Previously a buyer with Harvey Nichols, Claudine Davies is the founder and managing director of a luxury holiday boutique based in London’s Chelsea and online. The store also stocks in-house label Biondi Collection, which focuses on creating beachwear from the most beautiful fabrics and that fits flawlessly. We caught up with her to uncover her favourite things about living and working in the capital.
I love the Northcote Road area in Battersea. It is so diverse with luxury shops and street stalls side by side.
Favourite place for brunch:
It is not a classic brunch, but dim sum is my favourite meal at the weekend. We always go to Royal China in Bayswater where the dim sum is fresh and they are super kid-friendly. Be prepared for queues if you don’t get there early. We are always there by 11.30am.
Best coffee in London:
Story Coffee on St John’s Hill, Battersea. The staff are very welcoming and the coffees are tasty and look like works of art!
Favourite gallery or museum:
I love everything about the V&A; the beautiful building, the great design exhibitions, its location and most of all the lovely outdoor cafe to eat lunch on a sunny day.
The Michelin building is one of London’s least talked about iconic buildings. Both the exterior and interior are stunning and I have admired it since I was young.
Favourite place to shop:
Biondi is my go-to boutique for all my travel essentials of course! I also think Matches does an amazing job of curating collections and I always find things there that I have to have in my wardrobe.
Favourite place to find inspiration:
Ok, this may sound strange, but it’s got to be in my bed. I find that lots of my inspiration hits me in that quiet time when you are about to fall asleep. I even sometimes wake up in the middle of the night with an inspired idea!
Best London destination for a date:
I am probably a bit biased as it’s my brother’s restaurant, but I think Circus London is a great place for a date. Maybe not a first date as it’s pretty loud but the food is really good and it is still the most fun I have ever had on a night out in London!
Without a doubt, it is Richmond Park. I grew up on its doorstep and it is the park I always take my daughter to. They have a fenced-off section called Isabella Plantation which she loves.
Favourite food market:
I would not consider myself a foodie but whenever I go to Borough Market I go mad. It has a buzzing atmosphere and so much to choose from. Many people say it has got too commercial but I still have my favourite stalls and it is always a good day out.
Your sanctuary in the city:
I am city girl through and through so don’t really need a sanctuary in the city. However, my parents have a beautiful flat in Chelsea Harbour with ‘to die for’ views over the Thames and the harbour. I often go there when I need some peace and quiet. It helps that my parents look after my daughter whilst I relax!
What inspires you?
People inspire me – I was inspired by my dad to start my business and I am inspired by my amazing team to keep growing and evolving the Biondi brand.
This season I’m loving:
Shoes! I am absolutely loving loafers and wedges this season. In particular, the Nicholas Kirkwood black and white chevron loafer and the Musa raffia wedge available at Biondi.