Leggy lovelies Francesca and Daisy are the gals behind A Little Bird, a London blog that’s full of tried-and-true recommendations for stylish and cultural things to do in the city. We’re huge fans of their blog here at LUXE, so we asked the ladies to share some of their secrets with us! Read on…
Describe yourself and your favourite thing about London?
I (Francesca) am one of the co-founders of the site, A-LittleBird.com, which I set up with Daisy Garnett, a fellow editor at Vogue over a year ago. We send out a free weekly newsletter to thousands of people recommending things to do in London. We try everything on our site which means we spend a lot of our time out and about, whether it is testing a new restaurant or seeing a new play. One of my favourite things about London is just how many brilliant and fun things you can do, if you know about them. Did you know, for example, that the food writer Rose Prince has a private bakery that sells delicious bread? Or that you can get into free designer sample sales with prices up to 80% off? Or that some cinemas have previews of brilliant Oscar-winning films, sometimes with Q&A’s with the director and actors?
A perfect summer’s day in London?
It would start with breakfast at a local french cafe sitting outside with my boyfriend and a paper, then a walk in Richmond Park with a friend followed by lunch at the Dock Kitchen (pictured above) or River Cafe. I’d then go and see an exhibition, perhaps something at the Tate Modern followed by a walk along the Thames and in the evening I’d go and see something open air – either a play or maybe a film at Somerset House with friends.
What are your picks to find hidden treasures in London?
I love Ben Pentreath‘s shop (pictured above) on Rugby Street which sells a mixture of quirky interiors accessories (he also has a great blog) and William Vintage in Marylebone has an incredible selection of vintage clothes.
What’s your most coveted item in your wardrobe?
I have a pair of Prada heels that my boyfriend bought me in Milan that are incredibly high but also very comfortable that I can walk in forever and wear season after season.
What personality in your mind is quintessentially British?
Is there anyone more British than the writer Alan Bennett? His wonderfully dry, sly, subversive wit, his ability to laugh out loud at himself while also appearing awkwardly self conscious are very British characteristics, which he takes to sublime heights. And no one writes about the British – the people, their habits, their customs, manners and mores, better than Bennett, either.
[Photo: Martin Charles/Facebook]
What are some of the most underrated spots in London?
Lincoln Inn’s Fields is the largest public square in London and it’s so worth visiting, for so many reasons, and yet it doesn’t really seem to be on traditional must-see lists. Laid out by Inigo Jones in the 17th Century (and a public space since the 12th Century), the Fields are said to be the inspiration for New York’s Central Park. Certainly they are a total pleasure to walk through or sit in (and there’s a good cafe in the Fields too). Nearby are the Sir John Soane Museum (pictured above), one of the best museums in London and the Inns of Court – walking through the latter is a positively Dickensian experience and makes you feel that not much has changed, at least in this corner of London, for a couple of hundred years.
What should every visitor to London do, and why?
Walk over the Millennium Bridge and marvel at the views of St. Paul’s to one side and Westminster to the other. Once you have reached the south bank of the river, take in Borough Market, the Globe Theatre (pictured above) and then the Southbank, where there’s always lots going on. Every visitor to London should see a play – not necessarily in the West End – but at the National Theatre, Globe or Donmar. London has the best theatre in the world and you see things at these venues that you couldn’t see anywhere else. Visiting one of London’s less famous but equally wonderful parks is also a great thing to do: Richmond or Blackheath or Hampstead Heath are all fantastic.