Culture Vulture: London 2014

London in 2014 looks set to be brim-full of excellent restaurant openings, exhibitions, theatre, and of course, fashion, making this a VERY Happy New Year indeed!  


A big year lies ahead for restaurateurs Russell Norman and Richard Beatty as firstly, they re-open Polpetto after their 2-year residency above the legendary French House ended.  We can now once more enjoy the romantic, characterful restaurant from January when Chef Florence Knight and her team move to their new home at 11 Berwick Street.  The restaurant will seat a hungry 70 (opposed to only 23 like before!) and it will feature an aperitivo bar and open kitchen serving Venetian tapas.  The group will also be opening a second Polpo restaurant in Notting Hill early in the year, with the 100-cover restaurant set to be the largest of their portfolio.  All Norman and Beaty’s restaurants operate a strict no-booking policy but they are certainly worth the wait!  

After her shock departure from Michelin starred Petersham Nursaries Café last year, chef Skye Gyngell is set to open her own London restaurant early in 2014, in partnership withHeckfield Place in Hampshire.   Excitingly for South Londoners, Gordon Ramsey’s London House opens in a former coal warehouse in Battersea Square this February.
With Head Chef Anna Kelly promising a modern European menu using local British and artisan ingredients, there will be separate bar serving bespoke cocktails, London brewed beers and a lengthy wine list.  No Kitchen Nightmares expected here!

If this all sounds a little too fancy pants, and you’re looking for more of a quick fix, the first UK branch of the American shrimp chain Bubba Gump opens in Piccadilly Circus this year.  The restaurant is based on the characters in the epic film Forrest Gump and you can expect (in the words of Bubba…) “pineapple shrimp, lemon shrimp, coconut shrimp, pepper shrimp, shrimp soup, shrimp stew, shrimp salad, shrimp and potatoes, shrimp burger, shrimp sandwich. with garlic… shrimps with mayonnaise… shrimps with…” 


There are two particular exhibitions I am looking forward to in 2014 and they couldn’t be more different. The history geek in me is so excited to visit the British Museum in March to explore the ‘Vikings: Life and Legend’ exhibition (BOOK HERE), the first of its kind in London for more than 30 years.  Expect artifacts dating between the late 8th Century - early 11th Century, including a life-size replica of a Viking Ship, using some original timbers. Alternatively, the V&A will be hosting ‘The Glamour of Italian Fashion 1945-2014’ (BOOK HERE) sponsored by Bulgari.  A beautifully detailed insight into the history of Italian fashion will have every London fashionista rushing to buy tickets, desperate to see the stupendo contributions from Georgio Armani, Gucci, Dolce and Gabbana, Missoni, Prada, Valentino and Versace…. Swoon! 


There will be a series of exciting theatrical offerings in London this year, with Fame and Miss Saigon both returning to the West End.  Simon Callow and Felicity Kendal (LOVE them!) will star in Michael Morpurgo’s ‘The Butterfly Lion’ and the wonderful Stephen Fry is to play Lady Bracknell in Oscar Wilde’s ‘The Importance of Being Earnest’ (one of my all time favourite plays!)  I hear (stage) whispers that 2014 will also see Will Young starring in 'Cabaret' with musical adaptations of ‘Slumdog Millionaire’, ‘Bridget Jones’, and ‘Bend It Like Beckham’ soon to be announced... My jazz hands can barely contain their excitement (*sits on hands).  

The Sam Wanamaker Playhouse will also open in early January at the Shakespeares Globe after much anticipation.  The totally unique, Jacobean theatre will provide both indoor and outdoor playing space and as such will host a wide variety of events throughout the year.  With a handmade oak structure, pit seating and performances lit by hundreds of candles, this venue is going to be magical.


Get ready to feel utterly spoilt with some WOW new store openings in the capital in 2014.
Karl Lagerfeld is to open a flagship store on Regent Street this March for his self-titled Karl Lagerfeld label.  The shop will be his largest European to date (2700 sq ft!!) filled with (probably all monochrome) ready-to-wear collections and accessories.  iPads will be integrated into the display racks so you can watch digital footage showcasing the collections, and the fitting rooms will come equipped with photo booths… Just YES.  
Mayfair’s Mount Street will also be welcoming two new shops this January; Scottish designer Christopher Kane, adored by Alexa Chung and her merry band of cool cats, will be opening a flagship store as will dreamy dress creator Roksanda Ilincic.

