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GUESTBOOK A JOURNAL ABOUT LIVING BEAUTIFULLY – AND SHARING IT


Onefinestay has been redefining city travel since 2010. Our guests live like locals by staying in distinctive homes while their owners are out of town, enjoying a service which offers all the convenience and comfort of a hotel. Our hosts benefit financially from their house or apartment which would otherwise stand empty, without having to lift a finger. We look after an exclusive, multi-billion pound portfolio of thousands of remarkable homes across London, New York, Los Angeles and Paris.

Guestbook issue 04 Editor ALEX BAGNER Art Direction/Design JAMES REID & TOM WATT www.field-projects.com Copy Chief SARA NORRMAN onefinestay Co-Founder & CEO GREG MARSH Published by onefinestay www.onefinestay.com Cover illustration ROB PYBUS Words CARRIE BUCKLE, ALEXANDRA HOROWITZ, SARA NORRMAN, PAULINE O’CONNOR, ADAM ROBERTS, HENRIETTA THOMPSON, AMY VERNER, TIM WALKER Photographers (The Salon) MAT COLLISHAW, LUCAS FOGLIA, LEIGH JOHNSON, JOSS MCKINLEY, HENRY ROY Photographers (The Gallery) YSA ADAMS, KATE BERRY, COURTNAY BRAGAGNOLO, NICK CALCOTT, SETH CAPLAN, INGE CLEMENTE, BEN JAROSCH, MARIELL LIND HANSEN, LAYO MAYOLI, LIONEL MOREAU, CLAIRE PLUSH, MARLENE ROUNDS, ADAM DE SILVA, IRIS THORSTEINSDOTTIR, RAUL VEGA Illustrators KEN FALLIN, MATTHEW LOWE, ROB PYBUS, KATIE SCOTT For all enquiries or to order more copies of Guestbook please email: guestbook@onefinestay.com To download a pdf version of Guestbook 4 visit www.onefinestay.com/guestbook


EDITOR’S LETTER

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his issue of Guestbook is dedicated to cities. Strictly speaking to the current onefinestay quartet of London, New York, Los Angeles and Paris, but more broadly, we’re celebrating the culturally enriching, energy-enhancing, architecturally enterprising extravaganza that is today’s cities and the wonders to be discovered in them. We tell our own ‘Tale of Four Cities’ through the eyes of a bunch of new kids on the international block and ask them how much life really changes when you relocate. Four renowned chefs reveal a recipe that for them sums up their neighbourhood. And Alexandra Horowitz, New York Times bestselling author and professor at Columbia University, is astonished by how much there is to discover just within her own Manhattan block when she does the same walk with different experts. Back inside and out of the cold, we cosy up in four captivating homes and get to know the equally captivating hosts. The dynamic Jones family show us round their spacious townhouse in Marylebone, London; Johannes and Heidi Girardoni take us on a private view of both their art and their magnificent vista out over the Pacific Ocean in LA; Noémie Borne talks cooking and flea-markets at Passage Cottin, Paris; and illustrator couple Steven Guarnaccia and Nora Krug unveil their evocative, whimsical world in Brooklyn, New York. You may spot a gentle four-theme trickling through this issue, fourth Guestbook, four cities, fourth birthday, there’s even a hint towards the four seasons gracing our cover. As our city explorers in The Snug section note, home is sweet, but sometimes it what’s outside the four walls that stays with you.

ALEX BAGNER Editor, Guestbook guestbook@onefinestay.com


CONTRIBUTORS …and what inspires them most about their cities

LUCAS FOGLIA Growing up on a New York farm set Lucas up for shooting his series on off-the-grid people in America, which has now been published as the book A Natural Order. His work is in the permanent collections of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, Victoria and Albert Museum and Museum of Modern Art Library. ‘My girlfriend and I just moved into a beautiful old house on the edge of Columbus, Ohio. The most inspiring quality of being here is the newness of it.’ ALEXANDRA HOROWITZ Alexandra lives in New York City and teaches psychology at Barnard College, Columbia University. Her latest book, On Looking: Eleven Walks with Expert Eyes, was published in January, 2013. Her writings have featured in The New Yorker, Smithsonian and Science. ‘The omnipresent hum of life, activity and engagement that is just outside my door (which, when closed, can shut it out completely). What EB White called the “gift of privacy with the excitement of participation”.’ JOSS MCKINLEY Oxford-born Joss has been exhibited in the National Portrait Gallery in London, and the Signal Gallery, New York. His work has been commissioned by The Guardian, The Telegraph, Port and AnOther. ‘I’m new in New York City so there’s many a thing that inspires me but the light here is really something. It’s all beautifully dramatic,  from the sun to the neon signs.’ HENRY ROY Born in Haiti and now based in Paris, Henry has exhibited in Japan, Holland, London and Turin. His portraits have featured in Optimum, Traffic, Kilimanjaro and Cosmic Wonder magazine. ‘Parisian women are the most inspiring thing in this city. Their attitude and style, the way they move, are infinite sources of inspiration for me.’

ROB PYBUS Londoner Rob works as an illustrator, graphic designer and animator. His client list includes Audi, Vodafone, Red Bull and Channel 4, while his work has been published in Wired, JFW and New Republic magazines. ‘The fact that London’s buildings and parks are all so crammed together creates a weird blend of everything that feels exciting. This gets my imagination going and makes me think what I could be if I tried something new.’ AMY VERNER Lifestyle editor Amy writes for Canadian Globe and Mail, Holt Renfrew, House & Home and The Toronto Star, covering the European catwalks during fashion weeks from her base in Paris. ‘Paris makes me acutely aware of its history makers. From the great kings to the authors and artists, these figures remind me of the city’s rich past.’ TIM WALKER Tim Walker is The Independent’s Los Angeles correspondent, covering entertainment and other areas from the West Coast of the US. His first novel, Completion, is published in January 2014. ‘I find inspiration in the sprawl. LA isn’t like other cities; it has no centre, so you have to work harder to find the best bits.’


CONTENTS

THE SALON 8 IN CONVERSATION WITH Steven Guarnaccia & Nora Krug, Lefferts Avenue, Brooklyn, New York Words Carrie Buckle Photography Joss McKinley

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IN CONVERSATION WITH Noémie, Adrien & Colette Borne, Passage Cottin, Montmartre, Paris Words Amy Verner Photography Henry Roy TALE OF FOUR CITIES In today’s globalised world, does life alter that much when you relocate? Our international movers reveal the truth

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VIEW FINDER The cognitive psychologist on taking a walk through familiar streets with fresh eyes Words Alexandra Horowitz

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IN CONVERSATION WITH Anita & Tom Jones, Harewood Row, Marylebone, London Words Henrietta Thompson Photography Leigh Johnson

THE GALLERY 57 A SELECTION OF ONEFINESTAY MEMBERS’ HOMES In New York, Paris, Los Angeles and London

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STAYING POWER Polly Morgan, the first artist to explore onefinestay’s Creative Residencies, talks about her visit to Los Angeles Portrait Mat Collishaw

THE SNUG 106 TRAVELLERS’ NOTES ….straight from our guests’ pens

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GOES WITH THE TERROIR Four chefs share the dish that best sums up their city Illustration Ken Fallin

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IN CONVERSATION WITH Johannes & Heidi Girardoni, El Medio Place, Pacific Palisades, Los Angeles Words Tim Walker Photography Lucas Foglia

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NEIGHBOURHOOD BATTLE Batignolles, Paris vs Venice, Los Angeles Illustration Katie Scott

110 OUR SOCIAL WHIRL From a world-encompassing birthday bash to pulling strings in LA, find out what we’ve been up to in the past few months 112

END NOTE From Keyvan Nilforoushan, General Manager, Paris


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IN CONVERSATION WITH

STEVEN GUARNACCIA & NORA KRUG LEFFERTS AVENUE, BROOKLYN, NEW YORK words CARRIE BUCKLE photography JOSS McKINLEY

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rowing up, one of Steven Guarnaccia’s favourite tomes was the children’s classic Where The Wild Things Are, depicting Max and some fuzzy monsters wreaking havoc in a far-off land. Today, he and his wife Nora Krug have created their own whimsical world at Lefferts Avenue, Brooklyn. While it may be a little less raucous than Max’s adventures, the couple’s townhouse is just as evocative – filled with nods to both Steven’s love of 20th-century American culture and German-born Nora’s European sensibility. Their mutual love of, and talent for, illustration is what brought them together and this is very much evident throughout their home. White walls, wooden floors and an open-plan design offer a perfect backdrop for an eclectic mix of striking imagery, antique furniture and vintage toys. To get to the heart of this world, you have to delve into the upbringing of the acclaimed artists, who are both professors of illustration at Parsons The New School for Design. Bed-ridden for two years due to a childhood illness, Steven started drawing at a young age. ‘I was stuck indoors for a long time, so rather than go out and play ball, I would draw,’ he says. ‘I imagined that I could draw things into existence and they would become real. It often involved fighting villains and rescuing heroines, and I used to draw monsters all the time.’

