Monday, 30 November 2009

Shops for book lovers

It’s hard to resist the “2 for 3” deals at Waterstones, which is a great place to fill a shopping basket with books. But for real book lovers nothing compares to the small independent books shops. I have a few favourites around London. John Sandoe just off Kings Road is a true gem. The people working there are so passionate about their jobs that I want to stay and apply for a position between all the piles and piles of books. Or it would be even better if I could have my own bookshop. I wouldn’t mind running a places like Fosters’ Bookshop on Chiswick Highroad - another cute little shop that makes you dream about reading Keats poetry for hours (a girl is allowed to dream). The sister shop at 95 Bell Street over by Marylebone Station is also worth visiting. These are all good old-fashioned bookshops where time stands still and words and imagination rules.

Wednesday, 25 November 2009

Cycle mania

Being Danish I don't see bicycles as something special.
Don't get me wrong. I love my black vintage style bike cycle and still hate that someone stole my almond coloured bike from "Cykelmageren" in Copenhagen. I hope it is parading the streets somewhere in UK showing off the brilliant Danish design.
When you have been riding your bike since you were four a bicycle will always just be transportation. So I am little baffled to read about bicycles as a new big trend i London. It's also great.
With deluxe Chanel bikes, one of kind design and celebrities pedalling around London it is cool to see that Danish Christiana bike with the wooden box in the front has joined the cycle mania in London. This one is parked in front of Leon in the City.

Tuesday, 24 November 2009

In love with a cafe named LEON

I had a spicy parsnip soup and chilled out at LEON on Ludgate Circus in the City today.
This is how fast food should be. Exciting for the taste buds, made with fresh ingredients and healthy too.
Normally chains don't have the feeling of quirky individuality. But LEON ticks all the right boxes and in this case it's just great that there are more LEON's out there in the big "sea".

And very good news for all, who are fans of the hot dishes, lentil masalas, lemon wraps and super food salads. LEON has a cookbook out and you can snap it up for just 16 pounds. I nearly bought it, but then I realized that the food probably will not taste the same in my kitchen without the buzz of the city.

Tuesday, 17 November 2009

Film clubbing

Sorry I have been neglecting the blog for so long. I have been busy finishing my next book, which I will tell you much more about later. But I haven’t stopped spotting urban gems and great places. I had the pleasure of watching a film in the screening room at the cozy and cool Covent Garden Hotel in London not long ago. It’s the perfect way to watch a movie and escape daily life for few hours. Tuck into a red seat in the basement room; enjoy the cosmopolitan feeling and a two-course dinner in the hotel restaurant after wards. This Saturday I would love to go see Broken Embraces.
The Firmdale Group also has Weekend Film Club at Charlotte Street and Soho Hotel.

Wednesday, 30 September 2009

Bohemian paradise

Forget all about living in a luxury mansion next to Madonna’s town houses in Marble Arch. I am dreaming about living in a charming shack in the bohemian paradise Eel Pie Island, where both Rolling Stones and David Bowie kicked off their careers. Rumour has it that Madonna actually did try to buy a place on the island in Twickenham. Go for a walk in this peaceful, arty and charmingly messy neighborhood, where architects have moved into a new, modern building next to houseboats, stranded boats and small cottages stuffed with paint, brushes and odd looking creative inventions.
There is a new book about this island, which has always attracted people looking for an alternative lifestyle. I was actually very surprised to learn that this unique location on the Thames River used to be home to hotel Eel Pie Island, which burned in 1971.
Eel Pie Island by Dan van der Vat and Michele Whitby is out October the 8th.

Monday, 28 September 2009

Drawing for grown ups

I have briefly mentioned that Whistles is on to something and I must say that the collaboration with Danish artist Birgitte Haahr Lund is spot on. Adding a bit of art to fashion is not a new thing. In fact it was quite hot a few seasons ago. Marc Jacobs had the world clapping (and signing up on waiting lists) when he in 2008 played tribute to the famous graffiti artist and late Stephen Sprouse with a collection of Louis Vuitton bags, scarfs and clothes with bold pink graffiti prints. The two worked together back in 2000 and the prints were reprints.
Sorry I got a bit side tracked here. I meant to tell you that Birgitte Haahr Lund has yet again being drawing on a T-shirt in Whistles. This time the grey 80s style T-shirt with a sipper in the back is decorated with a quirky creature and the artist’s own signature. I don’t have a photo yet, but to give you a sense of the style I am doing a re-run of the bird tee... with kind permission from Birgitte herself.

