the few good things about it – is that it is has slowed us down and given us time to really look. We called the collection ‘Life’ – which is a grand thing, obviously, but it can also be very small. At first, we decided to do a project with Kacper, our photographer, in which we tried to catch the tiny, mundane, transient parts of life that are often overlooked. Those photographs became fundamental to the collection. As we put them all up together on the walls, they became like the CCTV screens on the London Underground, where you are viewing everything all at once, but each one is still a tiny, easily overlooked image. You can see this framing again and again in the quilted patterns on our outerwear, or in the patterns on our dresses. More obviously, the prints on our dresses and shirts reflect this way of seeing life indirectly, through shadows and reflection. The fabrics – moleskin, raw denim, waxed cotton and leather – were informed by it too: they all live with you, and after a while they show the shape of your body and what you do with it. These subtle tells felt really important to us – and honest, as well. Finally, we thought about the role of clothing when weather patterns are becoming increasingly arbitrary. In Stockholm, where it should be snowing but where it is getting warmer and wetter, there is a phrase: there is no such thing as bad weather, just bad clothing. We wanted to look at what that means in our world today. TIGER OF SWEDEN 86 Marylebone High Street, W1U 4QT tigerofsweden.com

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portmanmarylebone.com portmanmarylebone


Marylebone Winter Garden PORTMAN SQUARE GARDEN 1 – 3 DECEMBER 12.00 – 20.00

GIFTS, FOOD, BAR, LIVE MUSIC AND WORKSHOPS FREE TO ATTEND


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KYBIRD JUMPER AMERICAN VINTAGE, £145 americanvintage-store.com

1970 OVERSIZED JUMPER BELLA FREUD, £335 bellafreud.com

LAMBSWOOL CREW NECK JUMPER SUNSPEL, £205 sunspel.com

BOTANIST TURTLENECK BY VALENTINE WITMEUR LAB KOIBIRD, £245 koibird.com

THE EDIT A SELECTION OF THE SEASON’S MOST COVETABLE KNITWEAR

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FAIR ISLE YOKE JUMPER BRORA, £135 broraonline.com RENEE CABLE KNIT VEST RIXO, £275 rixo.co.uk RODERICK KNIT BY MASSCOB KJ’S LAUNDRY, £250 kjslaundry.com


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THREE OF THE BEST

LOAFERS

Even with workplaces opening up, many of us are still spending half the week suited, booted and bound for the office, and the other half in our studies and spare rooms, favouring comfort over formality. This makes the question of shoes more problematic than ever – or at least it would do were it not for loafers, the Tom Hanks of the shoe rack. Comfy enough for your home office, smart enough for your bosses, they are the definition of smart-casual, and the perfect hybrid shoe.

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1.


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2. 3.

1. Crockett & Jones Napier brown suede loafer Anglo-Italian, £450 angloitalian.com Soft, suede with a low toe spring and a jolly little bow, the Napier loafers are as close as you’ll get to slippers without actually wearing slippers. They are made in Northamptonshire, historic home of shoemaking, thanks to a savvy collaboration between Anglo-Italian and renowned 19th century cordswainers Crockett & Jones. 2. John Simons x Rancourt leather loafers John Simons, £320 johnsimons.co.uk Go against the grain with these deep burgundy calf leather loafers, designed by Marylebone’s very own John Simons and handmade in Maine, USA by Rancourt. These third generation cordswainers still use a traditional last – a shoe form – to shape and fit the leather, leading to a supremely comfortable shoe that will also last in the more conventional sense of the word: they come with a lifetime guarantee. 3. ‘Penny Loafer’ spazzolato moccasin Fursac, £359 defursac.fr/en Over 130 years of Northamptonshire technical know-how go into Fursac’s shoes, together with French design and 100 per cent Italian calf leather. The exceptionally polished and buffed leather –‘spazzolato’ in Italian – renders it classy as well as comfortable, while the moccasin style means these sleek chausettes are as at home with suit trousers as they are chinos.

