Editor’s Letter: December
Editor’s Letter: December

Editor’s Letter: December


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Dear readers,

I could start with all the cliches: isn’t it crazy we’ve come to the end of the year? Hasn’t 2023 gone quickly? Aren't we feeling festive? But no doubt you’ll all already be sick of the usual December platitudes. So instead, here’s my official run down of what’s happened across fashion, travel, beauty and more. Whether you’re in need of some fresh London inspo or some gifting ideas, this is what I’ve loved this year…

The Restaurant

Few new restos have impressed me like Bistro Freddie. Dominic Hamdy, of Crispin and Bar Crispin, has brought the magic of Parisian bistros to Shoreditch, with white tablecloths stained with dripping candlewax, an impressive cocktail list and a decadent food menu, including a surprisingly light signature chicken pie. Perfect for friends, date night and dinner with the parents, alike.

The Hotel

The OWO, Raffle’s new London opening, was the capital’s most anticipated arrival this year. By now you’ll undoubtedly have seen the jaw-dropping entrance hall and enviable swimming pool all over Instagram, lovingly restored over an eight-year period to bring it back to its 1940s glory. The building, that is, not the swimming pool. Dine in one of its nine restaurants, spend a full day in the glorious spa or book a spot at top secret The Spy Bar, housed in the tunnels where MI5 and 6 were born.

The Cheap Eat

If you haven’t been to Ria’s in Notting Hill yet, you don’t know what you’re missing. Whilst many have fawned over Hammersmith’s Crisp, Ria’s is undoubtedly my pizza joint of the year, with its impossibly doughy Detroit-style bases, indulgent toppings (garlic wild mushroom on bechamel and burnt onion jam was a personal favourite) and supply of orange wine. 


The Series

Apple TV’s comedy Shrinking, about a widowed psychiatrist (Jason Segal) and his motley crew of neighbours and colleagues, including Harrison Ford, was all the joy I needed this year; if you’re after some light entertainment over the festive break, this is it. Elsewhere, I loved docuseries The Supermodels and, of course, special mention goes to the final series of Succession. As for 2024, I’m waiting (not so patiently) for season 13 of Larry David’s Curb Your Enthusiasm. If you haven’t tried it, you have 12 full seasons of cringe-until-you-cry TV waiting for you. 

The Book

Coco Meller’s Cleopatra & Frankenstein technically came out in 2022, but I read it this year – so does that still count? A love story with a satisfactory ending – hard to find – this was my perfect read; it’s beautifully written with a healthy but not hideous dose of angst. The much-lauded Yellowface also deserves a mention, although the ending veered into melodrama, and I’ve developed an unexpected interest in the medieval monarchy thanks to David Mitchell’s comedic retelling of history, Unruly.

The Comeback Brand

I’ve loved watching J Crew crawl its way back this year. The purveyor of preppy took a tumble after Jenna Lyons (now of RHONY fame – another of my 2023 hightlights) departed, but under the leadership of Olympia Gayot, whose IG outfits of the day I have saved more times than I can count, the brand is enjoying a moment in the spotlight anew, with a sparkly festive collection to rival even the coolest of high-street names. I will stalk the bow-adorned top-handle bag until it comes back into stock, even if it takes until Christmas 2024.

The Accessories

Lucy Delius has won my heart this year. Sadly, her creations are a little over budget, but from diamond-encrusted T-bars to killer pinky rings, she’s top of my wish list. The adidas collab with British design talent Grace Wales Bonner is a little more palatable – a burgundy pair of sell-out Sambas somehow made their way into my basket. By Malene Birger has also won in the cosy accessories department – a cape-scarf hybrid has been one of my favourite winter wardrobe additions.

Finally, a note to say thank you for all your support this year. Wishing you all a very merry Christmas and a happy New Year. 

See you in 2024,

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