Ive always been inspired by urban surroundings and the thrill of all there is to discover in a bustling city like London. Ive spent my working life as a journalist writing about design and arts, and I recently left my job as Senior Editor at Wallpaper* to indulge my two loves of interiors and cities.
I now head up the editorial department at onefinestay (onefinestay.com), which allows guests to stay in a distinctive home (like the one above) while the owner is away, with hotel-style service. Im working on a project called Creative Residencies (onefinestay.com/creative-residencies), which invites artists of any discipline to apply to stay in one of our homes in return for an original piece of art inspired by their stay.
Ive always loved the feeling of excitement that you get on a Friday after a working week. A babysitter (often in the form of my mum) lets me have my Friday fix. This tends to be a bite out with local friends, at either the buzzing Lansdowne pub in Primrose Hill (90 Gloucester Ave, NW1 8HX, 020 7483 0409, thelansdownepub.co.uk) or heavenly-tasting Japanese restaurant Shimogamo in Camden (108 Parkway, NW1 7AN, 020 7424 9560, shimogamo.co.uk). Otherwise a big comfy armchair, bottle of red and bar of dark chocolate often tempt me into the Everyman, above, cinemas in Belsize Park (203 Haverstock Hill, London NW3 4QG, 0871 906 9060, everymancinema.com) or Hampstead (5 Holly Bush Vale, NW3 6TX).
If I get second wind, Ill head out into town and meet my husband after work for drinks at Little House, above (2 Queen Street, W1J 5PA, 020 7961 1200, littlehousemayfair.com) or Soho House (40 Greek St, W1D 4EB, 020 7734 5188, sohohouselondon.com).
Saturday well often have people round for dinner, and will spend a good chunk of the day shopping and cooking. Food inspiration is found close to home at La Petite Poissonnerie, above, in Primrose Hill (75 Gloucester Avenue, NW1 8LD, 020 7483 4435, lapetitepoissonnerie.com) and the bread and cheese market stalls outside Shepherd Foods (59-61 Regents Park Road, 020 7586 4592, shepherdfoods.co.uk). While here, I take time out and pop to my favourite clothes boutique Press (3 Erskine Road, London, NW3 3AJ, 0207 449 0081, pressprimrosehill.com). Stocked with all my favourite brands, such as APC and Vanessa Bruno, I love the old-fashioned welcome of Melanie the owner, who texts me when new stock arrives that she knows I may like.
Come afternoon, I like to head to Marylebone for a scoot round Skandium, above (86 Marylebone High Street, London, W1U 4QS, 020 7224 2099, skandium.com) to build up design inspiration, and for an excuse to fika (have a coffee break) at Nordic Bakery (Nordic Bakery, 37b New Cavendish Street, W1G 8JR, 020 7935 3590, nordicbakery.com) my parents are both Swedish, so I need my fix of cinnamon buns and salty liquorice.
Sundays, I like to take it easy and not stray too far from home. Mornings are often spent on Hampstead Heath, where in the summer my husband and I take it in turns to have a dip in the pond, while entertaining the children and drinking coffee we pick up on the way from Ginger and White (2 Englands Lane, NW3 4TG, 0207 722 9944, gingerandwhite.com).
Afternoons we head down for a pint and a scotch egg from The Bull & Last (168 Highgate Road, NW5 1QS, 020 7267 3641, thebullandlast.co.uk,) or if that is too packed, The Southampton Arms (139 Highgate Road, NW5 ILE, 07958 780073, thesouthamptonarms.co.uk,) before an early dinner at Marine Ices (8 Haverstock Hill, NW3 2BL, 020 7482 9003, marineices.co.uk) where I never venture further down the menu than the superb meatball spaghetti.
Alex Bagner recently launched the creative residency initiative, offering artists of any discipline a free stay at a onefinestay property in NYC, Paris, LA and London in exchange for a piece of work inspired by their stay, www.onefinestay.com/creative-residencies
The company has more than 1500 homes across London, New York, Paris and Los Angeles.