December 2011

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ABSOLUTELY NOT TING HILL ISSUE 3 – DECEMBER 2011

VINTAGE FLOWERS

FESTIVE FLORALS FROM VIC BROTHERSON

Patrick

Lichfield

A TRIBUTE TO THE W10 PHOTOGRAPHER

Alexia Coley

W11’s Next Big Thing

Christmas fever

Gifts, glitter and gluttony

PORTOBELLO PANTO

RICHARD YOUNG’S PRET A PHOTO

AMANDA EILASCH’S PECCADILLOES

S T Y L I S H . I N T E L L I G E N T. E L E G A N T. A B S O L U T E LY ABSOLUTELY COVER DEC.indd 1

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To make sure they get the best service, wise men go to Crayson. A big thank you – it has been a great first year for Crayson. Even better for everyone in Notting Hill, Holland Park and the surrounding area who have been wise enough to instruct Crayson to sell their property and for trusting us to deliver an uncompromised service, along with the very best results. All without having to drop guide prices, tying our clients into long-term contracts – or overvaluing properties to win instructions. If you’re passing, please drop in for a cup of tea and a mince pie. We would love to meet you.

hello@crayson.com T 020 7221 1117 10 Lambton Place London W11 2SH

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Specialists in Selling

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Fly the flag with Capitol

Great Still

Britain

Image: Brockway

4metres wide, 100% wool ÂŁ58 sqm incl VAT

NOTTING HILL

TETBURY

KNUTSFORD

FISHERS OF HENLEY

2b Chepstow Road London | W2 5BH

59 Long Street | Tetbury Gloucestershire | GL8 8AA

Uber Interiors | Knutsford Cheshire | WA16 8SB

8 Greys Rd | Henley-on-Thames Oxfordshire | RG9 1RY

Tel. +44 020-7-221 1260

Tel. +44 (0)1666 500 450

Tel. +44 (0)1565 652 009

Tel. +44 (0)1491 412 850

Email. info@carpetsofchelsea.com Web. www.carpetsofchelsea.com

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ABSOLUTELY NOT TING HILL ISSUE 3 – DECEMBER 2011

Contents COVER Peach side split dress £775 Willow at Net-a-Porter. Amber and gold feather and brass cuff £179 Boss Black. Gold patterned clutch bag £380 Stella McCartney at Net-a-Porter. Gold Talitha statement earrings £440 Dinny Hall. Gold sling Frontal sandals £475 Manolo Blahnik. PHOTOGRAPHY: Mike Blackett STYLIST: Charlotte Kewley MODELS: Alison Hamilton and Matthew H @ Bookings Models Management

ABSOLUTELY not ting hill iSSUE 3 – DECEMBER 2011

VintAge flowers

FESTIvE FLOrALS FrOm vIc BrOTHErSON

Patrick

lichfield

A tRiBUtE to thE W10 photogRAphER

Alexia Coley The next big thing to come out of W11

Christmas fever

gifts, glitter and gluttony

POrTOBELLO PANTO

rIcHArd YOUNG’S PrET A PHOTO

AmANdA EILAScH’S PEccAdILLOES

S T Y L I S H . I N T E L L I G E N T. E L E G A N T. A B S O L U T E LY

ON THE COVER

16 ALEXIA COLEY

The singer talks about finding fame in W11

24 LICHFIELD’S LEGACY Remembering the W10 photographer

40 CHRISTMAS GIFTS For her, for him, for the children

52 VINTAGE FLOWERS Wreath tips from NW10’s Scarlet & Violet

FEATURES

REGULARS

23 AMANDA EILASCH

10 WHAT’S ON

The Seven Sins in neon

46 HOUSE STYLE

Architect Cezary Bednarski in Westbourne Park Road

51 TINSEL TOWN

Absolutely the best Christmas decorations

59 GIN CRAZE

Portobello Road’s new Gin distillery

12 LOCAL NEWS 30 FASHION 46 INTERIORS 58 FOOD & DRINK 72 HEALTH & BEAUTY 84 TRAVEL 89 PROPERTY

S T Y L I S H . I N T E L L I G E N T. E L E G A N T. A B S O L U T E LY ABSOLUTELY DEC 11 CONTENTS.indd 2

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ABSOLUTELY not ting hill

o Editor Pendle Harte

Editorial Assistant Gemma Billington, Editorial INTERN Katie Randall Beauty Editor Helen Rance Feature Writers Eloise Baumann, James Luxford, Andrew Hodgson ADVERTISING DIRECTOR Lisa Davis ADVERTISING ACCOUNT MANAGER Rochelle Streater GROUP PROPERTY DIRECTOR Alexandra Hunter Head of Design Ray Searle Senior Designer Lisa Wade Photographer Mike Blackett FASHION STYLIST Charlotte Kewley Picture Editor Colin Streater Production Assistant Lauren Giles Finance Director Alexandra Hvid Marketing Manager Jessica Batten managing Director Sherif Shaltout

For editorial enquiries please email: editorial@zest-media.com For advertising enquiries please call 020 3176 5265 or email: advertising@zest-media.com Subscriptions are available simply by emailing subscriptions@zest-media.com. You can receive an online subscription for FREE or a postal subscriptions for 6 & 12 months, £15 and £25 respectively (to cover postage and packaging). Please email us with your preferred option and details. Published by Zest Media London, 311 Westbourne studios, acklam road w10 5jj www.zest-media.com T: 020 3176 5265 F: 020 7900 3020 Zest Media London Ltd. cannot accept responsibility for unsolicited submissions, manuscripts and photographs. While every care is taken, prices and details are subject to change and Zest Media London Ltd. take no responsibility for omissions or errors. We reserve the right to publish and edit any letters. All rights reserved.

www.zest-media.com

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Welcome o T

hese are exciting times at Absolutely towers. Our launch party was a great success and we are grateful to everyone who came for their enthusiasm and support – especially to all our lovely friends who made it happen. The team at Beach Blanket Babylon were fabulous, predictably, as were the people at Babicka vodka (the spirit may be Czech but the brains remain in Queens Park, making Babicka the vodka of choice for much of west London) and the wonderful Richard Young, who, despite being used to a far fancier bash, came and photographed everyone (you can see his pictures on page 14 of this issue). This issue is all about Christmas – we have gift ideas for everyone as well as fashion inspiration for the party season and highlights from our favourite local shops. Of course, there are lots of covetable treats around, ranging from the super luxe (top of our list is Sophie Harley’s amazing James Bond knot necklace, worn by Eva Green in Casino Royale and Quantum of Solace and now by the lovely model in our fashion shoot) to the super cute (Kidsen’s Moomin blankets are not just for babies) and the downright ingenious (at Love KR they are selling iPhone-sensitive gloves so you’ll never be cold while texting again). Anyone who likes a mug of mulled wine with their shopping should put Thursday 8 December in their diary – there are Christmas shopping evenings in Wesbourne Grove and Chamberlayne Road, and shops will be welcoming people with all sorts of festive treats. Absolutely is teaming up with Kidsen for their Scandinavian Christmas bash on the same date and they’re offering readers the chance to win a voucher to spend on the night, so check page 83 for that. Wishing absolutely the happiest Christmas to all our readers! Pendle Harte Editor

EMAIL: PENDLE@ZEST-MEDIA.COM FOLLOW US ON TWITTER @ABSOLUTELY_MAGS FACEBOOK ‘ABSOLUTELY NOTTING HILL’

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Celebrate your Christmas party at BBB Notting Hill! Book our Private Ballroom! For 30 – 70 guests for dining or 150 for cocktails! Email sadie@beachblanket.co.uk Open Christmas day! Serving lunch from 12noon – 4pm Bar open 12noon - 12 midnight New Year Eve Masquerade Ball! 7pm – 2am!

45 Ledbury Rd, Notting Hill, W11 2AA Tel: 0207 229 2907 Email: bookings@beachblanket.co.uk www.beachblanket.co.uk

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ICE SKATING TO 8 JANUARY

The Natural History Museum’s ice rink has returned – sessions need to be booked at ticketmaster.co.uk or on 0844 847 1576. Cromwell Road, SW7

What’s on

December Absolutely the best of the month ahead

GREAT WESTERN OPEN STUDIOS SAT/SUN DECEMBER 12- 5PM

Great Western Studios hosts its annual Christmas Open Studios with an atrium full of jewellery stalls, music by Sundog, mulled wine, a BBQ, tea and cakes, ping pong tournaments in the courtyard and open doors to the diversity of studios. There will be sample sales from Orlebar Brown and ilovegorgeous, while Pitman Tozer and Threefold will be doing their excellent Architect’s Surgery (pay £35 to charity and have a 1/2 hour discussion with one of London’s top young architects; email jenny@ greatwesternstudios.com to book) and there will be a new multicoloured art trail too. Great Western Studios, 65 Alfred Road W2 5EU www.greatwesternstudios.com

NOTTING HILL DESIGN FAIR 1-3 DECEMBER

Now in its fourth year, the Notting Hill Design Fair is known for its unique, eclectic mix of some of London’s best creative talents and family-friendly shopping. From millinery to stylish tableware, jewels, Savile Row tailoring, beautiful lighting, luxe cashmere for babies and grown-ups and children’s clothing and accessories, many of the designers from previous fairs have since become regular names on design-savvy lists, their creations picked up by Tate Modern, Vogue and Karl Lagerfeld. (Pictured is Elfie London). 20th Century Theatre, 291 Westbourne Grove W11 www.nottinghilldesignfair.co.uk

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DIARY DOCK CHRISTMAS 8-11 DECEMBER

THE SNOWMAN TO 8 JANUARY

Everybody’s favourite children’s ballet, based on Raymond Briggs’ magical story, returns to the Peacock Theatre, beautifully choreographed by Robert North. Box office 0844 412 4322

THE GRUFFALO TO 15 JANUARY

Tall Stories’ popular production of Julia Donaldson’s classic story returns to the Lyric Theatre in Shaftesbury Avenue for Christmas. www.gruffalolive.com

CHRISTMAS CHARITY TRUSTEES EVENING 8 DECEMBER 5.45-8PM LADBROKE GROVE

Interested in becoming a board member of a local charity? Come along to find out what the role involves and meet with charities looking for new trustees all in a festive setting. London Lighthouse, 111-117 Lancaster Road, W11 020 7243 9807 www.voluntarywork.org.uk

STEPHENSON SCHOOL CHRISTMAS FAIR 10 DECEMBER 2PM TO 5PM

St. Helen’s Church, St. Helen’s Gardens W10 6LP Fabulous raffle, face painting, tattoos, arts and crafts, cakes etc.

A four-day shopping extravaganza and a Sunday food and wine market, kicking off with a late-night shopping evening on Thursday 8 December (highlights include Christmas card printing from Mr Smith’s wooden and metal letter press and a personalised gift wrapping service) – then on Saturday there are make-your-own bobble hat classes hosted by Lighthouse Knitwear. Molly’s Tea Room serves up home-made granola, jams and gingerbread, mulled wine is brewed and sold on the terrace and the new Dock Kitchen cocktail bar, Kitchenette, will be open daily from 6pm until midnight Thursday 6pm – 9pm; Friday and Saturday 12pm – 8pm; Sunday 11am – 5pm Portobello Dock, Kensal Road W10 www.tomdixon.net

WILL SELF INTRODUCES NOEL ‘RAZOR’ SMITH

Former armed robber Noel ‘Razor’ Smith has spent most of his life in and out of prison. His new book Rusty Gun describes his rehabilitation, and he will speak about the reality of doing long stretches of time. 12 December, 6.30 for 7pm The Idler Academy, 81 Westbourne Park Road, W2 020 7221 5908

THE FOX SCHOOL CHRISTMAS FAIR 3 DECEMBER

BBQ, international café, crafts, cakes, mulled wine, second hand toys, raffle and a visit from Santa. 1–4PM, Kensington Place W8

MEDIUM RARE 15 DECEMBER THE TABERNACLE

Everybody’s favourite burlesque cabaret group returns to the Tabernacle for a night of dinner and entertainment. 9pm. Tickets £65 including a three course dinner. www.tabernaclew11.com

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NEWS

Roundup Current affairs in the area

CROSSRAIL VERSUS BIG TABLE Local people turned up in their pyjamas to demonstrate their support for Big Table, the Great Western Road site that has been earmarked for demolition by Crossrail. A busy morning protest succeeded in obstructing Crossrail traffic temporarily and drawing local and media attention to the issue at hand. Crossrail is backed by an Act of Parliament that can disregard the listed status of certain premises. The characterful building was erected in 1901 by the Temperance Society as a coffee tavern for Great Western Railway employees and has housed Big Table’s bed-making co-op for over 30 years. Big Table has been given notice to quit by the end of January.

TREETOPS NURSERY CAMPAIGNERS

Its site, and an adjoining plot of Network Rail land, were earmarked under that act. The overall area is now reserved for an electrical sub-station measuring some 30 by 70 metres. Both parcels of ground were tagged on a broad-brush basis in Crossrail’s original plans in the 1990s when it was obvious that the project must not end up short of essential land. Now, at detailed planning stage, Crossrail is expected to pursue the concept that the structure could be wholly or largely contained within the sizeable Network Rail portion of land, especially if Big Table were to sacrifice some of its yard. Further, it occurs to Big Table’s proprietors that Network Rail land opposite will fall available when work there reaches a certain stage and the nests of portable offices removed. Meanwhile, others are set on impressing Crossrail that its image NURSERY CLOSURES Parents in Brent are campaigning against the closure of popular councilfunded Treetops nursery. Brent has given parents a few weeks to come up with a plan to make it a viable concern – or it will close in March 2012. Parents fear that they will be left without affordable childcare. petitiononline.co.uk/petition/savetreetops-and-harmony-nurseries/3765

is in danger of being badly tarnished. More than 100 people attended a recent public meeting at Paddington Arts Centre where it was unanimously agreed that the property has both historical and aesthetic relevance. An action plan is being put in place to persuade Crossrail of the sense, fairness and feasibility of a change of tack. Will Big Table be there for another 30 years? “We hope so,” say proprietors Stephen Bond and Kim Macrory. “Other manufacturing sites with passing retail trade are nearimpossible to find locally. Whatever happens, though, we shall never cease to feel touched by the level of community support.” For those wishing to add messages of encouragement and support for Kim, Stephen and all at Big Table, a book is open in the showroom. More than 2000 people have already signed it. Email address is sales@ bigtable.co.uk. James Saltire PORTOBELLO CASHFLOW Local groups were furious at HSBC’s plans to close its busy Portobello Road branch but appeased when the bank agreed to keep the cashpoints open. Cllor Dez O’Neill said: “The cash machines are very important and I am going to work with HSBC to find a suitable location to keep them on the market”.

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Dear Santa... I want it all Get it all at Portobello Green. Fashion, gifts and accessories for men, women and children.

