OCCUPATION: Gallerist/Freelance Writer
MY STYLE: I am a chameleon. I can do fabulous slouchy at home—fit for no ones eyes at all—and then in 10 minutes I am supped up in either a tailored suit or skinny jeans, a rock t-shirt, and a leather jacket. I wouldn’t go so far as to say that I have a style, but many I can adopt depending on my mood. My home is a different matter. It’s an eclectic mix of grown-up Ralph Lauren pieces with a bit of disco diva L.A. thrown in for good measure…I have quite a collection of period, mirrored furniture, which is very sentimental to me. I love the ‘20s feel and I seem to have a thing for all shades of purple. I’m a pure maximalist!
I LOVE LONDON BECAUSE: We are spoiled with choice. The restaurant situation is almost out of control, and our parks are a testament to the love we have for the great outdoors. Hyde Park has so many things going on, from Summer Theatre for children to the amazing Winter Wonderland in December. Pop-up ice rinks are also everywhere now. I love to walk everywhere because it’s only then that you actually take note of London’s beauty. Walking down the Embankment, you’re thrown back to the way things must have been hundreds of years ago.
Inspired by the traiteurs of Paris and the gourmet foods stores of New York, Finns of Chelsea Green is one of London’s oldest and most successful delicatessens. Tamara Beckwith Veroni has been a loyal customer for over 10 years, but it first opened back in 1985 and has been run by two generations of women. “Any shop to last this long in Chelsea has to be top quality,” says Veroni. Unlike most delis, Finns prepares 90% of its dishes on the premises. “It’s the best local deli with amazing British homemade treats like cottage pie, fish pie, coq au vin, and its famous smoked mackerel pâté, to name a few that I cannot live without,” says Veroni. She also praises the non-dairy soups for those with dietary restrictions. Customers can eat there and get coffee at the new café, take meals to go, or have Finns cater to their homes.
Battersea Park Zoo
“For those who aren’t willing to schlep to the London Zoo, the one in Battersea is ideal for an afternoon,” says Tamara Beckwith Veroni. “There’s plenty to see and it’s really user-friendly. It’s maybe geared towards the little ones, though, more so than kids over seven.” Being a small zoo, Battersea offers kids and their families the opportunity to “adopt” an animal. And no, that doesn’t mean you have to take it home with you! It’s more about the zoo’s promise, as described on its website, to get you up close and personal to the animals, “from giant rabbits to minature ponies, monkey mayhem to the mouse house.
Over the years, London jewelry designer Stephen Webster has become a global luxury brand, with stores in cosmopolitan centers ranging from Moscow to Marbella. Tamara Beckwith Veroni, a personal friend of Webter and his wife Assia’s, has been keen on his “rock n’ roll rocks” for just as long, it would seem. “My first ring—a rose quartz—is still one of my favorites,” she says, though adds that she goes a bit mad whenever she visits his boutique. She’s not the only one, as real-life rockers like Elton John and Madonna are also fans of Webster, who, earlier this summer, displayed his talents in another way by opening a graffiti street art exhibition in Beverly Hills.
The Natural History Museum
Thanks to a 21st century upgrade, this 130-year-old museum now houses a state-of the-art Darwin Centre. In addition to millions of zoological organisms and botanical specimens, the Natural History Museum excites with its crowd-pleasing display of dinosaur skeletons and, of course, the rare and beloved 8.62 meter-long giant squid, Archie.
Grays Antique Market
Tamara Beckwith Veroni is as comfortable shopping for gems in an exclusive boutique as at an antique market, and Gray’s Inn, in particular. In addition to vintage jewelry, the stalls (open daily with the exception of Sundays) here in Mayfair are filled with glasswear and silver frames galore. “It’s impossible to go and not find something of a must-have,” says Beckwith Veroni, who shops for gifts there so as to decrease the sad prospect of having to leave something behind. If you must, though, take comfort in the fact that you’re sure to find something else next time; the market was established in 1977 and, thankfully, has been going strong ever since.
The Purple Dragon
You might have to pass by a bodyguard to get into this luxurious kids’ club, but once inside, the possibilities are truly endless. Purple Dragon has trampolines, an indoor climbing gym and obstacle course, a giant Wii console, a music room filled with instruments, a child-friendly kitchen, and a swimming pool. “My kids are in heaven from the moment we walk in until I pry them away,” says Calgary Avansino, who can—along with other parents—relax, sip cappuccinos, and read the news from an iPad while her kids play under trusted supervision.