Tag Archives: Notting Hill

Patty & Bun have arrived in Notting Hill
(And the locals cannot believe their luck)

Patty & Bun

A couple of years ago, my lovely friend Camilla took me to her favourite burger joint, Patty & Bun, off Oxford St. I took one bite and knew that I was about to eat the best burger I’d ever had. Ever. I came home and told LM that I’d just eaten the best burger of my life and we had to go to Patty & Bun immediately so he could have the best burger of his life. (Setting myself up to fail, I know). And we went. And he agreed. BEST BURGER OF OUR LIVES.

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The Shed, Notting Hill

The Shed Notting Hill

I’d been meaning to go to The Shed for ages, ever since one of my friends visited and then didn’t stop talking about it… for a long time, actually. I think she still is.

I knew it was going to be special and I knew that it was going to be delicious… but what I wasn’t prepared for was how fun and barnyard-chic it was inside and how absolutely beautiful and PRETTY every dish was…

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– Pescheria Mattiucci –
A Fish Boutique off Portobello Road

Oysters on ice at Pescheria Mattiucci

Fresh Prestige oysters from France and Carlingford oysters from Belfast

On Blenheim Crescent, just off Portobello Road, sits Pescheria Mattiucci – a ‘fish boutique’ serving delicious fish and seafood, tasting as fresh as if the boat had sailed down Ladbroke Grove itself…

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Think You’ve Had Breakfast in Bed?
Oh, Really.

Breakfast in Bed

Breakfast in bed is always such a treat, no matter how it arrives or is assembled. I usually clamber downstairs in my pyjamas, put knives in butter, teabags in mugs and emerge triumphantly with slightly burnt, marmite smothered toast, strong tea and orange juice. If I’d remembered to buy it. And it’s lovely.

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Boots, Books, Blooms & A New Desk…
My Week in Pictures

Flowers in the window outside The Cow on Westbourne Park Road

Flowers in the window outside The Cow on Westbourne Park Road

This week has been so busy, I feel as though my feet haven’t touched the ground. I know they have though, otherwise I’d have been flying and I know THAT can’t be true, because if I could have one super power it would be invisibility. NOT flying.

As always, I’ve been busy capturing my week on Instagram and here are some of my favourites for you to peruse with a cup of tea, hot chocolate, or a Dark and Stormy. (I have discovered that I really (really) like rum.)

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My Week in Pictures
The final days of August…

Wildflower Cafe - My week in pictures

So it seems as though Summer may have packed its bags and is probably sitting in Heathrow departures reading Hello magazine.

I am not in any way despairing – I have loved the warm spell of hazy days but am actually rather enjoying the cooler temperatures at night and of course, the rain.. I’m sitting in Carluccio’s in Islington as I type this and the rain is pouring down outside… like a solid sheet. Soggy people keep stumbling in and shaking their heads like dogs on the beach. I’m feeling dry and smug. It also feels a bit like Christmas but I can’t quite put my finger on why.

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Poppy Loves Book Club
Queen’s Gambit, Elizabeth Fremantle

Poppy Loves Book Club - Queens Gambit - Elizabeth Fremantle 13


Yesterday’s hot Summer’s day concluded with a gorgeously warm July evening and my Book Club met in the beautiful courtyard at the back of Book and Kitchen, surrounded by bright flowers, fragrant herbs and the jibber jabber of the talkative birds…

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Things that made me happy last week

Daylesford Farm Shop on Westbourne Grove

Breakfast at Daylesford Farm Shop on Westbourne Grove

Last week involved rather a lot of zipping about for me and my little legs. And what’s more, I was still on all kinds of hard hitting pain killers and antibiotics for my wisdom tooth removal, (which shall forever be known as The Big Ouch) so I was a bit like a space cadet… but looking far less like a cheeky chipmunk.

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Jodie Kidd, The Wellesley, Wine Tasting
and picnicking in Finsbury Park…
– My Week in Pictures –

My week in pictures

Living in London is always an exciting and colourful experience and I share my life in real time as much as possible via Instagram.

Writing a London Lifestyle blog means my experiences are always rather eclectic –   I’m often adding pictures of the latest café I’ve visited, new little shop I’ve discovered or the outfit I’m wearing.. l love the hidden corners of London and when I find a sparkly one, I share that too…

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Hair & Graces: John Macpherson

John Macpherson

Who knew. Who knew that hiding under the Westway in a light-drenched studio, with a beautiful chocolate brown doey eyed dog, is the genius that is John Macpherson. Not me. I had no idea.

