• What to do

    Leonine entrepreneur Inge Theron is at it again.

    When I first met Inge eight years ago, she had a successful PR company, which she soon sold. Next was boardgames, and knowing that A-List movie stars prefer to stay in for paparazzi-free game nights (her cousin is Charlize Theron), Inge updated  an old parlour game to create Hollywood Dominos. It became 'a thing' with parties, charity events and then the company was sold to Hasbro. At this point, what started as a fun idea became an emotional and physical burnout for Inge.

    So she took a year out, and spa'd her socks off. She padded around the world combining down-dog and massage, which soon lead to Inge becoming the Financial Times' undercover Spa Junkie. Four years later having been stroked by the best, pummelled by the worst, and with a wealth of health knowledge Inge has created her own facial method.

    "It's about taking your face to the gym," explains Theron of Face Gym.  "You go to Soul Cycle or Barry's Bootcamp a few times a week, so why not exercise your face muscles too?"  Face Gym sits by the ground floor beauty hall in Selfridges where 30 minute signature facials (sensibly priced at £35) follow the steps of a full body work out - with warm-up, cardio, strength and cool down moments.  The slapping, kneading, stroking movements from my therapist (the excellent Louise), are firm enough to tone and lift the muscles using oils, a masque and Frankincense facial mist developed for Face Gym by Alexandra Soveral.

    Increase your workout with add-ons - maybe a bit of mouth work?! One for the brave, as your therapist sticks her mitts in your mouth and massages your face from inside. Or add radio frequency face sculpting, laser skin resurfacing, or micro-current stimulation for an instant brow lift. (During my facial, I looked in the mirror after one side had been worked on - and blow me down I looked like I was cocking an eyebrow).

    Face Gym has backing from Net-a-Porter, support of Selfridges and Autumn fashion week collaborations with Charlotte Tilbury Make-Up. It seems like time-out was just what Inge Theron needed to roar again.


    Face Gym offered all Vanity Fair A-List subscribers the chance to win a skin consultation with Face Gym founder Inge Theron, a bespoke Face Gym Facial Workout and Face Gym skincare products (prize worth approx. £500).  Don't miss out on future offers, sign up to the A-List.

  • Where to shop

    I must have walked past Couverture & The Garbstore over one hundred times.  It's round the corner from my office.  It's been there since 2008. And until last week I'd never been in, because of some daft preconception that it just sold uninteresting homewares. Now I'm kicking myself that I didn't poke my nose in sooner. Because it's brilliant.

    The ground and first floor is the Couverture bit, created by Emily Dyson (former designer at Paul Smith and daughter of hoover genius James), which she's filled with small quantities of unusual brands sourced from constant forays all over the world. There's down-time womenswear from Humanoid, adorable childrenswear by Bellerose and Pero, charming old-fashioned games and unusual books, stationery and great colourful cushion and lambswool throws.  The kind of things that make life feel nicer.

    The Garbstore downstairs in the basement, belongs to Dyson's husband Ian Paley delivering own brand and unusual LA based menswear with an 'unfamiliar vintage' vibe as the starting point for the 50s inspired trousers and sweatshirts alongside shirts by Steven Alan and Coast Wide.

    I bought great presents for friends, earmarked autumn clothes for myself and a smart grey-stripe straw waste-paper basket for my office.  My new favourite shop right under my nose.  

    Couverture & The Garbstore, 188 Kensington Park Road, London W11 2ES


  • Where to go

    With talks and debates hosted by Intelligence Squared, School of Life, How to Academy and speakers including George Monbiot and Mehdi Hassan, it's clear that Wilderness is not your average festival.

    For the fourth year, Wilderness takes over the glorious Cotswold hills of Cornbury Park, with this year's line up better than ever.  Chef's including Simon Rogan (Claridges), Angela Hartnett (Murano) and Russell Norman (Polpo, Polpetto, Spuntino) will be cooking up banquets.  There's performance and theatre from Shakespeare's Globe, the V&A and a synesthesia-influenced immersive classical music experience from Bitter Suite (yep, I had to google that too - basically using sensory stimulation to enhance the experience).

    The Sanctuary Area offers a crazy range of health and fitness treatments including: acro-yoga, sunset yoga, flying trapeze classes, Ren facials, massages and bubbling hot tubs. You can fly fish, have a crack at archery, take a wild medicine walk.  Want to be a sake connoisseur?  Hunt for aliens?  Or go for a philosophy walk?  Take the children to the Roald Dahl or Charles Dickens museum and hang out at Storystock? It's all available at Wilderness. And the live-music line-up doesn't disappoint either; London Grammar, Sam Smith and 'Rain Drops Keep Falling on my Head' legend - Burt Bacharach will all be performing.

    And for squeamish campers there are full-on silver Airsteams or oak floored Royal Safari tents (yes, please!). Thumbs up for Wilderness - the swanky thinking person's festival.

    Wilderness Festival, 7-10th August 2014, Cornbury Park, Oxfordshire

    Weekend Tickets - £139

    Family Weekend Tickets - £335