I’d known about BADA Fair long before I’d visited it for the first time last year. I’ve always regarded this annual event on Duke of York Square as the go-to for the interior design industry as well as individuals who are serious about antiques and fine art. This hasn’t changed. But what is different about BADA Fair 2016 is the recent appointment of Madeleine Williams. I’ve had the privilege of meeting Madeleine over coffee and to say I’m excited about the refreshed energy running through BADA is an understatement.


I’d also considered BADA Fair as somewhere the OH’s mother goes to pick up a beautiful piece of antique furniture, I hadn’t realised until recently that you’re as likely to come across a Warhol or even a Banksy as you are a piece of Victorian jewellery or antique rug. Looking around you really get a feel that you are amongst the best.


I had to take a snapshot of this parrot because it made me think of the man with the two macaws always on his shoulders as he walks around Chelsea and Fulham.


Beaux Arts London also impressed me last year and I had to make a beeline for their stand this year. I find their Modern British sculptures both striking and beautiful and their paintings exciting. There’s a fresh perspective on the world when you discover the artists here.


Each time I visit (and I’ll certainly be popping in again before BADA Fair ends for another year on March 15th), I discover another beautiful gem, striking painting or stylish piece of furniture. So my advice when planning a visit is to give yourself some time to browse and take in the exquisite details. If you love antiques, fine art or design you will be in for an indulgent treat.

Chelsea Girl

I was never lucky enough to meet the music legend David Bowie, I never had a chance to see him in concert and only the other day when I was in a meeting, I expressed my regret that I never made it to the David Bowie is… exhibition at the V&A even though I’m a member. But like countless people around the world, Bowie’s music affected me for no other reason than because of its beauty: the melodies, the lyrics, the vast ideas which Bowie explored and the theatricality of his persona. Everything about this musician inspired me and today a lot of people woke up to the sad news that he had passed away.

There really were no words. The world was shocked and saddened.

But let’s not forget what a music icon David Bowie was and to celebrate what he left behind I just wanted to share three of my favourite Bowie songs, the ones I tend to play over again when I start listening to them – as I did today.

RIP David Bowie and thank you for the beautiful music.

Chelsea Girl

It’s all in the detail any Virgo will tell you and today I decided to address this need for some colour in my day, especially after yesterday’s post.  So as I made my way along the King’s Road – having popped into Waterstone’s …

King's Road Waterstones

… to pick up Amelia Freer’s much anticipated cookbook – (I’ve pretty much bought most of the healthy cookbooks and apart from Honestly Healthy’s, Amelia Freer’s Eat. Nourish. Glow. has been the only book I’ve been really into. And until today I’ve been longing for a recipe bible to be published. It was only by chance I discovered Cook. Nourish. Glow. when I popped into Waterstone’s to have a browse. I’m so so excited to try out her recipes. 🙂 … ) ….

Amelia Freer Cook Nourish Glow

I digress.

And so after the serendipitous find, I headed to The Nail Boutique inside Chelsea Farmers Market to have my nails done.

The Nail Boutique

The sign of a good place are its regulars and The Nail Boutique has plenty, which is one of the reasons I like popping in here. The cash only payments have only caught me out once. And as well as good manicures that come with relaxing hand massages, the friendly staff too, it’s just another excuse to step into one of my favourite Chelsea nooks: Chelsea Farmers Market.

The Nail Boutique

After my nails were done and as I headed back to the office, my thoughts started to riff on how I spent the last hour: in order for me to feel good, I wanted to make sure my nails looked good. And in order to have the capacity to look good, I needed feel good in the first place.

That’s something I picked up from Amelia Freer’s last book in a roundabout way. Going for the quick fixes (in terms of coffee and sugar binges) when I’m in need of a quick energy boost really doesn’t work. Carefully choosing the right ingredients on the other hand does work. Otherwise it becomes a vicious cycle of highs and lows with little energy for not much else.

It’s only day two of not drinking coffee or grabbing a sugary snack but I’m already astounded at the amount of extra energy I seem to have. It now means I can keep on top of looking after myself because right now – just past 9.30pm and after a busy day at work and running around after Little Man – I still feel full of beans.

I can only hope it lasts.

Chelsea Girl

As I lay on my bed at an airport hotel and look back at the year, I’m not quite sure where the time has gone. 12 months have passed and 2015 is almost over and I guess I’m feeling somewhat nostalgic whilst there is also a large part of me that is very excited for 2016.

So before I sign out and get some shut eye before my early morning flight tomorrow morning, I wanted to muse on the highlights of my year.

Without a doubt my favourite exhibitions of the year were Hermès Wanderland at Saatchi Gallery and Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty at the V&A. Both enthralled me, they surprised me and they ignited my imagination.