John Macpherson John Macpherson John Macpherson John Macpherson

John told me he was from South Africa. “But you have a Scottish accent,” said I. (Poppy.) “Yes,” said John. “I was born in Scotland and then we moved to South Africa. But I kept the accent.” And he really has – I’d never have guessed he’d started his career in Johannesburg and stayed there for so long.

He worked his bottom off and managed to fly up through the ranks of the hairdressing world and worked in some of South Africa’s most exciting and prestigious salons.

John Macpherson John Macpherson John Macpherson

He moved to London in 1998 where he quickly built up a private clientele, preening, primping, colouring and styling some of the most fashionable and famous heads in town; Kings of Leon, Courtney Love, Harvey Weinstein, David Bailey, Poppy Loves… let me just pick those names off the floor…

He then decided to go freelance, which was when he met Tamara Mellon, fashion entrepreneur and Co-Founder of Jimmy Choo. She quickly snapped up John as her personal hair stylist and he was soon jetting around the world with her. Tamara, who John credits with having a massive influence on him, introduced him to a number of her chums and it wasn’t long before word started to spread about his super sonic hair dressing skills.

I learnt all of this while he blow-dried my hair into some kind of magic I’d never seen before. So swooshy. So swishy. Glamour Poppy – that’s me.

John Macpherson

Primped Poppy

John Macpherson

John used some Redken and Pureology magic on my locks…

John now hones his snazzy creative skills doing session work for music companies (ooooooh) fashion labels (ahhhhh) and high-end fashion magazines, including Vogue, Elle, Vanity Fair. Marie Claire etc..  Thinking about it now, he must be exhausted.

John Macpherson John Macpherson John Macpherson


He zooms all over the world with his amazing celebrity clients and amidst all of this, still manages to run his private warehouse studio in the heart of Notting Hill, off Portobello. Which, incidentally is a 5 minute walk from me. *High fives herself*

And. On top of all of this. He is a Really. Really. Lovely. Man.

Hair and Grace – it’s John all over.





Monsoon’s 40th Anniversary – pop up stall on Portobello

Examples of wood blocks used for fabric printing across many Monsoon garments

Examples of wood blocks used for fabric printing across many Monsoon garments

Did you know that Monsoon, (yes, THE Monsoon) began as a stall on Portobello Road 40 years ago in the 1970’s? Did you? Well it did.

And last week saw them celebrate the past 40 years in style, by going back to its roots and pitching a market stall outside the Electric Cinema on Portobello Road. In the pouring rain.  

Lucky passers by were greeted with a selection of its heritage and occasion wear samples, some boutique gifts and stunning homeware, with all proceeds going to the Monsoon Trust (see below…)

Beautiful hand crafted cushion for sale on the Monsoon stall

Beautiful hand crafted cushion for sale on the Monsoon stall

The story of Monsoon is a little like a fairy story, although with fewer fairies, more dresses and one Peter Simon, (Monsoon’s founder). And it was Peter Simon himself who told us, (me, the amazing Monsoon Press Fairies and some other merry bloggers) the magical story over breakfast (avocado and poached eggs on toast, ding!) at The Electric last Friday.

I will sum up. Once upon a time there was a man (that would be Peter Simon) who travelled the globe on foot (not really) and  brought back hand crafted garments from faraway lands (Asia). He set up a stall on Portobello Road in Notting Hill and sold his wares to all the boys and girls, who thought they were all rather hip.

The stall was so successful that the first Monsoon store opened in Knightsbridge in 1973 and Accessorize followed in 1983.

Not only that, but in 1993, the Monsoon Trust was born, which helps disadvantaged women and children in Asia, through education, healthcare and income generation projects. And with Jodie Kidd as the Trust’s patron, it appears that there really is no stopping them. 

After story time, we all went outside and huddled under the gorgeously decorated stall, (it really was pouring!) Peter Simon (undeterred by the weather) leapt into action and he and John Browett (CEO of Monsoon) were very at home, hanging up twinkly dresses, bartering with the locals and embracing the community spirit that our beloved Portobello is brimming with. 

So happy anniversary, Monsoon. And a huge hats off.

