I’ve had some unusual invitations in my time, but being asked along to eat lunch at a London cabbies’ shelter  back in September was definitely a standout first. The lovely Anya Hindmarch has long been fascinated by the secret world that goes on behind the doors of the shelters, where cabbies convene to eat a good hot lunch, drink tea, and gossip, and decided to invite a select group of editors to come along at certain times of the day (bacon sarnies for the breakfast crew, pie for lunch & a then a proper afternoon tea) to get a rare glimpse inside.

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Founded in 1875 by the Earl of Shaftesbury, these iconic green boxes have shrunk in number from around 81 at their peak to just 13 now.  Anya has made it her mission to support the remaining shelters, and before we ate lunch, we watched a short film about the shelters by documentary maker Corinne van der Bosch.


The seats are benches along the walls, and the tables flip up, plate-wide lengths of formica. Dished up by Tracey, the formidable lady in charge (with a twinkle in her eye), the food was scrummy fish pie, shepherds pie or cheese & spinach pie. That’s my plate below: before & after.

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And here’s the other reason for lunch. A very novel way to gently tell us all about Anya’s wonderful new diary for 2012, which can have the owner’s name embossed on both box and cover, and has lots of London tips inside.


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I particularly love it, as it has the Anya Hindmarch Two-Way design so that you can turn it over to reveal a notebook,  and it’s closed by inserting a rotating pencil into two loops. The diary has a week to view layout together with a ‘list’ page for every week, and is filled with Anya’s favourite inspirational quotes and places to visit. I intend to use mine as a kind of clutch, as there are pockets for receipts and notes too. Here’s to my ultra-organised 2012!

It would make the most wonderfully indulgent Christmas present.
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The diary looks beautiful! I am such a fan of the old school notebook.

I was wondering what had happened to your trainer workout? I was very much enjoying (and was just beginning to get inspired by) your commitment to the gym / trainer / health in general.

Merry almost Christmas!


fantastic post. I love these cabbie hobbit holes. One outside the Royal Free. Always tempted to burst in and have a look around. Thanks for letting me sneak a peek.x

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