Tuesday, 22 September 2009

Go behind the scenes

Real life often beats any fictional drama. It’s certainly the case when it comes to fashion’s most powerful woman Anna Wintour. It was entertaining to see Meryl Streep play the role as the ice queen in The Devil Wears Prada. But I can’t wait to see the real thing and Anna Wintour playing the role as her self in the documentary “The September Issue”. Apparently it’s dynamite to watch the woman behind the Chanel sunglasses unfold in a creative power struggle with Vogue’s cool creative director Grace Goddington. The film goes behind the scenes for the production of the massive 840-page issue of Vogue magazine for September 2007. I am going to watch it in Richmond Film house - part of the fabulous chain Curzon Cinemas, where you can always count on interesting films.

Speaking of great cinemas. Nothing really compares to Electric Cinema in Notting Hill. If you hurry you can catch the delightfully charming and inspiring Julie & Julia there. Lean back in the big comfy chairs, rest your feet on the stools in front of you and sip some white wine while enjoying Meryl Streep (that woman is truly exploring new sides to her talent) and Amy Adams cook creamy French food.
Watching film at the Electric is a pampering film experience!

Curzon Cinema:
Electric Cinema:

Saturday, 5 September 2009

I love Melissa

Melissa plastic shoes from Vivienne Westwood are a very funky, girly treat for you feet. Wearing them feels like playing dress up. Get them in one of my favorite shops Miss La La’s Boudoir in Monmouth Street (one of the best streets in London for independent shopping). And Miss La La’s is more than just a shop it is a fabulous frilly visit in La La land and it’s like playing dress up in the dressing room of a cool movie star from 50ies Hollywood.

Thursday, 3 September 2009

Dining underground

It’s one of those trends that make you think: What’s the big deal, I dine in homely environment most nights = in my own kitchen. Never the less have underground dinning become a big deal in London these days, because everyone tries to be economic chic. First there was “eating out is the new eating in” slogan. But honestly serving your own pasta and tomato sauce for your self in your own house doesn’t really compare to the thrill of scrolling down a menu, which is probably why someone came up with the idea of going out to dinner in some strangers home.
We are not just talking very secret pop up restaurants, that pop up and away before you even realized they were there. This time is private people and self-taught chefs who are whipping up a dinner in their own kitchen for people they have never met before. Addresses are announced on Facebook and Twitter. If is secret it's cool seems to be the rule.
I actually know an even more cool and secret private restaurant. It’s so secret it’s not even open yet. But I know that my friend in Strawberry Hill makes a killer Thai Curry and I will let you know as soon as she takes reservations...stayed tuned. Casa Blanco will soon be the hot spot!

Here are some of the underground restaurants I have come across ( I found them in my weekly fashion/gossip treat Grazia.

The Underground Restaurant:
The Loft:
Savoy Truffler Supperclub:

Thursday, 13 August 2009

A must visit shop

At the moment I am vaccationing in Denmark, but never really off duty.
Shopping is after all part of every girls favourite relaxing therapy and I suggest a dose of Nué - the coolest shop in Frederiksberg, Copenhagen. They stock the best labels from Marc By Marc Jacobs, Luella Bartley and Rika. The girls behind the shop have also launched a hugely popular cheeper line Nué Note and recently added their passion project Lovechild 1979 with one of a kind design.
After shopping in Nué, Gl. Kongevej there are plenty of great hang-outs just around the corner. How about a glass of wine a Falernum or an oldfashioned Danish kartoffelmad (potato on rye bread) or a milkshake in the cool, retro café Granola on the Værnedamsvej?

Friday, 24 July 2009

Please don't touch

Sorry I can't bring you any photos of this.
But the staff at Serpentine Gallery repeated again and again that both photos and touching are not allowed at the current Jeff Koons exhibition.
I really wanted to do both.
The inflatable kid's toys made of metal are so extremely life like that you can hardly resist touching.
My five year old was not the only one who felt her hands moving towards the fascinating art pieces shaped like caterpillars, lobsters, dolphins, monkey etc.
All details are so accurate that you keep thinking they can’t be made of metal, but your brain tells you that of course they are; how else who could they penetrate a chair and still stay inflated.
Neither of us touched anything and still had a great time. At one point Luna said: He really must love lobsters!
There are quite a few of them in the fascinating and iconic Pop Eye Series, which is the first major Koons exhibition in London.