Here’s to forty more…

Monsoon is pleased to support the #loveyourlocalmarket initiative

Pretty up: Poppy gets primped at 10500

I wasn’t born with the beauty and maintenance gene that most girls are born with. That gene which pings every six weeks instinctively so you know to get a haircut.. or pings to remind you to shave your legs, (there’s a reason I’m wearing tights). 

With that in mind, I hope you understand that I am too embarrassed to show you the ‘before’ pictures… so please just use your imagination. It was very bad. I think I made someone cry when I walked past them it was so bad. (I actually just forgot to take any photos, but you get the idea.)

In I walked to my hairdresser on Westbourne Park Road – 10500 and it was Darrin to the rescue. He knows my hair (curly, crazy, fly-away, some bits a bit straighter than others, maddening in general) very well now, so I was in and out in a flash. However, the MAIN reason I am writing this post is to alert you to my new miracle product, which Darrin used on my hair today – I am talking about Marrakesh Oil Hair Styling Elixir

There’s always a moment just before Darrin finishes doing my hair.. when I think he has already finished doing my hair. And I stare at myself in the mirror thinking ‘he can’t have finished doing my hair? I look a bit like a Womble and a bit like Super Gran and a bit like I shouldn’t be allowed out of the house.’ 

But then, the magical oil appears ( he hadn’t finished doing my hair) and with one swoosh through the tresses, (it smells divine, by the way) my locks are full, BRILLIANTLY SHINY, luscious and bouncy, my swishy haircut looks like something out of a magazine and I am ready to be let loose on the world once more.

It really is a miracle product. But then, so is Darrin.

10500 Hair Salon
284 Westbourne Park Road
W11 1EH


Pretty up: OPI’s Mermaid Tears

About 10 days ago, I was taken for a manicure by my friend Cristina, and it was so nice! It felt like even more of a treat coz it was a prezzie, and for some reason I was filled with a kind of reckless bravery when it came to choosing my colour. Pink? Pah. I went for DARKER THAN THE DARKEST YOU’VE EVER SEEN GREEN.  

I loved it and have been feeling like a very cool version of myself, but over the last few days it’s really started to chip and I have been feeling mostly more Grotbags than Garbo…

So today, after teaching piano, (I teach piano) I popped into Julie’s Nails on Notting Hill Gate and selected my colour from the OPI range. (OPI is definitely my favourite brand of nail polish – it’s the only one that doesn’t seem to chip… do you experience the same?) Having put it to the Facebook massive earlier in the day, we’d collectively decided that I should go for coral. Lovely.

But SOMETHING HAPPENED. (Can’t seem to stop using capital letters now. Sorry). The same courageous Poppy came bubbling to the surface and I, as Braveheart would have done had he been into manicures, roared with laughter at the pinks and corals and instead, picked out this beautiful minty green shade and held it high in the air, (like He-Man) and everybody cheered. Kind of.

This gorgeous OPI colour is called P18 Mermaid Tears and is perfect for welcoming in the Spring – I can’t wait for it, so maybe now that the weather fairies can see my nails, they’ll get a wriggle on.

One last thing – I’m always on the lookout for new colours and brands of nail polish – please share your secrets if you have some!




Spring is springing…

This is just a little post, but I wanted to share with you my view as I walked down to Portobello Road this morning.. The weather recently has been so cold and grizzly that it has been making me, (and maybe you) feel like I want to hole myself up in my cosy flat, drink hot chocolate under piles of blankets and not come out until the Summer. 

But look! Today as I walked down the road to get a coffee, the sun shone on my face and everything around me sparkled with gold. Some late leaves had fallen, some new shrubs were starting to poke through and I was sure I could hear the bleating of new born lambs. (Although, that bit could have been my imagination. Not ruling it out though.)

Spring is most definitely on its way and with it, new dreams, new ideas, new projects and the feeling of excitement that bubbles up when you know that something magical is about to happen.

I wish you all the most sparkling of Springs and look forward to sharing my stories with you all along the way to Summer…


Bluebelles of Portobello


I know you know I love cafes… and if you don’t you must be a new reader. Hello. But I wanted to tell you about this particular cafe… not just because I really really like it, but because the owner (Jonny) is just so enthusiastic and friendly and bouncy and happy to see you that I want everyone to know about it. And go there. And drink their coffee because it’s really really good. Really.

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