Simms' city: Monet at the Savoy and Allegra Hicks


Last week Freya Simms gave us the first batch of her 12 musings for Christmas. In it partridges were swapped for prehistoric bear skeletons and the French hens transformed into French bankers. What’s in store for the final five? You need wait no longer…

8. Philip Mould and Allegra Hicks

Philip Mould and Allegra Hicks

Source: Simon Bevan

This Christmas, old master specialist Philip Mould has teamed up with designer Allegra Hicks for a joint exhibition which opened last week and runs until 23 December at Philip Mould’s London premises on Dover Street. 

Treats in store include highlights of Philip Mould’s paintings ‘re-presented’ by style guru Allegra Hicks who has juxtaposed them against her new fabric collection called “Islands”

Personally, I’m most looking forward to seeing Allegra’s witty take on the traditional Christmas tree using portrait miniatures and a branch of coral.

9. Christmas shopping in Barnes Village

Barnes village pub

As always I returned to my family home last Friday to head out for late night Christmas shopping in Barnes Village.

Highlights included boutique after boutique plying mulled wine, fizz and mince pies into the cold hands of every passer-by.

And of course Father Christmas himself was there, complete with reindeer, gifts and a full brass band.

The night was rounded off nicely at a full to bursting Sun Inn where I joined my sisters for an long overdue catch-up.


10. Monet at the Savoy

Claude Monet Waterloo Bridge 1901

On Monday I was invited to The Savoy to see Waterloo Bridge, sketched by Claude Monet in January 1901 from room 618 – now known as the Monet Suite.

The picture, lent by Trinity House Paintings- which yes I would love to find wrapped under my tree this year – will return to the hotel 110 years after it was drawn. 

Guests have the unique opportunity to see the picture against the view that inspired it while standing in the exact position from where Monet painted it.


11. Charlie Waller Memorial Trust Carol Concert

My Christmas would not be complete without belting out God Rest You Merry, Gentlemen at the annual Charlie Waller Memorial Trust Carol Concert with my oldest friend Fi-mac. Established to raise funds and increase awareness of the signs and the dangers of depression, and to encourage those who may be depressed to seek help, the event manages to strike the perfect balance between fundraising and pure entertainment.

A host of stars and supporters including the comedians Alexander Armstrong and Miranda Hart read, while Neil Fox and the legendary Robert Powell added even more glamour and glitz to the event. And of course, the wonderful Vox Cordis choir raised the roof of the St. Luke’s Church in Chelsea where the event was held.

 12. The Muse and Gong Christmas festive shindig at Islington Barn

Philip Dundas


Tonight is the Muse and Gong Christmas festive shindig and we’ve chosen to sample a three course supper presented by food writer and cook, Philip Dundas, at the pop up supper club Islington Barn with Farm Direct & Pips Dish.

‘Tis the season for reckless abandon after all…

Freya Simms is managing director of Gong Muse a Strategic Communications agency for the art and luxury markets and winner of PRCA Agency Campaign of the year 2011.