Under the Westway In the Heart of Portobello Market 281 Portobello Road, London W10 5TZ

www.portobellodesigners.com

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Portobello Green’s 20 boutiques include: A Creative Unit Adam of London Baby Ceylon Isis Leblon Haizhen Wang Studio In Bloom Philmore Clague Preen Lunetier

Sarah Bunting Sasti Steve Bell The Chinese Tea Company Trapstar Valli Colpani Verde What Katie Did Zarvis Plus: Le Petit Café Mo’s Café

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ABSOLUTELY

Social

Reporting from all the best parties in our area

ABOVE: DIANA MACKINNON, DAVID SPENCER BELOW: JEMIMA BURRILL DIANA BURTT, PENDLE HARTE, SHEILA FITZJONES

Absolutely launch party

Absolutely’s launch party was a huge success and more than 250 people came out to show their support and enjoy Absolutely’s very own cocktails. Stylishly hosted by Beach Blanket Babylon, with vodka generously provided by NW6’s Babicka and flowers from W11’s Phillo, the event was much discussed on Twitter afterwards – especially the goodie bags (for which many thanks to Strip, Mr & Mrs Smith, Artisan du Chocolat, Alibi, Sh!, Marcela’s, Ten Pilates, Coco Nails, Ananya Spa, Portobello Princesses and Ego). And thank you to everyone who came, especially to the marvellous Richard Young for taking these lovely photographs.

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CHARLIE TIPTAFT, STEVE MCDICKEN

JEROME TAUBRON, NALINI WILLIAMS

STEPHEN BOND, KIM MACRORY

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PA RT I E S

NICK CRAYSON, SHERIF SHALTOUT

SUFI HADIAN, SOPHIA VICTORIA

KEVIN WHITCOMB, LISA DAVIS, LES BANKS

NCER JESS BATTEN SUSAN AND HANNAH YOUNG

FROM LEFT: SOFIA ANDERSON, ANNA PORADON, URSULA NOWAKOWSKA

ANTONY HARRIS, STACEY DONOVAN LISA DAVIS, GRAHAM REBAK

DANIEL MANKOWITZ, TOBIAS MOSS

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o P RO F I L E

Lucky Alexia Coley is widely tipped as the next big thing to come out of Notting Hill. Pendle Harte meets the singer who’s set to be huge PHOTOGRAPHY BY CAMILLA ADAMS

E

veryone in Notting Hill is talking about Alexia Coley, and everyone loves her. She’s a singer in a jazzy, bluesy vein, with one of those voices that’s big, timeless and older than her young years. She’s also astoundingly beautiful and pretty soon she’ll be on the cover of every magazine – though for the moment she can still be found at her family’s restaurant, All Saints Road’s Ripe Tomato. Already she has worked with names such as Mick Jones and local legend Gaz Mayall and her voice has been compared to Amy Winehouse and Ella Fitzgerald. But she’s surprisingly sweet and friendly, and very unstarry, even though the past year has been

eventful for her. “I get so nervous,” she says shyly – though her voice is huge and you’d never think it. She and her band won a competition and ended up playing to a huge audience at the Big Chill in August and her November showcase in east London was met with a very enthusiastic response. They played a set for an hour, all her own material, and “Now we’ve got a new manager and are recording with a seven piece band – and we’re looking to do lots of festivals next year.” Not that she’s new to the game, and her story’s full of highs and lows. It’s always been singing and restaurants for Coley and it was when she was working in a restaurant in Pinner (though you can’t picture her waiting tables in

already she has worked with names such as mick jones and local legend gaz mayall and her voice has been compared to amy winehouse

Pinner – she’s too starry) that she met composer Laurie Johnson, the man responsible for the Avengers soundtrack and a huge catalogue of musical productions. Fortuitously, he was a regular diner. “I’d always tell him about my singing and one day he asked me to bring in a tape,” says Alexia, who ended up joining his Big Band, which she loved. “I love the big sound, we played the Royal Albert Hall with the Royal Philharmonic and I loved having a beautiful whole string section next to me.” They did an album together and Coley learned a lot and gained confidence, but in the long run, Johnson’s old school insistence that “a writer writes and a singer sings” didn’t fit with Coley’s talent for songwriting. “It wasn’t fulfilling me musically because I wasn’t writing, so in the end I moved away which was heartbreaking because I really did love it.” Back at her parents’ restaurant in All Saints Road, “I started hearing melodies in my head,” she says simply, as she has done all her life. “I used to write silly little songs when I was at school, songs about ice cream and boys, and then that stopped for a 17

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o P RO F I L E

long time, but it started again.” So she joined a band, the Rotten Hill Gang, with its mix of hiphop, rock and old school (“they take old stuff and make it modern, like they do a tune from Bugsy Malone and add a bit of rap to it”) and its impressive pedigree (Mick Jones is involved, along with the old Big Audio Dynamite crew). “They were really cool and got me back into it – we were doing gigs every Friday at the Inn on the Green,” says Coley, though after about a year she left. “It’s always been restaurants and singing for me, and restaurants really suck you in, and then I get all nervous about doing a gig if I haven’t done one for six months,” she says – and after the Rotten Hill Gang she found herself out of the loop for a while until someone suggested she perform at short notice and the idea appealed. “I had to get a band together really

You can imagine Coley growing up with Hair, belting out all those big tunes at home. Her mother organised a reunion for the original cast a few years ago at the Ripe Tomato and a lot of the huge troupe showed up for a full sing-through. “They hadn’t seen each other for years but they all just came and went into it, and people heard them from outside and came in to sing along as well. It was amazing,” raves Coley. The whole of All Saints Road must have throbbed to the sound of an entire restaurant belting out ‘Hare Krishna’ and ‘Sodomy’. “I’ve found my niche now,” says Alexia. “It’s a bit Motown, a bit bluesy and my voice is different to my mum’s – it’s a bit huskier.” She’s going to be hard to miss in 2012 so look out for her – and catch her playing locally while you still can. t

alexia’s mother ethel coley was in the original london cast of hair and is the source of her voice quickly for a gig at Mau Mau bar and it made me feel like I should take the next step – so I started writing again. If anything upset me I’d write about it – I’ve written about guys, fate, soul mates, not ice cream any more but I’ve even written about my red lipstick.” It comes easy to Coley and she’s a born performer. In her song ‘I like a drink’ she acts the comic, slurring drunk with great charisma and her look, all 1950s frocks and red lipstick, is pure showbiz. Which is no surprise given her pedigree – Alexia’s mother Ethel Coley was in the original London cast of Hair and she is the source of the voice. “She was always singing walking me to school and I found it embarrassing but now I do it too.”

www.alexiacoley.com

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GRAHAM AND GREEN

It’s beginning to look a lot like a

Christmas...

INTERIORS & GIFTS

for the super stylish

1 6 4 R E G E N t s PA R k R D , NW1 8XN

Untitled-2 1

4 E l G i N C R E s C E N t, W11 2HX

W W W. G R A H A M A N D G R E E N . C O . U k

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WESTBOURNE HOUSE

From intimate midweek get-togethers to hedonistic weekends, the Westbourne House experience has something to offer whatever the occasion. “What cocktails will not cure – there is no cure for” Choose from one of two private rooms, the light room for 35 and the Opera box for 50. We have exquisite tapas or our chefs will create a bespoke menu to enhance your event.

65 Westbourne Grove, London, W2 4UJ 020 7229 2233 www.westbournehouse.net

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C U LT U R E PRET A PHOTO Richard Young’s second annual Pret-a-Photo exhibition is on show at his Holland Street gallery throughout December – and it’s a quick and easy way to buy the perfect picture for yourself or as a gift. Every picture is mounted, framed and ready – just choose it and go. They’ll even wrap it up. Prices range from £50 to £5000 and there are unseen images from Young’s archive as well as classic limited edition prints. All images are reproduced courtesy of the Richard Young Gallery, 4 Holland Street W8 www.richardyounggallery.co.uk

Agenda

KATE MOSS, JACK NICHOLSON © RICHARD YOUNG

On the

This month’s highlights

MIKE LIDDEL-TAYLOR Well-known Notting Hill eccentric Mike Liddel-Taylor has published an autobiography, spilling the beans on his life and loves. Over the years, Mike has been, variously, a hairdresser, a model manager, a parrot breeder and a “purveyor of taxidermy” and the book’s cast of characters spans Jack Nicholson, David Bailey, Jean-Christophe Novelli, Chris Eubank, Ben Westwood and countless models. Not one for selfdeprecation, Liddel-Taylor’s life story is, he believes, something nobody should live without. www.mikelt.co.uk

LEXI IN VOGUE The Lexi Cinema, Kensal Rise’s charming small screen, is anything but obscure now that it features in Vogue’s secret address book for the second time. “This is the sort of cinema that reminds you to go to the movies just for the experience,” says Vogue, “and its choice of films is a reprieve from uninspiring blockbuster fare.” During December, the Lexi’s peripatetic sister, Nomad cinema, will be taking residence at Whiteley’s with a special pop-up screen showing a mixture of recent releases and classics from all ages. Lexi Cinema, 194 Chamberlayne Road NW10; 0871 704 2069 www.whereisthenomad.com

PORTOBELLO PANTO W11’s own panto is back – and this time it’s Robin Hood. Everything else will be a surprise. First founded by Anna Chancellor and Kevin Allen, and now produced by Piers Thompson, past pantos have famously featured Harry Enfield, Keith and Lily Allen as well as countless other local characters. You’ll definitely need to book. 18-21 December, The Tabernacle, Powis Square W11 www.tabernaclew11.com 21

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C U LT U R E

Neon sin

Amanda Eilasch lights up Ledbury Road with her Peccadilloes

L

edbury Road is lit up by bright neon radiating from the first floor of the Doyle Devere Gallery. They are Amanda Eilasch’s Peccadilloes, a collection of neon sign art pieces illustrating the seven deadly sins. Based on cartoons of Eilash by her friend, art collector Kay Saatchi, the pieces are, she says, “a creative initiative to remind people of what they have forgotten”. As a dazzling and often enigmatic fixture at the shows in New York, Paris, and London, Amanda Eilash has successfully navigated the perils

LUST

Sloth

of the fickle fashion industry and the international glitterati, becoming revered as one of Britain’s fabled and adored modern style icons. She now splits her time between a house in Cheyne Walk, a residence in Paris (formerly occupied by the similarly rebellious artist Tamara de Lempicka) and her home in Beverly Hills, previously owned by the legendary actress Janet Leigh. t Peccadilloes continues throughout December at Doyle Devere Gallery, 30 Ledbury Road W11 www.doyledevere.co.uk

ENVY

WRATH

VANITY

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feel different, be different

feel different, be different

GYM POOL SPA, SAUNA & STEAM STUDIO CLASSES PILATES STUDIO PERSONAL TRAINING MASSAGE & ACUPUNCTURE NUTRITIONAL THERAPY

THE HILL/JAN-12/326

YOGA

Experience our unique atmosphere

GYM

020 7229 2291 BodyWorksWest is a boutique members’ health club

POOL SPA, SAUNA & STEAM BODY WORKS WEST DEC11.indd 1

NOTTING HILL 020 7229 2291 WWW.BODYWORKSWEST.COM

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C U LT U R E from left: patrick lichfield, 1970; monty modlyn, portobello road, 1973; clarissa merton, pelham crescent, 1959

Royal snapper A new book and exhibition celebrate the work of the late Patrick Lichfield, whose legacy lives on in W10

P

joanna lumley, regent’s park, 1970

hotographer Patrick Lichfield is remembered this month as a new book publishes some previously unseen pictures alongside classic works. Over the course of his career, Lichfield’s subjects ranged from royalty to factory workers via Hollywood stars and fashion icons. As the queen’s cousin, he had access to a world hidden from most; and in 1981 he was the official photographer at the wedding of Charles and Diana. Lichfield worked in a studio in North Kensington until his death in 2005 and was a famous figure in the area as well as a powerful force in the world of photography. His former studio in Oxford Gardens is now a gallery that bears his name. Perceptions is curated by Mark Harrison and published by Quadrille, £30, and an accompanying exhibition of 40 stunning photographs is on show at Chris Beetles Fine Photographs, 3-5 Swallow Street W1, from 6 December to 7 January 2012. t

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rory davis, biba boutique, kensington, 1968

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GOSSIP WHAT’S HE LIKE?

Julie Delpy is making a new film about seminal west Londoner Joe Strummer, focusing on the mysterious events of April 1982, when Strummer may or may not have run the Paris marathon. The film is rumoured to be called The Right Profile – Delpy’s connection to Strummer is unclear but the actress is likely to appear in the film as well as directing it.

NICOLE WHO?

Absolutely

Confidential

Westbourne Grove’s revamped LK Bennet store is all powder pinks and beiges with luxe carpets and mirrored fittings. And their new hero bag ‘Nicole’ is set to be top of everybody’s Christmas wish lists. Apparently Thandie Newton has one…

BEDTIME STORY

Mary Portas also showed up at W9’s Big Table, the shop that is battling Crossrail to keep its site, and showed her support. Apparently she is working on “something to do with manufacturing” so let’s hope that she rescues west London’s only bed and mattress factory…

ROLL UP

Winter Wonderland’s launch night was literally a sparkling rollercoaster of an evening as Hyde Park’s huge funfair attracted Mariella Frostrup, Claudia Winkelman and Mary Portas with their respective broods, as well as stars including Tara Palmer Tomkison, Michelle Collins, Donna Air, Zane Lowe, Gareth Gates, Anneka Rice, Tamara Beckwith, Vanessa Feltz, Henry Conway and Danny Dyer.

PARTY PARTY

Girl of the moment Mary Charteris took to the decks at Village Bicycle’s Fashion Night In party, which was, bizarrely, a tribute to Joy Division. Party people including Cara Delevingne, Tyrone Wood, Jade Parfitt and Jade Jagger all turned up to celebrate.

OUT WITH THE DON

NW10 based journalist Rose Rouse’s ongoing project Not on Safari in Harlesden involves her accompanying a range of people on walking tours of her area and posting accounts on her blog. She has been Not on Safari with characters spanning Louis Theroux, Alexi Sayle, Monique Roffey and now Don Letts, who accompanied her recently, claiming he’d never been to Harlesden before, despite living in Kensal Rise. Never the fool, Rose proves him wrong immediately. “What about March 11th 1977 at The Coliseum (now The Misty Moon) when The Slits played in support of The Clash?” she demands, and he concedes. He was there. Were you?

