Simms’ city: Fossilised dinosaurs, Sloane Street in bloom and L’Autre Pied

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

Dale Rogers of Ammonite

Scotch on the rocks at Dale Rogers’ Ammonite warehouse

First stop of the fortnight was a little rough and ready and took place at a warehouse in Park Royal. Exiting the Tube at Harlesden and smelling the warm dough bubbling away from the nearby McVitie factory did not prepare me for what lay ahead. Once I’d shimmied past fork lifts and through voluminous black out curtains, the site that greeted me was astonishing – a warehouse full of rare treasures including fossilised Ichthyosaurs and volcanic bubbles made of amethyst crystals nearly three metres high. On offer was whiskey (or pink champagne for the more refined), as Dale Rogers of Ammonite - London’s very own Indiana Jones - guided us around the pieces.

To catch a glimpse you can visit their shop in Pimlico or by appointment at the warehouse.

London in bloom at Hackett and the Chelsea Flower Show

Hacklett celebrates the Diamond Jubilee and the Chelsea Flower Show

Finally the sun is shining and the blooms are out once again for the Chelsea Flower Show, but if you found it hard to get a ticket, or want to avoid the crush, then enjoy what’s on offer just around the corner.  Many of the shops in the surrounding area do stunning displays of their own and this year Sloane Street has gone Jubilee-tastic. Here is Hackett’s nod to Her Maj.

Summertime at L’Autre Pied on Blandford Street

L'Autre Pied restaurant in London

#youknowitssummerwhen… your concentration wanes and all you can think of is enjoying a deliciously crisp and cool glass or rosé – preferably with condensation bubbles running down the outside. Serendipitously the French banker was nearby (and of the same mind-set), so we enjoyed said glass of Cote de Provenance together with a duck egg and asparagus truffle infused offering from L’Autre Pied on Blandford St.

Pudding was grapefruit and vodka sorbet served with tasty English strawberries and the conversation meandered through Chelsea and the Champions League, French politics, English picnics and The Marriage Plot – Jeffrey Eugenides latest tome. Heaven.’s Chloe Macintosh’s house warming

Chloe Macintosh house

Co-founder of and design guru Chloe Macintosh is a stickler for perfection. Hence, it has taken her longer than most to get her house up to her exacting standards. Chloe has taken two modest Fulham terraced houses, knocked through and turned them into a stunning mix of cutting edge contemporary and mid-century modern. Manhattan loft meets the well-loved Parisian Les Puces.

What a treat then to be invited to enjoy her hospitality and have a snoop at her house warming/unveiling. And what with interiors magazines queueing up to feature her new home, you’ll no doubt get a peek soon too!

Bodice rippers at Philip Mould

Philip Mould and House of Wrath

Historic haute couture House of Worth teamed up with the Philip Mould gallery in New Bond St to show off their latest collection to the press.

These exquisite creations put whalebone and the hour glass figure right on trend, while heavily drawing inspiration from the period costumes shown in many of Philip Mould’s pictures.

Journalists as well as window-shoppers enjoyed the juxtaposition of corsets alongside stunning portraits.




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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