Thursday, November 7, 2013

WALKING, TALKING AND EATING IN LONDON

WALKING, TALKING AND EATING IN LONDON
by Tracey Jackson

For the last two days I have pretty much walked a lot, talked a lot and eaten a lot. Glenn is working all day every day, so I am on my own. Considering I lived alone between 17 and 30, and travelled mostly alone until I met Glenn, this is not a problem for me. And truth is, I do have quite a lot of friends here.

By the time I finished Monday's blog I had half an hour to get ready for lunch. I was meeting my old friend, (we go back to our twenties) Manfredi della Gherardesca. I was to meet him at his club, 5 Hertford Street. In a city where clubs still reign supreme, in fact I can't think of a city in the world that is still as club-centric as London, 5 Hertford is the club of the moment. It is so hot that when you Google it the same set of drawings and few publicity shots show up. Nobody goes in there and takes photos. You just don't. There is a Kate Moss series, but find a hip spot in London that does not have some photos of Kate Moss slipping in and slipping out.

It's so private there is very little written about (there is a slide show on VanityFair.com). And few bloggers and newspapers have written it up.
5 Hertford Street.
I found this on a site called Glitter and Mud.

Today it is the favourite bolthole of London's biggest celebrity names and, it has come to light, Hollywood's too. In a success story all the more amazing for having happened more or less under the radar, Loulou's (and 5 Hertford Street, the private member's club of which it is a part) has become one of those rare places where royals, tycoons and movie stars come to let their guard down and party.

It does not have a sign and is not exactly where you will think it will be. So still being a bit jet lagged I found myself wandering around the wrong part of Hertford Street and had to call Manfredi's assistant and then Manfredi to find my way.
The foyer to 5 Hertford Street.
The bar of 5 Hertford Street.
The Drawing Room where we had a drink.
Manfredi sitting on the sofa. But you can't really tell where you are. Right? Manfredi actually is titled as he is a Count.
I got this photo of flowers in the ladies room. Pretty stealthy — huh?
We had a great lunch and caught up having not seen each other in about ten years.
We hit the streets and walked a bit. Manfredi seems to know every other person in London. But he is that way in NY as well.
He had to go back to work — Manfredi is an art advisor and has recently started doing design as well. I had tickets to go see The Daumier show at the Royal Academy. So he walked me as far as The Royal Academy before taking off for his office on St. James.
The Royal Academy.
Sir Joshua Reynolds in the courtyard of the Royal Academy. This was my favorite piece in the show. But I think it was everyone else's too, as it they put it on the notebook they were selling.
I am a creature of habit and I have set walks and things I do in certain places. I left Manfredi at almost three, spent 45 minutes at the Daumier show and then headed down Picadilly as I was meeting Glenn on Bond Street at five. I stopped at my one of my favorite bookstores in the world, Hatchards.
Hatchards Books. I always find Indian fiction I never see in the States and great travel books here.
I only picked up two books as I hate to carry them. I got Glenn a copy of Geordie Greig's new book on Lucien Freud. And I got a book by a new Indian writer. I then headed down Piccadilly to Boots. I always stop at Boots.
I also always walk by The Ritz. I don't think I have been inside in years.
Fortnum & Mason is already for XMAS. In fact all the big shops are.
Fortnum & Mason is not one of my stops ... though not for long. I breeze through the downstairs. I like it because it doesn't change. It is a time warp.
Guess you can't start too early. At least in the states we wait until around Thanksgiving. By the time I got to Bond Street it was almost dark. I did make several stops. But a girl has to keep a few secrets.
That evening we went to a wonderful Japanese restaurant called DININGS with our friends Selina and Paul Burdell. But I am saving all food for one blog when I get home.

The next day was another lunch and walk day.
I went and took a photo of Harrods Christmas tress without actually having to go into Harrods.
I did a double-hitter Top Shop day. Because the pound is so unfriendly towards the dollar I only buy things here that either I can't get in the States or that are much less expensive. I know they have a Top Shop in New York, but I have never been. For me it only exists here. There is a little one across from Harrods. You can see my photo of that on my Instagram page. In case you don't feel like looking, here it is ...
I spent a hunk of the morning there and then went to Balthazar to meet my friend and my WME English agent Elizabeth Byng for lunch.
Elizabeth Byng.
After lunch I was near Oxford Street and that involves another walk I always do. When I I worked here the offices were on Oxford Street so it was a walk I made every day.
This amused me — it is the Google building here. They are everywhere.
Oxford Street had these white balls hanging above it.
How often do you see big stacks of newspapers anymore?
One of my favorite intersections, Oxford Circus and Regent Street.
The real Top Shop. I disappeared into here for over an hour.
When I came out the sky was turning that lovely English blue/gray.
I know I'm not alone when I say this is one of my favorite bits of London. Not that there is anything there I do ... I just like seeing it as I turn the corner.
By the time I made it to here, it was dark.
And Harrods was all twinkly.
Photographs by Tracey Jackson.

Visit Tracey at TRACEY TALKS