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kell skรถtt haircare

Happy Christmas! www.kellskotthaircare.com

KelScott.indd 1

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WESTBOURNE GROVE

Westbourne Grove’s shops are hosting a late night shopping evening on 8 December. Here’s a preview

JIGSAW

The Jigsaw Store in Westbourne Grove was designed and completed several years ago, before the area was as popular as it is today. It feels like a local boutique in which to explore and route out hidden gems. The store will be holding a customer evening on the 7 December from 5-9pm in-line with the late night shopping in the area and look forward to seeing you there. 190-192 Westbourne Grove, Notting Hill, W11 2RH, 020 7727 0322 jigsaw-online.com

PAPERCHASE

GAUTIER

French furniture company Gautier, arrived in Westbourne Grove this summer. Gautier offers a brand new range of stylish and contemporary French made furniture and accessories for the home. Christmas entertaining often takes place in the home, so make yours welcoming this festive season by adding elegant new accessories. Choose from a fantastic selection of cushions, rugs, ceramics and lighting; perfect for you or your discerning relatives as a gift.Gautier Westbourne Grove, 37-41 Westbourne Grove, W2 4UA, 020 7221 2393 gautier.co.uk

If you are in search of stylish decorations, cards, wrap, stationery and gifts this December then head over to Paperchase for inspiration. The collection includes baubles, boxes, gift wrap and an impressive selection of unique and exclusive cards, as well as quirky decorations and mini trees, table accessories, crackers, stocking fillers and a fantastic selection of gorgeous gifts. Paperchase offers great choice and variety. 110 Westbourne Grove, W2 020 7229 9673 paperchase.co.uk

JOSEPH

For over three decades, Joseph has been at the forefront of fashion offering an authoritative view of the season’s trends. Renowned for its knitwear, sharp tailoring and cool style, Joseph recreates classic pieces with a cool modern edge. From the global flagship at 77 Fulham Road, the hub of the Joseph empire, the company now has free-standing shops in London, New York, Paris, Cannes and Tokyo and an everexpanding network of concessions in the finest department stores around the world. 236 Westbourne Grove, W11 2RH, 020 7243 9920 joseph.co.uk

LK BENNETT

Celebrate the festive season and escape the Oxford Street crowds by visiting the newly refurbished Westbourne Grove boutique. L.K.Bennett’s collection will ensure you dazzle-with elegant party ready pieces including lace detail dresses and satin shoes in rich jewel tones. A luxe fur stole, bold pearl bracelet or crystal embellished clutch are the last minute touches to finish your outfit or make a perfect gift. LK Bennett, 220 Westbourne Grove, W11 2RH, 020 7792 4678 lkbennett.com 28

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ABSOLUTELY P R O M OT I O N

HEIDI KLEIN

Heidi Klein, the iconic one-stop destination holiday shop, sells everything you need for your holiday in the sun. From bikinis and sunhats, to flip-flops and kaftans. Heidi Klein can help you to find the perfect holiday wardrobe, whether you want barefoot beach chic or super yacht glamour. 174 Westbourne Grove, W11 020 7243 5665 heidiklein.com

BRORA

GINA CONWAY AVEDA LIFESTYLE SALON AND SPA The award-winning Gina Conway Aveda Lifestyle Salon and Spa in Westbourne Grove offers a range of luxurious hair and spa experiences using Aveda’s naturally derived hair and skincare products. If you haven’t visited a Gina Conway Aveda salon before, you can experience £20 off your first hair or spa treatment when you spend £50 or more. Treat someone special this Christmas: spend £50 or more on gift vouchers or Aveda Christmas gift boxes before the end of December and you’ll receive a complimentary £10 gift voucher. Gina Conway Aveda Notting Hill, 62 Westbourne Grove W2 5SH 020 7229 6644 ginaconway.co.uk

As one of Britain’s best loved and most successful modern cashmere brands, Brora has grown over the last three years into a fully fledged fashion label with its own distinctive viewpoint - wearable, subtle but highly individual and mainly British made. It’s this unique approach that has made the brand so successful and a genuine British fashion asset. Brora now has two shops in Notting Hill: a new boutique shop at 187 Westbourne Grove and a new archive sale shop at 66/68 Ledbury Road where you can by past lines at greatly reduced prices. 187 Westbourne Grove, W11 020 7229 8623 brora.co.uk

BOCONCEPT

At BoConcept, you will find a wide selection of customised, coordinated furniture pieces to perfectly fit into your home’s interior scheme. Since 1952, BoConcept has been inspired by urban life across the globe to create functional, contemporary furniture that works within limited spaces. Being urban-minded for us means modernity, energy and a passion for design and trends. The BoConcept Notting Hill team of professional design consultants are welcoming you in store today for a free 3D design service and arranging a home visit. BoConcept Notting Hill, 18-24 Westbourne Grove, W2 5RH 020 7792 4111 boconcept.co.uk

FEATHERS

Nest In Feathers is a new lifestyle and interiors addition to the already established fashion boutique. The selection of products has been sourced from a mixture of old and new and is concentrated on fine European products specializing in contemporary crafts. Nest’s organic sensibility brings warmth to the coming winter and highlights the festive season with perfect gifts already wrapped and ready to pop under the tree. 176 Westbourne Grove, W11 020 7243 8800

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Cocktail

hour Be the ultimate temptress in bold statement pieces; mix in with a dash of gold or silver for maximum allure this party season

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Alison Embellished cream dress £365 Vintage Oleg Cassini at The Merchant. Rose cube earrings £950 Loushelou. Purpura cocktail ring in 18 carat mined yellow gold with faceted oval Amethyst £3,202 and Svannah cocktail ring in 18 carat fair mined yellow gold iwth faceted Amethyst and Rubies £3,460, both Sophie Harley. Matthew White shirt £169 and floral tie £69, Paul Smith. Navy Shawl collar tux suit £779 Boss Selection. l.

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Matthew White shirt £169 and velvet blazer £679 Paul Smith. Velvet tux trousers £700 (part of suit) Paul Smith London. Burgundy silk & cashmere scarf £135 Boss Selection. Black patent shoes £530 Billionaire Italian Couture.

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Alison Victoire embellished dress ÂŁ669 By Malene Birger. Gold Algerian love knot necklace in 18 carat yellow gold with diamonds ÂŁ19,980 Sophie Harley. Ring as before, Sophie Harley.

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Alison Cream embellished dress £3,800 Temperley London. snow queen earrings in silver with white topaz drops £395, snow queen silver necklace with white topaz, pale green amethyst and aquamarine drops £875, silver pebble ring with snowflake charm £172 and snowflake charm drop ring with blue topaz set heart £360, all Sophie Harley. Nude suede and crystal sandals £1250 Jimmy Choo. Ring as before, Sophie Harley.

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Alison Red ruffle dress £1605 Jason Wu at Net A Porter. Gold mini love knot earrings in 18 carat yellow gold with diamonds £6,083 Sophie Harley. Gold sandals £475 Manolo Blahnik. Matthew White shirt £169 Paul Smith. Navy tux 3 piece suit £830 Paul Smith London. Navy bow tie £45 Boss Black. Shoes as before.

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CREDITS PHOTOGRAPHY Mike Blackett (info@mikeblackett.com) STYLIST Charlotte Kewley Assisted by Naomi Pike HAIR Riccardo Andrenacci Using Bumble and Bumble MAKE-UP: Louise Dartford at nakedartists.com using Vapour Organic Beauty With thanks to first floor bar and restaurant www.firstfloorportobello.com

Stockists Billionaire Italian Couture 0207 245 0096 By Malene Birger www.bymalenebirger.com Dinny Hall www.dinnyhall.com Boss Black 0207 554 5700 Jimmy Choo www.jimmychoo.com Loushelou www.loushelou.com Manolo Blahnik www.manoloblahnik.com Net A Porter www.net-a-porter.com Paul Smith www.paulsmith.co.uk Sophie Harley www.sophieharley.com Stephane St James 0208 885 3628 Temperley London www.temperleylondon.com The Merchant 020 7229 1057

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Alison Black sequin & lace gown £7,000 Stephane St Jaymes. Matthew White shirt £169 Paul Smith. Navy tux 3 piece suit £830 Paul Smith London. Burgundy bow tie £60 Billionaire Italian Couture.

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Auction of Vintage Jewellery & Accessories

Monday 12th December at 10am A 1950’s Christian Dior Red Paste and Clear Rhinestone Pendant. Estimate £200 - £300

Visit www.fellows.co.uk/absolutely for a complimentary catalogue Fellows Auctioneers | 19 Augusta Street | Birmingham B18 6JA | 0121 212 2131

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FA S H I O N

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Take a shine ‘Tis the season to adorn yourself, so don’t be scared to sparkle with our pick of the festive bling

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1. Azuni love earrings £75 Mufti, Kensington Park Road W11 2. Silver multichain necklace by Kirsten Grace www.kirstengrace.com 3. Rare gold vintage modernist style ring £325 www.violetvintagejewellery.com 4. Multistone pendant £80 www.ottomanhands.com 5. Silver and marcasite bow ring clip www.violetvintagejewellery.com 6. Smoky quartz and pink sapphire earrings, Ben Day 3 Lonsdale Road W11 7. Dreamers earrings £214 www.sophieharley.com 8. Rubies ring www.damiani.com 9. Little dotted pebbles bracelet £165 Orit, 95 Westbourne Park Villas W2

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GIFTS

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Gifts for Her

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Pretty things for the ladies’ stockings

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1. Cashmere scarf £183 de Roehmer 14 Porchester Place W2 2. Limited Edition Eley Kishimoto Fabric Print Journal £69 www.noblemacmillan.com 3. Mademoiselle hip flask £17.35 Celia Birtwell, 71 Westbourne Park Road W2 4. Glossybox suprise goodies £10 www.glossybox.co.uk 5. Enamel jug £56 Ceramica Blue 10 Blenheim Crescent W11 6. Fun notebooks from £45 Smythson, 214 Westbourne Grove W11 7. Jo Malone Christmas cracker £28 www.jomalone.co.uk 8. Indigo thong £15 www.bopeeps.com 40

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Bo uti On thi que -Li s C L ne hr aun ist ch ma in s! g

The UK’s favourite waxing Boutique

Some say

PAIN is beauty... ...But

NOT US strip

specialising in pain free waxing since 2005

Why not treat a loved one this Christmas to a Strip Gift Voucher, available in store and online Notting Hill 0207 727 2754 nottinghill@stripwaxbar.com

St Pauls 0207 236 0058 city@stripwaxbar.com

Chelsea 0207 590 0050 Chelsea@stripwaxbar.com

Soho 0207 434 4222 soho@stripwaxbar.com

www.stripwaxbar.com STRIP DEC.indd 1

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CHRISTMAS

1

Gifts for Him 2

5

Urban toys for London boys

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6

7 1. London Landmark Bookends £18.00 General Trading Company, 84 Holland Park Avenue W11 2. Cashmere football scarf £49 www.savile-rogue.com 3. Routemaster salt and pepper set £15 www.ltmuseumshop.co.uk 4. District Line iPad Cover £49.99 www.ltmuseumshop.co.uk 5. Liberty print boxers by Mimi’s Men from £32 www.damaris.co.uk 6. Portobello tea towel £8.50 Ceramica Blue, 10 Blenheim Crescent W11 7. Cardboard radio £24.99 www.mosterstuff.co.uk 8. Edward Bawden’s London £20 V&A Publishing

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Ben Sherman Dec11 Abs.indd 1

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ABSOLUTELY P R O M OT I O N JIVITA AYURVEDA Jivita Ayurveda is an organic wellbeing centre offering a wide range of luxurious body and beauty treatments under the ayurvedic umbrella. It is one of the few places in London where you can find sought after Ila (pronounced ee-la) organic beauty products on sale. Treat your friends and family to a gift card with an extra £5 value on purchases over £50. Jivita Ayurveda, 89 Chamberlayne Road, NW10 020 8964 4993 jivitaayurveda.com

Christmas

In Kensal Rise

Stroll up Chamberlayne Road on the evening of Thursday 8 December for late night shopping in all these fabulous outlets

PAPER WISHES Paper Wishes bring the essential items needed to make your party memorable with their extensive range of party products and services. Remember, Paper Wishes puts the ‘P’ into party – let them join your celebrations and make your wishes comes true. The party specialists can magic up balloon displays for all occasions, personalized helium balloons, banners, cakes and cupcakes, wedding marquees and decor, chocolate fountains and so much more. Paper Wishes, 47a Chamberlayne Road, NW10 paperwishesuk.com

LOVE KR love kr...are having a double celebration this christmas shopping evening...it’s one whole year since this womenswear boutique was launched,stocking an eclectic mix of independent brands. British favourites such as Sara Berman, Hudson shoes & Miquella Jewellery sit alongside Paige premium denim, lilly and lionel scarves, Maison Scotch plus many more... the bubbly will be flowing along with some fab free gifts with purchases. love kr (next to kensal rise station) 98a Chamberlayne Road, NW10 020 8962 5635 lovekr.co.uk

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ABSOLUTELY P R O M OT I O N

CHAMBERLAYNE Serving ten different cuts of steak from Scotland’s finest Millers of Speyside, the Chamberlayne restaurant really is the only place to go when you’ve got a hankering for red meat. Enjoy steaks, oysters, traditional pies, Scottish seafood and lots more. The restaurant pride themselves on breaking the mould of the standard gastro pub, sourcing the finest beef in the country…. and they offer customers great value for money. Chamberlayne Pub & Steak House, 83, Chamberlayne Road, NW10 020 8960 4311 thechamberlayne.com

JUST BARKING Just Barking is a favourite destination for cat and dog lovers in West London. They provide food, treats, toys, bowls, bedding, collars and leads, and also offer full grooming services along with doggie daycare and dog walking. The boutique also features a showroom dedicated to the exclusive Dogs & Horses brand of traditionally handcrafted saddlery leather collars and leads. Just Barking, 116 Chamberlayne Road, NW10 020 8964 3231 justbarking.co.uk

ELLIS STOCKWELL The Ellis Stockwell six-week personal training programme is a bespoke fitness regime that combines cardiovascular, strength and weight-bearing training with pilates-based exercises and techniques used by professional athletes to create the perfect workout for you. You’ll lose weight, drop body fat and get into the jeans or dress you’ve always dreamed of. Whether you are older, young or middle-aged; overweight or underweight, very fit or have never exercised before, they will find the perfect programme for you. The six-week programme will consist of three 90-minute sessions per week and will begin and end with a full assessment that will tell you how exactly how far you’ve come, although you won’t need the scales to tell you - your waistband will! 69 Chamberlayne Road, NW10 020 8964 3797

RETROUVIUS Explore the depths of the Retrouvius warehouse by firelight and wrap your Christmas gifts in beautiful handmade paper printed with Shakespeare texts. Situated along the Harrow Road, Retrouvius are salvagers and architectural designers. They celebrate the history and patina reclamations bring. Graffittied iroko hardwood rescued from school laboratories, museum cabinets salvaged from well-known London museums and more. Warehouse and shop open Monday to Saturday 10am - 6pm 2a Ravensworth Road, NW10 5NR 020 8960 6060 retrouvius.com

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Careful plotting Pendle Harte has a tour of architect Cezary Bednarski’s self-built home in Westbourne Park Road

O

f course there isn’t a doorbell, or a knocker. There never is with architects – but as if by magic, the door opens and tall, silverhaired Bednarski invites me in on condition that I take my shoes off and wear the spare slippers. They’re not nearly as elegant as his house. This is a house that was built on a rare piece of underused land in W11, a plot that some might remember as a nasty playground. Now it’s a narrow, glassy modern building comprising two separate properties and though Bednarski insists that it’s not finished, it is fully functioning (after five years as a work in progress) and he has been living here for over a year already.

A recent documentary shown on the Discovery Channel tells the story of this house, which uses its space to impressive effect. It’s a large, lightfilled corner building with wonderful views and carefully thought-out living space for Bednarski and his wife and two small sons, who moved here from Oxford Gardens. “It’s such a completely different feel to Oxford Gardens, which was leafy and quiet, and there were foxes. Here there are very few trees and it’s extremely noisy and urban – at night you can hear people shouting and police sirens. It’s like being in the middle of Barcelona,” says Polish-born Bednarski, his manner uncannily like the Count in Sesame Street. The site – on the corner of Westbourne Park Road and Basing

at night you can hear people shouting and police sirens. It’s like being in the middle of Barcelona

Street – used to hold a regular endof-terrace Victorian house, but it was owned by a Nigerian prince who let it decay so badly that the council issued a compulsory purchase order and demolished it. That’s when it became a strange and brutalist brick playground, which wasn’t a happy existence either and when Bednarski took ownership of it, planning to build a single dwelling for himself, the site was littered with condoms, needles and beer cans.

