A Stylish Evening at Manicomio and Taschen, Duke of York Square

Chelsea is one of my favourite London neighbourhoods – it’s got a bohemian past and is still in touch with its creative side today. I recently spent a stylish evening at Manicomio and Taschen, Duke of York Square. This pedestrianized quarter with its cool, shops, eateries and Saturday market is a real hub for the area.

One of the most fascinating stores here is Taschen, the iconic book publishers. Not only is the book shop itself a delight, there are also some striking limited edition prints downstairs including several of the Rolling Stones taken by David Bailey.

We were shown around by Nolan, Taschen’s manager, whose enthusiasm for his books is highly contagious! Many visitors to the store go in looking for a gift and he quizzes them about the recipients’ tastes in order to come up with the most appropriate present.

Taschen is well known in art circles for creating some of the most visually appealing books out there. The quality of the images and paper is evident, and most are limited editions. The collector’s edition of GOAT, dedicated to the life of Muhammad Ali is particularly impressive and features his famous”float like a butterfly, sting like a bee” motto.

I also admired this gorgeous Klimt book.

Taschen don’t just do high-brow though – they have some rather cheeky books including this one featuring Naomi Campbell’s ample assets ;-). I was surprised to learn that they also produce a wide range of very affordable books, often mini versions of their most famous publications. They’d certainly make great gifts, as would their well-known 36 Hours travel series.

After our tour of Taschen, we didn’t have far to go for dinner…Manicomio is literally right opposite! With a lovely terrace in Duke of York Square, it’s the perfect place for relaxed dining. Specialising in Italian cuisine, it’s a sister restaurant of Manicomio in the City and new hotspot, Canto Corvino near Spitalfields. Each restaurant has its own distinct identity fitting in with the local area. The Chelsea restaurant opened in 2003 and is housed in the former Duke of York Military Asylum, hence its name…Manicomio is Italian for mad house. We kicked off proceedings in style with a very fitting Jagger Wood cherry cocktail…The Saatchi Gallery is next door and is currently showing Exhibitionism: The Rolling Stones, which I can’t wait to visit.

I chose a healthy yellow fin tuna crudo for my starter, with a tasty kohlrabi and fennel dressing.

I continued the healthy theme with a chicken tagliata with artichoke, asparagus, and onions. There’s nothing better than fresh British asparagus and it worked really well with the succulent chicken.

To finish, I savoured this lemon tart with vanilla ice cream. Topped with fresh berries and kiwi fruit, it  was the perfect end to a lovely evening. Yet no doubt I’ll be returning to Duke of York Square very soon – the shopping is excellent with some very cool stores like Hoss Intropia, Liz Earle, Brilliant INC and Monica Vinader and Gallery Mess restaurant within the Saatchi Gallery. There are lots of fun events coming up including Chelsea in Bloom from 23rd to 29th May. There’ll be a giant parrot made from fresh flowers in the Square and local retailers will be creating spectacular floral displays. Once Wimbledon swings by, you can catch the action from the large screen, and there’ll be a full programme of events for the rest of the year too.
Have you been to Duke of York Square?

I was invited by Taschen and Manicomio for the purposes of this review

  • The food and drinks look so nice. I’m probably due for another wander around Duke Of York Square x

  • The asparagus and chicken sounds delicious!

  • Paola

    Delicious food and Lovely place!
    xo Paola
    My Facebook

  • You guys always go to the bed places!!

  • I love Taschen’s books. So nice that you got to have dinner afterwards as well!

  • Such a lovely area around Duke of York Square – I love the Taschen bookshop and always tend to pop in when I am there and of course there are always great exhibitions at the Saatchi gallery! Have not seen the The Rolling Stones exhibition yet. ♡

    • It sounds like a fantastic exhibition so I’m hoping to visit over the next few weeks. Have a great weekend!

  • Suze you always know of the best places to go. And this really looks like it was a great evening of books and great food.

    Kia / KTS

    • I wish I had more time to read books but on the plus side, these are quite visual ones so you can just flick through them if short on time!

  • This looks like a great event! I always get jealous of your food haha

    Rachel xx

  • The food and drink looks so delicious. The decor of the restaurant is of the hook. Seeing Naomi Campbell made love this post event more!

  • I can imagine having someone so enthusiast showing you around would certainly add to the enjoyment 🙂 Also, how interesting the Saatchi Gallery is just next door!

    aglassofice.com x

  • What a treat it must have been. As always the food is alluring Suze. A friend told me about Exhibitionism: Rolling Stones showing, sadly I’ve only seen the BBC special at the minute. I share your love for Taschen, and have many books from the publisher, especially from design school. Enjoy your weekend. x/Madison
    Best Tasty Books

    • I’d definitely be tempted by the Genesis book by Sebastiao Salgado, it looks amazing! Have a lovey weekend, Madison

  • Wow, looks like such a delicious dinner! I love Taschen books, I could get lost in them for hours. I have a real coffee-table-book habit (which is awks because I don’t have a coffee table to put them on and my bookshelves ran out of space years ago) and a trip to a Taschen shop is always such a treat xxx
    Lucy @ La Lingua | Food, Travel, Italy

  • Love your food shots. Looks like such a fun dinner. 🙂 What a lovely time you had. Hope you have a great weekend.
    Elise Xx

  • I love Chelsea too and I have to say, Taschen looks quite outstanding. I have very nice memories from my visit to London. Your food shots always make me hungry. You became a specialist, Suze.

    • That’s very sweet of you, Anda! I certainly love good food 😉 Have a great weekend

  • DOYS is somewhat of a favourite of mine as I went to school around the corner! Absolutely love the area although I can’t say I’ve been to Manicomio yet… something I must remedy soon 🙂 xx

    • What a nice place to go to school, so much going on in the area. I’m sure you’ll love Manicomio. Looking forward to our catch up

  • Beauty Follower

    I just love Taschen’s editions!


  • Wasn’t it such a lovely, fascinating evening!