Little Black Book


Jacinta - Makeup Artist — Jacinta has become my go to makeup artist for all occasions. She has great knowledge of a range of beauty products and what works best with my skin. She currently can be found as a Lead Charlotte Tilbury Artist at the Selfridges counter (London), she also does freelance work in London & Essex . Follow her on Instagram @makeup.jacinta

Wendy's Nails — At weekends I can often be found at Wendy’s Nails have my weekly manicure. Wendy is the holy grail for pedicures in London, trust me I have done my research on this one! I would highly recommend her.

34c Kensington Church St, W8 4HA

020 7937 9400

Face the Future Advanced Skin Clinic — A multitude of choice with specialist advice to match and prices that are great value. I find they are one of the best places to get cosmeceutical products that are not all-too readily available on the high street. For a 5% discount (exclusive to The Private PA readers!) use the code PRIVATEPA5

Inanch salon — Inanch Emir is the owner of the renowned Inanch salon, offering the very best hair extensions both in terms of product and application. She is innately charming yet modest and unassuming but best of all she delivers the highest quality service in the shortest time. Her team of stylists are also experts in cut and colour, so this is a one-stop shop for all. Her salon is relaxed but super professional with an eye for detail to ensure the customer experience is as pleasurable as possible offering Nespresso coffee, the finest teabags, luxurious hand soaps with a ‘nothing is too much trouble’ attitude resonating throughout.

Les Senteurs Perfumery — Every woman needs her signature scent; if you want to move away from the mainstream this Perfumery in Elizabeth Street (or their newer branch in Seymour Place) is the go-to place for expert advice from highly knowledgeable staff and plenty of samples to find that perfect fragrance.

Blink Brow Bar — This first London stand-alone store in Notting Hill is a peaceful haven, a far cry from the hustle and bustle experienced at any of the concessions within department stores. You are in safe hands with any of the well-trained staff.

51 Ledbury Road London W11 2AA

Karen Betts permanent make-up — In essence this is a form of tattooing on the face to enhance eyebrows, eyes or lips, hence a steady hand and artistic eye are vital, Karen Betts is the true expert in this field.

Charlotte Tilbury cosmetics — This make-up does "exactly what it says on the tin". CT makes it so easy, categorising shades to match skin tones and colourings.

Lisa Eldridge make-up tutorials on YouTube — As an ex make-up artist (admittedly I was pretty pants) Lisa has taught me many a useful trick, showing me the quickest and simplest way to apply my everyday look, I now have it down to a 5 minute routine.

Margaret Dabbs podiatory — An expensive treatment but in my opinion worth every penny, this is for when your feet need some expert care.

Joanne Evans — Skin Matters – I am complemented on my skin so often and I put this down to the genius of this Facialist, hard to get an appointment but worth the wait.

Cultural London Hot List


Picasso 1932 – Love, Fame, Tragedy — From 8 March until 9 September. At Tate Modern. Tickets are £22 each (members go free)

Tate Modern Bankside, London SE1 9TG

Cézanne Portraits, at the National Portrait Gallery — Tickets are £18 each. Exhibition ends Sunday 11 February. The exhibition brings together for the first time over 50 of Cézanne’s portraits, from across the globe, including works which have never been seen by the British public before. Cézanne is an influential artist from the 19th Century, he made almost 1000 paintings with around 160 being portraits.

St. Martin's Place, WC2H 0HE

Opera: Passion, Power and Politics, at the V&A — Tickets are £19.00. Exhibition ends Sunday 25 February. The V&A and the Royal Opera House have joint forces to create an immersive exhibition exploring the story of Opera. Through the lens of 7 premieres in 7 cities covering nearly 400 years concluding with 20th & 21st century Opera.

Cromwell Road, Knightsbridge, SW7 2RL

Modigliani, at Tate Modern — Tickets are £19.70 each. Exhibition ends Monday 2 April. The exhibition takes you on a journey through his career including his most famous works and some of the lesser known pieces and sculptures. At the end of the exhibition there is a chance to view Modigliani’s final studio using virtual reality technology (please note average wait for this is 25 minutes).

Tate Modern, Bankside, SE1 9TG


Explore Kew Gardens — Entry is £12.75 per adult. Kew Gardens is a botanical garden in southwest London that houses the "largest and most diverse botanical and mycological collections in the world, be enchanted by the wonders of plant diversity at one of our two gardens.”