2 July – 13 September 2009

Wednesday, 22 July 2009

Art in all the right places

I have been exploring New York again in the name of research and came across a couple of super interesting art projects.
One of them was unusual and completely weird and made us go "wow I have never seen anything like it" the whole time, we were there. So check out the art gallery Deitch Project's exhibition "Black Acid Co-op".
Seriously I have never seen anything quite like that.
They have transformed an old warehouse on 18 Wooster Street in Soho to a labyrinthine of hallways, burnt down rooms and tons of stuff in jars. You'll be in for a surprise walking through holes in walls and at one point even through an old fridge!
Two artists and a bunch of helpers went through a lot of work to set up this exhibition, which sadly is only on for a month.
15th of August is the last day.

Another great art project is No Longer Empty, a group that has specialized in finding empty properties and turning them into temporary galleries. At the moment they occupy several locations in Chelsea - one of them is next to legendary Hotel Chelsea, which also takes part in the current exhibition.

Tuesday, 21 July 2009

Join the circus of cool

A phantasmagorical cabaret of physical theatre and puppetry brought from the other side of life, a show inspired by circus, love, life and death with a hint of Latin humour.
I didn’t come up with this amazing sentence, but I am definitely curious to see what it’s all about. For a start I can tell you that it is just one of the interesting events taking place in the basement of the coolest shop in East London. Just of Brick Lane you’ll find this rare independent boutique Beacon Street Project. With a lot of different and unique design which you don’t find in every other shop.
They stock my favourite American designer Jane Moyle, who accordingly to rumours sadly has decided to end her busy soon.

Sign up for the newsletter and check out this fabulous place on:

Thursday, 2 July 2009

Stir me!

Remember the fascinating art piece with the spinning teacup and stirring wooden spoon at the charming Notting Hill café Tea’s Me I once mentioned?
The British artist Kathy Taylor has created it and I suggest you check out her website. She makes the most unusually installations with built in lights and motors. The piece Carla, the owner of Tea’s Me, bought is both beautiful, fun and meaningful. Some of the others are a bit more bizarre – like a dancing toothbrush in a glass and a little dessert trolley.
This is surely art that makes a point of our daily routines and habits.
Great to look and makes you think...

Tuesday, 30 June 2009

The writing on the wall

I once was part owner of a cafe in Copenhagen and we had quite a lot of fun writing instructions for the costumers directly on the wall. (Our policy was to make them feel at home by making them do most of the work them selves). We mixed a lot of Gin & Tonics while writing and added silly things like ”this is a hole in the wall” and then drew an arrow pointing to a hole in the wall.
Why am I telling this?
I came across sort of the same thing in the über cool Mama Shelter hotel in Paris. This time Philip Starck has been playing with the paintbrush. I am not accusing him of plagiarism but merely suggesting that the best ideas will live forever.
I went to the 20th arrondissement to explore the hotel for an article for the Danish interior magazine Rum ( By the way the article is in the August issue.
I love it. Great place to hang out for lunch and drinks. The decor is so full of crazy details, humour – and it is still cosy and stylish. There is just one slight problem. All though the area is up-and -coming there isn’t really any Paris atmosphere around the hotel.
The price is good and the modern backpack shelter is definitely worth checking out, but I think I would still prefer Hotel Amour, which is both cool and close to “real” Paris.

Monday, 29 June 2009

Street poetry

I went around London looking for vintage shops the other day, but couldn't resist popping into LOFT on Westbourne Grove in Notting Hill. The clothes are simple, great quality and chic in the relaxed, typical French way. And I love that even the price tag on the organic T-shirts are printed on recycled paper. Actually I didn't mean to talk about the clothes, but wanted to point your attention to the frames on the wall. Very cool pictures and quotes in thin black frames and it feels really good to be greeted by a comment like "you look really good today".
You can find uplifting and thoughful words in the most surprising location. Take the street poetry in the dodgy end of Portobello Road.

