• What to buy

    For nearly 15 years, Queene and Belle have been making cashmere cool. 

    With creator and designer Angela Bell at the helm, the Scottish borders-based design studio has been delivering crush-worthy sweatshirts, beanies and dresses emblazoned with motifs using intarsia techniques (a bit like inlaid marquetry) some of which take up to 12 hours of knitting.

    After years working at Pringle of Scotland, Bell decided she wanted to work with cashmere in a witty, youthful way. And now she's turning her humorous needles to homeware, as this seasonQueene and Belle launches a collection of cashmere cushions featuring Hawaiian flowers, Native American chiefs in feather headdress or leaping bunnies. There's also the opportunity to work with the design team, creating bespoke cushions using Queene and Belle's extensive archive. A fine and unique way to stay cosy.

    Queene and Belle bespoke service, from £295


    Queene and Belle offers all Vanity Fair A-List subscribers the chance to win a bespoke cashmere cushion designed alongside the Queene and Belle design team and on completion monogrammed with the winner's initials (total worth, £295). 

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

  • What to wear

    "It's Isa Arfen," girlfriends would whisper, when asked about their look.

    So, after the third mention, it was time to discover the story behind the label beloved by Alexa Chung, Tennessee Thomas and Charlotte Dellal, with a studio visit to meet Italian designer Serafina Sama in her lofty North Kensington atelier. 

    After graduating from Central Saint Martins, Serafina put in the groundwork with internships at labels including Marni, Lanvin and Marc Jacobs before working at Chloe for two years.

    She returned to London in 2008, got married and had a baby. But the desire to design flared up. So in 2011, Serafina made a small collection of summer dresses for her friends, inspired by the photographs of Slim Aarons. Every last one was sold. It was the beginning of a label she named Isa Arfen - an anagram of her name.

    The new Spring/Summer collection is inspired by David Hockney's 1960s paintings of Palm Springs; colours include a well-irrigated emerald lawn green, Hollywood wife pink, Campari red and swimming pool blue with playful and exotic raffia trims and voluminous sleeves.

    Gamine and enchanting, Serafina is the kind of girl who embraces Italian high-society eccentricity, designs the perfect evening trouser and effortlessly transforms her daily uniform of jeans and a t-shirt by slinging on a cape or coat. My kind of girl. 


  • What to eat

    Starting the year with a clean and mean detox is a nice idea. 

    But sipping on juices and feeling hungry is no fun at the best of times. Let alone in the bleak midwinter with a festive appetite and well-honed sweet tooth.

    However there could be a happy medium. It's called Nama. And it's a raw food restaurant. Yes, yes - we can all peel and chop carrot sticks at home. But this is not raw food as we know it. This is about the best and freshest produce that is never cooked, treated or processed above 42 degrees. Because above this temperature, food starts to lose all the good stuff; vitamins, minerals and enzymes.

    So instead ingredients are blended, marinated and dehydrated. And despite my initial reservations and the fact that Nama is fully meat, dairy, gluten and wheat free…it's addictively delicious. Try the spiced coconut porridge with homemade almond milk, the Mexican wrap or Italian 'pizza'. And of course there's a hefty fridge filled with all manner of green juices and smoothies.

    If you get hooked, then take a raw food course or even… order a birthday bespoke vegan cake. But maybe that's one healthy step too far.