HAWT: Sienna Miller in Burberry

Hawt = A late 1940's and early 1950's acronym for "Having A Wonderful Time."
Now the word is used on the internet as slang for something reeeeally hot.

Actress Sienna Miller looked HAWT last week at the opening night of the new Broadway play ‘Orphans’ (starring her beau Tom Sturridge).  The yummy mummy wore a classic belted Burberry trench coat whilst wearing her heart on her sleeve with the Burberry Prorsum Heart Print Calfskin Drawcord Bag as she posed for photographers in NYC.  The outfit subsequently caused speculation that the gorgeous couple have been hired as the British brand’s A/W’13 faces… I would heart that. 

My London Style: Savannah Miller

After earning a first class degree in Fashion and Knitwear at the prestigious Central St. Martins College and working for both Alexander McQueen and Matthew Williamson, Savannah Miller went on to become Co-Creative Director of the label Twenty8Twelve with her sister Sienna Miller. After twelve successful seasons the stylish sisters stepped down from their positions to pursue other projects, for Savannah this led to her starting her own label, Savannah

Launched last week (seen here) Savannah has once again created a very cool, easy-to-wear range of clothes, but this time at a far more accessible price, “This collection is for everyone!"  Savannah told me, "it's effortless, easy and affordable clothing to make you feel great without busting your bank account.”  

Despite being insanely busy with her new label (sold exclusively at and with being a dedicated mum to her three small (and perfect) children, Savannah found the time to share with The London Chatter some secrets about her enviable London style…

My Style In 3 Little Words – Classic, bohemian, easy.

This Season Every Gal Needs –  A great boyfriend coat. I have an ash grey woollen one in my collection called James which I will not be taking off this season.

My British Fashion Icon – Audrey Hepburn.  She was so delicate and chic.  Also Alexa Chung. Like Audrey before her, Alexa's style is so effortless, her clothes never wear her and she always looks like herself, even if she is wearing a Chanel gown. 

My Favourite Highstreet Store – Although not British, I love Zara. And Topshop

My Favourite Boutique – Liberty London. I know it's not strictly a boutique, but the buy there is as if it were.  It is the perfect edit of the best collections - and you know you are going to want all of it!  The same applies to Amie on Ledbury Road. They only stock APC, Isabel Marant and Vanessa Bruno... What more could anyone want?!  

My Favourite British Designer – To look at it would be Christopher Kane.  He is an artist and he never ceases to amaze me.  To wear, I would say Rag & Bone because they make the best knitwear around - it's cool and so comfortable - I live in it! 

At Gunpoint; Bags OR Shoes – Bags!

My First Fashionista Memory – Ushering for Alexander McQueen at one of his show which was in a glass box.  I was eighteen years old and that night totally changed my life.  

My Saturday Night Outfit – Errrm... My pyjamas!  I spend the weekends at home in the countryside with my family.

My Sunday Brunch Outfit – The same!

OMG I Can’t Believe I Wore – Such a short dress at mine and Sienna's first Twenty8Twelve show... When I lifted my arm to wave at the end I nearly flashed the entire audience. 

Forget My Last Meal, My Last Outfit Would Be – My wedding dress. It may sound a bit Miss Haversham of me but I must admit, it was gorgeous. 

My Style Tip – Iron or steam your clothes, it makes the most massive difference when you wear them.  Also, don't let your clothes wear you - only wear pieces that resonate with who you are otherwise you will feel and look uncomfortable. 

Above: Some of my favourite pieces from Savannah available from

Vodafone UK Announces Partnership With Mary Katrantzou

Yesterday morning, over cappuccinos and mini granola berry pots at Soho House, I heard how this Autumn Vodafone UK and acclaimed fashion designer Mary Katrantzou, famous for her graphic print dresses, will enter into an exclusive two-season partnership.  This collaboration will see Vodafone UK supporting Mary’s shows in London Fashion Week and the designer devising a fashionable and innovative way to use Vodafone technology.

Vodafone UK have long championed British fashion, teaming up in the past with other well renowned designers, Christopher Kane and Richard Nicoll (the results of which saw a fleet of London cabs decorated in Kane’s Galaxy print, with mobile phone charging capabilities for it’s passengers, and Nicholl’s unforgettable white leather handbag with in-built phone charger!) 

