Monday, March 15, 2010

IMPORTANT! Information for LLG readers

I've been getting lots of emails & Tweets wondering what has happened to me, as many of my readers use the Google Followers system to keep track of new posts on LLG.

The reason you haven't been getting updates since 15 February is that I have moved to a shiny new website, although still to be found at

Annoyingly, Google cannot transfer over your subscriptions, so anyone who wishes to still follow my blog will need to delete their old Follow, and re-Follow using the handy widget right at the top of my sidebar on the new website.

Thank you for reading...LLGxx

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

New domain for LibertyLondonGirl

Thank you for taking the time to visit LibertyLondonGirl. As of Monday 15 January 2010, I have moved to a new domain at

Click here to re-direct to the new site and, if you are a regular reader, don’t forget to update your blogroll and RSS feed to the new address.

With best wishes, LLGxx

PS Just a final bit of housekeeping: please delete the old LLG RSS feed and re-subscribe as I had to change the feed. Thank you!

Well, hello there!

Copy of Sasha Wilkins

The photograph above is of me, Sasha Wilkins. It was taken in the East Village, New York by the very talented photographer Jackie Dixon on our trip to New York in November 2006. We stayed in our friend Todd Selby's apartment, took some meetings, did a lot of flea market shopping and decided we had to spend some more time in the city. *

I had nothing to stay for in England, (recovering from a bad break up) and by February 2007, we were back in New York. I knew immediately I wanted to stay in the city for the indefinite future. (Miss Dixon went back to England once her NY projects were finished a month later.)

I knew hardly anyone: my address book was full of contacts but, too English & shy and yet to discover that Americans love to be asked for advice, I didn't call any of them.

Instead I started writing this blog. And met so many of you who have changed my life in so many ways for the better. (I'd like to say a big thank you to the brilliant fashion bloggers DisneyRollerGirl, who was the first blogger to leave a comment here, and Queens Michelle & Marie of Kingdom of Style for being such wonderful & supportive blogosphere friends when I knew no one on-line in the early days.)

2007 was a blogging learning curve. When Grazia first wrote about me at the end of the year, I still couldn't believe that anyone bar my friends & family actually read me.

And then I stopped blogging: I was offered my dream job as Executive Style Editor on the global launch of The Wall Street Journal's WSJ magazine, setting up the fashion department, and over-seeing beauty, fashion, accessories & jewellery.

That was one hell of a rollercoaster and, at the end of 2008, I went back to writing full-time. I re-started LLG on 10 Jan 2009 and within six weeks I was on The Sunday Times 100 Best Blogs in the World list. And then it just went MENTAL.

So, here I am, standing naked in front of you. I've had to reveal my identity for two reasons. Firstly, other people were on the cusp of doing so publicly and I wanted to control how my identity would be released and, secondly, I wanted to be able to attend events & fashion weeks as LLG, not just as Sasha.

So, it was obvious that if I was to come out as LLG, the story needed to be in Grazia, who have continually supported me. So I want to say a big thank you to Hattie Brett for championing the LLG cause since 2007, and for interviewing me for the Grazia feature.

* I just love that three years down the line all three of us, me, Jackie & Todd all have successful blogs. Funny how the world works...

Photo: Sasha Wilkins by Jackie Dixon

Monday, February 15, 2010

Copenhagen Fashion Week: YDE & Georg Jensen Daisy collection

Georg Jensen Daisy pendant necklace

I was a little dubious when first told that Ole Yde was accessorising his AW/10 collection with Georg Jensen's pretty Reversible Daisy collection, suspecting a designer collaboration born solely from fiscal necessity rather than any particular connection (see Swarovski ad infinitum).

But I was proved wrong:


The tumbling flowers and elegant chains worked beautifully with the luxurious and often delicate silk fabrics that Ole Yde uses.

Yde's connection with the house goes back further than last week: he worked in the silver department at the Georg Jensen store when he first moved to Copenhagen. And now his work has captured the imagination of Georg Jensen CEO Ulrik Garde Due, whose fervent belief that Yde needs solid support to help him realise his collections led him to offer not just the jewellery, but the Copenhagen flagship store for the YDE show.

A sense of heritage and a great back story never go amiss where fashion & jewellery are concerned, and the Daisy collection has both. Launched in 1940 to celebrate the birth of Queen Margrethe II of Denmark, it became a symbol of the hope that the little princess (known as Daisy) brought the country during the war.

