A chic guide for American women who have relocated to London, England. Find fun things like where to eat and shop, but also practical information, like author's personal recommendations for GP’s, how to navigate the Home Office, and who to call if you need an immigration lawyer. Also find a recently added “My Style” section.
I can’t believe I am writing this. 4th of July is JUST around the corner. Prep for your own BBQ by stopping by Balthazar Restaurant in Covent Garden which is going to be paying homage to its New York roots, by transforming the iconic Boulangerie into an authentic ‘American Pie shop’ on Independence Day.
Stop by the instagram-worthy pop-up and pick from a range of tasty homemade pies including the classic Key Lime, Banoffee, of course New York Cheesecake and more.
Join in the #YouGotPied fun from Monday, 2 July, for an American pie feast and a game of real-life Pie Face. Diners and pie lovers will be able to unapologetically pie their friends, loved ones and colleagues in the face with Balthazar’s take on the iconic Pie Face game, (something I know my children will love).
Enjoy in the shop with your choice of cream, ice cream or custard or pre order a large one to go, perfect for 4th July dinner party desserts.
Balthazar will continue the celebrations into the evening, with a 4th of July party hosted by US DJ Alexandra Richards, who will take to the decks and ensure guests are kept dancing all night long.
To book, please call the reservations team on 020 3301 1155 or email email@example.com.
Last month Mini-AG signed up for a triathlon. She’s a good swimmer and a great runner but when I realized that her bike riding wasn’t quite where it should be I went into a total and complete panic. We were four days out from the competition and she was super upset that she didn’t have enough time to get fast enough, and confident enough on her bike to compete.
Enter Mercedes of PopCycle. Mercedes is a fellow American Girl and after about 10 minutes of meeting her I knew that she would have Mini-AG riding in no time. She took one look at her bike and sent me to the bike shop to remove the training wheels. “We aren’t going to need these”, she said, probably seeing the fright in my eyes. Mercedes then adjusted her bike, helped find the perfect helmet, and off they went.
I’ve since come to learn that a number of people at our school have used Mercedes too. (Side note- why does no one feel like they can SHARE these great recommendations with other moms?! I guess that’s why I’m here…)
This is the thing, more power to you and your Husband if you can teach your kids how to ride a bike without tears, screaming and the ultimate feeling of defeat. (I am talking about me not the child). But if you need assistance, and want to get an incredibly confident bike rider in the end, then I would call Mercedes.
Mercedes works with all levels, so whether you’re a beginner or would like to get your child better at biking on the roads, she can help you. She trains in Battersea Park, Bishops Park, Regents Park, Holland Park and many more. You can also purchase different packages of classes, and train individually or in a group.
When triathlon day came Mini-AG did wonderfully with her biking and I was so proud to watch her finish the race!!
To read more about Popcycle and to book on to a course, click here.
I was introduced to Rachel of the Canine Country Club when we had just got our new puppy, Copper. I had an emergency in Los Angeles and in the middle getting Copper adjusted to our home, I was going to have to leave him. I was devastated and had no idea what to do, worried that my late nights and early mornings of trying to house-train Copper were going to go completely to waste if I sent him away to a kennel.
Thankfully Rachel put my mind at complete ease. I knew that the facilities were incredible from a fellow dog-mom, but I was so surprised by the personal level of service I received from Rachel and her team. Copper had to be gone for almost four weeks. Rachel took Copper’s crate with her, and followed my Gina Ford for dogs schedule to a tee.
I received daily videos or photos from Copper bounding in the fields with his new friends, and having a total blast. The Canine Country Club is located in the gorgeous Devon countryside so there is plenty of room for the pups to roam. Because Copper was just a puppy he wasn’t able to enjoy the beach walks or hydrotherapy sessions, but I am sure he will get to join on those very soon.
There are several different “suites” you can choose from, and the prices start at about £31 per day. Better yet, there is a door to door chauffeur service, so getting your pup to the Canine Country Club is a breeze.
