I live in a Georgian period listed building in Shoreditch, which was originally built in the 1700s. We managed to find a house in central London with a garden, which is fab as I love being in the heart of Spitalfields with its sense of history and the market. There’s a real burgeoning food scene around here and also some great shops.
FAVOURITE COLOURS AT HOME
I have chosen neutrals, dark blue and olive green shades from Farrow & Ball, which are appropriate colours for the period that complement the wood panelling and era of the property.
MY FAVOURITE PIECE OF HOME MEMORABILIA
I have a portrait of my dog, Alfie, wearing full Victorian regalia, which hangs above the fireplace and was given to me by a very good friend for my 40th birthday. Now it is something that I really treasure.
Left: first-edition Elizabeth David cookbooks are beautiful design objects; Right: St. John Bar & Restaurant
I’m a great believer in simplicity and lack of fuss, and St. John in Smithfield embodies that ethos in its entirety from the food, to the dining room, to the menus and the website. Nothing is over-embellished, and there is a real truth to materials, whether you’re talking about a beef and kidney pie or the old Georgian smokehouse interiors.
Two Columbia Road, in Hackney, is a gallery that specialises in collectible furniture. It has quirky designs from Scandinavia, Europe and North America from a range of top designers. There are also artworks exhibited by Patrick Caulfield, Marc Quinn, Sarah Lucas etc for those building a modern art collection (twocolumbiaroad.co.uk).
MOST COVETED DESIGN OBJECT
Elizabeth David first-edition cookbooks. Not only did she transform British cooking habits but the designs of the books are beautiful, too. I have bought them over the years at opportune moments.
BEST DESIGN STORE
The Hackney-based Very Good & Proper is a fantastic brand, co-founded by Patrick Clayton-Malone who is also one of the co-founders of Merchants Tavern, which we opened in Shoreditch last October. The company designed all the interiors — turning what was a former apothecary space into a stylish restaurant and bar — and also created chairs, beakers, knives and boards specially for the restaurant, some of which they now sell online. Their designs have a real integrity and simplicity, so they work well in domestic as well as commercial settings (verygoodandproper.co.uk).
Left: Angela Hartnett loves Two Columbia Road gallery, where this rare George Nelson Coconut Chair costs £2,500;
Right: Canteen bar stool, in wood and steel, £300 from Very Good & Proper (verygoodandproper.co.uk)
BEST FOOD SHOP
I love spending afternoons at the Ham & Cheese shop in Bermondsey Spa, tasting new produce and chatting to Elliot, the founder. Nathan the butcher of The Butchery Ltd is also based there and does traditional “nose to tail” butchery, which shows a greater respect for the animal. All his stuff is free range, pasture fed and sourced from small farms that care about their craft.
ON LAZY SUNDAYS
Spending the day with friends and family, cooking and enjoying each other’s company. Then relaxing in front of the fire with Alfie completely zonked out at my feet.