Updated on 3 November 2017
Hands up whoever is hoping for an Indian Summer! I for one am not ready to let go of the warm weather just yet. This month is a great time to check out new places as the crowds thin out, so we’ve come up with our picks for the best September events, dining, style and travel.
Zurich will be hosting their 7th Street Food Festival from 7-17 September, and with over 150 food sellers ranging from chocolates to ceviche, dumplings and tacos, there’s something to suit everyone.
The Leica Oskar Barnack Award (LOBA) is one of the most iconic international photography competitions. The winners have recently been chosen and members of the public will be able to view the works of the finalists and winners from 14 September to 15 October in Berlin at the Neue Schule für Fotografie.
London Fashion Week will be taking place from 15-19 September and as I’ll be at both the events above I’ll be missing most of the action including the Aspinal of London presentation which promises to be brilliant. Members of the public can buy tickets to London Fashion Week Festival which takes place from 21-24 September and is a lot of fun!
There’s a fascinating new exhibition at the Guildhall Art Gallery, Nature Morte, which demonstrates how the still life genre has been revitalized by modern artists. I was lucky to get a sneek peak and to meet some of the artists including the appropriately named sculptor Richard Stone. The exhibition will run from 7 September 2017 to 30 April 2018 and is well worth a visit.
Continuing the fashion theme, I wanted to share a really great day out that I went on recently. The Landmark London is one of my favourite London hotels, with its stunning Winter Garden complete with palm trees. They’re capitalizing on their handy location near to Marylebone station to offer a Shop ‘Till You Drop Spa and Shopping package with Bicester Village. The designer outlet in Oxfordshire can be reached directly from Marylebone station in less than an hour. The package includes breakfast in the beautiful Winter Garden, direct return train tickets, a 10% discount VIP card for Bicester Village, exclusive complimentary hands-free shopping, access to the VIP lounge, and once back in London a cocktail, glass of champagne or soft drink at the Landmark followed by a candlelight massage and access to the spa and gym. It would make a great gift for a loved one at £225 per person, though I wouldn’t blame you if you self-gift! Bicester Village is expanding to include even more luxury stores and has been beautifully decorated by acclaimed florist Nikki Tibbles. There are quotes by Shakespeare dotted around, as well as Liberty print phone boxes for that all important selfie and a very tasty lunch spot, Farmshop, which is part of the Soho House group.
In the hope of a never ending Summer, we created a late Summer beach trip packing list and gave our tips on how to beautify your home with tropical decor. However, if your skin is feeling the Summer heat, then we’ve got two suggestions for you. Firstly, Lumaesthetic is a London clinic specializing in the natural-looking enhancement of your features. They’re plastic surgery doctors who also work in the NHS and I recently tried their non-surgical facial with Dr Dominic Yue. I was very impressed by the results – my skin was smoother and more hydrated afterwards. I was able to forgo foundation for the photo below, taken the next day. The effects get better after a day or two when the skin has had a chance to settle down and it feels like your face is illuminated from within. Lumaesthetic can also prescribe you clinically proven skincare that’s really affordable, so I’m looking forward to seeing the long-term effects from that.
As a treat for readers, if you mention “Luxury Columnist” when booking a treatment at Lumaesthetic, you’ll get 20% off for a limited time only!
I was recently sent a bottle of Institut Esthederm City Protect Spray to try and am loving the hydrating effect as well as the stylish gold packaging. It’s designed to combat pollution and photo-ageing, thanks to its Cellular Water Patent. Seeing as I live right in the City, it’s coming in very handy indeed.
If you’re a fan of designer handbags but not such a fan of the crazy price tags, then you’ll love Bagista. They’re specialists in pre-loved luxury handbags and accessories yet you’d never guess that the items weren’t brand new, they’re in such great condition. They’ve opened a pop-up store at 227 Kings Road, Chelsea, in collaboration with other luxury brands such as Sweetpea & Willow luxury furniture designers, Chelsea Prints, Astrid & Miyu unique jewellery and Fashion Eyewear designer sunglasses. I popped along to the launch where I feasted on sweet treats made by the lovely Cupcake King but I’ll definitely be returning to browse their beautifully curated pieces.
This month I was fortunate to be a guest on She Builds Brands, the international radio show hosted every Saturday on Channel Radio by brand expert Kubi Springer. I’d definitely recommend a listen to her upcoming shows or New York City Business Weekender event in November if you’re interested in marketing.
Sometimes you come across an idea so clever that you wonder why no one thought of it before. The clever folks at MyHeritage have come up with a DNA Testing Kit that will reveal your ethnic origins. They’re a leading source of information on family history and their technology enables users to find matches with other users and to expand the details of their family tree. For the DNA kit, its simplicity itself – you order it online, then do a cheek swab which you place in the vial provided and send back for analysis. Update: I’ve now received the results and it turns out I’m 100% European – over 70% English, around 15% Irish, Scottish and Welsh, 14% Eastern European and 1% Ashkenazi Jewish.
The Cotswolds is one of Britain’s most charming areas, with its golden coloured cottages and quaint village pubs. September is a lovely time to visit, when it’s normally gorgeous weather. We headed up there a few weeks ago to visit my sister and her family, including her triplets who have all just got into university – proud Auntie alert! While we weren’t so lucky with the weather, we hardly noticed the downpour thanks to our cosy home from home. Bruern Cottages are a collection of luxury cottages, nestled in the grounds of Bruern Abbey. Only an hour away from London, they’re also close to Daylesford Organic Farm and Bicester Village. We’ll be writing about our stay in detail but here’s a teaser, the beautiful bedroom in our cottage.