While Steven was spellbound by the woodland of Maurice Sendak’s wild things during his childhood in Fairfield, Connecticut, Nora had a real forest on her doorstep – the Black Forest in Germany. Above the sofa hangs an oil painting, a wedding gift to themselves, depicting a forest scene akin to the landscape of her childhood in Karlsruhe, southwest Germany. ‘We went for walks every weekend, often to the Black Forest,’ says Nora. She used to hanker after this terrain but now they have their own forest in the form of Prospect Park, which is four blocks away. Their own fairytale began when they first met at The New York Times 11 years ago. They eventually tied the knot in Nora’s hometown four years ago, with a dinner for family and friends at a 200-year-old beer restaurant. ‘It was great. We got a beer with every course,’ smiles Steven, whose US-born parents have Jewish and Italian heritage. To honour the illustrators’ backgrounds, Nora’s musician friends performed 1920s and 1930s popular American and German folk songs, and a trumpet player played compositions by Mendelssohn, who was German Jewish. This merging of cultures is at the core of the couple’s home, which they bought in spring 2010, the year after their wedding. No major renovations were needed when they moved into the property, just cosmetic accents like painting the walls and sanding the wooden

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floors. What they did bring to the property was a unique array of objets d’art. Natural history is a shared passion very much in evidence in their wunderkammer room which includes an alligator head, engravings and a cabinet of curiosities. ‘This is an old dental cabinet and it’s filled with all sorts of things found on beaches around the world,’ Steven explains, pulling open a drawer to reveal several sea urchins. Born around Halloween, Steven’s childhood birthday parties would have this theme and he is fascinated with the Mexican holiday, Day of the Dead. Masks and skeleton imagery are dotted around the house. For Nora, Japanese culture has a particular pull. In the living room, one of her Kokeshi dolls sits atop a striking Japanese cabinet. ‘There is this wonderful place in DUMBO called Shibui. The owner imports furniture from Japan and renovates it in a very traditional, respectful way,’ she enthuses, opening the section that houses her impressive tea collection. We head upstairs and venture into their studio. ‘That’s my desk and that’s Steven’s,’ points Nora before showing one of her graphic novels, Red Riding Hood Redux, a retelling of the classic fairytale from the perspective of each character. ‘I’m interested in the concept of work rather than just how it looks, so I admire illustrators who challenge traditional ways of telling stories like Chris Ware,’ says Nora, who recently

won a Guggenheim fellowship for a book she is working on, a visual history of her family and World War II. In contrast, Steven has always been concerned with the linear quality of illustration. Fittingly, his role models include David Hockney, Saul Steinberg and of course, Maurice Sendak. A career highlight is Steven’s series of three books, Goldilocks and the Three Bears: A Tale Moderne, The Three Little Pigs: An Architectural Tale, and his most recent, Cinderella: A Fashionable Tale. He flicks through the stylish pages of the latter, with gems including an Yves Saint Laurent ‘Barbaresque’ dress to a Salvatore Ferragamo rainbow platform shoe. ‘It’s Cinderella told through 20th-century fashion,’ says Steven, who has had solo exhibitions in New York, Toronto and Milan. When they are not travelling to Berlin (‘I keep saying I’d like to move there,’ grins Steven), the couple enjoy spending time in their garden. ‘We recently planted a wisteria,’ says Nora, ‘with seeds from my mother’s garden in Germany.’ With lovable local felines nosing about (‘he’s shy but very sweet,’ says Nora pointing to a handsome grey cat lurking in the bushes), their own mini forest might just be on the horizon – albeit without monsters. www.onefinestay.com/new-york/lefferts-avenue

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OPINION

VIEW FINDER In a bid to get us to open our eyes to our cities, Professor Alexandra Horowitz takes the same walk around her block with different people and finds that while no one can expect to see everything, there is always the opportunity to see more

words ALEXANDRA HOROWITZ

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ay you find yourself walking in a city. A city known or unknown to you. Picture yourself walking down the sidewalk: what are you looking at? Where does your gaze land; what draws your interest? Do you look at your feet, at your smartphone, at the people passing by? If you are a visitor to the city, you may notice the elements of the landscape that differ from your hometown: maybe the sidewalks are cobbled, not concrete; the buildings are towering, not squat; the streets winding, not grid-like. We naturally see the new things, the changed elements. But in both native and non-native environments, familiar and new, we miss seeing most everything. If you need convincing of this, think back to the last walk you had today, or yesterday: what did you see? Often we arrive at a destination with nearly no memory of the actual route we took, who was on it, what we passed, or what we saw. We are sleepwalkers when wide awake. That’s just what I set out to change. In my recent book On Looking, I took 11 walks with people (and one dog, more on that in a moment) whose expertise, or personal experience, allows them to notice things on ordinary blocks which most of us routinely walk right by. Whether walking to work, walking the dog, walking to a child’s school or walking to the shops, we fail to attend to much around us at all, focused instead only on the conversation in our head – or, of course, on the bytes radiating toward us from our smartphones. We fail to attend. Though cast as a failure, to psychologists, this narrowing of attention makes some evolutionary sense: at some point in our history, our ancestors needed to learn to focus on one or two things (predators, prey) and ignore the rest: it’s called ‘selective attention’. Though we are rarely looking for dinner (or concerned to avoid being dinner) on

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‘We fail to attend because we’ve lost the ability to flex that muscle of attention whenever we want’

our walks, we still selectively attend, and ignore most of the visual, smell, or auditory phenomena buzzing around us. It’s a useful skill to have. We often flatter ourselves and call it ‘concentration’, but it has a nasty side effect: we plumb forget how to tune in to the richness and details of the environment. We fail to attend because we’ve lost the ability to flex that muscle of attention whenever we want. To train that muscle, I started taking a series of these walks with others. First, I took a walk around the blocks where I lived by myself, simply trying to notice whatever I could. A dozen walks later, I returned to those same streets and found that I was able to see them entirely differently, using the perspectives of those I had walked with to shape what I saw. I got the idea of taking these walks with others from my daily walking companion: my dog. I have lived with dogs my whole life, and, through a happy if winding route, I have also become a professional researcher of dog cognition. The result is that I spend a lot of time watching dogs. The more I learned about the mind of the dog, though, the more what I saw when watching and walking with them changed. What I realised is that a walk around the block is an entirely different experience for a dog and his person. Dogs’ primary sense is olfactory, and as a result they experience the world nose first. Their trot down a sidewalk tells tales of dogs who have passed by (and left their smells behind in footsteps and pee), of the weather up ahead, travelling on the breeze, and of who just ducked into her house (leaving a gust of wind in her wake). Every time you open the door the world is coloured differently to a creature of the nose. I can hardly smell what my dog smells, but he was able to show me, through his behaviour, the complexity of the scene on a walk to him. What, I thought, if I walked with people with different perspectives, formed by their professions or their life, and asked them to tell me what they saw (or heard or smelled)? In this way, I was able to see the city with new eyes. When I walked with a geologist, Sidney Horenstein, he saw the warp and weft of the street: how the city came to be laid out as it is; the stone on the buildings, the steps, and underfoot. Looking closely at the face of a limestone building together, I was amazed to see the evidence of the sea life, in shells, discs and tracks, which has moved from the ancient sea floor to the vertical walls of nearly every major metropolis. With Fred Kent, a sociologist of urban life, we looked at people – not at what they were wearing, but how they moved together. What we noticed is what experts have confirmed: pedestrians engage in a fast-paced, unconscious dance of weaving, stepping and sliding, and moving people through eye contact. Pedestrians rarely bump each other, even on a crowded Manhattan street: even while Kent and I were busy talking, we were smoothly navigating around other people using the same simple strategies as schools of fish and herds of wildebeest use to move as groups. Except for the texters: with even their unconscious mind wandering, they bump.

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‘There are layers upon layers of detail – visual, historical, olfactory, auditory, personal – in every eyeful. It is only up to us to open our eyes’

I also looked at people with a doctor, Bennett Lorber, who showed me just how much of someone’s medical history is revealed in their walk, in their bodies, in the way they carry their purses or turn their heads. With Lorber, these seemingly irrelevant details became completely revealing, just as Sherlock Holmes used ‘trifles’ about someone’s attire, voice, or manner to magnificently solve the mystery before him. We could see a stenotic spine in an older man’s delicate, light shuffle as he crossed the street; we passed by a candidate for a hip replacement; Lorber even saw the signs of a chromosomal disorder in a woman’s facial features. When at the end of our walk he hadn’t noticed any disease in my bearing, I considered myself lucky. With an urban wildlife specialist, John Hadidian, and a naturalist and insect-tracker, Charley Eiseman, we saw the parallel lives that exist, mostly unobserved in every city: animal lives. For insects, they are easy to find – in sidewalk cracks, in corners and crevices of walls, on the underside of a leaf – but they are rarely seen. Indeed, most people do not desire to see them. But to observe their creations, widely visible but requiring an intent eye, is to marvel at the natural world’s imagination. The sight of a leaf gall, a perfect, colourful bump on the face of a leaf created by the growing larva of a wasp or other insect, made me start: how had I never noticed the ubiquity and diversity of these outgrowths? Some rival flowers for beauty, provenance notwithstanding, including the fanciful ‘hedgehog’ gall. And the appearance of this insect sign tells us something historical about the tree it is on, as well, for native trees are widely spotted with galls, leaf mines, and other signs of insect living and consumption. By contrast, ‘invasive’ species, those that originated elsewhere, are often nearly spot-free, as no insect has yet come to specialise in that tree. Though just as omnipresent, larger animals – from raccoons to peccaries, from coyotes to hawks – make their homes in the city slightly more surreptitiously. But Hadidian showed me the places where they lived: in the negative spaces formed when we humans create spaces for ourselves. See an alley behind a building? It is likely a rat super-highway, a useful corridor for going from neighbourhood to neighbourhood unobserved. Is there a small hole under a slate step? If it’s the size of a 10p coin, a squirrel can fit through it and find a secure nook in which to make his den. Cities are essentially urban cliffs, one hypothesis goes, reproducing in an urban setting the cliffs Homo sapiens evolved in. For instance, apartment buildings, with their cornices and ledges, provide places for hawks to rest mid-flight; the area under the ledge, protected from wind, grows small plants which attract small animals who feed on them. Now, as for our entire evolutionary history, we are surrounded by animals.


Finally, I walked with Arlene Gordon, who went blind 40 years prior as an adult, and saw how she saw the block. She still sees it. Only, she sees it through sound, and through tactile sensation: her other senses are piqued where ours are muted. Walking under an awning, Gordon ‘saw’ it: by tapping her cane on the ground, and listening to the crisp sound bouncing back at her, she could tell when the space above us was covered: the sound came back more brightly, closer. After we passed it, the sound of her tapping cane again dissipated in the wide expanse of sky overhead. Gordon noticed when she approached an intersection – not because of the sound. Instead, the breeze carried down the avenues on a grid-street system as in Manhattan changes at an intersection: a headwind turns into a side-wind, or vice versa. We can all feel that breeze change; we can all hear the different sound space created by an awning, but we mostly ignore it. I did, until Gordon reminded me to attend to it. What was the end result of all those walks? I remembered how to pay attention to the details of an ordinary landscape. Now, walking through the streets of my city, I can see things I had never seen before, any time I care to look. There are layers upon layers of detail – visual, historical, olfactory, auditory, personal – in every eyeful. It is only up to us to open our eyes. That said, it’s important to confess: I don’t look this closely all the time. There is no mandate to stop on every excursion to examine the limestone for sea scallop shells; to turn over a maple tree’s leaf to look for a tiny resident; to smell or listen or even see. Instead, there is just opportunity. When you’re ready, pocket the phone, open your eyes, and look. Professor Alexandra Horowitz teaches psychology at Barnard College, Columbia University. She is the author of The New York Times best-selling, Inside of a Dog: What Dogs See, Smell and Know (Simon & Schuster) and more recently, On Looking: Eleven Walks with Expert Eyes (Scribner).