Thursday, 25 June 2009

Be curious…

I love the little shop Luna & Curious on Brick Lane.
It’s not just because my own daughter is extremely curious and called Luna.
The little interior shop has a truly unique range – from feather necklaces to tea cups with delicate butterflies. Everything is odd and pretty at the same time. Think rock chick turns romantic.
It always pays off to be curious and do some shopping around Brick Lane.
Last time I bought a great ceramic vase made by an English-Swedish artist in a cool, craft shop around the corner from Luna & Curious.
I have forgotten the name, but will stop by soon and bring you photo and address.
Until then I will remain curious!

Wednesday, 24 June 2009

Spots everywhere

This season is all about spots. The bigger the better, according to my weekly fashion gossip treat Grazia. I can only add that the trend is so big that spots are even dotted all over the trees on South Bank.
I have mixed feelings about the South Bank. There are too many tourists, grey buildings and average food chains. On the other hand the book marked under the bridge is always worth a visit, Hayward gallery has some interesting art exhibitions and some of the restaurants are actually pretty good. Like Belgian Le Pain de Quotidien and Feng Sushi. The take away sushi chain celebrated it’s 10 years anniversary last night. I went to the branch at the Royal Festival Hall for sustainable, delicious sushi bites and toasted the co-owner Sille, who is by the way Danish.

Ps. I did a bit of lobbying again and tried to make Feng Sushi open a take away branch in Richmond. It is after all a recession proof area and we desperately need some decent take away sushi.

Sunday, 21 June 2009

Arty days - Per & Dorte!

Danish artists are making it big in London these days – from young, up and coming to the more established like Per Kirkeby, who after 50 years as a painter has his first ever mayor exhibition in London. Tate Modern is just so über cool and I couldn’t help feeling very patriotic when looking at his amazing paintings hanging there in the middle of London.
Another Danish painting is on display somewhere not quite as extravagant –a wall in my little house with the red door. One of my favourite artists Dorte Naomi has painted it.
Not yet on show anywhere else in London. But when I had it framed the lady in the shop got so many requests that I am sure it’s just a matter of time.
Any way if you happen to be in Copenhagen there is a change to see more of Dorte Naomi’s poetic, dramatic play with demons and masks at the interesting gallery Falkener Project’s summer exhibition (until July the 3rd).

Per Kirkeby - Tate Modern until September the 12th.

Falkener Project Fredericiagade 10, kld. 1310 København K.

Thursday, 18 June 2009

Head for the heights

The waiter at George (top of the Centre Pompidou in Paris) did laugh a bit when we acted like tourists (which we by the way were), when we got up in the middle of our champagne to admire the blinking lights at the Eiffel Tower.
Normally I would have felt like an over the top tourist. But it was just a perfect way to end a day in Paris.
I used to made an effort to try to blend in with the locals, but I have discovered there's something joyful in following the crowds especially, when it comes to bars in high places.
Spots and places don't just become tourist attractions for nothing. And there is something truly magical about sunset, cocktails and a view of a city.
I thought about the Paris trip the other day when I found my self on a terrace at Tate Modern overlooking the Thames and the odd mixture of buildings in London skyline on the other side. Sipping wine in the company of fun and interesting people. On the way there we even had a pit stop drink on the 8th floor at Oxo Tower.
So despite my vertigo I am now aiming for the heights.
I just have one rule. Never look down.

P.s. Will soon be testing the new roof top bar at Conran's Boundary!

Monday, 15 June 2009

Got it – part 2

I also got so many great presents and you know your friends love you, when they turn up with the gorgeous and super cool Taschen’s Paris and Taschen’s New York.
That’s how you make books for city lovers.
Check them out in Taschen’s shop on The Duke of York Square on Kings Road in London, in other big cities or on

Got it!

Just want to bring a small update. I found the dress!
I had to sneak into the dangerously expensive Matches, where I haven't dared to go for ages.
But I had several good reasons. 1) You only turn 40 ones. 2) On that day my paper was running a cover story “Recession is over”. Those few magical words can easily be transformed to “ It's time to wake up the shopaholic from hibernation”.
In the meantime my branch in Richmond have started stocking more of the "less expensive" design from sister brands like Marc by Marc Jacobs.
So at my party I danced for four hours in my new peach See by Chloé dress in a pair of too high sandals from last year. Sometime new + last season = recession proof.
As a result my feet are sore and covered in blisters. But it's worth it.
I do however wonder if I should also have bought those tower high, fantastic, gold Louboutin I was given as "test" shoes when trying on the dress.
Maybe you don't get blisters in the Louboutin world. You never hear Carrie complains

Thursday, 11 June 2009

Weird and wonderful

One of the best and most inspirational newsletters about life in London (and other cities) is the one from Le Cool. The small Spanish company have lots of locals scouting for great cafes, exhibitions, films and clubs and bars. They call them selves weird and wonderful… and so they are. I also love the “Weird and wonderful” guidebook, which they started publishing last year. Le Cool is a must if you are going to Madrid or Barcelona and need cool insider tips.