If you are traveling this summer, I couldn’t recommend Rachel highly enough. Copper came back completely house trained, and a very happy puppy.
Get in touch with Rachel on 01288 331 216 or at Rachel@CanineCountryClub.co.uk. Learn more about the Canine Country Club, here.
I can’t believe to begin to describe how much fun I had this weekend. Sky News called me a few months ago and asked if I would commentate on the Royal Wedding, being an American in London, they wanted my take on Meghan and Harry! I squealed when I got oft the phone, and was so thrilled to get to be part of the action.
I arrived in Windsor on Friday morning and waited two hours to get my press accreditation. The crowds had already been lining the streets for days, waiting patiently to get a glimpse of the royal couple. I then went back on Friday evening to discuss the Saturday morning papers in two live segments from the castle grounds. Being on the grounds of Windsor, with the castle all lit up in the night sky and with the flower arch still being put together over St George’s Chapel was an experience I will never forget.
Royal Wedding - YouTube
I was able to watch the wedding at home on Saturday (we through a big party, naturally) and then went back down to Windsor Castle on Sunday morning to talk all about the wedding on air. Even though the wedding was over, there was still an incredible buzz in the air. Sarah Hewson, the Sky News Presenter, even pulled Mini-AG on air to get her opinion on the wedding of the year! Something for her to tell her friends for years to come.
Royal Wedding - YouTube
So lets break it ALL down.
I’ve had my doubts about good old Meghan Markle and her sparkle. The drama that ensued in the run up to her wedding made me cringe. But no matter how you feel about her, she looked incredible on her wedding day. The dress by Clare Waight Keller, the first woman to lead the house of Givenchy, was elegant, modern and simply stunning. The veil was hand embroidered to represent flowers from all 53 states of the Commonwealth and also included the California poppy. The tiara, from the Queen’s collection was worn by one of my favorite Royals, Princess Margaret, and it did indeed sparkle, just like Meghan.
We always knew Meghan was going to put her stamp on the wedding, but this was her show. In a hugely significant moment, Meghan walked herself down the aisle, vowed to honor, but not obey, and stole both American and British hearts doing it.
Reverend Michael Curry gave am impassioned speech about love, and one of the best parts of the service was watching the Brits squirm in their seats and he shouted and gesticulated, almost knocking the candles off the podium at one point. (Loved his sermon, but he maybe could have brought his tone down a notch for the Queen and her posse of stiff upper lipped royals?!)
The gospel choir sang “Stand by Me” and if you didn’t get chills when all that went down, I am not quite sure if you are human or not.
Finally, in what everyone is calling “The James Bond moment” the Harry and Meghan proceeded to get into a 1968 jaguar and drive to their reception, a party we wished we were all invited to. Meghan’s second dress, a bespoke Stella McCartney, was another lesson in effortless beauty.
I loved every single second of watching and reporting on this incredible day. I don’t think there will be another one like it for a generation. Thanks to all of you for your kind words on my instagram and for tuning in!
Congratulations to the new Duke and Duchess of Sussex. We are all going to have fun watching you!
My bedroom is one of my absolute favorite rooms in our house. Our headboard was designed by a friend a while ago but Caitlin Henderson took the gorgeous Bennison roses and ran with it. If you’ve seen my other posts about the house you know I LOVE color, and bringing in a dash of green with the hot pink and reds worked perfectly.
Caitlin designed the stools, curtains and helped me choose the palest textured gray wallpaper to really make everything pop. It was particularly fun visiting a ribbon shop (yes, there’s a shop just for ribbons!) in Soho to pick out the stripes for the curtains. Something I would never have been able to do on my own! Caitlin then worked to design the perfect throw pillows to pull everything together.
Another thing that I really needed help with was to maximize my closet space. Caitlin worked with my contractor to add additional closets and now all of my wardrobe is organized to perfection.
A little more about Caitlin. With a degree from the University of California, Los Angeles in Art History and Spanish, Caitlin’s love of travel and art takes a forefront in each project. She works with global artisans as well as emerging and established artists to develop entirely unique spaces complete with handmade textiles, textured wall finishes and site specific art installations.
