What to wear when it’s spring, sunny but chilly in the shade? I default to merino knits that are lightweight but warm and don’t pill up like fluffy cashmere. And denim of course, but I’m looking beyond just jeans to all the clever shapes that have emerged in stiff deep indigo, or gentle chambray blue.
Some of my best merino wool finds come from the men’s department, especially Reiss, whose menswear is brilliant right now, while Paul Smith menswear has lovely extra fine merinos is gorgeous colour palettes. J.W. Anderson is another find, and Vivienne Westwood’s knits are all-year perennials. I can’t not mention my favourite Sibling sweater right now, featuring Madonna in the ‘Borderline’ days. Hell yes please to that.
Should you ever arrive in London for a short staycation, you’d be advised to disembark at Victoria mainline station then follow the blue line, helpfully taped to the floor. It leads to the rather unglamorous passport office on Belgrave Road at which point you veer off course for another five minutes, along Eccleston Square towards Cambridge Street. And there you’ll arrive at a secret little nook of delight – AKA the Artist Residence Hotel.
This is the route our model Maddy took, arriving in a typical London torrential downpour to the comfort of the Grand Suite, where we had commandeered the bed, chairs and bathroom for my latest Disneyrollergirl fashion shoot. The hotel is the third in the Artist Residence chain of boutique stay-overs and its period rooms are a masterclass in eccentric but luxurious London charm. They’re furnished with reclaimed gems from some of London’s best secret sources, juxtaposed with contemporary artworks from art fairs and independent galleries. To make you feel really at home there’s the downstairs cocktail lounge, all velvet sofas, rustic logs and table football, and the 64 Degrees restaurant (think proper cooked breakfasts and inventive tapas-style sharing plates).
And although it’s not immediately obvious, the location is in fact, the height of fashion, a stone’s thrown from the London HQs of Burberry, Tom Ford and Jimmy Choo. Position yourself just so by Ebury Bridge, and you’re afforded an unexpected vista of Battersea Power Station.
Allow us to take you on a little tour – just follow the blue line…