We first encountered this week’s London guide at a dance class in a pub in Queens Park and she instantly stood out as the best dressed woman in the room. Georgia always seemed to choose the perfect fabrics, prints and cuts; so it wasn’t too much of surprise to discover that she’s an alumni of the textiles degree course at the Royal College of Art – an institution that can lay claim to alumni including Erdem, Zandra Rhodes and Ossie Clark.
Her aesthetic – clean modern shapes in a slightly retro colour scheme punctured with bursts of bright pink – is very much carried through to her home, which manages to be both incredibly stylish and incredibly welcoming (also a pretty good way to describe Georgia herself).
She currently works as an interior designer with budgets we can only dream about. But she still lives in-between Queens Park and Portobello and knows the area like the back of her hand. And she can mix a mean Negroni which she’ll happily share the recipe for after a few…
My favourite place for cocktails is the Gilbert Scott bar at the St Pancras Hotel. It is in the old Ticket hall of what used to be St Pancras train station and has the most beautiful painted ceilings and tiled floors. It feels grand but not intimidating and has an amazing cocktail menu- one of them comes in a smoking cauldron!
Being a local I am obviously biased, but my favourite market has to be Portobello. I always tell people to start from the Ladbroke Grove end where the tented part is (all the Italian tourists start from Notting Hill Gate). Friday morning is a good time to go because that’s when the real vintage dealers have their stalls. Some of my favourite and best pieces of clothing come from here! It´s also a great place to buy cheap vegetables especially at the end of the day. Be sure to go up to Goldbourne Road where there are some really good Morroccan food stands, bargainous house clearance stalls, fab vintage furniture shops and….
…My favourite breakfast place, Lisboa Patisserie on Goldbourne Road. It is owned and run by my old school friend’s parents and is famous for having the best Pastel de Nata (Portuguese custard tarts) in London. I always grab a coffee and a cake here on my way to Portobello but if I have time it´s lovely to sit outside and people watch. This place is a real authentic West London institution and is always rammed full of locals (not Notting Hill-billies).
For dancing, The Book Club does a great Blues night once a month on a Sunday run by Swing Patrol London. There is usually a live band playing and always great music and a friendly crowd with a lesson for beginners at the start. Dancing all night can sometimes get hot and sweaty so dress accordingly and it’s totally acceptable to bring a fan!
Hampstead Heath is a really special place to go. It is an enormous open space of rolling hills and relatively untamed park and woodland. Being there feels historical and quite removed from the city. It’s a lovely peaceful place to walk and to refresh yourself, or to picnic and swim in one of the ponds.