Simms' city: Olympic cycling, Marylebone's treasures and more

Our diarist Freya Simms offers her fortnightly previews of her favourite London haunts…

Aubaine at Brompton Cross

Sunday brunch at Aubaine in Brompton Cross seemed like a good idea at the time. Then I got in my car and tried to cross London from Shepherd’s Bush only to be thwarted by the women’s Olympic open road cycling that meant every street was a dead end.

Finally I parked up and made the journey on foot past the excited crowds, braving the intermittent downpours and headed to Aubaine to meet my friend for a catch up and a delicious Roquefort and pear salad. As I made my way back I even caught a glimpse of the extremely talented and speedy Lizzie Armistead en route to securing her silver medal.

The women's road cycling

The women’s road cycling

Shoreditch House

A few days later Claire and I had the slightly daunting task of presenting our evaluation of the Masterpiece London fair of art, antiques and design – it is such a spectacular event and was a real pleasure to work on. Afterwards the generous organising team - led by Thomas Woodham-Smith and Nicola Winwood - treated us to a veritable feast at Shoreditch house.

It started at the bar with zucchini fritti washed down with celebratory Champagne while we watched Bradley Wiggins storm to golden glory, before to the dining room where we were plied with course after course of deliciousness.

Shoreditch House

Shoreditch House

Kew Gardens

At the weekend I decided to head out to Kew Gardens – which I love – to see the David Nash exhibition. He is a great British sculptor working in wood and his works fit the space, perfectly scattered around the grounds and glasses houses of this historic venue.

The only slight drawback was it was another August day full of showers so Josh (aged 2) and I scampered from tree to tree and then took cover in the aquarium. So thoughtful are the people at Kew that they provide stools for small people to drag from tank to tank in search of ‘Nemo’. The exhibition runs through to September and is well worth a visit.

David Nash at Kew

David Nash at Kew

The Providores

After a long overdue period I finally caught up with the ever charismatic owner of Culture Shock Media, Phil Allison. His art publishing business is slowly taking over a small corner of Vauxhall and the international art world, but it started just of Marylebone High St (home to Muse) with the Tate magazine so in a fit of nostalgia we agreed to meet at The Providores.

While we jumped from topic to topic and sought to see how we could once again collaborate – we worked our way through a carafe of New Zealand viognier, Cornish crispy squid and a bruschetta topped with buffalo mozzarella – yum.

The Providores, Marylebone High Street

The Providores, Marylebone High Street

Eileen Fisher

This boutique moved into Marylebone fairly recently and perfects the layered look – the sizes/cuts are fairly generous so if in most shops you’re a medium here you will be a small. It is well worth a root through the racks as she uses wonderful fabrics and asymmetrical cuts as well as a great palette of colours.

Eileen Fisher

Eileen Fisher

Freya Simms is managing director of Gong Muse a Strategic Communications agency for the art and luxury markets and winner of PRCA Agency Campaign of the year 2011.

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