Another week of what seems like perpetual motion. On Tuesday I flew to Shanghai, having risen very early to appear on William Sitwell’s Biting Talk show on Soho Radio, as his guest London restaurant critic (talking about Sea Containers at the Mondrian London), along with restaurateur Mark Hix, and Andy Blas, Executive Pastry Chef at the Cafe Royal Hotel. Andy bought in a large box of breakfast. I think I love him. And his pain au chocolat.
Then it was a twelve hour flight on Virgin Atlantic to Shanghai arriving on Wednesday morning – we are eight hours ahead in this part of China. I’m here as a guest of Vertu, to celebrate both their sponsorship of Shanghai Fashion Week, and the launch of their new Aster phone, along with Dylan Jones of GQ, London designers Holly Fulton and Lou Dalton, and Caroline Rush, CEO of the British Fashion Council.
(If you’d like to know more about the phone, I made a little YouTube unboxing film with Vertu’s creative director Ignacio Germade last week at the Ham Yard Hotel. Click here to view.)
This is my first visit to Shanghai, and I am overwhelmed. As you drive into the city, it feels relentlessly urban, a skyline of spires and skyscrapers but, as I discovered yesterday, it has a historic heart too. I’m also enjoying the food. Oh that all room service looked this worldwide. (We are staying at the Andaz Shanghai.) I have discovered however that even the vegetable fried rice in China contains peas, sweetcorn and cubed carrot.
I’m also pretty keen on the view from my 18th floor hotel room. (At top, above, and below.)
I slept for most of Wednesday after we arrived, which was not my plan. I just slipped under the duvet for a nap around half eleven, and the next thing I knew it was 1730hrs, and I was due for drinks and supper downstairs with Vertu and the British Fashion Council contingent.
Here’s lovely Lou Dalton:
oh and a mention in dispatches to the loo in my hotel bathroom.