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Katie Antoniou talks to Gisele 'Goddess Guide' Scanlon about her new book and an ideal day in London

Gisèle Scanlon (aka The Goddess Guide) is equivalent to Madonna in the book world; she requires no introduction (apart from this one, obviously). Following on from a successful career in journalism, (she has covered among other things the international catwalk seasons for years) she went on to set up the cult Goddess Guide book brand and within the short space of two years, she has collected a fan base of media admirers and millions of readers both in Europe and the US with the incredible success of her bestselling lifestyle bible The Goddess Guide. This week she’s released her second book The Goddess Experience (The Goddess Guide II) in flexiback (just in time for Valentines Day) and stuffed with more than 1001 micro-pleasures , large and small, for all budgets; it’s guaranteed to lift your mood in 2010.

So where has she suddenly sprung from? She doesn't have her own blog but that hasn't stopped her being elevated to cult status among fashion folk and bloggers. She usually surfaces during fashion weeks and flits incognito between the fashion world and the underground street art scene where she taught herself to paint and draw. she’s 100% Irish with her own original style and a killer interview technique (famous interviewees include Renee Zellweger, John Galliano, Vivienne Westwood, Damien Hirst etc.). Fearless yet endearing in her books she guides the reader through what to wear, eat, shop, visit etc to achieve their inner goddess; including location specific sections dedicated to some of the most inspirational cities in the world. I caught up with her and asked her, in London where she most likes to:

Eat breakfast

Depends Katie…mainly my local, E Pellicci, 332 Bethnal Green Road. It’s a little old style caff run by an Italian family and Nevio (the owner) has an autograph book stuffed with signed pictures of soap stars, actors and the odd Page 3 girl (or ten). The artists Gilbert and George take breakfast here which is kind of an added bonus. If I’m in town I’ll go to The Wolseley, 160 Picadilly, ... really beautiful building and they do a great Birchermüesli and coffee and all types of different breakfast treats including my fave porridge (great afternoon tea here too). Recently I had a really great brekkie with my friend Tom at Shoreditch House. I had poached eggs. coffee and porridge. Did I mention my love affair with porridge? And Shoredtich House has the added bonus of the sounds and scent of a roaring open fire, it reminds me of my parent’s farm in southwest of Ireland where I grew up (the bottom left bit of the map of Ireland). Breakfast while sitting in huge leather chairs, next to a crackling fire at Shoreditch House is simply amazy!

See Some Art
I’m a child of the Street Art community and not many people know that. All those dudes have artistic supa-powers and it’s from these guys that I learnt to paint and draw. They’re my friends and luckily artistic super heroes; The London Police ...
(Ashton Kutchner and Demi buy their work), D*Face (...) (Christina Aguilera buys loads of him) Faile ... (everyone buys Faile) Asbestos ... (Massive Attack own some of his work as does Irvine Welsh). David Choe (highly collectable by everyone). Shepard Fairey aka Obey ... did the Barack Obama Hope portrait and I have some huge pieces of his. I mainly go to galleries and street art shows because I know the artists and the parties are pretty banging afterwards. My favourite galleries are Elms Lesters Painting Rooms, 1-3-5 Flitcroft St, London, WC2H ... (look out for shows by Adam Neate, Jose Parla, and Anthony Lister).
Stolen Space, Dray Walk, The Old Truman Brewery , 91 Brick Lane, London E1 (tel: +44 (0) 207 247 2684, ...) Look for shows by D*Face, Chloe Early, Charles Kraft, Miss Van, The London Police.)
Lazarides Gallery, 11 Rathbone Place, London W1T 1HR
(tel: + 44 (0) 207 636 5443, ... (Look for shows by Conor Harrington, David Choe, Faile, Space Invader, Anthony Michalef and Polly Morgan’s wicked taxidermied animals.)

Browse a market
For food Borough Market, 8 Southwark Street, London SE1 ... (nearest tube London Bridge) is my fave. Nicholas Kirkwood the shoe designer loves this place to death too. There’s a place in Borough Market called The Wright Brothers Oyster and Porter House, 11Stoney Street, Borough Market (tel: +44 (0) 207 403 9554). It’s around the corner from Nicholas’s shoe studio and he introduced me to the wasabi oysters which are really mint.
I also like to schlep up to Columbia Road Flower Market between 8am-2pm on Sundays. Apart from the lovely flowers, there’s Rob Ryan’s shop Ryan Town, 126 Columbia Road, London E2 7RG (tel: +44 (0) 20 7613 1510 ...) which sell his papercuts and after a few hours browsing, a styrafoam cup of deep-fried calamari from Lee Seafood is a must before heading home. Once a month I check out the London Vintage Fair in Hammersmith Town Hall, King Street, London W 6 organised by P&A Anitiques Ltd., (tel: +44 (0) 20 8543 5075, ...) it’s a monthly thing and an unbeatable source of one-off bargains. Admission is £5.
And it’s worth leaving London for Sunbury Antiques Market, Kempton Park Racecourse, Middlesex (tel: +44 (0) 1932 230 946, ...). It’s the largest and longest running bi-monthly antiques fair running in the UK and has been at Kempton Park since 1979. 700 stallholders offering furniture, jewellery, vintage fashion, cameras, books – a lot of prop buyers shop here, it’s hot! My pal Claire’s granny is an antiques dealer there. EPIC win!

