At the start of the summer, we asked luxury perfumer Linda Pilkington to share her scents of smell (and a few other things). As the founder of Ormonde Jayne on London’s Old Bond Street, she’s journeyed to far-flung frangipani-lined shores and knows more than a thing or two about travelling in style. We delve into her secret address book to see what she’s learned along the way…
Tell us about your corner of the world: where do you live and what do you love about it?
I am very lucky to live between two parks that are literally on my doorstop in London. Right in front of my house is Primrose Hill and just to the right is Regent’s Park which is superb for the dogs and children. We can go boating, play tennis and go to the zoo all within five minutes.
What’s the first thing you would show a new visitor/first place you’d take them?
A walk up to the top of Primrose Hill is spectacular. You can sit and view the whole of London and there is a map that pointing out all the historic parts of the city, such as the domes of St Paul’s Cathedral and Westminster Abbey, the BT Tower, London Eye, Canary Wharf and the Gherkin. We’d then wander down to Regent’s Park and have afternoon tea there, or perhaps at the Ritz which is always magnificent. And then we’d go home and get ready for a night at the theatre.
Share some secrets from your insider address book with us: your favourite local restaurants, pubs, cafés, bars or shops, a favourite picnic spot or hidden gallery…
1. The Chinese Room (Opium Den) at Blakes hotel – my favourite place for a cocktail and particularly good amuses-bouche.
2. Peter’s Flower Stall, Bond Street (near where Old & New Bond Street meet). I get my flowers from him every Friday night. He does the most magnificent bouquets for half the price of other florists. I have flowers in every single room at home for £30. He also sells the best orchids – I bought one in March and it’s still in full bloom – not a single flower has died and they are all huge.
3. The picnic tables near the Open Air Theatre at Regent’s Park. This is the best place for a picnic. For some reason, no one ever goes to this part of the park unless there is a performance on so it’s very secluded and quiet and you sit underneath these huge 400-year-old oak trees. I take tablecloths, candles and buckets of ice for champagne, and the boys can run around.
4. L’As du Fallafel, the falafel stand in the Marais, the Jewish Quarter in Paris, just outside Sacha Finkelstein’s patisserie shop on Rue de Rosiers. There is always a bit of a queue, but it’s worth the wait. The downside is that you can’t eat them elegantly even if you try.
5. Mangal 1 Ocakbasi Restaurant on Arcola Street in Hackney. I’ve always called it Baby Mangal because it is their first restaurant and only seats ten people with six people sitting around the barbecue, but – oh my goodness – it really is tasty. It’s the best barbecued meat in the world. You find all walks of life there, from the local Turks to the high brow of Islington. It’s about £10 a head and doesn’t have an alcohol licence but you can bring your own bottle. It was where my husband courted me many years ago when he was a student, and he’s still courting me there now!