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o INTERIORS

Although getting planning permission was remarkably easy, and neighbours on Westbourne Park Road were very supportive, in the end it was all too expensive for Bednarsky alone, so he found an investor, and adapted the design to include two homes, one on top of the other, one for Bednarski himself and the lower one for the investor (who sold it last year for £1.175 million). So they are flats, but so cleverly integrated that when inside you feel that you’re inhabiting the whole building and it’s hard to imagine where the other house is (they even have different addresses, one on Basing Street and the other on Westbourne Park Road).

Bednarski’s upper house is an upside-down residence with bedrooms on the floor below the living space. Floors, stairs and doors are oak, and bedrooms have integral wardrobes and clever architecty things like tilting taps for tall people, sliding doors and kitchen units that can be wheeled out to allow the floor-to-ceiling windows behind them to be cleaned. The living area has “an uplifting cathedral feel” with a double-height ceiling to much of it, and though there aren’t many trees in the vicinity, Bednarsky points out that the study window is placed precisely to frame a rare tree and create a sense of green, while most of the open-plan living area’s walls are glass, offering a view that is 50 per cent sky. An armchair is placed strategically to allow for a view straight west down Westbourne Park Road onto Portobello Road and into the sunset. Then there’s the roof terrace, a super secluded space that allows views over everybody else’s rooftops, including the roof terrace at Basing Street studios, as well as housing a rainwater harvesting tank and solar panels for hot water. But Bednarski’s not happy with it. “I’m not happy with any of my projects in 32 years,” he says. “Builders cannot build straight in this country. We call this [he gestures to a single polished concrete column that runs through the height of the building] the banana column because it’s not straight.” He’s quite outspoken on the subject of useless builders, even giving me the name of someone to never use, and admits that the process of being an architect building your own house is “quite schizophrenic”. “One day I would wake up as the client and be cross with the architect, and the next day I’d wake up as the architect and think, I’ll never work with this client again, he’s impatient, he has no money – in the end, I’d never work with either again.” t www.studio-bednarsky.com 47

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INTERIORS

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Snuggle up

Warm up your home with cosy comforts straight out of Narnia – think snugly throws, berry hues and pine scents to complement kitsch Christmas accessories

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7 1. Pure Light pine needle and eucalyptus candle £22 www.purelightuk.com 2. Folk cushion £25 www.marksandspencer.com 3. Large oslo reindeer tea light holder £99 www.marksandspencer.com 4. Orange tartan lambswool throw by John Hanley £110 www.liberty.co.uk 5. Red telephone £49.95 www.grahamandgreen.co.uk, 4 Elgin Crescent, W11 6. Palomino cow skin rug £475 www.grahamandgreen.co.uk 7. Andrew Martin Armstrong sofa £3,150 www.occa-home.co.uk 48

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C E L E B R A T I N G

T H I R T Y

Y E A R S

120 Wigmore Street, London, W1U 3LS 509 Uxbridge Road, Hatch End, Pinner, Middlesex HA5 4JS Telephone: 020 7486 3080 email: info@halcyon-interiors.co.uk | www.halcyon-interiors.co.uk

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IC NU T LT E RU I ORRES

2 1

Tinsel

town Beautiful baubles and bits to make your home truly festive

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8 1. Bottlebrush owl ornament £12 www.anthropologie.eu 2. Angry pudding Robobauble, sold as a set of five cards by Matthew Robins for Cass Art £4.95 220 Kensington High Street W8 3. Tie-dye felt letters £6 www.anthropologie.eu 4. Oskar and Ellen gingerbread cookies £7.99 Kidsen, 111 Chamberlayne Road NW10 5. Fairy fairy lights by NW10’s www.blaze-on.com 6. Snowman Robobauble card at Cass Art as before 7. Sea story octopus £14 www.anthropologie.eu 8.Glitter birds £8 for box of 10 Paperchase, 110 Westbourne Grove W2 51

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Door

Policy

ABSO DEC 11 VINTAGE FLOWERS.indd 23

Vic Brotherson is the woman behind uber-stylish NW10 florist Scarlet & Violet - here’s her advice on making a Christmas wreath

26/11/2011 13:53


INTERIORS

How to make a wreath Small and wintery, this romantic wreath is the girly alternative to the branches and berries that are around. A base of heather is dotted with paper roses in ballerina pink and lilac – perfect against this pale grey door. STEP 1: You will need: wire frame, scissors, reel wire, sack moss, 5 large pieces blue pine, 4 jasmine plants. Choose a wire frme (available from florist suppliers), bearing in mind that the finished wreath will end up considerably larger than the frame you started with. I used a 25cm frame for this jasmine wreath and it finished up as 45cm in diameter. Attach a reel of wire to the outside of the frame by looping it around several times.

Step 1

STEP 2: Fill the frame with generous handfuls of sack moss making sure it is damp and fresh, packing it tightly so that it feels solid and dense. Take the reel wire right the way around the outside of the moss several times and pull against the frame tightly to secure it. Continue all the way round, binding the moss in place with the wire, until the wreath base is complete. Turn the wreath over and cut the wire, leaving a little tail, and twist the end back into the original wire frame. Cut the pine into ‘fingers’ to make it easier to attach, discarding the very pointy ends.

Step 2

Step 3

STEP 3: Take a generous handful of greenery, keeping the stems together, and fix them into the moss by taking the wire several times right the way around the base, pulling it tight to secure. Keep the jasmine on its root to make it last longer, wire in place first, close to the moss, and then place some sprigs of pine over the top to cover the rootball and stop it from drying out. Continue adding foliage, paying special attention to the outside edge to ensure the moss is covered. Push the final handfuls of foliage in deep so it isn’t noticeable where the wreath should look bushy and full. to keep it looking fresh, immerse the base in water and leave to drain before hanging, or keep spraying it with water.

Extracted from Vintage Flowers by Vic Brotherson, Kyle Books, £25

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INTERIORS

Lights out Billy Hughesdon looks at Nu-Line’s impressive bathroom lighting

T

he finishing touch to any bathroom must be the lighting. Get it right and you turn a simple room in to a luxurious tranquil oasis, somewhere to escape from the rigours of the everyday. So choosing the right fitting is critical. Grossman lighting is a world-renowned designer and manufacture of light fittings of exquisite style. They are famous for the quality of their products and proud of the fact that every part is precision-made in Germany, right down to the very last screw. At the Nu-Line lighting showroom in Westbourne Park Road you will find exclusive ranges of Grossman lights designed not only for your bathroom, but for every room in your home. The display on the ground floor at Nu-Line highlights every aspect of the Grossman range including the matt nickel ranges and dual control switching. You will find elegant and timeless pieces in the range are suitable for all tastes and requirements. The Nu-line lighting showroom offer two floors of great ideas not only for domestic use but also commercial applications and with over 500 light switches and sockets on display your bound to find what you are looking for. Nu-Line is also a stockist of the Jambox from Jawbone, the best wireless speaker on the planet – so drop in and listen. Nu-Line lighting showroom 315 Westbourne Park Road, W11 020 7467 0037 Lighting@nu-line.net 54

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A fitted kitchen that fits perfectly with your lifestyle. By taking an architectural approach to the use of space and light, and working with you to gain a deeper understanding of your lifestyle, we help you create a kitchen that becomes a living environment. A Modus kitchen is designed to be the centre of the home; a place for recreation as well as a place where you can create. Our commitment to craftsmanship is evident in the tiniest detail.

MODUS.indd 1 C999_Modus Advert_A4.indd 2

By combining the uncompromising standards of award winning German kitchen manufacturers with the Modus approach to design, we create exceptional kitchens that fit in flawlessly with the way you live. That’s why you’ll never want to leave them. Visit our showroom on the rise opposite the train station at Kensal Rise, or visit us online at www.moduskitchens.com

OFFICIAL DEALER

Modus GB Limited

95 Chamberlayne Road Kensal Rise London NW10 3ND T +44 (0)20 8969 8848 F +44 (0)20 8969 6125 E info@moduskitchens.com

20/09/2011 20/09/2011 10:20 09:41


ABSOLUTELY P R O M OT I O N

LONDON UNDERGROUND Take a tour of the London streets, one of, if not the, finest metropolis in the world and what do you think you are going to see? Can’t see anything? Then look... beneath you!

INTERVIEW BY JANE TARRANT

Basements that’s what you’ll find; hundreds of them, all over London. There are so many basements being built around London that you would be forgiven for thinking we are becoming a subterranean species. Some high profile celebrities are so against them, when even more of the glitterati are having them built. So, we thought we would ask our old sparring partner, Steven McDicken from Metropolitan Basements, to justify the upheaval, the digging , the dirt and the bad press! Why do people hate basements? The only people who hate basements are the ones that don’t need them. Everybody else I know loves them. So… why do people love basements? Simple… more space! and at a fraction of the cost of moving home.

At a fraction of the cost… please explain? Well if you wanted to move home it would cost you say £800 to £1500 per square foot for that extra floor space and if you build a basement it only costs you, £400 per square foot including the VAT. In fact, what you would save on the stamp duty you have to pay when moving house, goes a long way to buying a large part of your basement! So are you saying it’s purely for money? No… more space! But, by doing so you just happen to create rather a lot of equity in your home. It ‘coincidently’ makes good financial sense. Unless you just sell it on, of course.

What about the bad press? People will always be people; they will make a mountain out of a basement, then they will turn around and build one themselves. No one wants to live next door to a basement being dug… the noise for a start, do you think they will ban them eventually? They can’t, they’re largely permitted development and you can’t see them. As for the noise, they are no less noisy than digging your garden and they are a million times quieter than someone digging up the road. Traffic noise in London is more than the sound of a basement being dug. Anyway, we work 8am to 5pm Monday to Friday, when everybody is at work.

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Planning is not an issue then? There is no reason why it should be. Except listed buildings and even then it can be done. How long to build one? Depends on the size but let’s say 1220 weeks for the majority of houses in London. Who designs them? We have an architect who is rather experienced with them. He wrote a book: Architect Your Home by Hugo Tugman. There is a section in there all about basements too. You can buy it from www.anovabooks.com Don’t be put off by his picture, he is actually one of the nicest architects I’ve ever met. So what’s your parting shot to the basement critics and lovers alike? Well, not a parting shot - just a statement that the majority of people will eventually get a basement dug to gain that extra space, especially in the more affluent areas of London. Even if you are against it now, you will succumb in the months or years to come or the people that move into your house after you are gone will get one done. It’s just going to happen, like it or not, and it’s going to be widespread, just in the same way double glazing stated in the 70’s, but much less intrusive or visible because it’s underground!

Unit 39 Sheraton Business Park, Wadsworth Close, Greenford UB6 7JB Tel: 0845 402 6799

metropolitanbasements.com PICTURES BY EUGENE BRADY 59 57

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Garden BAR & GRILL

Without doubt the most beautiful garden in central London” “a hidden gem” “the perfect place to while away a lazy day”

The Garden Bar and Grill has an immensely talented kitchen team, who utilise the freshest seasonal produce available from the market, our meat is sourced directly from the award winning Elwy valley farm in Wales. The atmosphere is relaxed and the style is an eclectic mix of stone mosaics, leather booths, candles and an abundance of flowers and we have a wonderful new fireplace to take the chill off the approaching winter. The beautiful garden is always open for alfresco drinking and dining and we have a huge winter marquee and our newly installed outdoor fire pit – perfect for mulled wine and marshmallows.

Super Sunday Roast Brilliant Bloody Mary Long Lazy Weekends

We can arrange parties, corporate evenings and bespoke events for 20 to 400. Kensington and Chelsea wedding licence and our garden marquee can accommodate up to 200. GARDEN BAR & GRILL 41 BRAMLEY ROAD, NOTTING HILL, W10 6SZ 020 7229 1111 WWW.HOUSEBARS.CO.UK

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FOOD&DRINK

Gin Palace

A new gin craze is happening in Portobello Road. Pendle Harte visits the Ginsitute for a Tom Collins and a lesson in distillery Photography: Alys Tomlinson

J

ake Burger is a man who spends his nights buying rare liquor on eBay. Not to drink, mind – it’s the vintage packaging that interests him. Honest. Burger is a gin enthusiast and looks like you’d expect: velvet smoking jacket, red cheeks and a visibly strong constitution where gin is concerned. And now he is sharing

his enthusiasm for the drink with anyone who cares to join him in his new Ginstitute, London’s second smallest museum, entirely dedicated to gin. It’s above the Portobello Star, a tiny pub that was turned into a cocktail bar a couple of years back, its first and second floors underused until Burger came up with the

At the height of the 18th century gin craze, says Burger, one in three London shops were gin shops

idea of displaying his collection of gin-related ephemera together with various bits of lovingly collected Victorian pub paraphernalia. Now, just opened, his Ginstitute is a shrine to London’s 18th century gin craze and housed in a room that doubles as a small Victorian bar stocking “everything that would have been available to the Victorian barman” for consuming as you peruse the exhibits. There are bottles of gin through the ages alongside bottles of other gin-based spirits and ingredients for classic gin cocktails. So there’s Beefeater and Gordons as well as vermouth and Pimms, plus bitters and Dutch jeneva (predating gin as a juniper-based drink). There are odd items such as a 1960s Martini tester (a dipstick that will deem a drink ‘wet’, ‘dry’ or ‘very dry’), old copies of cocktail recipe books and lots of historical advertising artwork. Burger is an unrivalled source of obscure cocktail facts, theories about the tightness of the bottle top and other gin-related trivia (the cocktail, claims Burger, was invented in London, according to one of his lesser-known sources). > 59

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At the height of the gin craze, says Burger, one in three London shops were gin shops, and though the city had a population of just eight million, the total amount of gin consumed was eight times higher than it is today. Plus, the spirit was higher proof too, which explains the riotous behaviour depicted by Hogarth in Gin Lane and the government’s attempt to control it with the 1751 Gin Act. Still, juniper has a long tradition of medicinal use and people believed it to have magical powers and anti-inflammatory qualities. Back to the Ginstitute – and upstairs on the top floor is where the real surprise is. Here is the Still Room, home to a working copper still, polished and curvy and holding 20 litres of the spirit, and a room set out for a school chemistry lesson. This is where Portobello Road gin is distilled, Burger’s very own blend that launches this month. And this is where he invites groups to blend their own gin under his guidance. It’s a lesson in making your own gin from an extensive selection of botanicals in glass bottles. “They do butchery classes at Ginger Pig, and cupcake classes at Hummingbird, so why not gin classes at Ginstitute?” asks Burger. Gin pupils file upstairs and take seats on spartan stools around a high wooden counter, each place kitted out with a laboratory-style measuring cylinder and a notebook. Shelves display probably 50 big glass bottles of various botanicals and

theses are the ingredients that you can choose from. “By law, London gin has to contain 40% juniper,” explains Burger – and the rest is up to you really. So we can choose pink grapefruit (it’s lively and zesty, says Burger – which is as may be but it’s still pure spirit and burns our throats), liquorice, angelica (wild celery), cassia (also known as Chinese cinnamon), nutmeg, black pepper, cardamom, coriander, orris root and various citruses including kumquat, lime and mandarin as well as, curiously, apricot stone. Burger’s Portobello Road blend comprises nine of these, though which nine and in what quantities, remains, predictably, a secret. My own blend, for what it’s worth, is a spicy and intriguing gin – heavy on the cardamom and coriander and infused with tea, orris root, angelic and liquorice. It’s maybe not as

polished as Burger’s – but I bet I’ve not drunk as much gin as he has. You can buy his professional and beautifully-labelled Portobello Road No. 171 gin now at the Portobello Star and other outlets – so prepare for a new gin craze. t The Still Room experience costs £100 per person (discounts for groups) and includes a bottle of your own blended gin; a bottle of Portobello Road No.1 71 Gin, a cocktail on arrival to accompany the introduction to and history of Gin and a cocktail before departure. Open sessions take place on Saturday late afternoon – simply register your name during the day and come back later. 171 Portobello Star W11 020 7229 8016 www.portobellostarbar.co.uk

