My Style: Food writer Annabel Karmel

The food writer and entrepreneur on a typical day at the office, where she has lunch, and why she hates long holidays.

by Kate Bassett
Last Updated: 02 Oct 2014


I get woken up at seven by my three dogs, who are itching to go outside. I whip up breakfast for my two girls, Scarlett (21) and Lara (23), and my partner, Stephen - then catch up on emails. There's always a flurry of messages from the US, Australia and Dubai, where we've just launched. I drive from our home in St John's Wood to our offices on Old Burlington Street, with Rachmaninoff on full volume, arriving at 9.30.

Usually, I make my own lunch and eat at my desk, otherwise I'll head to Le Petit Maison in Brook's Mews or Downtown Mayfair. This week I lunched with Frances Quinn, winner of The Great British Bake Off, and Jennifer Irvine, founder of The Pure Package. I read The Grocer, The Bookseller and Private Eye, and I'm always on Twitter (I have 18,000 followers).

I leave the office around eight and head to the gym twice a week. I'm short so I'll always wear heels. This dress is designed by Lara. If I have a work event in the evening, I'll slip on a Victoria Beckham or Caroline Castigliano dress and spritz my wrists with Spring Flower by Creed.

My staples are a Cartier ring, Rolex watch, Burberry coat and Fendi handbag.


I'm a real London girl. At the weekends, you can usually find me at the Everyman cinema in St John's Wood, or at the Royal Albert Hall (I have seats) or at an art exhibition. I buy what I call 'happy art'. Remember the brightly painted elephants dotted around London in 2010? I bought one of them, Gloria, at auction for £15,000 and she now stands in my hall. I collect black and white photography, particularly Elliott Erwitt and Terry O'Neill.

My weekend style is casual: a pair of jeans; a jumper; Rag & Bone boots; and an IRO leather jacket. I'm lucky if I can find my other clothes - my daughters have usually stolen them.

I don't use moisturiser, just No7 Protect & Perfect Beauty Serum. Nothing beats a good book: I've just finished The Mistress's Revenge by Tamar Cohen and Before I Go to Sleep by SJ Watson.


I'm writing a book called How to be a Mumpreneur, through which I meet many inspiring women who juggle motherhood with successful careers, from The White Company's Chrissie Rucker to TV presenter and musician Myleene Klass.

I'm a patron of Dorset-based Julia's House, a hospice for children with life-limiting conditions. I feel hugely close to the organisation as I lost my own child, Natasha, to a viral infection when she was 13 weeks old.

For advice, I'll turn to our non-executive director Philip O'Connor (co-founder of Yu! healthy snacks) or my mother. When my father lost his business, she became the breadwinner as an interior designer and architect. She still works to this day. She's my biggest inspiration.


I hate long holidays. Any longer than 10 days and I'll go spare. My favourite destination is Courchevel. My kids started skiing when they were three but I didn't get into it until my 20s. I was a harpist, studying at the Royal College of Music then at the Royal Conservatoire of Music at The Hague, and my mother didn't want me falling over and hurting my hands.

We have a flat in Spain near Puerto Banus. We go there four or five times a year to recharge our batteries and feast on seafood.

On the plane, I'll watch downloaded movies and episodes of Mad Men and Game of Thrones on my MacBook Air. My iPad, iPhone and BlackBerry go everywhere with me so I can keep up with work: most people don't even realise I'm away.

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