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NEW NEW ARRIVAL

Wyse London Founded by Marielle Wyse, a halfFrench, half-English clothes lover with no previous fashion design experience, Wyse London has in just a few short years grown from a collection of five cashmere sweaters to a full range of silk dresses, denim and joy-giving knitwear, all of it simple and stylish but beautifully detailed. WYSE LONDON 95 Marylebone High Street, W1U 4RJ wyselondon.co.uk


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SETTING THE SCENE

Corin Mellor, CEO of David Mellor, on the art of laying the table Interview: Clare Finney

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Q: When it comes to tableware, are there any specific trends that you’ve seen developing in recent years? A: We’re not really a trends place. Our designs are about constancy and timelessness. That said, there are certainly a couple of interesting developments. One is a move toward craftsmanship. People love the idea of dining with something handcrafted. They are interested in where their crockery, their mats and so on are made, and who by – and that’s really good. Of course, this has now been picked up by large manufacturers, who have started mass producing items that look handcrafted. The second is an appreciation for absolute design classics. We have a beautiful range called Thomas by Rosenthal, which we never used to sell much of. Now people appreciate the amazing Bauhaus history behind it. One thing that has gone ballistic is steak knives. I don’t know who’s eating all this steak, but we now have about five different varieties of steak knife. Ten years ago, we only had one. By and large, though, the range of cutlery people buy is much more pared down. There has been a definite move away from the more formal table setting, so you see far less of the white tablecloths and five million pieces of cutlery, and far more bare table tops and nice bowls. There are a few odd fads, like cake forks, which have become strangely popular. I’ve never owned a cake fork, but we do sell a lot of them now. Q: Each of your cutlery designs seems to have its own distinct personality. How should I go about choosing what style is right for me? A: Cutlery is a tool, and a tool needs to perform a function. So, the first thing to make sure of is that the cutlery you choose is performing the function it is supposed to fulfil. Every spoon will work to some extent, but some spoons will annoy you; and if it annoys you, it will annoy you three or four times a day. We have people who come in and try out cutlery in their hand two or three times before deciding. Then it’s about aesthetic, and that’s a personal thing. You want to choose a style that you will really fall in love with. The other thing to consider is longevity, because you want something that will still work in 10, 20 years’ time. My design philosophy is to design for the test of time; our designs aren’t trying too hard. They are just aesthetically correct. 55 — MARYLEBONE JOURNAL / ISSUE NO. 92

Q: How important is consistency of style within a collection? A: Consistency is so important. For me, there is nothing worse than when you go to someone’s house, and you see different makes of plates, all slightly different tones and sizes. That is partly a result of trend-driven, money-led mass manufacturing – factories following fashions and launching new colours, sizes and shapes every year. I’m a firm believer that, if you buy a range of plates or cutlery, you should be able to buy the same in 10 years’ time, otherwise you find yourself buying a whole new range just because one or two plates have broken. I don’t think things like cutlery and crockery should fall into that sort of fast fashion-style manufacturing. Q: What are the basic principles of a welllaid table? A: I think the main one is to respect the food, the cooking and the occasion. The table is ultimately there to promote conversation and good food. You can do a lot with simple things like place mats and simple centrepieces. Pick an accent colour, use that for the place mats and the candelabra or candle holder, and you have something that just brings the table together and puts a bit of fun into things. Even just nice stainless-steel candlesticks can transform a table. The most common mistake is to litter the table so that it becomes something of a visual nightmare. I tend to think of Coco Chanel’s quote about looking in the mirror and then always removing one thing. Q: What do you advise people to invest in so they can have as merry a Christmas as possible? A: I think everyone should have a really good sharp knife, because there is nothing worse than trying to carve a goose or a turkey with a completely blunt knife. Then there are candles, which are a fine and inexpensive way of making your Christmas special. We have some beautiful Finnish candles from a firm called Finnmari, which have a solid colour all the way through rather than being white on the inside. They’re a design classic, and they work beautifully with the range of 1960s-style cast iron holders we sell – always popular at this time of year. DAVID MELLOR 14 New Cavendish Street, W1G 8UW davidmellordesign.com


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GIFT GUIDE

STAINLESS STEEL TOAST RACK DAVID MELLOR, £70 davidmellordesign.com

A selection of Christmas gifts to seek out from Marylebone’s shops

CARVED TEARDROP CUFFLINKS COX & POWER, £575 coxandpower.com

STONEWARE CAMEMBERT BAKER LE CREUSET, £40 lecreuset.co.uk

NATIVE UNION HERITAGE AIRPODS PRO CASE THE CONRAN SHOP, £50 conranshop.co.uk

SHELF LOVE BY OTTOLENGHI TEST KITCHEN DAUNT BOOKS, £25 dauntbooks.co.uk

MONOCHROME DÔME RING MEJURI, £115 mejuri.com

DENIM APRON TOAST, £55 toa.st

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ALANA WILSON NAVY PINCHED TEABOWL MOUKI MOU, £135 moukimou.com

