Psst…London Top Tastemakers Reveal Their Pro Picks!

Without sounding too much like the Dowager Countess, it really is hard to find good help these days. Like, where do you go when you rip your favourite Carven dress? Who can help when you've got an impromptu dinner party staring you down? And where, oh where, can you turn for quality, professional repairs without being completely ripped off?
All you had to do was ask, darling. We quizzed some of London's top tastemakers for their insider tips on where to go to get things done right in the Big Smoke. From Grace Dent's go-to food market to Caroline Issa's preferred tailor, these are all the services the pros swear by. And hey, if it's good enough for them, it's good enough for us!
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Alice Stone, creative director of Lily and Lionel

“The first thing I do every day is put on the jewellery that belonged to my grandmother Lily, whom Lily and Lionel is named after. Each piece is priceless to me, so if ever I need something to be fixed I go straight to Tzefira, a jewellery boutique in north London. The owner, Stephanie Lewis, is a dear friend of mine, so I know my jewellery is in good hands until it’s returned to mine! And whilst I’m there dropping off my jewellery, I might just pick up something new.”

Tzefira, 87 The Broadway, Mill Hill, NW7 3TG, 020 8906 9933

Photos: Courtesy of Alice Stone (left) and Tzefira (right)
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Amber Atherton, My Flash Trash founder and designer

"Chic, sleek and super-fast, I'm obsessed with Uber, the new car service! Perfect for rolling up to any event and the car always has fresh bottled water and the latest copy of Forbes."

Photos: Courtesy of My Flash Trash (left) and Uber (right)
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Brix Smith-Start, owner of Start London, TV presenter, and pet owner

"My favourite online pet store is PetsPyjamas. But, my dogs love to have a bath more than anything. When I bathe Gladys and Pixie, I use John Frieda!"

Photos: Courtesy of Start London (left) and PetsPyjamas.com (right)
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Caroline Issa, Tank fashion director

"Invisible Mending is amazing at fixing holes in jackets, trousers, etc. It's like there are elves to mend the holes you didn't think you could ever repair! Also, McQueens Florist is amazing at putting together and delivering fantastic bouquets for all occasions. I know the bouquet will always be spectacular for whatever budget I give them!"

Invisible Mending, 32 Thayer Street, W1U 2QT, 020 7487 4292; McQueens, 70-72 Old Street, EC1V 9AN, 020 7251 5505

Photos: Courtesy of Mark Iantosca for Refinery29 (left) and McQueens (right)
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Emily Johnston, blogger at Fashion Foie Gras

"There are two stores that I'm continually recommending to friends from abroad and London natives alike - Designs in Hampstead Heath (shown) and Pandora Dress Agency in Knightsbridge. I call them my hidden gems as a good portion of the designer garments hanging in my closet have been sourced from these designer resellers. You'll be hard-pressed to find better deals anywhere in town. You'll discover past and current seasons in store. It's a hunt but worth the effort!"

Pandora Dress Agency, 16-22 Cheval Place, SW7 1ES, 020 7589 5289; and Designs, 60 Rosslyn Hill, NW3 1ND, 020 7435 0100

Photos: Courtesy of Emily Johnston (left) and Erin Donnelly (right)
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Grace Dent, restaurant critic for London Evening Standard

"I'll say the Umai by Japan Centre. It's slightly hidden away around a corner on the lower ground floor of Westfield Stratford. They have a hot Japanese deli counter with amazing tempura, fresh gyoza, katzu curry, and sushi. You can also pick up sliced sashimi-grade fresh fish and everything to make your own sushi. You could throw an entire, wholly authentic Japanese dinner party by filling one basket if the mood took you."

Umai, 1 Fresh Food, Great Eastern Market, Westfield Stratford City. E20 1GL, 020 3405 2394

Photos: Courtesy of Grace Dent (left) and Umai (right)
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Melissa and Jasmine Hemsley, food writers, cooks, and consultants for Hemsley & Hemsley

"When it comes to milk it has to be Hook & Son. This family team makes real milk: unpasteurised, unhomogenised, full-fat, grass-fed milk, with cream on top just like back in the day. If we can get down to Borough Market early and beat the tourists, we’ll snatch up two litres of their delicious full-fat milk and a pot of their thick raw cream, as these are the only versions worth eating. If you have family and friends who also want to get their hands on proper organic milk, butter, and cream, then you can mail-order direct from the farm to your door."

