What’s your favourite street in the neighbourhood and why?
I really like South Kensington Mews. I discovered it when I showed my drawings in an exhibition there. It’s actually very popular, with a really bohemian vibe, but you wouldn’t know it was there without being invited, so it feels quite exclusive.
Exhibition Road also holds a certain nostalgia for me. I still get the same feeling I did when I was a little girl whenever I walk along it. It’s quintessentially London, with the classic brickwork, the sculptures and the trees lining the wide-open avenue.
Where can you find the best Irish Coffee in town?
You’re going to like this one. I’ve come to enjoy hotel bars recently because they’re relaxing spaces where you can talk but they still have an atmosphere, they’re open late and you tend to get great service. Londoners wouldn’t traditionally visit hotels for a drink – they used to be seen as exclusive to hotel guests – but that’s changing; and you’ll be pleased to hear that the best Irish Coffee I’ve ever had was at the K Bar.
Which are your go-to shops in South Kensington?
I like Ghost on the King’s Road – they cut on the bias and have some really classical evening gowns, tea dresses, or a slip dress which I wear with a T-shirt underneath. They’re made from viscose – so natural fabric – which is good quality and machine washable but looks like silk. I love Joseph in South Kensington too – its sales always offer some runway pieces that will last you a lifetime.
Harrods is, of course, amazing – from a design perspective, I love the Egyptian escalator. When my Italian family used to come and visit, my granddad would always get a pizza at Harrods – he said it was the best in town. He was a cheesemaker and his cheese was stocked in the Food Hall. Today I still like to visit to check out the cheeses, and to marvel at the remarkable original Victorian tiles.
What’s your favourite spot in the area for a coffee?
Bibendum – it also has wonderful tiles, Art Deco this time, and some amazing stained glass.
Have you spotted any celebrities in the area?
Usually my head is in my work I’m afraid, but Prince Charles recently visited the RCA, and saw my work on Medusa, which was quite a moment for me. The royals do actually get out and about near here – when I was younger I saw the Queen near Hyde Park – you just need to keep your eyes peeled. I’ve seen a handful of models too, such as Cara Delevingne and Naomi Campbell.