WRAPPER’S DELIGHT

Annabel Lewis of VV Rouleaux on the art of wrapping gifts My best tip when it comes to wrapping is to use old maps. If you go to junk shops you’ll find hundreds of maps from different countries in Europe which won’t cost you more than about 30p, and if you combine those with a bright ribbon with a coloured edge, it is a very easy, cheap and striking way to wrap your gifts. If you want to create the perfect bow, you’ll need a wire-edged ribbon, of which we have a wide selection. Don’t tie it like a shoelace; tie it like you would a shawl around your neck, then tie something around the centre to secure it and you can get the perfect loops. You don’t necessarily have to buy new ribbons each time, though, or even buy a single length of ribbon for one parcel. If you’ve been saving ribbons from gifts and flowers and chocolate boxes over the years, you can use them and tie them together at the top. If you only have very, very short lengths, use garden twine to wrap the present, then create a pom-pom out of your ribbon lengths and tie that at the top of the parcel.

FORT WORTH BROWN SHEARLING BABA SABAH, £185 uk.sabah.am

JAPANESE TEA POT LABOUR AND WAIT, £68 labourandwait.co.uk MINI KNITTED STAR HOT-WATER BOTTLE THE WHITE COMPANY, £20 thewhitecompany.com

VV ROULEAUX 102 Marylebone Lane, W1U 2QDA vvrouleaux.com IKAT MADRAS CUSHION LEWIS & CO, £70 lewisandcompany.co.uk

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LOUNGE SOCKS THREE-PACK HAMILTON & HARE, £78 hamiltonandhare.com

NEW NEW ARRIVAL

Niwaki For over 15 years, Niwaki has been selling an ever-expanding range of fine tools for the garden, workshop and home, all of them made in Japan, mostly in small batches by artisan craftspeople. The new Chiltern Street shop has been designed with the same combination of stylishness and utility that characterises its stock. NIWAKI 38 Chiltern Street, W1U 7QL niwaki.com

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AINU VASE SOSHIRO, £230 soshiro.co


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SUNBEAM ‘SOPHY’ SMALL PENDANT DINNY HALL, £165 dinnyhall.com

ANGLEPOISE & PAUL SMITH TYPE 75 MINI DESK LAMP PAUL SMITH, £179 paulsmith.com

SUSANNE KAUFMANN OIL BATH FOR THE SENSES TRUNK, £50 trunkclothiers.com

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MANICURE AND PEDICURE SET MARGARET DABBS, £125 margaretdabbs.co.uk


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ANATOMY OF A DESIGN

SERIES ONE SOFA

Paul de Zwart, founder of Another Country, on a piece of furniture that helped define the brand

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The philosophy Another Country was born out of my quest for the perfect stool. I couldn’t find one whose design and manufacture fitted with my aesthetic and ecological criteria, so I decided to create one myself. That decision led to the birth of the business. To this day, functionality and true sustainability remain deeply embedded in our design philosophy. When you buy a piece from us, it may simply be because you like the design, and it fulfils a need. But hopefully that piece also reflects a set of values that you hold as an individual – values that also inform other areas of your life, such as how you travel or what you eat. Our ecological values are absolutely key. We aim to create pieces with aesthetic longevity, purposely paring

down our forms to create items that will stand the test of time, giving them better sustainability credentials. We think carefully about where our materials come from, how they are manufactured, how far they travel, how recyclable the packaging can be. The function This Series One sofa is also a single bed. If a piece is multi-functional, it can remove the customer’s need to buy another piece of furniture, which is fantastic from a sustainability point of view. This has a solid timber back and sides, with everything else being easily removable. When you remove the bolsters and back cushions, it’s the size of a single bed. The seating cushion, which is a single piece, is made by a company


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that specialises in making mattresses, so it’s very comfortable to sleep on. So, if you live in a small apartment, you could literally sleep on your sofa, or it could be a put-me-up for a friend or family member. That being said, its primary use will be as a sofa, so it has to be visually appealing and comfortable to sit on as well as easy to transform. The design language I wanted design moments that would work with a series of pieces. That classic, simply-turned leg is repeated throughout the Series One collection. Whether you have the sofa, dining table or stool, everything speaks of a certain persistent aesthetic and detailing. The radius on the edges of all the pieces is taken from the sofa design and the