The line was re-launched in 2008, and I have my own Daisy bracelet, which my godmother gave me that Christmas to match the daisy tattoo on my ankle.

Maybe when I graduate to wearing pieces as beautiful and sophisticated as Ole Yde's, I'll treat myself to a Daisy sautoir, with its twelve double-sided daisies, as worn above.

LLG was a guest of Georg Jensen in Copenhagen - but if she didn't like something, she'd say so - as you well know.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Copenhagen Fashion Week: Dansk vs.By Malene Birger afterparty

On Friday night around 2330hrs we headed to the Dansk vs. By Malene Birger afterparty at Jazzhouse. One of our number was an interior designer who had never the dubious pleasure of attending a fashion party.

His eyebrows shot up in to his hairline when we entered the hot, sweaty, crepuscular bar. I think he had rather been expecting this, or maybe a white loft space, with strategically placed orchids and maybe some Diptique candles gently wafting their scent. Unfortunately for him, the prevailing fragrance of the evening was beer.

Not that this dampened our - or anyone else’s - enthusiasm. Christ can those Danes party. I have never in over a decade of attending fashion parties seen editors, famous actresses or CEOs let their hair down with such unbridled enthusiasm amongst the usual motley crew of assistants, hangers on and random fashion people.

As Thriller belted out the speakers I almost expected a re-enactment of the Jennifer Garner scene from 13 Going on Thirty. As it was, the DJ segued into The Kings of Leon’s Sex on Fire, and the dancefloor erupted with air-punching Danes.

I cannot tell a lie; I was doing dancing too. Unfortunately I was rocking some fuck off Bionda Castana heels along with my black sequined cocktail tunic dress and there is only so much frolicking one can do in even the most comfortable of high heels. I retired to the stage where I sat with the interior designer, rotating my ankles to the beat of the music, and watching the packed dancefloor gyrate.

We called it a day at 3am.

My hotel was still heaving with exceedingly tipsy fashion people when I got back, and I fought an internal battle as to whether I should go perch at the bar to chat up some of the rather attractive Danish men giving me glances, but my good angel won out, reminding me of my 9am studio appointment and I wandered off barefoot to my very comfortable bed, heels swinging from my fingers.

Copenhagen Fashion Week: Acne studio

All I wish to say right now is that Swedish label Acne is in danger of disappearing up its own fundament & I bitterly regret having wasted a precious hour in visiting their studio, seemingly populated by monosyllabic poseurs who have turned froideur into a fine art.

As I flicked through the rails and shoes, I was muttering Balenciaga, check. Rick Owens, Check. Etc. Etc. Derivative and dull.

Copenhagen Fashion Week: Apparently it snows in Denmark too…


Of course I had failed to compute that there would be snow on the ground in Copenhagen. Sure, I knew the temperature would be below freezing, but somehow I had missed the reports of the abnormal massive snow storms that have left Copenhagen with foot high piles of snow along the kerbsides.

Still, I managed not to slip over at any point whilst here; a record for me which make me think very kindly towards this city and its extremely efficient street cleaners. (Although I understand that when it does snow heavily, the first parts of the city to be cleared are the bike lanes, a fact that just makes me love Copenhagen even more.)

Obviously it helps on the not falling over front if you are being ferried around the city by your host with a car and driver and that when you arrive at dinner, a show or after-party you have an arm to lean on, or in the case of arriving at the Dansk/By Malene Birger party, having a handsome man on either side to literally swing you over the piles of snow in your four inch heels.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Copenhagen: Sublime to the ridiculous


My foot in the front row of the YDE show wearing a delicious Bionda Castana navy blue suede zip back heel.


My feet in Celtic Sheepskin Company boots later that afternoon trying to navigate the snowy paths around Copenhagen city centre.

Copenhagen Fashion Week: YDE show


Ask an English fashion writer about Danish fashion, and their thoughts usually turn to the easy, sexy, chic, commercial-in-a-good-way labels like Day Birger et Mikkelson, Rutzou or By Marlene Birger.

What we don't normally associate with the Danish fashion industry is luxury and sophistication, both in the precision of cut and in the fabrics. Yet this week I've seen two runway shows that challenge this common misconception: YDE & Noir.

