Alexandra Shulman is a writer and commentator. She was British Vogue’s Editor-in-Chief from 1992 to 2017 and was awarded the CBE in the 2018 New Year’s Honours list. She is currently a columnist for The Mail on Sunday, a contributor to a variety of newspapers and magazines and a Vice President of the London Library. She has written two novels, Can We Still Be Friends (2012) and The Parrots (2015) and Inside Vogue: The Diary of My 100th Year (2016). Her latest book, Clothes… and other things that matter, is released today.
We caught up with Alexandra for the latest in our ‘My London’ series.
North Kensington. I lived there for about 15 years and I love the Golborne Road with its cafes and shops and market and also the faded grandeur of the architecture there. I live only a few minutes from it now so I still spend a lot of time there.
Favourite place for brunch:
The Golborne Deli where I like to meet a friend regularly and we always eat their scrambled eggs with goats cheese and harissa. It’s lovely to sit outside and people watch.
Best coffee in London:
The Monocle Cafe on Chiltern Street has the best cappuccino in London. It’s not too milky and has lovely richness to it.
Favourite gallery or museum:
This is impossible to answer. I really like to go anywhere that has something I want to see, so I may spend time in the Mayfair galleries like Michael Werner or Offer Waterman where you can find wonderful exhibitions for free. Or I regularly visit the big galleries like Tate and the Hayward. There are always at least four shows I want to see.
Tell us a secret:
It wouldn’t be one if I did.
Favourite place to shop:
It depends on what I want to buy. I enjoy boutiques like Notting Hill’s The Cross or Chiltern Street’s Mouki Mou for clothes. For food Selfridges Food Hall is an amazing cornucopia or locally there is a lovely Italian deli called L’Angolo in Kensal Rise where I have been buying salami and parmesan for years.
Favourite place to find inspiration:
The parks. I spend a lot of time running in the various London parks and have written about them in most of the books I have written in some way or other. I adore the mixture of people you find in them. Hyde Park has the Serpentine, Regent’s Park that incredible municipal planting, Kensington Gardens the round pond with its swans. I always have a new idea in the park.
Best London destination for a date:
Somewhere down by the river – ideally the River Cafe in the summer.
My local Queen’s Park.
Favourite food market:
I don’t really have one. I’m not a huge food market shopper. Too impatient!
Your sanctuary in the city:
My bath. I love to lie there with the windows open onto the garden.
What inspires you?
The desire to discover what the next day holds.
This season I’m loving:
In the light of Coronavirus, my loves have become very much to do with what makes me feel good everyday at home. So I would say Votary facial oils, Floris bath oils, the roses I have planted in the garden. Oh and an Erdem floral-patterned shirtdress.