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angle of the legs on every piece is the same. The oak is 4cm thick, which provides the necessary structural support, so it’s chunky but very minimal, further paring down the design language. The sofa really was the starting point for the whole Series One aesthetic. The materials From the beginning, we have committed to using natural, local materials so our principal material has always been timber. Wood is a most amazing product. Trees absorb carbon as they grow and the timber they produce is beautiful, hard wearing and renewable. I chose oak for this sofa, which brings a feeling of dependability and a sense of strength alongside its structural integrity. But we must remember that an

oak tree of ideal harvesting age is about 140 years old, so we cannot be careless in the ways we source and use it. For the Series One, I wanted to ensure that the upholstery met our sustainability values, so the seat pad is made of coir, latex and wool. The arm bolsters are made of recycled denim, the back is stuffed with feathers. The seat does not have any fire-retardant chemicals because the woollen cambric we use is naturally fire retardant. The series is probably nearly 19 years old now, but it still expresses all the values of the brand. Customers still love it, it’s comfortable and it’s 100 per cent natural.

stood for and that we truly expressed ourselves through our design. I want them to think that at this critical time in our history we were among those to see the challenge their generation was facing and reconsidered our craft in terms of production and operations. That our designs speak of our values and successfully express them in functional, useful and beautiful products. That the pieces we made were born of something deeper than utility or profit. That our pieces were imbued with a sense of provenance and heritage. But I’d also love them to think that we made a damn fine sofa.

The legacy In the future, I want people to look back at the brand and say that they liked what we

ANOTHER COUNTRY 18 Crawford Street, W1H 1BT anothercountry.com


A CLOSER LOOK WELLBEING

DRY SEASON Caglar Odabasi, head of education at Fresh, on preventing and treating dry skin in winter

Q: Why does our skin dry out in winter? A: Skin is our largest living organ. It does get impacted by lifestyle choices, our environment and how we look after it. Between bracing winds, bitter temperatures, increased pollution levels, central heating and warmer showers, it takes a seasonal beating during the winter months. These environmental aggressors can cause dehydration and also damage the skin’s protective barrier, so the skin tends to feel drier and more irritable as a result. Q: Are certain skin types more susceptible than others? A: People with sensitive skin, people who have a weaker skin barrier, people with more mature skin (as the skin tends to get thinner as we age) would be more susceptible. Fresh’s Crème Ancienne range is particularly comforting for this skin type. Everyone’s skin is different, so at the boutique in Marylebone, we offer complimentary 62 — MARYLEBONE JOURNAL / ISSUE NO. 92

skincare consultations, where people can get personalised advice. Q: What are the best preventative measures we can take? A: Tackling the issue at the earlier stages is always more effective. Try to have a more balanced diet and lifestyle. Make sure to have an effective skincare ritual, use your products in the right way and do it regularly. Adding antioxidantrich products to your skin can also help with prevention. Fresh’s Kombucha Treatment Essence is an absolute must have for all skin types. Kombucha – fermented black tea – protects the skin from pollution as well as blue light damage. This silky essence conditions the skin and increases the effectiveness of any skincare ritual. Q: What’s the best way to tackle dry skin? A: Using gentle but effective products is the key. Cleansing is the fundamental first step into any skincare ritual and so many people get it wrong. Our best-selling product is the Soy Face Cleanser, which cleanses all skin types without stripping away the natural moisture. It removes face and eye makeup too. Face masks can offer instant support, unlike other skincare products. Our Rose Face Mask is a great choice for daily hydration boost for the skin. The real rose petals inside this mask melt onto the skin, while rose water

and aloe vera hydrates and calms. Serums offer targeted treatment. Our Rose Deep Hydration Oil Infused Serum, for example, is focused on delivering hydration and nourishment. The skin drinks it instantly and ends up looking dewy and alive. Q: Should you exfoliate dry skin? Doesn’t it make it sore? A: All skin types benefit from exfoliation. However, choosing the right exfoliator becomes more important than ever for dry skin. The ideal choice would be something gentle, ideally with added

moisturising benefits. Fresh has pioneered the usage of sugar in the beauty industry. Our founders’ grandparents would put sugar on their scrapes as they were young kids – sugar works as a humectant to attract moisture. Inspired by this natural remedy, Fresh’s Sugar Face Polish was formulated with sugar, wild strawberries and seed oils to exfoliate, nourish and boost radiance into the skin. Apply it as a mask, keep it on for five to 10 minutes, then gently melt the sugar with lukewarm water while exfoliating at the same time. The skin will look smoother, more radiant