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IN CONVERSATION WITH

ANITA & TOM JONES HAREWOOD ROW, MARYLEBONE, LONDON words HENRIETTA THOMPSON photography LEIGH JOHNSON

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t’s easy for Anita and Tom Jones to remember how long they’ve lived in their house because their forth child was born here – at home – the month they moved in. ‘So now whenever anybody asks us, we just remember how old she is,’ says Anita. Stella is now three, and in that time much has changed. The couple, both Australian, have lived in England for some 15 years but originally moved here independently. ‘We had met a couple of times in Australia, but we only got together when we were already both living here.’ When they bought this house in Marylebone’s Harewood Row, north London, Anita remembers a sense of it being a spiritual destiny. The family already lived in the area, and while they needed more space they were determined to stay locally, in large part because of their active involvement in the nearby St Mary’s Church. Tom had just sold his software business and ‘for a while everything was very up in the air. But then, magically, everything came together at once.’ Anita, a drama teacher, is currently a full-time mum. One way to describe what Tom

does might be to say he’s a start-up investor, but as with many entrepreneurial businessmen today, he’s a man with many hats. The couple installed a freestanding bathtub in his office because, according to Anita, ‘he always has his best ideas in the bath’. This room at the top of the house is reached by a staircase that doubles as a bookshelf, and such is the innovation and energy that permeate the whole house. Which, it transpires, is deceptively large. Spread over six storeys, the basement floor leading out onto a considerable garden at the back, on entering through the front door it’s a little surprising to find yourself in a vast open-plan living room and kitchen, a roaring fire in the grate. The only house on this tiny street that escaped the World War II bombs, and today the only one that is fully lived in, Harewood Row is surrounded by banking offices and hotels. The bustle of Marylebone station, just a 30-second walk from the door, sits between it and the pretty townhouses of Dorset Square. Once inside you feel a world away from central London: protected and private. Even the

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back garden, with its tall trees and flanked on You can still see the fabric swatches and all the each side by walls that are more than a full storey notes. ‘We love reclaimed and recycled pieces,’ high, feels contained, like an outdoor room. ‘We says Anita. ‘They have stories to tell.’ Upstairs in wanted the kids to be able to run around however the living room, the blinds incorporate panels of and whenever they like,’ says Anita, and that upcycled vintage lace, and on the walls is a series thought led to an entirely AstroTurfed lawn – of pieces of colourful string art from the 1970s. which won’t get swampy in the rain. If the ground floor is a large space, it is still Like the garden, much of the house has cosy, and relatively dark compared to the rest of been designed to be necessarily robust, yet not the house. ‘We like to think it’s now “sexy dark” at the cost of style. To help, they enlisted their where before it was just dark,’ laughs Anita. fellow parent friends from the local school. The house gets lighter the higher you get, with Adam Hills and Maria Speake run architec- a terrace on the first floor and a balcony right at tural salvage business Retrouvius, and for the the top, presenting vertigo-inducing views down kitchen they created a beautiful island design, to the ground and across Marylebone’s rooftops. and a long dining wall clad in teak. The solid The bathtub in the office might continue to wood not only makes for a soothing and – in make sense if they ever make that room their the evening – glamorous ambiance, but will bedroom in future, says Anita, and as the children also survive wear, tear and age with grace. By get older their sleeping arrangements and needs the stairs a bespoke cabinet has been made from will also shift. In the three years they’ve lived Victorian mahogany frames. ‘Adam and Maria here they’ve made this house a fabulous family are so clever,’ says Anita, ‘they know everything home, and like the children, it too will continue that’s happening so when the V&A was being to grow and evolve. refurbished they rescued these. The frames are from the V&A’s textile collection, and I think they originally belonged to a Savile Row tailor.’ www.onefinestay.com/london/harewood-row THE SALON

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SPECIAL PROJECT

STAYING POWER London-based artist Polly Morgan, one of the first to take part in onefinestay’s Creative Residencies project, finds herself charmed by the unabashed ambition of the LA lifestyle

interview ALEX BAGNER portrait MAT COLLISHAW

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t once strange and wonderful, exquisite and eccentric, Morgan’s ability to play with and dismantle taxidermy traditions to create her art has brought her work to the attention of many notable collectors and curators including Charles Saatchi, Damien Hirst and Kate Moss. Her work ranges from £1,000 for a wilting chick suspended from a resin-coated balloon available from her website, to sculptures such as ‘The Fall’, hugely ambitious in terms of scale and production consisting of a fibreglass cast tree, silicone piglets, taxidermy birds and cast mushrooms. In the first of a series of Creative Residencies, that invites artists of any discipline from around the world to apply for free stays, and in return asks them to donate a unique piece of work inspired by their stay to add to onefinestay’s art collection, Polly Morgan books into Fairfax Avenue in LA.

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POLLY MORGAN

‘Most LA moment? Eating brain-shaped absinthe jelly with a Bond girl’

AB

What intrigued you by onefinestay’s offer of a creative residency?

PM

When staying in hotels, there is always the risk that travel becomes homogenised. I preferred the idea of becoming a resident, however briefly, and getting a more genuine taste of what it would be like to live in this home.

AB

What’s the oddest thing you’ve ever exchanged your work for?

PM

Art is a great commodity and I’ve always found people willing to make interesting exchanges. I swap work for food and wine in some of London’s best restaurants, but the oddest swap was probably made with a builder who renovated my house in return. Odder still was a swap I declined; a jar of another artist’s semen!

AB

How much, if at all, do your surroundings inspire the work you produce?

PM

It’s impossible not to be inspired by surroundings. A change of place brings different encounters; with people, art, architecture etc. I see the brain as being like a digestive system. Experiences, like food, blend, transform and evacuate the body in a different shape.

AB

Where did you grow up and do you think your childhood has inspired you today?

PM

I’m sure it’s no coincidence that I grew up in a rural environment with hundreds of animals for company (my father worked with goats, llamas and ostriches to name just a few). It’s maybe hard to make direct links with my work and upbringing, but the presence of animals is irrefutable in both. You decided to become an artist after working in a bar in Shoreditch – what made you choose this path?

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PM

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The influences I absorbed there from the people I met gave me the confidence and impetus to begin creating, and eventually exhibiting, work. Shoreditch in the late 1990s had something special; it acted as a magnet for artists and designers and their proximity to each other bettered their work. Does the domestic setting influence your work? It can. At the moment I am working only with materials I already have in the home and studio.   Do you like the idea of people having your work in their home?

PM

Of course. What’s nice about making art is that, like a child, your work can go off and have its own life and experiences, yet always remains connected to you.

AB

Do you have any of your own pieces in your home?

PM

Because of the above, I don’t like hanging on to my work; I would always

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PM

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prefer it lived elsewhere. However, there have been one or two things, made as studies for a later work, which I have kept – a dead squirrel in my bathroom, a sketch of some piglets suckling an octopus in my sitting room – but they are exceptions, not the rule. I prefer to have other artists’ work in my home. Why did you choose Los Angeles for your onefinestay? It’s a place I’ve only ever passed through and stayed fleetingly in. I hadn’t thought it was a place for me as I’m not involved in the film industry. Recently I’ve been hearing that LA has so much more to offer, with a thriving art scene, great food and countryside. I wanted to visit the canyons and take in some of the dramatic landscape. The sun doesn’t hurt in November either!   What have you found most inspiring about the city? Most inspiring is probably the attitude of people here – their positivity and unashamed ambition. In Britain we possess these things, only are taught to hide them under a mask of cynicism.   Is there anything about the particular home you’re staying in that has inspired you?

PM

Mostly the tranquillity. It’s hard to relax and really think when I’m at home so, despite LA being a busy city, having the house to retreat to offered me peaceful moments without the distractions of a hotel. Every morning I took my tea into the garden and sat silently for half an hour, which is all I need to be inspired.

AB

Can we get a hint of what you’re planning to leave behind as a memento of your stay for the onefinestay art collection?

PM

I took a photograph of an old tree, growing on the pavement on La Cienega Boulevard, the roots of which were lifting and splitting the tarmac above. It spoke to me about LA and the tension between artifice and wilderness that exists so beautifully there. www.pollymorganshop.co.uk

above: ‘Lightning Never Strikes Twice’ (2013), taxidermy Myna bird, jesmonite casts

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MORGAN’S MOMENTS RESTAURANT Animal on Fairfax. I am an offal fan and hadn’t expected to find this sort of food in LA. BAR We went to pretty obvious choices; Soho House did a good whiskey sour.   CAFÉ We didn’t go to any; one of the joys of having our own house was the coffee grinder. SHOP One of the many shops selling things you never knew your dog needed. LA is dog-mad and you’re likely to find as many ‘Barkeries’ as you are bakeries.   FAVOURITE LA THING TO DO Hike up Topanga Canyon for the views.   MOST LA MOMENT Eating brain-shaped absinthe jelly with a Bond girl.

If creatives would like the opportunity to spend dedicated time working on a creative project, onefinestay are now taking applications for the programme for 2014. To apply to enjoy a stay in a home from onefinestay’s unique porfolio, submit your proposal at www.onefinestay.com/creativeresidencies detailing which city you’d like to stay in and what work you’d plan to produce for the onefinestay art collection – be it a poem, a painting, a series of photographs or a short story. Polly Morgan stayed in Los Angeles at Fairfax Avenue, West Hollywood. www.onefinestay.com/los-angeles/fairfax-avenue

above from top: ‘Receiver’ (2010), taxidermy quail chicks, Bakelite handset ; ‘The Fall’ (2012), fibreglass cast tree, silicone piglets, taxidermy, cast mushrooms, wood, wire, glass

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ENVIRONS

GOES WITH THE TERROIR A dish or snack eaten in an evocative setting can act like the proverbial Madeleine, instantly transporting you back to a place and mind-frame for years to come. It’s about an unexpected snapshot of culinary perfection when the surrounding blends seamlessly with a taste sensation. Here four chefs share a dish that for them represents the cities where they live

NEW YORK

Classic hot cocoa Rick and Michael Mast, makers and purveyors of Mast Brothers chocolate www.mastbrothers.com ‘Our chocolate is bean to bar, meaning we source the beans and follow them through to end product. This is one of the main tenets in the Brooklyn artisan food revolution, knowing the provenance of the product.’

