Q & A with Daisy Garnett

Daisy Garnett is the co-founder and co-editor of A-LittleBird.com, an arts and style website that recommends great things to do, see, buy and listen to in London and beyond. She has been a journalist for nearly 20 years and has worked at both American and British Vogue. It was while in working at Vogue that she met her partner, Francesca (Martin). They decided to set up A Little Bird because they realised that working at a glossy magazine meant they were privy to all kinds of useful information and tip-offs - when to book tickets for a show before it sold out, which restaurants to rush to, which sample sales to make time for, where to get the best flowers/ cushions/ chocolates/ garden stakes/ jeans etc, which face cream to use - and they decided to funnel all this knowledge and 'insider' access into a useful and opinionated website.

Daisy in her study. Photograph by Simon Brown

What was your proudest moment:

Well, last Thursday when I watched my four year old daughter recite her lines in her first ever assembly at school I felt fit to burst with pride. I have lots of mini proud moments like that - when the seeds I've planted in my greenhouse germinate for example, or if I turn out a successful Tarte Tatin  - but very few Big Proud Moments. If I had to pick one work thing: probably when I went to Syria and wrote about travelling to Palmyra on a camel for the New York Times. 

What was the naughtiest thing you did at school:

I wasn't good at being naughty at school, and wish I had been more brazen. When I was 12, a group of us all drank vodka out of baby bottles (I think I may have had one sip, max) and got caught - I burned with the shame of it - and had to do a weekend of community service at the school as a result. Not a very glamorous story. 

What annoys you more than anything?

People who ring me about PPI or any cold callers. 
All the big depressing stuff like men fighting each other endlessly.
Unnecessary queues (e.g. when an organisation should have more staff or a better system). 
My 2 year old waking at 5am EVERY single morning.

What makes you happy.

My family. Our garden and allotment. Birdsong. Simple but good food. Having spending money. A bicycle ride. A good night at the theatre. Flowers, both growing and cut. A fab junk shop (preferably with spending money from above). 

Who would be your perfect dinner party guests, dead or alive:

My good pals really. I like small, stress free dinners, so though I'd love to be at a dinner with folk like Coco Chanel and Cecil Beaton, I would find it stressful to have them at MY dinner party. But yes, at someone else's house: Jane Austin, Coco Chanel, The Shelleys (Mary and Percy), and Nancy Mitford. Mostly women. 

What would be your last supper?

Can it be lunch on a summer's day instead of supper. And if so, then plates of asparagus, artichokes, beetroot, tomatoes, zucchini all perfectly ripe and beautifully cooked and appropriately dressed, with some hard sheep's cheese and really really good bread. Followed by delicious ice cream and a fruit tart (almost any fruit tart). And very cold, very delicious rose wine. 

What would you do if you weren’t a mother/editor/ - it can be anything in the world. 

An archaeologist. 

What is the kindest thing you have ever done:

taking the odd extra 5am shift and letting my husband sleep in (till 7am). How awful, though, that when asked this question my mind goes mostly blank. 

Who would play you in a film about your life:

Toni Collette please. 

What is the most expensive thing you have ever bought (not counting your house):

a painting by the wonderful artist Hurvin Anderson. I bought it by instalment over a couple of years. 

Who would be your perfect husband – obv. Not counting your own one!  
Dead or alive: Cary Grant

Your desert island luxury:

a bed with an endless supply of clean linen sheets. 

3 x desert island discs?

Du Bist Die Ruh by Schubert sung by Keith Lewis
life On Mars - but the version David Bowie sung live at Fashion Rocks in 2005. 
Me and Julio down by the Schoolyard by Paul Simon

The first three things you would do if you won £34m on the lottery:

Pay off my debts. Buy land. Start a charity. 

What were you doing just before you started answering these questions?

Sowing seeds and eating rhubarb and custard ice-cream. 

Your earliest memory?

beautiful blur of Bradley Court, the place where I grew up (and rarely ever left), until I was 10. 

Bradley Court

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1 comment

Foxanddahlia said...

What a fabulous article. I so enjoyed reading this post and I will be following the lovely Daisy. I would have to fight her over Cary Grant though! X