Kew, London Borough of Richmond upon Thames

Visit Columbia Road Flower Market or Portobello Road market for Great Bargains! — Each Sunday between 8am - 3pm, Columbia Road is transformed into oasis of foliage and flowers. You can get everything from bedding plants to 10 foot banana trees. The air is intense with the scent of flowers and the chant of the sellers "Everthin' a fiver"? Go closer to 3pm and get the best bargains! Visit Portobello Road on Saturday which is the main day, the world’s largest antiques market with over 1,000 dealers selling every kind of antique and collectable.

Columbia Road, Columbia Rd, London E2 7RN / Portobello Road, Notting Hill W11

Walking Tours around London — There are so many walking tours around London of varying prices. Discover new parts of the city you never even knew about, by joining the Secret London Tour, or maybe you are new to the city, get your bearings and see all the main sites on the Essential London Tour. Note: prices vary, as do companies which offer the tours and routes. I have put a link to my favourite tours below.


Macbeth — At National Theatre. From 28 February until 23 June. Tickets vary in price

Upper Ground, South Bank, London SE1 9PX

Everybody’s Talking About Jamie, Apollo Theatre — Ticket prices vary, booking until Saturday 21 April. This new musical is based on the BBC Three documentary "Jamie: Drag Queen at 16" following real-life teenager Jamie Campbell, who wants to be a drag queen. Its full of catchy songs, it’s a funny and fabulous musical with a touching story.

Shaftesbury Ave, Soho, W1D 7EZ

The Ferryman, Gielgud Theatre — Prices vary, booking to Saturday 19 May. Jez Butterworth’s new play The Ferryman, directed by Sam Mendes. Based in Northern Ireland, 1981, the Carney farmhouse is a hive of activity with preparations for the annual harvest. A day of hard work on the land and a traditional night of feasting and celebrations lie ahead. But this year they will be interrupted by a visitor.

Shaftesbury Ave, Soho, W1D 6AR

Hamilton, Victoria Palace Theatre — The current batch of tickets are sold out, however, you can join the daily raffle which tickets cost £10. Current booking is until Saturday 30 June. The show is written by superstar Lin-Manuel Miranda. It is an energetic, multiracial rap musical about the life and death of Alexander Hamilton, the flamboyant first US Secretary of the Treasury.

Victoria Street, Westminster, SW1E 5EA


TLM Edit — TLM Edit is a great site for all those smaller gifts, with lots of choice and excellent value for money, I have found some great picks for myself already.

Rae Feather — Rae Feather create luxury accessories for every occasion. Known for their woven basket bags and clutches, the brand offers a bespoke touch in the form of monogrammed initials which are hand painted making them even more special.

I know the Queen — Sell great accessories, they are great gifts for ladies of all ages at a very reasonable price. You can also get some of the products monogrammed to personalise them adding an extra special touch to the products

Amulette Jewellery — Lisa is the talented, award winning designer behind the beautifully unique and eclectic range of jewellery. The designs are created to reflect the wearer’s personality, their mood, and allow them an opportunity to create their own unique pieces of jewellery.

Chambers & Beau — gorgeous pieces of jewellery for all occasions, with a strong hand-made feel, can be personalised making them the perfect gift for someone special

Alice Wonders — Perfect for small gifts which your friends and family will love and extremely affordable, although be quick as popular styles sell out fast!

Soru Jewellery — Great design at affordable prices. Costume jewellery that can be dressed up or down, my new go-to place for those eye-catching pieces.

Les Senteurs Perfumery — Every woman needs her signature scent; if you want to move away from the mainstream this Perfumery in Elizabeth Street (or their newer branch in Seymour Place) is the go-to place for expert advice from highly knowledgeable staff and plenty of samples to find that perfect fragrance.

Artisan du Chocolat — For treating others and yourself, the dark caramel and classic salted caramel chocolates are hard to beat.

Monica Vinader jewellery — The free engraving service on friendship bracelets and pendants make a gift that much more special and personalised.

Jeroboams — Wine merchants with an expansive offering of fine wines, Champagnes & spirits with hugely knowledgeable staff on hand to advise, which is always useful for a tee-total layman like me!

Etsy & Not On The High — Original ideas, unique designs and more often than not, ethically sourced.

