Things to do in London

How I Want To Live My Life Every Day: With Paloma Faith

On today’s to do list: Dine at The Savoy; enjoy an exclusive performance by Paloma Faith and watch a fashion show. That’s not my regular itinerary on a Tuesday afternoon in London but when I was invited to F&F Autumn/Winter catwalk show, I totally embraced this impromptu checklist.

Dressed in a grey maxi dress and flat shoes I casually walked to meet my friend Mollie Bylett at Embankment station. For all you punctual time keepers out there, I was on time. Mollie on the other hand, was late to meet me but she was quickly forgiven. The sun was shining and she was smiling. How could I be mad? Plus, she looked beyond hot to trot to The Savoy Hotel in her playsuit and flat shoes. So off we went.

On route we passed some paparazzi (I kid you not) who started to take photo’s of me whilst crossing the road, with the beautiful backdrop of London traffic and scaffolding. Mollie seized this perfect opportunity to change from her flats shoes to heels and so, by the time the pap had dispersed and we were now outside The Savoy, Mollie had grown taller by a good four inches. Impressive.

Now, walking into The Savoy is like walking into an art gallery. Grand entrance, marble floors, and everyone feeling the need to talk quietly. I really struggle with whispering so to combat this I proceeded to not talk at all for the two minute walk from the main entrance to the Savoy Ballroom, where the fashion show was being held. Needless to say that for a chatterbox like me, my silence made it a long two minutes.

At this point I’d like to inform you that I had successfully avoided chocolate and the odd glass of alcohol for all of three days (pat on the back to me) but my healthy eating regime immediately went out of the window when I was kindly presented with a glass of champagne upon entrance and seated at a table which had dark chocolate macaroons perfectly within my reach. Damn it! I’d failed to resist temptation. For the record, the apricot macaroons, blueberry tarts, smoked salmon, lamb kebabs, red pepper hummus and halloumi and smoked pepper sandwiches tasted exceptional too. Eating over, the lights were dimmed and everyone in the room hushed down. Even me.

Forever the charismatic performer, Paloma Faith burst on to stage clapping and singing her current single, Can't Rely On You and with her beacon of orange hair and bright outfit, Paloma looked and sounded incredible. Intimate gigs are always really special as I often feel like I'm being serenaded, even though I'm not. Paloma went on to sing Only Love Can Hurt Like This, a song which I watched her perform at the Brit Awards earlier this year, immediately after she'd won one. She was perfect and made me fall in love with her a little bit more. Round of applause.

Then, it was time for the F&F fashion show and all necks stretched to see what F&F had in store for our Autumn/Winter wardrobes. Well, I can tell you that for the ladies, there’s going to be lots of cute 1970’s signature styles with tailored culottes, knitted role necks and my favourite piece, the suede trench. Then out came the men, sporting tailored suits and the sort of wool knits that you’d definitely steal from your boyfriend’s wardrobe.

Speaking of friends who are boys, I saw my friend Franky modelling the collection. I don’t know why I was so surprised. After all, he does model for a living but I didn’t know that he was going to be flaunting the new F&F menswear range so of course, being the really subtle person that I am, I yelped, “oh my gosh. that’s my mate” and like a proud parent, proceeded to take very blurry images of him. Awww.

All in all I had a cracking time. Great music, retro F&F clothing and all whilst catching up with my mate Mollie. Every day should be like Tuesday.

F&F Collections are available to buy online at www.F-F.com

How To Run & Make Friends | The LDN Edit Photo Shoot with Nike

OK so picture the scene, I wake up at 5:45am to get picked up and driven to Putney Bridge for breakfast, hair and make-up, to ready myself for a photoshoot with a team of photographers and creatives that I’ve wanted to work with for yonks.

Even though it’s a legit photoshoot with Nike, I’ve brought my own Cannon camera and my GoPro on a selfie stick. I’m loud, energetic and am currently pouring myself a bowl of granola, dried fruits and milk purely for Instagram purposes on my fully charged phone. I’m not hungry at this point, I’ve just devoured a full English breakfast but after the Instagram snap, I eat the bowl of granola too. I’m ready.

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I posed and the photographers snapped away before we all packed up and headed to our next shoot location in Shoreditch, East London. There, we had a room at The Ace Hotel where we would get changed into different outfits, stay warm and...eat scones. We took lots of action shots and still images on and around Boundary St before devouring the fattest lunch ever at Pizza East where I continued to bug everyone with my 2 metre long selfie stick. I wanted to capture as many magical moments of the day as possible and this is why.

On June 21st, London will be one of 20 cities across the globe to host a race as part of the Nike Women’s Race Series. This is a 10KM race that I have signed up to do in Victoria Park, not because I enjoy leading an active lifestyle and am quite good at running but because this is part of a race series that comes with a clear message; To unite us women and enable us to experience and celebrate the power of sport together

It’s this ‘togetherness’ that made me sign up with my squad of fit friends (pictured below), Natasha, Zanna and Tashi. For the purpose of the 10KM run we go by the name of Crew Run LDN Ladies and it is together that we posed for an exclusive shoot with Nike to flaunt our fitness fashion picks, ensuring that we’re all geared up for race day and to remind ourselves that it’s together that we will start the race and it is together that we will finish.

It sounds soppy but that message really strikes an emotional chord with me. Looking back, sport/fitness/exercise has always enabled me to make friends and build greater bonds with people, even within my own family. I remember vividly that my mum used to get my siblings and I to join her to do Mr Motivator’s workout VHS in the living room back in my home town, Blackburn. Even though VHS is long gone, my mother and I still talk fondly about our fitness dates in our tiny living room and it is that (amongst other things of course) that have helped me to maintain a great bond between my mother and I.

Outside of my home town Blackburn and away from my mum and childhood mates, I have found a new community of friends through sport. One of the first things I did when I moved to London was partake in a 5KM run along The River Thames with my work colleagues from the BBC. Those colleagues have now become lifelong friends. And it’s not stopped there.

I’ve also made mates with my Crew Run LDN Ladies. These girls are charming, hard working, witty and share my passion for an active lifestyle. I can’t wait to run with them and thousands of other women on June 21st because in the words of Beyonce, Who Runs The World?! Yeah...you know it!

Sign up to join our crew here: gonike.me/JoinUs_RunLDNLadies

Massive thanks to the awesome people I worked with on the shoot: Make up artist, Gia Mills | Photographer Ollie Adegboye | Photographer's Assistant, Bilal Mustapha | Creative Director, Niran Vinod | Producer, Sarah Tuxford | Producer, Charlotte Davis | Lulu Skinner | Sam Bloch