My favourite room

Bonhams Magazine

Issue 52, Autumn 2017

Page 46

When she's looking for glamour, Twiggy knows just where to go...

Brasserie Zédel has one of the most beautiful dining rooms in London, possibly in the world. It was created in the mid Thirties, in the basement of the glamorous Regent Palace Hotel, and is entirely evocative of the period. Its fortunes declined after the Second World War, and the hotel was demolished, but the spaces now occupied by the brasserie and Bar Américain were saved and reopened about five years ago.

It really has the 'Wow!' factor from the moment you enter. Leigh Lawson, my husband, and I have a favourite table in the corner, from which you can see the whole room. You almost expect to see Fred and Ginger walk – or rather dance – down the stairs. I eat simple things: I love their grated carrot and Dijon mustard starter, for example. And I like the pepper steak hache. On certain evenings they have a quartet playing – lovely.

Back in 1966, my favourite place was San Lorenzo in Knightsbridge. It was like a home from home, and is still one of my favourite restaurants. When I was a kid we didn't go out to eat at night. We might go to Lyons Corner House for a treat. But most restaurants in London in those days were Italian. Some of them are still around. Leigh and I had our first date in La Famiglia in Chelsea. That was 32 years ago...

I love art deco and art nouveau. Deco became fashionable again in the Sixties thanks largely to Barbara Hulanicki. She was a huge influence on me and my taste. I did loads of photos in Biba's landmark store in the old Derry & Toms building. She is my style icon on every level. She changed our style ethos.

I feel more connected to the Twenties than the Sixties, funnily enough. My first film The Boyfriend, directed by Ken Russell, was set in the Twenties. And so was the Gershwin musical My One and Only, which I did on Broadway. I think the period is completely romantic. And the fact that Brasserie Zédel is below ground means you are encapsulated in this incredibly wonderful ambience, lit by deco lamps and lights. It's like being in Paris. It transports you back to a different era.

I did go to La Coupole in the Sixties. I was 16 and a half when I made my first trip to Paris – I think it was for American Vogue. They photographed the clothes at night, so we always went to dinner first at 8pm before going to the studio. I remember going to one restaurant where the waiters were a bit stuck up. They asked what me what wine I wanted. We didn't drink wine in Neasden, so I asked for a Coca-Cola. The waiter looked at me and said: "What vintage, madame?"

Twiggy was the world's first supermodel and one of the faces of the Swinging Sixties. Twiggy's Collection for Marks & Spencer and her range for Specsavers are now in store

Brasserie Zédel, 20 Sherwood Street, London, W1F 7ED. Open 11.30am-midnight Mon-Sat; 11.30am-11pm Sun. +44 (0) 20 7734 4888,

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