The first was from a 31 year old Danish designer, the charming Ole Yde, showing under the YDE name, whose confident and assured salon show for just 250 people at the Georg Jensen store wouldn't have looked out of place in Paris. This was a coherent, clear and polished collection, aimed at an elegant, self-possessed woman.


Currently self-funded, this is a designer whose work cries out for an investor to take him to the next level: he needs to be showing abroad where there is a market for this kind of luxe approach.


The final runway walk:

All images by LLG. The full set is here, and the official Copenhagen Fashion Week images are here

Friday, February 12, 2010

Fashion Week nutrition

Fashion Week breakfast:

Pink Laurent Perrier at the YDE show

Fashion Week lunch:

Madeira cake pinched yesterday from the SAS lounge

Fashion Week Kit


Thursday, February 11, 2010

Copenhagen: I've arrived...


I arrived in Copenhagen to snow, snow and more snow.




And after a wonderful day at Georg Jensen headquarters, looking through the archives and the fascinating in-house silver smithy, I'm off now to the Noir and Stine Goya shows. More later...

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Off to Denmark....

I'm definitely in the don't know whether I am coming or going stage right now. The only thing I know for sure is that I fly to Copenhagen at 0955hrs tomorrow morning from London Heathrow.

I had plans, quite definite plans for this week. They revolved around writing, blogging and tech-y website building activities. I have done none of those things.

Instead, I have spent many hours on the telephone having exciting conversations. There are things afoot in the world of LLG right now which have been a trifle unexpected, much of which will become clear to you all next week.

In addition to the telephone conversations, today was spent on location alternately jumping out of the path of motor vehicles and vibrating with incipient hypothermia in minus temperatures as the photographer induced me to throw poses best left to professionals in public places.

I wobbled my way through numerous outfit changes in beautiful and vertiginous Bionda Castana heels, enough make-up to placate an Estee Lauder counter girl and hair backcombed at least two inches above my scalp. It certainly made an interesting change from the scrubbed complexion, T-shirt & leggings clad look I've been not rocking in the countryside.

The fact that I even got to wear some wonderful clothes, was thanks to the stellar efforts of the latest recruit to the LLG family, the lovely Kiki, who rose admirably to the challenge of a photo shoot at 24hrs notice, and helped me put together a wardrobe for today, for a film project and for Copenhagen.

Thanks to her, (and some helpful publicists), not only have I have stopped wailing that all my clothes are languishing in storage in Manhattan, but I actually have something to wear in public that Posetta hasn't chewed or shed hair on.

Copenhagen, here I come...

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Video blog: Posetta Baddog welcoming me home

Monday, February 08, 2010

The perfect fashion moment

Tommy Ton 2

This photograph makes my heart sing. Quite apart from the wonderful composition of this perfect moment, I love how it harks back to the shapes thrown by Norman Parkinson or Clifford Coffin's model girls from the 50s, yet still looks completely modern.

It's one of a series of images by the lovely Tommy Ton, whose site Jak & Jil has been on every style bloggers' blogroll since he started posting in 2008 (word gets around quickly in the blogosphere). US Vogue recently hired him to take over The Sartorialist's beat snapping the fashion hamsters on the collections wheel: after a while it's easy to spot a Tommy Ton image as he has a designer shoe obsession that borders on a fetish.

I've borrowed the image from one of my new favourite blogs, The Fashion Editor at Large. Like me, she is a magazine girl through and through but, unlike me, she's still working on a major British mag, and her new blog reflects her insider status. She recently interviewed Tommy for Grazia, and this is one of the outs from the story. Go here to read the post in full, and then scroll through to read TFEAL's archives.

Image by Tommy Ton, taken from The Fashion Editor at Large with permission

Sunday, February 07, 2010

Fashion weeks AW/10: let the circus begin...

Last season I was asked to be one of the small band of style bloggers sitting in the front row at Dolce. Garance, Scott, Susie, Bryan...and LLG. I thought quite seriously about going, but I had only left my executive fashion editor job in the US eight months before, and I wanted some separation between being a front/second row editor and a front row blogger.

And, not least, I was thoroughly enjoying my sabbatical, sitting in New York in my knickers, eating nachos and writing my book. Of course I was still anonymous at that point, which would have made the whole front row thing a wee bit tricky. (The nacho eating probably had something to do with not wanting to be photographed too.)