Caitlin began her career at Victoria Hagan Interiors in New York City. Before establishing her own firm, Caitlin worked under the celebrated architect Peter Marino for 7 years and served as the director of his London office for 3 years. In 2014, Caitlin founded Caitlin Henderson Design in London.
Clients from New York to Switzerland have commissioned Caitlin to design their homes and retail spaces. All of her clients trust her clean, elevated aesthetic, and willingness to embrace their personal taste. (She helped me create the perfect sitting room which you can see here.) Caitlin’s current projects include a 7 bedroom waterfront home in Saint-Tropez, France and the fashion brand Escada’s flagship store in Dusseldorf, Germany.
I’ve been dying to share the gorgeous illustrations by my dear friend, Camilla Vickers, for a very long time.
Camilla creates the most beautiful drawings, completely customizable to your liking. The girl can do absolutely anything you want and has created personalized wall art, invitations, menus, children’s rocking chairs, and much more. Her illustrations are whimsical, sweet and make the absolute perfect gift.
After studying illustration as part of her degree, and graduating with First Class Honors from the London College of Fashion, Camilla had a successful career in the film industry working on major feature films as a Textile Artist. Finally returning to her illustration roots in the Summer of 2015, she is now back doing what she loves best!
I have so many friends who have commissioned creations from her, and I couldn’t keep her a secret any longer. To get in touch with Camilla, email her at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit her website here.
My son is only 6, but he is already smelly. There, I said it. I can’t even imagine, although I have been told by moms with older boys, that when puberty hits, it’s all smells from there. Furthermore, these poor teenage boys have nothing specifically designed for them, to clean their face, bodies, clear up pimples and of course, make them smell better.
Enter my good friend, Stephanie Capuano, a fellow California girl who has created an amazing new brand of skincare with her own sons in mind. Steph says, “Inspired by my upbringing in sunny, optimistic and innovative California, 31st State is a new range of natural skin, hair and body care products developed specifically for teenage boys. An antidote to all the chemically-pumped products on the market and designed with these Gen Z boys in mind, it captures the essence of Effortless California Clean — without the harmful chemicals but aspirational enough for these image-obsessed, digitally native, gorgeous guys.”
Soon after launching 31st State, the brand is already winning awards and being stocked at major online retailers. Her “Overnight Clearing Pads” just won “best new male grooming product” at the Global Beauty Awards in Dubai this month.
Formulated to combat congested skin and spots, the clearing pads are packed with lactic acid, manuka and tea tree oil to reduce the appearance of enlarged pores, remove surface dirt and oil to reveal clearer skin. Magnesium, copper and zinc help to regulate excess sebum production whilst preventing future blemishes.
Stephanie tells me, “With the rise of clean beauty and Generation Z at the forefront of this cultural change, we have found that natural products like ours are becoming increasingly popular for males as well as females. The analogy I would draw is that concerned, informed mothers wouldn’t go to the market and pick the iceberg lettuce at the bottom of the barrel — they now shop at the farmers market for fresh kale, knowing it’s the healthier choice for their kids. Why should choosing products for their bodies be any different?”
Hi everyone! I’m so sorry for the lack of posting recently. I’m working on a really exciting project that I can’t wait to share with you, and it is taking up quite a bit of time. But until I can tell you all about that, I have another casting call for ALL you REAL AMERICAN ladies living in London.
A leading beauty brand is looking for a handful of women to star in a television commercial which will be filmed in mid-March. The casting is going on right now so if you, or any of your friends are interested now is the time.
The brand is looking for all-natural American ladies who are aged between 22 and 65, and any and all ethnicities. The money you make will be significant and you’ll have a great experience. Models and actresses need not apply.
If you’re interested please email your picture and a little bit about yourself to Anna at email@example.com. Mention that you read about the casting on American Girl in Chelsea.
A leading beauty brand is looking for American moms with babies between 1-10 months (or within that age range) who are living in or near London for a really lovely commercial.
