Lockdown Diaries#4: Theo Fennell, PhillipaLepley andSheherazade Goldsmith

02 Jun 2020 | Updated on: 27 Sep 2022 |By Mhairi Mann

"I hope we all realise that health and decency, family and friendship and having fun are far more important than money and social aspirations and that being able to work hard doing something we love, whether

Theo Fennell

Fine artist-turned-jeweller Theo Fennell specialises in flamboyant and intricately crafted fine jewellery and silverware, made with a charming dash of British wit.

I’m am spending lockdown in the country with my whole family and my tiny grandson, which has been wonderful. We are lucky to have a lot of green space around so we have been able to take walks with my family. I have been able to see spring unfurl in the country day by day for the first time in years. I have been extraordinarily lucky and I feel for all those stuck in flats or in the heart of towns and not able to see their families.

I am not missing London as much as I thought I would and it has made me reconsider my modus operandi and look hard at how I work in the future.

We have been very busy at work because we do so many bespoke pieces and all those orders needed fulfilling. The studio and workshop have, for the most part, been able to work from home and they have been fantastic. Having time in the evenings and early morning has given me the chance to write the book that I always promised myself I would, featuring key ink illustrations that relate to my inspiration for various pieces. These are compiled alongside photographs, as well as some of my favourite poems and quotes. I have managed to tidy up countless drawers and bookcases, and I have also realised that I don’t have green fingers.

Illustrations by Theo Fennell

I am not watching as much television as I thought I would but State of Happiness has been great and Grayson’s Art Club, featuring Grayson Perry, is wonderful. I’ve become hooked on a few history series including Simon Sebag Montefiore’s series on Vienna – and First Dates Hotel, obviously.

I’ve been reading quite a bit. A Small Revolution in Germany by Philip Hensheras is a great little book; The Duff Cooper Diaries and a bit of Robert Harris. I have also been re-reading some Muriel Spark and P.G. Wodehouse, when things seem to be getting too stressful.

I would like us to leave lockdown with some parity of esteem. I hope we will all review our thinking and realise that health and decency, family and friendship and having fun are far more important than money and social aspirations and that being able to work hard doing something we love, whether it be making wonderful things or saving lives, is the greatest luxury in the world.


Sheherazade Goldsmith

Sheherazade Goldsmith co-founded Loquet London with Laura Bailey. It specialises in gold framed crystal lockets, which can be personalised with collectible charms.

I am currently at my home in south-west London. We moved the office and our collection into my sitting room just before lockdown.

When lockdown began, I imagined there would a lot of time for reading and Zoom dance classes, but Loquet has kept me very busy. Work and cooking are keeping me sane and I’m happily revisiting areas of my business that I hadn’t really thought about for a long time.

The Saffron Locket, £‌1,600.00 and Small Heart locket, £‌350.00, with a selection of charms starting from £50

I often listen to Vox and someone sent me Mo Gawdat’s episode on How to Fail with Elizabeth Day, which I loved.

I’m going through my old Nigel Slater books and trying out his vegetarian recipes. I’m also loving the Tart London recipes on Instagram and A Table In Venice by Skye McAlpine. Being able to source wonderful ingredients delivered to my door, by the small suppliers who usually cater to the restaurants has been heaven. I’ve started making ice cream, which has been an adventure.

Courtesy of @Tart_London


Phillipa Lepley

Chelsea-based couturier Phillipa Lepley’s wedding dresses are known for their corsetry, meticulous embellishment and dramatic flair.

I am spending lockdown with my husband, two daughters and our small fluffy Bichon on a farm in Surrey.

I have enjoyed getting stuck in with gardening and moving plants around. I am totally passionate about growing cut flowers, which I have been arranging around the house and photographing.

I do spinning on my Peloton most days with my instructor Dennis Morton, followed by yoga stretch classes. As I have been getting fitter and more flexible I have also been brushing up my cartwheel technique in the garden!

When it comes to current bridal trends, less is more. It’s all about making a subtle statement. We are creating lots of grand, clean-lined designs, which are framed with the most exquisite hand-embroidered silk veils. Fluid dresses are also popular, with statement sleeves and hand-worked floral details. Defined square and decollete necklines are flattering and modern too.

I have started to watch The Crown from the beginning and I now understand why everyone raves about it.

I am reading a few books: The Infinite Game by Simon Sinek; Lady in waiting by Anne Glenconner and Making of a Garden by Rosemary Verey.

My daughters and I all cook together and we have a lot of fun. We have been experimenting with Richard Bertinet’s book, Dough, and trying out new things – next up is cinnamon buns. I am also making various cakes from my current favourite cookbook, Sweet by Ottolenghi. To make up for all the baking we make lots of nutritious salads too, filled with seeds and nuts.

While the moved goalposts for the business has been a logistical challenge and will continue to be so for some time, this has been a special time to re-evaluate life and its usual franticness. A great catch up in many ways.