This is also a great season to visit Ibiza, as the majority of partygoers have left and you can explore the island’s hidden gems in peace.
Wining and Dining
Wondering where to eat in September? We’ve got lots of suggestions on seasonal menus and the hottest new restaurants, starting with Mac and Wild. This Fitzrovia stalwart is famous for its Scottish cooking and has over 200 whiskies, craft beers, gins as well as their own range of Scottish cocktails. We recently tried the Summer Menu including a hearty roast with succulent beef and Yorkshire pudding, their award-winning Venimoo venison burger and moriesh Broke Millionaire’s Shortbread.
The Baglioni Hotel in Kensington is another London classic, and I’m a fan of their Italian afternoon tea. They have recently restyled their restaurant to give it a contemporary Italian feel. Brunello at The Baglioni has a new Italian executive chef, Alberto Rossetti. As you can see, the food is a delight, being light yet exceptionally tasty.
To dine in what is arguably the prettiest restaurant in London, head to Bronte. It has been designed by Tom Dixon and has cosy green leather booths, dusty pink chairs, and a pewter bar. There are great views of Trafalgar Square from the leafy terrace. Despite the stylish feel, it’s a very relaxed eatery that’s open all day, serving up modern British and Asian food. Chefs Andrew Lassetter and Guy Betteridge are highly skilled, with every dish being flawless. From the flavourful chilli salt squid to the accomplished lobster tempura and superb miso black cod, there is real passion here. Even the side dishes are interesting – a bowl of 7 types of heritage tomato and another of grilled green courgettes enlivened with black sesame tahini & truffle. You’ll want to save room for desserts like the chocolate bomb with cherry sorbet and hazlenut praline and the pineapple carpaccio with lime and coconut sorbet. There’s also a separate bar menu which sounds tempting, with breakfast dishes, bao buns and the Bronte burger…
For a relaxing meal in Marylebone, you can’t beat Bernardi’s. This neighbourhood Italian restaurant on Seymour Street is open all day for brunch, lunch or dinner and you don’t need to reserve in advance unless you’re a large group. Although the attention to detail is superb, the food isn’t at all fussy, just healthy and delicious. The newly opened basement cocktail bar, The Dog House looks like fun too! We recommend the heritage tomato salad, the rump of Spring lamb and their incredible desserts.
The capital has a stunning new hotel in the shape of The LaLiT London, set in a former school. This atmospheric boutique hotel combines British charm with Indian culture to great effect and has retained many original features. I recently attended their Indian Independence Day dinner, with live music from famous sitar players. Baluchi restaurant is located in the Grade II listed former Assembly Hall and is without a doubt one of the best places in London to experience Indian cuisine. Admire the blue glass Indian chandeliers whilst you feast on organic dishes created by Executive Chef Arup Dasgupta. With delights such as rassam soup, tender monkfish tikka, butter chicken and a delicate Gulab Jamun cheesecake on the menu, you won’t be disappointed! The LaLiT also has a lovely outdoor shisha terrace for those Indian Summer evenings!
London certainly is a great place to savour all the cuisines of the world and the German picnic at the German Gymnasium is another culinary hotspot set in a historic building. This former gym is now a light and airy all-day café and bar with a charming outdoor terrace and spectacular interior. They’ve come up with a fun idea for Summer, a selection of picnic hampers designed in partnership with Wines of Germany. If the weather isn’t playing ball like on our visit, you can eat it inside the restaurant, but if it’s a sunny day then head to the canalside in King’s Cross. Either way, you’ll enjoy delicacies such as Bavarian Giga rolls filled with a variety of fillings including Black Forest ham and Obatzda cheese. The Nussecken shortbread topped with apricot jam and hazelnuts is a real winner, as are the Niederegger Luebecker Taler marzipan treats. We toasted our feast with sparkling Sekt wine, which is a bit like a German Prosecco, followed by an aromatic white Riesling. They’ve thought of everything, right down to the faux grass table cover and complimentary green sunglasses!
Another good place to soak up those last Summer rays is the new terrace at St Martins Lane in Covent Garden. We’d actually been invited to experience the innovative Speakeasy Cocktail Tea which is served in the hotel’s secret bar, Blind Spot. Guests give a secret password to gain access into this stylish space which hosts regular jazz and swing music sessions. However, with it being a gorgeous day we were tempted outdoors instead. The twist with this tea is that it’s served in the evening, on Sundays to Thursdays from 7 to 9 pm and likely to appeal to men and women alike. That’s thanks to the array of savoury treats such as mini quiche Lorraine, spinach and feta feuilleté and my personal favourite, the mini brioche buns filled with crayfish and mango. They’re served with three cocktails inspired by the British Empire’s tea trade including the Teetotaller with chamomile-infused Grey Goose vodka, the Giggle Water with Bombay Sapphire gin, and Have The Bee’s with Bacardi Carta D’oro rum. Sweet treats such as passion fruit macarons, dulce panna cotta and a chocolate Bailey’s cake are the perfect ending.
We hope you’ve enjoyed this round up of the best September events, style picks, restaurant and travel tips.
What do you have planned for September?