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A Local's Guide to London, England

Describe who you are in 3 sentences
On a work level, I switch between being General Counsel for one of the largest financial institutions in the world and Editor in Chief (and co-founder) of luxury digital magazine, House of Desiderata. My first role as General Counsel is hugely rewarding and harrowingly unrelenting however it challenges my years of legal training and experience allowing me to put my mental capacity to the test in a high-pressure environment. I’m delighted to be supported by an absolutely amazing team who match my level of hard working and commitment which is ensures there is never a dull moment. In my second role of Editor in Chief for House of Desiderata, I am able to immerse myself in my passions outside of the corporate world within the seven desires for life, Beauty, Health, Fashion, Fitness, Food, Living and Travel. I have always had a passion for refinement and a deep connection to those who operate on a richer level. The magazine allows me to build fantastic relationships with incredible brands and open doors for desire to all our readers. On a soulful level, there is nothing more important to me than spoiling, looking after or showing loved ones just how special they truly are.

What is your relation to this city?
I have lived in London since university (which is quite a while ago!). Work saw me travel around the world, but home was always the west side of London. More recently I moved to Hampstead as the allure of village life was unescapable and my beautiful Hungarian Vizsla, Jackson, never tires of hitting the heath. The florists, the bookstores, the green grocers, butchers and not to mention quaint coffee shops and individual restaurants make it a life out of London within London. If you are ever find yourself strolling around, pop into Artichoke!!!

Best experience?
Best experience has to be my annual ski holidays. I’m fortunate to have been to some beautiful areas within Italy and France, yet my favourite will always be the chocolate box town of Lech in Austria. I find the contrast between the pure cold white and the hot blue sky and sun, mixed with speckles of winter green from nature, captures my soul like no other. I always sleep best whilst staying in the mountains and after a lazy start to my mornings, coffees, breakfast there is nothing better than skiing for a few hours before lunch, gym, spa, cocktails dinner and sleep… Perhaps I should become a ski guide in my next life.

Your top 3 hangout spots?
Within London, more specifically Hampstead, you can often find me at walking across Hampstead Heath and then stopping off for a bite to eat at my local, The Flask. Its dog friendly which is great for Jackson.
When I fancy a treat, for either myself or sourcing the perfect gift, you can find me around Sloane Street or Bond Street. I think the shopping is fantastic and I’m always guaranteed to bump into a friend.
Lastly, I love 34 Mayfair; the menu, the vibe, the staff and the ambience leans itself to suit every occasion. The number of birthdays I have shared there, business meetings, early breakfasts or weekend brunches not forgetting evening chill time as the pianist "plays it again Sam” is too many but always never enough.

Favourite restaurants?
- 34 Mayfair
- Park Chinois
- Jean-Georges at the Connaught

Best date place?
Most probably Park Chinois, the menu is impressive to say the least, the ambience with its live music and performance is vibrant and the whole evening transports you from arrival to departure. You forget you are in London, get lost in the moment and if the date turns bad, your taxi home having a good night regardless - yet if it turns out good… it’s a hell of an ice breaker.

Best Sunday spot?
Coffee and stroll around Hampstead heath and the shops, the local pub "The Flask” for a jar and some good food, then the Everyman cinema for relaxed luxury film viewing and Sunday treats!!!

If you were to live in another place, where would that be and why?
New York (where I currently am!). I love the energy, the drive, the passion and the inspiration – not to mention there is so much to see and do. The restaurants are phenomenal, most of the City is walkable and best of all, most places are dog friendly for Jackson!

Where is your escape place from this city?
Down to the coast, I grew up near the sea between Bournemouth and Poole and like most, I love to escape and reconnect whenever I can. Jackson (my dog) loves to run along the beaches and get lost in passer by distraction, and although I don’t run like Jackson does, I enjoy doing the same!!! My senses get spoilt in simplicity, its nature and nothingness, yet it’s the world and everything to me.

Best local advices?
1. Locate your local barista, become part of the furniture and you will always have a second home when on the go!!!
2. Charm the staff in your go to Italian, you’ll spend more times there a month than you realise and when you get that family treatment, whether you are relaxing or entreating the relationship will be the best
3. Time your trip to London’s Borough Market just right. Sample the delights from every stall before choosing your tastebud craving lunch, then grab the remaining produce, head home to unwind in front of the TV or test you chef skills for entertaining Friday night friends.
4. Although London wouldn’t be London without the iconic taxi, learn how to beat the traffic with bridge walks and park cut throughs. Sadly, every city suffers from traffic, so make sure you know when best to hail or hustle on foot.

What’s your favorite This Way travel product?
Definitely the Organic Pura Vida Balm. I have always suffered from dry lips and have tried the most expensive brands in the world, but nothing beats this product! It’s great for dry skin patches also – I always carry mine with me!

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