Smythson personalised notelets — This is such a useful gift and more often than not, this is something you wouldn’t buy for yourself as it is not cheap. However it adds a touch of luxury to the everyday task of writing a Thank You note, something a PA is well versed in doing on a regular basis. It is so rare to receive a hand written note in this age of e-mail.

Pashmina on Great Portland Street — An Aladdin’s Cave of feathered gilets, pashminas, fashionable woollen hats and much more all at wholesale prices!

Andrew Prince — Jeweller specialising in the use of the highest quality crystals, widely used by brides and the best bridal dress designers. His bespoke jewellery can also be crafted for everyday use and hence a great source for a gift.


108 Garage — An old garage is the relaxed, bohemian backdrop for 108 Garage in Notting Hill, serving British-Asian fusion cuisine. The set menu is definitely worth a try, with delicious & beautifully presented plates for very good value for money.

108 Golborne Rd, London W10 5PS

Jinjuu — "A showcase of traditional Korean street food serving up Kimchi Fries, the signature Korean Fried Chicken and large sharing plates". With locations in Soho and Mayfair

15 Kingly St, Carnaby, London W1B 5PS

Recently Opened! Core by Clare Smyth — “A modern fine dining restaurant centred around British produce, with a sophisticated and relaxed interior” – sample dish: Skate with Morecambe bay shrimps, Swiss chard, brown butter. Opened August 2017

92 Kensington Park Rd, W11 2PN

Claude Bosi at Bibendum — “offering French fine dining with a modern twist in the iconic Michelin Building, ingredients sourced predominantly from the British Isles and France.” – sample dish: Confit flat white peach, caramel & peach jus, lemon verbena ice cream

Michelin House, 81 Fulham Rd, SW3 6RD

Parabola at the Design Museum — “It can be hard to find a good restaurant in a museum, Parabola is the perfect place for a drink and a bite to eat after an afternoon in Holland Park and the Design Museum with a regularly changing menu of seasonal dishes” – sample dish: Grilled squid, courgettes & Isle of Wight tomatoes

224-238 Kensington High St, W8 6AG

The Barbary — "Petite eatery for small plates with Berber-style flavours served at a bar by a central kitchen" - sample dish: slow-cooked Persian goat stew with turmeric, root vegetables and pomegranate juice

16 Neal's Yard WC2H 9DP

Foley's — "A unique new restaurant serving up a diverse range of exciting Modern World dishes" - sample dish: Aubergine, pomegranate, dates, chilli lime yogurt, puffed quinoa, feta

23 Foley Street, Fitzrovia W1W 6DU

The Harcourt — "A menu from a Finnish chef meets drinks devised by a Swedish mixologist at this elegant former pub" - sample dish: line caught "skrei" cod with cuttlefish, musself, potato, samphire and cucumber

32 Harcourt Street W1H 4HX

Sexy Fish — "Swanky, art-filled setting for robata-grilled fish, raw-bar items & more" - sample dish: sesame seed sea bream with pickled kohlrabi & beetroot

Berkeley Square House, Berkeley Square W1J 6BR

Portland — "Food based on the very best produce they can find cooked as simply as possible" - sample dish: Bitter chocolate, baked milk, blackberries

113 Great Portland Street W1W 6QQ


Just Opened London — A great website to discover all the new restaurant openings in London, a fantastic tool to use when asked for restaurant recommendations.

Art & Design

Balloon Monkey — personalise a balloon with a picture and caption, a quick and simple way to make someone feel special

Photobox — Great way to put all those photos in a beautifully presented bound book.

Jana Doubkover — A talented illustrator that is affordable for those smaller projects.

Fashion & Accessories

Simon Stewart Clothing — An excellent tailor in north London, offering great services for an even better price! No job is too small for Simon and would certainly recommend

89 W Green Rd, London N15 5DA

+44 (0)20 3638 4728

Tony Phillips Tailoring & Alterations — A great old fashioned London tailor in the heart of Soho, Tony is very friendly and does an excellent job

16 Berwick St, Soho, London W1F 0HP

07507 425905

George’s Shoe Repairs — In Finchley Road tube station, perhaps not the most glamorous of locations, George has been there for 32 years mending the footwear of the North West London fraternity. Without a shadow of a doubt, I would entrust him with my favourite and most expensive shoes.

