Young Ladies About Town

The girls living and laughing their way around London, meeting lots of fascinating folk along the way...

All aflutter

Posted by Young Ladies About Town
Young Ladies About Town
Fiona Hicks has not set their biography yet
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on Thursday, 29 November 2012
To Newmarket, the cradle of British horseracing, for a tour of the Jockey Club Rooms, the October yearling sales and lunch at Tattersalls – enough to set any racing enthusiast’s heart aflutter.

I am here courtesy of Weatherbys Hamilton, a new private-client insurance venture based on personal service and generations of expertise. Roger Weatherby – of the eponymous family business that runs the Stud Book, offers bloodstock insurance and provides many of racing’s administrative services – has joined forces with high-value insurance expert Charles Hamilton, to offer a wider bespoke service covering household and country property as well as racehorses.


After coffee in the Morning Room, Senior Rooms Steward Alan Medlock takes us on a tour of the Jockey Club’s impressive art collection, including portraits of racing legends Gimcrack and Eclipse, as well as several paintings by Stubbs.  We also visit the notorious Steward’s Room, where offending jockeys used to stand trial for their misdemeanours on a square of carpet – hence the expression “on the mat”.

Later, during Mr Hamilton’s presentation I learn that a top racing stallion can earn hundreds of millions by standing at stud in his retirement. The yearlings going under the hammer today are the progeny of such elite athletes – the equine equivalent, as he put it, of Jessica Ennis having a baby with Usain Bolt. No wonder some owners choose to insure them from the very moment of purchase.

Down the road to Tattersalls then, with some trepidation, for the high-profile auction – among the consigners today are Lord Lloyd-Webber and various Sultans and Sheikhs. What if I have a must-buy moment? Or if I twitch and accidentally place a bid? With prices starting at 80,000 guineas and rising into six figures and even millions, it is an alarming prospect. (At £1.05 to a guinea, even worse than it looks.)

juanita -Jockey-Club-Rooms
Leggy colts and fillies walk the ring like supermodels, all glossy manes and nonchalant looks. Their glittering pedigrees entice with the promise of sporting success (the catalogue is peppered with household names like Sea the Stars and Galileo). This is fantasy shopping at its finest, and not unlike admiring the couture shows: a license to dream and ignore the too-many noughts.
Lunch is a lavish affair overlooking the pre-parade ring, and as the wine flows freely, Mr Weatherby and his colleagues entertain us with racing anecdotes. While they wave casually at famous trainers and owners across the room, I admit to being more than a little star-struck.

When my prince comes and I get a stately and a stable full of racehorses, I know where I’ll go for insurance. In the meantime, Cinderella trots home with a smile, after a cracking winner of a day out.

For more information visit and

Words by Juanita Coulson.

Time to feast

Posted by Young Ladies About Town
Young Ladies About Town
Fiona Hicks has not set their biography yet
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on Wednesday, 28 November 2012
Christmas shopping along Oxford Street is a sure-fire strategy for building up quite an appetite.

The food maestros at The Cumberland Hotel have come up with a wonderfully decadent solution: a 7-course tasting menu. Sitting majestically behind Marble arch, you can escape the frantically present-less crowds and be supping on a banquet wihtin mintues. Bliss.

Head Chef Paul Welburn is the mastermind behind the British/European menu. A former culinary school chum of James Martin, he has been at The Cumberland since 2008 where he an his team have maintained the eatery's Michelin star.

Needless to say we went along to the launch night for this new menu with enormous expectations. Where they met?

In a word: yes.

They say a picture paints a thousand words, we're pretty sure they can also tease a thousands tastebuds...


cumberland 590 1
cumberland 590 2

Particular highlights include the tender Squab pigeon and the sweet yet salty chocolate cremeux.

With impeccable service (we came back from the loo to find our napkin re-folded!) and a sumptous interior featuring chandeliers, antique mirrors and French chairs, this is one shopping stop you'll want to make time for.

In fact, why not do away with Christmas presents all together? Treat your loved ones to a W1 feast instead.

 For more information visit

Top Places for an Evening Out (Able Bodied or Not)

Posted by Young Ladies About Town
Young Ladies About Town
Fiona Hicks has not set their biography yet
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on Tuesday, 20 November 2012
In a special guest post, Fiona Jarvis, founder of Blue Badge Style, picks her top spots in London...


I’ve lived and worked in London for 30 years, with varying degrees of disability, so choosing just 5 places is difficult. The dynamic nature of the city means that new places open all the time but BBS keeps up with the latest trends and places to go and we rate them on accessibility, style and facilities. Style is the prerequisite, which doesn’t necessarily mean expense! London is also home to some of the best chefs in the world so eating out has never been more delicious! So many places and not enough time, but I’ve got a current top 5:

The Paramount at Centre Point, Tottenham Court Rd. – a great place for cocktails as it has one of the best, if not THE BEST, view of London. Truly spectacular and the cocktails are interesting too, the nibbles not so, as they include the standard Hummus and olives. I’ve not eaten there but I would only go for drinks. It’s a bubbly crowd enthused by the view. It’s obviously accessible via a lift as it is 32 floors up!

To eat I love going to the ‘West End’ and the Pollen Street Social with Chef Patron Jason Atherton – he has truly inspirational dishes such as the ‘slow cooked egg, English breakfast’. There’s a buzz about the place and it’s easily accessible albeit through the kitchens. At least you get to see him at work. There’s also a disabled toilet so staying behind in the bar for late drinks is safe?!