Photos: Courtesy of Hemsley & Hemsley (left) and Erin Donnelly (right)
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Janina Joffe, director of East of Mayfair online gallery

"For affordable and fast framing, I would recommend Ray's Glass and Frames on Hackney Road (shown). For more high-end, fine art framing, I would go with this little hidden framer, Roberts & Stearn on Greatorex Street, or Uisliu Campbell."

Ray's Glass and Frames, 120 Hackney Road, E2 7QS, 020 7739 0580; Roberts & Stearn, Unit 2A, 8-10 Greatorex Street, E1 5NF, 020 7392 9652

Photos: Courtesy of Eva K. Salvi for Refinery29 (left) and Erin Donnelly (right)
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Katie Franklin, Pomp De Franc baker

"Party Party in Dalston sells every cake thing imaginable...from sprays to sprinkles to mini people and the house-sized iced cake."

Party Party Dalston, 9-13 Ridley Road, E8 2NP, 020 7254 5168

Photos: Courtesy of Phill Taylor for Refinery29 (left) and Erin Donnelly (right)
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Michelle Bobb-Parris, street style photographer

"The clever people behind the all-round wardrobe service Vault Couture have thought of everything. I tried out their services for myself, having an online catalogue of my wardrobe made, and experienced for myself the fun and convenience of planning outfits on the go and keeping track of what I already have when I went shopping via their app. Whether you need something bite-sized like a wardrobe detox or styling sessions, to digitizing your entire closet, or the more extensive warehousing, and international courier service—yes, Vault Couture can even send that dress you forgot to pack for your holiday—there is something for everyone’s closet (and budget!). Vault Couture even has an e-boutique where you can buy and sell unwanted items, or discover rare and recent-season designer gems."

Photos: Courtesy of Kate Cox for Refinery29 (left) and Vault Couture (right).
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Ravinder Bhogal, author of Cook in Boots

"SeeWoo is a supermarket for the truly modern British pantry. It is a treasure trove of lychees, lotus roots, bumpy bitter gourds, and every type of exciting oriental green and herb you could imagine that goes well beyond pak choi and coriander. There is an awe-inspiring seafood counter—take your pick from razor clams and whelks, or order one of the live fish, lobsters, or crabs from the tanks. There is also a vault of isles filled with dry goods from all over Asia—Thai, Japanese, Burmese, Malaysian, and Chinese condiments, spices and sauces, spring roll wrappers, and curious sweets and jellies as well as the more familiar essentials like peanut butter and flour. You can also stock up on housewares, rice cookers, plastic and ceramic plates and bowls, teapots and woks, and the refrigerated section holds an array of frozen dumplings. If you don't know the language though, prepare to by mystified, since some signs aren't translated into English. My kitchen cupboard has been happily improved by some fortuitous lucky dipping into the unknown."

SeeWoo, Furlong House, Horn Lane, Greenwich, SE10 0RT, 0208 293 939; and 18-20 Lisle Street, WC2H 7BE, 0207 439 8325

Photos: Courtesy of Ravinder Bhogal (left) and SeeWoo (right)
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Vivek Singh, executive chef at The Cinnamon Club, Cinnamon Kitchen, and Cinnamon Soho

"I love Neal's Yard Dairy at Borough Market. I sometimes go over to their warehouses in Bermondsey under the railway arches and it's a whole different world out there! I particularly love the Colsten Bassett Blue Stilton and Berkswell. When they are ripe and ready, it's hard to beat them."

Neal's Yard Dairy, 6 Park Street, SE1 9AB, 020 7367 0799; and 17 Shorts Gardens, WC2H 9AT, 020 7240 5700

Photos: Courtesy of The Cinnamon Club (left) and Neal's Yard Dairy (right)
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