My design London: Margot Henderson, author of cookery book 'You're All Invited'

The writer and cafe owner reveals her secret oasis in Soho, where to eat the best dumplings in London, and why Bermondsey's Spa Terminus is going to be the next big food market.
Margot Henderson is the co-founder of Rochelle Canteen, a lunchtime café converted from a former school bike shed that looks out on to much-admired Arnold Circus in Shoreditch.
She is the author of cookery book, You're All Invited and is married to the St John Restaurant chef Fergus Henderson.
We live in a flat just off Seven Dials in the heart of Covent Garden, and since it's Fergus, me, and our three children - they are aged 19, 18 and 14 - our two-bedroom flat is much too small, even though we've turned the sitting room into a third bedroom.
But I love the area. It's steeped in history and I imagine it was once a wild and crazy place. It's tamer now but the streets were re-cobbled recently so at least you can hear those lovely clippity-clop sounds of the past. There are great pubs, theatres and restaurants - and I even love the tourists.


LEFT: The St John Bakery at Bermondsey's Spa Terminus; RIGHT: Labour and Wait in Shoreditch, for household needs. Both images: Rebecca Reid
Bright white. It's essential if you live somewhere like Covent Garden, where all the buildings steal each other's light. We've got lots of art on the walls and people often visit, so everything and everyone looks much more decorative against a white background.
The kitchen is the hub of the house and my favourite piece of furniture is our white Aalto-style kitchen table, built by my father-in-law. It's the key spot in our home and has been here for 40 years [Fergus's parents lived in the flat before]. Somehow the red wine stains disappear and the table just keeps going. People have danced on top of it - and it stood up to that.


Thing of beauty: a Chadwick pizza oven can go on the hob or the barbecue
I'd like a Chadwick pizza oven which seems a luxury — it's £360 — but it's incredibly beautiful and you can put it on an outdoor barbecue or on a gas ring indoors (
Labour and Wait, for household items, in Redchurch Street in Shoreditch. I gave all my friends its sommelier corkscrew for Christmas and it also sourced me a vinegar maker, which I use by chucking in all the leftovers of red wine we have (
Also in Shoreditch, just off Arnos Grove in Calvert Avenue, is Leila's Shop, Leila McAlister's grocery store (020 7729 9789). Fergus says she must be a witch because she manages to find really hard-to-come-by vegetables like no one else, and they're all fantastic.


Treasures: a Rifat Ozbek Yastik cushion
Rifat Ozbek. I love his Yastik cushions because they're completely modern but at the same time, full of his traditional culture (8 Holland Street, W8;
Sadie Coles HQ in Mayfair is a great space that is constantly changing and she always puts on incredible shows with interesting artists like Sarah Lucas, who I love. She's just opened a new gallery near Carnaby Street, too (
Sir John Soane's Museum, which really knows how to conserve and use space. It has layers of things that open up in the most incredible way. I cooked a candlelit dinner there for Lanvin. Goldie Hawn kept shouting for more bone marrow. She ate three portions.

LEFT: The Phoenix Garden, in the heart of the West End; RIGHT: the Picture Room at Sir John Soane's Museum, in Lincoln's Inn Fields, WC2. Image: Alamy

The Phoenix Garden is an oasis in Soho, right in the middle of all those cars and all that life. It's a peaceful and wild spot.
Koya in Frith Street has Ercol chairs and little wooden tables and serves simple, earthy Japanese home cooking and they make their own udon noodles in the basement (
Bermondsey Spa Terminus. It's the continuation of Maltby Street market, under the arches and has lots of really interesting new food traders opening up — Natoora for vegetables, Neal's Yard cheeses and of course the St John Bakery (
Waking up late and having someone else cook for me. Going out for dumplings at the Royal China in Baker Street is always a treat.
  • You're All Invited is published by Fig Tree (£25)

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