A CLOSER LOOK WELLBEING

CEDRE 11 CANDLE LE LABO, £57 lelabofragrances.com

and moisturised, ready to take all the benefits of your treatment products to follow. There is also a daily cleanser version, which is gentle enough to use daily if preferred. Q: Do different skin types demand different moisturisers? A: Absolutely! The moisturiser acts as the barrier for the skin while sealing the benefits of all the other products applied. Different moisturisers offer different benefits, as well as textures, so it is important to match your skin’s needs. Fresh’s Rose Deep Hydration Face Cream delivers 72 hours of long-lasting moisture while strengthening the skin barrier with damask rose extract. Night masks are also a great choice to give your skin more potent ingredients while sleeping. Black Tea Firming Overnight Face Mask replaces your night moisturiser, and you wake up to smoother, moisturised and more defined skin. And don’t forget the lips, especially in the winter. Fresh is famous for sugar lip care products. There is a lip scrub, serum, lip treatments and a recently launched lip mask to keep your lips moisturised especially during the cold winter months, while we are wearing face masks.

THE EDIT

FRESH 92 Marylebone High Street, W1U 4RD fresh.com 63 — MARYLEBONE JOURNAL / ISSUE NO. 92

A SELECTION OF THE SEASON’S MOST COVETABLE SCENTED CANDLES

MARY CEDAR & GAIAC CANDLE CIRE TRUDON, £85 trudon.co.uk

LA MONTAÑA WINTER ORANGES CANDLE COLOGNE & COTTON, £39 cologneandcotton.com

AROMATHERAPY ASSOCIATES REVIVE CANDLE JOHN BELL & CROYDEN, £48 johnbellcroyden.co.uk

LA PROUVERESSE SCENTED CANDLE DIPTYQUE, £62 diptyqueparis.com

RECOVERY & SLEEP CANDLE ANATOME, £45 anatome.co


A CLOSER LOOK HEALTHCARE

RISE OF THE MACHINES

Professor Prokar Dasgupta, consultant urologist at The London Clinic, talks robotic surgery, innovation and the search for synergy Interview: Viel Richardson Portrait: Joseph Fox

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A CLOSER LOOK HEALTHCARE

after the procedure. For example, if I remove someone’s prostate, they’re concerned about losing erections or bladder control for a period of time. AI allows us to determine which movements lead to better patient outcomes, to a level you couldn’t do with the human eye, and this leads to better surgical practice.

Q: What is robotic surgery? A: Robotic surgery is a form of keyhole surgery where the surgeon carries out the procedure by controlling miniaturised surgical instruments through a series of robotic arms. Sitting in front of a console, the surgeon controls both the robotic arms and surgical instruments while watching a high definition video screen. Q: Where does The London Clinic sit in the world of robotic surgery? A: We are proud as a private hospital to have four robots: the ExcelsiusGPS spinal robot, the latest Da Vinci XI, which can perform multiple procedures, the Navio orthopaedic robot and the Procept robot for treating enlarged non-cancerous prostates. These robots have enabled us to develop a series of multidisciplinary treatment pathways that put us at the forefront of robotic surgical treatments. Q: We first talked about this field in 2015. How has it progressed since then? A: While the idea behind the technology remains very similar, there have been real improvements. The 3D HD screens provide even clearer images, magnified by a factor of 10, giving us a wonderful view. The prostate, which is the size of a little chestnut, looks the size of a football. There has also been the development of image-guided surgery. We transfer scans of the prostate into the robot and plan the best route for accessing and removing the tumour before the procedure starts. The ability to 3D print the prostate from very accurate scans is hugely beneficial in planning tumour removal. It gives me a very accurate reproduction of how the tumour is located and where I need to go to make sure I get all the cancer. The combination of imageguided surgery and 3D printing has led to very intelligent surgery. Q: What else has improved? A: Connectivity has taken a major 65 — MARYLEBONE JOURNAL / ISSUE NO. 92

