Where to eat in London, according to its top models

For models, there is more Fashion Week than walking on a track or two. The days begin in the early hours, with multiple mergers, fittings and shows that accumulate in 24 hours; of course, they must stay well fed. CNN asked four models where he likes to eat in London during fashion week and how to spend his free time in the city – if they have any.

Sam Rollinson

Born in Doncaster, England, Sam Rollinson shot campaigns for Burberry, Balenciaga, Mulberry and Chanel Beauty, and appeared on the cover of Harper’s Bazaar UK, Japan, Singapore and Serbia. In recent years he has worked for brands such as Chanel, Hermes, Dior and Emilia Wickstead.

What is life like for you during the fashion weeks? What day is typical?

It’s pretty busy: normally I have some casting or accessories to go to, so in the evening there are a lot of fun parties to go to. So I will go home, get ready quickly, then go out to meet my friends and have a well-deserved champagne!

How important is good food to you in this period?

I am a true gourmet, so good food is important to me at all times. But that’s especially true during fashion week when you’re busy all day, so you really need your energy.

What is your favorite place to eat in London and why?

It should be my local gastropub, The Gatehouse. It has a really relaxing atmosphere and the food is incredible. I have good memories there with my boyfriend, my friends and my family.

Do you have a favorite dish?

Chocolate fudge is my all-time favorite. I can never resist on a menu.

Any other tips for the city?

Go to Parliament Hill in Hampstead Heath – you can admire a wonderful view of the city among the trees and, on a rare sunny day, you can take a dip in the ponds of Hampstead Heath or at Parliament Hill Lido.

Pixie Geldof

Born and raised in London, Pixie Geldof is a model, singer and DJ. A current face of Miu Miu, he covered the part of Elle UK and Tatler and walked for Ashley Williams and Pringle of Scotland at London Fashion Week earlier this year. He also walked and ran campaigns for House of Holland.

What is life like for you during the fashion weeks? What day is typical?

It can be busy and full. If I’m walking for shows, it’s about running from one venue to another in time to get ready before the shows and work with the designers. If I’m watching the shows, it’s a little quieter because I love to see what my favorite designers created that season. It is so wonderful to see everything come to life.

How important is good food to you in this period?

Well, I have to say that good food is important to me all the time!

What is your favorite place to eat in London and why?

I love Pharmacy in Notting Hill, West London. They create the most delicious plant-based dishes in town. If they are in the city center, it must be Hello Beautiful. It is the not so secret gem that everyone loves.

Do you have a favorite dish?

I must say that it would be the avocado vinaigrette, followed by the most delicious spaghetti with garlic and Ciao Bella oil.

Any other tips for the city?

Columbia Road Flower MarkeIt is a fantastic way to spend Sunday mornings and afternoons. Other than that, it should be Hampstead Heath. It is incredibly magical.

Miss Fame

Miss Fame is a Californian model, make-up artist, singer and drag artist, who became famous as a competitor in RuPaul’s Drag Race in 2015. She appeared in Vogue Germany, LOVE, Elle and V Magazine, became a spokesperson for L’Oréal in 2016 and performed at the opening parade of the Spring 2019 ceremony at New York Fashion Week.

What is life like for you during the fashion weeks? What day is typical?

Life during fashion week has always been intensely immersive. It is time to present yourself at the highest levels, where everything must be perfectly detailed.

I start the morning before, presetting my makeup kit, washing the brushes, spreading my gaze and confirming the direction of the hair. Upon awakening, I drink two glasses of water back to back, eat an entire avocado and prepare my skin for an hour. It is a methodical process.

So the time seems to run out and I start to feel the rush – that’s where the nails are finally glued to the machine. Then I arrive at the show, I pose for the press releases and I am accompanied to my place to drink in the extraordinary details.

How important is good food to you in this period?

As mentioned, I start with extremely healthy foods in the morning: a green juice, water, a tomato or avocado with olive oil and salt or muesli and almond milk. I never want to feel heavy, especially while wearing a steel boned corset for hours. So as soon as I get back to my hotel or apartment, I usually go with a red sauce sauce. My favorite foods for post shows are generally Italian.

What is your favorite place to eat in London and why?

I’m not very familiar with London restaurants – I’ve been a few times over the years, but I don’t know if I still have a favorite. I need someone to show me places to go for good Vietnamese pho or vegan restaurants.

Do you have a favorite dish?

Actually I prefer desserts. I love sweets. Anything in the oven makes me happy, and I usually can’t and won’t finish dinner without looking at the extensive menu. If I had to choose a treatment, I would say carrot cake Baker in Greenpoint, Brooklyn.

