• Where to stay

    Historically the old-school London club was somewhere for out-of-towners to meet friends, fill their bellies and rest their weary heads.

    Until now The Hospital Club, that den of creativity in Covent Garden founded by Paul Allen and Dave Stewart in 2004, has provided all of the above except the 'weary head' bit. But as of this month the club has converted the entire third floor (formerly offices) into fifteen cosy bedrooms; ranging from full-on suites with a sitting room and balcony, all the way to a 'sleep bunker', a windowless nest-of-a-room, at just £99 a night for members and £124 for non-members. 

    Designer Russell Sage has included plenty of his trademark quirks; recycled leather belts adorn the doors, bespoke psychedelic carpet covers the floor and vintage medical receptacles decorate the shelves. In addition the art-work in each room has been assigned to an artist from the Club's community; my favourite, the suite filled with  Alyson Mowat faceted terrariums.

    Other unexpected extras; a 7pm cocktail-trolley service, an erotic mini-bar and a 'School of Life' inspirational card on your pillow instead of a choccie. The Hospital Club has created bedrooms, but they're not so old-school. 


    The Hospital Club offers all Vanity Fair A-List subscribers the chance to win dinner for two and a one-night stay for two people in a suite at The Hospital Club (worth approximately £640).

    Don't miss out on future offers, sign up to the A-List. 

  • What to buy

    While it may be grey outside, it needn't be all grey inside.

    Starting with pieces by Marianna Kennedy to create colourful interior punctuation. The Spitalfields-based designer uses her former Huguenot silk-weaver's house on Fournier Street as part home, workshop and showroom. It's from here that her joyous interior flourishes are made, shown and sold. There are elegant 'Fetters of Gold' frames with blue or pink tinted mirror, handpainted signs and coloured resin lamps, one of which is moulded directly from a lamp at Cawdor Castle.

    With bright lamp-shades made from binders cloth (her husband, book-binder Charles Gledhill works from the top floor of the house) that sit atop the rainbow lamps, the only quandary, is how many to buy.


  • What to know

    "Let me know if there's anything I can do," is the well-meaning but useless phrase often employed when a friend's in need. 

    But here's an idea. Fire the phrase and call The Food Stork.  

    Chef Fleur Sladen devised The Food Stork when she realized that new mothers, or friends having a hard time physically or emotionally could really do with a practical helping hand. So she began delivering her fresh, home-cooked food, made with many seasonal ingredients plucked straight from her Gloucestershire vegetable garden. 

    The Food Stork is not about diet or weight loss; but simply food made with love, to warm, nourish and nurture. So food boxes can include meals such as Roasted free-range chicken with chorizo, chickpeas and red peppers, Sweet potato, aubergine and pea curry and Chocolate and almond brownies. 

    Both practical and delicious, if someone's under pressure The Food Stork will swoop down and remove the stress of thinking about shopping, cooking and menus. Or, if you fancy a treat, whistle-in the wading bird for yourself.