“It is the science of understanding what a machine can do better than a human, but even more importantly, what a human can do better than a machine.” step forward. By this, I mean the ability to virtually transport an expert surgeon from one part of the world to another. This is made possible by the development of low-latency, high-speed lines of communication. A technology which does that very well is called PROXIMIE, an augmented reality secure platform for virtual surgical collaboration. It has already been used during the pandemic to allow a surgeon from Seattle to guide a very complex procedure here in London. Finally, there is artificial intelligence (AI), which was not available to us back in 2015. One extremely useful application of this is assessing a procedure. We attach what is essentially a small computer to the robot, which tracks the surgeon’s movements. Having tracked a series of procedures, it can see which surgeon is making the most economical movements. It can also be linked to how the patient does

Q: What is the state of play with automated operations? A: The principle of automating part of a procedure has been around for a while. There is a robot called STAR which has been shown to stitch bowels far more accurately than any human. But we are nowhere near a point whereby I press a button and robots in a parallel room do the procedure. We will need human judgement for a very long time to come, as there is always the potential for something unexpected to occur. The robots are getting better at carrying out some techniques, but they are still carrying out a set of pre-determined steps. You still need a human to deal with the unexpected, sometimes quite quickly, during a procedure. There is also the fact that machines fail, and when they do, a surgeon needs to be able to take over. Q: This interface between robot and human seems to be a complex area. A: Yes, we call this branch of thinking ‘humanics’. It is the science of understanding what a machine can do better than a human, but even more importantly, what a human can do better than a machine. Many people worry that these machines are going to replace surgeons completely. A time will come when with machine learning we can train the robots to do more and more complex surgical procedures, but I’m not certain that this will happen very soon because there can be so many judgement calls about which direction to take during any single operation. That’s why you go to an expert surgeon: to make the correct judgment call in real time at the


A CLOSER LOOK HEALTHCARE

operating table. It’s about building a synergy between the surgeon and the robot, with increased patient welfare being the ultimate aim. Q: Can you tell us about a robotic procedure you now offer? A: Actually, we have re-introduced a procedure I first developed 17 years ago for female incontinence, called colposuspension. With this procedure you lift parts of the pelvic floor and support them with stitching. In 2004 I was the first surgeon to describe performing this using keyhole surgical techniques. Despite being very effective, it fell out of favour with the emergence of the midurethral sling procedure where synthetic mesh was inserted to provide the support. However, with many women reporting severe pain after insertion of the meshes we are using robots to re-introduce colposuspension, but with greater levels of precision. This relieves the incontinence without the debilitating side effects associated with meshes. Q: Does robotics make it easier to operate on obese people? A: Yes and no. Physically, it is easier, no question: you can access the organs more easily. But that does not mean that we should. The correct thing to do is help the patient lose weight and get optimised for surgery, because this is not just about their cancer, but their overall health. If a man is obese, his risk of dying from heart disease, diabetes or other obesity-related illness can be much higher than the risk from prostate cancer. To say “I’ll cure you of your cancer and not tackle your weight” is not the right thing to do. Getting ready for robotics procedures is not a walk in the park. The operating table is at an angle which has the feet elevated above the head. This leads to pressure on the heart and lungs during the procedure. The fitter the patient, the better they come through it. You need to stop drinking alcohol, stop smoking and lose excessive weight. 66 — MARYLEBONE JOURNAL / ISSUE NO. 92

Q: Are robotics value for money as well as clinically effective? A: That is an extremely good question, which has taken a very long time to answer. I have been heavily involved with pushing the boundaries of robotic surgery and have seen great progress, but as a scientist, you constantly question yourself as to whether these advances are a cost-effective way to improve patient safety. This is extremely expensive technology, and the patient having a shorter stay in hospital is not enough in itself. So, what is cost effectiveness? You look at the greater societal costs known as ‘out-of-pocket costs’, of people being off work and unable to engage in their normal economic and cultural activities. Last year, I was involved in publishing a paper in the JAMA Network Open journal, looking at patients who had undergone either an open or robotic radical prostatectomy, hysterectomy, partial colectomy, radical nephrectomy, or partial nephrectomy for a solidorgan cancer. Looking at huge amounts of data, we showed that for treating prostate, gynaecological and bowel cancer, the out-of-pocket costs were lower with robotic surgery than they were with traditional open surgery. After many years, I feel relieved! Q: Are you still involved in robotics research? A: Luckily, I have managed to remain at the cutting edge, and there are some really exciting developments coming through. There’s something called hyperspectral imaging, where you can analyse high resolution scans using computerised algorithms with such accuracy that you would not have to stain a biopsy to determine the presence or level of a tumour. That would be an incredible advance. Then we have some very exciting work based on machine learning, whereby if you are doing a robotic colonoscopy – examining the bowel

