Episodes
Luke has kindly invited us to his house in the Cotswolds, which he shares with his husband, Duncan Campbell, and a pair of enthusiastic whippets.   I was intrigued to learn that this modern-day dandy comes from a bog-standard commuter town, and like many of the people I talk to on this podcast, his creative impulses offered a route out of mediocrity.  He tells me his very personal backstory of being estranged from his father at a young age, and what it was like to come out as gay to his...
Published 06/07/24
Published 06/07/24
This is the first time we’ve recorded an episode in a hotel suite, and that’s because today’s guest knows more about opening doors to glamorous guesthouses than anyone else.  James Lohan co-founded the travel company Mr & Mrs Smith with his wife Tamara back in 2003, and since then he’s visited nearly 4,000 hotels in the name of research.  James is a gregarious character with some brilliant tales to tell.We discuss his earliest experiences as an entrepreneur, from selling cheese toasties...
Published 05/24/24
During her tenure at Nowness, Claudia commissioned the well-known ‘In Residence’ series, which took us inside the homes of the biggest names in design and architecture. Today, I’m meeting Claudia in her beautiful London home to give her a taste of her own journalistic medicine … She tells me about what it was like to grow up in an English prototype of the American dream, and talks fondly about her ‘impossibly glamorous’ grandparents’ house, which had shagpile carpet, pink loo roll and a...
Published 04/26/24
Philippe designs everything from furniture to lighting, combining modern geometry with a sense of humour and materials that are built to last. I first met him many years ago, when he was doing some work with my wife, Faye Toogood. We’d turned our bedroom into a makeshift design studio, and Philippe and a few others would come round to make maquettes and geek out about ergonomics.  Nowadays, he’s a burly, bearded bear of a man with an extra 20kg of muscle, but his wit and warmth are the same...
Published 04/11/24
Today I’m talking to the wonderful Sumayya Vally, founder of the architecture and research practice Counterspace. When in 2020 Sumayya designed the Serpentine pavilion, she joined the ranks of luminaries including Zaha Hadid, Peter Zumthor and Frank Gehry. In 2021, Time Magazine named her one of the ‘100 Leaders of the Future’ and, more recently, she was artistic director of the inaugural Islamic Arts Biennale in Saudi Arabia. What really shines through in this conversation is Sumayya’s...
Published 03/28/24
At the time of recording, Tim was knee-deep in building works at home, so I polished up my Chelsea boots for a visit to his London studio.  As always, I asked him to describe his life story through the lens of the homes he’s lived in over the years. It was particularly interesting to find out more about his current home, which he bought after seeing it on our website and falling instantly in love. It’s a mid-century masterpiece set in splendid isolation near Rye, in East Sussex.  A...
Published 03/15/24
I first became aware of Jeremy’s food when he was head chef of Terence Conran’s Blueprint Café, which was above the old Design Museum in Shad Thames. Nowadays, of course, he’s in charge of the kitchen at the revered Quo Vadis in Soho. No one seems to have a bad word to say about Jeremy, and Jay Rayner describes him as ‘one of those rare phenomena in the London food world: a chap everyone agrees is a good thing. His cookbook is simply called Cooking, which sums up his warm-hearted and simple...
Published 03/01/24
There’s barely an oilcloth, mug or ironing board cover that hasn’t been embellished with a nostalgic floral print from Cath Kidston. Because of the brand’s ubiquity, it’s easy to forget quite how influential it was when it appeared in the 1990s. What I love about Cath is that she’s living proof you can be a wildly successful entrepreneur whilst also being a kind, gentle soul. Although her name’s still above the door, she hasn’t been involved with the Cath Kidston business for many years, so I...
Published 02/16/24
Today I’m chatting to the swashbuckling artist and restaurateur Jonny Gent. We recorded this episode during a busy lunch service at Sessions Arts Club, Jonny’s inspirational restaurant in Clerkenwell. It’s fair to say that he’d emboldened himself with a few martinis beforehand and what ensued was a conversation that very much represents the man himself: unstructured, poetic and generous.  Jonny’s a brilliant painter, and his artworks range from the sexualised and salacious to tenderly painted...
Published 02/02/24
Akram’s rich career includes performing at the opening ceremony of the London Olympics, collaborating with artists Anish Kapoor and Antony Gormley, and choreographing tours and videos for the likes of Kylie Minogue and Florence + the Machine. He was awarded an MBE for services to dance in 2005.  He kindly invited us to his home last summer and we recorded this conversation in a shady spot in the garden. Akram is of Bangladeshi descent and he grew up above his parents’ restaurant in south-west...
Published 01/19/24
I first met Roksanda in 2006. We were selling her flat in King’s Cross, which was unlike anything I’d seen before: a brooding space with cast-concrete worktops, a black resin floor and mirrored lightwells. It had a subterranean lap-pool that was completely black, like a cave, where one could imagine Bruce Wayne practising his backstroke. Roksanda had recently shown her first collection at London Fashion Week and garments dangled enticingly from rails in her workspace. Some 18 years later,...
Published 01/04/24
Kevin has been a fixture on our tellies for so many years that we feel like we know him. But, actually, I didn’t have a clue about his life story, so this conversation was really interesting for me. He tells me about growing up in what he refers to as an ‘architectural zoo’ of housing from different eras. We talk about his involvement with Footlights, the famous comedy troupe at Cambridge University, where he collaborated with Stephen Fry, Hugh Laurie and Emma Thompson. And he explains why...
