Serena Crawford.
Serena Crawford.
Image: Supplied

Building everyone should visit: Istanbul’s Hagia Sophia. I wrote my thesis on it.

Tech: My iPhone. I thank Steve Jobs every day for how he changed my life. Let’s start with WhatsApp: I get to speak for hours to people I love around the world for free. It’s life-changing.

Beauty balms: I love Sisley and Clarins — Clarins Double Serum and Sisley Sisleÿa Radiance Anti-Aging Concentrate in particular — as they both use plant extracts. No one does any of this better than the French. I love Dior and Chanel makeup.

Drink of choice: San Pellegrino in its green, glass bottle… very, very cold.

Restaurants: I dream of Bistro Moncur, Sean’s Panorama, and Fratelli Paradiso in Sydney; 5 Hertford Street in London; and Willoughby & Co in Cape Town.

An item I’ve had for years and still love: An Etro multicoloured coat.

Essential furniture item: Sofa first; everything else second. Commission a top upholsterer to make you the best, sprung-edged, proper depth, and proper rake sofa you can afford. Use the best fabric to make a loose cover. You may need to involve an interior designer of the old school in its design. It will last forever and change your life.

Listening to: Spotify is a game changer. I adore musical scores from films. My new favourite is W/E by Abel Korzeniowski.

Favourite city: London. It’s totally interesting because it is the world in one city. I love diversity. I love its grandeur and its grunge. I love its reverence for history and culture. I love it in every season. I’m never bored. Also, the world’s artists come to London and I love theatre, ballet, music, and art. I love the parks. I love that there is always a new area to discover.

Rejuvenated by: Going on a meditation retreat for two weeks in the Eastern Cape twice a year. It’s my lifeline.

Fridge essentials: Organic yoghurt and free-range eggs from Babylonstoren. I drive to Franschhoek especially for them. I’m trying to eat only produce from farms where I know the cows and chickens are treated well. Plus, the yoghurt is wonderful.

Indulgence that is impossible to forgo: A massage once a week. I have an excellent masseur in every port. As I get off a plane, I have a session.

Person who’s got my attention: Jordan Peterson. This obsession started six months ago and hasn’t abated. I read 12 Rules for Life, then I went to a lecture of his in London, then I started to read all his books. Now I’m listening to his YouTube lectures. I think he is completely brilliant, fascinating, and life-changing.

Dream dinner-party guests: My daughters, but if I have to get fancy, I’d choose funny and interesting people. Oscar Wilde because he was reportly spell-bindingly funny and articulate. Diana Vreeland — a hilarious, original thinker — and Karl Lagerfeld to discuss his diet and how he lost all that weight. And, he was incredibly witty with fashion gossip. Then, alive — Jordan Peterson — though the problem is, I’d want to talk only to him. Oprah (I’ve always wanted to meet her) and Michelle Obama, Hillary Clinton, and Theresa May. Hopefully, I could get their take on what the hell is going on in the world.

What makes me happiest: My daughters and watching their fascinating lives unfold. And, most importantly, when I take action and do what I say I’m going to do. When I live through action and with integrity.

Watching: The Crown was my absolute favourite. I’ve already rewatched it. And Mad Men and Deadwood were completely brilliant. When I was in Scotland for two weeks I watched Outlander every night. Plus, I hate to admit it, but I love Real Housewives of Beverly Hills and Southern Charm too.

Book, album, and luxury item to take to a desert island: A down pillow would be an essential if I were to be happy. Or even a down-cushioned, spring-edged sofa? The Ladies in Lavender soundtrack album would do. And surely it would have to be a book on how to build a boat? Practicalities abandoned, I’d choose War and Peace.

The artist I’m keeping my eye on: My daughter Clementine Teniqua Crawford, who has been commissioned to do a giant triptych titled Whippet for the chicest new restaurant in New York, American Bar. She does edgy work and brilliant portraits.

Style icon: For clothes, creative director Giovanna Engelbert and British Vogue deputy editor and fashion features editor, Sarah Harris. For South African décor: Cécile & Boyd, Stephen Falcke, and Ineke Henderson.

From the May edition of Wanted 2019.

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