Danielle Crook, Vodafone’s UK Director of Brand Marketing, also assured me that they will once again at this year’s LFW be providing the life saving mobile phone re-charging units on the front row at the BFC space and pop-up re-charging points at Somerset House – Phew!

(Above L-R: Mary Katrantzou, Danielle Crook and Chairman of the BFC, Caroline Rush)

The lovely Mary Katrantzou, who I had the real pleasure of meeting (left), spoke enthusiastically about the upcoming collaboration, “I am excited to be working with Vodafone, as a brand they have really cemented their credibility and support within the fashion industry over the past few seasons. Their innovation elements really appeal to me and it felt a natural fit to join forces. I'm really looking forward to be able to widen the fashion net to their customers and bring them to the front line of fashion week.”

Danielle Crook, whilst wearing a head turning Mary Katrantzou dress, said, “Mary's bold graphics and iconic designs have attracted a cult following from every part of the fashion world and we are thrilled to be working with her.”  The partnership launches next month and will run across the spring/summer 2013 and autumn/winter 2013-14 shows.  

If you are a Vodafone UK customer you can register for Vodafone VIP online here for the opportunity to meet Mary Katrantzou and watch her catwalk show during LFW.  If you are NOT a Vodafone UK customer... There's never been a better reason to become one!

Super Girl Power at the Closing Ceremony

There was some SERIOUS Girl Power in the Olympic Stadium on Sunday night when we were not only treated to an awesome Spice Girls reunion but also to a strutting swarm of stunning Supermodels

Ever since Stella McCartney signed up to design the Team GB outfits (unsurprisingly, the most coveted by all other athletes) fashion was always going to play a part in London 2012.  Soooo… Who wore who?

The Spice Girls

Victoria Beckham looked very ‘Posh' in a stunning, custom-made Giles Deacon dress with black Christian Louboutin stilettos.  Ginger Geri Haliwell paid homage to her infamous Brit Award’s Union Jack dress wearing this Suzanne Neville peplum dress, an Olympic inspired tiara and Isabel Marant gold Dicker boots. ‘Baby’ Emma Bunton wore her signature pink in a dress by Maggie Cook with glittery heels.  Melanie C wore a white jumpsuit from JD Sports with some Sporty silver wedged trainers. Melanie B wore a nude cat suit embellished with amazing gold detailing by Lenanese designer Zuhair Murad – definitely more sexy than Scary!  A-Zig-A-Zig-Aaah.

The Supers

This army of British Beauties were a glittering mirage of gold medal hues in outfits created by iconic British designers.  A totally immaculate vision paying tribute to British fashion and it's  Midas Touch. 

The Supermodels were styled by Lucinda Chambers, Vogue UK's fashion director, who nervously spoke from backstage on the night, "It's incredible that Britain, such a tiny country, has such a broad range of talent in fashion, and that's what we wanted to show. We're known for bonkers fashion, but what I hope came across is that these designers make beautiful clothes… that people would want to wear."

Above:  Kate Moss in a mermaid-like, gold and silver Alexander McQueen dress.

Above (L-R): Karen Elson glamourously glistening in Burberry and Naomi Cambell looking beyond radiant in Alexander McQueen.

Above (L-R):  Stella Tennant glitters in a Christopher Kane tuxedo while Lily Cole is effortlessly ethereal in Erdem.

Above:  Lily Donaldson shimmering in Vivienne Westwood

Above (L-R):  Georgia May Jagger shines in Victoria Beckham, David Eye-Candy Gandy wears a suit by Paul Smith and Jourdan Dunn models a Christopher Kane dress and a feathered headpiece by Stephen Jones.

18 carat Fashion Fabulous.

These images appear in Vogue's September Issue - Out Now.

Musical Moment - Lana Del Rey ('Born To Die')


The release of Lana Del Rey’s haunting debut single Video Games last October proved a huge hit with the fash pack; Both Christopher Kane and Emilio de la Morena both used the song in their London Fashion Week shows last Autumn, Antonio Berardi, Moschino and Prabal Gurung have all recently dressed her, and she also performed at Mulberry's SS’12 presentation in New York.

It comes as no surprise then that the blonde beauty, with those lips, has now also been signed to Next Model Management – another big year ahead for Miss LDR.

"Come take a walk on the wild side

Let me kiss you hard in the pouring rain

You like your girls insane..."

Lana Del Rey's 'Born To Die' will be released on January 23rd