Any other tips for the city?

When I travel I always ask my local friends where they suggest what I want. It is the best way to discover amazing restaurants away from home.

Hélène Selam Kleih

London-based Hélène Selam Kleih is a writer and activist as well as a model. He founded his own publishing house, Prosperitee Press, and launched an anthology on male mental health entitled HIM + HIS. Kleih has also appeared in campaigns for Dior and Stella McCartney, and has walked for Vivienne Westwood, Pam Hogg, Mowalola and Charles Jeffrey Loverboy.

What is life like for you during the fashion weeks? What day is typical?

It can be a manic dash for back-to-back casting, but also a waiting game – waiting to hear when the customer can see you and queue for casting, staging and parties. Every fashion week is full and every old fashion friend shows up. The program is crazy but it is also so fun if you are with the right people.

Normally I have to balance casting with writing, event planning and the administrator HIM + HIS (an anthology created by Kleih on men’s mental health), but I let the book take a step back in what will always be a busy week. Never make stone plans with anyone, you will always be late at the table.

How important is good food to you in this period?

It is essential to have a balance of protein, vegetables and carbohydrates to keep you full and fed for a busy day. I can’t cope with hunger and I don’t know when I can stop and take a break. I’d rather snack on myself, like hard-boiled eggs or a whole carrot with a little salt. I love Haribo but obviously I don’t want that sugar drop, so I carry around mini packs for when I’m really running out of energy and I just want a surprise.

What is your favorite place to eat in London and why?

Eat Tokyo – has the freshest and also the cheapest sushi. They also do a quick takeaway if you need to eat on the go and have a few branches scattered around London, so you’re never too far from a restaurant.

Do you have a favorite dish?

Tuna sashimi, if you haven’t already guessed it, with a seaweed salad and a miso soup. Or a chirashi don or a sashimi bento box. Plus, it’s just a treat for my favorite: fresh mussels for love.

Any other tips for the city?

As for transportation, jump on the tube! Always check if it’s faster to take the underground or take an Uber: London is huge and sometimes it can take forever to get anywhere by car, especially in traffic. As for the party, follow smaller pubs and bars in Soho and East London. Bigger fashion parties are fun to start the evening, but grab your best friends and go to a club afterwards for a proper chill.

Anisha Sandhu

Anisha Sandhu

Anisha Sandhu Credit: Mary Kang / The Society Management.

Anisha Sandhu, from Ontario, Canada, is a new face in the fashion month, making her catwalk debut for Alexander Wang in June. Since then, he has walked through Prabal Gurung and R13 and shot with the famous photographers Mert Alaş and Marcus Piggott. Sandhu also works as a freelance stylist along with her modeling work.

What is life like for you during the fashion weeks? What day is typical?

A typical day for me during fashion week usually starts with breakfast in the morning and then rushes out the door for a full day of casting and staging or a show. When I get home, I am so exhausted that I prepare dinner and go to bed by 10 pm, since I am someone who needs at least nine hours of sleep to get ready for the next day again. Since this is my first season, I am really having so much fun, as these are some of the few rare weeks that I have a pretty consistent routine – and I love fast paced.

How important is good food to you in this period?

Good food is always important to me, but especially during the fashion month when I need as much energy as possible. If I don’t eat healthy, nutrient-dense foods, I can’t function properly and well enough to get through the day. Usually I try to cook the food in advance so that when I get home exhausted at the end of the day, I don’t have to worry about doing anything, but I also like to cook and try new recipes, so if I’m not too tired I can’t wait to prepare dinner and find it therapeutic.

What is your favorite place to eat in London and why?

My absolute favorite place to eat in London is this vegan Ethiopian place called Andu Cafe in Dalston. I stumbled across it when I was on a lunch break, and it was the first time I have tried Ethiopian food before. For just £ 5, you get a huge sharing dish that has different types of vegetable dishes with rice or injera, which is a type of bread. It’s such a simple restaurant and it reminded me a lot of how my mom cooks Indian food at home, which is why I found it so comforting. The food is so tasty and healthy that my mouth is watering just thinking about it!

Do you have a favorite dish?

I always get the sharing dish with rice, and since it is for two people, I usually eat half and then keep the rest for dinner. I once had the whole sharing plate in one sitting and, for the rest of the afternoon, I was in a coma with food while working.

Any other tips for the city?

Get an Oyster Card, spend a day at the National Gallery, always bring a jacket or sweater with you and, if you can, try to stay away from the main tourist areas such as Piccadilly Circus. Instead, stroll to other areas such as Camden or take a day trip to Brighton.

The words of the models have been changed for length and clarity.

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