Smythson's Kingly Collection

Smythson will take your ol'canvas bag and raise ya… Their new, light weight and butter-soft leather Kingly bags have launched and are fast making those now tatty canvas totes hanging in your kitchen quite redundant!  Easy to carry around and designed to be rolled and unfolded without losing its shape, this bag is my perfect, and most chic, handbag overflow solution! 

I always carry two bags; one large, one small.  During the day, whilst whizzing around London, the large bag carries my Rose Gold MacBook, Smythson 2017 Diary and umbrella, leaving room for that last minute 1/2 pint of milk, and some sort of unnecessary Portobello Market curiosity bought en route home.  The small cross-body carries the essentials I need quick access to; My orange Smythson's Mara Card Wallet which also holds my Oyster card, my iPhone 6 Plus, Lipstick (currently I’m pouting with Tom Ford's 'Bruised Plum'), mints and keys. If I go straight out after work, I check in the large bag and I'm all set with the small.  

Available in their signature Nile Blue, contemporary silver and classic black, you can even have your Kingly bag personalised with your name, or favourite motif... I went for a unicorn - how sweet?!

Shop TLC's Look...

Photography: Tommy Clarke

Hair: Clo & Flo

Nails: Sophie Gass

Swanky Lash & Brow Bar

I was recently invited to Swanky Lash & Brow Bar on the Portobello Road, one of two salons (the other being in Kensal Rise) owned by sisters Sophia Chrifi-Alaoui and Donia Chrifi-Alaoui.  Perfectly placed opposite some of my nearby Notting Hill faves (Pizza East PortobelloMeli Melo and Lowry and Baker) this vibrant and affordable salon is usually chockablock full of loyal regulars (I advise booking) and I could easily tell why… With a room full of talented beauticians and real characters, you would be hard pressed to find a more personable, chatty and buzzing environment to get pampered. 

 Arriving early (yes, this sometimes happens!) for my mani-pedi, a treatment Sienna Miller recently raved about to Vogue, I got my eyelashes tinted.  After this, Sneeha, one of Swanky’s more hilarious employees, suggested I also had my eyebrows threaded; a quick and relatively painless treatment I always seem to forget about yet find so effective.  I found it hard to keep still whilst listening to Sneeha’s amusing stories and jolly giggles but luckily the results revealed otherwise!  

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My manicure and pedicure was made far easier by Donia (above right) speedily helping me decide which colours to wear (a usually agonizing procedure for me and any poor technician waiting).  I went for ‘Tiki Tiki Laranga’ gel polish for my hands, and 'Where Did Suzi's Man-go’ from the latest SS’14 O.P.I range (above left) for my toes.  Two weeks down and both tips and toes are still going strong.  I have been hapilly able to show them off the last two weekends running; in Cornwall over Easter (below left wearing my Zara slides) and at a friend's wedding (below right wearing my Topshop jumpsuit, Zara SunglassesMonica Vinader stack rings, Astley Clarke locket and my customised Bags By M Book Clutch) and just in time for the sun to make a much-appreciated appearance.  
Thank you Ladies, I'll see you again VERY soon! 

Lowry Baker

Yesterday my friend suggested we meet for brunch at Lowry and Baker at the end of the Portobello Road.
“Where?” I asked.
"Don’t you know it?” she replied.
No. I don’t. And I instantly get the feeling that I should. (I was right.)

Lowry and Baker, a one-roomed café with outdoor tables, near the Golborne Road, opened in 2010 and has a very loyal local fan base – who are pretty damn protective (one customer told me not to take photos… evidently incase the details of their secret sanctuary and refuge from the closeby chaos of Portobello were to ever be revealed.)

Coffees and a gorgeous menu of homemade food are served on mismatched crockery laid on wonderful, eclectic furniture (the lady next to me outside is eating some lavender shortbread off a child’s school desk.) I had the poached eggs with crushed avocado and parma ham on sourdough. Angels sang.

During my feast 3 friends of mine walked out… Errrrm… Does everyone know about this place?? Well they do now. Sorry locals - It’s time to play nicely and share.