The moms must be American (this will air in the States). The casting will be in London in early February 2018.
It is a very well paid opportunity for those selected for the filming and also lots of fun!!
If you, or anyone you meets these requirements and are interested please email Anna at firstname.lastname@example.org with a picture of you and your baby, along with your baby’s date of birth, and your contact number. Don’t forget to mention that you read about the opportunity on American Girl in Chelsea.
P.S The beauty brand is also looking for Brazilian moms who speak Portuguese, so if you know anyone pass this on!
When I tell friends that I took my children (plus 7 other children, and their moms of course) to Ibiza they tend to look at me funny. “You took your kids to Ibiza?” Yes, yes I did. And it ended up being a major highlight of everyone’s summer.
People automatically think that Ibiza is for late night clubbing and bad hangovers but you can definitely do the White Isle in a family friendly way. And I’m here to tell you how.
The first thing to do is find a family friendly villa. We ended up finding one on Airbnb that had a treehouse, swimming pool, trampoline and enough space for the kids to play and the grown-ups to chill out with glass of rosé . My tip here is to start looking early. If you’re going to Ibiza in July or August most places will be booked by the Spring. (If you’re interested in the specific villa we stayed in, shoot me an email and I’ll put you in touch with the owner.)
The majority of our days were spent lunching on the beach. There are several places to do this and I am happy to report that every restaurant that we went to was super kid friendly. I would recommend long lunches followed by beach time and then easy villa dinners for the evenings. Obviously you’ll want to take a break from the kiddos, so make sure you also get a sitter for a few nights. (Recommendations for adult only options below.)
Delicious seafood, an ice cream trolly and kids area all conveniently located directly on the water, this lunch spot was a huge hit. The restaurant is directly facing the ocean so if you have one of the tables or couches that are located near the front of the restaurant then you can watch your children as they swim in the ocean. Meaning- hours of relaxing, while the kids are having fun! There’s also a kids area in the back of the restaurant where there was a face painter and members of staff to color with the kids.
Yemanja is super casual and directly on the beach as well. This is great for large tables of friends and family in a relaxed environment. There’s less beach for the kids to play on, so it’s great to go for lunch with the kids but not necessarily to stay all day. The staff are super kid friendly and the fresh sea food is great for both the adults and children.
A must book for lunch. El Chiringuito is a family friendly beach restaurant with a spot for kids to have face painted and color. The actual restaurant does not have a direct view of the beach, and is enclosed which is nice if you need a break from the sunshine. There are sunbeds located on the beach in front of the restaurant that you can book separately. If you like oysters make sure to grab the guy walking around with fresh ones. There’s also great trees in the back of the restaurant that the kids loved climbing.
Juan Y Andrea
You absolutely can’t go to Ibiza without doing a boat day to Formenterra, and one of the best restaurants on the island is Juan y Andrea. The food is incredible (be prepared, it’s pricey), and it was the best service we had the entire trip. There are photographers at almost every single restaurant in Ibiza but the family photos that we took by the ladies at Juan y Andrea are some of my favorites of all time, so make sure you ask them to take some snaps of you and your children. After your lunch, order another bottle of rosé, the guys will put it on ice for you and you can spend a long lazy afternoon laying on the beach watching the kids swim in crystal blue water.
If you’re going just with adults, I would book a sunbed and hang out at Experimental Beach ALL DAY. If you have kids in tow, go at sunset. We ordered pizzas for the kids and watched as the sky turned golden pink. The moms of course had cocktails.
A note on the taxi situation in Ibiza. They are pretty impossible to flag, and they are perpetually late so plan accordingly. Order a taxi to pick you up at your villa and then specify a time for return. If you call one on the fly, be prepared to wait.
If, like me, you hate house music but still want to get to a night club, try Pascha’s Flower Power night. You’ll be transported back to the 60’s with the music and the decor. This is also a really fun one to dress up for, so pack your flower crowns!
We’re already booking the same trip for next July and I can’t wait to go back.