with a robotic colonoscope – you can train a machine to spot tumours or polyps that the human eye would miss. I’m also involved with the National Clinical Entrepreneurship Programme, and along with colleagues I mentor a number of biomedical start-ups. One is a new AI company called Jiva.ai who have worked with us here at The London Clinic. They are developing AI algorithms that can lead to more consistently accurate interpretations of MRI scans. At the moment, the algorithms are around 87 per cent accurate and getting better. It’s an incredibly exciting time to be involved in medical robot technologies. Q: How do you see the field changing in the next five years? A: For the benefits of robotic surgery to reach many more patients, the costs have to come down. If prices continue to rise, I don’t think this is sustainable even for the wealthier nations. The machines are also becoming smaller and more modular, which is good. Connectivity means ultra-low latency connections, allowing us to virtually transport surgical expertise to more areas of the world more easily. We can use 5G to shorten lag times and then AI to cut it even further. Thirdly, there is AI itself. This is a very interesting space. At the moment, I would characterise its future direction as a bag of unknown unknowns. There is such enormous potential, but we have to ensure what we do is of real benefit to patients, not just satisfying scientific curiosity. Otherwise you get wonderful technical advances gathering dust in libraries. Humanics will play a crucial role in the direction of surgical AI. Ultimately, there will be an increasing degree of automation in many procedures, but the surgeon will still play the central role for a long time to come. THE LONDON CLINIC 20 Devonshire Place, W1G 6BW thelondonclinic.co.uk


WE ARE DOING THINGS TODAY, THAT HISTORY COULD ONLY DREAM ABOUT

INVESTING IN THE FUTURE OF HEALTHCARE

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 cuttingedge services using artificial intelligence to improve cancer detection and reduce downtime after treatments.

Call +44 020 8108 9622 or visit thelondonclinic.co.uk to book an appointment or to find out how we use technology to improve your health and well-being.


A CLOSER LOOK HEALTHCARE

MY LIFE IN MEDICINE

Dr Paul Ettlinger, founder and lead clinician at The London General Practice Interview: Jean-Paul Aubin-Parvu Portrait: Orlando Gili

I am a great believer in the importance of personal care during this modern technological age. This means helping patients with a real human touch, but with all the available up-to-date facilities, technologies and clinical guidelines, ensuring that they get the very best medical care. We will look after absolutely anyone who wants to have private medical care, from people who live locally through to patients flying in from all over the world. We look after various companies and do a lot of executive health screenings. We also look after several embassies and many of the five-star hotels in London. Claridge’s and The Connaught, for example – we are their doctors. As founder and lead clinician, I look after and supervise the medical management of the practice to make sure we’re maintaining excellent standards, but I also see patients on a daily basis. I am also one of the lead medical officers for the entertainment insurance industry. I’m often asked to review cases – for example, to assess the risk for medical underwriting for actors and performers. We strive to give each patient the very best personal care – that’s the philosophy throughout our practice. We also provide a 24-hour visiting service. Our phones are always answered, and if it’s out of hours then the call is automatically transferred to the on-call doctor, who can assess whether the patient requires a visit. 68 — MARYLEBONE JOURNAL / ISSUE NO. 92

The beauty of working in Harley Street is if a patient needs a scan, for example, you can ask them to sit in the waiting room while you arrange the investigation and then get that patient to come back to you straightaway with the report, so you can make a diagnosis instantly. You can get laboratory tests really quickly. You can walk round to the laboratory and have the results back within the hour. I don’t think you can do that anywhere else in the UK, actually. This is what the Harley Street Medical Area offers. There have been many challenges during the COVID pandemic, one of them being that I actually had the disease myself at the very beginning and was extremely ill with it. I think that gave me a greater understanding of the disease and an empathy