Looking back I don’t think any of us had a clue just how much of a sensation that seating chart would cause. Knowing what I do now, do I wish I had put on a frock & hopped it to Milan?

No, I don’t think I do. Of course, I’d have loved the resulting traffic and raised blog profile, but I wld have squirmed with embarrassment had I been plumped in the front row with a Dolce laptop perched on a plinth in front of me.

Bloggers do not as a rule post from their seats. Dolce were just using bloggers in the same way that they use Scarlett or J-Lo or Kylie at the shows. The only difference being that the celebs got tens of thousands of pounds to attend and the bloggers - well they just got a decent seat, rather than the more usual half a squab in the eighth row behind a pillar.

But I’m glad the others bar Susie were able to attend. That show signalled to the world at large that style blogging had arrived, and it has certainly made my job (and I do see it as a job, now) as a blogger much, much more acceptable.

So, am I going to start reviewing the runway shows now that Dolce & Burberry et al have made it acceptable for bloggers to be at the collections?

No, I am not.

I’ve done enough professional critiquing of fashion shows in my career. (I started reviewing shows back in 2000). I'm going to leave all that to my fashion editor peers who already do it admirably well themselves, without adding yet another voice to the clamour.

Frankly, there are too many bloggers out there who strongly critique the shows without a strong knowledge of craft, technique and history to back up their position and I do not wish to be lumped in with that number. (You don't need to be a professional fashion editor to have that knowledge, but I don't think you should attend & then review the shows unless you have it.)

I will be lurking at some of the shows, but it will be to catch up on the work of the designers, get material for future stories, and to file colour pieces about the presentations. (I want to write about the atmosphere, do the re-sees, inspect the hems & stitching, and talk to the designers.)

In answer to some of your questions, I am going to Copenhagen Fashion Week not New York Fashion Week next week – I’m excited as I’ve done New York plenty of times, but never Copenhagen as they clash, and then, well, watch this space...

Recipe: Superbowl avocado & bean layer dip


Whilst my US friends are watching the Superbowl tonight they'll be drinking beer & eating vast quantities of dips and chips.

Dips are a peculiarly American thing. Dips in the UK aren't taken that seriously: most often they lurk in tiny plastic pots in the chill section of the supermarket. Upon further inspection they are usually radioactive in colour, full of E numbers (chemical additives), and leave a fatty film on the roof of your mouth.

There certainly isn't a UK equivalent of the US tradition of time-honoured family recipes, and you won't find dips in very many British cookbooks. Once I got past my twenties, the only dips I've ever seen at parties are houmous & taramasalata. But sour cream based?

Not so much.

When I moved to America I was amazed at the prevalence of dips, especially those quite substantial ones. (In the UK they are always quite liquid). It's perfectly normal for a girlfriend to rock up to my front door for a TV party with a snazzy multi-layered dip, almost a meal in itself, made according to a honed family recipe.

So, in honour of tonight's Superbowl, & my best friend in NY the wonderful Jill who knows as much about football as I do about fashion, I give you the LLG layer dip, a new addition to the LLG family canon.


This has to be the simplest recipe. If you are familiar with nachos, then this will ring a few bells. It's just layered beans, sour cream, grated cheese, guacamole, salsa and some olives.

And these:



So: dice the onion. Heat a dessertspoon of neutral oil (sunflower is gd) & add half the chopped onion.


and sweat (cook over a low heat) until the onions are translucent.


Open a tin of beans - I used black eyed, but it works with refried, haricot, black or canellini - drain, and add to the onions with a small glass of water, a large pinch of salt and a tsp of cumin. Heat to a simmer and cook for ten minutes.

Chop up the tomatoes into small dice, making sure you keep the juice. Strip off the coriander leaves and finely chop. Mix the tomatoes & all the coriander bar a spoonful, with the leftover chopped onion. Add salt to taste and a generous dash of Tabasco. (I use my hands to mix it all, but feel free to use a spoon.)


Skin the avocados.


Add two large teaspoons of salsa, & tablespn of coriander, & a good squeeze of lime juice.
Get rid of some aggression by wielding that masher:


Add salt, Tabasco to your taste. (I like a lot.)

Take up your masher again when the beans look like this:


And half mash them. (You want a little texture.)