Round the corner in Conduit St is another favourite haunt, Sketch. Unfortunately the Michelin Star restaurant upstairs is still inaccessible (initially highlighted in 2003 – maybe one day they’ll become 100% inclusive), but the Gallery downstairs (about 6/7 steps) is achievable with help from the staff and there’s a disabled toilet located just beside the East Bar. It has to be visited as it’s an art installation by Turner Prize Winner, Martin Creed where every item in the restaurant is different, down to the knives and forks. Open until 2 am with a DJ playing uber trendy music it’s great for a late night out.

The Art Deco Brasserie Zedel and its Crazy Coqs Cabaret in Piccadilly is a must for an all-encompassing night out with a restaurant, bar and cabaret all under one roof. All accessible via a lift and portable ramps.

For trendy drinks and bar snacks you can’t go wrong with The Zetter Town House in Clerkenwell. Don’t be put off by the collection of antiques; such as the stuffed and dressed cat or the boxing kangaroo, they merely add character. There’s no standing in this bar so everyone has to sit in a comfy chair or sofa, all at wheelchair height, so you don’t feel conspicuous. It is accessible with a disabled toilet downstairs via a lift. The staff look like they should be part of Mumford and Son and resemble 19th century workers, wearing an array of waistcoats, braces and collarless shirts. The nibbles are out of the ordinary and very tasty; I can recommend the ‘deep-fried anchovy olives’ and the ‘Parmesan shortbread’. The ‘Twinkle’ cocktail is also a must.

There are lots of places on my list such as the (open air) rooftop at the Boundary – a Conran hotel in Shoreditch; the Gilbert Scott Bar at St. Pancras with its new take on a British pub menu and the myriad of Brooklyn style restaurants that have popped up such as such as Polpo in Covent Garden.

As I said, so many places and too little time.

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Downward dog!

Posted by Young Ladies About Town
Young Ladies About Town
Fiona Hicks has not set their biography yet
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on Friday, 16 November 2012
yoga4A yoga retreat you say? In a Castillo nestled in the Tuscan hills with a day trip to Florence? All I had to do was some photo-shoots? It was like Karma had sent me the phone call from heaven. After a full on summer of sport, both watching and competing, I need some quality downtime and was already packing my yoga mat before you could say downward dog.

Alpha Male scoffed at the vegetarian food, detox and meditation bit but then realised that he was also missing out on a week of girls doing yoga in bikinis by a poolside and wished he was more in touch with his inner energy, or I think that’s what he said…. Personally I need to indulge in a selfish week of me time away from the noises in London and feel the sun on my back.

Arriving at a new destination is always special, but some are quite magical. An hour from Pisa airport we arrived at the most stunning view over fields and distant mountain ranges  glowing in an orange sunset. I switched off my phone and listened to the crickets chirping the evening into darkness; wrapping a blanket over my shoulders I sat on bench and watched the stars gently glow, trying to bottle up that night up in my memory.

Sadly my back wasn’t so relaxed, after 3 bulging discs the previous year and scrambling on yachts this summer it decided to play up again. My meditation instead was done alone at dawn, swimming 100 lengths in ice cold pool, swimming and thinking, swimming and thinking. All you need is space and yourself to process your thoughts, but being in a beautiful pool overlooking a Tuscan hill does help a lot too.

We’d started the week as a group of relative strangers but become great friends at the end and after a week it was hard to say goodbye to our Italian sanctuary. As much as we’d learnt to understand each other we’d also learnt to understand ourselves a bit better, and that’s an amazing gift to bring back from your holiday.

The Yoga Retreat was organised by Love Yoga Bum. Please see for details of future retreats.

Words and photos by Kitty Buchanan-Gregory

It's Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas

Posted by Young Ladies About Town
Young Ladies About Town
Fiona Hicks has not set their biography yet
User is currently offline
on Friday, 09 November 2012
There are times in life when it is perfectly acceptable to revert to a state childish excitement no matter what age you are. And this week I have spent a large proportion of time being childishly excited about Christmas.

blog1150,000 twinkling lights illuminate Covent Garden

But it's still ages away I hear you cry. Well that may be the case (although 45 days isn't a huge amount) but after attending the switching on of the lights in Covent Garden and the Disney store VIP Christmas party, I hope you will understand why for me, Christmas is very much here.

blog2Snow Cones for the 'adults'

The London Gay Men's Choir filled the air with festive carols and as the sung Mariah Carey's classic All I Want For Christmas, Covent Garden was lit up by more than 150,000 twinkling fairy lights which sparkled as the crowd cheered and sung along.

blog3Mickey and Minnie mouse

As if it couldn't any more delightfully festive than that, we young ladies about town then attended the Disney store VIP Christmas party. With a gospel choir singing carols, mini Christmas pudding, snow cones (for the kids...and adults), cookie decorating and whole shop full of toys it's no wonder that the adults were just as excited as the children that were there.

blog4The Gospel choir kept everyone entertained

On top of that we also got to chance to meet both Mickey and Minnie mouse, thankfully the queue to meet them consisted of four children and many more adults- it would appear I am not the only one the indulges in reverting to a state of childish excitement.

With 45 days to go until the big day and lights brightening city centres all over the UK I think it's fair to say it's beginning to look a lot like Christmas.

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