950ml whole milk 50g cocoa powder 40g brown sugar 1tsp vanilla 55g dark chocolate In a medium saucepan, combine milk, cocoa powder, sugar and vanilla. Bring to the boil, stirring frequently. Shave chocolate over each mug. Serve piping hot with a toasted marshmallow.

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Reprinted with permission from MAST BROTHERS CHOCOLATE by Rick Mast & Michael Mast, copyright © 2013. Published by Little, Brown and Company

portraits KEN FALLIN


LONDON

Lisle Street Buns Tom Harris, chef patron, One Leicester Street www.oneleicesterstreet.com ‘These buns are a traditional English teatime treat, but mine are infused with the jasmine flavour of Chinatown where we are located.’

510g strong bread flour 225g strong brewed jasmine tea 100g egg 56g unsalted butter, diced, at room temperature 37g caster sugar 20g milk powder 10g fresh or 5g dried yeast 15g ground jasmine tea BUTTER FILLING 226g dark brown sugar (muscovado) 250g unsalted butter at room temperature zest of 2 lemons GLAZE 50g sugar 50g water juice of half a lemon Combine the dough ingredients in a mixer bowl, mix slowly for 4 minutes. Cover with cling film. Leave in a warm place to rise until double original size (roughly two hours). Knock it back and then chill in fridge for an hour. Meanwhile, soak currants in water. Lightly flour work surface and roll out dough into large rectangle. Combine butter ingredients in separate bowl. Spread a thin layer of butter over the dough, leaving a half-inch line lengthways of plain dough at the top. Drain currants and spread evenly over dough. Starting from the bottom, roll the dough into a cylinder. Brush edge of dough with water and press to seal. Transfer to a tray covered in baking paper. Place uncovered in freezer for 20 minutes. Remove and trim ends. Cut into 8 even rolls. Transfer to a deep tray and prove again until buns have doubled in size. Bake at 165C (330F) for 15 minutes or until golden. Combine glaze ingredients in a saucepan and heat on low until sugar is dissolved. Brush onto warm buns and decorate with currants.

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LOS ANGELES

The Tripel Burger Brooke Williamson, co-owner and chef, The Tripel www.thetripel.com ‘Only in LA could you find a burger with three kinds of meats, topped off with a luxurious truffle pecorino. It captures the decadence of the city, while staying true to the laid-back beach vibes of the Westside.’

DUCK CONFIT 8 duck legs, bone in with skin 2.5l duck fat, melted down 60g sea salt 1tbsp ground black pepper 4 bay leaves 10 thyme sprigs 10 garlic cloves, crushed Mix together salt, pepper, bay leaves, garlic and thyme. Rub duck legs in the salt mixture and layer in a deep oven-safe dish. Cover with duck fat. Make sure legs are submerged. Cover with a tight lid or use aluminium foil. Cook for 3 hours and 30 minutes at 180C (350F) degrees. Remove duck legs from fat and let cool for 8 minutes. Strip skin and duck meat from bone and put cleaned meat in separate bowl. Strain duck fat and use to cover pulled duck leg meat.

BURGER PATTY 2.5kg ground beef 1kg ground pork 1l pulled duck confit 115g duck fat 1tbsp sea salt 2tsp ground black pepper Mix together all meats thoroughly horoughly and form into 225g square patties. Grill or fry to taste. DRESSING FOR ROCKET SALAD 235ml olive oil 2tbsp white truffle oil 1.5tbsp lemon juice APRICOT JAM 225g apricot preserve 6 dried apricots, sliced thin 2tsp thyme leaves, chopped 1tbsp sriracha hot chilli sauce 1tsp sea salt Mix the ingredients thoroughly for the dressing and jam. Toast brioche onion bun. Spread apricot jam on the bun. Place patty on top of bottom bun. Grate generous amount Sottocenere truffle cheese on top of burger. Garnish with dressed wild baby rocket.

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PARIS

Smoked trout with avocado puree, pickled cucumbers and dill Gregory Marchand, founder and head chef, Frenchie www.frenchie-restaurant.com ‘I love the Parisian cosmopolitan yet less-is-more motto. This dish is simple, pared-down, classic French with an international twist.’

SMOKED TROUT 6 medium size trout fillets mesquite wood chips stove-top smoker or a small grill with lid Place the stove-top smoker or grill on two burners, both on medium heat. Add mesquite chips to the bottom of the smoker and replace wire rack. Pat skin side of trout dry with paper towels and place skin side down on wire rack of smoker. Sprinkle flesh side with salt. Replace the cover of the smoker and cook fillets for 8–10 minutes until just cooked through. Remove trout fillets from smoker and peel off skin. AVOCADO PUREE 4 avocados 125ml lemon juice 125ml vegetable or chicken stock salt to taste

DILL-PICKLED CUCUMBERS AND SHALLOTS 500ml water 60ml champagne vinegar 1tbsp sea salt 2tbsp sugar 2 English cucumbers sliced lengthwise on a mandolin 4 shallots peeled and sliced 1 bunch of dill Bring water, vinegar, salt and sugar to a boil over high heat. Remove from heat and add cucumbers and sliced shallots. Once it reaches room temperature add dill and refrigerate overnight. Drizzle plate with a little olive oil. Spoon avocado puree into the centre and place smoked trout fillet on puree. Top trout with pickled cucumbers, shallots and dill. Serve immediately.

Slice avocados in half and remove pit. Using a large spoon, remove the avocado flesh and place in a blender with the other ingredients. Blend on high until silky smooth. Taste and add salt. Store chilled in airtight container.

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IN CONVERSATION WITH

JOHANNES & HEIDI GIRARDONI EL MEDIO PLACE, PACIFIC PALISADES, LOS ANGELES

words TIM WALKER photography LUCAS FOGLIA

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W

hen artist Johannes Girardoni first ‘So over the last couple of years, blue has become set up his studio at his new home in a much more predominant colour in my work.’ Los Angeles, he was overwhelmed by Heidi, his wife and studio manager who has, the light. To one side, the room opens out onto she explains ‘been along for the art ride for a long a view over the Pacific Ocean. To the other is time’, points out several of her husband’s past the blue, Hockney-esque pool around which the pieces in their horseshoe-shaped home: tactile whole house curls. Until 2011, Johannes lived in wood and wax sculptures from the early 1990s, New York, where he worked in the shadow of the alongside more recent, striking photographic Manhattan Bridge. ‘I couldn’t handle seeing so prints with painted elements. In the sitting much blue when we first arrived here,’ he recalls, room, a set of wooden shelving units hugs a wall. laughing. ‘I almost felt guilty. So I blacked out Johannes designed the shelves as a collaboration all the windows with a plastic tarp for the first with the New York gallery Artware Editions, two months!’ which invites artists to create functional objects. Two years on and thankfully Johannes has ‘They can be split up and used as room dividers, become accustomed to his azure surroundings. coffee tables, side tables,’ he explains. ‘They His recent show at the Nye+Brown gallery in go wherever we go, and they take on different LA’s Culver City included a light-and-sound shapes in different places.’ installation composed of blue resin blocks in a Like those shelves, the home itself is fluid, bright white space. ‘Picasso said that when you with rooms ready to serve several functions: go out into nature, you have no choice when you as places to work, to entertain, even to exhibit come back but to make green paintings,’ he says. artworks to interested gallerists or collectors.

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The Girardonis’ style may be malleable, minimal and mostly contemporary, but they also own some pieces of history, such as a pair of 19th-century porcelain tobacco pots brought back from the Caribbean by one of Heidi’s ancestors, and filled with potpourri from her great-aunt’s garden. ‘I grew up opening those jars and smelling the potpourri and thinking what a great sensory experience that was,’ Heidi says. ‘I love them. The scent completely takes me back.’ Johannes’s past is represented, too. On a corridor wall are a pair of works by the Austrian painter Arnulf Rainer, passed down from Johannes’s parents, many of whose friends were part of the Viennese art world. Growing up, he says, ‘I was in studios all the time’. Heidi’s mother, meanwhile, is an interior designer, and responsible for one of the selected antique items in the house: an upright piano, originally from the practice room of the San Francisco Opera House. She rescued the instrument when the opera underwent a major renovation. ‘I learned to play on it as a kid,’ Heidi says. ‘Then my mom sent it to New York for Johannes’s 21st birthday. It’s been with us ever since’. One of their daughters has added her own artistic flourish to the house, a few lines

of wisdom from Albert Einstein, hand-painted on the wall above her bed: ‘Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited to all we now know and understand, while imagination embraces the entire world, and all there ever will be to know and understand.’ Johannes grew up in Vienna, Heidi in the Bay Area, but the two met while in college on the east coast and lived in New York City for 22 years before the move west. ‘New York is a great place to show work, but LA is a really exciting place to make it,’ Johannes says. ‘The light here has a palpable, physical quality. It made a lot more sense to be making my work here.’ www.onefinestay.com/los-angeles/el-medio-place

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NEIGHBO R (U)

Two cities, two locales. Two locals go head to head. Which comes out on top? illustration KATIE SCOTT

BATIGNOLLES, PARIS With its immaculate neo-classical church, duck pond, and polished antique shops, Batignolles likes to think of itself as a village. At 10am on weekdays you will only see impeccably dressed old ladies, strolling solidly from the Limoges porcelain store to the Fournée d’Augustine boulangerie. But as afternoon turns to evening, the new residents appear, teachers and artists, graphic designers and architects, their arms full of organic wines and Italian cheeses, their catalogue-cute kids speeding alongside on scooters. This is BoBo Paris personified, even if it hasn’t yet entirely decided which Bo it wishes to be. Adam Roberts has lived in Paris for over 15 years. His blog, Invisible Paris, puts the focus on the parts of the city that would be refused entry to the ville musée  if they tried to get in today.