Tuesday, 9 June 2009

A place to go but not at all dressed up

There are days when even London’s amazing range of shopping let you down. Just returned from such a day. As my big birthday party approaches my hunt for the dress gets more and more desperate.
I must say I had high hopes when I headed for fabulous Harvey Nichols. But even though the city seems to be wearing nothing but dresses I couldn’t find a single one I liked. Okay maybe one in Marni, where the prices don’t match a recessionista’s shopping style. And I will spare you for details on all the reasons for ditching the other frocks from Vivienne Westwood, Vanessa Bruno etc. But it had to do with various parts of my body. At one point I was even trapped inside an orange dress in All Saints. I was so wrapped up in the various layers of fabric I nearly shouted “get me out of here”. I managed to pull it off and pull my self together.
Afterwards my attempt to find a fashionable, cheap copy in Zara failed too.
But luckily there is my new back-up LBD (little black dress) supplier – Whistles. Ever since Jane Shepardson (TopShop guru) took over the brand just gets more and more exciting.

Stylish mezze plate

The new chain Lebanais Comptoir is everything I have been waiting for when it comes to fast food.
The menu offers fresh, delicious, organic food and all the classic Lebanese favourites that will excite my taste buds. From the hummus (spelled hommos), the aubergine dip Baba Ganusj to slow cooked Tagines with lamb, prune, cinnamon and ginger served with cous-cous.
For those of us who can’t make up our mind and want to try everything on the menu the safe bet is always a mezze plate.
Labanais Comptoir is both a canteen and a deli and it is chic with a touch of 70ies style.
The prizes are really cheap and so far I can only complain about the fact that the closer of the two branches (a third one is opening soon) is in the gigantic shopping mall Westfield. The building might be beautiful and almost spacey designed, but I hate these big places.
Anyway there is always the other option 65 Wigmore Street.

Monday, 8 June 2009

Cool tiles

By the way check out those funky coloured tiles in High Road Brasserie. They have almost become talk of town. Too bad I am renting a house and can’t make that kind of major changes.
They can also be found in Copenhagen in my home country in the new restaurant Aamans Etablissement, where the décor and design is made by Superspace.
Head for the toilets.

Two for one deal

I went for breakfast and returned with a vintage Eames chair. It’s a very convenient coincidence that one of my favourite restaurants High Road Brasserie in Chiswick is right next door to the The Old Cinema – a truly cool furniture shop with some interesting pieces of furniture – vintage, retro and antiques. The little shop- in-shop with vintage clothes is like visiting your hip grandmothers walk-in-closet
The Old Cinema has a great collection of old world map and good stuff coming in on a regular basis, which is an excellent excuse for browsing every time visiting the restaurant next door.

The Old Cinema, 160 Chiswick High Road, London W4 1PR

High Road Café, 162 - 166 Chiswick High Road
London W4 1PR

Tea's Me, please!

You should have included this in your book, complained my new friend.
She was absolutely right.
Tea’s Me is one of those small hidden places that deserves to be found. This little Notting Hill café - just of Ladbroke Grove few minutes walk from the station – would definitely have made it into my book if I had only known about it back then.
To make it up to the readers I am recommending Tea’s Me as the very first thing on my blog.
It’s tiny, stylish, charming and stuffed with personality thanks to the owner Carla.
I completely get why this is a favourite among the locals. I am going back to enjoy hummus for lunch or afternoon tea served in beautiful floral china in pastel colours. But most of all I am going back for another chat with Carla. With so many Starbucks and other chains around it is such a pleasure to meet a passionate owner of an independent café. Sitting around one big table makes the visit even more personal. Like having tea in Carla’s private kitchen.
And her love of art is also worth mentioning. Check out the quirky piece with spinning teacup hanging on the wall.

Tea’s Me, 129 A Ladbroke Grove, Notting Hill (Tube: Ladbroke Grove)