Friday, 16 September 2011

For Sindiso Khumalo who is about to be propelled into London Fashion Week mayhem.
(via Wit & Delight)

Public Speaking

Fran Lebowitz reserves all her fears for writing. She has termed her terminal writer's block as a blockade.

*Apologies for leaving it so long and pausing on Arab architecture.

*Please watch Martin Scorsese's documentary on Fran. She did write in 1981 and since then has spoken for a living.

Monday, 11 July 2011

Arab Architecture

The RIBA are hosting two events as part of the Shubak festival. See here for my Phaidon profile.

Meeting up

Write on the back where and when. See here for details.

Friday, 1 July 2011

Novel on the tube

Tash looking oh so pretty by her Baker Street tube poster. Now go buy a copy of The Novel in the Viola.

Tuesday, 28 June 2011


Peter Zumthor designed this year's Serpentine pavilion. Click here for my Phaidon article.

Thursday, 23 June 2011

Anyone for tennis?

Federer vs Nadal

WIM•BLE•DON from BRYANKU on Vimeo.

(via Seesaw Designs)

A woodturner

“I try to make bowls as my clients wish them to be. Often I will make a bowl out of wood from a well loved tree, so that the tree can live on after its natural death. All of my bowls are for everyday use for fruit, salad, cheese, or bread. As you use them they will gain the marks and patina of your household, they are not intended to be marooned on a shelf as an ornament.”

My aunt Katherine Hallgarten at work.

Wednesday, 8 June 2011

Alice Stevenson

I've been researching illustrators and remembered a friend of a friend's friend Alice Stevenson. She is a prolific book cover designer, one of which is featured on today's Design Sponge...The design makes me want to leap to Greece with the book in a straw bag.

Wit + Delight Tumblr

Pretty inspiration via Wit + Delight and the main reason I'd like to wear brogues today.

Film night

Long time readers will recall the last time Audrey and I tried to go to a Film4/ Somerset House 2010 summer film night. See here for a reminder. We plan to try again as Pedro Almodóvar's latest, The Skin I live In, will be screened on the 27 July. Picnic baskets should be designed to fit golfing umbrellas.

Tuesday, 7 June 2011

Barbican 2012 announced

Book for Binoche, Blanchett and Bausch tickets at the Barbican. Make a note for the Bauhaus exhibition too. Barbican, I salute your programming. If you like to plan for tomorrow and never for next year, take a deep breath out, tap a few keys and book. And then revel in the fact that the Barbican has made you a planner.


Check out my other blog, garden wedding. It's a mood board more than anything else. A slapdash, doesn't that look lush, let's cut and paste blog. So nothing fancy but lots of garden wedding shots. Really it's so I don't send you unopened envelopes with countless wedding images!
(image via J Crew)

Monday, 30 May 2011

The Riding House Cafe - ask for The Rachel

Tash and David told me about their local cafe. David and I sat in the red lounge booths sampling the divine tapas (purse friendly £3, £4, £5 options). 10 days later we went in again. We were not around around the corner and just popping by. This was a real destination, let's head to Warren Street supper option. I asked for a non-alcoholic and no cane sugar cocktail. The mixologist proudly created a Spring mint concoction and named it The Rachel. He made a note of the ingredients in case I come back. That my friends, is service!
** update: David said "you know he names one for everyone who asks, right?" Killjoy.

High Street Main Street

Have a read of my sister-in-law Sara's new blog, High Street Main Street. As an American living in north London and town planning expert, she has a transatlantic perspective on what makes our local streets work. What makes a livable place? For answers..

Phewf! Hello again

So it's just about June and the last time I was here it was April. It's been so long we might need to invent a word. Phewf it is. Let me update you a little. In the last few weeks I've been working on:
Southbank Centre's Festival of Britain 60th Anniversary for the Black Country Atelier
Writing articles for Phaidon and Urban Junkies

I've been enjoying:
Cycling in Copenhagen and going to an art gallery by the sea
Listening to a John Cage concert at the Southbank Centre
Eating artichokes at St John
Reading John Berger's new book
Introducing David's whole family to my whole family. Thank you Hendon bagels for the rugelach. Rugelach brings families together.