They do butchery classes at Ginger Pig, and cupcake classes at Hummingbird, so why not gin classes at Ginstitute? 60

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71. Spicy salmon mix £11.50 102. Organic brow (Sashimi x4 / Nigiri x2 / Hos n rice omaki x5) £3.20 72. Tuna mix 103. Japanese mixed pickles £2.70 £12.90 (Sashimi x4 / Nigiri x2 / Hos omaki x5) CHIRASHI 73. Spicy tuna mix £13.50 4 FILLETS OF FRE (Sashimi x4 / Nigiri x2 / Hos SH RAW FISH omaki x5) (SASHIMI) SERVED ON A 74. Veggie mix BED OF RICE £9. 50 110. CHIRASHI (Omelette nigiri x2 / Cucumbe r hosomaki x5 Salmon - White rice / Vegetable futomaki x5) £6.90 Tuna - White rice 75. UKAI mix £7.50 £19.00 112. SPICY CHIR (Edamame / Salmon sashimi UKAI SPECIALITIES FUTOMAKI ASH I x4 Spicy salmon - White rice x2 / Rocket uramaki x5 / Tuna / Prawn nigiri 50. 4x Oysters (Subject to avai 5 PIECES OF THICK SUSHI Hosomaki x5) ROLL £7.00 £6.60 76. Jumbo mix Spicy Tuna - White rice served with orange and pon lability) 30. 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Mackerel h i fruit stick plate , seaweed and chive oil Rocket, lettuce, soy beans, £4. 90 £5.40 84. Seafood Udo £3.60 radicchio, seaweed, 127. Mixed mochi 29. Chilli beef with teriyaki n (thick) noodles, octopus, sauce £4.20 £6.50 £5.60 seeds with UKAI sesame and pumpkin prawns, kani stick, seaweed dressing and chive oil 85. Vegetable Ramen (thin 64. Crunchy oriental broccoli SASHIMI ) noodles, tofu, with £5.40 spring onion and £6.40 sesame dressing 4 FILLETS OF FRESH RAW mixed vegetables FISH 86. Veg 65. etable Udon (thick) noodles Seaweed salad Sukura cress 1. Salmon , tofu, & Wakame £5.10 spring onio £6.40 £5.50 seaweed selection 2. Spicy salmon n and mixed vegetabl , cucumber, bean sprout, £5.70 sesame seeds, eda 87. Miso, salmon, tofu, seaw es VOTED 3. Tuna mame beans and dressing eed, £3.70 £6.40 spring onions and chive oil 4. Spicy tuna NUMBER £6.55 UKAI MIX 5. Hamachi (subject to avai lability) ONE SUSHI £7.25 THESE SELECTION ED PLATTERS SIDE DISHES 6. Seabass £6.50 70. Salmon mix S CAN NOT BE ALTERED 100. Edamame (hot or cold DELIVERY* 7. Chilli beef with Teriyaki sauc ) e £10.90 104. Spicy Edamam £2.85 £5.80 (Sashimi x4 / Nigi e ri x2 / Hosomaki x5) £2. 90 101. White rice ***SPECIAL ORDERS WELCOM £2.70 Please note this is our take E*** Please be aware that nuts, gm, maize, msg, shel away menu. Minimum orde l and fi sh bon es may be contained in som r is £15.00. The information e of our products. on this menu is correct at time of printing £3.50 £3.75 £4.30 £4.50 £3.10 £3.25 £3.30 £3.30 £4.30

2 INSIDE-OUT ROLLED SUS HI 40. Rocket - cucumber, red pepper, chives £4.70 and enoki mushrooms 41. California - crab meat, mango, cream £4.80 cheese and masago 42. Salmon and avocado salmon, avocado £4.80 and sesame seeds 43. UKAI california - salmon, cream cheese, £5.10 rocket and cucumber

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FOOD & DRINK

Foodie news From the gastro front

CHOCOLATE TREE Demarquette’s impressive chocolate Christmas tree is handmade in W10 and stocked at Harrods (though it’s selling fast). Each one is unique with a variety of decoratively shimmering flavoured chocolate caramel baubles including cranberry, spiced apple and mixed citrus, all made with Demarquette’s luxurious house chocolate. www.demarquette.com

KOSHER ROAST London’s first Kosher British pop up, Kosher Roast, will be serving up Sunday lunch on 4 and 11 December at The Shop in Chamberlayne Road. Making sure that it’s all absolutely kosher will be Rabbi Dadoun and on the menu there will be classic British bar snacks and a main course of roast beef with all the trimmings or a modern veggie take on Beef Wellington. There are just 60 places on both dates at £25 per person and bookings for sittings between 1-3pm can be made at www.kosherroast.co.uk. Oy vey! 75 Chamberlayne Road NW10 COLCHIS Just opened in Chepstow Place is Colchis, serving up a menu from Georgia, which in true traditional style, will centre around wine. Georgian cuisine fuses the Mediterranean with the Middle East and Colchis is importing produce and wine from Georgia as well as small, interesting producers from around the world. Colchis Bar & Restaurant 39 Chepstow Place, W2 www.colchisrestaurant.co.uk

CARLUCCIOS CHRISTMAS Italian style goodies from Carluccios include treatfilled crackers, gold chocolate coins and the more grown-up vin santo and cantucci hamper. 108 Westbourne Grove W2 020 7243 8164

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D E W NOPEN O E R ECLECTIC WINE CAFÉ & GRILL

“Romantically cosmopolitan, Cyrano is a gorgeous and tempting restaurant situated on the capital’s Holland Park” – Top Table 8AM - MIDNIGHT FOR BREAKFAST, LUNCH, AFTERNOON TEA, DINNER SERVING COCKTAILS, WINE AND BEER ALL DAY HAPPY HOUR 5-7 PM 108 HOLLAND PARK AVENUE • LONDON • W11 4UA WWW.CYRANOLONDON.CO.UK • TEL: 020 7221 3598

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o

E AT I N G O U T

CHAKRA

157-159 Notting Hill Gate, W11 020 7229 2115

B

rand new in Notting Hill Gate is Chakra, an Indian restaurant that’s worlds away from the common curry house. This is Andy Varma’s latest venture, a new eaterie that replaces his long-standing King’s Road restaurant Vama – and he is the gastronomic force behind the ever-popular Bombay Bicycle Club and Tiffinbites too. A chance visit by him to New Culture Revolution noodle bar led to him taking over the lease and completely reconfiguring the site, creating a stylish chocolate-coloured private room out of an unused space and a luxe, cream-coloured leather-clad dining area at the front. And at only a week old, Chakra is already full. We sit on super squashy leather seats, leaning against a padded buttoned leather wall in a warm, chandelier-lit dining room. Host Andy

Varma is on hand to explain the menu, which, he says, takes inspiration from a lot of unsung heroes, obscure Indian chefs whose dishes he has loved over the years (they are named on the menu). These dishes are unlike the usual Indian fare that we all know and love – it’s posh fodder, delicate portions served elegantly on square plates in small quantities. First off there are popadoms, ready-broken, in a small glass, with cucumber, pomegranate and tomato raita, plus beetroot and vingar flavoured pickled shallots. The wine list is exotic and unusual – we

It’s posh fodder, delicate portions served elegantly on square plates in small quantities

drink glasses of Slovenian sauvignon blanc, which arrive with tiny amuse bouches of unusul pureed beans. Then there’s a large selection of small dishes which we share: diced sweet potato in a sweet, creamy minty sauce, kebabs of minced chicken with more minty dressing, very moreish crispy okra sprinkled with dry mango powder, spicy chickpeas, tandoori roti and plain, garlic scallops and black lentil dahl. Flavours are all subtle and fresh, not overbearing, and we don’t feel overfed despite the not insignificant quantity of dishes. Puddings are impressive too: there was gooey chocolate melt with cardamom ice cream and ginger and black pepper brulee with lime jelly, dinkily presented and tasting a treat. With food like this, no wonder Chakra’s already full. t 65

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FOOD&DRINK

The Hurlingham

CELEBRATING 10 YEARS

A new identity for a historic site on All Saints Road

Stuzzico… “The best-kept secret in London” GQ Magazine

T

his site has a lot of history. 8 All Saints Road was Frank Crichlow’s Mangrove Carribbean restaurant and community centre from 1968 to 1991 and since then it has been, variously, the Portobello Dining Rooms, Nice, Mas café, Manor and Ruby & Sequoia. Downstairs there’s a separate bar that has hosted many a party over the years. As Mangrove, the place was at the centre of a newly radicalised black community and as the police victimised it, high profile people including Vanessa Redgrave defended it, gaining a lot of press attention. Now as The Hurlingham, a younger sister to an established Fulham eaterie, it’s tiled and shiny, the past forgotten. It’s open all day for lunch, dinner and drinks, Saturday brunches and slap up roasts on Sundays, plus a programme of regular jazz evenings. We went for lunch and there’s a simple menu – various mezze plates for sharing plus a range of omelettes, sandwiches, salads and pasta dishes. We shared dinky bowls of delicious shallow fried halloumi, salt and pepper squid, heritage tomato salad, mini honeyed sausages and olives, all of it competent and pretty (though the squid could have done with a bit more crispiness and colour). Puddings of comforting apple and raisin pudding and almond and apricot tart were spot on. It’s a handy spot and we wish it all the best. t

“The best Italian restaurant in the postcode” The Daily Mail

“Very, very good indeed” london-eating.co.uk

“Great Italian food” tripadvisor.co.uk

Stuzzico… A local favourite now celebrating its 10 year anniversary in Connaught Village. Serving authentic Italian Cuisine with a ‘Modern Twist’ using the finest, predominately organic ingredients and offering an exemplary wine list.

Stuzzico…

24 Kendal Street London W2 2AW 020 7262 9122 www.stuzzico.co.uk

The Hurlingham, 6-8 All Saints Road, W11 020 7243 6363 66

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InSTORE TASTIngS 1st December Absinthe experience 8th December Port and Sherry Masterclass 15th December The Classics: Chardonnay and Pinot noir

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23/11/2011 14:09 23/11/11 12:24:57


CHRISTMAS AT VALENTINA The festive season is a magical time of year when some of our favourite specialities come into season, such as white truffles, wild boar salami, mostarda di fruta and marron glace - Italian Christmas food is as varied as it gets. Every region, every province, every village has its own specialities for both Cena della Vigilia (Christmas Eve dinner) and Pranzo di Natale (Christmas lunch). A lifetime would not be enough to try all the regional Christmas food worth savouring, but here at Valentina, we’ve put together a taster of some of the things you can find in store and online:

Valentina honey & jam from £7.95

Valentina antipasti from £5.95

Store Cupboard Essentials For those moments when you have unexpected visitors, or simply need to put together a quick and tasty meal in minutes, the Valentina own label range harks back to our pastoral roots, with most of the collection carefully sourced from the fertile lands around Southern Italy. Olive oil, for example, is from our family’s own olive groves in Saint Elia.

Valentina spray oils from £8.95

Hampers from £25

Panettone & Pandoro During the Christmas season, these are the two most popular yeast cakes served. Originally, Panettone, the dome shaped cake made with butter, eggs, raisins and candied peel was invented and produced in Milan, while Pandoro was baked in a special star shaped mould & dusted with powdered sugar and came from Verona. Traditionally Italians eat panettone at breakfast with coffee, between meals with Marsala wine, and after dinner with spumante. Pandoro is more often sliced and served with a sauce. Both are an ideal treat for Christmas.

Valentina Panettone or Pandoro from £10.95

Alberti Strega Panettone or Pandoro from £19.95

Stella Di Natale from £17.50

We offer a number of different brands, each one with its own unique story some are flavoured, some are stuffed with custard or chocolate and others are alcohol infused - but all are simply delicious!

Confectionery Sweetmeats are always a must have at any Italian Christmas feast. The following selections are perfect for after dinner, for hostess gifts or simply a self indulgent treat!

Alberti Strega collection from £5.95

Masoni Panforte Fig And Walnut £11.95 (450g) £4.95 (100g)

Caffarel Marron Glace Box 240g Box £19.95

Exclusive to Valentina for this year, we have the wonderful products from Alberti. Producer of the famous ‘Liquore Strega’, a saffron infused herbal digestif, the company also produces chocolates and torrone using the finest millefiori honey, bari almond and hazelnuts from Campania.

Wines & Spirits At Valentina, we offer over 160 wines from every region of Italy. Our Sommelier has chosen a selection of spirits and wines that can fill any party or get together with Christmas cheer. Prosecco, Italy's answer to Champagne is the perfect aperitif, while the Barolo from Villadoria is full-bodied, tannic, with a characteristic note of roses and tar, and designed to complement rich meaty dishes. Gavi is one of the most fashionable white regions in Italy and the La Minaia has notes of stoned and spiced fruits yet dry and big. A great wine indeed. Or for something a little different why not ask us for our current favourite wines?

Salute E Buon Natale! The Valentina Team

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Vin Gentile And Cantuccini £13.95

Olive Wood collection from £4.75

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27/10/2011 16:11


BARFLY

Cocktail month

of the

F E AT U R E D B A R

Paradise by way of Kensal Green 19 Kilburn Lane W10 020 8969 0098 theparadise.co.uk

ABSOLUTELY is a big fan of Paradise, the glamorous, sprawling venue that’s styled like a gothic fantasy stately home and offers some of the best food and drink in the area. Decadent and bohemian with its tassly lampshades, odd taxidermy, gilded furniture and luxe quirkiness, Paradise serves a mean drink and promises that its champagne cocktails are “the best in the west”. There’s the jug of Paradise punch (prepare yourself) and the Bloody Mary club that invites you to whip up your own hangover cure on a Sunday. Today’s punters are part of a long line of drinkers, since there has been a pub on the site for over 500 years (the Cricklewood Library archives hold record of the Old Plough on Kilburn Lane, where artist George Morland reputedly drank himself to death – and the present buiding kept the name when it opened in 1892). Today, we love the Paradise’s programme that spans comedy on Wednesdays, cabaret on Mondays and lectures on Tuesdays, plus funk on Fridays, soul on Sundays and Portobello blues on Saturday nights. BEST FOR: Oysters, cocktails, an eclectic crowd WORST FOR: Going home early VERDICT: There are few ills that a Paradise Bloody Mary won’t cure

WIN + WIN + WIN + WIN + WIN + WIN +

Paradise is offering one lucky Absolutely reader the chance to win a karaoke party for 20 people, including room hire, service charge and three bottles of bubbly on a date of their choice (excluding Saturdays; must be taken by the end of March 2012). For your chance to win, email bookings@theparadise with your name, address and phone number, and Absolutely competition in the subject line. Good luck.