Scoop all the beans into an ovenproof dish:


Then add a layer of grated cheese, and then spoon over all the salsa:


More cheese:


Then a layer of sour cream (I used creme fraiche), and then all the guacamole, smoothed over the cream with the back of a spoon:


Then the olives, chopped (optional), and a thin layer of grated cheese. Pop under a pre-heated grill/broiler until the cheese is melted but not brown.

Ta da! Scoop into mouth with chips. (Try not to spill down front.)


I x can beans
1 x large white onion
1 x tsp ground cumin
small glass of water
2 x soft avocados
200gms/8oz tomatoes
small bunch coriander
Grated cheese. In America I use Monterey or pepper Jack, but cheddar in the UK.
Handful of olives, chopped
Sour cream (I use creme fraiche)

Cook beans
Make salsa
Make guacamole
Grate cheese
Layer all ingredients plus sour cream
Pop under pre-heated grill/broiler

Friday, February 05, 2010

Copenhagen Fashion Week

So, the first exciting thing of 2010 happening to LLG...I'm off to Copenhagen Fashion Week, as a guest of Danish silver house Georg Jensen.

As this is a press trip, this seems as good a moment as any to set out my ethics stall again. One of the joys of blogging, after years working as an editor, is that the decision about where I go and what I write about is completely in my gift.

Magazines have a duty to their readers to attend external events, launches, trips, to learn and then inform about the hot and the novel stuff out there. Blogging is different: to co-opt Sarah Churchwell's brilliant phrase, the blogger is always the protagonist in the narrative, which takes away the imperative to chase the next big thing. It also helps that there are no advertisers to placate and that there is no sense of being obliged to accept invitations. Instead I can decline at will. Specifically MY will.

And, of course, given the global nature of on-line, the joys of wi-fi and being head of a department of me, I can travel at the drop of a hat, and still work wherever I go. (When I was on a magazine, press trips were a major commitment: they meant valuable time out of the office, and a disproportionate amount of attention lavished on a single brand, when I had hundreds with which to engage.)

So: it's simple. I turn down more opportunities than I accept, & only go on press trips now if I personally like and admire the brand or label doing the asking. I'm certainly not going to take hospitality from companies that aren't right for LLG and then pull the wool over my readers' eyes by writing gush-y copy afterwards about something in which I do not believe, just for the sake of a free trip.

So, it's off to Denmark I go next week. and I'm thrilled that it's under the aegis of a brand of which I thoroughly approve. One of my passionate interests as an editor is jewellery from the 20th century, so the opportunity to both rummage through the Georg Jensen archives and see shows from labels including By Malene Birger and Noir was far too tempting to turn down.

(The conversation at lunch today with the CEO of Georg Jensen went something like this:
"LLG: are you coming to Copenhagen Fashion Week next week? No? Would you like to? Great. We'll arrange everything.")

That was remarkably straightforward.

Apologies for break in service

Hello internets

Firstly, I must apologise for that little break in blogging Due to my ability to run up bills with many zeros on the end, I specifically signed up for a US Blackberry plan that doesn't allow international calls/email/Tweeting/Facebook/blogging and all the other apps with which I joyfully fill my days.

Whilst this is healthy for my bank balance, it is crap for staying up to date. And, given that the last three days have been something along the lines of: breakfast meeting, meeting, meeting, lunch meeting, meeting, meeting, meeting, drink meeting, supper interspersed with bus, car, tube, sprint, hobble in heels, totter, wobble, fall down stairs, asthmatic wheezing, crap I'm late again, there's not been an enormous amount of time for getting on-line. And, when I could, my wi-fi failed me miserably and I spent my valuable spare minutes stabbing at the keyboard & swearing with non-blogging related frustration.

I promise that this will be the last time this happens. There are shiny, exciting things for LLG on the horizon and they involve lots more posting, and lots more interactivity. They might even involve me getting a UK smartphone for when I am over here, so I can engage with all of the above activities in a timely, sophisticated and non-falling over manner.

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

The post where I decide dressing down is not my thing

Clothes have always been the armour, and accessories & makeup the arsenal, in my personal battle against the world. When I don't dress up I feel a shadow of myself. Once in a blue moon, I’ve been known to cover the Sunday of London Fashion Week in cream Converse and pants but, more usually, you’ll see me on appointments and at the shows in heels, a great coat and a frock of some kind. That’s my look. It’s what works for me.