And I turned 30! The day brought a big surprise. More about this in a short while.

Hope you have been well. Tell me all..

(image via The Ceder Room)

Tuesday, 5 April 2011

A feast meets live art. Tableau Vivant is an art installation, a performance, a history lesson and a decadent meal on Vyner street. April's theme is Dissecting Sebastian and the menu as follows:

Goats cheese mousseline with slow roasted beetroot, parmesan and walnut crisps
Rolled spiced pork belly stuffed with apricots and prunes wilted
spinach roasted root vegetables
Profiteroles filled with 3 different creams, orange, rose water and
pistachio and a chocolate cardamon sauce

honey bee

Liv: What would you like for your birthday?
Rachel: Your visual knowledge for a year.
Liv: seriously
Rachel: Well, could we go beekeeping
Liv: seriously?
Rachel: YES! Local honey helps hayfever. Not that I get hayfever.
Liv: Well, I know the beekeeper at Hackney City farm..
Rachel: Of course you do. I don't want a whole course or anything. It might just be an afternoon fad. Or I could well become a beekeeper.

(looking forward to 30 candles)


My wonderful friends Katie and Ollie are getting married at the Villa Ephrussi in July and I can't wait!
(the villa was recently profiled on the always pitch-perfect SeaSaw Designs)

A Bowery lift

Foster + Partners have designed a 12 by 20 foot moving gallery room in NY.

Be still my heart

Forget Black Swan's swirl of melodramatic trash. In fact, forget all preconceptions about dance. Watch Wim Wenders' Pina.

PINA - Dance, dance, otherwise we are lost - International Trailer from neueroadmovies on Vimeo.

Monday, 4 April 2011

Are you sitting comfortably?

Henry Wilson's designs play with classics. Visit his website for an anglepoise glass blown lamp.
(via Vogue Living Australia)


High and low. Basement versus rooftop. If the office context changes, do we have radically different ideas? I'm a freelancer nowadays and I ponder things from my kitchen desk without my co-workers to give me answers.
(via Black Eiffel)
p.s Hello again.

Thursday, 10 March 2011

A curated bookshop

Literary agency Lutyens and Rubenstein have a Notting Hill bookshop. It's glorious. Go west just to peruse.

Friday, 25 February 2011

A reflective check-in

First vending machines, now let's reinterpret the mini-bar.

School of Life has just launched a partnership with hotel chain, Morgans Hotel Group. A few international hotel rooms will have newly installed 'mini-bars for the mind'. The £10 chocolate covered raisins will be replaced with reading prescriptions and a box of conversation starters! Check out the vending machine at St Martin's Lane Hotel which offers an I owe you dinner with Alain de Botton for a mere £5,000. I wonder if he would bring a box of chocolate raisins.
(via More Intelligence Life)

Business Course

I've been attending City University's business course on Thursdays for the past few weeks. The seminars have discussed the usual components: business planning, budget forecasting, marketing.

Last night, the tutor said:

"You know the way to make money? Gambling. You will get a 30% return. For every third horse..."

What is more concerning is that this morning I woke up thinking about probability and poker chips.

The Makers

The Makers has been appearing around the blogs for the last couple of weeks. It's an excellent photography project by Jennifer Causey who captures 'makers' at work.

Thursday, 24 February 2011

Big news!

David and I got engaged last Saturday!

This is how it happened.

