somerset house
Somerset House, for some, will always bring to mind birth certificates. But to younger Londoners, this imposing 18th Century neo-classical building is a superior, atmospheric urban outdoor venue known for quality, cutting-edge music, cinema, and – obvs – London Fashion Week.

Between the Strand and the Thames, Somerset House was originally built for the Duke of Somerset and first became a government building following the civil war. Its importance at the time is noted by the fact that Oliver Cromwell actually lay in state following his death in 1658. Rebuilt later as a public building, it would house many learned societies including the prestigious Royal Academy.

The Registrar of Births, Marriages and Deaths was based here from the 1850s to the 1970s, but the historic palace and grounds which inspired paintings by Canaletto is now managed by a trust, keen to revive its rich heritage and inspire a more cultured future.

In July, the 55 dancing fountains in its cobbled Edmond J. Safra Fountain Court, an award-winning public space, are turned off to create a 3,000 capacity venue for the annual Summer Series at Somerset House, sponsored by American Express. Over the last 13 years, the prestigious festival has presented inspiring, innovative artists like Grace Jones, Elbow, Robert Plant, Adele, Blondie, Sigur Ros and Bert Jansch. Glaswegian post-rock outfit Mogwai’s swirling surround-sound 2007 series opener is still fondly remembered from the back catalogue. 2007 also saw Amy Winehouse play an accomplished, moving set that year, not long before her tragic passing.

Underworld fans still reminisce about dancing deliriously in 2003 to ‘Two Months Off’ as the sun set over the spectacular architecture. Goldfrapp’s set from that same year was filmed for release on their 2004 Wonderful Electric DVD, and the band also made another Somerset House appearance as part of the eleven date 2013 programme, which also included second appearances by Band of Horses and Basement Jaxx. Richard Hawley, who also featured this year, said: “Somerset House is the venue along with Greenwich Observatory I’ve always hoped I might get a chance of playing as they are both connected deeply with our country’s history.”
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charles fish
I wouldn’t blame you if you experienced a little Instagram jealousy last week; spending the evening with contemporary jeweller Charles Fish made me rather trigger happy (in a camera phone sense). Acting as one of three blogger ambassadors for the brand new Charles Fish ‘Finders Keepers’ campaign, an evening of fun and champagne was arranged during Jewellery Week at Somerset House.

What is Finders Keepers?
A massive incentive for you to spend a little time over on Charles Fish! Finders Keepers is an incredible six-month online treasure hunt where, twice a month, visitors get the chance to follow a cryptic clue or two and find a piece of jewellery with a ‘hidden hallmark’ (FK!) on their website. Once the item is found, a ‘Keep It!’ button will take you to enter to win the gift (and with items like a Rolex included in Finders Keepers, that minute you spent searching certainly does not go to waste!)

You can follow the clues from Charles Fish’s Finders Keepers page, have competition alerts sent to your e-mail, and find clues on their Facebook page, as well.

Good luck, beauties!

charles fish
charles fish
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neon winter outfit
It was a “give me comfort or give me death” kind of day come Day Four of London Fashion Week. Though I was one missed espresso away from heading to Somerset House in a onesie, a few super-bright pieces saved my style.

What I Wore:
Green faux fur coat, Antoni & Alison (AW12). Red beret, handmade (similar here). Neon orange jumper, Superdry. Red dress, vintage (similar here). Thigh-high boots, Boohoo. iPad case, Lodis (similar here).

neon winter outfit

lfw outfit day 1
London Fashion Week Day One was, in true balls-to-the-wall spirit, the busiest day of the week for me. With virtually enough time to get dressed before hitting Somerset House, I ended up snapping my ‘Outfit of The Day’ after rolling home in the darkness. This top by Malene Oddershede Bach has to be one of the best things I have ever worn; functional, super luxe, and printed to perfection.

What I Wore:
Top, Malene Oddershede Bach (see stockists). Black skinny jeans, Firetrap. Necklace, Stella & Dot (similar here). Boots, Boohoo.
lfw outfit day 1

Week on Instagram
Instagram (@lelalondon) – left to right, top to bottom:
1. Be nice.
2. Doing a spot of QVC presenting with Elemis.
3. Cookery class at La Porte des Indes.
4. She’s got her Winter coat on.
5. Christmas!
6. Morning face!
7. About as London as it gets.
8. Throwback Thursday: once upon a time, we added graffiti to the apartment. (White paint cures all.)
9. Tim Walker at Somerset House. Because seeing props from your favourite photo shoots in real life is priceless.