What’s My Weekend: Aida Emelyanova

The Kazakhstan-born artist shares her favourite London haunts

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Words: Aida Emelyanova

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The Wings Touched by Filthy Hands by  Aida Emelyanova

Friday

My days are spent in my studio in Notting Hill, I've just relocated there and am busy brainstorming my next collection. I don't work according to a set number of hours, it's all based on how inspired I'm feeling. I can be there until midnight, but I usually try to leave around 7 pm and head out for dinner with my husband.

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My new favourite spot is Kurobuta, above  (312 King's Rd, London, SW3 5UH, 0207 920 6440). It's a fabulous Japanese restaurant with the chef from Nobu; the yellow tail sashimi is incredible.

After dinner, we 'll make our way to Lights of Soho, below (35 Brewer Street, London W1F 0RX, 0207 183 2003,), a new art gallery and members' bar on Brewer Street.

I love the neon art, which is constantly changing, but it's the vibe that really keeps me coming back.

After a few cocktails there, I'll head over to 5 Hertford Street (2-5 Hertford Street, London W1J 7RB). I love the décor inside – it's full of rich textiles in jewelled colours, with old history pictures on the walls.

Outside it's just an unmarked door, but it feels like a very authentic British experience. I was born in Kazakhstan, so I never tire of English novelty.

Saturday

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I love starting my mornings with a brisk walk around my neighbourhood, in Vauxhall,  stopping for nibbles at The Ragged Canteen, above (22 Newport Street, London SE11 6AY, 0207 582 6465).

It's a really great vegetarian place with a rotating menu, and great coffee. My favourite is the chick pea and cous-cous salad - huge, filling and delicious.

The Tate Modern (Bankside, London SE1 9TG, 0207 887 8888) – its one of my favourite museums in London. The design and structure of the building is incredible, and I always find something inspirational.

Hayward Gallery (Southbank Centre, Belvedere Rd London, SE1 8XX, 0207 960 4200) is another favourite.

Saturdays are a great day to get lost: you never know what small gallery or pop-up could lead to inspiration and fun.

Covent Garden is one of my favourite areas– there's always something new to see. Mysteries (9-11 Monmouth St, London WC2H 9DA, 0207 240 3688) is a very mystical shop where you can get tarot cards, find lots of spiritual literature, and have your palm read. One of my first collections was a reinterpretation of tarot cards, so coming in here fills me with inspiration.

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Sometimes I work  on Saturday nights. If  not, I'll go to the Arts Club, above  (40 Dover Street, London W1S 4NP, 0207 499 8581), for dinner and drinks.

I love the history of the building and the Dover Sole is delicious.

Sunday

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Sundays I like to rest, curling up on the couch with a good book, but after breakfast at  Café Italia (341 Kennington Lane, London SE11 5HY, 0207 207 6470). I love  the fruit plate and pancakes with whipped cream and maple syrup.

The Tate Britain, above  (Millbank, London SW1P 4RG, 0207 887 8888) is next door to Chelsea College of Art, where I studied, so it's a nice trip down memory lane.

I love staying active, so I regularly go to the Vauxwall Climbing Centre, above  (46-47a S Lambeth Rd, London SW8 1SR, 0207 160 0248) for rock climbing. It's fun and really good for your body.

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Aida Emelyanova, above,  is a Russian-Kazakh artist based in London. She is currently preparing for her next collection after her exhibition 'I Do Whatever You Animals Do' at Hus Gallery. 

Using a fusion of artwork and canvas, Aida's art focusses on society's fixation with objectification.  

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