For anyone with a Rixo garment hanging in their wardrobe – and, at this point, there must be few London Millennial women who don’t – it will come as no surprise that the brand’s founders, Henrietta Rix and Orlagh McCloskey, are something of an authority on good taste. After all, you don’t create a fashion brand that goes from zero to the answer to every wedding guest dressing dilemma in six years without having a handle on what’s hot.
Who better, then, to give us the inside scoop on West London’s coolest new hotspots and cherished old favourites? Having founded Rixo from their student flat in West Kensington in 2015, and now living in Chiswick and Acton, with the brand HQ still nearby, Henrietta Rix gives us the insider’s guide to the illustrious London district.
The hidden secret: Wild Bunch, Chiswick
Henrietta says: It does the most amazing juices and coffees. I recommend the Everyday Green and the acai bowl if you’re hungry.
We say: You may have missed Pret during lockdown but now you’re back in the office the return of those ham-and-cheese croissants are probably playing havoc with your waistline. Step in Wild Bunch, a Chiswick neighbourhood cafe and juice bar determined to get your day off to a good start. The entire menu, from its holier-than-thou green juices and vegan smoothies to protein-heavy breakfast dishes, can be ordered in advance and picked up on your way to work. So really, there are no excuses.
The restaurant: Layla, Ladbroke Grove
Henrietta says: By day Layla is a delicious artisan bakery and, in the evenings, it runs a variety of intimate supper clubs with guest chefs. They also have pizza nights with organic wine (less hangovers!) which are so much fun.
We say: Taking a more mindful approach to your daily bread, Layla’s skilled bakers work with ancient techniques, wild grains and seasonal produce to create truly exceptional sourdough loaves, sandwiches and pastries. Its regular supper clubs are also not to be missed. Often showcasing the work of up-and-coming London chefs, expect anything from a journey through the culinary traditions of China to sustainable menus created using homegrown ingredients.
The salon: Meraki Nail and Makeup Studio, Chiswick
Henrietta says: They do the best manicures and pedicures I’ve ever had!
We say: A classic beauty salon in every sense of the word, Meraki has resisted the urge to diversify into spa treatments, focusing instead on what it does best: really great manicures. Pop in for a lunchtime refresh or indulge in the full Meraki treatment, complete with hand scrub, paraffin wax and massage. Pedicures, waxing and eyelash tinting are also on the menu while a team of professional MUAs is also on hand to help you get ready for big events and special date nights.
The market: Chiswick High Road vintage fair
Henrietta says: This is an outdoor antique market that runs once a month. Whenever I go, I always find such great things, my house is filled with treasures I’ve sourced there.
We say: Heal’s is great and we would never dismiss the convenience of Amara but for really interesting and unique interior design finds, London’s network of markets is the place to turn. Bringing together more than 60 antique and vintage dealers on one Sunday every month, Chiswick High Road’s antique and vintage market promises an eclectic selection of objet d’art, furniture, home accessories and ephemera from a huge range of periods.
The bar: White City House Rooftop
Henrietta says: There’s nothing like sitting around the pool at White City House when the sun is shining – it feels like you’re on holiday and has such a great atmosphere, especially on the weekend.
We say: We don’t need to introduce you to White City House – chances are you’re already very well acquainted with the Soho House outpost housed within the former BBC television centre. The members-only space is home to hotel rooms, a state-of-the-art health club, cinema, event spaces and three restaurants, as well as the aforementioned swimming pool. Arrive early to secure a prime sunbed spot.
The hotel: Princess Royal, Notting Hill
Henrietta says: The pub-cum-hotel recently opened and we worked with them on an Icons of Rixo trip. The space was absolutely gorgeous and I’m desperate to go and stay there myself.
We say: Owned and operated by Cubitt House, the purveyors of Belgravia’s Thomas Cubitt, The Grazing Goat in Marylebone and The Alfred Tennyson in Knightsbridge, among others, the pedigree of this new, all-day pub and hotel in Notting Hill speaks for itself. Dine on plates of Cornish crab, English burrata and Old Spot pork chop before heading upstairs to discover cosy bedrooms decked out with brilliantly-quirky interior design.
The culture: V&A and Kew Gardens
Henrietta says: It has to be the V&A: if you’re coming to London, it’s a must-do. There’s also Kew Gardens, which goes without saying too. It’s an excellent idea for a day out, it’s obviously lovely during the summer but it’s equally as nice in the winter, especially around Christmas time.
We say: Londoners are spoiled for choice when it comes to satiating our cultural appetites but don’t be afraid to head further afield in search of something truly inspiring. Situated way out at the end of the Overground, Kew Gardens may seem like a long way off, but its 500 acres of botanic gardens, greenhouses, woodland and lakes are pure bliss on a warm day. Of course, if you really can’t face heading further west than South Kensington, there’s always something brilliant to see at the V&A too.