|Jacket: £5, Primark (old). Jumper: £280, Bella Freud (borrowed for this shoot). Skirt: £149, Jigsaw. Bag: £79 in the sale, Radley. Sunglasses: £28 in the sale, Le Specs at Very Exclusive. Sandals: £16, Asos. Photographs: Christopher O'Donnell|
Marylebone: just minutes behind the hustle and bustle of Oxford Street, yet it has a quiet village-like feel. Despite working in W1 for years, Marylebone still felt a bit 'outside' of the buzz of the city - but it definitely has its own scene going on, with some of the best small Boutique shopping, great foodie spots and beautiful architecture. Here's our tips on what to do in 24 hours...
Admire the architecture
The beautiful Georgian townhouses are an instagram dream.
And need we mention those Mews...?
Enjoy the coffee culture
People watching at Chiltern Firehouse is fun, yes. But it is actually a rather tricky menu and quite pricey. Instead, grab a coffee in the cosy room at the bar, or try one of the famous other coffee shops - Monocle or Daisy Green of Portman Village (the wait for food here is a bit long and overrated, but the coffee is worth it).
I've always loved those redbrick buildings on Chiltern Street, so it's no wonder all the cool shops and cafes are housing themselves here. Amongst the usual Bridal shops, fashion boutiques such as Sunspel and Bella Freud have popped up and become a new shopping hub.
The lovely guys at Bella Freud lent me one of my favourite sweaters for today's post, and I had a nose around the new store on Chiltern Street. It really is a lesson in uber chic interiors and if you ever wanted to invest or just have a try on, it's a gorgeous store:
The Wallace Collection is amazing, and it's free
But obviously a donation is nice. I have always walked past thinking 'I'll go in one day' but when I actually did, I was awe-inspired by this place. The rooms, the gold, the decor, the Art. Each room is more impressive than the last and it houses some of my favourite artists from Jan Steen to Gainsborough and the famous 'The Laughing Cavalier' by Frans Hals. I can only compare it to The Frick in New York, it is a great way to spend an afternoon (especially a rainy one as we had whilst shooting!).
Now this is actually a little tip for those shopping in Oxford Street, why not venture a little past St Christopher's Place and eat in much more relaxed surroundings...there are so many great places to eat in Marylebone, here are a few we tried (all in the name of work, of course):
You know somewhere is good when you recommend it to your parents straight away, they visit the following day and agree in its deliciousness (phew!). A great gastro pub with an equally good atmosphere - and they do a mean roast dinner.
Our kind of place: a small hole in the wall spot on Marylebone Lane open at lunchtime only, serving Korean street food and the perfect spicy buns (I went for the spicy pork and loved it). In fact, Marylebone Lane in general is great for food - The Good Life Eatery and The Ivy Brasserie have recently opened, too. Plus Kabiri is a feast for the eyes in terms of jewellery - I love their edit.
We actually just stumbled upon this tapas place and were pleasantly surprised. Again, the place had a real buzz, we sat at the bar and watched all the food being cooked in a tiny kitchen. All the dishes basque cuisine, to be shared and all cooked to perfection. We loved the Charcuterie, croquettes and padron peppers.
Indulge in the best boutique shopping
Marylebone High Street is not quite Oxford Street, but that's its appeal. Although it has a few pricier shops, there is a great mix of stores and the whole area feels a much more enjoyable way to shop. Some of my favourite stores are here such as The White Company, MHL, Sandro, Skandium, Anthropologie, Kabiri, VV Rouleaux and a great Oxfam (with designer pieces and a great book section).
|Tried this on but not in my size, sadly!|
WHERE TO STAY
If you were thinking of making a weekend of it, or a special treat, then the Zetter Townhouse, Marylebone is a total must - warm, cosy and wildly eccentric, we felt like locals which was wonderful. But if you just fancied a cocktail (and perhaps a posh sausage roll) in Seymour's Parlour, that's okay too - they do a mean Bloody Mary.
|Jumper: £280, Bella Freud (borrowed for this shoot). Skirt: £149, Jigsaw. Bag: £79 in the sale, Radley. Sandals: £16, Asos|
We were guests of Mr & Mrs Smith, reviewing the Zetter Townhouse - so we decided to do this City Guide whilst there - hope you enjoyed!