COFFEE/MILK RATIO, FROM 0-100 100 noir… although most locals would probably prefer an organic green tea STACKS OR FLATS The latest model of ethically sourced Veja trainers for every member of the family DOG SIZE Anything that can handle a rough and tumble with the kids READING MATERIAL DU JOUR Pierre Lemaitre’s Au Revoir Là-haut, winner of this year’s Prix Goncourt, purchased at local independent bookshop Librairie des Batignolles LOCAL HASHTAG @mesbatignolles BEST WATERING HOLE Le Garde Robe for a glass of organic wine EAT AND WALK Bodrum’s kebabs, eaten in the new Martin Luther King park 40

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HOOD BATTLE VENICE, LOS ANGELES Conceived as a sort of theme-park version of its Italian namesake in 1905, Venice rapidly developed its own unique identity as a haven for bohemians and other unconventional types drawn to the seaside resort for its cheap rents and carnival-like atmosphere. While a Craftsman cottage on the canals can no longer be had for a song, the famous boardwalk is still free-wheeling, and the artistic disposition predominant. The neighbourhood’s main commercial artery, Abbot Kinney Boulevard, hosts an impressive mixture of tempting eateries (Gjelina and Lemonade are two stand-outs) and chic boutiques. On the first Friday of the month, food trucks descend on the boulevard, local artists display their works, and the merchants of Venice stay open ‘til 10pm. Pauline O’Connor likes nothing more than to write about her favourite city. She is an editor at LA Curbed, prior to which she wrote a bi-monthly column for the LA Times about different neighbourhods around the city. COFFEE/MILK RATIO, FROM 0-100 100:0 Single-origin beans, siphon-brewed, unadulturated STACKS OR FLATS Navy embroidered desert wedges by Toms DOG SIZE Rescue mutts big enough to catch a frisbee READING MATERIAL DU JOUR Literary quarterly Slake, The Surfer’s Journal LOCAL HASHTAG #veniceartwalk BEST WATERING HOLE Half-century-old dive bar The Brig or the candle-lit Other Room EAT AND WALK Brisket banh mi from Gjelina Take Away; ceviche tostada from La Isla Bonita taco stand

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IN CONVERSATION WITH

NOÉMIE, ADRIEN & COLETTE BORNE PASSAGE COTTIN, MONTMARTRE, PARIS

words AMY VERNER photography HENRY ROY

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I

t is dinnertime at the apartment of Noémie and Adrien Borne for their one-yearold daughter Colette. She is being served a homemade mushroom risotto – ‘five-star gastronomy,’ jokes Adrien. Colette came into the couple’s life shortly after they moved into their two-storey Montmartre flat; the fact that the two milestone events happened so closely is not by accident. The couple’s previous apartment in the 15th arrondissement had no room for three and Noémie was already eight months into her pregnancy when they found this gem in the summer of 2012. They were especially attracted to the layout, and the fact that it felt like a small house. ‘I could totally imagine myself there,’ Noémie says, recalling their first visit. And thankfully, the apartment did not require much work beyond laying new oak floors as a lighter, contemporary update. Noémie spent time trawling design blogs for an inexpensive way to spiff up the kitchen; countless paint

swatches later, she settled on a lively shade of blue for the lower cabinetry. ‘I wanted a bit of oomph,’ she says, noting that the colour also felt like the perfect complement for the 1950s Formica breakfast table. The neo-retro appeal of their kitchen plays out through the rest of the space without effort. In part, this is because so much of the furniture came from Adrien’s father who passes his free time as a brocanteur – the French equivalent of antiques merchant – at the Vanves flea market south of Paris. Ask about any of the couple’s period pieces, from the 1960s Pipistrello lamp designed by Gae Aulenti to a wicker garden chair set painted and cushioned for indoors, and they credit the senior Borne. Their taste for iconic mid-century modern (spot the Eames and the Jacobsen) is balanced by touches that are distinctly personal. Both the stuffed horse head mounted on the wall in Colette’s room and the carefully manicured bonsai ficus are named Thierry, an inside joke among Noémie’s brother and sister. The old boat

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model parked near the couple’s bookcase is the last that remains of Adrien’s childhood collection (apparently his father sold many of them). Adrien purchased the cloud-like light fixture in Colette’s room before they knew whether they were having a boy or girl. ‘I liked that it looked poetic – like something from your imagination,’ he explains, equally poetically. Noémie, meanwhile, has clear memories of the long wood table, now beautifully aged from decades of use at her grandparents’ country home. Most of the time, the table is pushed up against the wall that demarcates Colette’s room. You might not notice at first but the couple has created a clerestory-style window panel between the two areas. It’s the type of space-expanding detail that Le Corbusier would have considered 80 years ago and serves a practical family function here. The iron grid pattern, designed by Adrien’s father, can only be appreciated when the curtain is raised and both rooms benefit from additional light. But by lowering it, Colette is removed from the adult activity. It’s easy to forget that there’s an upper floor where the couple managed to settle in without any major changes. In the bedroom is an antique map of Paris that Noémie received from her brother. Back then, this apartment

was situated outside city limits. Now it is in the heart of a verdant neighbourhood that is at turns sleepy and saturated with multicultural flair. As young professionals who both work in the radio industry, they are keenly aware of similar families that stroll up and down rue Caulaincourt, the main thoroughfare, on weekends. But Adrien notes that the ‘socioeconomic diversity’ is what gives the 18th arrondissement its true character. The couple seems especially pleased by how easily they can entertain in the flat. Since the birth of Colette, they go out less but often invite friends over for brunch, dinner or an apéro. Between the modular sofa, the bench that is usually tucked under the table and all their miscellaneous chairs, they have more than enough seating. Given how much they work during the week, Noémie enjoys taking the time to cook on weekends. Her speciality? Risotto (quelle surprise). She also lists several desserts: molten chocolate cake, traditional Charlotte cake with almonds or hazelnuts and cookies. In this way – in many ways – life at Passage Cottin is very sweet. www.onefinestay.com/paris/passage-cottin

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REPORT

A TALE OF FOUR CITIES In today’s globalised, über-connected world, does life really change that much when you relocate from one major hub to another? We put the question to a bunch of new kids on the international block and found that how you experience a city is as much about where you’re from as where you’re going

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lobalisation would have us believe that cities are becoming satellite states of one, all-encompassing world metropolis. That for certain strands of the international population, what they do, what they wear, and what they eat remains the same wherever on the planet they find themselves and, aside from the architecture and the air temperature, their identity and lifestyle remain intact. Scrape away a bit at this superficial truth, however, and the reality is quite different. Aside from the omnipresence of global brands in our cities, there are still tremendous differences in attitude, pace and collective moods, although these might be hard to spot during flighty visits. But as we immerse ourselves in local life, these attributes that shape and spice the urban community, are ever more apparent – for some, they only become pronounced when we move to a new city and suddenly are made aware of the imprint we carry from our previous home. In celebration of onefinestay’s four cities, London, Paris, New York and LA, ten intercity transplants tell their stories of choosing a life destination, surprises on arrival and what they have left behind.

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LONDON —> LA

NEW YORK —> LA

Name: STEPH ALTMAN Occupation: COMPOSER Been living in LA: 12 YEARS

Name: GINNY FITZGERALD Occupation: FREELANCE STYLIST Been living in LA: 3 YEARS

I relocated to LA for the weather, the laid-back life and it seemed like a great meeting place of art and commerce.

Weather and lifestyle made me move here. I was hoping the locals would have the same broad diversity that we loved in New York and I’m happy to report it’s true – LA is full of people from everywhere, doing a little of everything.

The big surprise for me was that the city is really a collection of smaller towns, each with its own distinct personality – what’s true for Beverly Hills or Hollywood certainly isn’t true for Venice or Silverlake.

I’m a fast walker, I learnt that in New York. I am always strategising on how to weave between the Angelenos out for a leisurely stroll.

I brought with me dry humour and sarcasm from London, and it never quite went away. What I really miss is the Community of Britain, the collective consciousness of a single country, manifested in the media and the sense of humour. Here it feels like a more fragmented society with lots of separate communities.

My friends and family is what I miss the most. We always take visitors on a morning beach walk around Venice.

When visitors come, I show them the beautiful mountains, hills and dramatic canyons and the beach at Paradise Cove in Malibu.

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LONDON —> NEW YORK

NEW YORK —> LONDON

Name: JOSEPHINE LIVINGSTONE Occupation: PHD STUDENT, TEACHER AND FREELANCE WRITER Been living in New York: JUST OVER 3 YEARS

Name: SANDRA VON RIEKHOFF Occupation: PHOTOGRAPHER Been living in London: 3 YEARS

I relocated here because I’d got a place on the PhD programme in English at New York University – I’ve been here ever since. The locals are not what I expected. I was surprised but New Yorkers are extremely warm and friendly. I think Americans can find me intimidating or teacher-like because of my Mary Poppins voice, but they get over it quickly. More than anything, I miss my friends and family, just as I suspected I would. I always show my guests Coney Island. It’s like Blackpool on steroids. Never fails to surprise and delight.

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When I found myself with young children, New York just lost its soul. Once I couldn’t go out to the restaurants or appreciate the shopping, there wasn’t much left to the city. Londoners are always suspicious and get so stumped when you try and speak to them. I still have some of that New York friendliness in me and strike up conversation with strangers all the time. I often invite these strangers I’ve just met to my parties, which my other London friends always find amusing. I think it makes a fun mix. I do miss those restaurants though, and the shopping, especially some of the great boutiques around Nolita. Oh, and my somewhat sincere doorman. And living in apartments – all on one floor.

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PARIS —> LONDON

LONDON —> L A

Name: SUSANNE BERGÉ Occupation: ARTIST Been living in London for: over 30 YEARS

Name: BEATRICE WALKER Occupation: ARCHIVE PRODUCER Been living in LA: 11 MONTHS

I’m always up for new adventures, so when my husband asked if I was up for a change, I jumped at the chance.

My husband’s work brought me here.

I’ve always admired Londoners’ ability to be whoever they want to be and do whatever they want to do. The city is full of individual characters that are allowed to flourish here. The English also know how to be eccentric, which is a trait I love. Paris is much more uptight about fitting in and being chic at all times.

