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ONLY IN LONDON BY SPHERE

July 2013

My London- Henry Graham

Favourite area..
I love Notting Hill which is where I grew up, we also opened our first boutique there so it will always have fond memories for me.
The wide tree lined streets and rows of houses all painted in different pretty pastel colours are very attractive and make me want to look inside them all.

Top shop…
This is a very difficult question as we have many wonderful stores in London. I guess if I had to say one it would Alfie's Antiques Market. It is a row of individually run antique shops one one side of the street facing a re-imagined mini department store with a multitude of dealers selling a wide array of fabulous, unusual and vintage objects, jewellery, fashion, furniture and lighting. If you are into interior design or just pretty things that not everyone has, you will die (not literally).

Hidden gem…
Clifton Nurseries and Garden Centre. Probably the fanciest garden centre in London, tucked away behind a row of houses in Maida Vale. You will always leave with something.

Perfect London day…
First:
Kenwood House, a Georgian masterpiece of architecture by Robert Adam, nestled in immaculately manicured gardens filled with beautiful sculpture by Henry Moore and Barbara Hepworth. It is a great place to go and have breakfast on the weekend and then stroll through the estate directly onto Hampstead Heath for one of the best views of the London skyline.
Second:
Viewing for the umpteenth time the Impressionist gallery at The Courthauld Gallery, the best collection of Impressionist masterworks outside of Paris.
Third:
Visiting one of our two London stores in Notting Hill or Mayfair to see what new one-off pieces we have on sale from the many extremely talented designers we work with.
Fourth:
Dinner with friends. There would probably be some kind of wood fired pizza on the menu, it might even have some truffles on it.
My loyal companion Mojo the dog would also be accompanying me wherever he is welcome.

Insiders' tip…
When travelling on the London underground mass transit system, also known as 'The Tube', do not press the buttons to open the carriage door. They do not work.
They are only there to let Londoners know who is a tourist.

Best meal…
L'atelier by Joel Robuchon is particularly good with a delicious and diverse menu of small plates, be warned it is very expensive.
In the middle of the price scale is Ceviche a lovely Peruvian restaurant, it has a great atmosphere and fantastic food.
At the other end of price scale, but outstanding nonetheless, is Patty & Bun where you will find some of the best burgers in town.

Favourite building
Again a hard one, but I would have to say the Sir John Soane Museum. Relatively unimposing from the outside but magnificent inside.
I won't spoil it by saying too much, but it has to be seen.

Best place for a nightcap…
The American Bar at The Savoy, a London stalwart

London is … (a few words that sum up the city).
An eccentric and disparate collection of villages pushed together to form a cohesive , dysfunctional and wonderful place to live .

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