My Vintage London - Dana Gornitzki, Editor-in-Chief, MIEN Magazine
Dana Gornitzki: I love cosy vintage events, especially the quirkier ones. The Art Car Boot Fair is a lot of fun: two picks from there are Gabberdashery and the Girls. Perhaps, not all vintage, but both definitely inspired by vintage. Again, down to the values: unique, creative, fun and nostalgic. Just my cup of tea!
The Last Tuesday Society events are a lot of fun – people get so into them so they’re heaven for admiring vintage style. The talks and art events are also very enjoyable. I am also a fan of the White Blackbird parties – such a lovely time and going out of town is such a treat.
The Vintage Guide to London: What are your favourite vintage places in London?
Dana Gornitzki: This is a tough one…I have to share two, and they’re both slightly decadent:
One of my favourite haunts is the Wolseley. Although the actual restaurant is not vintage, the building is. The setting is magnificent (it’s an old car showroom) – it feels so grand and I just adore everything about it. It’s so civilised and you never know who you’ll rub shoulders with.
Not too long ago, I saw Joan Collins (at one of the centre tables, of course), and the way she sashayed with her sunnies on as she left was beyond perfection. I recommend the coffee, and the cream tea is a real luxury. It’s the perfect place for a breakfast meeting and ideal place to take a visitor (any excuse will do!).
I’m a sucker for a good cocktail, and I have a particular fondness for hotel bars. The Savoy has a special place in my heart. Even though I’m really looking forward to the reopening (hopefully sometime later this year), I will secretly miss the old décor. The hotel has such incredible history and there are so many stories tucked away in those walls – secret trysts, stories of many cheeky cocktails shared at the American Bar…
I last went just before the hotel closed during the big auction in late 2007. Walking through the corridors and peeping into some of the more famous rooms felt like being on a film set. I was doing a radio piece for the CBC, and “accidentally” put my paddle up for an item I really loved, and ended up buying the small wood cabinet (surprisingly, a real score). It’s now in my living room so I’ll patiently wait for the reopening as I admire my little piece of the old Savoy.
The Vintage Guide to London: What’s the must-see vintage thing one has to do in London?
Dana Gornitzki: Oh, where to start? Perhaps, just walking around town and looking out for the blue plaques to see where actors, authors, and many historic figures have lived in London. I love those and always keep my eyes open for them. London is really like a living vintage installation; honestly, I often have to pinch myself just thinking of how lucky I am to live in this town, and think about how many people have walked on the same streets and lived in the buildings we just walk by.
A must see for anyone is to appreciate the city, as in the financial part of town; it is particularly fantastic – just seeing the old Bank of England (also referred to as ‘the old lady’ of Threadneedle Street!), one is surrounded by magnificent structures that have been standing there for years and have so many stories (if only the building could talk). I recommend going on a Saturday or Sunday when that part of town is sleepy – you can see and appreciate more when there are less people around.
Then, head into Shoreditch and peek around the Columbia Road Flower Market – it’s an idyllic Sunday outing and there are quite a few vintage shops in that nook of town. Oh, and the Geffrye Museum – another London gem not to be missed…