The Handbook
The Handbook

We caught up with the London-based designer to find out where she eats, sleeps, drinks and shops in the capital. Plus, what’s next for one of Instagram’s hottest brands.

From her instantly recognisable cardigans to wear-anywhere printed dresses, Hayley Menzies has become one of London’s best-loved independent brands. Her designs have been spotted on the backs of many an influencer – Jasmine Hemsley, The Fashion Bug Blog, Millie Mackintosh and Megan Ellaby are all big fans – thanks to her signature aesthetic that sits somewhere between granny chic and rock ‘n’ roll cool.

From her days studying at London College of Fashion to her first foray into the industry – a vintage stall on the iconic Portobello Market – this city is ingrained in what Hayley does. So what better excuse to delve into her little black book of the best places to eat, drink and shop in the capital, and take a peak at her latest AW20 collection, whimsically called, The Drifters.

My perfect day off in London would be a Friday. I’d start the day with a homemade green juice and yoga at Sangye Yoga School, followed by a mooch around Portobello Market hunting for cool vintage clothes and bric-a-brac. 

In a perfect world I’d discover an outfit to wear out that evening – the best nights happen in new vintage finds. I’d then wander to Notting Hill Gate and have sushi at Eat Tokyo for lunch, followed by a very indulgent two-hour Swedish massage at Thai Harmony and a mani-pedi to complete. 

My favourite evenings are a gathering of girlfriends for dinner somewhere local – perhaps Gold on Portobello Road and then onto the Electric for a night cap. 

Gold, Notting Hill
Electric House, Notting Hill

The best place to book an important breakfast meeting is Electric or White City House – I’m all about keeping it easy and local – and these places work for all levels of meetings. Plus, I can walk there and back to my studio easily. 

I love Mayfair for a treat, whether that’s at Isabel or 5 Hertford. Leaving W11 where I live and work, I always feel a sense of occasion and like the ceremony of getting dressed up. 

In a perfect world I’d discover an outfit to wear out that evening – the best nights happen in new vintage finds.

My favourite London hotel is Claridge’s, but I don’t go nearly enough. 

For a countryside staycation it has to be Soho Farmhouse. I love the outdoor pool and spa. 

When I want to keep things lowkey and local for dinner I head to Portobello Gold, Electric or Aphrodite on Hereford Road. 

Gold is where you’ll find my favourite dish in London: the cauliflower – it’s so good and never gets old. I also love anything Jasmine Hemsley cooks, although sadly she doesn’t cook for me that frequently anymore.

 At home I eat a lot of  fish, veggies and salads and use Uber Eats an obscene amount. 

The best night out you’ll ever have is in Ibiza. I’ve missed that enormously this summer. I’d love to do dinner at La Paloma followed by dancing at DC10. 

The best place for a date-night in London is Casa Cruz on Clarendon Road for its sexy ambience and incredible food.

I also love the interiors at  Annabel’s. It’s so opulent and maximalist.

My go-to look for a night-out is sexy jeans, silk and lace. Whether that’s a vintage silk and lace slip or a cami with cool jeans and killer heels. Probs a red lip too. 

My best kept London secret is Karen Vintage on Portobello for super glitzy, slinky one-of-a-kind vintage pieces.

The last thing I bought was a ‘90s mohair floral silk appliqué cardigan from there.

La Paloma, Ibiza

I shop for vintage finds all over the world, from Paris to LA, New York to Portobello Market. Wherever I travel I hunt for vintage. My most special pieces are from a dealer in California who shows in New York – the pieces are next-level power pieces.

When it comes to working out, I love Sangye Yoga School on Kensal Road and Opus Fitness for reformer Pilates. 

Liberty is a special store – it’s a listed building so little has changed with the interior layout since it was built in 1924 from reclaimed timber from one of Her Majesty’s battleships. I always shop there for special gifts and they have a great easy edit online.

Liberty, London
Karen Vintage, Portobello

The best thing about London in the summer is pavement drinking and dining and the vibes! Everyone’s so excited for the summer it’s electric.

My favourite park in London is Holland Park. I love it for all the corners and the variety in landscape. 

If you’re looking to buy flowers, Harper and Toms on Blenheim Crescent is a must. 

On my nightstand is my all time favourite read, Champagne Supernovas by Maureen Callaghan. It’s about Kate Moss, Alexander McQueen and Marc Jacobs – the renegades who reshaped the ‘90s fashion scene… epic.  I’m also currently reading The Vanity Fair Diaries by Tina Brown. It’s brilliant.

by Maureen Callaghan, Simon & Schuster UKChampagne Supernovas

Price: £6.99
www.amazon.co.uk

by Tina Brown, W&NThe Vanity Fair Diaries: 1983-1992

Price: £6.99
amzn.to

The last gig I went to was literally two days before lockdown. I went to see Franc Moody at Shepherds Bush. It was so good and I would have partied harder and stayed out later had I known that was going to be my last night out for four months!

We are about to launch The Drifters AW20 collection and I adore the chartreuse silk satin maxi dress with deep lace panels. But for the ultimate in laid-back luxury, my Lacey jumpers rule. 

Shop some of our Hayley Menzies favourites and the new AW20 collection below.

Keep an eye out for the Hayley Menzies pop-up store, opening early October on London’s Duke of York Square.

www.hayleymenzies.com