THE ABSOLUTELY COCKTAIL AS MIXED BY PHIL DOHERTY AT BEACH BLANKET BABYLON INGREDIENTS 40ml Babicka vodka 10ml Cointreau 15ml rose syrup 10ml Lillet blanc 10ml lemon juice Shake it up with ice Garnish with grapefruit zest

Absolutely! Beach Blanket Babylon 45 Ledbury Road W11 020 7229 2907

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26/11/2011 12:41


Mr and Mrs Skött’s W11 diaries

DELICIOUS, NUTRITIOUS, SEASONAL & SUSTAINABLE Feng Sushi is committed to serving the finest food with the least possible impact on the environment – from our eco-friendly packaging to friendly cycling delivery service. Eat healthily, tread lightly… Eat healthily, tread lightly…

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e’ve been in builder chaos recently – bathroom having a much needed overhaul has meant more trips to the BodyWorksWest, though we are skulking past the gym and just using the showers. And not just builders to deal with, but scaffolding contractors too. Without telling us and in typical fashion, our landlord arranged for some scaffolding to go up outside the salon. We get a call from the team when shutting up, they can’t open the door and they can’t close the security shutter. Phoned the builder and it became our problem that we hadn’t checked these things before the scaffolders left, you can imagine the response they got and they soon put it right – don’t mess with Mrs Skött, murmured Mr Skött. Only in Notting Hill would you find a dog nutritionist, and this is where we found ourselves the other evening. The Skött hounds are in pretty good nick, so don’t require any nutritional balancing, but we weren’t going to miss the relaunch of Din Dins at the Verve Pet Boutique on Westbourne Grove. The beautiful mixed with the big (Afghans) and the small (Chihuahuas and pugs) alongside celebs including Julian MacDonald (whom we had earlier spied at the Merchant 24, where rumour says he is having a sale). This month we have been literally drowning in cocktails. Elderflower and lemon martinis at the Wolf and Badger new brands party were delicious and it was great to see so many people there, Mrs Skött seemed to garner a lot of interest in her skin and hair (we know where she gets her hair done but she is keeping her lips sealed about the skin). After a few of the aforementioned cocktails we were grateful not to have far to go. Just a few doors down Ledbury Road to the private view for Amanda Eliasch’s amazng neon installations. But the highlight of the month was certainly the launch party of this wonderful magazine, which brought even more cocktails – this time made with NW6’s wonderful Babicka vodka – at the wonderful Beach Blanket Babylon. Twitter was ablaze with praise the next day, with one tweet raving: “Richard Young stayed for 2 hours.. that says something!” Indeed. t mrandmrsskott@zest-media.com 71

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Do it Your Way

At the Club that gets Results

CLASSES PERSONAL TRAINING AND MUCH MUCH MORE!

There’s an offer for everyone at the Club that cares, from joining London’s best fitness network to fantastic off-peak offers for local mums. Plus weight loss programmes with individual support from specialist staff and a great selection of classes. Come down to Portobello this November and as well as a great joining Offer we’ll give you a free gift if you mention Absolutely magazine.

3-5 Thorpe Close . London W10 5XL. For more info contact us at info@pgfc.org.uk or call us on 020 8960 2221

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B E AU T Y

Party Pieces

Add some sparkle to your make-up bag this season

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1. Butter London 2011 Holiday Collection in Tart with a Heart, Fairy Lights and The Black Knight £12 each www.butterlondon.com 2. Tom Ford Ultra Shine Lip Gloss in Wet Violet £32 www.tomford.com 3. Smoky Eyes Pallete 01 in Silver Black £14 www.thebodyshop.co.uk 4. Eye Inspire Catwalk Quad Eyeshadow in Drama £5.50 www.mememecosmetics.co.uk 5. Laura Mercier Kohl Eye Pencil Set £31 www.lauramercier.com available at Space NK 127-131 Westbourne Grove W2 4UP 6. Peony Eyelashes £12 www.lunaandcurious.com

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This duo promises to shrink your body by at least one dress size in six weeks (some clients have shrunk two, and lost up to 2.5 stone). Paul (Ellis), who focuses on weights and Pilates, and Tom (Stockwell), who’s a keen boxer, will tone your entire body, for a gorgeous sinewy figure, with speed - but the likeble pair never fail to keep it fun. - Harper’s Bazaar

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26/11/2011 16:37


ABSOLUTELY P R O M OT I O N

Party season perfect When you need to feel confident and look glamorous, EF MEDISPA has the ultimate treatment menu to get you there – pronto

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et’s face it – when the depths of winter hit, we all need a party season saviour. And whether it be slipping into that dress or getting skin that glows, we want to achieve it in a fast, fuss-free way that doesn’t add to the endless demands of December. If you sneakily started to comfort eat when the cold weather set in, EF MEDISPA’s Spa RF Contouring (as seen on Tamara Eccelstone’s Billion Dollar Girl) uses advanced radio frequency technology to tone and tighten the skin on the face and body to give you an instantly more streamlined silhouette with minimal downtime. If it’s stubborn areas of fat that are your downfall, ditch the control pants and book in for Vaser Lipo. Hot from the USA, the technique extracts fat without damaging surrounding tissue to give you back your curves – no knives necessary. And if you’ve always dreamed of having fuller or more symmetrical breasts, stop looking at that party dress hanging in the wardrobe and let one of EF MEDISPA’s highly trained surgeons give you the bust size and the confidence to wear any dress that you want. Got the cleavage but get self conscious about your décolleté? Now’s the time to bag one of this season’s plunging necklines – and perfect sagging skin with High Frequency Mesotherapy. EF’s cocktail of vitamins and hyaluronic acid will smooth and plump out skin to give you a chest to be proud of. Double up with colonic hydrotherapy and you’ll detox your body before the social onslaught –

plus emerge feeling lighter, brighter and ready to put on your dancing shoes. When you’ve got the body, there’s not a woman on this earth who wouldn’t want more radiant skin to top it off. From the Liquid Lift – the no-knife facelift using fillers and Botox – to Dermal Smoothing, that uses hydrodermabrasion to smooth dead cells and hydrate deep down, EF has the means to get your complexion plumped and peachy. Even if you’ve only got half an hour, the Luminous Lift uses revolutionary light frequency to repair, rejuvenate and replenish skin in minutes – perfect for a mid party season complexion pick-me-up. It’s surprising how much having a brighter smile serves to perk up tired skin. EF uses a ‘diode’ laser to whiten your teeth and subtly transform your face overall. Which only leaves your make up regimen to make your party season go with an effortless swing. With a glass of bubbly and a canapé in your hands, you’ll have no need to carry around a make up bag after EF’s permanent make up service. Get fuller brows, more defined eyes or perfectly plump lips as your make-up technician uses electro-pigmentation to enhance your features in a way that’s totally tailored to you. And once you’ve treated yourself, what better way to spread the radiance than by giving others the gift of beauty? Choose a bespoke set of treatments, select a specific value so they can pick for themselves – or offer them the ultimate Christmas indulgence with a heaven-sent voucher worth £1,000.

TOP TIP: THE NEW, NO-NEEDLE BOTOX Straight from Switzerland, a new line-smoothing face treatment has arrived at EF MEDISPA. to offer the same results as Botox – without the needles. The Pep-8 facial harnesses the superpowers of peptides, antioxidants, vitamins and oils to relax the muscles that cause wrinkles – plus soothe, nourish, plump and protect the skin for up to a year. The perfect way to put your best face forward for 2012.

69 St John’s Wood High Street London NW8 7NL 020 7449 6925 29 Kensington Church Street London W8 4LL 020 7361 1005 193 Kings Road London SW3 5ED 020 7368 7674 Website: www.efmedispa.com Online shop: www.efmedishop.com Twitter: twitter.com/estherfieldgras Blog: www.efmedispa.com/news/ YouTube: www.youtube.com/user/EFmedispa

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B E AU T Y N E W S BEAUTYWORKSWEST At BeautyWorksWest, the manicure/ pedicure room is the opposite of the quick fix nail bar. Here, you’re in for the duration. Can’t decide what colours to choose? You have at least an hour to muse. Because while your toes and fingers are attended to (nails clipped, shaped and buffed, skin softened) you are left to relax in a special reclining massage chair, watching television. It might seem outrageously decadent to be watching Sex and the City or The Wire all afternoon while a small army of beauticians attends to your extremities, but that’s the life here. So, my toes are dayglo orange (November temperatures make going home in flipflops quite a feat) and my fingernails are a more sedate shade of dark purpley grey. “Stay for another ten minutes to make sure it’s really dry,” they say, leaving you to another episode. Bliss. 8-9 Lambton Place W11 020 7221 2248

LUCA BEAUTY Chamerlayne Road’s Luca has opened a new beauty department, offering everything from waxing, spray tan, manicures and gel nails to body treatments and the full Dermalogica range. They’re offering a deal on full body laser too – six sessions for £1100. 107 Chamberlayne Road NW10, 020 8968 4025

SALON STORIES Updates from the experts

AYANNA SPA New to Holland Park Avenue is Ayanna Spa, a new boutique day spa offering luxurious treatments with real results. Ayanna means blossoming beauty, so their symbol is the orchid. 146 Holland Park Avenue W11; 020 7998 7872

WIN AN EGO BOOST!

BLOOM TEA Bloom teas are designed for health; each blend is a natural source of powerful antioxidants that promise to boost your immune system and protect against free radicals. There are Bloom blends for every time of day in their five-step plan: Metabolism for breakfast, De-stressing for mid-morning, Digestion for noon, Concentration for afternoon and Relaxation for evening. And it tastes good too. Bloom is stocked at Planet Organic, 42 Westbourne Grove W2. www.bloomtea.co.uk

Queens Park’s Ego is offering Absolutely readers the chance to win a seasonal makeover for your hair worth £200. Send your name, address and phone number to competition@zest-media.com with ‘Ego’ in the subject field by 8 December and the first name to be picked out of the editor’s hat will win a colour, cut and blowdry treatment plus a Kerastase home pamper kit. 45 Salusbury Road NW6; 020 7625 4811

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Top nail treatments in a blissful, contemporary spa

GIFT RS HE C U O V

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Coco Nail Bar, 267 Portobello Road, London W11 1LR | 0207 243 1113 | www.coconailbar.com As recommended by

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for weekly deals 26/11/2011 16:05


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PEOPLE

Diary of Shakti Ananda

A Portobello yoga teacher as seen by Hattie Edmonds

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hakti Ananda (38, real name Annabel) used to work in fashion PR. But after reading Eckhart Tolle’s The Power of Now, she had an ‘A-ha’ moment and gave it up. After completing her TTC at the Sivananda Centre in Madurai, she’s now a fully accredited yoga teacher. She’s also a Reiki Master. Her mission, aside from becoming enlightened in this lifetime, is to heal those around her and help humanity in its transition from fear to love. Wake and set intentions for day: to radiate Divine Love, purify my body and order sandalwood soya candle I saw advertised in the recent copy of Kindred Spirit as a Christmas treat. Call Colin, my shaman, and tell him about my dream in which I was floating in a huge fish tank above a giant blue shoe. Do some breathwork. Make myself a ‘Gaia Energizer’ drink out of Spirulina, ginger and

ghoji berries and meditate for an hour. Log onto Cosmic Consciousness to see where the planets are aligned. Mercury is in retrograde, which would explain the quarrel I had with my ex-boyfriend last night. Call Colin and ask him what I can do to ease Mercury’s passage. Teach at Beauty Works Best health club and have a lovely swim and sauna afterwards. I much prefer teaching here rather than gym as it is far higher in vibration. Meet my friend Jagadambai for a chai tea in Coffee Plant on Portobello Road. She tells me that she’s switched from soya milk to rice milk because too much soya is bad for you. I tell her about the soya candle I saw advertised in Kindred Spirit but she doesn’t think these are so bad. To the Grain Store for veggie takeaway and spelt bread. Jagadambe comes back to mine and we do some healing on each other (Jagadambe is also a Reiki Master). We both have

a cry and decide to do a Goddess workshop next weekend. Teach yoga at gym and end up shouting at Nigel, the manager when he tells me not to burn my Nag Champa incense. Send thoughts of forgiveness and healing to Nigel. Make myself a quinoa salad. Log onto iloveindia.com and look at ashrams for January. The Baba Ramdev ashram does udgeeth pranayama so will probably go there. Read another chapter of Eckhardt Tolle’s New Earth. Meditate on raising my own, and the whole of humanity’s vibration. Ring Colin and ask him if soya candles are bad for you. t Om Shanti Shanti Shanti Baba Ganoush Hattie Edmonds’s Portobello Puff can be found at www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/ portobello-puff 81

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Santa

Absolutely tinies’ Christmas wish list

4 1. Disney’s Barbie and Ken go to Hawaii £24.99 disneystore.co.uk 2. Button Bag knitting kit, £17.99 Honeyjam 2 Blenheim Crescent W11 3. Barbarossa pirate ship £45 Honeyjam, 2 Blenheim Crescent W11 4. London bus and driver £40 and £33 Aspace, 72 Westbourne Grove W2

FLIP & DRAW MONSTERS BOOK AND CHRISTMAS CREATURES Easy to make and guaranteed to bring a smile... www.pookieandpeach.com

LEAPSTER EXPLORER Designed for ages four to nine, the Leapster Explorer is a learning device with games centred around maths and spelling behind Tinkerbell/ Star Wars facades. www.leapfrog.com OPERATION ALPHABET Operation Alphabet by Al MacCuish is a beautifullyillustrated caper featuring Charlie Foxtrot’s adventures with the alphabet and the Ministry of Letters. Thames & Hudson, £9.95. MATILDA Matilda is the first Girl for All Time doll and an accompanying book tells the story of her life in the court of Henry VIII. With a beautifully made Tudor costume (including underwear) she is tipped as the hottest gift for 2011. £89.99 at www. agirlforalltime.com, Honeyjam W11 and Salusbury School Christmas Fair on 10 December.