Published 12/15/23
Rosh is founder of the brilliant jewellery company Alighieri. We discuss her life story through the prism of the homes she’s lived in, from humble beginnings in Zambia to the beautifully designed flat she now owns in Clerkenwell. When Rosh moved to London at the age of eight, she was the only person of colour in her school. She tells me how she’s managed to channel this feeling of alienation towards a personal mission of bringing people together, celebrating commonality rather than...
Published 12/01/23
I’ve known Duncan for many years now and he’s definitely one of the good guys. We first met when I was commissioned to write a piece for The World of Interiors about the amazing home in west London he shares with his wife, Lyndsay Milne McLeod, and their son, Oban. Duncan’s kindly invited me back to the house to record this episode. He tells me about how growing up on building sites brought him close to his father, the importance of magic in architecture and why he believes you should always...
Published 11/17/23
Jacqueline is a jewellery designer whose work I’ve admired for many years, probably because it’s so architectural. As you probably know by now, we try to record these podcasts in the guest’s home whenever possible, and this one is particularly exciting on that front, because Jacqueline lives in a 1960s house perched on a hillside in Los Angeles. As is the custom on this podcast, I asked Jacqueline to talk about a home from her past, her current place, and a home of the future. She told me...
Published 11/02/23
Glenn's a brilliant curator and writer with a particular interest in craft. If that conjures up an image of lace doilies and crocheted waistcoats, then don't panic! Back in 2011, he put together the amazing 'Postmodernism' exhibition at the V&A in London, which was a riot of Memphis pattern and colour; and more recently, he's co-curated a show called 'Mirror Mirror' at Chatsworth House in Derbyshire. Glenn writes beautifully – and his book Fewer, Better Things was a really big influence...
Published 09/14/23
Most of us know Mary Portas as a swashbuckling TV presenter with a flame-red bob, but her career away from the screen has been no less remarkable. She did the window displays for Topshop during its heyday and was the creative director of Harvey Nichols when it was immortalised on Absolutely Fabulous. Nowadays, however, she runs her consultancy, Portas, which helps brands create purpose and beauty in everything they do. As this episode reveals, her life story is incredibly rich and filled with...
Published 08/31/23
Skye Gyngell is an Australian-born chef who has spent much of her career shaping the British food scene. I first became aware of her cooking when I visited Petersham Nurseries’ cafe in Richmond, which she opened in 2004 and later earned it a Michelin star. Nowadays she runs her own beautiful restaurant, Spring, at Somerset House in London, and is the culinary director of Hampshire hotel Heckfield Place. For this episode, Skye generously invited us into her home in west London and we talked...
Published 08/17/23
Hans Ulrich Obrist is the artistic director of the Serpentine Gallery in Kensington, west London, and is universally acknowledged as one of the most important and prolific art curators of our time. When I spoke to him at his office, I discovered a force of nature with an energy unlike that of anyone I’ve met before. His notion of home is also pretty extreme. When he was a student, he turned his flat into a gallery and he’s lived in some of the world’s most famous house-museums. This episode...
Published 08/04/23
Tony’s life story is incredibly inspiring. He began his career at The Sunday Times Magazine, then became the art director of GQ and was later appointed editor-in-chief of Wallpaper*, which arguably defined the design aesthetic of the noughties and taught us all how to live like urbane Scandinavians. We discussed his childhood home in the 1970s – which was a riot of swirly brown carpet, chintz cushions and fake-brick wallpaper – and his experience living on the Barbican estate in London for 27...
Published 07/21/23
Where does our spirit go when we die? Frances Morris has this question figured out: she will return to the home in which she was born, a Georgian house abreast the Meridian Line in Greenwich. In this deeply personal conversation, Frances explains why her childhood home has such an emotional hold over her.   Southeast London has been the backdrop to her whole life, and it's fitting that she has worked at the forefront of its most important cultural institution: Tate Modern. Not only was she...
Published 07/06/23
Known as the Queen of Colour, India has designed upbeat bars and radical restaurants from Miami to Mexico City. Her Gallery restaurant at Sketch in London became one of the most inspirational spaces of our time, and single-handedly changed the public perception of the colour pink.  Last autumn, I hopped on the Eurostar to go and meet her at home in Paris. I arrived completely drenched from a rainstorm, but my frost-bitten cockles were soon warmed by a cup of tea and a fireside chat with India...
Published 06/23/23
Nick is a legendary photographer and founder of the influential website SHOWstudio, which has pioneered the use of moving image in fashion. I've come to his London studio to find out more about his incredibly colourful life through the lens of the homes he's lived in. He tells me about growing up in a grandiose apartment in Paris, the impact of his dyslexia, and how falling in love with photography unlocked a relentless work ethic. His unlikely entrypoint into image-making was joining a group...
Published 06/09/23
For Ruth Rogers, home is at the very heart of everything. Her legendary London restaurant, the River Cafe, is founded on community, friendship and home cooking. Her iconic house in Chelsea, which she co-created with her architect husband, Richard Rogers, has been the backdrop to family life for forty years and has influenced a generation of homeowners to live with light and space. Ruthie invited me in to discuss her extraordinary life through the lens of the homes she has lived in. She...
Published 05/26/23