Hermès Wanderland at Saatchi Gallery

I also really enjoyed visiting this year’s summer pavilion at The Serpentine Gallery which was designed by José Selgas and Lucía Cano.

Serpentine Gallery Summer Pavilion 2015 Designed by Selgascano

In terms of food there are still plenty of restaurants which opened this year that I want to try. But as highlights go – this year’s include the opening of Polpo on Duke of York Square …

Polpo Duke of York Square King's Road Chelsea

… the wonderful special menus at Hakkasan

Hakkasan Hanway Ling Ling Menu

… the gorgeous afternoon teas which Fiona kindly invited me along to, including the truly scrumptious Childhood Memories menu at Corinthia Hotel.

Afternoon Tea at Corinthia Hotel London

In terms of events, there’s no doubt this year’s Chelsea in Bloom fairytale displays brought a feeling of magic onto the streets of Chelsea.

Chelsea in Bloom 2015

This year I was also lucky to see Ryan Gosling’s Q&A at Curzon Chelsea and I finally got to try the prime rib roast at Sophie’s Steakhouse. I also had a great time catching up as well as meeting for the first time some gorgeous bloggers like the time a few of us visited The Ivy West Street. And finally one of my highlights this year has to be discovering the TFL boat from Chelsea Embankment to Cadogan Pier, which has to be the best way to travel in London.

Taking the boat from Embankment to Cadogan Pier

It’s been a good year of firsts though next year I’m hoping for a lot more. I guess that’s the beauty of living in London, there’s always something new to try.

Chelsea Girl

Welcome to the wonderful world of Chanel is exactly how this iconic luxury brand makes you feel as you step onto the grounds of Saatchi Gallery and venture through a garden designed by the Rich Brothers, gold winners of this year’s RHS Chelsea Flower Show.
Mademoiselle Prive at Saatchi Gallery

And when you step into the first room with your Mademoiselle Privé visitors app open on your phone, you will find yourself standing in Gabrielle Chanel’s Rue Cambon apartment. You are transported in time and place as you are also greeted by the reconstruction of the mirrored staircase above Chanel’s salon.
Mademoiselle Prive at Saatchi Gallery

The Chanel story begins at the start of Gabrielle Chanel’s career as a milliner …
Mademoiselle Prive at Saatchi Gallery

… You also learn about her studio days. Mademoiselle Privé was the sign she hung on her atelier’s door. Mademoiselle Prive at Saatchi Gallery

But the exhibition that has taken over three floors of the Saatchi Gallery doesn’t stay in the past. It moves forward into the present day with a fabulous short film in which Karl Lagerfeld reminds Chanel’s ghost (played by Geraldine Chaplin) that he has to create eight collections a year whereas she only had to create two a year. It’s a humorous flick but it also has an interesting message that reminds us of the relevance of the Chanel brand: Gabrielle Chanel created the notes and Karl Lagerfeld makes the music. Mademoiselle Prive at Saatchi GalleryGorgeous portraits adorn an entire room. Ironically last week I finally managed to frame my poster from the Little Black Jacket exhibition a few years ago, which I absolutely adore. It’s going up in my office as a daily dose of style inspiration. You’ll find the Vanessa Paradis portrait (below) at Mademoiselle Privé.
Mademoiselle Prive at Saatchi Gallery

And along with the displays on each floor, there are also workshops including one that explores the secrets of Chanel No. 5. These futuristic vats (below) contain each of the ingredients for Chanel’s signature scent. Mademoiselle Prive at Saatchi Gallery

On the first floor an inside garden of manicured hedges fills the air with fresh aroma, which you don’t expect from the first floor of an art gallery. Mademoiselle Prive at Saatchi Gallery

Couture displays and more give us the chance for an up close and personal look at the craftsmanship of Chanel. Not only can we appreciate the details on the outside of these gowns but the fluorescent rods on which they hang also give us an insight into the details inside each dress. Mademoiselle Prive at Saatchi Gallery

Since The Little Black Jacket exhibition at Saatchi Gallery, fashion houses have been using art spaces to show off the creativity of their brands more and more. Most recently and locally we’ve seen the fabulous McQueen exhibition at Victoria & Albert Museum as well as the Hermès awe-inspiring Wanderland exhibition at Saatchi Gallery. I’d been wondering what Chanel were planning on doing next. How were they planning to keep up? But after a walk around Mademoiselle Privé, I can safely say that keeping up clearly wasn’t what they were going for. Staying ahead of the game? Yes, definitely.

To get the full experience of the exhibition, download the app on iTunes or Google Play

Mademoiselle Privé runs until 1st November 2015 and it’s free.

Chelsea Girl

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