As a Brit, I find myself apologising unnecessarily. Shop attendants often point this out to me. It doesn’t go down well in the work environment here. I miss English supermarkets. The ones here are big and difficult to navigate. A lot of the products are very sweet. Sometimes I just crave a Scotch egg. 

My pronounciation of certain words still makes my children laugh, and I do still insist on using rather a lot of butter when cooking, however no one ever complains when I serve up. I miss the architecture and the grand avenues of Paris – there is nowhere more romantic in the world. When Parisian friends come to stay I always take them for a stroll down Portobello Market and for an Indian curry at Khan’s on Westbourne Grove.

People here in LA are very friendly and openminded. Sometimes that friendliness isn’t entirely genuine, but, on a day-to-day level, it’s very positive to be around. Also, it’s true – a lot of them do yoga.

I thought I’d miss getting around in London using public transport but I don't. It’s actually quite pleasant to sit in the car – especially with the roof open. The Farmer’s Market in Hollywood is a nice, down-to-earth place to eat and hang out. 

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PARIS —> LONDON

LONDON —> NEW W YO YORK

Name: ALEX OZGA Occupation: DATA ANALYST Been living in London: 2 MONTHS

Name: SOPHIA WETHERELL Occupation: ADVERTISING Been living in New York: JUST OVER A YEAR

My work brought me here, and the will to sound British.

Top line reason for moving here? A job.

I did not expect to meet such a diverse bunch of people – their determination is a great source of inspiration to me. I asked around, and apparently I don’t fit into the French arrogant stereotype. As I thought, I really miss my friends and family. Oh, and my unlimited access card to cinemas. When friends come, I take them on a walk along the canals.

Bottom line? There is no better place to be than New York, when you are 29 years old, single and career driven. I thought this would be a brutal city of Wall Street wolves. There are, granted, a few unscrupulous types, but mostly NYC is a culturally diverse hotchpotch of entrepreneurs, creatives and intellectuals – people with big hearts and humour, trying to make it in the city that never sleeps. My most stereotypical trait is apologising. The Americans find this particularly amusing. We Brits apologise for EVERYTHING. I miss being within striking distance of a green park at any given moment, Sunday roasts with my family, and all my wonderful, wonderful friends.  New York is small, so I encourage all my visitors to walk; walk everywhere and you’ll discover things even the locals haven’t found yet. Close to my apartment in Chelsea are the High Line and galleries of 24th street.

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PARIS —> NEW YORK

NEW YORK —> LONDON

Name: EMMANUEL MARTIN-CHAVE Occupation: FINANCIAL SERVICES Been living in New York: 3 YEARS

Name: MIA MCKENZIE Occupation: PRIMARY SCHOOL STUDENT Been living in London: 10 MONTHS

I came for an internship, then my studies and eventually, my job.

My dad got a new job, so we moved here to be with him as it was so hard to fly that often.

My only expectation when I first arrived here was that the locals would speak English better than I did. Most of them still do, although I discovered some cases where I clearly had the upper hand.

The kids in my new school are OK, but a bit quieter than my friends from home. I guess that can be quite good though. The way I talk makes people giggle, in shops and restaurants.

I have a tendency to exaggerate, but I’m not sure if that’s typically French. Bread and cheese is what I miss most. It is of course technically possible to buy bread and cheese in New York City but they pale in comparison to the real thing. The High Line Park is perfect for visitors.

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I miss my friends in my karate club, but I’ve found a really good one here so that’s OK. I wanna show my friends from back home all the stuff you almost don’t think is real because you’ve seen it so many times on TV – Big Ben, black cabs, the Queen…

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PARIS

LOS ANGELES

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LONDON

20 onefinestay members’ homes around the world

NEW YORK

THE GALLERY

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PARIS

1

RUE DES DAMES Batignolles

clockwise from top right: Soaring ceilings, reflective floors and white walls give this home an air of spacious grace; the staircases seem to float due to the open treads and banisters; calming bedrooms have views of the greenery outside; bamboo and olive trees line the patio; the kitchen is spacious and stylish, enough to appease all appetites.

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A bohemian spirit has always pervaded Batignolles, with Émile Zola setting the tone and Édouard Manet adding impressionist colour in the late 19th century. There followed a more bourgeois bohemian, the Bobo, who moved in with artisan lattes and sleek mobiles, turning this leafy village into an area both inspirational and aspirational. This family home certainly rises to both those portrayals, with soaring double-height ceilings and white walls that would leave Manet reaching for his palette. Huge windows let in light to dazzle every corner, while doors open up from the sitting room to a pretty patio, sheltered with olive trees and bamboo. All clean lines and pared-back shades, this really is minimalism at its most marvellous.

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LOS ANGELES

2 McKINLEY AVENUE Venice

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LOS ANGELES

clockwise from above: Pale blue walls soothe in one of the four bedrooms; wide glass expanses and clever skylights let in air and sun; the outdoor kitchen and dining area comes in cool creams and greys; the wood of the dining area and staircase lends a mid-century modern feel; charcoal grey sofas with lime accents sit well against the stone floor; natural materials like concrete, wood and plants are featured throughout.

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Venice is home to LA’s forward-thinking creatives – unified here for the soul-sustaining vitality of the sun and Pacific Ocean. No surprise then that such a well-balanced home, harmoniously at one with the environment it breathes in, has come into being here. The lap pool ripples with water unpolluted by chemicals, the tactile surfaces of concrete and reclaimed wood soothe and even the absence of a humming air con is calming, the natural ventilation allowing breezes from the nearby Pacific to cool the space. Throughout the home, boundaries blur. One of the shower rooms is outdoors, retractable doors in the living area move to create a screening room, and the patio has soft, upholstered sofas for long evening entertaining, making this a place to open minds and hearts to the free-flowing spirit of the good Angeleno life.

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3

LONDON

HEWER STREET Ladbroke Grove Front row seats will be needed to take in the incredible details in the double-height sitting room of this one-time warehouse. Hunker down on the enormous cinema-room sofa, draw back the curtains from the glass-walled master bedroom, stroll down the metallic fish-bone staircase or simply lie back upstairs to take in the true focal point, the west London sky. Your host is an executive film producer who converted her breathtaking home herself. She shares the warehouse with her three children, and their personalities come through in every room: a football fan’s shrine, a perfectly purple girl’s nest, and the wonderful John Wayne room, where a quote from the man himself is painted on the wall.

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clockwise from right: The sheer height of this home is thrilling, with the exposed beams as a high note; a double marble-topped sink in the clean-lined bathroom; graphite sofas with a gold-detailed table lift the screening room; bold art leads the way to the sleeping area mezzanine; the John Wayne room perches up top with a leafy view; the neighbouring Carmelite Monastery and its walled peacefulness.

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NEW YORK

4

CARRIAGE HOUSE West Village

this page, clockwise from top left: Classic details are everywhere; cared-for antiques gleam; every knick-knack has been considered; polished brass and glass; frivolous fringing; the imposing doubleheight living area. opposite page: Monochrome detailing of the panelling makes an elegant statement; burnished mahogany and exposed wood beams set off the duck-egg blue walls; the bedrooms are calm and collected, scattered with Persian rugs; the secluded courtyard uses a large mirror to give an illusion of extra space.

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While brevity may be the soul of wit, a prolonged stay in this architectural marvel set in the bustling West Village is the heart of drama. The result of a 10-year project by your hosts, both world-leading architects with their own known practice, the home’s former life as an early 20th-century carriage house has been masterfully re-imagined. In the living area, a suspended chandelier overlooks a burnished wood floor coated in ornate vintage rugs, furnished with cushioned velvet couches, embroidered footstools and a fringe-skirted turquoise fauteuil. Outside, the discrete tree-lined streets of the West Village make for a foodie’s nirvana: Michelin-starred sushi restaurant, Soto, and artisanal food mecca Blue Hill are just around the corner.

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LONDON

5

ORLESTON MEWS Highgate

this page, clockwise from above: Bright blue hues are carried through on walls and furniture, tying together the open spaces; the low-lying bed provides a perfect star-gazing spot; the central staircase has been turned into a wooden wonder of beauty.

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opposite, from top: In such a simple scheme, texture is key, from the white sofas to the slate floor; the kitchen area is defined by the staircase, the slats avoiding a boxed-in feel; the fresh air of Highgate is taken on the sheltered patios.

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Orleston Mews is a home with a difference. Designed by one of the UK’s leading architects, every strut and beam is on show. The effect is outrageously cool, but soft too – light flows through like the sweetest sap. Here, one room branches seamlessly into the next, from the open-plan kitchen and living space, and out again into the private garden. Around the corner, past the spacious dining room, the sitting room with its marble coffee table, natural slate floor, and sound system is wildly modern. This harmonious vibe reverberates beyond the front door and out into trendy Islington, where the cafes are organic, the restaurants artisan, and the bars throng with everyone from flamboyant media types to the hippest young mums.

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LOS ANGELES

6

MULHOLLAND DRIVE Bel Air


Enveloped in serenity, this estate is hidden on a secluded side street, commanding vistas as far as the eye can see. Inside the home balances contemporary American comfort and Chinese artefacts, inspired by the host’s travels in East Asia. The modern open kitchen has stores and stoves enough to supply an army – and there are several terracotta warriors that stand sentry throughout the home. However, if the feng shui inside doesn’t suit, cross the lawn and plunge into the inviting pool, taking in the sweeping views of the hills and the San Fernando Valley beyond. The Valley is the location of the main movie studios, with plenty of restaurants and top shops, making it the perfect, glittering foil to this peaceful home.

clockwise from below: The white plantation shutters create a stimulating visual pattern with the striped armchairs; the spacious master bedroom is offset by the high, canopied bedstead; an ornately carved wood panel makes an exciting focal point in the multifunctional bedroom; East Asian touches, like ceramic pots and plinths for plants adorn the house. opposite, clockwise: Elegantly curved legs on a wooden desk mirror the vegetation outside; the azure pool comes with stunning views of the San Fernando Valley.


