Jane's diary: January 2016
We peek into the monthly diary of Jane Shepherdson - our inspirational CEO.
I finally booked a long weekend break at Soho group’s latest rural retreat. Some of the Whistles design team have aleady been and are getting me very excited about a perfectly relaxed weekend in the English countryside. Rumours of cocktails made in milk floats, outdoor bath tubs and firepits sound utterly sublime! A couple of days of massages, gentle cycling around the grounds and swimming in the indoor/outdoor pool is just what I need to recover from a busy week in the office.
Lunch at Bellanger
I love it when somewhere new opens in my local area, and this month the hotly anticpated Bellanger opened its doors on Islington Green. The fun and cosy brasserie atmosphere was perfect for a weekend winter lunch with friends. I can recommend the tarte flambée, which are delicious little Alsatian pizzas. I wore jeans cut off at the ankle, paired with my low-key Aith Three Strap Trainers and my off-duty Agnes Suede Biker Jacket.
Bellanger, 9 Islington Green, London, N1
Reading list: The Life and Death of Sophie Stark by Anna North
I read this because Lena Dunham raved about it - I'm a sucker for a good review! The story of her life is told by six people close to her, a lover, her husband, her brother, a critic who follows her career, a producer she screws over, and the subject of her first work. She is an iconic film director but also the ultimate outsider, and she uses her work to define who she actually is, almost living her life and death through the camera lens. It is incredibly sad, as each character has been both loved and deserted by her, but hard to put down as she is a brilliant story teller.
I had a disastrous ski trip a couple of weeks ago, which pretty much ended after lunch on day one, as I crash landed halfway down a slightly icy red run and had to be stretchered off the mountain! The rest of the trip was spent taking long lunches in mountain restaurants in the glorious sunshine, with too many glasses of red wine and my leg up on the table. Fortunately I didn’t break anything, but I'm wearing a neoprene knee brace over my jeans, making me look like an ageing skateboarder. This hasn't discouraged my lust for the Alpine cabin lifestyle, as I continue to trawl my current favourite website, Cabin Porn.
Artists studios are wonderful places to visit, and the perfect respite from London's speedy pace. I popped to this show with a friend on a crisp Saturday morning, stepping into a recreation of Joan Miró's purpose-built Mallorcan studio. The space was crucial to Miró's later work and the light-filled space was where he was at his most productive. His friend the architect Josep Lluís Sert designed the space over written correspondence from America where Sert was a Harvard Professor. The beautiful surrealist paintings and rare insight into Miro’s creative process is so inspiring - I will most definitely be researching a trip to Mallorca to see the real thing.
The Mayoral Gallery, 6 Duke Street, London, SW1Y 6BN (until 12 February)
Item of the month
This has to be the Cecilia Jumpsuit – it’s so versatile, and so sexy…a perfect alternative to the dress. I actually love the bright lime colourway from our Resort 2016 collection, but the new black option is so wearable and the textured fabric is comfortable and luxurious. I will balance the wide leg silhouette with a strappy stilletto for an evening style upgrade.