But at the moment, most of my armour is languishing in a storage container in Manhattan: I was only supposed to be in London for a month.

And then I stayed a little longer, and then a little longer. And now I’m thoroughly fed up with the pieces I have here. Given that I’m spending most of my time in the depths of the countryside, bashing out copy, I’ve stopped trying to think of different ways to work a black dress, and just wear whatever is to hand when I wake.

But I hadn’t realised just how far I’d sunk until this week. Scrabbling around all day, I finally folded myself into my tiny car, drove like a fury down the motorway to London, picked up Miss P and headed to Hackney for Vietnamese supper this evening.

Half way through supper an ex boyfriend walked into Viet Hoa. And I realised I was wearing tights, unlaced sheepskin lined hiking boots, a threadbare Jermyn St mens shirt (my nightshirt actually), a holey grey cardi and my bottle end big black specs. Oh plus an unwashed birds nest on top of my head and a face shining with unmade up virtue.

Why, why, why is it that on the only occasion in living memory that I leave the house looking like a unmade bed that I bump into someone I didn’t need to see?

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

If it's Tuesday, then I must be rambling...

Oof. I do not know whether I am coming or going. According to my Outlook calendar, I should be on plane somewhere over the Atlantic right now. Instead, I am sitting at the long pine table in my mother’s farmhouse kitchen, frantically stabbing at my laptop keyboard, muttering at myself.

I had this lovely calm plan for today, which involved waking early, clearing out a shed or two, packing up my mother’s eBay sales, a little light blogging, maybe some whippet prodding, some cupcake baking and a thousand words or so on my book.

Fat bloody chance. My getting up early plans were completely squashed by Virgin Atlantic. I tried all day yesterday to get through to their call centres to cancel my flight for today, eventually reasoning that as the lines were open 24hrs a day, I might as well wait until after midnight to call when the lines wld be clear.

Ha! Idiot. I spent over two hours caught in a circle of despair, as every ten minutes or so the Virgin Flying Club call centre hold music abruptly terminated & I was cut off. Oh and of course there was the mendacious employee in Reservations who promised to put me through to the right department – and then promptly put me into another holding queue.

It was about 4am by the time my ticket was re-booked for later this month.

So today has not been ideal. I overslept, and have been chasing my tail since. I’ve given a Greek magazine LLG’s thoughts on SS10 trends, talked to numerous beauty publicists, dealt with some agency requests and contemplated the prospect of covering London Fashion Week, which wasn’t on my to-do list, but may well happen.

Anyway, I’ve decided to drive to London right now for last minute Vietnamese supper in Islington with Miss P, and three days of back to back appointments.

Tomorrow morning is diamonds at Sotheby’s. There are worse ways to start the day.

Work distraction: the luxury cat


Which keeps sitting in the very small gap between me & my laptop as I frantically bang out proposals, copy and interview answers...

Monday, February 01, 2010

Reader Question: Five things to do in New York

High Line August 2009

It’s been my dream to go to New York and now I've got the chance in February. Have you got any advice on unmissable places/shops to go?

This list could go on for pages, so I am going to stick to just five. I'm sure my readers will chip in too.

Park: The High Line (above) is New York's newest public space. Successful beyond the wildest hopes of its supporters, it's a wildflower filled paradise, which runs over one of Manhattan's last remaining light industrial areas.

Store: ABC Carpet & Home, just off Union Square.
So much more than the sum of its parts. There are gorgeous jewellery, china, stationery and gift sections alongside all manner of eclectic wonderful-ness on the ground floor, and on the floors above there are hundreds of square metres of converted lofty warehouse stuffed full of Eames chairs, Tom Dixon lights, mid-century modern tables, Italian linens, Persian carpets, English antiques, Ralph repro...

Breakfast: The B&H Dairy diner in the East Village. A proper, old school ex-Kosher diner that's just a few feet wide with the smiliest short order cook. You eat breakfast perched on a stool at the counter for a few dollars. It's not cool or trendy or full of ack, scene-y people. It just feels like my little corner of New York. (And the challah French toast...oh God)

Strand Some days I just hunker down under a table and spend hours here reading. I don't feel guilty, because I spend a bloody fortune in this store. Although I should point out that many of the books are as cheap as chips. I just buy an awful lot of them.