PARIS

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7

RUE DES MARTYRS Pigalle Saint-George

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PARIS

Halfway between the stately Grands Boulevards and the historic brow of Montmartre, the 9th arrondissement has inspiration aplenty. Here among the trendy bars and Belle Époque galleries on the rue des Martyrs, is a home that draws on every age of style. There’s a classic turn to its columns and decorative cornicing, while the vibrant artwork and primary colours speak of a contemporary flair. The morning cafÊ au lait is taken on the cosy balcony filled with plants, and the smooth herringbone parquet welcomes bare feet. Your creative hosts, a composer and a stylist, are both Danish, but have been living in Paris for ten years, with their son and daughter, creating a home which is a smorgasbord of joie de vivre.

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clockwise from above: The second bedroom is both cool and pristine; the cute bathroom carries on the Belle Époque theme from the streets outside; iron fretwork throws pretty shapes on the sun-dappled balcony; modern prints and clean-lined sofas contrast perfectly with the elaborate panelling; the mix of old and new is what makes this home so special, as with this contemporary floor light and antique chest of drawers. previous spread: Endless wooden flooring and handsomely corniced ceilings in the spacious sitting room.

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NEW YORK

8

COOPER SQUARE NoHo

Thoughts of reincarnation come easily in this storied old building just off Cooper Square. Built as a concert venue in 1860, Beethoven Hall has been a wedding hall, a political meeting space for groups like the Women’s Suffrage movement, and a sound stage for NBC. Its latest guise is as a set of fabulous lofts, but music can still be heard in the hallways of this majestic building. These days however it comes from your host’s grand piano. A well-respected artist, your host’s paintings and sculptures decorate the expansive floor plan. One part antique store, one part gallery, the art’s geometric elements are nicely set off by the worn antiques, while brick-framed windows, velvety furniture and a cosy fireplace set a soothing mood.

clockwise from top: The individual pieces of furniture in this loft are as carefully curated as the works of art; the luxurious bathroom swirls with marble; an antique wooden table surrounded by art creates a still life in its own right.

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from top: The roomy kitchen houses a variety of woods, from smooth veneers to rougher planks; the elegant black grand piano reflects in the polished floor boards; soft, green velvet sofas contrast the raw-brick fireplace.

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LONDON

9 PRINCELET STREET II Shoreditch

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A dining table amidst the rooftops? An artwork with a preserved chick asleep upon the head of a toothbrush? Sunshine and peace in the throbbing heart of zone one? In Princelet Street II the impossible is made real, in the form of an exceptionally large, exceptionally lovely home, adorned with exquisite art and antiques. At once entirely traditional and brilliantly bizarre, every luxury anyone could desire is on hand, and a few that come completely by surprise. The glass and steel of the City are within walking distance, yet the four-floor home is surrounded by winding backstreets peppered with cosy cafes, organic grocers and crumbling churches. The kitchen is up at the top of the house, opening out onto a sunlit dining area twined with creepers, with a splendid view of Hawksmoor’s architecturally exciting Christ Church.

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clockwise from left: Simple elegance exudes from the pale-green walls and vintage leather sofa; different types of wood adds texture, from the dark chest to the scrubbed floorboards; antique frames waiting to be filled front the marble fireplace; a linear four-poster structuralises the white double bedroom; metal chairs and table bring out the greenery; classic Delftware plates mirror the timeless lines of the Danish chairs.

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NEW YORK

10

WEST 30TH STREET Chelsea Sail through the streets of Chelsea where artists thrive and the tide is always in. Hudson River Park and the High Line dot the shore, providing plenty of chances for locals to bask and relax in the rays. Equally full of fun and sun is this bright home. Here trees bend and sway in the open living and dining room, beckoning to the kitchen where the island can either be a breakfast bar or tiki lounge. Glass bottles adorn the walls, perhaps once carrying a secret message, while lantern lights guide travellers from room to room. Explore the avenues of Manhattan or satisfy your inner beach bum at this bodacious pad – the world is your oyster.

this page from top: Black frames holding bracing red prints adorn the lofty walls; superheroes bring colour to the children’s room; black-and-white tiles in a chevron pattern add interest to the bathroom. opposite from top: Rope lights strung across ceiling rods, a sunshine-yellow rug and leather easy chairs add a salty taste of far-flung shores; salvaged glass jars and white crockery sets against a driftwood wall makes a fantastical and unique talking point in the kitchen.

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PARIS

11

RUE DES ARCHIVES II Le Marais

clockwise from top: Harmonious shades with a dash of colour sit comfortably in the living room; thought-through details, from hues to hides, decorate even the smallest space; the double bedroom contains the one vital ingredient for a good night’s sleep, a supremely comfortable bed; the simple bathroom has an ensuite shower and zen-like calm; the dining space is furnished with design classics.

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Nothing symbolises Beaubourg better than its colourful, avant-garde heart, the Centre Pompidou. As the poets scribble and the street performers thrill the crowds, just a few streets away a courtyard apartment blends serenity with a dash of fizz. A palette of white and grey is enlivened with fluoro bursts, mixed with iconic designer furniture. Everything in this home is connected, flowing from the open-plan living space through to the bright double bedroom. Intimate by night, by day the dining area is flooded with natural light, and the perfect setting for a meal cooked in the brand-new kitchen. The master bedroom is pared right back to just a few essentials, focussing on the soft double bed to ensure a good ending to a day filled with cultural and culinary input.

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LOS ANGELES

12 FAIRFAX AVENUE West Hollywood

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Despite its situation near the heartbeat of modern Hollywood, this home’s application of a confident eclectic air means its style is as timeless as a Bogart and Bacall movie. Each room is a blend of painstaking original handiwork matched with fixtures, fabrics and finds that conjure up a mood from a different time. Your host is a proudly home-grown Californian with a jazzy soul who by day works to unlock the same potential in others’ abodes, and by night holds court with her moving renditions of Bessie Smith tunes. In her home, it’s easy to conjure up a 1940s star gliding into the rooms, hair falling in a heavy wave and asking if you know how to whistle, before heading to the Chinese-lantern lit patio for a double vodka Martini.

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clockwise from top: This might be an old house, but the mod cons are shiny and new in the kitchen; mature colour schemes combine with floor-to-ceiling bookshelves; the bathroom exudes old-time glamour in gilt and pinks; silken lanterns dangle over the patio table, bathing it in a soft light; the master bedroom uses part of a Tibetan Mandala ceiling as a bedframe. opposite page: Cushioned dining chairs and a wellpolished table combined with Chinese touches create a timeless elegance.

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PARIS

13

AVENUE DE LA PAIX Issy-les-Moulineaux

The rarest of Parisian luxuries can’t be found in its museums. That thing is space, and Avenue de la Paix has an Olympic-sized helping of it. Located in tranquil Issy, here there’s plenty of room to freestyle: take a morning dip in the pool or host a ping-pong tournament on the patio. The open waters of Paris are a quick metro ride away, but any homebody won’t mind spending an evening away from the urban deep-end in Issy, where the local market’s fresh fare is ideal for a barbeque in the private garden. Not unsurprisingly, your hosts are born entertainers, and with three children to keep busy they’ve completely refurbished this former tannery (originally belonging to one of their grandfathers) to serve as a stylish setting for family fun and get-togethers of all kinds.

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clockwise from top right: With beanbags, table football and stuffed animal heads on hand, the children’s entertainment is sorted; a shaded terrace comes off the light-soaked bedroom; bespoke bookshelves, sliding glass doors and stone-clad floors make this a fingertip-trend abode; the mosaic-clad walls and ceiling spotlights add a touch of spa to the bathroom; the ultimate luxury in Paris, a private swimming pool; the all-white living space is divided by the striking fireplace.

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14

NEW YORK

ST JOHN’S PLACE Park Slope A short walk from the public library and greens of Grand Army Plaza, this roomy townhouse is home to a big family. With high-vaulted ceilings, cherry hardwood floors and a trapeze swinging through the living room, it’s bubbling with character. Your hosts are true Brooklynites with a keen eye for art and a visible love of culture and history. The family keeps visitors on their toes with whimsical design, the bunk bedroom displaying a vintage Coca-Cola sign, Victorian dollhouse and eloquently framed illustrations from the Brothers Grimm fairy tales. A cleverly painted graphic on the wall of the black-and-white tiled bathroom reads, ‘Everything’s gonna be super duper’. In this instance, it seems that art is truth.

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clockwise from above: The open-plan living space is filled with vintage-chic pieces, mixed with Persian rugs and floaty white curtains; assorted bar stools give the kitchen a raw industrial feel. opposite from left: The original floorboards add patina to the master bedroom, full of treasured objets; the play area is zoned by raspberry and pistachio-coloured sofas.

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15

LONDON

BROOMHOUSE LANE Fulham Glitteringly new, and designed by your host, this is not so much a home as an empire. If for the duration of the stay guests would remain indoors, drifting from the cinema to the steam room and back again, it would be absolutely understandable. Sip a drink at the wine cellar’s bar, then gather for a film in the broodingly dim cinema room, while the kids amuse themselves in the playroom next door. But, should the abundance of space, glamour and sheer joy ever pale, then Fulham has plenty to amuse. The home overlooks Hurlingham Park, next to the river, and is surrounded by Parsons Green’s pretty shops, cafes and pubs. Chelsea is a short cab ride away, but, fantastic though London’s attractions may be, there’s hard to find anything to rival the glory of this magical abode.

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clockwise from top left: Sheer opulence shines through in the living room; taupes and cream whites soothe in the master bedroom; the home gym holds the latest in fitness equipment; movie magic is enjoyed in laid-back surroundings; LED lighting in the ceiling makes the pool sparkle; the marble-backed bathroom is a canvas of calm.

opposite: Refined greys and deep wood hues twinkle under the crystal chandelier.

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LOS ANGELES

16 SHERMAN CANAL Venice In the early 20th century the urban developer Abbot Kinney crafted 22 miles of canal-side property to spur investment in his ‘Venice of America’. A mere century or so later, only a handful of homes grace the shores of the remaining few miles of waterfront, making this bungalow all the more special. With its exposed beams and floor-to-ceiling wood panelling in the master bedroom, it’s like a luxurious ship has berthed canal-side, perpetually ready to sweep visitors away on new water-born adventures. Open fires in bedrooms and living areas inspire to lurid traveller’s tales, while the decking invites to entertaining rather than swabbing. Outside waits the eclectic mix of Venice, a patchwork playground where vestiges of its counter-culture days proudly neighbour hip new entries.