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KIDS

Northern

lights Absolutely teams up with Kidsen for a fun-fuelled Christmas shopping evening full of discounts and goodie bags

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verything you need for the children can be scooped up with one visit to popular Scandinavian design store Kidsen. Owner Corina Papadopolou is hosting a Christmas shopping evening that’s set to be fun, offering Swedish mulled wine and nibbles with the locals (look out for Kidsen fans Thandie Newton, Gaby Roslin, Jamie Cullen and Sienna Miller) as well as 20% off all shoes and clothes on the night, plus luxe goodie bags for the first 50 customers. Highlights from the Christmas collection include fun Sebra wooden coat hangers (£9.50), Klippan pure wool throws and jungle/polar bear print blankets (from £39.99), the ever-popular Smaland dolls house (£117), animal bike helmets and much more. Kidsen’s Christmas shopping evening in collaboration with Absolutely magazine takes place from 4 to 8.30pm on Thursday 8 December at Kidsen, 111 Chamberlayne Road NW10 020 8969 7565 www.kidsen.co.uk

WIN!!! A £50 KIDSEN VOUCHER

Kidsen is offering readers of Absolutely the chance to win a £50 voucher to spend in the shop. For your chance to win, send your answer to the following question, along with your name, address and phone number to competition@zest-media.com and put Kidsen in the subject field. Who wrote Pippi Longstocking? Closing date: 8 December. Winner will be chosen randomly; the editor’s decision is final. 83

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26/11/2011 13:14


o T R AV E L

Island Life

Maida Vale’s Mary Portas finds heaven at Sardinia’s Petra Segreta

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e leave the delightful village of San Pantaleo and begin our approach to Petra Segreta. A winding dirt road snakes through scrubland strewn with hulking volcanic rocks. My BlackBerry shows no reception. Commencing a vertiginous climb, we follow teeny tiny signs directing us to Petra Segreta Resort & Spa, high in the hills above the Costa Smeralda. It is, however, not the happiest taxi journey. Italy is currently losing 2–0 in the football. Our driver is energetically shouting ‘Kaput!’, motioning a slit throat. As we pull up to the pale timber double gates of our final destination, Italia scores. ‘DueUno!’ By now, all three of us are shouting. Flying easyJet was our only option to get to Olbia airport, half an hour’s drive away – and easyJet is not always, well, easy. And there were air-traffic control strikes. But never mind all that – one glimpse of the low-

slung warm bronze stonework of the traditional stazzi farmhouse buildings and the hotel appears pure perfection, set against an azure sky strewn with streaky fluffs of white. A bristling guard of flowering lavender stands to attention as we walk up the steep drive to reception, where we are greeted by tinkling jazz tunes, and the attentive and charming Daniel. Assigned room 202 (you cannot book specific suites), our impressions are that it’s cool, calm and welldesigned, with white walls, timbered ceilings and solid Sardinian furniture. Double doors lead out to a generous

veranda and a breathtaking view over a sparkling Costa Smeralda bay. We turn on the television looking for BBC World –it’s Italian Sky. It’s probably for the best, and we’re nudged out into the Mediterranean gardens past olive trees, wild lavenders and prickly pears, to catch the last rays of sun, poolside. This pair of Smiths on a postnuptials escape are in fact at a ‘wellness centre’. Indeed, Petra Segreta is a spa hotel, meaning that all the other guests here now – a mere 12, there are only 15 rooms in total – are, like us, couples looking for peace. As such, the atmosphere is pin-drop silence. We talk in stage whispers. ‘They charge €3 for filtered water?’ and ‘Shall we have a cocktail?’ Ordering a gin lemon and a Bloody Mary, we encounter Barbie and Dodo, the resident West Highland Terriers. Unlike most hotel pets I’ve met, these two cuties aren’t jaded by the affections of strangers, and they gamely they offer up their tummies for a rub.

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For someone seeking a relaxed spa break, Petra Segreta has all the essentials for those fleeing city stresses: an isolated and soothing location, chic look and feel, great service, good weather

The hotel has the effect of making you want to dress elegantly for supper. How lovely is that? We return to our room to transform ourselves from frazzled travellers to chic women-about-Sardinia. A fly in the ointment is that the bathroom mirror/moody lighting makes for challenging make-up application. And I wouldn’t be doing my job as a retail – or in this case, hospitality – adviser if I didn’t point out the frustrating socket situation: all plug points are used by the essential lighting or TV equipment, leaving none spare for phones or laptops. Maybe the hotel is just that determined that guests properly switch off? Dining right here at Petra Segreta is definitely preferable. Apart from having heard that the food is a highlight (think lobster Catalana with pan-fried garden vegetables), the alternative is having to tackle that dirt road again. No thanks – we’re here to relax. So our first meal is in the fine-dining room. Although I find the dishes a little fussy for my tastes, with lots of

complicated sauce reductions, my craving for great wine couldn’t be better satisfied. I’m a fan of red, and having shared my preferences with our waiter, Giorgio, he delivers a wonderful local syrah – a Nero d’Avola d’Alessandro. Only twice do we venture out of the hotel during our three-day minimoon, and day two sees us venture north to Baja Sardinia. Arriving in the beach-resort village after a 30-minute drive, we realise it is, well, a resort. Not much rustic allure, purpose-built, with a sandy beach covered with multiple beds. But this is the Italian way – and that lends a certain charm. An entertaining lunch at coast-side L’Approdo makes it well worth the trip. That evening, we hit the second, simpler-fare menu at Petra Segreta. Delicious! My Mrs Smith has carpaccio of octopus while I enjoy the wafer-thin beef. Spaghetti vongole and sautéed veal, mushroom with fried potatoes and an arugula salad follow. Tonight’s ruby tipple? Cagnulari Alghero from Cantina

Santa Maria La Palma – as lovely as the first recommendation. Porto Cervo, the next morning, is our next excursion: this is essentially Bond Street set in a 1970s mall, selling clothes for Nancy dell’Olio and those dolly-bird Italian TV presenters, and their signori. Ralph Lauren and Tod’s for him; Dolce & Gabbana or Versace for her. Plenty of these very ladies cavort around Porto Cervo in their five-inch Louboutins, all big lips and big hair. We’ve heard they even wear their Loubis on the beach. My idea of hell. After discovering a beautiful brand-new Eres boutique (and a bikini each later), we take in more edifying window-shopping care of art-filled Fumi and the Louise Alexander Gallery. Happy to return to our romantic hideaway, which is as genuine as Porto Cervo is phoney, we decide it’s pool time again. Laid-back and unhurried, service full of warmth and charm – this is heaven. And Paolo, the therapist who performs our vigorous full-body massages in the spa, has our health and wellbeing in his mind throughout. He is properly good. And should we desire more spa time, Turkish baths, a sauna and Jacuzzis are at our disposal. For someone seeking a relaxed spa break, Petra Segreta has all the essentials for those fleeing city stresses: an isolated and soothing location, chic look and feel, great service, good weather. But, for me, the real touch of genius? An outdoor running machine. Pounding it in my bikini, Zola Budd style, overlooking the stunning surrounding hilly landscape, I realise this a place where I can enjoy my red wine and still know I am being good to myself. That’s Petra Segreta all over. This review appears in Mr & Mrs Smith’s new Hotel Collection: Italy 85

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The name Zaika translates quite literally as sophisticated flavours and this is the ethos behind the innovative menu. With an emphasis on refined yet creative Indian Cuisine. Private Bookings, Corporate Events & Christmas Reservations. Enjoy a complimentary glass of champagne during the month of December. Only available for Lunch. Quote “Absolutely Notting Hill” when making the booking and bring the coupon with you. Set Lunch Menu from £12 Two Course Early Evening Menu from £22

Zaika, No1 Kensington High Street, London, W8 5NP 020 7795 6533 www.zaika-restaurant.co.uk reservations@zaika-restaurant.co.uk

&

Complimentary

Glass

of Champagne

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Enjoy a complimentary glass of champagne during the month of December. Only available for Lunch. Quote “Absolutely Notting Hill” when making the booking and bring the coupon with you. Set Lunch Menu from £12 Two Course Early Evening Menu from £22

26/11/2011 16:42


PEOPLE

S I X T Y S E C O N D S W I T H...

Antony Harris

PHOTOGRAPHY BY TAGEN DONOVAN

Local restaurateur and the man behind Portobello Road’s First Floor You are celebrating 25 years as a local restaurateur. Tell us about those years. For years I used to run Bentley’s Champagne & Oyster Bar in Knightsbridge. I left to live in Australia but returned in 1987 and with my then wife I opened the Canal Brasserie on Kensal Road which I ran until 2002 when I sold it to one of my ex-bartenders (it’s now the Blag Club). The Canal Brasserie was hugely successful. I had a number of head chefs there who went on to get Michelin stars and become famous. Nick Anderson & the Renzland brothers both went on to Michelin fame & Ross Burden became a TV chef (he is now on the Master Chef judging panel in NZ). I was nominated for 1992 finals of Time Out eating awards in the ‘Best Modern British’ category and was tipped to win but lost my head chef just before. Sonny’s in Barnes won instead. I was very successful as a restaurant and a favourite of Fay Maschler. We did lots of wrap and other parties for the BBC and the likes of Working Title films, London Records, Polydor, Jazz FM and Universal. For years we ran the very popular Canal Club, Chocolate Club and a Sunday club, called ‘Just quietly come’ with Graham Ball and Davina McCall. Audeley Harrison helped out on the door. The First Floor opened in 1991 and I took it over in 1998. What was it like when you took over? I loved the First Floor when it opened in 1991. It was a bit tired and run down in 1998 and the bar had been made over with bright orange and blue as the theme. Hideous. The menu was quite weird with crocodile and lots of exotic game. Very expensive – and I’ve never seen a stranger menu.

Curiosity Killed the Cat, Jason Donovan, Leonard Cohen, Leo Sayer, Neneh Cherry, Jade Jagger. People like Paul McCartney, David Bowie and Mick Jagger dropped in occasionally. At the First Floor, the Dimbleby brothers are regulars, as is Jeremy Irons. Occasional visitors include Paul McCartney, Jennifer Saunders, Dawn French, Jade Jagger, Sienna Miller, Adel, Jimmy Carr, Alan Carr, Kate Moss, Sophie Dahl, Mika, Will Young, Woody Allen and Hank Marvin.

What was the first thing you changed? I expanded the rococo theme making it more ‘shabby chic’ as it had lost its chic factor. The staff all had to go. How are you celebrating 25 years? We will be offering 25% off all our wines when dining in then main restaurant during January, to thank all our past and future customers. What famous faces have come through your doors over the years? Lots and lots. From the Brasserie days, regulars were Seal, Ben from

Where do you live and what do you like/dislike about it? I used to be in Notting Hill but since my divorce I live in Kensal Green. I like the fact it’s constantly changing with lots of new places to eat and drink opening. I dislike the fact that there still aren’t enough good eateries in the area. It got better though. I loved and miss 192 and Monsieur Thompsons, my old favourites. Where do you like to eat/drink/ shop? The First Floor is my favorite for eating and drinking. Mr Christians is a favourite for deli stuff. I have always shopped at Graham & Green & the market. Sasti’s in Portobello Arcade is a must for kids clothes. Of course Portobello Wholefoods on Portobello Road is a firm favourite.

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ABSOLUTELY 1234

Property

Observatory Gardens W8 A spectacular apartment with its own private street level entrance and secure underground parking space, located on the site of the former Observatory that Sir James South built in 1831. £3.2 million

Faron Sutaria • 129-131 Notting Hill Gate W11 • 020 7229 2404 • www.faronsutaria.co.uk

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Horbury Crescent, Notting Hill, W11 An elegant and welcoming townhouse on a quiet and pretty crescent in prime Notting Hill Well and truly reconstructed five years ago, this is a dignified, stucco fronted town house which combines practical living space and sophisticated modern systems with its existing provenance and a newly acquired touch of contemporary style and design.

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Double reception room Kitchen / breakfast room, dining room & playroom Master bedroom & en-suite bathroom Four further bedrooms, two further bathrooms Utility room, larder & cloakroom 45’ landscape designed garden The Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea 2,764 sq ft / 256.8 sq m Guide Price £4.5 million Freehold

Joint Sole Agents Crayson 020 7221 1117 hello@crayson.com John D Wood 020 7727 2233

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Specialists in Selling

23/11/2011 18:43


Ledbury Road, Notting Hill, W11 If the centre of elegance in London is Notting Hill, this elegant property in the centre of Notting Hill is one of London’s most glamorous of addresses The contrast could not be greater. The supreme tranquillity of this period town house tucked away in the peaceful epicentre of Notting Hill. Yet just yards away, the hustle and bustle of restaurants, bars and cafes and the eclectic mix of Notting Hill society.

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Double reception room Kitchen/ breakfast room & dining room Further reception room or playroom / office Master bedroom suite 3 guest bedrooms, bathroom & shower room Walled garden, roof terrace & balconies 2,778 sq ft / 258 sq m Guide Price ÂŁ3.55 million Freehold

Sole Agent hello@crayson.com T 020 7221 1117 10 Lambton Place London W11 2SH

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Specialists in Selling

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Westbourne Park Road, Notting Hill, W2 Standing in a leafy setting, this spacious, stylish, solid six bedroom family house is the very essence of serenity, sophistication and sunlight Overlooking a row of elegant plane trees, this large town house stands proudly in an imposing terrace of period houses dating back to the reign of Queen Victoria.

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Two reception rooms Kitchen & dining room Master bedroom & bathroom Five further bedrooms & three bathrooms Playroom, study, utility room Walled garden, terrace & balcony 3,140 sq ft / 291.7 sq m Guide Price ÂŁ3.75 million Freehold

Sole Agent hello@crayson.com T 020 7221 1117 10 Lambton Place London W11 2SH

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Specialists in Selling

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Knight Frank Knight Frank

Uxbridge Street, Kensington W8 A charming house with a patio garden

An elegant two bedroom house which is beautifully presented throughout located in the very popular Hillgate Village. 2 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, drawing room, kitchen/breakfast room, utility room, patio garden. Approximately 89 sq m (971 sq ft) Freehold

KnightFrank.co.uk/Kensington kens@knightfrank.com 020 7938 4311

Guide price: ÂŁ1,300,000 (Ken110209) knightfrank.co.uk/KEN110209

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Knight Frank

Holland Park, London W11

Stunning two bedroom Holland Park apartment A meticulously refurbished maisonette set within a classic Grade II listed, white stucco fronted Holland Park Villa. 2 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, reception room, kitchen/breakfast room, patio terrace, porter/concierge. Approximately 258 sq m (2,780 sq ft)

KnightFrank.co.uk/Kensington kens@knightfrank.com 020 7938 4311

Share of freehold Guide price: ÂŁ3,900,000 (KEN110070)

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1234

ABSOLUTELY

In their own words

Marc von Grundherr, Lettings Director at Benham and Reeves Residential Lettings

‘‘

PHOTO: GEORGE RAMSAY

B

enham and Reeves Residential Lettings has been letting and managing premium residential properties since the 1950s. We opened our first office in the Notting Hill area in Thackeray Street in the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea in 1995, and another in Sussex Place, Hyde Park in 1998. Our new office in west London is due to open in 2012. We’re known for our service to landlords, who value our honest, accurate advice, and tenants, who appreciate our great choice of properties. I began my career in lettings in Kensington 15 years ago and since then have seen huge changes in the rental market as demand has grown. Today, there is unprecedented demand for properties, particularly apartments, as buyers struggle to get on the property ladder. Although we have grown to become London’s largest, independent lettings specialist, with nine offices across London, I enjoy being based here – it’s so full of life. I love its multi-cultural buzz, its café culture and of course, the famous Portobello Market and the Notting Hill Carnival. But who lives in Notting Hill? It used to be known for its bohemian feel but today is universally popular, known for famous residents such as Robbie Williams, Stella McCartney and David Cameron (before he became PM). When it comes to renting, we’ve had several famous clients on our books but the area has widespread appeal, particularly among corporate tenants who love its quirky feel, beautiful parks and those great eateries and shops. We have some stunning properties – Victorian townhouses set around peaceful, garden squares and stylish period conversions that are popular with overseas tenants, particularly Americans, looking for a slice of the London lifestyle. Maybe that’s its secret. There’s something for everyone. Whether a tenant is looking for a large family home or a sleek, modern apartment, we can find them exactly what they want. Our staff live locally and know the area inside out and they’re ARLA (Association of Residential Lettings Agents) trained so their expertise is unrivalled. It’s this excellent service that keeps tenants, and landlords, coming back to us. If you have a property to let, would like some free rental advice or ideas on how to present your property to appeal to discerning tenants, or maybe you’re thinking about renting a property, please call me on 020 7938 3522 or pop into our office at 5 Thackeray Street, W8.