towards those patients who have unfortunately suffered with it. It also gave me a yearning to be at the forefront of providing services to patients during this pandemic. Although we were already fairly technology savvy, we had to instantly educate ourselves and learn even more about the digital sphere. Obviously, we had to ensure that all the government guidelines and protocols were fulfilled. It was a difficult period, but we continued to offer the very best care we possibly could. We introduced our COVID-19 Safety Net service for patients concerned or affected by coronavirus. After an initial video consultation with a doctor, the patient receives a home support pack which includes an oxygen saturation meter with a pulse monitor and, if required, a thermometer and blood pressure monitor. Each day for the next seven days a doctor will contact the patient to check on their symptoms, discuss the measurements they have taken and provide general support. Our patients have found this service very reassuring, knowing that someone is actually looking after them. We have introduced other services in direct response to the pandemic including COVID testing – we were very fortunate that our laboratories were able to offer us a very prompt service from the beginning – and Fit to Fly certificates. This has obviously been a very worrying time, particularly for the most vulnerable patients. There has been a large amount of fear engendered in the population and, of course, there has been an increase in mental health issues. The anxiety that COVID has developed in patients is within all populations of society. We will be dealing with it for years to come. THE LONDON GENERAL PRACTICE 114a Harley Street, W1G 7JL thelondongeneralpractice.com


Urgent Care Centre AT THE PRINCESS GRACE HOSPITAL

Just walk in, no appointment needed.

Open 365 days a year, 8.00am-10.00pm Last patient seen at 9.30pm We treat sprains and fractures, abdominal complaints, urinary tract infections, sexual health concerns and other minor illnesses.* Patients must be aged 18 or over. Initial appointment from £100. The Princess Grace Hospital, 42-52 Nottingham Place, London, W1U 5NY

Call: 020

3993 5731

Visit: hcahealthcare.co.uk/walk-in-urgent-care

*

For any life-threatening conditions, always ring 999 or go to your nearest NHS emergency department.


MY PERFECT DAY

MY PERFECT DAY

Andrea McGlashan, owner of the McGlashans property and interiors business and a local resident for more than five decades, plans out her dream day in Marylebone

from massive shops like Selfridges, but I would much rather spend my time and money in an independent business, where you know the staff and they know you.

Breakfast Briciole is an Italian restaurant on Crawford Street. They have tables outside which are west facing, their tomatoes taste like they’ve just picked them out of an Italian garden, and the staff are all Italian, so when the sun’s out you just feel like you’re in Italy. We love to start our mornings there, with ciabatta and coffee. Fresh air The rose garden in Regent’s Park is where we go when the weather is behaving. The park is wonderful all year round, but in the summer, we’ll take a picnic, tell friends that’s where we’re headed, and we’ll usually all end up in a couple of groups around the garden. To have that in the middle of London is wonderful – especially when the roses are in bloom.

Above: Daunt Books Opposite: 108 Bar & Brasserie

Coffee On the corner of Seymour Place and Crawford Street is an Italian coffee shop, painted white, called L’Angolo Bianco. The Italian lady who runs it is just so passionate about food – in fact, she’s passionate about everything. There are lovely tables and chairs outside. That’s one of our go-to spots. A new outfit I just love Sahara on Crawford Street. The ladies who work there are so lovely, and they have afternoons where they serve prosecco to customers, which doesn’t do any harm! Shopping I love to browse around Cologne & Cotton on the high street. It’s such a happy shop, with such lovely colours. We’re only five minutes away

70 — MARYLEBONE JOURNAL / ISSUE NO. 92

Culture At some point, my plan is to take an afternoon tour around The Wallace Collection. It’s been 50 years since I moved to Marylebone – to a little mews house behind what is now The Conran Shop, which I rented for £25 a week – and I can’t believe I’ve not indulged in one of those tours yet. I love The Wallace Collection. The building is charming, I like the atmosphere, and that glass-domed restaurant gives you the impression you’re on holiday. If I have the grandchildren with me, this is where I go: to see Fragonard’s The Swing, and Canaletto’s views of Venice, and The Laughing Cavalier, whose eyes follow you around the room. Drinks The gang at McGlashans love 108 Bar & Brasserie – not so much for pre-dinner drinks, more for after dinner. They just love the cocktails. I’ll have a mojito or we’ll share some champagne. Dining out For special occasions, we go to Orrery at the top of the high street. It is consistently delicious, the staff are great, and – I just can’t say how much I love it. It’s so much more than the food. We love Monkey & Me for Thai food – and we also love Fischer’s. Their mashed potato is amazing. It feels unbelievably rich and smooth: it must have so much butter and cream. Eating in On a Sunday I’ll go to the farmers’ market for fresh produce, then top that up with visits to Waitrose and La Fromagerie. Anything else Well of course, no afternoon is complete without a trip to Daunt Books. What a beautiful place.


71 — MARYLEBONE JOURNAL / ISSUE NO. 92


Computer Generated Images, Indicative Only.

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