(Illustration of Courtney Love in Kat Swank couture headpiece, see Kat's work here: ... )

Find art supplies (for your amazing drawings)
Um, depends…Atlantis, Britannia House, 60-80 Hanbury Street, London EI 5JL (tel: +44 (0) 20 7377 8855, ... ) has everything you could ever want. If I’m buying books and mags at Magma, 8 Earlham Street, Covent Garden, London WC2H 9R (tel: +44 (0)20 7240 8498, ... ) I’ll drop down the street to the London Graphic Centre, 16-18 Shelton Street, Covent Garden, London WC2H 9JL (tel: +44 (0) 20 7759 4500, ...) for some Rotring Graphic pens. They’re cheap and easily transportable.

Look for inspiration
Everywhere! The scent of vintage cashmere sleeves after rampant scent testing, new cracks in walls, the colours of the Japanese desserts at Yautacha and the scent of vinegar and chips from the shop across the street especially if it’s cold. The sound of cop cars (they’re different in every city) and the potent scent of flowers as you sweep past Liberty on a warm spring day. The sound of train announcements at Liverpool Street station, coffee at The Hoxton hotel for good luck before vintage hunting. The slogans on my boyfriend’s t-shirts, Lauren Laverne’s laugh on BBC Radio Six, Vivienne Westwood’s porcelain skin up-close, the whisper of the leaves as I run past them in Victoria Park. The dull boom from a sound system inside a car with blacked out windows in Soho, the aroma and sound of sizzling chops at Tayyabs and the tiles on the wall at the Ten Bells on Commercial Street where I drink with friends. Everything is alive, everything is inspiration, the truth is out there… *does x-file fingers*

Lunch spot
Out East a good few of my friends have painting studios around the Truman Brewery off Brick lane so we meet at Stori Deli, 3 Dray Walk, The Old Truman Brewery, 91 Brick Lane, London E1 (tel: + 44 (0)207 247 3137) . There’s a nice communal table for us to share and their organic pizza is unbeatable. I’m in and around Soho lots for meets so I take time for myself and like to dine alone at Busaba Eathai, 106-110 Wardour Street, W1 OTR (tel: +020 7255 8686). I order the same meal every single time... Thai Calamari to start, jasmine rice, swordfish and lemongrass tea £18.80. I’m a huge fan.

Have a romantic dinner
Les Trois Garcons every time or my newest crush Rowley Leigh’s Le Café Anglais, 8 Porchester Gardens, London (tel: 020 7221 1415, ... ) The menu is as beautifully put together as a perfect orchestra and better news still is that it’s totally affordable. For the best romantic lunch eva you have to try La Rochelle Canteen, Rochelle School, Arnold Circus London E2 (tel: +44 (0) 20 7729 5677, ... ) Had the best lunch of my life here; fish stew laced with saffron and red snapper. It’s a converted bike shed in a gated Victorian elementary school which is now artist’s studios. It’s a total experience; the secret gate, the buzzer, the beautiful building, the tables, the chairs, the food, everything about it is mysterious and perfect.
And for an EPIC romantic experience it has to be Nuno Mendes’s Supper Club at The Loft ... . It’s a club and just sixteen people, every Friday or Saturday night, £100 each get to try a tasting menu with wine. It’s in preparation for his new restaurant Viajante which is opening in the Bethnal Green town hall soon. It’s exciting because he’s a genius chef and the hot one to watch in London for 2010 ...

I’m a cupcake fiend and have recently found the best red velvet cup cakes at Love Bakery, 319 Kings Road, London SW3 (...). Cupcakes are the best pressies. Also Pierre Hermé has just opened a boutique in Selfridges and a little box of his macaroons doesn’t cost a lot and they come in well ravey colours and flavours.

Hear some new live music
Two words Brixton Academy (three if you put The in front of it).

Have a dance
Dalston Jazz Bar, 4 Bradbury Street, Hackney, N16 8JN All you need to know is that this place stays open until 5 and you can dance on the tables. Cos that is how I roll! Get my drift?
Open: 5pm-3am Mon-Thur; 5pm-5am Fri, Sat; 5pm-2am Sun, Food served: 6-10pm Mon; noon-3pm, 6.30-10pm Tue-Sat; 12.30-5pm Sun

Buy the book here:
The Goddess Experience The Goddess Guide II

And follow Gisele here:

text and shots specifically from Goddess Guides™

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