• What to know

    Inherited jewellery is a mixed blessing. The emotional attachment of being left an heirloom by your great aunt means if you don't like the design, you can't just flog it. But if the jewellery looks terribly out of date, you'll probably never wear it.

    It's precisely this kind of conundrum that jewellery designer Tessa Packard likes to solve. As well as designing her own collection, Tessa turns her draughtsman's hand to remodeling old baubles. "People come to me with their granny's pearls wanting to turn them into contemporary earrings," explains Tessa. "I love the challenge of working with stones, a brief and a budget."

    Having previously worked in the art world, Packard is completely self taught and designs her own British-made pieces of avant-garde but elegant jewellery from her studio in Belgravia, including her current favourite, 'Yellow Peril' earrings, made of carved agate Buddha heads covered with diamond leaf headdresses. "If you're wanting a single stone diamond engagement ring I'm not the right person to come to," says Packard. "But if it's design-driven contemporary fine jewellery with a narrative playfulness, then I'm your designer." 


    Tessa Packard will be at The Secret Christmas Grotto on 2nd & 3rd December, 2 Percy Street, London W1T 1DD

    Tessa Packard offers all Vanity Fair A-List members the chance to win a jewellery consultation with Tessa Packard at The Secret Christmas Grotto on either 2nd or 3rd December and to choose a piece of Tessa Packard Jewellery worth up to £400. 

    Tessa Packard also offers all Vanity Fair A-List members, 25% off all Tessa Packard jewellery online until 7th December 2014.

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

  • What to buy

    It's that time of year, when what's really needed after a long, hard day is pair of chic, cosy pyjamas for snuggly evenings.

    And in my opinion, Bodas sleepwear is hard to beat. For the last ten years, designers Helena Boas and Debbie Missing alongside their Notting Hill-based Bodas team have been perfecting everyday basics; soft underwear in pretty colours, cashmere socks for padding about and of course pyjamas and nightdresses in shadow stripe cotton.

    Other highlights include tactel maquillage underwear, loved by models - for the perfect pink colour that literally disappears under white or sheer clothes. And for this winter Bodas has asked long-term fan Laura Bailey to model the campaign. "I love the brand's sleek minimalist style," says Laura. "Bodas underwear underpins my entire wardrobe. And their black and nude slips are a fashion insider's red carpet secret."

    Having nailed the best basics, Bodas is also working a collection of luxury basics this autumn, including chunky cashmere cardigans and elegant cashmere robes. And for those sneaking off to the sunshine, the year round swimwear collection is equally faultless, no doubt thanks to years of underwear research. And there's nothing basic about that.

    Bodas, 36 Ledbury Road, London W11 2AB


    Tel: 020 7727 5063

  • Where to eat

    After a two year hiatus, chef Skye Gyngell is back with her glorious new restaurant Spring at Somerset House.

    Taking residency in a wing of Somerset House, mercifully there's not a hint of the previous tenants… the Inland Revenue offices. Skye called upon her Sydney-based interior designer sister Briony Fitzgerald; the result is as fresh as the restaurant's name. Cool blue walls, pink button-back sofas, Lindsey Adelman pendant lights and the prettiest ladies bathroom with pink herringbone floor tiles. 

    "Do you want to see the boys bathroom?" asks Skye who happens to be in the Jinny Blom-designed winter garden as I arrive. Gyngell proudly shows off the equally fabulous blue-tiled gents, then points out the hundreds of individually placed porcelain leaves on the restaurant walls and the waiters' sailor-boy infused uniforms by Trager Delaney before realizing that she needs to, "Get back in the kitchen!"

    The menu is the ingredient-inspired food that Skye became famous for while at Petersham Nurseries. I had a chickpea farinata with San Daniele ham, ricotta and artichokes, a perfectly cooked fillet of beef with deep fried Jerusalem artichokes, rocket and delicious Café de Paris butter-based sauce, and naughty caramel chocolate and walnut honey ice cream. 

    I'll be returning to Spring very soon. And will happily have those very same courses again, whilst sitting beneath a sky filled with balloon-like lights, grateful that despite heading into winter, there's a slice of spring to be had all year round.

    Spring, Somerset House, New Wing, Lancaster Place, London WC2R 1LA

    Tel: 020 3011 0115