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‘‘

www.brlets.co.uk

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o P R O P E RT Y

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faronsutaria.co.uk

SALES & LETTINGS

CAMPDEN HILL ROAD, W8 A substantial period house offering flexible living accommodation over four floors, with high ceilings, good natural light, a west facing patio garden and currently divided into two maisonettes. Approx. 2,300 sq ft. 6 bedrooms, 4 bathrooms, 3 reception rooms. ÂŁ2,700,000 Freehold 020 7229 2404 nottinghill@faronsutaria.co.uk

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faronsutaria.co.uk

SALES & LETTINGS

HARVIST ROAD, NW6 A spectacular Victorian house retaining many original features and refurbished to a very high standard. Offering contemporary living space with the added benefit of a south facing garden and views across to Queen’s Park. 5 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms, 2 reception rooms, off-street parking. £2,995,000 Freehold 020 7229 2404 nottinghill@faronsutaria.co.uk

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faronsutaria.co.uk

SOLD

SOLD

SALES & LETTINGS

ELGIN CRESCENT, W11

PEMBRIDGE VILLAS, W11

2 bedrooms, bathroom, reception room. £1,300,000 Leasehold

Bedroom, bathroom, reception room. £725,000 Leasehold

020 7229 2404 nottinghill@faronsutaria.co.uk

020 7229 2404 nottinghill@faronsutaria.co.uk

UNDER OFFER

UNDER OFFER

AIRLIE GARDENS, W8

CAMPDEN HILL ROAD, W8

2 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, reception room. £1,350,000 Share of Freehold

4 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms, reception room. £1,350,000 Leasehold

020 7229 2404 nottinghill@faronsutaria.co.uk

020 7229 2404 nottinghill@faronsutaria.co.uk

STRONG DEMAND CONTINUES, MORE PROPERTY URGENTLY REQUIRED

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faronsutaria.co.uk

SALES & LETTINGS

ADDISON PLACE, W11 A well presented Grade II Listed Victorian cottage with a lawned garden, situated in this charming mews, close to Holland Park and Holland Park Tube station. 2 bedrooms, bathroom, reception room. ÂŁ1,195,000 Freehold 020 7229 2404 nottinghill@faronsutaria.co.uk

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London’s Letting Agency www.brlets.co.uk

Notting Hill Gate

From £270 pw Furnished

Studio/1 Bedroom | 1 Bathroom Period Conversion | Close to Tube Hyde Park 020 7402 9866

Notting Hill Gate

hyde@brlets.co.uk

£700 pw Furnished

West End

From £360 pw Furnished

Chelsea Borders From £450 pw Furn/Unfurnished

1 Bedroom | 1 Reception | 1 Bathroom Prime Location | Hyde Park Nearby

2/3 Bedrooms | 1 Reception | 2/3 Bathrooms Terrace | Parking | 24 Hr Porterage | River Views

Hyde Park 020 7402 9866

Imperial Wharf 020 7348 7620 imperialwharf@brlets.co.uk

hyde@brlets.co.uk

Notting Hill

£795 pw Furnished

Knightsbridge

£1,100 pw Furnished

1 Bedroom | 1 Reception | 1 Bathroom Balcony | 24hr Porterage | Close to Amenities

2 Bedrooms | 1 Reception | 2 Bathrooms Period Conversion | Near Park & High Street

2 Bedrooms | 1 Reception | 2 Bathrooms Period Conversion | Amenities & Tube Nearby

Kensington 020 7938 3522

Hyde Park 020 7402 9866

Knightsbridge 020 7581 2112

Chelsea

kens@brlets.co.uk

£1,475 pw Furnished

Kensington

hyde@brlets.co.uk

£1,600 pw Furnished

Knightsbridge

knight@brlets.co.uk

£3,950 pw Furnished

2 Bedrooms | 1 Reception | 2 Bathrooms Fitness Suite | Parking | 24hr Porterage

4 Bedrooms | 1 Reception | 2 Bathrooms Mansion Apartment | Lift | 24hr Porterage

3 Bedrooms | 1 Reception | 3 Bathrooms Fitness Suite | Parking | 24hr Porterage

Knightsbridge 020 7581 2112

Knightsbridge 020 7581 2112

Knightsbridge 020 7581 2112

Nine offices open six days a week: Beaufort Park 020 8732 7980 Canary Wharf 020 7038 8057 City 020 7213 9700

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knight@brlets.co.uk

Hampstead Highgate Hyde Park

020 7435 9681 020 8341 2335 020 7402 9866

Imperial Wharf Kensington Knightsbridge

knight@brlets.co.uk

020 7348 7620 020 7938 3522 020 7581 2112

Hong Kong Singapore Dubai India

knight@brlets.co.uk

primelocation.com

22/11/2011 18:50


If you want to let out your property how much rent should you ask? Setting the right price to let your property out is something of a minefield. Estate agents always talk up rents and most other “advisers” have some kind of vested interest either way.

At Benham & Reeves Lettings all we do is lettings. We are London’s oldest and biggest lettings-only agency. We rent more properties to more people in the better parts of town than anyone else. We can tell you (for FREE) exactly what you should get for your property. And we can tell you how you can increase that too. And we offer this service for free. There’s a catch of course, we want your business, but we’re not pushy and it doesn’t help us in the long-term if we are anything other than accurate. So, if you are considering letting out a property call in to see our lettings team at 5 Thackeray Street for an informal chat.

URGENT CALL Properties needed to rent in Notting Hill, Kensington and Hyde Park. We are currently swamped with tenants looking for properties in these three areas.

Nine offices open six days a week

Call us now on 0800 092 9656

or email us at info@brlets.co.uk and experience the difference

www.brlets.co.uk Benham Dec11 Abs.indd 2

London | Hong Kong | Singapore | Dubai | India

22/11/2011 18:50


The only way is up Hamptons International announces its 2012 Property Market Forecasts

H

amptons International has today announced its market forecasts for 2012, predicting a continued but diminished divide between London and the rest of the country next year for both the sales and lettings markets. Hamptons International expects mainstream sales values across the UK to fall by two per cent. The South of England is predicted to experience similar conditions to 2011, with levels remaining flat. The London market will continue to attract investment opportunities and drive market conditions, with prime London in particular expected to see a four per cent increase in sales values over the next 12 months. The 2012 Sales Market SALES National South of England London Prime London

-2% 0% +1% +4%

Based on several key assumptions*, Hamptons International expects the sales market next year to be characterised by a continued depressed sterling exchange rate which will support international demand in prime central London and favourable mortgage lending terms as a result of a low Bank of England base rate, with more competition from lenders.

London and prime property in particular will continue to represent a safe haven/defensive investment akin to gold, supporting demand and prices. Country markets in the south of England will see a modest decline from the flat market of 2011. The rest of the UK is expected to improve modestly but this will only slow the declines of 2011 rather than produce positive price movements. Marc Goldberg, Head of Sales at Hamptons International, comments: “Set against a backdrop of continued economic uncertainty, we are expecting the 2012 property market to be a more conservative re-run of 2011. We expect to see a marginal increase in transaction levels throughout 2012, with much less diversity in price movements. Just as we expect the declines in activity in the south of the UK and nationwide to slow, so do we expect the sometimes meteoric rises in prime central London to moderate.” The 2012 rental market LETTINGS South of England London Prime London

+2% +5% +3%

The rental market has been strong in 2011 and moving into 2012, Hamptons International predicts this to improve marginally, with two per

LONDON AND PRIME PROPERTY IN PARTICULAR WILL CONTINUE TO REPRESENT A SAFE HAVEN/DEFENSIVE INVESTMENT AKIN TO GOLD, SUPPORTING DEMAND AND PRICES

cent growth across the south of the UK. London is expected to see more growth, with a predicted five per cent increase in prices and three per cent in prime London. Overall, Hamptons International expects rental demand to remain strong for the mainstream market, with some softening of the market at the top-end due to economic uncertainty. High rents in central London will continue to push demand further out as renters are unable and/or unwilling to stretch budgets. This will support rental growth in areas of inner London such as Islington, Ealing, Clapham and further out towards Wimbledon, Richmond, Esher and Guildford. Lesley Cairns, Head of Lettings at Hamptons International, comments: “We are expecting the rental market boom to continue in prime and Greater London, driven by a continued imbalance between supply and demand. For the first time ever, the private rented sector will house more people in the UK than the social rented sector, which will put continued pressure on prices. Rents are likely to continue to rise, although this rise will be moderated as tenants find ever-more creative ways to make life more affordable. We are already seeing increasing numbers of flat sharers and ‘outmigrators’ looking for a similar quality of stock and location but prepared to move from Zone One to Zones Two, Three and Four to find it. Both of these trends are likely to become more widespread throughout 2012.”

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o P R O P E RT Y

PROPERTY of the month HOLLAND PARK, W11 Elegant two bedroom maisonette offering direct access to garden A simple but stylish flat decorated by luxury British interior designer, Helen Green. The apartment, circa 1,430 sq ft, is arranged over two floors and has been designed in a contemporary style whilst retaining its original period grandeur. The reception room and dining area are accessed through double doors and offer excellent volume

with high ceilings and space. The galley kitchen has direct access to the beautiful, communal garden. Floor-to-ceiling windows in the reception room and master bedroom allow for an abundance of natural light to reach the property. The accommodation comprises two

bedrooms, two bathrooms, reception room, dining area, kitchen, communal garden. t Tenure: Share of freehold Guide price: ÂŁ2.45m Knight Frank, 020 7938 4311 www.knightfrank.co.uk

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MARSH & PARSONS DEC 11.indd 1

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Follow us on Twitter: twitter.com/marshandparsons

Join us on Facebook: facebook/marshandparsons.co.uk

Visit our YouTube channel: youtube.com/user/marshandparsons

SALES

See all of our properties online: marshandparsons.co.uk

Ladbroke Grove W11 £4,500,000 A well presented house set back from the road featuring a fantastic walled garden of over 75ft and exceptional reception space including a superb drawing room opening out to a conservatory with views over the mature garden. The lower oor provides two reception rooms and a large kitchen/ breakfast room. The bedroom accommodation includes a spacious master suite with a large double bedroom, walk-in dressing room and large bathroom, two further double bedrooms and a single bedroom served by a family bathroom and shower room. Freehold. Joint Sole Agents.

NOTTING HILL: 020 7313 2890 sales.not@marshandparsons.co.uk

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St Quintin Avenue, W10 £3.85m

This broad Edwardian house (339 sq m) has been comprehensively refurbished and extended to provide a truly balanced family home with a fantastic south facing garden. Five bedrooms, two bathrooms, shower room, two reception rooms, kitchen, study, playroom, utility, dressing room, storage, 50 ft south-facing garden with power and water supplies for a potential home office.

Bective Leslie Marsh 020 7221 0330

Property

Roundup Kensington Park Road, W11 £1,700 per week

Desirable two bedroom apartment located on fifth floor (with lift) of a portered building and beautifully refurbished to offer flexible space in which to live and entertain.

Hamptons International 020 7034 0405

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Kildare Terrace, W2 £4,350,000

HORBURY CRESCENT, W11 £4.5M

Marsh and Parsons 020 7313 6910

Craysons 020 7221 1117

This elegant and beautifully presented Victorian house provides a double reception room that galleries over a bespoke kitchen/ dining room and a second double reception room. Bedroom accommodation includes a master bedroom with en suite bathroom and a further three bedrooms served by a family bathroom. Benefits include a gym, wine cellar and westerly garden. Sole Agents.

This elegant stucco-fronted town house in a quiet and pretty crescent was reconstructed five years ago and now cleverly fuses sophisticated modern systems with existing provenance. The five bedroom accommodation is set over four floors and extends to 256.8 sq m. The integrity of the 19th century building has been beautifully retained and combines seamlessly with contemporary style and design.

Prince Edward Mansions, W2 £3.95m

This vast apartment lends itself to entertaining with a Clive Christian kitchen and rooms of excellent proportions, including a huge fish tank in the living room. there are three bedrooms, all with en suite bathrooms.

Savills 020 7535 3300

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ISO 9001 :2000 GB00411

The closest thing to a

The closest thing to a licensed licensed agentagent in an in an unlicensed unlicensed world.world.

£595 per week Furnished Monmouth Road W2 A superb 1st and 2nd floor maisonette with high ceilings, wooden floors throughout and a terrace/balcony off the reception room. The flat is conveniently located close to all the restaurants, bars and shops of Westbourne Grove and within 10 minute’s walk of the District, Circle and Central underground lines of Notting Hill Gate. 2 double bedrooms, En-suite shower room, Bathroom, Reception room, Kitchen, Balcony/terrace. Notting Hill Lettings Office: 020 7727 8000 nhlets@dng.co.uk

£795 per week Furnished/Unfurnished Linden Gardens W2 This fabulous apartment on the 3rd/4th floors offers a wonderful loft style reception room, with double height ceilings, open to a modern kitchen/ breakfast room ideal for entertaining. With a contemporary style finish the apartment has two double bedrooms, a large bathroom and plenty of storage space. 2 double bedrooms, Bathroom, Reception room, Open-plan kitchen/breakfast room. Notting Hill Lettings Office: 020 7727 8000 nhlets@dng.co.uk

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Text dng to 84840 for details of properties near you now.

North Chelsea Fulham Hammersmith & Shepherd’s Bush

Kensington South Kensington Notting Hill Pimlico & Westminster

South Balham Battersea Battersea Park Clapham Southside

East Putney West Putney Southfields & Earlsfield

www.douglasandgordon.com

£750,000 Share of Freehold Pembridge Villas W11 An attractive second floor apartment within this period building that has been carefully refurbished to a high standard located in the heart of Notting Hill. Double bedroom, Reception room, Kitchen, Bathroom, Balcony. Notting Hill Sales 020 7727 7777 nhsales@dng.co.uk

£650,000 Leasehold Queensway W2 A wonderful top floor apartment that has been recently refurbished to a high standard enjoying light and spacious accommodation. 2 bedrooms, Bathroom, Reception room, Kitchen. Notting Hill Sales 020 7727 7777 nhsales@dng.co.uk

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Extraordinary People Ivor Dickinson Magician and Managing Director Emily Akers Magician’s Assistant and Team Assistant

It’s a kind of magic Whether smoke and mirrors or plain old magic, Ivor and Emily conjure success after success. Our people are what make us great, and this pair are just the trick.

douglasandgordon.com

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Nu-Line

BATHROOM & LIGHTING Showroom

311 Westbourne Park Road London W11 1EF

T: 020 8206 5177 F: 020 8206 5188 E: showroom@nu-line.net

www.nulinebathrooms.com

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