ralph lauren black lace cocktail dress

(Ralph Lauren Black Label Leather Trim Merril party dress for my cookbook launch party.)

There is a lot of travelling in my near future. On Wednesday I’m off to Seoul as a guest of Omega to attend what promises to be an extraordinary gala dinner hosted by Nicole Kidman on Thursday night. (I’ll be back on Saturday.) Next up is another whistlestop trip, this time to Shanghai with Vertu and the British Fashion Council, to check out Shanghai Fashion Week.

And then, at the end of the month, I’ll be back in the USA. In between I am doing book things, including cookery demonstrations of recipes from Friends, Food, Family at Le Creuset stores in Belfast, Leeds and Muswell Hill (more details of these coming shortly.) So not busy at all.

us embassy visa queue

The USA trip organisers have decreed that a journalist’s I visa is mandatory for attendance so, anxious to get all my visa ducks in a row, last Monday saw me patiently waiting in line by 8am at the US Embassy in Grosvenor Square, to get a new journalist’s visa, as both my I and my 0-1 (Alien of Exceptional Ability – BEST visa name EVAH) visas expired a while back.

That pretty much chewed up the morning, and the pace of playing Monday catchup in the office that afternoon meant that when I got an en route SMS from (cab co) Addison Lee whilst taking Lettice for her new dog checkup at the vets at 530pm, I couldn’t think for the life of me why there was a car coming to my flat.

ollie dabbous

About 45 minutes later, the penny dropped: I was supposed to be going to dinner at Dabbous, with my friends from Le Creuset, who were working with Ollie Dabbous on a series of delicious One Pot ideas to be cooked in their pans and casseroles. I shoved Letty at my sister and scarpered sharpish. There was no way I was missing this. (For my international readers, Mr Dabbous’ eponymous restaurant is pretty much the hottest ticket in town. Reservations are months in advance.)

ollie dabbous

The restaurant is very small, although there is a great bar in the basement. Le Creuset had taken over the entire building for the evening, and we had the treat of crowding into the kitchen (about the size of my small London flat’s kitchen) to watch Ollie demo the vegetable soup he had developed as a one pot creation. (Those are chrysanthemum petals.)

ollie dabbous one pot le creuset vegetable soup

ollie dabbous

Then, then we got to eat.

Le Creuset ollie dabbous hispi cabbage & girolles

I spent Tuesday and Wednesday out of London, shooting on location down near the South Coast for my Boden project, with my sister, father, Remy and the two sausages, getting back very late on Wednesday, thanks to the usual M25 madness, and sadly missing tea with Kit Kemp at Ham Yard to see her new china collaboration, Mythical Creatures, with Wedgwood.

Ralph Lauren party
(My father and I on the blue carpet at Ralph Lauren.)

Thursday was BOOK LAUNCH AND BOOK PARTY DAY! And I got to wear the ravishing Black Label guipure dress (at top), courtesy of my lovely, lovely friends at Ralph Lauren, who were hosting my party.

Much more of this later (there are many excellent party photographs) but, suffice to say, I had so much work on, that the nearest I got to a manicure was painting my nails in the car en route to the party at Ralph Lauren on Bond Street. And I only bothered because I figured I would be photographed signing books.

Friday, I think it is fair to say, suffered because I was a little bit broken thanks to my dear friend Henry Conway hosting a select after book party group for me, with sushi and cocktails at Piers Adams’ new members izakaya restaurant Rumusake on the Brompton Road. That was ALL the fun.

I managed an 11am meeting at the Groucho, where I was thrilled to discover that my client, who had gone on from my launch to the infamous GQ One for the Boys charity karaoke night with Samuel L Jackson at Abbey Road, was just as delicate as I. Brownies and a large bottle of sparkling water were entirely necessary.

grace & thorn bouquet

I was sent lots of beautiful publication day flowers, including these beauties from Grace & Thorn (above), and these from Flower Station.

flower station bouquet

This amazing present arrived from The White Company

White company gift basket

And then I retired to my bed.

Style Notes:
Ralph Lauren Black Label Leather Trim Merril party dress
Jaeger blue jacquard coat (Past season – really lovely grey jacquard in the sale here.)
Nicholas Kirkwood black lattice ankle boots (Past season. This season here & here)

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I know I am not wearing glasses but your father looks just like Prince Charles! And so dapper!


Sounds busy but definitely worth all the rushing around!


Great to hear about your crazy amazing life and your travels in the near future. Very nice pictures too!

♡ veena | seveninchstilettos.com
twitter/instagram: @veenamccoole


I love your shoes on that pic with your dad 🙂

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