F Sinclair, Hatton Garden — When you need any of your gold jewellery replated there is a small company established for many years (they still close for lunch to highlight the sense of tradition) in the heart of London's jewellery quarter.

23 Hatton Garden

+44 (0)20 7405 3352


Phillo — The proprietor is an ex doctor turned florist, his shop located on the Chepstow Road offers amazing blooms and the bouquets always exceed expectation in terms of design, colour and arrangement. They also offer free delivery anywhere in the W2 area.

Scarlet & Violet — Think natural, country garden and meadows, Scarlet & Violet is a favourite amongst the Queen's Park fraternity and for good reason. You can spot the shop from a distance with an old fashioned dis-used Citroen named Audrey sitting outside that I am reliably informed is used for storage.


Brent Osborn-Smith — Everyone needs a great osteopath and acupuncturist and this is what you get with Brent. His skills and specialist knowledge are evident upon meeting him but even more so after a treatment session and he has a knack of putting patients at ease with his polite but approachable manner.


Soru Jewellery — Great design at affordable prices. Costume jewellery that can be dressed up or down, my new go-to place for those eye-catching pieces.

Laurence Coste — Offering jewellery collections in a mix of materials as well as bespoke couture pieces, French-born Laurence "helps us to express ourselves" and is on hand to personally advise with her keen eye for detail and knowing what suits. Bearing in mind the location of this shop, prices can be surprisingly affordable.


Kettlewell — Kettlewell is made for women who love colour! You can get all the basics you can think of in multiple colours. This solves the problem or never being able to find quite the right shade of blue, or buying a cami but wishing you could it in more than just 3 colours. The website is so easy to use and the items are very reasonable in terms of price.

Sole Bliss — Specialise in elegant, comfortable shoes perfect for those of us who suffer with bunions. There is a shoe for every occasion with so many different colours and styles to choose from

Celtic & Co — Great for snug gilets and high-quality, ethically sourced items (from sheepskin boots to Merino wool throws). This is a great find for anyone who wishes to support British trade.

Aspiga — A one-stop shop for stylish gear to take on a sunny holiday. A variety of gorgeous accessories, swimwear and sandals all with an ethnic vibe in terms of design. You will find bright colours in abundance together with great products, and all this coupled with the overriding principle of the company and its Founder of helping to fight poverty through trade via her suppliers in Kenya and India.

Elliot Rhodes belts — Think of pick n' mix, you can choose any style and colour of belt and match it with your desired buckle. The choice is endless varying from the more classic designs to the most bizarre with as much or as little bling as you require. I love this whole concept and of course I tend to opt for the rhinestone-clad pieces!

Claire Goldsmith at the OG Store, Notting Hill — Great for edgy or quirky styles of frames, located in an equally trendy part of Notting Hill.

15 All Saints Road W11 1HA

Bromptons Opticians — Spectacles are as important a fashion accessory as any other and can transform a look. If I have to wear glasses I want to make sure I have frames that make the right statement about me. Bromptons offer a wide range of smaller niche brands from the more conventional shapes to the Dame Edna style.

84 Kensington High Street W8 4XP

Higher-end investment pieces — Tory Burch, Joseph, Gerald Darel, Michael Kors, Theory, Vince

Mid-range classics — LK Bennett (my favourite go-to place for work wear), Jigsaw, Reiss, Hobbs

Everyday staples — M&S (search hard and you can find hidden gems), Zara, Uniqlo (great for cashmere jumpers/Moreno wool sweaters as well as their various collaborations with well known fashion names)


The Fruit Garden — *The Fruit Garden is currently closed for refurbishment* There is definitely a case of "don't judge a book by it's cover" with this treasure trove of unusual health foods, fruit and vegetables, conveniently located between Baker Street and Marylebone stations. A tip: it is £5 minimum spend on cards, but it is easy enough to spend more than that with their wide range of products, which are generally very good value for money.

21-23 Melcombe Street NW1 6AG

Olive Tree — The Proprietor Costas has been running this shop for 22 years having built up a solid loyal following of local residents. He buys in a wide variety of fresh organic produce as well as a huge choice of health foods and keeps his costs well below those of the larger high street chains. He is always personable and innately knowledgeable about health, nutrition and well-being.

152 Willesden Lane NW6 7TH