OCCUPATION: Founder and CEO of Gift-Library.com, and founder of Save the Day charity, which raises funds for medical equipment needed for sick children
MY STYLE: I am inspired by Parisian women’s effortlessly chic style—as is embodied by Lanvin, my favorite fashion house. Our home is decorated in contemporary but classic style; I just got some Moser hand-cut crystal vases that suit the space perfectly.
I LOVE LONDON BECAUSE: The city is perfect because there’s so much to do. I hate the idea of my children being inside all day, so I make a huge effort to organize outings for them: fabulous parks and playgrounds, museums with interactive and child-friendly exhibitions, as well as the many cafes and shops.
The 14-page menu at Michelin-starred Kai emphasizes aromatic duck, wasabi prawns, and crab with green mango. Plan in advance and call in the restaurant’s version of the Chinese delicacy “Buddha Jumps Over the Wall,” (a rich soup with abalone, dried scallops, ginseng and sea cucumber) that requires five days of advance notice to prepare. Caroline Stanbury likes to bring her daughter, Yasmine, here for a special mother-daughter lunch. “It’s our special time together, and we both really enjoy Chinese food — so a trip to Kai is perfect.”
Women have been snapping up Lanvin’s pieces ever since artistic director Alber Elbaz reinvigorated the Lanvin brand in 2001 with his elegant silhouettes and decadent fabrics. And while Elbaz’s designs may be pricey, women don’t seem to mind spending a tiny fortune for his “investment pieces.” “For me, the effortlessly chic style of Parisian women is perfectly embodied by Lanvin, my favorite fashion house,” says Caroline Stanbury.
Gambado Play Centre
Kids can climb, spin, jump and run at this mammoth playground, which boasts an indoor carousel and junior climbing wall. Parents are sure to appreciate the ultra-safe “soft play area” geared especially toward toddlers — not to mention the coffee, Wi-Fi and magazine selection for the adults. “On weekends, I always take the boys to Gambado’s. It’s a special little treat,” says Caroline Stanbury.
The Hummingbird Bakery
A modern counterpart to more traditional patisseries, this lovely bakery is often credited for having introduced red velvet cake and whoopee pies to Londoners. All goods are baked on-site, and the cupcakes (with their extra-fluffy icing) are especially popular with Caroline Stanbury’s family. “It makes Yasmine’s day when we visit Hummingbird,” says Stanbury. To have a cake designed and baked just for you, simply schedule an appointment with a Hummingbird cake specialist.
Hyde Park Stables
With five miles of bridleways, Hyde Park is rather idyllic for horseback riding—and its urban setting in central London makes it especially unique. No prior experience is necessary to ride along the park’s trails, and the stable’s horses and ponies are chosen for their safe, unexcitable temperaments.
Whether you’re into ballet, strength training or downhill skiing, Sweaty Betty is sure to fulfill your clothing and accessories needs. There are several locations throughout London and beyond, and the online store has it all: from yoga mats and swim goggles to sizing guides for bras and shoes. You can also find the brand’s signature yoga bands (and several other products) at Selfridges and Harrods.
Historically part of the manor of Earls Court, this bustling section of Kensington now includes the Victoria & Albert Museum, the Institut Français, and the prestigious Royal College of Art — not to mention tons of local boutiques, restaurants and international fashion houses. “Brompton Cross has a fantastic Joseph boutique, Chanel, plus a new Stella McCartney store,” says Caroline Stanbury. “Also, the lobster pasta at nearby Scalini is dangerously delicious!”
Contemporary Japanese in a chic setting, Zuma is a favorite with the fashion crowd for its exquisite small bites and organic cuisine. The restaurant boasts one of London’s finest sake lists, as well as a killer wine list with hard-to-find bottles of Bordeaux. But be sure to plan ahead – with just a handful of tables, a reservation at Zuma is hard to come by.
When walking around Brompton Cross, it’s hard to miss Scalini. Not only does the Italian restaurant boast a bright blue façade, but there’s sure to be a crowd hovering around the front door. Inside, diners can enjoy such authentic favorites as Gorgonzola-asparagus tortellini, liver with polenta, and grilled langoustines. “The pasta with lobster is dangerously delicious,” says Caroline Stanbury.