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clockwise from right: White walls reflect the light around, with wooden details and easily moved furniture making the space cabin-like; graphic artworks and sharp textiles add interest; the striped decking stands out against the grey façade. opposite clockwise from far left: One of the two bedrooms with its pine-clad walls; an open fire ensures a warm night’s sleep; weathered boards surround a snug sofa.

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PARIS

17

RUE TARDIEU Montmartre

Montmartre conjures up images of highkicking dancers at the Moulin Rouge, chanteuses, artists and Charles Aznavour. Its elevated situation on a hill outside the city, with winding stairs and alleys and the white-domed basilica of Sacré Coeur leading the way, has always set this area apart and functioned as a refuge for the lost, the lovely and the louche. The freewheeling spirit continues in this calm, meticulously selected home with cultured accents, a modern take on its luminescent environs. Your hosts – she’s a lawyer and he’s a consultant – have made this home with their young daughter, and they know exactly how to capture and continue the city’s magic inside, with its design classic furniture, cultured colour scale and gleaming kitchen waiting for a soupe d’oignon gratinée.

clockwise from top right: Simplicity rules supreme in this family home, with mismatching vintage chairs; the balcony in the double bedroom overlooks the cobbled streets below; the mosaicked walk-in shower; the sunshine illuminates the sleek, functional kitchen; the interior is inspired by the charm and romance of the alleys of Montmartre; modern white fittings are brightened by a book stack in the living area.

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NEW YORK

18

FRANKLIN STREET II Tribeca

above: Set against the pristine walls, all household items become artworks, including a bike; a clever wall of shelving separates the superbly equipped, charcoal kitchen from the rest of the open space.

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Get ready for your close-up in this Tribeca loft, where the noble art of the moving image is very much present – the film festival is held in this neighbourhood in the summer, your host is a film producer and the home is located in the same block as Robert de Niro’s Tribeca Film Center. That said the mood here is more Truffaut than Technicolor, with an artistically dark kitchen and new wave flashes of colour. There are plenty of spare pews to pull up for impromptu script readings, and if there’s a late twist in the intrigue, the sunken spare bed is hidden under a sheet of hinged plywood by the window. GUESTBOOK


clockwise from top: Well-planned lighting, an allwhite surround and floor-toceiling windows let the colours and shapes take centre stage; the zen-like master bedroom is separated by striped screens; the full-length leather sofas lead thoughts to the conversation pits of the 1960s; the fulldrench shower stands luxuriously in the serene bathroom.

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LOS ANGELES

19

ENSLEY AVENUE Beverly Hills

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clockwise from below: A gallery-white backdrop and green garden sets the scene for neon hues and quirky details; mid-century modern pieces by names like Eames and Jacobsen mix with contemporary styling; the white master bedroom is accented by splashes of colour in the bedside tables; Batman and Pez dispensers are offset against the monochrome tones in the inventive children’s room.

opposite: The bungalow style lends itself to indoor/outdoor living, with thrown-open doors leading to zones for eating and drinking in the garden.

Being greeted by a two-foot vinyl Mickey Mouse in the neon-emblazoned sitting room quickly underlines that this urban pop paradise demands its guests have a good sense of humour. Filled with cartoon characters, neon plastics and cuddly toys, this 1920s home is a bubble-gum wonderland that’s equal parts modern museum and toy store. Your host is an established interior artist whose philosophy for her work is that all kids, young and old alike, should have a space to play. The guest rooms shelter an army of Pez dispensers (with Batman nearby), and the pale master bedroom is offset by fluorescent acrylic nightstands. For more wondrous characters, head to Rodeo Drive for some people watching.

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LONDON

20 RICHMOND AVENUE Islington

This is a home for artists and dreamers, and no whim has been left unfulfilled. Your hosts are an actress and a literary agent and there’s a fabulous theatricality to the soaring ceilings, the tropical colour palette and the avant-garde furniture. Paintings grace the walls, and everything is flamboyant, from the glorious kitchen to the architectdesigned master bedroom. The living room space is open-plan with Gothic windows soaring upwards – at its highest point the ceiling is over four metres high. Imposing it may be, but this home is in no way stern, with turquoise canvasses dotted all around, reminders of the hosts’ love of the Caribbean. With the laid-back Upper Street around the corner and Barnsbury’s garden squares all around, Richmond Avenue should be praised to the rafters, and then some. 102

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clockwise from right: Dark-brown ceilings and floors are offset by white cupboards and closets, with hints of orange; the spectacular patio is full of plants and trees; shades of ocean-blue are found throughout; the island provides a natural gathering point in the kitchen; comfortable dining under a towering house plant; the deep window seats provide both storage space and a cosy eyrie.

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MEET THE GUESTS

TRAVELLER’S NOTES We hand over the Guestbook reins to a group of city explorers who share their local finds, distribute global inspiration and choose their dream travel companions

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First name

Occupation

Home town

Who are you travelling with?

What home are you staying in, and in which city?

What is your favourite thing about the home?

If you could stay in a oneďŹ nestay home anywhere in the world, where would it be?

Have you found any local gems in the neighbourhood you'd like to share?

Have you had a memorable meal during your stay?

If you could choose a famous fellow traveller, who would it be?

Thank you


First name

Occupation

Home town

Who are you travelling with?

What home are you staying in, and in which city?

If you could stay in a oneďŹ nestay home anywhere in the world, where would it be?

What is your favourite thing about the home?

Have you found any local gems in the neighbourhood you'd like to share?

Have you had a memorable meal during your stay?

If you could choose a famous fellow traveller, who would it be?

Thank you


First name

Occupation

Home town

Who are you travelling with?

What home are you staying in, and in which city?

What is your favourite thing about the home?

If you could stay in a oneďŹ nestay home anywhere in the world, where would it be?

Have you found any local gems in the neighbourhood you'd like to share?

Have you had a memorable meal during your stay?

If you could choose a famous fellow traveller, who would it be?

Thank you


LONDON: FOUR GLORIOUS YEARS On 12 September, the unhotel’s carriages deposited us in modish Hoxton Square, where we made our way to ‘The Dolls House’, a four-storied wonderland, with each level decked out to celebrate the four onefinestay cities: the ground floor’s Dickensian London garlanded with Kentish hops, the mezzanine’s Parisian Années Folles, and upwards to the disco allure of New York’s Studio 54 and the big-haired neon of LA. We toasted our achievement in verse – tetrameter no less – and naturally, cocktails and comestibles were consumed in fine style.

OUR SOCIAL WHIRL

NEW YORK: WHAT A BIRTHDAY RIDE The unhotel’s New York outpost was also getting into the whirl of our fourth birthday celebrations. Literally so, as the party was held at Jane’s Carousel, a lovingly restored classic, with 48 horses and two chariots, built in 1922 for the Philadelphia Toboggan Company. It now occupies pride of place in a Jean Nouvel pavilion on DUMBO’s waterfront. Here, the team enjoyed an evening of drinks, laughter and games that wouldn’t have been out of place at any self-respecting toddler’s party, including an egg toss and various three-legged relays. 110

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LOS ANGELES: IN OUR ELEMENT Where better to introduce Los Angeles’ tastemakers to onefinestay than in a home filled with natural light, a perfect setting for a slice of fine living? Our gathering in November drew in the bold and the beautiful, including actors, artists, influencers and designers, all of whom were welcomed by the evening’s host Jeff Lewis and owners David Hertz and Laura Doss who created the eco-friendly home which perfectly embodies the gilded Angeleno life. Over a Californian chicken tagine and grilled seasonal vegetables, served poolside by fellow start-up Kitchensurfing, our guests revelled under the stars. Laughter was provided by the marionette antics of puppeteer Jeff Speetjens, and a unicycling street magician straight from Sunset Boulevard.

PARIS: A STORMING NIGHT IN BASTILLE A hop, skip and a jump over la Manche in October saw us celebrate the opening of onefinestay in Paris. For our first Gallic get-together the team welcomed hosts, friends and family to our office, a mews-like space in Bastille. A fine spread, featuring foie gras, candies and macarons, was indulged in, while Taittinger and Bordeaux were the tipples of choice. Once suitably refreshed, revellers comported themselves towards the photobooth disguised as an iPhone. Once speeches were spoken, and toasts taken, a nightcap or two followed in a nearby neighbourhood bar. THE SNUG

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END NOTE

GOD OF SMALL THINGS With the launch of onefinestay in Paris and Los Angeles, we might now be a truly intercontinental concern. But it’s our undimmed enthusiasm for local quirks and traits that glues our global venture together

words KEYVAN NILFOROUSHAN General Manager, Paris

S

ince the very first casual mention that we were considering onefinestay in Paris, we were deluged by well-meaning advice from our friends and family. In a rare display of pan-European unanimity, friends on both sides of the Eurostar agreed that such an idea could not possibly work. Word on the street around St Pancras was that the French devil-may-care attitude was anathema to good service, and that the distinctive onefinestay friendliness would very quickly go the way of the dodo. Around Gare du Nord, everyone was adamant that we would never understand their beloved spécificité culturelle and that in any case having a company with an unpronounceable name trying to get French people to open up their homes to strangers was a distinct case of the British neighbours once again doing n’importe quoi. Truth is, we did agonise over how best to implement every aspect of our service in Paris, from welcome pack to vocabulary and from linen to toiletries. We even dutifully devoted considerable time and attention to testing brand after brand of tea, coffee and biscuits to curate the perfect selection for our guests. Once out of this caffeine-induced haze, however, we realised it had been surprisingly easy to just know the onefinestay way of doing things: when it comes to hospitality, the Golden Rule really does go a long way. Indeed, our essence at onefinestay does not lie in dress codes or service manuals, but smiling hearts and hospitable souls. Out of necessity, the challenge of launching a new city then becomes first and foremost an exercise in growing the right team. Few things would be more antithetic to us than thoughtlessly reproducing the same gestures and rituals in city after city; real hospitality necessitates instead that we reach for the truest local expression of the same global longings and values. The general manager, if he is wise, will therefore politely excuse himself from abstract conversations on intercultural management and cross-border service disparities and instead make sure he devotes enough time and attention to getting the small things right. For there are, after all, no small things.

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Guestbook issue 4  

The fourth issue of onefinestay's journal about living beautifully – and sharing it.

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