I met David at the French Institute where he is doing an Advanced French Business course (for fun, crazy man!) and we looked around the library. David's idea of romance is anything French and mine in sitting in a library. We then became flaneurs, stumbling around a South Kensington food market and gorgeous bookshops. During a crab salad at Bibendum cafe, David and I talked and talked and I found myself feeling like the luckiest lady and so privileged that I even know him. We made our way to a misty Regent's Park and talked about his work at the BBC and ideas for gaming online (?!) before we came across an enclosed Japanese garden, near the rose garden in the inner circle. I didn't want to sit down on a damp bench post the morning downpour but David had come prepared with a tea towel for me to perch on (he had been paying hourly attention to the weather forecast). He then rifled through his bag and gave me a crumpled city map, a genius invention. He then rifled in his bag a second time but this time presented me with a small box. He asked me to marry him in such a heartfelt and open way and everytime I think about it my heart soars. David, I am indeed your Sally Albright. And I am so excited for all our days to come.

Time it was..I have a photograph

Since 'assisting' photographer Andy Lopo on a Phaidon shoot and writing about Iwan Baan, I've become mildly obsessed with the great medium. I am also struck by my friends artistry, Olivia & Alison and David Solomons. More on this to come.
(Jody Rogac's fashion photography via Brian Ferry)

Tuesday, 22 February 2011

House Peek

I keep returning to images of actress Amanda Peet's home. If I were ever to start from scratch, gut a house and grab a hammer and nail, this would be my inspiration.
(Reminded by Frolic. Images via Mimi + Meg)

Monday, 21 February 2011

Iwan Baan

My Phaidon article on the wonderful architecture photographer Iwan Baan.

Tuesday, 15 February 2011

W Hotel

I accompanied photographer Andy Lopo for a Phaidon article on the opening of W hotel in Leicester Square.
See other images and article here.

Perfect room apart from the antlers

Agree with Sarah Berry - this living room colour palette of pink, gold and grey is lush! On the look out for that lamp.

Goggles Umbrella

No more hunched shoulders whilst clutching an umbrella. Stride with confidence with a viewfinder! Perfect for February showers.
(spotted on Black Eiffel via Fubiz)

Friday, 11 February 2011

A pre-Valentine's stew?

Le Creuset Cerise Cast Iron Heart Dish. Undeniably sappy but seeing as one of my favourite things to do is to cook with David*, I had to post.
*David tends to do the actually cooking. I typically take on the sous chef role, hovering and tasting and making extremely "constructive" comments e.g I think it's ready.

Swiss Cottage Library

Swiss Cottage Library is facing possible closure. The library costs £1.2 million to run and Camden Council's library budget has been cut by 25%. Camden Council are considering closure as a possible option after such a slash to the budget. I love this library - it revolutionised library design. It's Grade II listed and when you sit in there you can understand why. If you come across a petition, sign it.
(via BD)

Thursday, 10 February 2011


(via Design is Mine)

On the waterfront

Artangel and Living Architecture are collaborating to create a temporary timber hotel room on top of the Queen Elizabeth Hall!
More info here. Bookings start from 8th September 2011 for 2012.

I can make shoes

Shoe making workshops! The examples are not exactly my style: I wear ballet slippers, Clarks wallabees or brown riding boots. I'm sure I could make a pair without spikes or a spiked stiletto though.
(via Le Cool)

Skylight nook

Curl. Up. Here. Please. And include the books.

Friday, 4 February 2011

Sugar and Spice

Whimsy and Spice's plump maple marshmallows and inspired earl grey sandwich cookies.
Have a sweet weekend everyone!

The Shard

Changing London's skyline one layer at a time. One layer at a time.

Steven Alan

Dear suitcase, I would very much like to pack Steven Alan attire for summer holiday Italy 2011.

Thursday, 3 February 2011

SK Studios

The Architecture Foundation has appointed Practice Architecture to create a new community space in South Kilburn. The space is currently a one storey portacabin block but is set to become a community art space.

"Tenants of South Kilburn Studios, working across a variety of creative disciplines will - in lieu of rent payments - pledge to apprentice young people from the local area, running practical workshops and helping to build portfolios in trades from fashion and textiles to painting".

Andy Lopo

Photographer Andy Lopo is going to shoot some film to accompany Mike's forthcoming Phaidon article. I like how he smudges light and concentrates your focus. His images make me feel like I'm looking into a crystal ball. Allow yourself to be drawn in...