Museum: The Cloisters is the branch of the Metropolitan Museum devoted to the art and architecture of medieval Europe. Located on four acres overlooking the Hudson River in northern Manhattan's Fort Tryon Park, the building incorporates elements from five medieval French cloisters—quadrangles enclosed by a roofed or vaulted passageway, or arcade—and from other monastic sites in southern France. There are beautiful herbals, enclosed gardens and walkways. Utterly ravishing and an escape from urban hassle. (Take the express A train, not the bus from The Met - takes way too long for sanity.)

Photograph: LLG August 2009

Recipe: Grilled Portobello Mushroom sandwich


Mushrooms are my favourite food. There aren't many meals that I cook that don't have mushrooms in them somewhere, whether it's a soup, pilaf, pasta, curry or stir fry. When there's nothing much in the larder bar mushrooms for lunch, I make these sandwiches, with or without cheese depending on what is lurking at the back of the fridge.

So, take a large flat mushroom (one for each sandwich), and pour over a tablespoon of olive oil per mushroom plus crunchy sea salt & black pepper.


Then remember that you have forgotten the thyme, and head outside to the snow ravaged herb garden to locate the last straggly leaves. Battle the whippet for access to said thyme.


Strip off leaves from stalks and strew (very Elizabethan, that word) leaves over mushrooms, squishing some into the oil.


Leave for ten minutes or so, then heat up a non-stick pan and slide in the mushrooms. Don't get the pan too hot as the mushrooms will scorch and stick, rather than gradually cook. After a couple of minutes, flip 'em over. At this point, I pop a lid over the pan to hasten the cooking process.


Keep an eye on them, turning them occasionally to ensure each side is cooked through. After about ten minutes they should be black and soft all the way through.

If you want cheese in your sandwich, now is the time to slice it up whilst the mushrooms are cooking. We had a big box of dinner party cheese so I randomly grabbed a hacked about piece of Tomme de Chevre and some Vignotte.


Avert eyes from this label:


Slice up your cheese.


Then add the slices of cheese to the mushroom caps in the pan, and place the lid over for a few minutes until the cheese softens. (I forgot to photograph this bit. Too distracted by feeding cheese rinds to the dogs).

(This is also the bit where you discover that Vignotte is no good for softening for sandwiches, but does taste lovely when eaten molten & scraped from the bottom of the pan with a teaspoon.)

I've made these sandwiches with Mother's Pride white sliced bread before. I'm really not fussy. However I am lucky enough to be exploiting my mother's hospitality and she has these delicious sunflower seed rolls from the local Co-op.


Spread mayonnaise on each side. (This will stop the mushroom juices making the bread go too soggy). Hellmans is good.


But Delouis mayonnaise will make your tastebuds sing.


Remove mushrooms & cheese from pan, and plonk on bottom half of roll.


I zapped some spinach in the microwave, squeezed out the water, and added that & sliced cherry tomatoes to the mushrooms.


Then I ceremoniously topped it off with the other half of the roll.


And ate it very quickly.

(Whilst food like this exists, I will never be a skinny fashion editor type.)

A Week in LLG: last week's round up

Reader questions: Books set in London?

Next Directory: How lingerie models have changed

2010 Bloggies: LLG is a finalist for Best Fashion Blog

Hero Beauty Product
: Philip Kingsley Conditioner

20th Century Fashion:
Wedding guests in 1939

2010 Bloggies: Posetta Baddog on the stump

Beauty story: Barbara Daly nails & Suncoat remover

Hotel Review & video blog: The Malmaison Oxford

Vintage Jaeger Jacket: Out of Africa from 1986

Is LLG a Fashion Blog? What makes a fashion blog

Buzzword Bingo:Play spot the fashion cliché

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Buzzword Bingo: The Fashion Lexicon

Fashion buzzword bingo

Fed up with hackneyed phrases creeping into the fashion copy you read? Then play Buzzword Bingo. Any line of five words diagonal or straight wins you the 'I can spot a cliché at a hundred paces' prize.

With grateful thanks to the inimitable Sister Wolf
who created, & allowed me to lift, this original Buzzword Bingo from her blog Godammit I'm Mad If you want to create your own, head here